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2012 in Eagle editorials

  • Published Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at 5:19 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at 5:20 p.m.

Here is a look back at 2012 with excerpts from some of The Wichita Eagle’s editorials:

Boeing’s exit – Boeing blames labor costs, federal budget cuts and global competition for its plan to leave Wichita. But the decision stings like a betrayal – one eliminating 2,160 local jobs, breaking promises of tanker-finishing work, and bringing a mutually beneficial 80-year relationship between the city and the company to a bitter end. (Jan. 5)

USD 259 – No one should doubt the Wichita school board members’ commitment to students, or the devastation they felt in voting unanimously to close five schools. That was not what they signed up for – just their chosen way out of the bind created by state budget cuts and the 2008 bond issue. (March 7)

Basketball – It’s been a great year for college basketball in Kansas. The University of Kansas, Wichita State University and Kansas State University men’s basketball teams each made the NCAA Tournament, as did the KU and K-State women. Given that coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks already have defied expectations, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they lost Saturday to Ohio State University or in the finals on Monday. After all, it’s an honor just to make it to the Final Four and blah, blah, blah. Yeah, right. KU is in it to win it, and anything less will stink. (March 30)

April 14 tornado – The weekend was a fresh and scary reminder to south-central Kansans that tornadoes come with the territory. But it also demonstrated that early, accurate warnings can be lifesavers. The meteorologists used their high-tech tools and the resulting data to warn people days ahead of the potential for a massive tornado system. (April 16)

Hawker – Though it was many years and bad decisions in the making, Hawker Beechcraft’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing felt like a punch in the gut for Wichita, creating fresh worries and hard feelings for the workforce and community. (May 4)

Tax-cut vote – The tax-cut duel under the dome made it official: The legislative process in Topeka is bankrupt. Soon the state could be, too. (May 10)

Fluoride – Six decades after water fluoridation became common in the United States, two impressive groups are determined to bring it to Wichita. It’s certainly about time. Wichita’s history suggests the resistance will try to shout down this latest effort with lots of persuasive-sounding “facts” about health dangers and talking points about freedom. The important message of the new dual advocacy efforts, however: Water fluoridation is too important to public health to ignore any longer. (May 31)

Redistricting – It took three federal judges only eight days to deliver not only new maps but also a richly deserved rebuke to the politicians who had spent 99 days failing to agree on new districts. Funny how relatively simple it can be to draw maps that make sense when the mapmakers do not treat incumbency as sacred or seek power for themselves or their friends. (June 10)

Obamacare – The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling confirms that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback miscalculated in giving back a $31.5 million federal grant last year meant to help the state set up a health insurance exchange (which was a Republican idea, by the way). (June 29)

GOP primary – Though his name wasn’t on the ballot, Gov. Sam Brownback was the big winner. Now the rest of Kansas is left to wonder what that will mean for education, social services and other state programs. (Aug. 8)

Kimbra Moore’s death – There are no words for individuals who would shoot off guns in a mobile home park in the middle of the night, such that one bullet could hit a sleeping third-grader in the head as she shared a bed with two younger siblings in one mobile home and a second bullet could graze the head of a 46-year-old woman as she watched a movie in her living room in another mobile home. No words except: What were they thinking? How could anyone be so boneheaded and reckless? And, may justice for those responsible be sure, swift and cold. (Sept. 6)

Obama re-elected – Kansas didn’t share in Tuesday’s re-election of President Obama, seeing its six electoral votes go to Republican Mitt Romney. If Obama’s win suggests a desire on American voters’ part to stick with the status quo, it also promises more debilitating partisanship. It could be a long four years. (Nov. 7)

Election problems – Those seeking the resignation or recall of Secretary of State Kris Kobach are unlikely to prevail. But they have a point about the serious problems with his election oversight, especially in Sedgwick County, and the need for accountability and change. The county’s voters deserve to know their election office can handle elections. And they have reason to doubt that it can after the misrepresented totals and tardy returns of the Aug. 7 primary and Nov. 6 general election. (Nov. 15)

K-State football – Every Kansan is a Wildcat right now, and no wonder. Coach Bill Snyder’s Kansas State University team has reached the top of the BCS standings and the cover of Sports Illustrated, which called senior quarterback Collin Klein “the best player on the nation’s best team.” Congratulations to Snyder and his “youngsters” on their brilliant season. (Nov. 16)

Southwest Airlines – Wichita Mid-Continent Airport has arrived. At least that’s how it felt to learn that Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest domestic carrier, plans five daily Mid-Continent flights beginning June 2. Southwest Airlines in Wichita – and they said it couldn’t be done. (Nov. 20)

President Wagle – Congratulations to state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, for making history to become the first Wichitan and the first woman elected to lead the Kansas Senate. Monday’s 23-9 vote by her fellow GOP senators was a powerful endorsement of Wagle’s record and leadership potential and a milestone for the state and the south-central Kansas legislative delegation – as well as confirmation that it’s a conservative new day at the Statehouse. (Dec. 4)

Koch plans – Koch Industries’ plan to expand its headquarters is great news for Wichita and the local economy. Wichita has been trying to diversify its economy so that it is a bit less vulnerable to the ups and downs of the aviation industry. Koch is a key part of that effort. (Dec. 13)

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