Vote again on dog-track slots
I’ve been hearing individuals in the Wichita community discussing a possible vote on the reopening of the Wichita Greyhound Park.
I am writing to express my support for this effort. I believe that we are in great need of new job opportunities and investment in our community. Reopening the park offers an important opportunity for us to receive those benefits.
If the park is reopened, Sedgwick County schools and other taxing entities will receive benefits from the operation of the park, and the community as a whole will benefit from the $100 million investment that the park represents. At a time when our graduates are facing few job prospects and the down economy has even many of us who have been in the workforce for a number of years searching for positions, the 500 new jobs the park will offer are needed here in Wichita.
Five hundred new jobs and $100 million in community investment — reopening the park is a win-win for Wichita.
RHANDALEE D. HINMAN
Pay up on KPERS
The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System was put in the hands of the governor’s KPERS study commission, which was made up primarily of anti-public-employee ideologues and financial institutions that stand to make a lot of money off the employees’ “sweat and blood.”
The commission recommended that no new KPERS members would have a defined-benefit retirement plan. They’ll be at the mercy of the stocks and bonds markets, while they contribute 6 percent of their salary into a 401(k)-type program. Also, the state will end up contributing only 1 percent the first year of employment, gradually increasing until it reaches 5 percent in the ninth year of employment. Remember 2008, when most 401(k)s lost 40 percent?
This change, in turn, will cause enormous difficulties for the present KPERS to fund long-term obligations.
The state’s unfunded KPERS liability has increased by $590 million to nearly $9 billion, a problem the legislators and governor have not addressed. The state’s record of not meeting its financial obligation to KPERS can lead one to believe that the state will again avoid funding its share of future 401(k)-type retirements.
Governor, legislators: Please do not change the present KPERS. Instead, pay what is owed.
Casino too smoky
Recently, my wife and I decided to drive to Dodge City and experience what all the excitement is about concerning the casino there. It is a nice-looking facility on the outside. But when we opened the door to the casino floor, we were immediately hit with the odor of cigarette smoke. We walked through the floor of the gambling machines and could not find a door to the outside fast enough to get away from the problem. We were in the building about three minutes.
We have not been back to Dodge City, and we do not anticipate going to the new casino at Mulvane for the same reason. A no-smoking gambling facility needs to be strongly considered.
Paul is top tier
We have heard over and over that Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has no chance at winning the Republican presidential nomination. Yet Paul consistently polls in second place in important primary states and leads in Iowa, according to Public Policy Polling.
Fox News demagogue Chris Wallace says that “it will discredit the Iowa caucuses” if Paul wins in the state (although the Iowa vote has picked every winning GOP nominee but one since 1992). Polls have consistently shown, contrary to popular opinion, that Paul has the best chance of beating President Obama in 2012. Why do we continue hearing talking heads like Rush Limbaugh call him a no-chance “nut ball,” discrediting his non-warmongering foreign policy with some quaint witticism? Why do we allow ourselves to be “Hannatized” by talk-show neoconservatives who consistently ignore the Constitution on issues like the Patriot Act? Fox News and Sarah Palin most certainly do not speak for constitutional conservatives.
Look at the issues and choose for yourself. Don’t allow the media to invoke a self-fulfilling prophecy. Paul is a top-tier candidate. Let’s stop buying the establishment’s anti-democratic propaganda.
Free electricity from Westar Energy for anyone who owns an electric car (Dec. 16 Business Today). Are you kidding me? Free? Here’s my question to the CEO of Westar: Who is paying for the “free electricity”? And don’t tell me it’s coming from some already stored-up protons inside the bowels of Westar since the 1960s.
Of course, I already know the answer. The payment is coming from every Westar customer. So here’s the bottom line: All owners of electric cars get their “gas” for free, thanks to you and me.
When all our servicemen and women come home from the Mideast, and after some well-deserved time with family and friends, let’s station them along the U.S.-Mexico border to help stop drugs and illegal immigration.