Letters to the editor about liquor laws, abuse of teens, O’Connor, Keystone XL pipeline

07/09/2012 12:00 AM

07/06/2012 5:05 PM

Get rid of other liquor laws, too

“New liquor laws raise spirits of bar, store owners” (July 1 Eagle) reported on Kansas changing a long-standing law that prohibited sampling liquors and happy hour specials. For a state that touts its free-market ideals, removing restraints on the promotion of a legitimate product should not be celebrated. Rather, such restraints never should have been put in place.

If Kansas were serious about free-market economies, it would not have such draconian measures in place for the sale of liquor. Ridiculous constraints include not allowing grocery stores to carry full-strength alcohol, early Sunday closings and quantity limitations. Such regulations hamper legitimate Kansas businesses that employ Kansans who participate in the local community.



Abuse widespread

Regarding the abuse allegations at Salina’s St. John’s Military School (June 24 Eagle): Such alleged abuse has been happening for years in facilities across the United States.

I am the former executive director of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, a national advocacy organization based in the Washington, D.C., area. I also serve on the board for the Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic and Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment (ASTART). This organization is a community of professionals, family members and survivors working to protect children from abuse and neglect by residential programs, and to ensure that families have safe and effective community-based care for their children.

As many as 14,000 teens are confined in for-profit residential programs for troubled teens. It is a billion-dollar industry with a history of pressuring parents and neglecting teens, sometimes with tragic results. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office documented widespread abuse, maltreatment and death in some private residential programs for teens.

The ASTART website has the GAO report along with information on pending legislation that would prohibit sexual, physical and emotional abuse in these facilities and ban the use of deprivation – of food, sleep, clothing and shelter, for example – as punishment or for any other reason.

I don’t think most citizens would believe what is happening to some of our children.



Vote for O’Connor

We need change in the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, and Kevin O’Connor will make those changes.

As an advocate and mother of a murder victim, I am in the courtroom for many trials to support family members of the victims to see that justice is given. O’Connor has prosecuted many of these cases, along with many other types of cases, and he always has time to talk to the family members before and after the trial. He will give the family members as much time as they need to discuss what is going to happen, and when the trial is over he stays with them as long as they need to talk.

It is very important for family members to have this connection with the prosecutor working on their loved one’s case.

O’Connor is the candidate for your vote on Aug. 7. The primary will determine who our next district attorney will be.



Pipeline truth

Searching for the truth about the Keystone XL pipeline project turned up some interesting facts. TransCanada is going to the expense of building 2,000 miles of pipeline through six states, even though there are oil refineries much closer to Canada.

What TransCanada doesn’t want anyone to know is that this oil will not be made into gasoline for our vehicles. Most of it will be refined and exported to Europe, China and Latin America from the refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. Valero openly shows world maps with convenient arrows pointing from Port Arthur to its foreign customers.

One thing I haven’t been able to find is information on how many full-time permanent jobs each state would have if the pipeline continued crossing the United States. It seems the greatest number of full-time jobs would be in Canada and Texas.

The question to ask yourself is: Whom does the pipeline help?



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