Letters to the editor on bus system, fluoridation, Kerschen, arena acts

07/10/2012 12:00 AM

07/09/2012 6:42 PM

Public deserves a decent bus system

Citizens’ passions and uneasiness set the tone of the recent city of Wichita 2013-14 budget update meeting. Our bus system was the primary point of concern, and rightfully so.

As I listened to the arguments to maintain and build a good public transportation system, I found myself puzzled over this issue. Why is Wichita’s public transit viewed as a service only to those who have no other source of transportation – the poor, disabled and elderly? There is such a class attitude toward riding a bus, something I have not seen in any other city. How did this come to be? Or has this negative attitude toward riding a bus always been around?

The bus system in Wichita is supported like a necessary evil. I heard of some Wichita citizens who spend three hours a day on the bus getting to and from work. Wichita is supposedly where we can get anywhere in town in about 20 minutes.

Budgets are a theological statement that reflects a community’s values. Sustainable economic growth is important. Our disabled and elderly citizens deserve to have access to decent public transportation. An effective public transit system is cost-effective and has the highest economic reward.



Safe, effective

As a pediatrician practicing in this community for many years, I have had the opportunity to look in the mouths of a lot of children. Far too often I have seen a mouth with serious signs of tooth decay, or of fillings and caps to repair that decay. It is a sad fact that this situation is made worse because of the lack of adequate fluoride in the Wichita water supply.

Community water fluoridation is recognized as safe and effective by all the leading medical authorities in this country, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. It has been evaluated more than 3,000 times and for more than 60 years in communities around the country. There has been no evidence of danger, but a lot of evidence of benefit.

In my practice, I prescribe supplemental fluoride to my patients – a pill that parents need to give to the children on a daily basis. I also apply fluoride varnish to children’s teeth. I am confident that fluoride offers real benefits for dental health. It would be so much easier and so much more effective if it were present in the water supply.



Completely safe?

I take issue with the claim that “fluoride is completely safe for children and adults” (“Fluoride is healthy choice,” June 24 Letters to the Editor). The fine print on my tube of toothpaste warns that “if you accidentally swallow more than the amount used for brushing, get medical help or go to a poison center right away.” It also says “keep out of the reach of children under 6 years of age.” That does not sound “completely safe.”

The authors of the letter also made the claim that for each dollar spent on fluoridation, an average of $38 is saved in dental care. But they did not cite any study that validates that claim.

The local publication the Prospector recently listed numerous municipalities in the United States and around the world that have ceased adding fluoride to their water supplies. Why do you think that is happening? Fluoride can have harmful effects in children (fluorosis).

Put your fluoride on your and your children’s toothbrushes and brush your way to better oral hygiene and healthier teeth. Do not put it in our water.



A clear choice

Republican voters in Kansas Senate District 26 will have a clear choice in the August primary between solid, effective leadership and the tax-and-spend policies of the past. A vote for Rep. Dan Kerschen, R-Garden Plain, is an investment in the future, while voting for his opponent will lead the state back to the poorhouse.

While in the Kansas House, Kerschen proved himself to be a stalwart supporter of commonsense solutions to bring prosperity back to south-central Kansas, and he will lead the charge in the Senate. Kerschen involves himself in the community in a positive way. Throughout his years of public service, Kerschen has established a reputation as a man of true integrity, and he will carry that forward in the Senate.

I urge all Republicans in District 26 to make the right choice on Aug. 7 and cast their vote for Dan Kerschen, a true leader who will bring integrity back to the Senate and more money back into our schools.



Arena acts

There might as well be a sign saying “country and rock acts only” on Intrust Bank Arena, because those are the only music acts I have seen there. Is it hard to get acts of color to come to Wichita? I am sure that if they were offered the money, they would come. Is there an aversion to having black or Hispanic groups appear in the arena? I hope not.

More people should speak up. After all, it is our arena, too. We helped pay for it, so we should be able to use it.



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