Letters to the Editor

October 21, 2012

Letters to the editor on Kochs, fluoridation, sharing the road, picking up poop

Thank you, Wichita Eagle, for the fair, balanced and accurate series of articles on Charles and David Koch (Oct. 14, 15 Eagle). It’s important that their fellow citizens have a better understanding and, hopefully, appreciation of the reasons behind their commitment to helping set our country back on the path intended by its founders.

Articles helped explain Kochs

Thank you, Wichita Eagle, for the fair, balanced and accurate series of articles on Charles and David Koch (Oct. 14, 15 Eagle). It’s important that their fellow citizens have a better understanding and, hopefully, appreciation of the reasons behind their commitment to helping set our country back on the path intended by its founders.

And thank you, Charles and David Koch and your colleagues at Koch Industries, for being so open in your responses to questions from The Eagle. Given the avalanche of unfair and inaccurately directed negativism directed your way by much of the media and the liberal establishment, this can’t have been an easy call to cooperate so extensively.

I think Koch and the community are both winners in this one.



Free Koch ad

Is this what the “free press” has become? A newspaper that asks subscribers to pay to read a multiday promotional brochure for the Koch brothers, two men who have never in their lives (except by their or their father’s choice) had to face a single day without food, clothing or shelter?

There is really only one question to ask after reading this free advertisement for the ultra right wing (less than a month before a presidential election): “Quest to save America”? For whom?

Perhaps the answer to that question, in these times of record corporate profits, could be found in the article “New factory jobs provide lower wages,” which was buried on Page 5B.



Saving nation

The Koch brothers clearly stated their motives for working to defeat President Obama in this election – to curtail the reckless spending that is carrying us toward bankruptcy; to stop the growth of an overreaching and ever more intrusive government; and, as Charles Koch said, “to preserve enough liberty and enough of a market economy so people can speak out and have independent resources to provide diverse opinions.”

In a nutshell, they want to help save our nation.

The skeptics contend that the Koch brothers are driven by greed and a desire to make more money. That is illogical. First, they clearly have sufficient personal wealth. Second, if greed is their motive, they would just keep a low profile and not risk retaliation by the government and other Koch haters.

Because our nation has been the land of opportunity for more than 200 years, it is easy to become complacent and assume it will always be so. However, history, the problems in Europe and our current precarious circumstances should be sufficient warning of the real danger that our nation faces.

We should be thankful that the Koch brothers are willing to accept significant risks to their families and their businesses in the interest of defeating Obama to help preserve the future of our nation.



Can’t relate

As difficult as it is for me to imagine what it would be like to have unlimited resources, I don’t believe the Kochs have any idea at all what it is like to live like an average American. To lose your job and have it sent overseas. To not be able to get health insurance. To have skills but not be able to get a job because you’re too old. To be paid less for your work because you are not white or male. To take a cut in pay because your employer threatens to move, while its profits continue to grow.

It seems that David Koch believes business profits can only be good. Profits can do many things, but money has no values and doesn’t care who controls it. The reason there are government regulations is that businesses have destroyed the environment and taken advantage of the people. All because “greed is good.”

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I know that the Kochs have done good things for the community. But I don’t think that one family, regardless of the amount of money it has, should have so much influence in our political system.



‘Yes’ for fluoride

The Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care represents more than 50 of Wichita’s largest employers, health care providers and insurers that are working collaboratively to address health care costs, quality and access within our community.

The coalition strongly supports the community water fluoridation ballot issue. As business leaders, health care providers and insurers, we recognize the positive health benefits fluoridated water will provide to our community, and we are not distracted by unsubstantiated claims that oppose the initiative. Years of solid science support the benefits of community water fluoridation, and it’s time that our community takes this positive step.

Join us on Nov. 6 in voting “yes” for community water fluoridation.


Interim executive director

Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care


Not a plan

Ignoring up-front costs and future cost increases, of the estimated $571,000 cost per year to fluoridate our water, about $11,000 (a generous 2 percent – it’s likely less) will go into drinking water. The rest, about $560,000, is the annual amount wasted, going into water used for other purposes.

I can’t help but question the judgment and motives of those trying to embarrass Wichitans into signing up for this by saying we’re behind the times. Ignore the health concerns and controversy, if you please, but the last thing anyone needs is a government-administered project with 98 percent waste.

I’ll be very proud of Wichita for not falling for such a load of garbage. Some proponents have good intentions, but if it’s really about healthy teeth, they need to get a real plan. Having 98 percent waste and forcing a large percentage of the public to ingest a chemical they don’t think safe or necessary is not a plan.



Share the road

Regarding “Bicyclists, walkers must safely share the streets” (Oct. 13 Eagle): The real hazards for runners are the car drivers and the lack of safety measures by the city of Wichita.

If we are going to talk about right-of-way issues, it isn’t just among pedestrians, dog walkers and bicyclists. We need to include shifting the attitude of the city and its drivers toward bicyclists and pedestrians with road planning, ordinance enforcement and driver education.

The disdain shown by drivers toward pedestrians, bicyclists and motorized wheelchairs is a reflection of the attitude of this city of focusing solely on the efficient movement of cars on roads. Drivers seem to have forgotten that they must share the road, sidewalks and paths with slower people who are not protected by a box with wheels and an engine.

The city doesn’t seem to care to change this attitude. Perhaps part of a driver’s test would be to cross four lanes of traffic on foot, bicycle or wheelchair at a crosswalk. If more people understood what it is like to move around in this city while not in a car, we would have much more patience as drivers.

As a pedestrian, I try to extend gratitude by always giving a hearty wave, smiling and saying “thank you” when a driver yields to me.



Dog owners’ job

My wife and I walk in our neighborhood six days a week. We frequently observe dog walkers who are not picking up after their dogs. In common areas, they often let the dog run free.

The most egregious behavior is when they watch their dog squat right on the sidewalk. Walkers must always be careful where they step. The ultimate result is that the dog waste pollutes the river.

I believe that everyone should practice his civic responsibility to keep our city clean.



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