Letters to the editor on renewable energy, teachers as bullies, paroling killers

02/13/2013 12:00 AM

02/12/2013 5:10 PM

Don’t back off on renewable energy

Regarding “Bill would delay renewable-energy mandates in Kansas” (Feb. 7 Eagle): Now is not the time to back away from Kansas’ successful renewable-electricity standard. The standard is the main reason Kansas ranked third in the nation for new wind-power capacity installed in 2012, creating new jobs and investing $1.5 billion in local communities.

And the renewable standard is a good deal for consumers. The state’s two largest utilities reported rate increases of less than 1.7 percent to cover renewable-energy investments in 2012 and 2013. A Kansas Corporation Commission official said these levels are “minimal and reflect the low cost advantage of Kansas electric generation.”

Lawmakers can do their part to ensure Kansas continues to harvest the economic, environmental and health benefits of using more homegrown clean energy by keeping the state on track to meet its 20 percent by 2020 renewable-electricity standard.

STEVE CLEMMER

Director of energy research

Union of Concerned Scientists

Yarmouth, Maine

Not bullies

As a public schoolteacher, I read with interest and some irritation the article “Teachers weigh own roles in bullying” (Feb. 9 Eagle). The article suggested that (unlike the student body) the vast majority of teachers are “white, middle class and female.” Thus, the dominant white, middle-class culture of teachers might be promoting diminishing attitudes toward minority students because they are unfamiliar with them. This in turn leads to bullying.

Anti-bullying initiatives are hard to argue with, because everyone is in favor of them. But the idea that teachers are subconsciously racist and are engaging in “cultural bullying” is ludicrous. I dutifully read the National Education Association magazines I receive – as well as other nationally recognized educator-directed publications – and I can readily attest that the term “diversity” comes up nearly as frequently as the word “the.”

The reason the majority of teachers hail from middle-class backgrounds is that most individuals from impoverished underclass backgrounds are unlikely to possess the academic skills and self-discipline it takes to make it through teacher-education programs and, if they did, would not remain a member of the underclass.

Individuals who are so consumed with identity politics that they can learn only from those who belong to their culture are probably doomed to remain in that same small-minded culture, however dysfunctional it may be.

ARRAH MASSIMINI

Hesston

Don’t free killers

Regarding the article about inmates with life sentences being released from prison (“19 killers released in past 3 years,” Feb. 10 Eagle): I tend to side with Corinne Radke, co-founder of the Wichita chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. She said that 19 paroled killers was too many.

I would go even further and say that even one is too many.

Why should someone be given a second or even third chance to hurt somebody? A person who exhibits anti-social or sociopathic behavior toward people and hurts them should never get out. That way, the recidivism rate would be zero.

TERRY L. SAGERTY

Wichita

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