Letters to the editor on Postal Service, renewable energy, eyesore corner, Dean for City Council

02/15/2013 5:53 PM

02/15/2013 5:53 PM

Wind energy is not competitive

Rabbi Moti Rieber, director of Kansas Interfaith Power and Light, believes that mandates are needed to make wind energy “competitive” (“Don’t roll back renewable-energy standard,” Feb. 12 Opinion). The thing is, the wind industry has already been given multiple chances to succeed through a little thing called the free market. Furthermore, federal subsidies for wind energy are very likely to remain in place for years to come. But apparently this isn’t enough for the special-interest groups that continually demand expensive “clean-energy” boondoggles under the guise of fairness and competition.

Call me crazy, but I’d take natural gas and nuclear energy over dead birds, crony capitalism and protectionism any day of the week.

NICK ERCOLANI

Bel Aire

Congress a burden

In a Feb. 7 Eagle article regarding the U.S. Postal Service’s attempt to reduce delivery from six to five days a week, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, blamed the Postal Service’s financial problems on “unaffordable union labor agreements.”

Pompeo apparently is unaware that the Postal Service’s biggest competitor pays union wages, too, and is a profitable company. Management is the problem – not just internally, but the micromanagement from an institution to which Pompeo belongs.

Congress has imposed on the Postal Service a $5.5 billion yearly obligation to pre-fund retiree health care benefits for the next 75 years, and to do it in a 10-year time frame. No other governmental or private organization does that. So far, $42 billion has been set aside. If the government had imposed this requirement on a private business, I’m sure Pompeo would be riding to the rescue, bemoaning government interference in business.

About a third of businesses attempt some form of pre-funding, but not anywhere near the Postal Service rate. The Postal Service recently lost $1.3 billion in the first quarter of the fiscal year. It paid $1.4 billion for the pre-funding requirement.

The Postal Service has cut more than 200,000 jobs in the past 10 years and is trying to be more efficient. We still have plenty of room for improvement, but gutting service may not encourage its use.

The Postal Service is not a burden on Congress; it’s the other way around.

PATRICK HILL

President

Branch 201

National Association of Letter Carriers

Wichita

Site an eyesore

Last summer Dillons bought the southwest corner of 13th and Woodlawn, closed the existing gas station, halfway buried some big tanks, and then abandoned the site. The derelict buildings have blighted our neighborhood ever since with overflowing trash cans, destroyed shrubbery and no notice that the station is closed.

Columnist Carrie Rengers recently interviewed a representative of Kwik Shop (Feb. 12 Business Today). As best we can tell, there is still no plan for development of the site. Rengers reported that “there’s still a good chance” but “it’s not for certain.” It continues as a neighborhood eyesore.

Dillons: If you are not going to cook, get out of the kitchen.

ANN and STEVE STARCH

Wichita

Represents all

My buddy Mary Dean is a candidate for Wichita City Council for District 3. We have been friends and cohorts for many years – working together on a number of projects that involve the welfare of our citizens.

Dean is a feet-on-the-ground, in-the-trenches activist for social justice. She knows her district. My personal knowledge of her tells me she’ll represent people of all races, genders and creeds. One couldn’t hope for more.

Among the many issues Dean is concerned about is the number of people in jail for nonviolent offenses. Continuing to upgrade education is another priority, as well as supporting efforts to seek new avenues for jobs. The welfare of senior citizens is among her ongoing concerns.

Dean has the courage, intelligence and independence to represent everyone in District 3. Please consider casting your primary vote for Mary Dean.

MARY McDONOUGH HARREN

Wichita

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