Letters to the editor on Southeast High, Eakins, Bel Aire candidates, Blubaugh, wind resource

03/27/2013 5:06 PM

03/27/2013 5:06 PM

More busing for Wichita students?

Monday night’s Wichita school board meeting was fascinating (March 26 Local & State).

Superintendent John Allison told board members that they may have to close “old” Southeast High School because budget cuts at the state level have left them many millions short of the money needed to keep the old school open while they also open a new school at 127th Street East and Pawnee, out toward where the population has been moving.

They wouldn’t leave the old building empty: They would “repurpose” it.

But the low-income kids who live in the area immediately surrounding the building? They get “supported” to attend the new building. Busing again.

The superintendent did his best to put a positive spin on the situation. That’s his job – finding “good” in whatever you’re stuck with.

And he said they learned lessons about the real cost of acquiring property from enlarging West and North high schools. Enlarging old Southeast probably wouldn’t fit the estimated budget anyhow.

So move the population now, before you’ve invested. And abandon the old neighborhood, and the low-income kids. Let them be bused again.

The Brownback budget strikes again.



Vote for Eakins

The Eagle editorial board said Joy Eakins “would make a capable school board member” (March 24 Eagle endorsements). I think she would be far more than that, and would bring two valuable skills and experiences to the board.

Eakins has tutored and mentored in the classroom and with challenged kids in the Youth Horizons program. She has personal knowledge of the difficulties teachers face with children who too often come to school with little preparation. Teachers need support to help those kids.

While more money is not likely for that support, technology is one area where we might find it. Technology-aided learning can be particularly helpful with children who are behind their grade level or who have special learning needs.

Eakins’ career is in technology. She has a master’s degree in mathematics, and is a consultant to companies that need to control costs by getting more from their computer-based information systems. She is a problem solver. I have respect for the other board members, but do not believe any have her special skills.

Eakins wants to be a bridge builder between teachers, parents and the community. She will make unique and valuable contributions to the board.

Vote for Joy Eakins on Tuesday.



Blubaugh honest

I recommend Jeff Blubaugh for Wichita City Council in District 4. I have known Blubaugh for more than 15 years. He has shown so much honesty and integrity, and has been consistent in judgment. He also has a fantastic family.

Blubaugh has become a fantastic Goddard school board member and has always presented the utmost professionalism and courtesy on every acquaintance. He shows concern to every detail. He is punctual and listens before making any quick determination. He is also patriotic, and a member of many organizations and clubs.

Blubaugh is a businessman who wants growth in Wichita to continue. He will keep us growing and make decisions that help the community.



Backed by mayors

We – all former mayors of Bel Aire – are supporting Shelly Smith and Guy MacDonald for Bel Aire City Council.

These two long-term residents of Bel Aire are independent thinkers. Both have raised their families here, operated their own businesses, and are positive advocates of Bel Aire’s development plans. We believe these council members would complement a new direction being set forth by incoming Bel Aire Mayor David Austin.





Bel Aire

Wind resource

A Boston-based researcher claimed that increasing the amount of wind energy generated in Kansas from 10 to 20 percent will be “exponentially more difficult,” based on his assumption that the prime locations have all been claimed (“Wind costly,” March 5 Letters to the Editor). This was patently incorrect, and exposed a lack of knowledge about Kansas’ wind resource.

Kansas has one of the best wind resources in the nation, with an abundance of project locations to more than economically supply its renewable portfolio standard requirement and projects for export.

Kansas already generates a substantial amount of its energy from renewable resources, with three of six regulated utilities reporting that they already have well-exceeded their 20 percent threshold seven years early at minimal cost to Kansas ratepayers.

On March 1, the Kansas Corporation Commission (which oversees public utilities and rates in Kansas) issued a report stating that Kansas’ electric utility rates average 9.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Of that, the KCC attributes 0.16 cents per kilowatt-hour to renewable generation, which, it noted, contributes more than 10 percent of the state’s installed capacity.



Kansas Energy Information Network


Letters deadline

Letters to the editor about Tuesday’s election must be received at The Eagle by 3 p.m. Thursday in order to be considered for publication.

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