Letters to the editor on Southeast, bedroom proctor, fertilization bill, mental-health funding, South Korea, trolley

04/05/2013 12:00 AM

04/04/2013 5:20 PM

Don’t make up minds on Southeast

I was disappointed to read that Jeff Davis, vice president of the Wichita school board, is leaning toward supporting the closing of the current Southeast High School in favor of building a new 2,000-student building at 127th Street East and Pawnee (April 1 Eagle). Davis reached this conclusion without hearing all of the facts and without consulting the general public.

Superintendent John Allison announced at the March 25 board meeting that he was gathering the “relevant facts” to present to the school board, to be followed by a robust discussion with board members. The questions Allison will answer include the change in cost of busing students to the new school, potential land acquisition at the current location, and more information that needs to be discussed publicly.

School board members have not talked with the general public about the proposed changes, yet some already have made up their minds. I guess public opinion matters when they need “yes” votes. Not so much in 2013.



Bedroom proctor?

I’m 70 years old and hate to think about closing Southeast High School. I started there in 1957 and graduated in 1960. I was in the first graduating class to have attended all three years at Southeast.

I was often engaged as a hall proctor, checking hall passes of my fellow students. I’m retired now and have time on my hands. Maybe the Kansas Legislature will hire me as a bedroom proctor, marking down the time and date of connubial fertilizations (“Senate OKs bill saying life starts at fertilization,” April 2 Eagle).



Life questions

Rather than looking at the idealistic aspects of the Legislature’s determination to pass a “life starts at fertilization” law (April 2 Eagle), maybe those legislators can answer some questions about the more practical aspects. Here are a few that have occurred to me:

In the future, is the state of Kansas going to issue “fertilization certificates” rather than birth certificates, which will indicate when the life of the individual began? If that is the case, are we going to move everything in life back about nine months? If so, how will that affect when we can drive, drink, vote or receive Social Security? Will it affect the 14th Amendment? Will mothers have to prove they were “fertilized” in the United States?

Or will everything stay exactly as it is, with birth certificates serving all practical purposes, so we can all clearly recognize that the “life starts at fertilization” law is designed to serve only one purpose? That is to deprive Kansas women of their constitutional right to have an abortion.




As director of a private practice serving people with mental-health and substance-abuse disorders, I am alarmed that the Legislature may refuse Medicaid funding to support this badly needed treatment.

There is growing national awareness of the need for mental-health treatment in lieu of incarceration for people with mental illnesses and addictions, and that treatment rather than incarceration would benefit both the economy and public safety. Medicaid funding is a smart and, ultimately, more economical way to make this possible.

We have an opportunity to make a smart choice by accepting this funding, especially considering current state budgetary constraints. Not only would the huge costs incurred with arrest, trial and imprisonment of people with mental illnesses and drug addiction be alleviated, but people could more readily be returned to productive lives in the community. Let’s leave aside political differences here and make some smart choices for our state.

In short, if the Medicaid funding is not accepted and used wisely, we will be, as the saying goes, “dollar-wise and pound-foolish.” For the sake of all Kansans, let us choose wisely on this question.



Defend itself

Why does the United States have forces in South Korea? Is there some reason why South Korea can’t defend itself? Samsung, LG Corp., Hyundai, Daewoo, Kia Motors and SK Telecom are all very profitable companies that benefit from the fact that part of what they make does not have to go to the defense of their country because the United States is doing the job.

South Korea can afford to arm and defend itself. The American taxpayer should not have to pay to defend another wealthy country. This is not the 1950s.



Fun free ride

I have lived in the Wichita area for more than 14 years and took a little stroll with my husband last weekend in the downtown area. To our surprise, a trolley stopped to see if we were interested in a little ride around. Neither of us had cash on us, and we informed the driver, but she said to hop on at no charge. She took us on a very enlightening ride. We had no idea how “fun” a free ride around town could be.

We never even knew this was available to the public every weekend. Why aren’t these things advertised? Little things like this might get families out and about. Just a short advertisement during the evening news from time to time would catch the attention of those who have the most interest in Wichita itself.



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