Letters to the editor on supporting McConnell, the arts, remembering genocide, AT&T bill, Obama and jets

04/11/2013 12:00 AM

04/10/2013 5:43 PM

Show your support for McConnell

Thursday is a very big day for the future of Wichita and our neighboring communities. Every citizen should be aware of our chance to show the U.S. Air Force how much we support and appreciate McConnell Air Force Base. Our chance to win the location of a tanker base at McConnell can be enhanced by your attendance at an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex at 29th Street North and Oliver.

The benefit of McConnell to our community is immeasurable, including the annual $600 million impact on our economy. As we enjoy the national spotlight for the efforts of our WSU Shockers and Medal of Honor recipient Emil Kapaun, we need that same attention for bringing the tanker base to our community.

Please consider attending this event Thursday or sending a letter to U.S. Air Force, AFCEC/CZN Midwest Office, c/o Ms. Jean Reynolds, 507 Symington Drive, Scott Air Force Base, IL 62225-5022.



Arts enhance

As president of the board of Arts Partners, a local nonprofit agency, I was pleased to read Suzanne Perez Tobias’ column “The arts provide life lessons kids can use for many years to come” (March 7 WichiTalk). Tobias called on her children’s experiences of how the arts enhance learning math and science.

At Arts Partners, we are encouraged by local schools’ integration of the arts into the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.

Arts Partners programs include students at Seal Elementary School in Douglass learning about basic circuitry by building robots that “draw” art. Woodland Health and Wellness Magnet Elementary School students in Wichita will participate in the same residency, thanks to a sponsorship by Airbus.

Students at Jardine Technology Middle Magnet School, Andover Middle School and Wichita West and Heights high schools participated in game design, learning cause-and-effect while creating art and music within themes like the environment, financial literacy and bullying.

Next year, a new research initiative in partnership with the Wichita school district will measure the effects of STEM learning through the arts on chronic absenteeism and more. The research is supported in part by Spirit AeroSystems.

As a community, we get the best of arts and sciences through Arts Partners programs and the support of local businesses.



We will remember

Sixty-eight years ago, as members of our “greatest generation” swept across central Europe with the German army in full retreat, they discovered unspeakable atrocities. My father was there. He and countless liberators have told us things we could not bear to hear.

Theirs was not just another macabre story of human suffering; rather, they wanted the world to commemorate that hell on Earth in the hope that the next generation will speak with conviction, “Never again!”

But genocide did not end with the Holocaust. Genocides have occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo and Chechnya.

And so we have set aside a day so that we are regularly reminded of the imperative to prevent genocide.

The date comes from the Hebrew calendar and corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on that calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. When the day falls on a Sunday, the Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, is observed the following Monday. This year the day was April 8. Congress has declared April 7 through 14 as the National Days of Remembrance.

We will keep near those who were killed, and we will remember.



Where’s shame?

I have owned and operated a shoe store in Winfield since 1986. This store has existed for more than 90 years. Landline phone service for the operation of my business is essential in order to have contact with customers and suppliers.

Since 1986, my cost for “no-frills” phone service has risen about 500 percent – much of it in the past two years since the Kansas Corporation Commission lifted many restraints on AT&T. Now that our legislators have let AT&T write its own law for total control (March 28 Eagle), I view with dread what’s coming next, since there is no viable alternative.

I feel like I am speaking for thousands of small businesses and individuals when I ask: Where’s the shame?



Obama favors jets

Let’s get something straight about President Obama’s position on jet-aircraft production. He favors it; in fact, he desires an increase in jet-aircraft sales and the subsequent increased employment of workers in this industry.

The position he has taken regarding jet aircraft is that wealthy corporate owners of jets should not expect an unfair tax break. With such a tax advantage, these corporations likely would be paying a smaller percentage in taxes than those of us who can’t even afford to move from economy to first-class status for a single flight.

Kansas citizens who have a vested interest in the success of the jet-aircraft industry have been misinformed about this issue, as critics of the president’s position have distorted the true motivation for his remarks about taxation of owners of corporate jet aircraft. This is but another example of the reason our two political parties are experiencing a widening schism in their communications.



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