Letters to the editor on Shockers, tornado anniversary, gun control, developmentally disabled care, postal service

04/14/2013 12:00 AM

04/12/2013 6:28 PM

Shockers, coach great ambassadors

The Wichita State University men’s basketball team just finished a season that was nothing short of outstanding. We watched in awe as the Shockers defeated No. 1 seed Gonzaga and No. 2 seed Ohio State to advance to the Final Four for the first time in 48 years.

They are led by a man, coach Gregg Marshall, whose passion and tremendous abilities transformed a team and inspired our community.

The Shockers’ accomplishments this season are especially impressive when you consider the obstacles they had to overcome. Many thought it would be a rebuilding year for the team after losing five seniors. More challenges were ahead as several starters battled serious injuries that left them sidelined for multiple games.

But Marshall and his players sent Shock waves across the country as they “played angry” and proved they had the skills to compete among the nation’s top collegiate teams.

The Shockers’ victories put WSU and our city in the national spotlight, even landing the team a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Marshall and his talented players are class acts who have been great ambassadors for the city of Wichita and the state of Kansas. I would like to personally thank them and everyone else who contributed to the team’s success and renewed our sense of community pride.

We can’t wait to see what the Shockers do next year.



Resilience shines

Sunday we remember the one-year anniversary of a tornado that destroyed parts of south Wichita, Pinaire Mobile Home Park and Oaklawn. I will always remember the fortitude of the affected families and the compassion of those who helped them.

Within hours, a safe Red Cross shelter was established. We provided more than 100 overnight stays for people who lost their homes or couldn’t return home. Our emergency-response vehicles established multiple feeding locations to distribute more than 12,000 meals and snacks. I’ll never forget how as I surveyed the damage, I talked to a man whose home was stacked on top of someone else’s. Interestingly, what people remember most is that someone stopped and listened.

An incredible thing happens to a community when faced with adversity. Day by day we recover together, and as time passes, our resilience shines.

Red Cross is honored to have worked alongside community partners to ensure victims’ needs were met. On behalf of the volunteers who responded and donors who gave to help families recover: Thank you for letting the American Red Cross serve you. Thank you for recognizing the anniversary of the April 14 tornado not by the damage it caused but by the people who have rebuilt.


Regional executive director

American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter


Shame on senators

I was very disappointed to find that our two U.S. senators, Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, voted against even bringing the bill on gun-purchase background checks to the floor of our U.S. Senate (April 12 Eagle).

I understand their position on gun issues and respect their choice in not voting for background checks – which is a vote they can now take, thanks to a bipartisan agreement to allow discussion on the issue in the so-called greatest deliberative body in the world. But to vote not to allow even a discussion on one of the main issues of the day brings shame to them and their positions.

I am certain they do not want dangerous weapons to fall into the hands of the insane or those with felony convictions. But in essence, that is what their vote means. They do not think any measures should be taken, or even discussed, about keeping weapons away from those who should not legally own them.

Perhaps in Kansas they can get away with this nonsense. But in a sane world, Moran and Roberts would be voted out of office at the earliest opportunity for trying to not allow the discussion to take place. I hope my fellow citizens of Kansas remember this when their re-elections come up.



Will share guilt

The time to establish some sensible gun control was years ago. The horse is out of the barn now. But some sensible laws could help at least a little.

The next time someone is killed by a gun with a high-capacity magazine, or by a person who shouldn’t have had a gun but was able to buy one because there was no background check, any congressman who did not vote for some sensible measures will be guilty of aiding and abetting a criminal.

I hope anyone who is against at least a few additional measures has a feeling of guilt when this happens. And it will happen. How heartless can people be?



Carve out care

I am the parent of an adult son who has autism and an intellectual disability. I was happy to read the April 7 Eagle editorial supporting a KanCare carve-out of nonmedical services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Why should a for-profit insurance company get involved with my son’s activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, shampooing his hair, telling him where he can live and who he can live with? Managed-care companies have no experience with long-term services, and their performance on the medical side, an area in which they do have experience, leaves much to be desired.

KanCare assigned my 31-year-old son to a pediatrician. Continuity of care is important for all of us, but for my son it is essential. If he has to switch doctors, it will be a long time before the staff will be able to do basics, such as touch him with a stethoscope or blood-pressure cuff.

I called the managed-care company to ask it to switch from the pediatrician to the doctor my son has been seeing for five years. When I finally reached a representative, he said the doctor I requested was “par” and I couldn’t switch to him. I asked what “par” meant, and he said it means the physician is contracted and does accept patients from that insurer but I can’t choose him because he is not in the system. What?



Held for ransom

On March 22, the U.S. Postal Service effectively kidnapped our door-to-door mail service and is now holding it for ransom (March 29 Local & State).

This is just another heavy-handed example of how our rights as citizens are being violated. The Postal Service is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality.

March 22 was the last day of door-to-door mail delivery for all 23 residences on our block. There was no notification of any kind on that date. A neighbor called me on March 25 and said they had called the downtown post office asking why they hadn’t received any mail. The answer given was the same as I received orally the next morning – that mail service to the 100 and 200 blocks of North Joann was suspended, two dogs were the cause, and carriers had been bitten.

The ransom: We had 10 days to move our mailboxes to the street or rent a post-office box, and our mail would be returned to sender if we ignored the demands. We received written notices on March 26.

Facts: Only one block, ours, was affected. Only one dog was involved, and no carrier was bitten.

The notice stated that the decision was made, it was final, and we had no recourse but to comply. We are being stonewalled into accepting the Postal Service’s terms without any input.



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