DMV computers not upgraded yet
“Failure to deliver” (June 16 Eagle Editorial) quoted me as saying that the state’s motor-vehicle computer system “is running within normal parameters, and any issues we’re seeing now are localized. You aren’t seeing the lines we had this time last year.” The Topeka Capital-Journal article that was the source of that quote was about the title and registration system. The editorial went on to criticize lines at the driver’s license offices, which would lead most readers to think that the driver’s license system – where there are currently long lines, as there are almost every summer – was part of the upgrade last year.
The driver’s license offices and the computer system for that part of our operations are still running on the old mainframe system. That is exactly what Phase Two is, upgrading the computer system for driver licensing. It is a common confusion for people, and the editorial only exacerbated that confusion.
Summers, particularly on Tuesdays and Fridays, are always busy, and driver’s license offices will typically issue learner’s permits and restricted licenses to about 35,000 novice drivers between May and September. This year we have seen an increase in applications for photo identification cards and double the applications for concealed-carry permits.
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We also have seen an increase in people using the QLess system to get in line from their phone or computer, often first thing in the morning. The system monitors the line in real time and alerts customers when their turn is approaching. Even if the wait is long, with QLess, people no longer have to wait in the driver’s license office. They can stay at work, at home or run errands until they reach the front of the line.
Public information officer
Kansas Department of Revenue
My elation was short-lived after reading a headline about a cure for Alzheimer’s disease (“Researchers hopeful on Alzheimer’s cure,” June 11 Healthy Living). The article focused on prevention – not a cure – of the disease, which, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2013 Facts and Figures Report, is the sixth-leading cause of death, and the only one in the top 10 without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
A “cure” would miraculously allow my 68-year-old wife to move out of an Alzheimer’s care home and to once again reside in our home, behaving like the lively, disciplined, humorous person she was 10 years ago.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health shifted their focus from cure to prevention some time ago. The article mentioned using the amyloid imaging agent Amyvid to identify and remove the deadly plaque, but that is only applicable in the earliest stages of the disease – usually at 30 years of age. And even then it is a preventive measure, not a cure.
The Central and Western Kansas Alzheimer’s Association chapter in Wichita, rather than an article from the Dallas Morning News, is the best source for the most current and accurate information about this killer disease. Call the local Alzheimer’s office at 316-267-7333, or visit www.alz.org/centralandwesternkansas.
Alzheimer’s Association ambassador
4th Congressional District
Talk about pain
Regarding “U.S. House passes far-reaching anti-abortion bill” (June 19 Nation & World): You wanna talk about fetal pain? My mother, while pregnant with me, sat through innumerable 24-hour “Welcome Back, Kotter” marathons. That theme song ain’t never leaving my head.
Ready for tip-off
I’m really looking forward to the start of the new NBA season tomorrow.
Huff and puff
Last week my daughter and son-in-law took me to the book signing by Khaled Hosseini. I rode an electric scooter; if I didn’t use it, I wouldn’t get out much.
Once inside Wichita State University’s Hughes Metropolitan Complex, I rode to a wheelchair cutout and pulled in, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. The lady behind me started to huff and puff. She was upset that I was there because, she said, she “arrived early.” (We did, too, actually.)
I was very thankful to her, because her attitude reminded me of our trip a month earlier to France, where everyone was so courteous and helpful to us. I could not have had my dream trip to France without the scooter or my daughter and her husband, who helped me so much in spite of the great inconvenience to them.
Within a few minutes, the lady and her husband got up and moved. They ended up in perhaps the best seats in the house.
If this lady should someday become disabled, I do hope she finds only courteous, helpful people around her. It makes a big difference in how full a life she can enjoy.