Letters to the editor on voting rules, renaming airport, Southwest Airlines, welfare abuse, ACA, veterans program

08/18/2013 12:00 AM

08/16/2013 5:54 PM

Voting rules are blocking voters

Kansans wanting to exercise their right to a free vote now have to navigate through two state-generated voter restrictions that are not always cost-free.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is out of touch with voters’ needs. In 2012, after 60 years of trouble-free voting, I was nearly disenfranchised after attempting to use my valid Wichita State University photo ID. I was offered provisional voting, which would have required follow-up trips, calls or paying for another type of photo ID.

So far, this year’s new registration restriction has disenfranchised more than 14,000 Kansas voters and climbs at a rate of about 2,000 a month. While these restrictions are in force, the state is committing wholesale voter fraud; they were not intended to prevent fallacious individual voter fraud.

We need a comment from Attorney General Derek Schmidt on whether or not this restriction should be dropped to conform to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The attorney general needs to step out from behind Kobach, form his own shadow, and make sure the Kansas law is in synchronization with the Supreme Court rulings and federal law.

JOHN DICKINSON

Wichita

Rename airport

I strongly believe Wichita could benefit from renaming our new airport. Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is not memorable and a bit lackluster.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower is remembered as a hero here and abroad. His accomplishments are too many to fully recount here. However, being supreme Allied commander in Europe in World War II and serving honorably and effectively as president, even balancing the budget, certainly merit consideration.

It is fitting that the largest city in Kansas should honor one of the state’s greatest citizens.

It is not that uncommon for an airport to change its name. It’s important to retain our International Air Transport Association code, ICT, and we would do so. The Little Rock National Airport was renamed for Bill and Hillary Clinton in 2012. I have been in touch with its director of public affairs and governmental relations regarding the process, and it doesn’t appear to be terribly difficult.

The Wichita City Council would be the body to move forward on this. We have launched a petition to inform council members of our wishes. It can be signed via www.1045thefox.com.

When Eisenhower spoke at London’s Guildhall in 1945, while being made an honorary citizen of London, he said, “I come from the very heart of America.” He remembered Kansas. Let us remember him.

JAN HARRISON

Wichita

Airline disappoints

For decades, air travelers hoped that Southwest Airlines would come to Wichita, and there was excitement when that happened. However, I have been disappointed with the flight options and prices offered by Southwest.

AirTran Airways served Wichita well, with routes that made it fairly easy to get to most U.S. cities, and the fares and service were good. The subsidy to AirTran was a good investment.

The Eagle article about air traffic decreasing despite Southwest’s arrival did not surprise me at all (Aug. 14 Business Today). Dallas Love Field and Chicago Midway International Airport are remote destinations that do not allow for flexibility in getting flights on any other line.

As I watch the new terminal coming to life, I wonder what the future of air travel in Wichita will be. The days of more travelers driving to Kansas City, Mo., or Oklahoma City for better fares and options might be right around the corner. The economy is a factor in the decreases, but as important are the destinations Southwest offers.

In so many ways, Wichita is becoming less and less the Air Capital of the World.

GINNY SARTORIUS

Wichita

Welfare abuse

Regarding “Homeless woman attacked, robbed” (Aug. 13 Local & State): If I am not mistaken, it is against the law to buy, sell or exchange Vision Cards. It is unfortunate that the woman was hit on the head, but she should not have put herself in the situation of committing a crime.

I see people in the checkout lines at grocery stores using Vision Cards who have fake fingernails and cellphones. I have a problem with that as well. Most are young people, quite healthy and capable of working. It seems that somewhere along the way people have decided it is OK not to work and to expect the government to support them.

For those who truly need assistance, it should be available temporarily, not for a lifetime, generation after generation.

Many undocumented immigrants are more than happy to be here in the land of opportunity, working minimum-wage jobs. Though I do not agree with their status, at least they are willing to work, which a lot of people on welfare will not even attempt to do.

I hope both criminals in the case reported by The Eagle receive the punishment that fits their crimes.

It’s time to stop the gravy train. People will either sink or swim. Either way they would be responsible for their actions and future, with only themselves to blame or congratulate.

CLAY HOUSTON

Wichita

Get it right

The wake-up call came late, but now we know why the so-called Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, if you prefer) was passed with far too few of our elected folks having read it. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., prevailed in convincing her colleagues that they had to pass it in order to know what was in it. Oh, how that gleam of joyous success in her eyes still haunts.

Three years later and still no one knows much of what is in it, except for those many special interests that have found things they do not like and been granted waivers or delays until things can be figured out.

Something really new and classic has come to the legislative process at the national level: Make something a law that no one knows for sure will work, and then tweak it via executive fiat whichever way unwary bureaucrats can. As Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently said, “This is no longer a political debate. This is what we call the law.” When something is the law, our legislators are no longer involved. The “law” then can be implemented and even fashioned for administration any way the bureaucracy directs.

Whatever happened to making a law that works from the get-go? Take your time to get it right.

It takes Congress a long time to get to the bottom of Internal Revenue Service, National Security Agency and foreign-affairs scandals. Laws should get the same treatment.

RON A. HOFFMAN

Rose Hill

Worthy program

The passage of S. 825, the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2013, will ensure that agencies serving the homeless have additional resources to serve the increasing number of homeless veterans.

This bill will provide support to nonprofit organizations that receive grants under the Department of Veterans Affairs to meet the needs of homeless veterans. This bill increases per diem payments for transitional housing assistance for homeless veterans. This is vital in finding employment, as it allows for the purchase of clothing and for transportation to employment in rural Kansas. These types of services are fundamental in ensuring that homeless veterans are taken care of by the government they were willing to give their lives for.

The increased funding from the bill permits nonprofit programs to assist in reaching veterans who do not have direct access to a VA. Historically, women are less likely to go to the VA to receive services for domestic violence – the main cause of female homelessness. Increasing grants for nonprofit organizations that treat these females will allow for better care of a nontraditional population that is in great need.

It is imperative that we continue to give back to those who have given so much for our country.

ROXANNE FRANKLIN

Maize

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