Letters to the Editor

September 8, 2013

Letters to the editor on water, voter ID, Syria, abortion, airport name, bad music

“Act to preserve water” (Sept. 1 Eagle Editorial) joined the chorus for conserving water. That’s surely a good idea and commonsense approach, but it’s not the only approach.

Pursue a water-reuse program

“Act to preserve water” (Sept. 1 Eagle Editorial) joined the chorus for conserving water. That’s surely a good idea and commonsense approach, but it’s not the only approach.

The city of Wichita throws away about 38 million gallons of water every day. Some would say we don’t want to use our wastewater for drinking water, but we already are. It’s just not ours. It’s the wastewater from upriver that recharges the Equus Beds via the Aquifer Storage and Recovery project. The Arkansas River is mostly treated wastewater. In fact, Wichita was fined half a million dollars when some of the city wastewater was dumped into the river before being treated.

Currently the city doesn’t reuse any effluent except the trickle from the Herman Hill Park treatment facility that is cleaning the downtown underground polluted area. Herman Hill Park gets irrigated from it.

In Texas, 135 cities and towns produce effluent for agricultural use. San Antonio alone produces about 25 million gallons per day during the summer season for agricultural use. And we know Gov. Sam Brownback wants us to be more like Texas.

Our city needs to aggressively pursue a water-reuse program, just as it aggressively and successfully pursued a flood-control program and created the Big Ditch.



Act on aquifer

Kansas State University professor David Steward, in his recent study of Ogallala Aquifer depletion, stated that “the time to act will soon be past” (Sept. 1 Eagle Editorial).

First, we must answer a vital question: How do we manage the water withdrawal and recharge rates so the aquifer can provide water for beneficial uses on a sustainable basis for current and future generations?

The answer depends on at least three facts: The entire aquifer is located beneath parts of eight states; the aquifer depth, thickness, flows and water quality vary at different locations beneath the states; and aquifer withdrawal and recharge rates have effects on, and are affected by, the choices and actions of people living in the states.

These aquifer characteristics likely require at least three acts: Scientists collect, analyze and use biological, hydrological, economic, social and other ideas and facts necessary for measuring and managing withdrawals and recharges and their effects; various interest group representatives undertake skilled negotiation or mediation in applying the ideas and facts during their democratic development of an Ogallala Aquifer management policy; and a democratic entity implements the policy and reviews and adjusts it in response to changing future aquifer withdrawals and recharges.

Let’s act now.



Not germane?

I would like to thank state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, for his good work in Topeka on Tuesday. First, he took time to meet and speak with a group of more than 50 citizens who had come from all over the state to express their concern about the voter ID law. Then, in a brave act of doing his job, Ward presented the commonsense and apparently forward-thinking amendment that would have allowed voters to prove citizenship by swearing out an affidavit under penalty of perjury, as in federal law. But the Republican-dominated House Rules Committee ruled that the amendment was not germane to the Hard 50 sentencing bill (Sept. 4 Eagle).

Consequently, the entire House was denied the opportunity to fix the enormous problem that has been created by Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s ridiculous law. This law has caused more than 15,000 Kansas to have their voting rights suspended while addressing the obviously huge threat created by the 12 cases of voter fraud since 2000.

I cannot imagine how Ward’s amendment was not germane to any conversation in the Capitol. Anytime citizens are denied their constitutional right to vote, it is germane for the leaders to fix the situation as quickly as possible. Instead, our leaders have created the problem and show no signs of willingness to repair the damage.

I appreciate Ward’s efforts, and I am sorry that he (and all of us) work and live in such a hostile, unjust, undemocratic environment.



Save children?

Nearly the whole world is wrestling with a Shakespearean dilemma: “To be or not to be? ” That is, to shoot or not to shoot guided rockets into Syria. We are gut-wrenchingly disturbed by the sight of innocent children being subjected to death by deadly chemicals. We are alarmed at the lack of basic human decency. And yet, are we not subjecting innocent children to violent death under the guise of “health services”? So, how do we go about saving children from deadly consequences? God, help us.


Bel Aire

Stay out of Syria

I usually agree with U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, but not on his reaction to the conflict in Syria (“Pompeo supports authorizing attack on Syria,” Sept. 5 Eagle). There are too many conflicting reports concerning events in Syria for America to jump into the conflict.

When we enter other governments’ affairs, we end up making things worse for the people. Example: The shah of Iran was in the process of bringing more education and opportunities for his people and was a friend of America when we withdrew support for him. Iran is now an Islamic state and threatens the world with nuclear weapons.

We have undisputed evidence that Saddam Hussein gassed more than 5,000 Kurds in Iraq. The civil conflict continues in Iraq in spite of our intervention.

When we help overthrow one bad leader, we end up bringing in a worse one. Egypt is a case in point. Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have led to persecution of non-Muslims, especially Christians. Most have fled Egypt; others have had their homes and churches burned.

Both sides in Syria are bad. We have everything to lose and nothing to gain by risking more American lives and bleeding America dry.



Honor Ike

I am watching with great interest the effort to change our airport’s name (“Rename new airport?” Aug. 30 Eagle Editorial). I hope the decision can be based on facts and pride rather than misinformation and ignorance.

In response to those who insist that Mid-Continent should remain our airport’s name because it is the “truth”: Please realize that Wichita is not the geographical center of the North American continent. That is Rugby, N.D. Nor is Wichita the geographical center of the contiguous United States. That center is located in Lebanon, Kan.

The petition for this change also clearly states that our International Air Transport Association code “ICT” will remain our official designation even if we change the name of the airport, so that argument should stop as well.

A recent Opinion Line contributor said that we should not name the airport for President Dwight D. Eisenhower because so much already has been named for him. Why do you suppose that is? As supreme commander during World War II, Eisenhower led the victory in the European theater. He went on to become president of the United States. Throughout his life, he credited his personal and professional accomplishments and successes to his Kansas upbringing, and the values and ideals instilled in him during those years.

Every Kansan should be forever proud of this man and his contribution to our lives, our wonderful state, and our children’s futures. Rename our airport in his honor? Absolutely.



What a waste

Every day we hear loud, disjointed, unintelligible noise on our radios and TV, and this is called music.

What a shame that there is a whole generation that will never know the joy and pleasure of such wonderful music by Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern or possibly Sigmund Romberg. What a waste.



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