Letters to the editor on ‘food deserts,’ wind energy, airport name, abortion protest, Harvey Girls

10/18/2013 12:00 AM

10/17/2013 5:09 PM

Wichita need not have ‘food deserts’

It is shameful that there are 44 square miles of “food deserts” in a city in the middle of a huge agricultural region in the richest country in the world (Oct. 8 Eagle). It doesn’t have to be this way.

There could be neighborhood associations of backyard and community gardens and greenhouses, and gardens all over Wichita in vacant lots, containers and public parks and on rooftops and church and school grounds. Local charities could expand their services to include growing food with volunteered land and labor. The city could promote and support vegetable gardening.

There could be a “food-not-lawns” program that converts little-used lawns into attractive, water-efficient vegetable patches. Schoolchildren could have garden projects. There could be increased appreciation of the beauty and benefit of a well-designed and -maintained vegetable garden. Outreach to local farmers could encourage vegetable production for local consumption.

It would be logical to utilize local resources to feed the hungry among us. It would be prudent to reclaim some power over our food supply and thus our liberty. Turning Wichita into a garden city would be the responsible and moral thing to do.

EARL DILL

Valley Center

Up to customers

The long article about food stores and people getting balanced diets did not present all sides of the issue (Oct. 8 Eagle).

The store that gets $2 a pound for bananas has rich customers who are not concerned with price. Stores locate in areas to serve the trade they can attract.

Stores are not concerned with my balanced diet. They stock what the customers buy. Low-income people do not buy the higher-priced fruit, meat and veggies they really need. They buy what they can afford. With both spouses working, many buy fast food that is not always the best for them.

The store at Douglas and Meridian is vacant because it was not bringing in the money it needed. If it were so great, it would not be vacant or another store already would have moved in.

Really, no store is owned by the manager but by the customers who come in and buy what they think they need or what they can afford.

ELMER PINKERTON

Wichita

Support wind

Reminiscent of last year’s attack on the livestock industry by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at the Kansas State Fair, Americans for Prosperity and the Kansas Policy Institute showed up this year attacking the wind industry. Instead of utilizing Kansas Corporation Commission and utility cost data, AFP and KPI employed spurious information from out-of-state like-minded think tanks using conjecture and erroneous methodology intended to grossly exaggerate wind-energy costs.

AFP and KPI claim residential electricity costs will be $660 higher per year due to Kansas’ renewable requirement. Yet Westar Energy’s testimony to the Legislature in 2012 indicated the yearly increase is $13.80, or less than 1.7 percent, according to the KCC – a far cry from $660. Westar further testified that new wind energy is less than 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour and dropping, while the next lowest cost of new generation is 6.8 cents burning $2.50 natural gas (now about $3.50).

AFP and KPI’s statistical fallacy clearly demonstrates their real intent is to undermine the Kansas wind industry. My fellow Republicans should join Gov. Sam Brownback and Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran in rejecting these fringe groups’ misinformation, and support this important new Kansas industry.

MARK RICHARDSON

Hutchinson

‘Travel Air Airport’

I am just as proud as anybody that Dwight Eisenhower was a Kansan. But he belongs to Abilene, not Wichita. I think the Wichita airport name should be more closely associated with Wichita.

I thought through a lot of names, starting with Jesse Chisholm and forward. I could not think of a single person who would fill the bill.

Then I thought of “Wichita Travel Air Airport.” This would honor Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman, giants of aviation with very close Wichita ties.

For an emblem, the airport could use an image of the Travel Air Mystery S.

RAYMOND K. HORTON

Wichita

Nicer reaction

I would like to say “thank you” to the person who used a “thumbs-down” to express his disagreement with those of us standing at 29th and Rock on Oct. 6 during the annual Life Chain protesting abortion. It was a much nicer reaction than we had from the numerous people who expressed their “single finger” disapproval.

KATHY PETR

Wichita

Service with style

Kansas history from the 1870s to the 1950s includes the very first restaurant chain known as Harvey Houses along the Santa Fe Railroad in the West. Young women ages 18-30, known as Harvey Girls, were employed. They were known for service, manners and good looks, and they maintained a reputation for morality and femininity in the uncivilized Wild West.

Friends of the Derby Public Library will present “The Harvey Girls’ Service With Style,” a presentation and discussion by Michaeline Chance-Reay from Kansas State University, at 10 a.m. Saturday at the public library, 1600 E. Walnut, Derby. The program, free and open to the public, is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

JOANNE SIMON

Derby

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