Letters to the Editor

November 18, 2013

Letters to the editor on Amtrak, schools open on Veterans Day, free meal for veterans, late newspaper

I recently got back from an Amtrak vacation with my niece, going all the way to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was one of the most delightful vacations of my life.

Amtrak is great way to travel

I recently got back from an Amtrak vacation with my niece, going all the way to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was one of the most delightful vacations of my life.

Though train travel may not get you somewhere as quickly as flying would, it’s a great way to see the country and provides a much more relaxed atmosphere than flying does. I had some very nice conversations with complete strangers in the lounge cars and while eating in the dining car. I also saw a lot of the countryside, from the beautiful fall scenery in the Allegheny mountains of Pennsylvania to the tropical shrubbery of Florida. And unlike driving, you don’t have to worry about heavy traffic on the roads or getting lost in unfamiliar territory.

Currently, the closest place to Wichita with an Amtrak station is Newton, and there are some drawbacks. Not only is Newton about a half-hour drive from Wichita, the passenger trains only come through there at 3 a.m. This an inconvenient time but results in some rather long layovers.

A station in Wichita with trains that come through more than once a day could help eliminate this problem. Also, because there is no direct passenger rail connection to cities in Oklahoma and Texas, people who want to travel to those states by train have to make a wide loop before finally getting to Oklahoma City, which results in needless train changes and a longer time getting to their destination. If Wichita was able to connect to the Heartland Flyer line, that would provide a more direct link to Oklahoma City and places in Texas, and more people would be encouraged to travel by train.



Should have closed

I was dismayed to find out that several of the area school districts did not close for Veterans Day. I think this is disrespectful and indicative of the attitude many display regarding this country.

I have pride in the United States. Veterans Day honors hundreds of thousands of veterans who have served, are serving or have died for that country. To close schools for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which honors – rightfully so – one man and not close them on Veterans Day is an insult. I hope this was simply an oversight that will be corrected in the years to come, but I am afraid it will not be.

Taking pride in this country seems to be out of fashion. I think that is a sad commentary on where we are as a nation.



Beyond the call

I was one of those veterans who was served a free meal at Texas Roadhouse last week, and all I can say is that they went beyond the call of duty. The meal was excellent quality. I also appreciated hearing the employees say with a smile, “Thank you for your service.” I believe they really meant it.



Day-old news

Last Tuesday morning, I bundled up and took my flashlight out into the dark and sub-freezing weather to try to locate my morning newspaper. It was nowhere to be found. By 7 a.m., it had still not arrived, so I called to report it. I got to listen to a recorded message explaining that because The Eagle wanted to include the story of the midnight Wichita State University basketball game in the paper, it was going to be delayed, and projected arrival time was 8:30 a.m.

I’m a curmudgeon who likes to read my hard-copy newspaper when I first get up in the morning so that I’ll be up on the latest news at the top of my day. I don’t pay for a subscription to read day-old news after I get home from work.



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