Letters to the editor on Mandela, Huelskamp, aqueduct project, Orpheum, Pompeo

12/12/2013 12:00 AM

12/11/2013 5:11 PM

Mandela changed, inspired world

With the recent passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, the world lost a truly remarkable man. He made tremendous sacrifices for freedom and worked tirelessly to help put an end to apartheid in South Africa.

Mandela inspired millions of people around the world with his humanity, bravery and powerful words of peace, love, freedom and forgiveness. He help to change South Africa and united blacks and whites, teaching them how to live and work together.

Mandela may have been born in a village in South Africa, but he belonged to the world that he helped to change and inspire.

REGINALD S. NULAN

Wichita

Protest Huelskamp

The article about the demonstration against the appearance of Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, at South Wind Women’s Center was a little one-sided (“Huelskamp joins students at Wichita abortion protest,” Dec. 7 Local & State). The article stated that the clinic supporters sang more secular Christmas songs. We felt we sang the more cheerful, bright songs, such as “Jingle Bells.”

No noisemakers were used until the congressman started his hypocritical remarks regarding the sanctity of life. Those words were coming from a man who had just voted to cut millions of children off of food assistance. Perhaps the congressman should be informed that life is not just a matter of getting to the bottom of the birth canal. After entry into this world, a child needs food, clothing and shelter. Huelskamp just voted to cut off one of those. And if there is a vote on whether to extend unemployment benefits, I am sure he will vote to cut off the other two.

As for the praying, people pray at the clinic all the time with no harassment. It was Huelskamp we were protesting, not prayers.

MARSHA HEPHNER

Arkansas City

Plans appalling

The drawing plans for the new modernized Orpheum Theatre are appalling (Dec. 7 Eagle).

I’ve been a supporter of refurbishing this grand old historic theater for years and have been pleasantly amazed by what volunteers, supporters and local philanthropists have accomplished. Though there is more to be done, the present theater is a testament to the Wichita community’s appreciation of its history. The result is a venue replete with intimacy and a quiet opulence so missing from our more typical post-1950s architecture.

If you want to hire a New York firm and follow its recommendations to spend $30 million on a performing arts center, by all means do so – somewhere – but not at the cost of one of the most appealing small theater venues in Kansas.

TONI JACKMAN

Wichita

Not a waste

Regarding the excerpt of a Hutchinson News editorial arguing that the Kansas Aqueduct Project is a terrible solution for southwest Kansas water shortages (Dec. 9 Kansas Views): Efficient water use provides effective economic value for Kansas. It is not waste when water is made available to those who are skilled in efficiently converting it into the abundant food and energy that most people value.

Indeed, the true waste of water occurs annually as Kansas loses surface water runoff in rivers flowing to the Gulf of Mexico in an amount 15.5 times what is used from our aquifers. Conserving part of that lost renewable supply to sustain Kansas in a climate-shifting future is a vital action to consider while Kansas still can.

Gov. Sam Brownback is encouraging local action for water conservation. His message is also for sustaining the water-dependent economic benefits for Kansas. Big cuts to groundwater use without an alternative supply will only hasten a withering of the Kansas economy and displace whole communities.

The statewide conversation to evaluate a Kansas Aqueduct Project can weigh the costs and benefits to grow our neighborhood water interests and a statewide economy. We should be patient and intentional to review every option.

MARK RUDE

Executive director

Groundwater Management District No. 3

Garden City

Wrong approach

My fellow Republicans’ tea party-inspired strategy of shutting down the government rather than simply letting Obamacare self-destruct hurt Republican interests. Not learning the lesson, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, recently rankled key Democrats by penning a tea party-endorsed letter asking Congress to end the 20-year-old, $1.5 billion-per-year wind production tax credit.

Unfortunately, Pompeo’s grandstanding against wind-energy subsidies places unwanted focus on GOP-supported oil and gas subsidies, making the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association’s job more difficult in defending them.

Incited by Pompeo’s letter, the Democratic-controlled Senate recently proposed ending the first-year expensing of most drilling costs and percentage depletion, which entitles investors to deductions beyond cost basis. These 100-year-old subsidies, costing taxpayers $2.4 billion per year, are naturally easy targets for Democrats and free-market think tanks such as the Charles Koch-founded Cato Institute, which so opined in a 2011 commentary, “Eliminating Oil Subsidies: Two Cheers for President Obama.”

Wisely, the balance of the Kansas congressional delegation hasn’t engaged in Pompeo’s theatrics. They realize his approach is not good for Kansas and the Republican Party when it puts an important industry like oil and gas at risk.

MARK RICHARDSON

Hutchinson

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