Letters to the editor on KanCare, ethanol, voter oppression, loud dogs

12/13/2013 5:32 PM

12/13/2013 5:32 PM

Extend comment period on KanCare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website ostensibly has been receiving public comments since Nov. 19 on Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed expansion of KanCare to include all services for the developmentally disabled. But for one or two weeks, it did not register those comments – enough time to discourage people from registering their opinions. If CMS is serious about public input, it needs to reset the clock for the month of public comment. Anything less will do little to change the public’s perception of CMS as a rubber stamp for the Brownback administration.



Biased article

“Former general links ethanol, national security” (Dec. 10 Business Today) could very well have been printed as a paid advertisement or at least found in the Opinion section. Former Gen. Wesley Clark, now hired “front man” for the ethanol industry, and Pratt Energy’s plant manager, Jerry Schroeder, and national ethanol marketer, Scott Anderson, as well as farmers, were all in agreement that we need to expand the industry, of course.

Balanced journalism would also point out the negative aspects of a growing ethanol industry. The main crop supplying the ethanol industry is corn, and that demand competes with our food supply of corn-based products as well as corn-based feed for our livestock industry, causing a rise in corn prices. So, we’re paying for ethanol at the gas station and at the grocery store through higher food prices.

The rising price of corn is also encouraging corn growers to maximize production. This requires an increased need for fertilizer. The result is an increase in fertilizer runoff from the fields into streams and rivers. Ultimately, the nitrogen element of fertilizer ends up in the Gulf of Mexico, helping to increase the “dead zone” – a large, oxygen-depleted area that can’t support marine life.



Voter oppression

The massive voter oppression going on across the country is appalling, but nowhere is it worse than in Kansas. The Kansas Secure and Fair Elections Act requires that individuals provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote. OK, but many of the suspended voters provided their citizenship documents at the driver’s license office where they registered. They ended up on the secretary of state’s suspended-voters list anyway, because the Department of Revenue’s Division of Vehicles didn’t share the citizenship documents with the election office.

Do you really want your birth certificate out there on the Internet, floating from one place to another? Do you want the few appointees at the election offices swearing they’ve seen the documents to be the ones guarding your constitutional rights?



Unjoyful noise

Christmas greetings to all the insensitive dog owners who populate the area of Second Street between West and Meridian. Virtually every dark, cold morning before dawn, I am treated to a cacophony of assorted dog barks, ranging from fingers-on-the-blackboard high-pitched yips and yaps to the gurgling, throaty growling of what I assume are large pooches. As often as not, these animals join in for a hale and hearty mind-numbing, endless barrage of shared barking that echoes through the area.

The dogs are simply doing what dogs do. It is the thoughtless, selfish owners of these animals who are the culprits in this noise deluge. They don’t assume responsibility for this intrusion into our sleep time, and they ignore that their animals, left outside for inordinate periods of time, are creating doggie decibels of intolerable magnitude.

Is it asking too much, dear canine owners, to expect you to keep your pets outside for a minimal, reasonable spell of time in the predawn hours, to heed their howls and growls to go inside, and to cut short the outdoor mega-racket from cold, grouchy Rover? Think Christmas goodwill toward your fellow neighbors.



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