Letters to the editor on wedding ring reward, right to know, property taxes, 2014 predictions, comic diversity
01/13/2014 6:00 PM
01/13/2014 6:00 PM
Wedding ring needs to be returned
Kudos to the Wichita Crime Commission for offering at least a $2,000 reward for the return of the wedding ring taken from Danielle Zimmerman on Dec. 29 as she lay dying in her automobile after suffering a brain aneurysm. Three individuals, as the result of a Crime Stoppers tip, are in custody, charged with multiple offenses.
Many of Zimmerman’s personal effects, taken in the robbery, have been recovered, but her wedding ring is still missing. The ring has great sentimental value to her family, and it needs to be returned.
As the past director of the commission and co-founder of the Wichita Crime Stoppers program, I recognize that these organizations can only be as effective in our community as citizens are willing to make them with their generous financial support.
I encourage the public to make a contribution to this special reward fund, anonymously if you’d like, by calling 316-267-1235 or going online to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wichitans are known for being generous and caring. Now is the time to demonstrate to the Zimmerman family just how much we care.
Right to know
The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, Go Wichita and the Wichita Downtown Development Corp. are private-public partnership agencies that receive public funding (“Need more transparency,” Jan. 10 Eagle Editorial). In the interest of transparency, the public has the right to know how public funds are spent by these agencies.
The Wichita City Council has denied requests brought before it to require these groups to provide financial information on how public money is spent, and the Wichita city attorney and the former Sedgwick County attorney have taken the position that coalitions of this nature do not fall under the Kansas Open Records Act.
Absent the will on the part of local-level officials to do what is right, the 2014 Legislature needs to amend state law to require that these types of agencies be subject to the Kansas Open Records Act.
Do the math
OK, let’s do the math. The average Wichita home like mine pays about $300 a year in county property taxes, $300 in city taxes, and more than $500 to the public schools (look at your tax bill, folks). If the sales tax were increased by 1 1/2 percent, as Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn proposes (Jan. 9 Eagle), then a family living in my home would need to be spending $20,000 annually that is subject to sales tax in order to replace the $300 county tax that is to be eliminated.
Remember that property taxes are deductible from your federal income taxes but sales tax is not. Not allowing this deduction would only benefit the federal government, which collects too much already. It would be better to totally eliminate the sales tax (can you imagine the business we would get from the adjoining counties?) and add that sales-tax loss to our property-tax bill, which would then be deductible from federal income taxes (whoopee).
Where do these politicians learn math?
Here are some of my predictions for 2014:
We will cede more of our life decisions to the people in government. The rules and regulations and accompanying fees and fines are the reason we will see further increases in the cost of groceries, health care and just about everything.
The stock market will continue on government welfare.
We will hear onerous rubbish about income inequality. This is not a new concept. Ask the Venezuelan people how this works. Income inequality – like hope and change, compassionate conservatism, a thousand points of light, and social justice – is political prattle. If you were poor before the sloganeering, then you probably still are – or will be unless you do something about it yourself.
Big banks and insurance companies will make out like bandits, thanks to new laws and regulations.
There will be no new ideas coming from Washington, D.C.
This ancient Chinese saying will bear fruit: “The more restrictions you place on people, the less virtuous they will become.”
There will be rain, snow, wind, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves.
Some of us will not make it through the year. I hope you do.
All bets are off if the sun sets in the north.
It’s been interesting to read negative reactions to changes in The Eagle’s comics offerings. Here’s one interpretation of the hubbub:
Some folks like predictable characters who provide a wholesome chuckle. About 75 percent of current comic strips fall into that category. Others prefer ironic or even twisted humor that they might not immediately “get.” About 25 percent of the current offerings meet that criteria. And then there’s “Judge Parker,” which is for people who enjoy a continuous story about wealthy, attractive Caucasians.
Of course, if you’re having trouble accepting the range of people who live in our world and their diverse preferences, you can always write Dear Abby for advice.