Letters to the editor on public transportation, south Wichita parks, equality, government solutions, executive orders, Ike airport, KPI ad, WSU orchestra trip

01/31/2014 6:55 PM

01/31/2014 6:55 PM

Need to look out for each other

Mayor Carl Brewer’s State of the City address last week stressed important issues that we can all undertake to help fuel long-term progress in our community (Jan. 29 Eagle). One priority the mayor outlined struck a chord: Wichitans must look out for each other. We should further our commitment to supporting our community and the organizations and people within it.

One way to support Wichita is by voicing your opinion. Weigh in on issues at council meetings, participate in the ACT-ICT forum, and support community projects and nonprofit organizations.

One issue that we should actively pursue is expanding transportation within our community. Expanding our available transportation and affordable housing will be key to our community’s ability to grow.

Many of Envision’s employees and patrons who are visually impaired depend upon reliable transportation. There also are growing numbers of seniors and residents with disabilities, including our valued veterans. We should look out for each other by ensuring that those within our community enjoy quality of life and access to employment.

I believe in Wichita and the people who make this community great. I’m excited to see what’s next for Wichita and all of the great things we can accomplish together.

MICHAEL MONTEFERRANTE

CEO

Envision

Wichita

Agenda for equality

Here is something for state lawmakers to think about before they vote to pass Kansas House Bill 2453 (“Bill shields Kansans who refuse services to gay couples,” Jan. 29 Eagle): A register will need to be provided of all businesses that do not see my partner of 16 years and me as equals. I will not force those businesses to take my money for the dress, rings or flowers I will be purchasing for my wedding. Only businesses recognizing that “love is love” deserve my money.

I don’t want to force a minister, priest, pastor or rabbi to marry us. Someone with love for all humans will perform the ceremony. I won’t force a chapel, synagogue or sanctuary to host our wedding. The ceremony will occur where we are seen as equals.

All employers, hospitals and government agencies should recognize my marriage. My homosexual status does not affect my ability to do my job anymore than does someone’s heterosexual status. I refuse to lie about our relationship on an admittance form at any hospital. I want my partner in my room and involved in any medical decisions. I have paid my share of taxes, just like heterosexuals, and deserve the same marital benefits.

Yes, I have an agenda. It is an agenda for equality.

KAREN McJUNKIN

Wichita

Get out of way

I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech. He seemed to think all of America’s problems could be solved if the federal government would just put its mind to it. I don’t think so. Neither the king nor all the king’s men can solve them.

Why not? It is not that Obama and Congress are not well-intentioned, nor that they are particularly unskilled. It is just that government cannot do it. No government can.

Prosperity and a better life come from individual hard work, discipline and resourcefulness – nothing else. The promises of government doing this for us are just hot air, tending to blow up the already too large bubble of hope. This is the government bubble.

For a long time, the federal government has increased its role in society. Yet surveys show that a majority of Americans think our country is going downhill. The best thing government can do is get out of the way once again, as it used to be when the nation was moving toward becoming the greatest in the history of the world.

GORDON BAKKEN

Chairman

Libertarians of South Central Kansas

Wichita

Not ruled by king

Executive orders are getting way out of hand – not only by our current president but by others in the past, including Presidents Bush, Clinton and Reagan. President Obama has determined he is the spokesman for the entire United States, and declared that any impasse to his agenda in Congress justifies his use of executive orders to make that agenda the law of the land.

Did we decide that our elected Congress is no longer the lawmaking entity of our land? Did we elect a king? Seriously, this has to stop, and we might as well start with this president. Our Constitution depends on it, as well as our freedom in being a republic.

KERRY BAKER

Wichita

Ike linked to city

Some say that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had nothing to do with Wichita. But if not for his vision and actions, Boeing never would have reopened the Wichita plant, McConnell Air Force Base would have been unnecessary, and there would have been no need to move the airport to Wichita’s west side.

Thousands of Kansans, including my grandpa, traded farming work for factory jobs to build B-17s and B-29s during World War II. After the war, Boeing closed its Wichita operation but reopened it in the early 1950s to launch the B-47 Stratojet, which supported Ike’s “massive retaliation” strategy. My grandpa returned to build the B-47 and later the B-52 in Wichita, where he stayed, raised a family and retired.

The recently formed U.S. Air Force (another Eisenhower initiative) negotiated with the city to open a base across from the B-47 production site to train the crews on how to fly this newfangled rocket. Eventually the beast was tamed, and the B-47 became the enforcer behind Ike’s plan to keep the Cold War from going nuclear.

The B-47, B-52, McConnell and under-wing jet propulsion were critical to Ike’s new military plan, which employed thousands of Kansans, started countless businesses, and made Wichita a military town.

Ike was the architect of a military strategy that benefited Wichita and Kansas greatly. Renaming the airport would honor a man whose actions in defense of our country benefited many Kansas families, including mine. Let’s preserve an important part of our state’s history and share it with visitors for years to come.

MIKE ALUMBAUGH

Wichita

Ad was ironic

If an organization is going to place a full-page ad in the newspaper that attacks public schools, perhaps the organization should first have the text edited by a high school, or even middle school, English/language arts teacher.

The first poorly constructed sentence that caught my attention in a recent ad by the Kansas Policy Institute was: “Ironically, distortions of fact are a big part of the problem with Kansas’ schools.” A teacher may remind KPI that the use of “ironically” should be reserved for introducing truly ironic situations. The irony here is that an organization attacking public education does not know how to use the word “ironic.” It is also ironic that “distortions of fact” are also the problem with this piece.

Even more confusing was another statement: “Low income kids are still significantly behind their peers in learning. The same is true of the state assessment.” This construction suggests that the state assessment is also two years behind its peers.

Aside from grammatical errors, the ad never made clear its purpose. Would this be a veiled attempt to advocate for a voucher system? Nowhere in the ad was there a solid proposal for a plan to improve reading scores or to redirect funding so as to fund students more directly.

MOLLY LAVACEK

Wichita

Make trip happen

Regarding “No money, no European trip for Wichita State orchestra” (Jan. 25 Eagle): Wouldn’t it be great if we could each send something to the Wichita State University fund for the WSU orchestra trip to Vienna and other cities in Europe? What an experience for the students and a feather in Wichita’s cap.

Together, we can make it happen.

JANE RAY

Wichita

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