Letters on Ferguson, sales tax vote, GOP’s misplaced vow, Brownback, Davis, Umbehr

08/23/2014 7:08 PM

08/24/2014 12:08 AM

Help shape police, community culture

The shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer offers a frightening reminder that police and community relationships need open dialogue.

Although many Americans consider this nation post-racial, racism remains a major problem. Consider the treatment of our first African-American president. The venomous attacks I have witnessed offer evidence of racism’s enduring health.

African-American boys comprise the largest population segment dealing with police brutality. Brown’s shooting death underscores this reality. Six bullets shouldn’t be the penalty for simply walking in the street.

We need to address the elephant in the room and engage in a dialogue on race and class.

I’m inviting all Wichitans to a community intervention conversation scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Wichita East High School, 2301 E. Douglas. This forum is an opportunity to voice your concerns on police and community relationships, particularly as we search for a new police chief.

My prayer is for this forum to be a first step in proactively shaping a police-community culture that creates more positive interactions.

KEVASS J. HARDING

Lead pastor

Dellrose United Methodist Church

Wichita

Need public transit

The disabled need public transportation for the basic needs of life. We use public transportation to get to work, medical appointments, shopping and other needs. Without public transportation, these things would be extremely difficult.

I have cerebral palsy. I use public transportation services for my medical appointments. Without public transportation, these medical appointments would be very difficult for me to get to. This is why I am supporting the Wichita citywide 1-cent sales tax. I urge the community to support the tax with me.

MIKE EASTMAN

Wichita

Separate issue

The Wichita City Council, unsure that the jobs measure will pass on its own merits, has decided to lump it in with three very important issues that should receive support. Water, transit and streets are all in need of work, and if it takes a 1-cent sales tax spread over five years to get the job done, so be it.

Don’t let the City Council members bring pork to the table so someone can gamble with your tax dollars. Insist they do the right thing by making job development a separate issue on the November ballot. If they refuse, insist they pull all measures from the ballot until more debate can be facilitated.

NORTON JACKSON

Wichita

Misplaced vow

I find it very revealing that at a time of record oil and gas production and record oil company profits, our congressional delegation has taken a vow to look out for oil interests (Aug. 19 Eagle). When 1 in 7 American families and 1 in 5 military families are seeking assistance from various food aid organizations, it would be refreshing to see them take a similar vow to look out for the interests of the needy. But, sadly, the needy don’t have millions of dollars to contribute to the congressional re-election campaigns.

JACK E. NIBLACK

Wichita

Do your research

Never has there been a greater divide between Democrats and Republicans than with the issues of taxation and size of government in the governor’s race. And there is no shortage of pundits from each side warning of dire consequences if the other side wins.

But don’t take my word or anyone else’s who writes a letter to the editor. And certainly don’t take the word of an Ivy League elitist such as economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who spouts theory but lacks practical experience.

Do your own research, and ask yourself if you want Kansas to be more like California, New York, Massachusetts or other liberal states. Ask yourself if you would be OK paying higher income taxes and suffering higher unemployment and a higher poverty rate.

Higher taxes and onerous regulation of businesses drive up the cost of everything, including food and housing. And keep in mind that many of the tax increases in California were sold to the voters as only raising taxes on the “other guy.” But sooner or later everyone pays – except the wealthy who can afford to establish residency in a low-tax state. Whom does that leave to shoulder the load?

CHUCK JONES

Wichita

Take state back

I am so sick of being a guinea pig for Gov. Sam Brownback’s ill-conceived experiment on Kansas. I know I am not alone. Together we can do something about this.

The multimillionaires and billionaires have only one vote apiece. If all of us normal, average Kansas citizens get out and vote, we can take our great state back.

Let’s give Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis the opportunity to get Kansas back on the right track.

NANCY A. MYERS

Wichita

Nothing to lose

I appreciated the article on Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Keen Umbehr (Aug. 17 Local & State). Political science professor Chapman Rackaway made the comment: “We’re not talking about him winning. But he could play a significant role.”

The question is: Do we have anything to lose by electing Umbehr to the governor’s office? Nothing at all.

Over the past 70 years, regardless of which party has been in power, nothing has improved. The other two candidates have been in office in the past years, and Kansas is in a sorry state of affairs. The state has everything to gain by trying a fresh view without any party allegiance.

The governor’s office is the one position that by itself can make a difference. That person can stop bad legislation, ensure good legislation, and control many regulatory agencies that pass harmful regulations. Umbehr will not be obligated to the two major parties. He may be the fresh start Kansas needs, and that makes winning a possibility.

JAMES W. KILPATRICK Jr.

Wichita

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