Letters to the Editor

August 25, 2014

Letters on prairie chickens, ISIS, Schodorf, voter fraud, Kobach, sacred places

The Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association met last week and expressed horror that the lesser prairie chicken might mess with operating hours on drilling rigs. U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, called it “a dumb bird.”

Cooperate on prairie chickens

The Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association met last week and expressed horror that the lesser prairie chicken might mess with operating hours on drilling rigs. U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, called it “a dumb bird.”

Previously, Gov. Sam Brownback fretted about placing the chickens on the threatened-species list, which he opined would likely be disastrous for the economy of western Kansas. Brownback later mentioned that economic incentives from the government would be a “fabulous tool” to employ, ostensibly giving the incentive funds to the oil and gassers and ranchers to set aside or protect habitat. The governor had earlier suggested raising prairie chickens and releasing them, an idea immediately debunked by wildlife biologists.

Scientists mention that years of drought have been deleterious to the lesser prairie chickens, whose numbers are down by 84 percent, and that loss of habitat is contributory to the bird’s decline.

Would it be possible to simply cooperate on this issue rather than scoring political points?

As the lesser prairie chicken “booms” to attract a mate on breeding grounds (leks) ever more difficult to find, can we do something useful to help them to continue to live? Would it be too much to ask our political leadership to stifle its own booming and posturing, and cooperate in protecting a simple bird that has made its unique song on the prairie for millennia?



Not ordinary

It is long past the time when we should be identifying and defining the radical Islamist terrorists on the basis of what they have been doing and how they are organized. The Geneva Conventions clearly defined those who engage in this form of warfare as “non-uniformed enemy combatants” and defined the terms for their disposal. To consider them to be ordinary criminals subject to trial in civil courts invites an exponentially expanding effort on their part, which we are both witnessing and the victims of. Note that the person who beheaded the American journalist had an English accent.



Vote for Schodorf

I am so glad Jean Schodorf is running for Kansas secretary of state. She served Kansans extremely well for a number of years in the Kansas Senate, giving her wisdom and making well-reasoned decisions year after year.

I know her best as a member of the Wichita school board. There she also served with strength and dedication, again making well-reasoned and sound judgments. In my years as a principal and central office administrator, I served several schools and made many visits to most of the schools on the east side of Wichita. I frequently experienced her dedication, as she, too, visited school events. Schodorf knew firsthand what was going on in our schools and sought answers to her questions and concerns and those of others.

She is a wonderful listener and researches and considers the many sides of any issue before reaching her conclusions and decisions. She is honest and fair, and an excellent problem solver.

I urge readers to take a careful look at Jean Schodorf’s record and vote for her to serve us as secretary of state. I cannot imagine a better representative for citizens.



Voter ID needed

Ever since Secretary of State Kris Kobach got the voter ID law passed, there has been nothing but criticism from the same people. Evidently they have never worked a polling place to see what a circus it can become.

In 2004, my husband and I were working the poll booths. My husband looked up once and recognized a person walking out very briskly and said, “He’s already voted.” I reported this to the election commissioner. I said then that we needed to show our photo ID.

I like the voter ID law. Besides requiring everyone to bring an ID, I would go so far as having people bring their voter-registration cards to prove they are registered to vote. The registration card actually comes in very handy if your voting place changes.

Rather than complain, why don’t the ministers take these people to get their photo ID and register to vote? You can do both when you get your ID. Then on Election Day, take them to vote. The law has been in place for about two years. Either you are serious about voting or not.



New fraud fight?

Surely Secretary of State Kris Kobach didn’t miss an opportunity to be out of the state helping to fight fraud, when Venezuela penned its recent plans for a fingerprint system to avoid food shortages (Aug. 22 Eagle).

Goodness – that is a whole new avenue for Kobach to take his fraud-fighting skills down.



Sacred places

Columnist Leonard Pitts was absolutely correct (“Show respect for sacred places,” July 28 Opinion). Some places are sacred and should be given respect, with the proper gravity, acknowledging their importance. Examples include the inside of a church, possibly empty, while visiting it on a holiday; or the Colosseum in Rome, where Christians might have been put to death; or the other places Pitts mentioned. Joking and levity and improper language are out of place in such places.



Letters to the Editor

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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