Shoplifting more than a mistake
A mistake is an error in action. A mistake, grave or trivial, is caused by bad judgment or a disregard to rule or principal. But still, a choice.
I get so tired when people caught with their hands in the proverbial “cookie jar” say, “I made a mistake.” It was a choice, not a mistake. Those three UCLA students made a choice to break the law in China and take that which did not belong to them. To simply dismiss the gravity of the situation and call it a “mistake” is an injustice to those who suffer the loss of whatever was stolen, or what was attempted to be stolen.
The only thing unintentional on their part was getting caught. College students should be smarter than that. How quickly we forget the young man who died because he wanted to take a poster off a wall as a souvenir in North Korea and was imprisoned. Shoplifting is worse. Sad thing is the fact most of us accept that apology.
James Craig, Wichita
Tyson doesn’t learn from mistakes
The rosy picture of Tyson Foods painted by a letter to the editor last week is almost laughable if it weren’t so serious.
Tyson propaganda would have you believe they hire locally, and that there are good-paying jobs available, when in fact they import most workers from outside the area. His last sentence, “Our community would be healthier for it” is the most egregious claim. Tyson’s numerous violations of the Clean Air Act and water pollution continue today, in spite of millions in fines.
Does that sound like a healthier community? Tyson doesn’t belong in Sedgwick County, and would be, without a doubt, a disaster.
Robin Ragland Smith, Wichita
What flag represents is most important
Flags are merely pieces of cloth. They are symbols. Like all symbols, assigning value is the critical step to achieve meaning.
We choose to assign value if we deem this print a “flag.” We assign no value if we deem the exact same print a napkin or a table cloth. In the end, whatever form we choose to fly and salute, it’s a piece of woven fabric.
This physical fabric means nothing. What these 50 stars, three colors, and 13 stripes represent are indestructible. What the flag represents is what is key and what people fail to remember. It represents and symbolizes freedom. Freedom to kneel, freedom to question authority, freedom to voice pleasure or displeasure of our public servants.
Let’s turn our brains back on and turn off the blind outrage and attempted separation and bickering that the powers that be want us to get lost in. Whatever you choose to do, believe, watch, value, support — do it. It’s what this country was founded on. However, do so with curiosity, conviction, and critical thought. Think for yourself and question authority. We have brains for a reason. But above all else, be excellent to each other.
Matt Crowe, Wichita
Opioid fixes must be team effort
President Trump’s October press conference put forth some interesting concepts towards the opioid epidemic, the notion of a non-addictive pain medication, while elegant in concept, is likely years away from development or approval.
“Just Say No” was found to be an ineffective method of controlling drug use in America. I would submit that we need to totally change our thinking and develop a new narrative. If folks want to know more about this problem, read “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” by Sam Quinones. The manner in which prescription narcotics led to the heroin epidemic in this country is truly startling.
Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley have been especially hard hit, as industrial and coal jobs have dried up, leading to hopelessness and despair. Medical practitioners, insurance payers, law enforcement, educators, faith communities, communities, and government must actually work together to solve this problem, but it will not be a quick and easy fix.
Morghan Chambers, Wichita
Say thanks to those in public health
Monday is National Public Health Thank You Day, a day designed to recognize individuals and organizations that serve to protect and the health and vitality of our community.
It’s a lofty mission that fits well with those of us who serve at Ascension ministries nationwide. We’re committed to providing compassionate, personalized care, particularly those who need us most — but we can’t do it alone. We need our community partners, particularly those in the field of public health, working with us to uncover the root causes of complex health problems and develop practical and cost-effective solutions.
We know from experience that integrated systems of care mean better quality of care and more effective use of healthcare resources. Our colleagues in public health help us remain connected with our community partners in ensuring that when it comes to healthcare, no one is left behind.
Please join us in thanking our Sedgwick County public health professionals for their contributions to our community’s health and vitality – and in advocating that they be provided the resources they need to continue their important work.
Ed Hett, Wichita
Every day, there are many people working to make our communities healthy, vibrant places to live, work and play. A focus on public health ensures clean indoor air, protection from disease, and environments encouraging physical activity and healthy eating. The Kansas Health Foundation has been proud to support public health efforts in Kansas for more than 30 years.
This work doesn’t happen by chance. In Kansas, it is usually coordinated by county boards of health or health departments, with community stakeholders, identifying health needs and plans for change. This process happens through Community Health Improvement Plans, which are critical for focusing resources and charting progress. For example, Sedgwick County’s CHIP has five priority areas (Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, Social and Economic Factors, Physical Environment and Infant Mortality), each with indicators and strategies for change.
Individuals also have a critical role in creating the healthy places we call home. Engaging with elected officials, at all levels, allows us to influence policies for better health. Each of us can shape the decisions that impact our lives, and especially our health.
Kansas Health Foundation
Letters to the Editor
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