A Hutchinson News commentary blamed the 2010 and 2012 elections for widespread poverty, high property taxes, poorly educated children, out-migration and rural depopulation, and a maniacal hatred of government (“A political obituary for Kansas,” April 3 WE Blog excerpts). That might make for a gripping made-for-TV movie, but it would be fiction.
All the studies are completed. It will cost Kansas $139 million to implement the passenger rail service development plan.
“Reason to be concerned about reading reform” (March 29 WE Blog excerpts) was a much-needed caution about the folly of a Kansas Senate-passed bill that would retain first-graders who lack reading proficiency.
Cutting food-stamp benefits by $36 billion, as Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., proposes (March 22 Eagle), would increase hunger among our most vulnerable neighbors.
I was disappointed to read that Jeff Davis, vice president of the Wichita school board, is leaning toward supporting the closing of the current Southeast High School in favor of building a new 2,000-student building at 127th Street East and Pawnee (April 1 Eagle). Davis reached this conclusion without hearing all of the facts and without consulting the general public.
Give up, Phil Ruffin (“Another shot at slots?” March 23 Local & State). You lost the 2007 vote on allowing slot machines at Wichita Greyhound Park.
A bill that would shift case management of care for developmentally disabled Kansans to managed-care organizations appears like nothing more than a power grab by Gov. Sam Brownback (“Don’t break promise to disabled Kansans,” March 31 Opinion). Why is it that the poor, the handicapped and the downtrodden are asked constantly to pick up the tab for Brownback’s government?
I see from news reports that the bill to put the secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation in charge of the Kansas Turnpike Authority is in its final stages. As former KTA chief engineer and manager, I want to throw out a word of caution to Kansas legislators and the KTA board.
Allowing teachers to carry guns in school is a bad idea. In fact, it’s crazy.
The lawmakers who attended the legislative forum last weekend heard the support for the expansion of Medicaid from area residents (March 24 Local & State). Citizen Nancy Ross told lawmakers how one-twelfth of our Kansas population is without health insurance. This ranks us 33rd in the nation.
Where are we going with marriage? How are we going to redefine marriage? What are the new boundaries going to be? Where will it stop?
Residents in the Southeast High School area should not aim their anger toward the USD 259 school board. They should be angry with our Legislature.
Monday night’s Wichita school board meeting was fascinating (March 26 Local & State).
I am the parent of an adult child with developmental disabilities. As such, I have more than 30 years of experience navigating the multitude of requirements and health care providers to find those appropriate for my daughter and her needs. In many instances, I have found few care resources that are the right match for my daughter’s needs. When I have located those resources, I have done whatever I could to develop long-term working relationships with them.
Saturday is National Doctor’s Day, an annual opportunity to pay tribute to a group of professionals who touch our lives in so many ways.
As a longtime public schoolteacher at the elementary level who recently retired, I strongly believe it is a bad idea to allow school employees to be armed. School is a place where children feel safe; for some, it may be an oasis of security. Would the presence of a gun in a classroom or elsewhere in a school building make students feel safer? More likely it would create paranoia among the children if they feel there is a “need” for a gun being there.
As Kansas lurches ever closer to a conservative utopia where all taxes are considered theft and no public spending is ever essential, its residents need to come to grips with the ramifications.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, shouted from his mountaintop that the sequester was a “home run for America.” If allowing less money for teachers and meat inspectors, dropping up to 600,000 women and children from food safety-net programs, and risking a return to a recession is a “home run for America,” then we need to take a good look at the congressman and his ideas and policies before the next election. I am greatly disappointed in the callous, heartless and uncaring attitude that he is attempting to sell to the 4th Congressional District and Kansas. Pompeo has scraped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to empathy.
I chuckled at the reference by state Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, to a 37 percent increase in utility rates since 2008 due to government regulations (March 20 Eagle).
It is with such a heavy heart that I read the morning Wichita Eagle. Each day proposals appear before the state and national legislatures that would damage the poor, the black and brown communities, our educational system and our health care programs.
I am new to Truesdell Middle School. When I took the job as a seventh-grade language arts teacher at the school, I was excited by the vision of the new principal and the commitment and passion of the assistant principals and dean. What I have found during this school year may surprise some people. The faculty at my school is talented and caring. The staff believes that we are all a team. The students are generally polite, well-behaved and want to do a good job.
The Kansas legislators, under the watchful eye of Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, are lowering taxes on businesses and the wealthiest Kansans on the backs of the middle- and lower-class workers. They also are introducing bills that will let businesses withhold wages from employees for any reason. For example, a business will be allowed to loan employees money and withhold wages for the loan repayment with no limit on the amount of interest on the loan.
“No” to teachers carrying guns (“3 gun bills move ahead in Kansas House,” March 14 Eagle). Many schools have security guards, and that should be enough.
Every day, rural communities across Kansas benefit from a law that provides needed income, good jobs and steady investments in our state. This law, the renewable portfolio standard, has helped Kansas become a national leader in developing, generating and exporting renewable energy.
We hear a good deal during these times about “unleashing private enterprise” and “reducing big government.” Maybe we should consider some aspects of that grand idea.
Women earn less than men. Women are more likely than men to work part time. Women are more likely than men to have gaps in their employment. Women rely on Social Security more than men. Women typically live longer than men. Women tend to receive less in Social Security benefits than men. Women spend more of their income on health care than men do.
In the current realm of politics in our state, there is plenty to be alarmed about. But it all pales in comparison with the virulent attack on our educators, our schools and, in the end, our children.
The Kansas Mission of Mercy held recently in the Wichita area highlighted the number of dental professionals and staff who are willing to give up their personal time one weekend a year to provide care for people who need but can’t afford dental care.
If you are already inclined to believe that school boards need “more flexibility” to impose additional requirements and responsibilities upon teachers and to reduce teaching staff to save money, then you probably already believe that public schools are overfunded and can function with substantially less money.
Dow Chemical Co. has introduced this corporate motto: “Solutionism. The more we talk together, the more we solve together.” Dow can use the solutionism mindset to solve technical problems, and real communication within a corporation is always a great goal.