The article on Sunday’s front page about Barry Downing and the Opportunity Project (TOP) early learning centers was excellent (“Early education schools’ aim: Give impoverished opportunity,” Dec. 29 Eagle). I am grateful to those who see a need, study it and make it happen. How fortunate that our community has three TOP schools for our low-income children.
Contrary to what a letter suggested, income equality does not involve everyone in an economy working for the same wage (“Inequality not bad,” Dec. 22 Letters to the Editor). Income inequality occurs when the highest-earning people in the country see their salaries triple over three decades while the lowest-earning workers see virtually zero wage growth over that same period of time, once inflation is factored in.
Education is the means for opening doors to opportunities. Doors are opened when students can comprehend complex text and write for a variety of purposes. More are opened when students can reason mathematically and analyze scientific thinking.
As the year closed with no relief from the daily news of one religious sect killing another in the Middle East, a situation so desperate that even Pope Francis would entreat the world’s atheists to help in making peace (Dec. 26 Eagle), I realized just how fortunate I am to live where I live.
According to columnist Cal Thomas, entitlements didn’t build this country (Dec. 15 Opinion). But what they did was provide much-needed survival assistance, particularly in the 1930s. In today’s world, with so many people unable to find work, I’m sure the result is the same. Then, once people are on their feet, they will be happy to “build this country.”
How do you begin to thank someone for saving your life? “Thank you” does not even come close. It does not even begin to express the gratitude I feel.
Every day parents give their children medications for seizures. These medications may harm our children, but this is the only hope they have of stopping the seizures.
The Corporation for National and Community Service ranked Kansas fourth in the country in term of volunteerism (Dec. 23 Kansas Views). This volunteerism is partly due to the support by the media, particularly The Eagle.
Regarding “Arena needs variety” (Dec. 20 Eagle Editorial): I will say up front I am not a country music fan. Since Intrust Bank Arena began operating, I have attended a James Taylor concert, the recent Eagles concert, and a performance of Cirque du Soleil. I had to travel to Oklahoma City to see Coldplay and U2. I am disappointed that the arena and Cessna Stadium have not attracted big rock band acts on a regular basis.
A brilliant travel article on Jerusalem by Rick Steves made clear why two of the world religions find the Temple Mount to be of supreme importance (Dec. 15 Arts & Leisure). Both Christianity and Judaism began there. The other world monotheistic religion values it as well, since much blood was shed during the Crusades to keep control of the conquered city. Because of the intense feelings about the significance of this city, a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians is highly improbable.
On Friday I wore jeans, a flannel shirt and red suspenders to work. Being somewhat rotund, I’m into comfortable.
I read about Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer wishing to receive public input on the possibility of Chinese investment in Wichita and its public works (Dec. 19 Eagle). In this matter, I believe the first, last and only word can be found in the words of the great poet and philosopher John Lennon:
I have read news articles and letters to the editor expressing concern over the concealed-carry changes that allow licensed individuals to carry in more government-owned buildings. I believe that those concerns are misplaced and that the perceived threat from concealed-carry is greatly overstated.
“Nothing to celebrate” (Dec. 18 Eagle Editorial) claimed that more than 17,000 Kansans had been “disenfranchised” by Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proof-of-citizenship law, and that the law is hampering voter-registration drives.
I recently concluded the fall semester of my 56th school year as an elementary educator. I have been a part of many changes in public schooling, having observed too many “innovations” to recall. One constant remains, and I saw evidence of this as I visited elementary schools more than three dozen times this fall: incredibly dedicated, competent and tirelessly hardworking classroom teachers.
The 150 or so residents of Sedgwick Plaza had our spirits lifted and our hearts lightened this week. The Gammon Elementary School fourth- and fifth-grade chorus made its annual visit.
Because the Arts Council was mentioned in a Dec. 4 Eagle article regarding the performing arts study commissioned for our city, some have wondered who we are and what we do in the community. The Arts Council is the focal point for coordinating the visibility and promotion of the cultural arts in Wichita. In other words, we are in the business of making art happen.
The Laffer curve is just a theory, but still the backbone of Republican tax philosophy. The theory’s author is Arthur Laffer, who believes that lower taxes pay for themselves and do not cause deficits.
I don’t think that the folks who carry concealed weapons are the problem our society faces. It is guns getting into the wrong hands. We need to keep guns from kids, angry husbands or wives, drunks, robbers and the like.
Last week four Wichita City Council members voted to allow concealed guns in some city-owned public places such as libraries, recreation centers, CityArts, the Wichita Art Museum and other areas where children visit.
A downside of the reduction in the nationwide crime rate is that the FBI is inventing terrorists it subsequently apprehends so that the FBI looks good and we feel safe (“Airport plot months in making,” Dec. 14 Eagle).
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website ostensibly has been receiving public comments since Nov. 19 on Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed expansion of KanCare to include all services for the developmentally disabled. But for one or two weeks, it did not register those comments – enough time to discourage people from registering their opinions. If CMS is serious about public input, it needs to reset the clock for the month of public comment. Anything less will do little to change the public’s perception of CMS as a rubber stamp for the Brownback administration.
The greatness of Nelson Mandela lay in his commitment to reconciliation and justice. He led a movement that brought freedom to South Africa. And it happened without a major war.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela not only achieved greatness, he inspired others to live lives of self-discipline and love for those who could be easily despised.
I am pleased to see that law-abiding citizens of Wichita will be able to use more public buildings without forfeiting their ability to defend themselves (Dec. 11 Eagle). This development is particularly welcome for our Central Library.
With the recent passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, the world lost a truly remarkable man. He made tremendous sacrifices for freedom and worked tirelessly to help put an end to apartheid in South Africa.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. And as first responders to emergency situations, we see that need daily.
Thank you for the article on the Pentagon’s decision to buy medium-lift helicopters for Afghan defense forces from Russia instead of using a U.S. manufacturer (Dec. 8 Eagle). The article cited all the many reasons why the Boeing CH-47 Chinook would be the far better choice for the Afghans than the Mi-17 or NATO-named Hip.
Our driver, Michael, was hopeful and excited about his country’s future, even as he drove us by the squalor of Cape Town Flats in Cape Town, South Africa, where hundreds of thousands of people lived in poverty. The year before, in 1994, Nelson Mandela had become the first democratically elected black president of South Africa.
This is what you get in countries with no Environmental Protection Agency or other government watchdog agencies: In an effort to have the largest economy in the world, China went all-out building coal-fired power plants to produce electrical energy. What did it get?