Current trash system is stupid
Until I moved to Kansas, I had never known or heard of a municipality where the trash service was neither regulated nor operated by the local government. It governed the water, sewage, gas and electric, and trash removal.
I had never known a citizen who loved and admired his trashman. I have read the First Amendment and seen nothing about the right to choose your trash collector, water service or electric company.
The dissenters seem to get most of the news coverage. Recently on TV news, they urged fellow dissenters to flood the offices of the mayor and City Council members with requests to stay with the "free-enterprise" system (which sends six heavy trucks down my unpaved street each week).
We need to fight back. If you agree with me that the current system is stupid, please call, e-mail or mail your feelings to the mayor and your council representative. Tell them that the price is too high. We should not have to pay more than El Dorado or Derby, but this is the way to go.
I applaud Wichita City Manager Robert Layton for choosing to take the trash issue head-on instead of allowing cost disparity to continue across our community for this crucial public utility.
Trash is big business, and even if residents have to pay $20 per month, that would still be a boon to trash haulers that have enriched their own bottom line by taking advantage of this community's indecision and its roads and infrastructure. Layton is seeking an equitable solution for all residents.
Look at Europe
Regarding New York Times writer David Leonhardt's statement that guaranteeing people a decent retirement and decent health care "gives people the freedom to take risk" (Dec. 20 WE Blog excerpts): I urge everyone to take a hard look at Europe, which has done exactly this.
These countries have given their citizens free health care, retirement at age 50, and ridiculous amounts of vacation time and days off. It has not promoted entrepreneurism and self-reliance. It has done exactly the opposite and encouraged laziness. There have been so many government handouts that most of the countries of Europe are on the verge of financial collapse.
In an effort to lower their massive debts, European governments have started to eliminate some of these handouts. The people are so upset at losing their free gravy train that they are rioting in the streets and destroying property.
The more freebies the government provides, the less people do for themselves and the more they demand from the government, until there is nothing left to give and the country ceases to be productive and self-sustaining. This seems to be what we want for ourselves.
I am a big supporter of having the Law Enforcement Memorial of Sedgwick County and its location ("A tribute to fallen officers," Dec. 16 Local & State). But I am disappointed in, or else don't understand the significance of, the aggressive looking beasts on the new memorial honoring our fallen law enforcement officers.
It seems a statue of one or more officers, maybe even in the likeness of some we have lost, representing the fallen and those to come would have carried a warmer feeling. Or a generic statue of law enforcement officers wearing the appropriate hats and caps of the different agencies would have been meaningful.
The statue brings to mind the still unexplainable "Tripodal" on the front lawn of Century II. The city has spent a lot of time, effort, money and extensive, expensive repair work on something that no one, to my knowledge, understands.
Consumers should spend more of their holiday dollars at locally owned businesses and less at the big-box retail chains. I know that it is easier and usually cheaper to spend your money at national chain stores. But by doing so, we are missing out on a great chance to help our local economy.
According to a study conducted by Civic Economics, for every $100 spent at a locally owned store, $45 remains in the local economy. This compares with $13 at the big-box retailers.
Story 'blew it'
Regarding "Sensational start" (Dec. 19 Sports), about the debut of University of Kansas basketball player Josh Selby: I found that story truly captivating. I was instantly transported back to Saturday's game to enjoy it all over again. It really captured that game's moments. I say "bravo" for that story.
That being said, I really have to object to wording in a paragraph near the end. I hate it when sports people say things like a player or team "blew it." These are kids playing under extreme pressure in a hostile environment on national TV with, to top it all off, Bobby Knight as the analyst. The Southern California player missed an opportunity; he did not blow it.
Cut players a little slack. If The Eagle wishes to use that phrase in regard to a professional athlete, be my guest. But don't use it for some college kid who is not getting paid squat while his university rakes in millions of dollars on his behalf.
FRANK La FORGE