Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on dump site, slab foundations, road work, funding priorities, marriage

Don’t approve new C&D dump

Sedgwick County commissioners are scheduled to hear a petition Wednesday to change a residential use area to allow for a construction and demolition dump site at the corner of Ridge Road and 55th Street South.

Currently, there are two C&D dump sites in Wichita. One has a remaining projected life of 30 years. Do we need another dump site — particularly in this location, which is in the flight path of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport?

There are numerous private, public, commercial and irrigation wells within a half-mile radius. These will require an exemption from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Additionally, the water table at this location is only 35 feet. Contamination of the water table and the wells would be inevitable.

The major issue is one of health. Pressure-treated lumber would be allowed at this site. Chromium and arsenic are leachates of this lumber and known carcinogens. Copper could be leached into the site. Lead paint from demolished buildings also would be concentrated in this area. These are toxic heavy metals and would never deteriorate and would be present forever.

I and other members of a group of citizens against the proposed dump site encourage everyone to call or e-mail the county commissioners and ask them to reject this rezoning petition.


Concrete woes

Much has been reported about the problem of concrete slabs cracking due to improper and non-regulated soil conditions (“City favors tighter rules for slab foundations,” Aug. 17 Eagle). Nothing is ever said about basements that have the same conditions.

I wonder about the percentage of basement walls and floors that are cracked and bulging. There is no one to complain to. The concrete people all say, “Cement cracks. Nothing can be done.”

If you look at the driveways that fall apart way too soon and the leaky basements due to cracks, we homeowners are helpless. The builders are always looking for ways to save a few dollars here or there. Once the house is built, we get nervous every time it rains.

The city must keep a better eye on the concrete contractors. Maybe it’s time for someone to work on improving the stability of the concrete, instead of homeowners having to face very expensive repairs in a few years.


Job well done

I want to give recognition to the engineers and all of the workers who designed and built the new bridges and intersections at 47th Street South and I-135. At first I was skeptical of the design, but after traveling the completed roadways daily, I can see that this is the best use of the available land.

Though it took a long time to complete, the quality of work stands out. Those of you who had a hand in this project should be proud of your work.


Wrong priorities

I read how the Wichita Public Library is having difficulty with the financing of a new building and various renovations of its branches (“Will new library be built?” Aug. 13 Eagle). Wichita City Council member Michael O’Donnell has said that now is not the time to spend $45 million or even $30 million. He may be right.

However, the same day’s newspaper had an article about the F-22 Raptor. The fighter jets cost $412 million apiece, and there are 158 sitting and corroding on tarmacs. They have been “sidelined” for technical problems, have never flown in combat and probably never will. Their total cost amounts to about $65 billion.

The contrast could not be more startling. This kind of thing makes me mad. Where are our priorities? When will we come to our senses?


Submit, respect

I feel compelled to speak to the current hoopla about using “submission” and “respect” as synonyms, as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., did in a recent GOP presidential debate.

When these terms are used in a secular setting, the meanings are quite different. In this context, “submission” can be forced or a matter of choice; “respect” is either implied or earned.

In a free society, I am compelled to submit to the position of a parent, teacher, police officer, politician, etc. However, I am not compelled to automatically respect the individual who holds that position. Respecting the person (to hold in high esteem) is something that is earned.

We are mixing apples and oranges when we use those definitions to define the biblical use of those terms. The God of the Bible is automatically to be submitted to and respected, because He is perfect.

From a correct biblical application, submission always is a matter of choice. You just have to live with the consequences of the choice made (Adam and Eve). Yes, it does say “wives submit to your husbands” in Ephesians 5:22-33. But also read Ephesians 5:21.

It is in this context that I submit to you that mutual submission and mutual respect are very closely intertwined.


Words evolve

Words and their meanings hardly remain static in modern language. Take the word “marriage.”

There are people who wish to define — and some who have legally defined — the meaning of “marriage” to be the union or joining of one man and one woman. Some have gone as far as to add this “official” definition to states’ constitutions.

Would this now void the meaning of “marriage” for usage such as: “The two companies married their resources”? If we rely on the “joining together of” as the basis for the definition of marriage, then can we substitute words such as “merge” or even “alloy,” which both carry the idea of joining together?

Recently, the esteemed GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann added a new definition to the word “submission” by saying it means “respect.” I checked both the Oxford and Webster dictionaries and couldn’t find that definition. But who am I to say?

If the meaning and use of words are fluid in modern English, or any modern language, why is there such an outpouring of disdain when we try to expand the meaning of “marriage” to include same-sex couples? If words and their meanings can evolve, why can’t people’s thoughts and understanding of marriage do the same?