Denim is serious threat to schools
I, for one, am glad that attention is finally being drawn to the critical issue of public school administrator and teacher attire (“Wichita school administrators could lose blue jeans, more,” Dec. 12 Eagle). With so many of our schoolchildren failing to pass basic standards tests, it is about time that we put some of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money to work on this issue.
I know that only a very small handful of administrators and teachers are dressing inappropriately. But as we all know, the best way to deal with any problem is to punish everyone instead of the offending individuals. After all, this is a serious threat to our students’ well-being.
I don’t know how many times I have heard students say that they were pumped and ready to study, only to change their minds after seeing the legs of their principal or teacher covered in denim. Children these days just don’t respect jeans or the people who wear them, and who can blame them? Just think of the kind of people who wear suits: politicians, Wall Street professionals, televangelists and corporate
CEOs. These are the honest, intelligent and trustworthy people our students look up to and learn from, so our school administrators and teachers need to follow suit and suit up.
Regarding the Dec. 14 Eagle editorial about the “regrettable message” being sent to downtown developers: What about the regrettable message sent by the politicians to small-business owners, other hotel operators, restaurant owners and others who depend on tourism who are seeing the money promised to Century II improvements go to an out-of-state developer?
What really peeves job creators is when the government changes the rules. Others who have been in Wichita for generations are seeing tax dollars diverted to help one hotel. No doubt there are others who will be hurt by this subsidy, but the politicians don’t care about them. They only want to support the new guy in town.
The real issue here is about promises to the voters. When the bed tax went into effect, we were told this money would be used to help our entire tourism industry. Now we are saying we are going to pick winners and losers and are going to pick one out-of-state winner and subsidize him for 22 years? This is the essence of crony capitalism and is wrong. Voters need to send a strong message that politicians need to keep their promises and not change rules once the game has started.
I’ve been disappointed in the amount of incentives our city doles out to private groups. Then this downtown developer who is benefiting from our tax dollars tried to insult people who are working to overturn the hotel’s bed tax by saying we don’t understand that the tax is paid by out-of-town visitors. Well, we do understand who is paying this particular tax, but it doesn’t change the fact that everyone else’s bed taxes help pay for keeping up Century II. In this case, they are to be used by a private developer for his own interests.
And let’s not forget that keeping the bed tax is just one of the many incentives approved for this hotel. These developers still will get millions in tax dollars. I intend to help stop any part of these unfair incentives that I can. I hope my fellow Wichita voters will remember that when this bed-tax issue comes up for a vote.
The Brownback administration asserts that single parenthood is a major cause of poverty (Nov. 17 Eagle). This is a classic example of the logical fallacy that correlation implies cause. In general, it is more accurate to understand the reverse: that poverty increases the likelihood of single parenthood.
Poverty is the scarcity of many kinds of resources, almost the least significant of which is financial. Poverty can pass between generations when parents lack the health, social, cultural and educational resources to demonstrate to their children. The result can then be ineffective or incomplete family relationships.
The causes of poverty are rooted in community conditions, economic and social exploitation, and political and economic structures, as well as individual circumstances and behaviors. Ignoring any of these categories leads to incomplete understanding. Efforts to reduce poverty stem from individuals, communities, organizations (both faith-based and civic) and various levels of government. To be effective, each of these efforts must select appropriate strategies to address each of the various areas of root cause. To do otherwise is simplistic, futile and even deceptive.
We can each choose to be less judgmental and more involved. Then we can make real progress.
When we began planning this month’s Kansas in Question Symposium nearly a year ago as a determined committee of proud Kansans, its future and design were as open as the Kansas prairie was 150 years ago at the birth of our state. Our goal simply involved getting citizens thinking about the Kansas we’d like our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to inherit.
But the event wildly exceeded our expectations.
More than 325 Kansans, from 32 counties, weighed in on broad subjects that held broad future implications for our state. Participants representing urban areas, rural areas, education, health, government, industry and more arrived eager to work.
They debated ideas, disagreed on approaches, searched for common ground and even squirmed a bit as divergent perspectives and demographic trends challenged some of their deeply held beliefs. And most important, nearly all have vowed to continue the dialogue.
We’d like to thank the participants, particularly Gov. Sam Brownback, master of ceremonies David Adkins and demographer James Chung. We’d also encourage every citizen to continue this important discussion.
Kansas’ future is what we make of it.
I see that the big cash funnel from Wichita to Sumner County is in place and about to open. This, of course, is the new Kansas Star Casino, and the 600 jobs that we could have had in Wichita or Park City. The casino will now suck most of the recreational money from here to there. Might as well turn out the lights in Old Town and head for Mulvane.
Don’t drive, call
Regarding “Cellphones unsafe for use while driving, warns NTSB” (Dec. 14 Eagle): It has been proved time after time that even just having a conversation with a passenger in the car is a distraction to the driver. How can people justify talking on a cellphone while driving?
There are too many things we need to pay attention to while driving. We are taught defensive driving for a reason. Studies have shown that people who drive while talking on cellphones react in much the same manner as people who are drunk.
I lost a family member because he was using his cellphone while driving. I thank God that he didn’t hurt anyone else, but if he had only pulled over to use the cellphone, he would be alive today. It has been four years since I lost him, and I am still devastated.
Please think about it: Would you rather have someone mourning your loss, be it to your death or to the time in prison you would spend? Or would you rather be around? Nothing is more important than your life.