Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on gun law, KanCare, planning grant, taxis, Shockers

Repeal gun law; stop racial profiling

Though our emotions are justified, we cannot let them stand in the way of real justice for Trayvon Martin and other men of color (both young and old) who have been and are victims of racial profiling or victims of black-on-black crime.

First, the “stand your ground” laws need to be repealed. Next, we need to boycott any businesses or media groups that degrade, insult and divide people of color. The only thing that some folks understand is the color of green.

We can pray, march and cry all we want about the hundreds of Trayvons who have been killed by violence, but it’s time we stand up and say “no more.” When does it stop?

We need to get back to being a village again. Trayvon was our son, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend.

Stop the violence in our city. Repeal the “stand your ground” law in Kansas. Stop racial profiling against black men. Stop the hate and bigotry.



Kansas Justice Advocate


No incidents?

I found it interesting that the March 28 Eagle editorial questioning Kansas’ “stand your ground” law cited no examples concerning incidents in Kansas. It did cite several incidents in Florida that the editorial board thought made the law suspect.

Florida’s law and our law were implemented just a year apart. So which is better: Florida’s law with the “reasonableness” clause, or Kansas’ law with just plain language?



Delay KanCare

I would like to express my thanks to the hundreds of parents, guardians and individuals with disabilities who have visited Topeka during this legislative session to express their concern about KanCare. That is why I signed on to a resolution by Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, to delay KanCare.

Parents or guardians of a disabled individual need reassurance that any change in the law will be seamless and that services will be available without delay. They need to know that their loved one will have the same case manager and the same training and work programs without being subject to change from a new insurance company that has no experience with such programs. They need to know that their loved one’s living arrangements will be the same with the same attendant-care services. Lastly, they need to be included in developing the best possible continuum-of-care plan for people with developmental disabilities.

Security and peace of mind for our most vulnerable citizens are the reasons I am voting to delay KanCare and carve out developmental disabilities.


District 25


Vote ‘no’ on grant

The final vote for acceptance of the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant by the Sedgwick County Commission is approaching. This is a $1.5 million planning grant for five participating counties (Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey and Reno) and many corresponding municipalities within the Regional Economic Area Partnership.

Although we believe the public officials supporting this grant have good intentions and have worked diligently to promote vibrant economic development via REAP, the Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association board of directors is unanimously opposed to the planning grant program. There is strong evidence that “sustainability” in this context translates to an agenda that implements new local zoning codes and land-use regulations that would threaten property rights.

The grant’s purpose is to create incentives for communities to develop comprehensive local and regional housing and transportation plans. Can’t we accomplish a similar outcome with our existing Metropolitan Area Planning Department? This is a joint city-county agency with an annual budget of $1.8 million and a competent staff.

From our side of the fence, sustainable development is not about economic development. It’s about higher taxes, more regulations and centralized federal control over local issues, with unacceptable implications that threaten property rights. We encourage county commissioners to vote “no.”



Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association


Rules of state

Various commentators have said that requiring church-affiliated organizations to supply contraceptives is a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause. But this is not new; 23 states already require it. The bishops challenged it in court in California and lost. The establishment clause may protect the church, but when the church steps into the secular world it is no longer protected by the clause.

The organizations affected are those that have long obeyed secular law – hospitals and universities. Doctors and nurses are qualified by secular standards. Catholic university degrees are to the same standards as a state university. So churches have long accepted that in the secular world, they obey the rules of the state.


Bel Aire

Bad riders, too

I’ve been to London and used its taxis. The cabs were designed for that purpose and had plenty of room, even for my 6-foot-5-inch frame. The drivers were invariably professional in every way, and their cabs were spotless.

Then the Air Force brought me to Wichita, where my cab experience was everything Mayor Carl Brewer detests, and cramped (March 21 Local & State). So, yeah, let’s clean up the cabs and the drivers, but let’s also consider what the drivers have to endure.

While stationed at McConnell Air Force Base, I knew a fellow noncommissioned officer who was moonlighting in a cab. He was no slob, but many of his fares were: drunks, people who could eat/drink/spill anything, brats who could destroy anything, people who left their trash behind, people who berated him for not knowing a residential address in a part of town where the streets aren’t on a grid, people who told him to make illegal turns/speed/ignore traffic controls. I suspect no London cabbie would put up with such behavior, or have to.

As I recall, the NCO eventually quit the cab by order of his commander, who was concerned about the hazards that taxi drivers face.



Good cabbie

Recently my friends and I took a taxi from the airport. We noticed the cleanliness of the taxi.

The next day I received a phone call from Stan Mills, our taxi driver with American Cab, saying that I had left my camera in his taxi and he would deliver it to my home.

It is people like Mills who take pride in their jobs and go the extra mile who will change the image of Wichita taxi drivers.



Thanks, Shockers

As we enjoy this Final Four weekend and share a sense of Sunflower State pride for the success this year of the Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team, I want to congratulate Wichita State University coach Gregg Marshall and his outstanding men’s team on their NCAA Tournament appearance. I hope all Wichitans take a moment to celebrate and remember a season of great accomplishments.

I know WSU fans had high hopes of seeing the Shockers play deep into the tournament, and there was certainly good reason to expect them to go far. The Shockers were the regular season Missouri Valley Conference champions, and a cohesive and talented group of student athletes led by seniors and an excellent coaching staff. They fought hard and represented our city well on and off the court, winning honors and attracting national attention. Sports Illustrated even picked them to reach the Final Four.

Even though the Shockers’ NCAA Tournament run ended sooner than expected, their future looks bright under the direction of Marshall and returning players who, I’m sure, are already preparing for next season.

Still, the 2011-12 Shockers were undoubtedly one of the best WSU teams ever. They made Wichitans proud.