Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on new library, debt, Obamacare, Koch campaign, driver’s license office, beekeepers, bonfires

Wichita needs a new library

Libraries are still the best bargain in town. It makes no difference what your economic status may be, your religion, your politics, etc.; you may use the library – for free.

The city of Wichita has been “considering” a new Central Library for 10 years. Talk about making a thoughtful decision. Meanwhile, the library is over capacity, environmentally outdated, short-staffed and underfunded. A new library would solve most of those problems.

Thank heavens that 50 years ago the “powers that be” had the vision and the guts to take a risk and build the present Central Library. Now it is our turn to think of the future generations and build a new Central Library. There is never enough money – that has been the cry of government forever. But it is like having children: If you waited until you could afford them, there would be no human race left. It is during tough times that the library is really needed and used.

The League of Women Voters Wichita-Metro supports the building of the new Central Library based on our positions on quality of life and the revitalization of downtown.



League of Women Voters Wichita-Metro


Honest way

Regarding whether Wichita should go further into debt to build a new $29 million downtown library, Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell said, “It would put us in a dangerous position financially if we had some kind of major emergency” (“Debt threatens plans for new downtown library,” July 7 Eagle). Why should old-fashioned “Kansas thinking” stop us from getting what we want anytime we want it? After all, we “need” it, don’t we? What else matters?

Others, public and private, have been encouraged for years by Washington, D.C., to assume mountains of debt they cannot repay. It is the patriotic thing to do. To keep the party going – I mean to keep the economy growing – the Federal Reserve creates $80 billion of new money each month (out of thin air) to fund the growing indebtedness of the country. That is the equivalent of 2,666 proposed new libraries each month – nearly four new libraries somewhere every hour of every day and night. Surely somebody can find room for one new downtown library for Wichita somewhere in all those budgets or appropriations.

OK, maybe Longwell has a point. Maybe “Kansas thinking,” and taking financial responsibility personally instead of collectively, is out of fashion. But maybe it is the only honest and fair way to approach economic life, individually and socially, privately and publicly, over the long run.



Library debt OK

“Debt” is not a four-letter word (“Debt threatens plans for new downtown library,” July 7 Eagle). That is to say, it is not a cussword.

I have a mortgage, and I paid for my first car with payments. That car enabled me to get to the job that paid for the car. All debt is not the same.

We need a new Central Library, and it will cost about $29 million to build.

Our current downtown library is almost 50 years old. I remember when it was built. As a Girl Scout, I was one of many who helped move the books from the old Carnegie library across Main Street to the brand-new library. We sat in long lines and moved the books hand over hand from old to new. What a wonderful investment in Wichita’s future.

There are politician-speak/buzzwords regarding something called “core services.” If a public library is not a core service, then what? “Public” is even in its name.

I think that the people of Wichita would agree that $15 a year more in property taxes to pay for the new library would benefit them, their children and grandchildren. This is a quality-of-life issue. Let’s make it happen.



Abolish exchanges

“Train wreck.” It’s becoming the bipartisan description for Obamacare.

Premiums are doubling or worse. Taxes are going up. Health care costs are rising.

Now we face the Oct. 1 deadline for the creation of the exchanges where those needing insurance can shop for a health care plan. According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, there is no guarantee this exchange will be ready. Kansans have no clue what these plans will cover or how much they will cost. Neither does the Obama administration.

That’s why I have introduced a bill that will abolish these exchanges and end the individual mandate if not ready when required by law. The Obama administration has already admitted the employer mandate isn’t ready, so it has been delayed, conveniently past the midterm elections.

I’ve worked to repeal and replace Obamacare since day one. We cannot afford this train wreck.


Washington, D.C.

Crazy train

So, Charles Koch is trying, through a media blitz, to get the public on board his train to Crazy Town (July 10 Eagle) – the same old trickle-down, social Darwinian responses to income inequality and political oligarchy. If we give the big boys even wider latitude in externalizing costs of business onto the backs of the public (that’s his notion of the value of eliminating legal protections to public health and the environment), then everything will be fine.

We ain’t buying a ticket on that train.



Open more offices

I was born here, married here and raised a family here. I never cease to wonder why our city and state fathers do what they do.

Why do we only have one driver’s license office in Wichita? We have more than one car tag office and various other offices around the city for other city, county and state things we have to do.

They used to have more than one driver’s license office for years. Why was it reduced to one office in the northwest part of town? We don’t have fewer citizens now than then; we have more.

If we need more than one tag office, why shouldn’t the state have more than one driver’s license office? I use the computer to get my tags every year and to avoid the long lines.

What can we do to correct this situation? Maybe people should pay more attention to the candidates they vote for in the next election, and get some people in office who can change some of the ways that things are done.



Heroic efforts

Beekeepers Bill and Candy Vinduska are heroes for their efforts not only to sustain our food supply but to educate (“Saving honeybees, one hive at a time,” July 7 Eagle).

Thanks to reporter Roy Wenzl for another excellent piece of journalism, helping the Vinduskas educate people about the importance of bees and how manufactured pesticides and the lack of diversity in modern agriculture are killing them.

I appreciate Candy Vinduska’s attitude that criticizing or lashing out at the Monsantos of the world is not a good idea. Instead, she urges education and persuasion. As more and more people develop allergies and sensitivities to pesticide-laden food and search out organically grown, non-genetically modified food, the marketplace will decide.

I just hope it’s not too late for the bees.


El Dorado

Ban bonfires?

After years of leading the crusade on global warming, West Coast hippies are aghast because the South Coast Air Quality Management District wants to outlaw their beach bonfires. It says that a bonfire emits as much pollution as a diesel truck driving more than 500 miles. Now that sounds like an “inconvenient truth.”