Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on Wright Amendment, Korean War, Ike memorial, Zimmerman case, park trash

Wright Amendment anti-competitive

Congratulations to the citizens of Wichita on the end of the federal restrictions on flying into Dallas Love Field (July 21 Business Sunday). This very anti-competitive provision was inserted into law by former House Speaker Jim Wright as a way to direct more passenger traffic to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, closer to the speaker’s hometown of Fort Worth.

Over the years, this meant much higher airfares for Kansans, as Southwest Airlines could not offer service from Wichita to Dallas and points beyond. While a congressman (1977-95), I introduced the initial legislation to repeal this law, and I am delighted to see that, because of the efforts of the Kansas congressional delegation and many citizens, the law’s last restrictions will expire next year.

I’m glad to see Southwest now offering convenient and cost-efficient service from Wichita through Love Field, in addition to its other service through Wichita.


Washington, D.C.

Remember war

Lately, there have been a lot of North Korean threats toward the United States. However, the 60th anniversary of the 1953 cease-fire agreement will be observed and celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in Veterans Memorial Park, 339 N. Veterans Parkway (formerly Greenway Boulevard), between Second Street and Central Avenue.

In addition to the cease-fire anniversary celebration, we will dedicate and place a Medal of Honor plaque for recipient Father Emil J. Kapaun on the Medal of Honor wall at the Kansas Korean War Memorial. The public is invited.



Kansas Korean War Veterans Association


Redo memorial

“Ike memorial overdue” (July 19 Eagle editorial) seemed to suggest that getting the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial finished is more important than getting it right. But a design that’s become as contentious as this one has already failed to create the unifying national symbol Eisenhower’s legacy demands. And this design is contentious for good reason – the Eisenhower Memorial Commission used a selection process that was so unusual and undemocratic that it is being investigated by Congress.

We should return to the standard practice for designing national memorials and redesign this one through a public competition that is open to everyone. That is the only way to restore consensus to the memorial of a leader who fought and governed through broad agreement.


New York City

Right to defend

The president of the United States believes that we should assume the best from everyone. He and the U.S. attorney general also seem to think that, should our assumptions prove inaccurate, there is no need for anyone to be able to defend himself or, God forbid, have legal protection if it comes to a life-or-death situation. What?

The death of Trayvon Martin is a tragedy – no doubt about it. But as long as we’re making all of these assumptions, why doesn’t the press explore the possibility that George Zimmerman is telling the truth about the evening and how he believed he had to shoot Martin – or “gun down” Martin, as I’ve heard it expressed in the media on several occasions? A jury thought there was enough doubt about that night that it could not convict him of murder or a lesser charge of manslaughter.

The president and the media are doing the same great job with race relations that they have done with gun control. It’s July 2013, and people are still hoarding guns and ammo at record levels.



Where are rights?

Here’s a viewpoint concerning self-defense that few seem to be considering in the Trayvon Martin case:

Imagine you’re a young guy walking to your cousin’s house one night. You carry some candy. Suddenly you notice that a strange man is following you. You defend yourself against him, which is your legal right. Unfortunately, however, the playing field is not level: He is carrying a gun. He shoots you, and you die.

Where are your rights now? What makes the playing field so radically unfair?



Keep parks clean

Wichita (and Sedgwick County) have some of the best parks around. I especially love Riverside Park. You can walk your dogs, have a picnic with your family, play in the fountains, play Frisbee golf, see a concert, have a wedding reception and so much more.

It was cool on Sunday morning, so my son and I went over to the Frisbee golf course to have some father-and-son time. We took two golf disc Frisbees and numerous grocery bags. When all was said and done, we came home with two Frisbees and five grocery bags full of litter and garbage.

The Wichita Park and Recreation Department does a fantastic job maintaining these wonderful urban greenbelts. Please come and enjoy them with family and friends, but take your trash with you or find a waste receptacle. Bottles, cans, wrappers, diapers, cigarette packs and everything else left behind make our parks unsightly and polluted.

When I see people littering, I (kindly) ask them to pick up their litter and find a receptacle. Remember to “keep our city pretty” while enjoying what it has to offer you.