Don’t lay barriers to child safety
Recently, a young woman chose to leave her newborn child at a Wichita hospital, and the story was heavily covered in the local media (Jan. 23 Local & State). Opinion on the “correctness” of her choice is irrelevant.
Since when is it permissible to violate someone’s right to medical privacy if an adult patient leaves a hospital against medical advice?
Why shame the young woman publicly by splashing her photo all over the news media – especially when it is legal to anonymously leave a child with designated people, including medical staff, under Kansas newborn protection laws?
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At a time when good people in my field of social work and all over the community are working tirelessly in child protection, I find it morally repugnant that we have just laid a new barrier at the feet of women faced with difficult choices, and stacked one more roadblock in the way of keeping children safe.
There is a huge problem in society when you tell a young girl there is a safe harbor to leave your baby at a fire station, hospital or other safe place, and then we plaster her picture on all the media sites.
On top of that, we look down on kids who bully, yet as grown-ups we make mean comments and allow mean comments on a story about a woman who was doing the best she could at the time.
We are all connected. What we do to her we are doing to ourselves. At any given time we can be part of the problem, but that also means we can be part of the solution.
If there were ever a time on the planet that we needed to shift our thinking, it’s now. Think before your speak.
The Kansas Chamber of Commerce recently began targeting Kansas’ renewable portfolio standard in the Legislature, blaming it for raising rates. This happened just as Kansas City Power & Light announced its purchase of 400 megawatts of wind energy to lower rates $600 million over 20 years.
These contradictory statements on wind-energy costs result from the chamber’s reliance on conjectural data generated by an out-of-state, Koch-affiliated think tank asserting the RPS drove rates up 38 percent. Utility and Kansas Corporation Commission empirical data unquestionably refute the chamber’s claim, as they cite U.S. Environmental Protection Agency coal regulations as the main component of the increase costing $3.3 billion, not the approximate 1 percent rise from the RPS.
Expecting criticism, Kansas Chamber CEO Mike O’Neal emphasized the chamber is not anti-wind energy. Yet the chamber’s fallacious RPS cost data aimed at denigrating wind energy says otherwise. Such disingenuousness calls into question the chamber’s credibility regarding numbers used in its other agendas.
With Gov. Sam Brownback’s support, the RPS has worked as intended, providing jobs and reducing energy costs. The Kansas Chamber chooses not to face this reality as it arbitrarily attacks the wind industry by employing ideology instead of facts.
Unaccustomed to the mores of segregation years and years ago (in the 1940s), my mother, sister and I boarded a bus in Oklahoma. Wanting us to sit together, and since seats were only for two, I suggested we go to the back of the bus where there was a long bench and we could sit side by side with plenty of room. Imagine our chagrin and embarrassed faces when two African-Americans appeared in front of us with as much surprise on their faces as we had. The truth dawned, and my mother immediately scooted us out and away to seats closer to the front, where we sat uncomfortably, for many reasons, for the remainder of the trip. I wonder to this day what other passengers thought.