Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on McConnell, airport name, Legislature jokers, same-sex marriage, China trade, ‘12 Years a Slave’

McConnell vital to local economy

I read with interest The Eagle’s March 2 feature sections on the economic outlook of Wichita. As a member of the Friends of McConnell executive committee and chairman of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce tanker task force, I would like to highlight another important financial impact that will provide tremendous benefit to our community in 2014 as well as into the next decade.

Basing the new KC-46A tanker at McConnell Air Force Base will have a tremendous impact on the south-central region of our state. The more than $200 million capital expenditure budget is surely the largest financial stimulus in this area’s economy in a long while, and this is in addition to the more than $500 million annual impact that McConnell (active duty, Air Guard and reserve) already has on the Wichita metropolitan area.

Even during the economic downturn, McConnell has continued to develop capital projects, such as a $60 million runway and new base housing. Though the local media have provided coverage of this important development, we need to continue to highlight the fact that McConnell’s investment is vital to the health of our regional economy.



Wrong decision

I am truly saddened by the renaming of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport and its associated expenses (“Mid-Continent renamed in honor of Eisenhower,” March 5 Eagle). It is a travesty that the city of Wichita didn’t use this money to fund shelters for the homeless, plan city bus routes or enrich art programs. I am heavyhearted that our poor, homeless and hungry and our bus riders will suffer the consequences of this decision.

Pooh-pooh on the Wichita City Council.



Name an honor

Thank you, Mayor Carl Brewer and Wichita City Council members, for renaming the airport after Dwight D. Eisenhower (March 5 Eagle). He was a five-star general and president of the United States, and I believe it is an honor for the airport to be named after him.

The “backwoods” Kansas I have seen in the 20 years I have lived here originates with the governor and the Legislature. The good laws of Kansas are hidden by those who are hurting Kansans and whose bills would hurt the state if passed.



Top priority

I could almost visualize a tear in the eye of Wichita City Council member James Clendenin when I read his response to Wichitan Richard Harris’ attack on our city (“Mid-Continent renamed in honor of Eisenhower,” March 5 Eagle). Harris, it seems, feels that our city is the butt of jokes with Hollywood scriptwriters. Harris’ anti-Wichita remarks “stirred in my heart,” Clendenin stated. “Wichita is an amazing city, we need to act amazing, no matter the misperceptions some may have about us.”

Though I commend Clendenin for his praise of our fair city, I might point out that to some of us, an “amazing” City Council would not vote to spend $140,000 to rename an airport after a former president, no matter how worthy of that honor, when that city is home to thousands of hungry children. Kansas Food Bank director Brian Walker has described these children, who don’t know day to day where the next meal is coming from, as “food-insecure.” Walker disclosed that 30,000 of the 162,000 food-insecure Kansas children are residents of Sedgwick County.

I, for one, view a truly amazing city as one whose top priority would be to make it the home of zero food-insecure children.



Vote out jokers

The Legislature is in session. The pandering has begun. Bills will be introduced, voted on or tabled, only to be electioneering fodder.

Instead of the real stuff, such as expanding Medicaid, here is what we will get: abortion, guns, taxes, unfunded local mandates, discrimination disguised as religious freedom, charter schools, opt-in for sex education, disenfranchisement.

Folks, wake up. Look at the laughingstock our state has become. We are a punch line. Many communities are paying more in taxes locally because the state is abrogating its duties. All because good people fail to vote.

Please, this year resolve to vote out the jokers. Let’s take a more moderate approach to legislation and make smart changes. The Republican Party has been hijacked by extremists. Maybe elect more Democrats and independents, not the one-issue politicians. When you start seeing the attack ads that are most definitely coming, don’t believe them. Remember that corporations now are free to donate unlimited dollars to the scoundrels, and soon individuals may be as well. Stop voting for these folks.


Bel Aire

Not a threat

Marriage is a civil occurrence/contract, not a religious one. A couple wishing to marry go to a local authorized civil government agency and register an intent to marry. They are issued a piece of paper/contract. On an agreed-upon date, the couple stand before an individual who has been given civil authority to read to the couple the stipulations of the marriage contract. They agree to these stipulations. This is witnessed by one or more individuals. All sign the paper issued to the couple. It is registered at a civil authority, and they are married.

A wedding is the party/ceremony associated with marriage. It can be as big or as small as the couple wish. It is at this point religion can be involved, or not. If the couple wish to be married in a religious setting, they may. If they want a member of the clergy to officiate, they can do so. If they don’t want this, the state has authorized others to administer the stipulations of marriage.

My point is to say that same-sex couples who marry are of no threat to others’ deeply held religious beliefs, to their marriages, to the civil contract of marriage, or to any individual religion.



Financing demise

I heartily endorse “China, U.S. elites” (March 2 Letters to the Editor), about the Chinese and Americans who are lining their pockets at our expense. I’d like to add fuel to those arguments.

As an old Navy man, I was taught that we needed a strong Navy to protect our trade on the high seas. Today there are few American flagships in foreign trade. Meanwhile, we have Chinese ships loaded with containers full of Chinese-made goods landing at our ports and ending up in our stores. As a consequence, China has swollen its balance of payments with dollars, euros and other hard currencies.

What to do with all that surplus? Well, the Chinese help finance our national debt, they have promoted their infrastructure, they have bought several of the world’s major ports, and they have built up their armed forces to the point where they are now bullying their neighbors in the Far East. They appear to be trying to build up their Navy and other armed forces to challenge us in the Pacific.

Is it possible that we are financing our own eventual demise?

In the meantime, I will continue to look for a shirt, a pair of shoes or a small appliance made in the U.S., but with little hope.



See Oscar winner

It was truly fantastic that the movie “12 Years a Slave” won the Academy Award for best picture. It only took Hollywood 86 years for a movie directed by a black man to win that honor.

The story is a moving portrayal of a free black man who was tricked into slavery. It is well-directed and well-acted – and Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for best supporting actress. The film also won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

Those who have not seen this great movie should see it as soon as they get the chance. It is superb on all levels.