Letters to the Editor

Letters on wildfires, Estes, Thompson, safe sleep

Thompson
Thompson

Need resources to fight wildfires

According to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, only 4 percent of the once 170 million acres of tallgrass prairies in North America still exist. Kansas happens to be home to a majority of that 4 percent. And you know what happens in prairies? Fires.

Despite that obvious connection, the 2016 Kansas Forest Service budget was only $3 million, the lowest in the nation (March 26 Eagle). This state has seen some of the greatest wildfires in the country yet devotes very little resources.

The past two years have been especially bad. Kansans are using their own resources to fight fires while losing their farmland, houses and jeopardizing their health.

The great people of Kansas deserve better. They give everything to fight for each other. So why aren’t they given resources that can make the fight fair? It’s time to change.

Erika Doty, McPherson

Estes experienced

I support Ron Estes for the 4th District congressional seat. I hope and wish everyone could have a personal conversation with this man.

Estes worked as an engineer for many years, so he has a business and math background. He thinks and talks logically and is down to earth. He wants what is good for each of us and our economy.

Estes served as a consultant in several different industries. He knows financial and analytical systems and has improved efficiencies in the companies he has been involved with and at the county and state agencies he was elected to run. As Kansas state treasurer, Estes has saved Kansas hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Cheryl Helmer, Mulvane

Thompson cares

At the recent Wichita Crime Commission forum (March 24 Eagle), GOP congressional candidate Ron Estes said that the state treasurer has no control over the state budget. So I can only conclude that he has little experience with real governing and decision making. He basically disburses state funds in a very limited way.

What skills would Estes bring to a position that requires knowledge of and practice in working with the opposition, finding solutions to veterans’ issues, writing and presenting arguments in favor of or opposition to legislation, recruiting job creators, reading reputable sources concerning political and social issues, meeting with and listening to voters of both parties in District 4?

Democrat James Thompson has worked with veterans and understands their issues. With an Air Force base and a Veterans Affairs hospital in District 4, veterans are a significant client group for its representative. As an attorney, he is trained in writing arguments and presenting them effectively in defense of constitutional rights.

Thompson sends RSVPs for events in a timely fashion, shows up for forums and debates that are open and free to the public, and visits counties to listen and learn. He enters public discussions determined to respect all viewpoints and neither condescends nor panders to his audience And he does not use fake news as evidence.

Vernette Chance, Wichita

Sleeping safe

Local physicians heard recently from a safe sleep expert. It would be useful to spread the wisdom of this speaker.

The greatest risk is bed-sharing, which increases the risk of child death threefold. On the other hand, room-sharing without bed-sharing reduces the risk. Breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of death by 45 percent, and 73 percent if the baby is exclusively breast-fed.

Placing the baby on his back and avoiding soft surfaces, pillows and blankets are also important. Current political topics – such as national health programs that ensure universal prenatal care, reduced preterm birth rates, and longer maternity leaves – are important as well.

In light of President Trump’s effort to provide a improved substitute for “Obamacare,” the effort to reduce infant deaths should be a topic of consideration. Teaching new and future mothers the value of breastfeeding, room-sharing, and the dangers of bed-sharing would an easy and inexpensive initiative to increase health care. Both political parties would logically support these health care initiatives as comparable with their political beliefs.

Richard Gilmartin, Wichita

Letters to the Editor

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Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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