Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor (Sept. 1): Harvey, crops, fire hydrants, grammar

Houston had no way to evacuate

I’m from Houston and there is no way the fourth-largest city in the U.S. could have been evacuated for Hurricane Harvey.

The loss of life would have been unbelievable if they would have put millions of people on the roads. Some areas of Houston flood in a heavy downpour and people living there know and should evacuate early.

I evacuated before Hurricane Ike. Some people don’t want to leave even when told to go. God bless Texas.

Dina Ward, Wichita

Creating perennial crops with less water

On Sept 21, I will be attending a program on perennial food crops that could be the salvation of the world.

It is interesting that most people who support paying Al Gore to stabilize the earth’s temperatures have not questioned the ethanol program, which is energy negative and is wasting our precious water supplies while stripping our top soil.

I implore anyone who claims to care about their carbon footprint to go to Salina on Sept. 22-23 and see the amazing work Dr. Wes Jackson has done to create perennial crops that use less water, less fertilizer and don’t send our precious top soil into the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone. Just Google “The Land Institute” and start the process back to sustainability.

Joe DuPont, Towanda

Hedrick for school board

I am writing in support of Julie Hedrick for the Wichita Board of Education. I had the opportunity over a long career with the Wichita school district to observe Board of Education members as they provided leadership for our schools. It is a big and important job and they are not paid for all of the hours that the put in. What they do is so important. Not only do their decisions impact our children, they ultimately impact the quality of life in Wichita.

Have you ever thought about what is takes to make a good board member? It is not that they have a particular expertise or a particular education or even job experience. It is important that they not have a personal ax to grind.

I have known Julie Hedrick for over 30 years. I have watched her work and worked alongside her on numerous occasions. She possesses the internal qualities of intelligence, compassion and a great work ethic needed to be a great board member. She cares deeply about our kids and will do the work necessary to do the job right. She will provide the positive oversight that the community needs.

Paul Longhofer, Wichita

Where’s the fire?

Kudos where kudos are due. This past Monday, I made a request of the city’s public works department to repaint a fire hydrant in front of our house which was showing its age. The estimate was that this might require 30-60 days to get onto the schedule and work accomplished. Fine, this clearly was not an urgent request.

Two days later, upon leaving the house, the first thing I spotted was a shiny look-like-new red and silver fire hydrant. I certainly don’t know if our request just happened to hit the sweet spot on the public works schedule, but this truly remarkable response is greatly appreciated by my wife and me, as well as our neighbors.

Al Higdon, Wichita

Not really a survey

The criticism of the Ron Estes questionnaire in Sunday’s Eagle was well done, but incomplete. In addition to the seriously flawed wording of the questions, the sampling technique was unsound as well.

Only persons who choose to do so participate in such a “survey.” This is referred to as a “volunteer sample.” Naturally the people most likely to complete and return the questionnaire are those who have strong feelings about its subject, especially if those feelings are negative or hostile. Also, those who are supporters of the congressman are more likely to return the survey, thus further skewing the sample. This phony survey was designed to produce the results the congressman wanted.

But the greatest flaw in the mailing was grammatical: subject verb disagreement. Item 3 asks, “Which of the two outcomes below concern you the most, in order?” The subject of the sentence is the pronoun “which”; it is singular, thus the verb must be “concerns,” not “concern.”

At a time when some members of the GOP are insisting that immigrants show a mastery of English, perhaps it is time to apply the same expectation to our elected leaders.

Michael Kelting, Newton

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