Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor (Sept. 27): Open Streets ICT, anthem kneeling, Brandon Johnson

Open Streets ICT a good time

Thank you to Park director Troy Houtman, the city of Wichita, the Wichita Police Department, individual event sponsors and so many more for a safe and uplifting Open Streets ICT event. The sense of community Wichitans enjoyed on Sunday is an every-day possibility for this city, but we have to show up for the work if we want it to stick.

Consider the Monday after. Where did all the sidewalk cafés and confident bicyclists go? Where do the artists behind our new murals practice through the week? Why is Douglas Avenue again a 30-mph car thoroughfare when it could be an engaging pedestrian scene? Take your feelings from Facebook and articulate them in the official spaces asking for concrete feedback.

Find 10 people who share your view of the city. Each of you commit to two actions a month: send a letter, make a call or attend a meeting. Ask for what you want. If everyone engages two times monthly, diverse organizations will heari from constituents 20 times a month and you’ll have news and action items to share with your larger communities. We must show up together to ask this city to stay open.

Christina Calhoun, Wichita

Kneeling during anthem wrong

It is wrong for any United States citizen to take a knee during the National Anthem. It is wrong because people who do that are not suggesting a specific change, they are just being disrespectful toward the United States and everything it stands for. They are saying, “I do not respect or support the words of the national anthem or flag.”

I am all for freedom of speech. If you have strong feelings about an issue, take a stand. Make a sign. Participate in a protest march.

People who take a knee can only do so because thousands in the American military have died protecting everything embodied in the national anthem and flag.

Consider Arlington National Cemetery. There are more than 14,000 veterans buried there. All those veterans have something in common. They refused to take a knee.

We should all stand proud of our country and our Stars and Stripes.

Larry Houtz, Wichita

Johnson will work for District 1

I am a third-grade teacher in the Wichita school district. I deeply care for the future of Wichita. Once I became involved in local politics, I made it my mission to find other leaders who also have high expectations for the city. After researching several candidates, I didn’t find many platforms that aligned with my views of Wichita’s potential. That is until I met a candidate for City Council District 1.

Brandon Johnson’s campaign is driven to advance opportunities in the heart of Wichita and his track record proves it. He has been working diligently on improving the lives of Wichitans for over 12 years. Johnson wants to improve District 1 on many different levels, including growing and attracting living-wage jobs and career opportunities, supporting and expanding current urban infill effort, intelligent investment of our city’s money, and an increased quality of life for our residents.

Brandon is truly for the people. Take the time to attend one of Johnson’s town hall meetings or events and see for yourself, he is the City Councilman that Wichita needs.

Sarah Johnson, Wichita

Parent involvement crucial for students

With the first weeks of school quickly passing, classroom teachers are becoming better acquainted with their classes, including profiling the students they will be instructing this year. Every student is a unique challenge.

My decades-long experiences as a teacher-educator remind me about the single-most accurate predictor of a teacher’s successful interventions with not only the most challenging, but with every student: parent involvement and team-like collaboration.

As the first parent-teacher conferences are anticipated, classroom teachers anxiously await the responses from parents as suggestions are explained about how this teamwork will benefit students. Too frequently is the occasion when parents take lightly the notion that everyone within this parent-student-teacher team will profit from active and continuing communication.

Students simply must be made aware, convinced that parents respect and esteem the schooling initiative. The very best way a parent can demonstrate this is by partnering with the teacher, by speaking positively about education, by attending school functions, and by reinforcing the teacher’s identification of helpful ways to be supportive.

Teachers deserve and welcome parental involvement; students are the notable benefactors; families will enjoy a more pleasurable home environment; and this school year will be memorable.

John Wilson, Wichita

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