Farmers, ranchers respect the land
Pleased with the recent sightings of storm clouds, puddles and blooming flowers, Kansans also should be happy to celebrate Earth Day. This year it marks the 45th anniversary of what we can consider the birth of the modern environmental movement.
This is also a special week for Sedgwick County farmers and ranchers who produce food, fuel and fiber. The original idea of Earth Day was to promote the conservation of our natural resources, so it is only fitting that on this day we showcase the progress of the local farmer and rancher.
Protecting and caring for this world can be a challenge, because some regard the land as a private commodity. Others, including farmers, ranchers and those who make their living from the land, view it as a community to which they belong. They love, respect and care for the land.
When land is used properly, it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of our community. Without these feelings of obligation to the Earth, the land we all love will not continue to produce important and essential products our society enjoys.
We can never throw away or limit the tools that have provided so much for so many. Let’s remember our annual commitment to the successful and wise use of our life-giving soil. We will never outgrow the land.
Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association
Much has been said about Kansas’ new welfare law, which limits how welfare assistance can be spent. The one thing that caught my eye was a comment by Chelsi Henry, an attorney and environmental policy adviser who once watched her mother stretch welfare checks (“Not all reactions negative to Kansas’ welfare bill,” April 15 Now Consider This). She wrote in the Washington Post “that nail salons and amusement parks aren’t necessities – and if you’re coming to taxpayers for help, then taxpayers are well within their rights to make sure you don’t spend their money frivolously.”
That is quite a statement. Now if we are going to hold the welfare recipients to this standard, what about the farmer who gets subsidies (taxpayers’ help)? His wife can no longer get her nails done, nor can he take his kids to Disneyland. The oil companies that get tax breaks (taxpayers’ help) should not squander their money on cruises, lavish bonuses to CEOs, etc.
There are many more examples of welfare, but only the ones who really need it are held to limitations on how they can use it.
I must remind many people (editorialists and the left) that the oversight by the state of Kansas regarding the new welfare rules is exactly what you have asked for – more government intrusion into our daily lives. The Affordable Care Act, tremendous regulations for businesses, telling us that coffee is “hot” and that gasoline is “flammable” – all are examples of how big government is in our lives more and more. Now our government clarifies welfare rules and the cries go up.
If it is truly a concern, then join the cause to make all of government smaller and less intrusive.
GERALD D. FRASER
Perhaps Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita, can teach poor people how to live rent-free, as he did for years. Living in a house owned by his dad’s church, O’Donnell first said he did “maintenance” around the church for rent, then said he didn’t. Then he said he paid rent; then he said he didn’t. So O’Donnell lived rent-free at the church members’ and taxpayers’ expense, because the house was not on the property tax rolls; it was listed as the church parsonage.
I am sure O’Donnell regrets taking advantage of others in order to live rent-free. Or is that kind of cheating OK for everyone?
“Kansas is now confronting annual budget deficits, severe cuts in education and road maintenance, and credit-rating downgrades,” wrote Bloomberg News columnist Barry Ritholtz (“Supply-side test is failing Kansas,” April 19 Opinion).
“Some in Topeka still in budget denial” was a headline earlier this year (Feb. 4 Now Consider This).
Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature have a defiant attitude to our Kansas Supreme Court.
And yet in election after election, Kansas voters continue to return the same political party to power. Will they ever learn?
WILLIAM L. HAYES
‘No’ on bond
Registered voters in USD 266 (Maize) will receive a mail-in ballot next month regarding two school bond issues totaling more than $83 million. Current property tax statements show three previous bonds already on the tax rolls.
There are several items included on the $70.7 million bond request that are unneeded. The $12.85 bond request for an aquatic center is absolutely a luxury that will create an ongoing expense for the community, including maintenance, staffing and liability.
Vote “no” on these issues and demand the new school board restructure the bonds into “needed” and “wanted” projects. Return our district to being more student-focused, and stop spending our money inefficiently.
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