Feel good about yourselves, Wichitans
Just over two years ago I received an assignment to McConnell Air Force Base to command the wing’s logistics unit. While I was thrilled about the job, I can’t say I was excited about moving to Wichita. I should have been.
Wichita is an absolutely amazing community, and Wichitans make it so. From the friendly nature of its residents, who go out of their way to make our airmen feel appreciated and welcomed, to the business and civic leaders who invest heavily to provide a remarkable amount of fun things to do — Wichita punches way above its weight.
As much as we airmen hear “thank you for your service” from Wichitans, I thought it was appropriate on behalf of all the men and women who pass through the gates of McConnell but never find the time to write to say thank you for making Wichita wonderful.
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Lt. Col. Cliff Bayne, Wichita
Earth Day reminders
On Earth Day, we should think about all that the Earth provides us. Our use of the Earth's resources have caused the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to rise to over 400 parts per million. Research has shown that carbon dioxide concentration must be reduced to below 350 ppm to keep the temperature of the Earth from rising above 2 degrees Celsius.
It is imperative that we do so. The National Research Council predicts that a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius will reduce grain yields by more than 20 percent and begin to reduce the yield of soybeans and rice, the main staples of many diets.
Geo-engineering proposals to remove CO2 from the air are expensive and unnecessary. Plants have been efficiently removing CO2 from the air and sequestering it as organic matter in the soil for thousands of years. Adopting sustainable farming practices, such as regenerative agriculture, will help preserve the organic matter in the soil and capture CO2 from the atmosphere.
We must also reduce the amount of CO2 going into the air. The best way to do that is by adopting a carbon fee and dividend system as proposed by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Jenny Siemens, Park City
The aim of guns
Recently in California, an unarmed black man was shot eight times by two police officers. Whether or not this was justified is debatable, but I would point out another disturbing fact.
Over the course of roughly five minutes, a total of 20 shots were fired. These officers presumably were trained and qualified to carry and use their weapons. Additionally, all parties involved were clearly identifiable as suspect/law enforcement because the police were in uniform.
Even with this overwhelming advantage, only 40 percent of the shots hit the intended target. Tell me again how arming teachers is such a good idea.
Danny Clemmer, Wichita
What children see
I spent young years in the early 1950s as an Air Force brat in a European country. I remember drills — duck under your desk, cover your head with your arms/hands and wait for a bomb falling. I am almost 67 and remember it vividly.
The fear our children, my grandchildren and their parents are forced to endure in this day and age is simply unforgivable. I lived for four years in the shadow of the “bomb,” in a place where trucks trolled the streets nightly looking for “illegal” receivers; yet I lived at a supposedly safe Air Force base.
What kids experience in their younger years stays with us forever. Our kids, their parents and our society deserves better than we are getting.
The United States was never envisioned to be the ultimate choose your own weapon, armed to the teeth society it has become. We have military, we have police; why do citizens have to arm themselves with military style weapons?
Shoot a bird, deer or elk with one and you won’t have enough left to mount, yet alone eat. So what is the reason?
Vicki Widner, Wichita
Thanks to Moran
When a member of Congress does a standout job on behalf of their constituents, it’s important that they be recognized. This is the case with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and his work to ensure that the bill to fund the government that passed Congress in March included a major increase in funding for medical research through the National Institutes of Health.
Research funded by NIH improves health, saves lives and offers hope to patients and families affected by disease. Medical research funded by the NIH touches the citizens of Kansas in another way.
According to an economic analysis by United for Medical Research, NIH-funded research supported 1,734 jobs and $284.6 million in economic activity in Kansas last year alone, proof that investing in NIH research is good for our health and our economy.
We hope that all Kansans will join us in thanking Moran for supporting increased funding for medical research. He knows that there is no better return on investment than research that improves health, saves lives and supports our economy.
Julie Crowe, Lawrence,
and John Reuss, Lenexa
Put a name on it
All Kansans should demand that legislation include the names of the sponsors and authors. Additionally, the legislators who use the gut-and-go technique of writing bills should be removed from office.
The Eagle could make a lot of headway in this direction by requiring Opinion Line writers to sign their names.
Harry Taylor, Derby
On behalf of squirrels
A squirrel must sometimes travel via trees, high wires, fence tops, across lawns being chased by dogs and cats, cross streets dodging cars, bicycles and people, just to drink from the same water hole. Then go through the same thing to get back to the food.
Is it any wonder that from a perch high in a tree that a mother squirrel spies people uncovering above-ground swimming pools and other people setting up wading pools, filling them with water? She must think this is a lot closer and a whole lot less dangerous until she finds herself clinging to the side of the pool first by two hind legs, and then by one leg, trying to stretch another inch to reach the water — and then falls in and drowns.
Take preventable action to this problem by anchoring an old towel, limb or rope over the side so a bird or squirrel can escape. The squirrels and I would appreciate it.
I love animals and birds. Well, maybe not so much the Canadian geese, and oh boy, I hate moles and gophers.
William Noland, Wichita
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