Letters to the Editor

Letter on escaping poverty, Jody Adams, death penalty, Peterson Elementary School, art and book fair

Training, friends key to escaping poverty

Recent focus on the poor, in the Legislature and the media, prompts me to bring a highly effective program to reader attention. Research indicates individuals move out of poverty because they are intrinsically motivated to do so and are provided with resources and support (other than monetary) from knowledgeable friends. This is the philosophy behind Circles USA, a nationally recognized, highly effective program that provides training for those wishing to escape poverty (“circle leaders”), and those willing to walk with them on their journey (“allies”).

This volunteer-driven initiative is designed to assist communities in reducing poverty. Wichita Circles Network currently operates two locations and is in the process of establishing a third.

The 18-month program fosters intentional friendships between people from different economic classes. Circle leaders are assisted in setting personal, financial and educational goals. Allies provide support and assistance in accessing resources that circle leaders may not know exist.

While statistics show two to five years are required to move individuals out of generational poverty, the Circles program has been shown to set people on the path needed to accomplish this goal.

Any person or group wishing to learn more about Circles training and volunteering opportunities – and the resulting rewarding experiences – should contact Allison Celik, Wichita Circles Network coordinator, at allison.celik@gmail.com.



Students will suffer

I have had four daughters play college basketball, including one for Wichita State University women’s basketball coach Jody Adams. I have my own opinion on her “coaching philosophy.”

Regarding the joint statement released by WSU on May 5 (“Adams, WSU agree to changes for women’s basketball program,” May 6 Sports): If I were in Adams’ shoes and WSU were trying me in the court of public opinion before it had its case established, I also would have shown up for the meeting with WSU officials with my pet rattler (attorney Alan L. Rupe). I would be ready to eat WSU’s lunch.

I believe WSU got what it bargained for, and the students will continue to suffer for the greed of a winning program.



End death penalty

I am opposed to Kansas continuing to support the death penalty.

The cost of the death penalty to our society is financially astronomical. The possibility for multiple appeals and the extra preparation and separate sentencing phases for capital cases increase the cost. In 2014 the Kansas Judicial Council study found that defense and district court costs are three to four times higher for trials in which the death penalty is sought. The impact of the death penalty on communities resulted in increased costs to county budgets and local taxes.

The emotional cost cannot be calculated in terms of a dollar amount. The long appeals process keeps attention on the crime, and causes victims and their families to relive the most painful days of their lives.

Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., states that “the death penalty is not about whether people deserve to die for the crimes they commit” but rather: “Do we deserve to kill?”

Kansas should replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.



Thanks, Peterson

My youngest grandchild will graduate this year from Peterson Elementary School. What a wonderful elementary experience we’ve had. Everyone at Peterson gives 100 percent educating students – not only the teachers but the entire staff. They make learning fun.

Thank you, Peterson, for teaching and molding your students and for preparing my grandchildren for middle school and the future.



Book, art fair disaster

Our family (along with other Wichita residents) have a tradition for 20-plus years of spending Mother’s Day at the Wichita Art and Book Fair. When it was announced that it would now be held at the Wichita Art Museum, I was happy. What a wonderful idea.

Not so. It was a disaster. If you went, you know of what I speak.

The ballroom under the beautiful Chihuly chandelier was filled with crappy old books, not beautiful art. The only art, such as it was, was hidden. We had to have someone unlock the elevator to take us to the basement, which is where the few pieces of art were horribly displayed. There was not an artist in sight.

When I complained, I was told that this is how it used to be. Not true. At Century II and back in the day at the museum, they had tents set up outside and the artists were there.

If I were an artist wishing to sell my art, I would not come back to Wichita. Please bring back the Wichita Art and Book Fair. We miss it.



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