Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor (July 8)

Ready for change

Well before the mural frenzy streaked through the city of Wichita, it sparked at the corner of 25th Street North and Arkansas.

Starting at Spring Break 2006, hundreds of volunteers converged on the corner as if operating to restart the heart of the Northend. Kathy Hull humbly led the charge with her blueprints in hand.

Volunteers, as young as 5 to great-grand abuelitas, walked to this wall to leave their mark. From first generation to fourth generation, Northenders came as far as their roots had taken them. Some Americorp, some veterans, some business owners and some just looking for change.

The experience of this mural was inspiring. After three months and thousands of hours of what seemed like delicate surgery, the transformation was complete.

This mural has definitely earned its place and served its task well. Today, those 5-year-olds have grown up and they want to build upon that legacy. Rightly so, they should be allowed to set the new trend.

I am excited to see the new face of the corner store where I once spent my youth walking by, searching for inspiration. I’m pleased that others will continue to find it there.

Carlos Contreras, Plano, Texas

Amtrak not in it for the public

It took years of good-faith effort by public officials in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico to keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief on track, working with the BNSF, Amtrak and the U.S. Department of Transportation to obtain grants for track repair.

Much of the work has been done. Now Richard Anderson, Amtrak CEO, is threatening to renege on Amtrak’s pledge of $3 million toward the third TIGER grant of $16 million for repairs to a section of the tracks in New Mexico. The National Association of Railroad Passengers rightly calls this “a serious breach of trust.”

Anderson also wants to end Southwest Chief service at Dodge City by Dec. 31 and replace it with a bus to Albuquerque, eliminating rail service to Garden City; Lamar, LaJunta and Trinidad, Colo.; and Raton, Lamy and Las Vegas, N.M. There’s really only one reason to do this, and that’s to discourage ridership with a view to eliminating the Chief altogether.

The passenger train is not some quaint vestige of yesteryear. Other countries recognize that passenger rail is a vital means of transportation and are investing in new technology, while our government seems bent on dismantling the train service we do have.

Mary Nelson, Kinsley

Education department gets bad rap

Blake Shuart’s July 2 editorial “DeVos still isn’t getting it” lacks any logical argument about why he thinks she isn’t.

No experience as an educator or personal exposure to public education does not logically lead to a conclusion that she is unqualified. President Donald Trump had no political experience prior to becoming president and look at the progress he has made with this country.

Teachers have been buying their own classroom supplies for decades. DeVos didn’t create this problem, but maybe she can solve it.

Our students have been lagging behind the rest of the world in numerous academic areas for years while we have been doing the same things over and over with respect to our educational system and expecting different outcomes. Isn’t this the classic definition of idiocy? Trying something different is worth a try and is not likely to make matters worse in an already failing system.

If Shuart would look closely at what DeVos is striving to accomplish, it is not to jettison the public school system but to inject competition into education. The well-proven fact is competition improves outcomes, particularly in a capitalistic environment, and this country is still a model of capitalism.

Loren Martindale, Wichita

Leave and the lips loosen

When a member of one party says something about the opposing party, you might chalk it up to partisanship. But when a member of one party says something about their own party, it’s probably true.

For example, when Sen. John McCain says, “This is how a country becomes a dictatorship,” referring to President Trump’s disparagement of the press and the FBI; Rep. Charlie Dent disagrees with the president; and Rep. Kevin McCarthy acknowledges Benghazi investigation’s purpose was to hurt Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers. These Republicans are standing up for the truth and trying to tell the American people that Trump is a danger to our country and our democratic government.

Believe them. They are all leaving Congress and are now free to tell the truth without fear of losing their seats by speaking out against the president.

Sandy Love, Maize

Wieners and losers

Since when is gobbling down 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes categorized as a sport? I noticed that it was reported in the Sports section of this morning's paper.

This is about as appropriate as ESPN2 televising Texas Hold ’em tournaments.

Jim Amick, Wichita

Finding out new things

It is a sad thing to get old in America. Here, in the eighth decade of my life, I have discovered that so much of what I thought I knew about America is not true, or is at least in doubt.

How did I discover this? In a most insignificant and ridiculous of ways. I have believed for these many years that I could put a letter in my mailbox by the curb, raise the flag, and the mail person would pick up that letter and send it on its journey. You can imagine my surprise as I was mowing my lawn to see the mail person stop at my neighbor’s box, leave mail, and proceed past my box to my other neighbor and leave mail. No mail, no letter pickup for me.

At the post office, I was told it was up to the carrier whether they stopped to pick up outgoing mail when the customer was not receiving mail. The nice lady behind the counter was courteous as she informed me that I should contact Washington to express my disdain for their crappy policy.

Contact Washington? Can I just get my mail picked up?

Bill Landis, Wichita

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