Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on greyhound racing, donations, bike lanes and a better-looking city (April 7, 2019)

Greyhound racing

Greyhound racing and pari-mutuel betting in Kansas began in 1989 with the opening of the Wichita Greyhound Park and The Woodlands in Kansas City. Camptown Greyhound Park opened six years later in Frontenac. All three struggled financially and eventually closed.

This year, greyhounds face a new threat. Proposed legislation would permit sports wagering at the state’s three greyhound tracks. Although the definition of sports wagering in the legislation excludes bets placed through sports wagering platforms, live greyhound racing would be required thanks to the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act and Kansas Parimutuel Racing Act.

Surveys show a majority of Americans, including Kansans, believe greyhound racing to be cruel and inhumane. It has been well-documented that race dogs have been exploited, with cases ranging from physical abuse, starvation, performance-enhancing drugs, and a lack of basic veterinary care. If greyhound racing were to return to Kansas, so would the suffering of hundreds of dogs.

I believe it is important that legislators consider the facts when it comes to the sports wagering bills being debated. Greyhound racing is a cruel and inhumane sport that has been rejected in 41 states. Our legislators should not pass any bills that encourage the return of greyhound racing by allowing racetracks to offer sports wagering.

Randi Carter, vice president of Beauties and Beasts, Inc.

Delta donation

In response to “Delta Dental of Kansas announced it is donating $500,000 to the Kansas Food Bank” (March 21 Eagle), is this supposed to be a positive public relations move? As a dentist and current president of the Wichita District Dental Society, I hope Delta Dental of Kansas policy holders are aware a portion of their premiums are going to charity rather than covering their diagnosed dental treatment. The specific charity is not the issue. When I read Delta Dental of Kansas CEO Michael Herbert’s comment, “the $500,000 donation comes from an excess of revenue over expenses,” my left eyebrow touched the ceiling. Delta Dental of Kansas making charitable donations with insurance premium funds is ludicrous. Member dentists have been disgruntled with Delta Dental of Kansas for many years now. Policy holders should be too.

Adam Lukens, Wichita

Downtown bike lane

If the bike lane is against the curb and the parked cars form a buffer between the traffic lane and the bike lane, the reaction zone for the bike rider when someone opens the passenger door of the car is non-existent. This is very dangerous as a passenger in the car is generally not able to use the passenger-side mirror without ducking their head to check for approaching bicycle traffic. This bicycle lane placement means the bicycle rider must contend with not only the curb, but trees, trash containers, sign posts and benches in order to avoid the opening car door.

At least there is some room to maneuver when the bike lane is on the driver’s side of the parked car. Also, the driver-side mirror is easily usable to see approaching bicycle traffic. A wider bike lane and narrower car lane would improve the bike car mix if the driver’s side door is opened.

Ed Koser, Wichita

Nicer Wichita

We just returned from a trip to Austin, and if Wichita wants to be a great city, we should do more to clean it up. Austin has very few yards full of broken down fences, cars, old toys and dead trees and bushes, and rarely did I see a house that needed painted. It was easy to see how proud of their city they are. If Wichita has ordinances for homeowners and business owners, why are they not enforced? No wonder young people don’t want to stay here.

Sheryl White, Wichita