Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on music royalties, Sanders, Trump, Hileman and Biden (June 30, 2019)

Music royalties

Let’s hear it for BMI, ASCOM and blah blah. As a musician (of some questionable talent) myself, I understand these music publishing and copyright protecting organizations fulfill important roles for the songwriters and artists they represent.

But come on, let’s get real. Imagine trying to squeeze a few bucks from a bar that likely doesn’t even know the songwriter deserves to be paid for her work. Royalty payments would be a few pennies per play. “Fat Bottomed Girls” should squeeze an extra few bucks for Queen!

And what do the publishers want to go after cover bands for? Playing covers of the stars is how these bands scratch out a living. By playing famous tunes, the name-brand musicians might sell an extra record or download to the patrons where the covers were heard. Cover bands are paying tribute to the established songwriters. They all know they will need to sell their own music if they are to succeed in the big time. When they have their own music perfected, they will then publish and copyright their new music with BMI or the others.

Ironic the way the circle flows. Keep away, BMI!

C. Fuller, Wichita

Sanders and Trump

Wanna solve the border crisis? Elect Bernie Sanders as president. Send President Trump to Mexico to become their president. Implement an “open border” policy, because immigration will surge exponentially, except… people will now be traveling south. Bernie will turn America into another Venezuela as he taxes us into extinction to pay for free everything. Trump will draw Mexico out of the economic stone age into financial prominence.

Michael Mackay, Mulvane

Trish Hileman

Trish Hileman is running for the at-large position on the Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools, and I hope voters in USD 259 will vote for her in the Aug. 6 primary. As the parent of five school-age children, some with special needs, Trish would bring a vital perspective to the group that is tasked with ensuring that all children in USD 259 get a great education. She knows that identifying and adequately serving special-needs students is not just a legal requirement, but a moral and ethical imperative.

I am the parent of two Wichita Public School students, and I have gotten to know Trish Hileman through her work connecting parents to decisionmakers. She hosts regular meetings at her home and brings current board members and school administrators into contact with parents as stakeholders. Trish regularly attends board meetings and is the person teachers and parents seek out because she’s knowledgeable about district policies and knows how to get results. The USD 259 Board of Education, with its power over school policies, will benefit from her tireless advocacy on behalf of parents, students and teachers.

Jennifer Steinkamp, Wichita

Joe Biden

Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden seems to be following the Clinton strategy of limiting public contact. Let controlled exposure, name recognition and the illusion of moral fiber carry him to the Democratic nomination.

Blending into the weeds is a Darwinian survival skill Biden has mastered with scary proficiency. Biden’s team is attempting to project a “woke” image for an old-time politician who carries a ton of baggage.

His only remarkable feature is a willingness to jettison decades-old convictions on the turn of a dime.

From minute to minute who is the real Joe Biden? That has yet to be determined by the demands of political expediency.

Like the portrait of Dorian Gray, the Biden team knows the less of the real Joe people see the greater his odds for political survival become.

Gregory Bontrager, Hutchinson