Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor (Oct. 2, 2019)

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Riverfront plan is more than Century II

Think big. That’s the challenge to Wichitans as the public input and engagement period continues for the development of the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan. This is a rare opportunity to contribute to a 50-year vision and plan for this prime public space.

I’ve joked with friends that the quickest way to start a fight is to suggest that Century II should come down. The only thing we know at this time is that city will not renovate it for performing arts.

Look beyond the fate of Century II. Instead, think about what the riverfront can or should be. Here’s my short list: Gathering space for community and cultural events and festivals; performing arts and concerts - indoors and out; recreation in all its forms, whether land or water; wandering; relaxing; eating; shopping; drinking - fun for the whole family. The riverfront should be a destination for all of Wichita to enjoy and a showcase for visitors, conventioneers, those relocating to Wichita and one way to stem out-migration.

Millions of dollars have been invested in downtown living, retail and commercial space. Add to this the new ballpark/gathering space, the Delano catalyst project and the untapped opportunities to “activate” the river. I call this critical mass.

Engage in the process in person at a RLMP event or contribute your thoughts riverfrontlegacywichita.org.

Craig Plank, Wichita

Pray for President Trump

Please let the people of the World (and especially Democrats) know that we are to pray for our President and not try to tear him apart all the time! Trying to run this country is a really tough job. He's done more for the American people than any presidents since FDR.

Gerald L. Hohman, Wichita

Water plant behavior appalling

Our water plant and systems could fail at any moment and what do we learn from an Eagle? The mayor has manipulated the process of awarding a bid for a new plant and skewed the choice to friends. It isn't just that he sent email after email, held meetings with the company leaders and accepted a $1,000 entry fee to a posh golf tournament as a gift. That all is disgusting and swarmy.

Worse is that he and others on the City Council manipulated the bidding process itself and shifted to a low-bid choice. So, our water system, which could fail at any moment, will be replaced by a company who submits the lowest bid. Thanks, Mayor Longwell. Yet again you demonstrate your low opinion of Wichita residents in general.

Don't go with a company with proven experience. Go with a company that consults with the people who oversaw the Flint, Michigan, debacle. Go cheap. Throw the deal to friends and assume that no one will know or care or be able to do anything about what you have done if they find out.

The arrogance, cynicism, and smugness of your behavior is appalling.

Vernette Chance, Wichita

Support Kansas mental health needs

According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six U.S. children aged 2–8 years (17.4%) has a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, Kansas ranks 8th in the nation of the highest suicide rates of young people ages 10 to 19. Social workers serve a critical role in our schools. The 2018 and 2019 Kansas Legislature enacted a school mental health pilot, which enhances the connection between school districts and community mental health centers.

Kansas needs more clinically trained social workers and case managers to help students. Gov. Laura Kelly signed SB 15, legislation that provides licensure reciprocity for social workers relocating from other states. This new law will make it easier for more social workers to work in Kansas.

Kansas social workers are ready and able to meet the needs of children and families. Join us, the National Association of Social Workers – Kansas Chapter, to support policies which support the challenging mental health needs of Kansans.

Wendy Funk Schrag, Newton