Letters to the Editor

Letters on health department, city-county cooperation, unlicensed teachers, Cal Thomas, GOP values

Health department a wise investment

Far too often, discussions of health and wellness begin and end with a focus on health care. We talk about changes in health insurance, advances in health care technology and new patient care models.

Yet for all the changes in our health care, one truth remains the same: No amount of caring for the sick or injured can equal the benefit of preventing health problems before they occur.

At the forefront for Sedgwick County has been the local health department. It plays a critical but often unrecognized role in promoting and preserving the health of our citizens, which also has implications on the business community.

A healthier workforce brings higher productivity, fewer workdays missed and lower health insurance costs. Healthy people live in healthy communities – and businesses flourish as a result.

As our community seeks to grow, develop and thrive, we must have a population secure in the areas of health and wellness. Funding for the county health department is on the chopping block. Tell the Sedgwick County commissioners that a strong public health infrastructure is essential to each and every one of us.

When it comes to local health departments, it is truly an investment with long-term value.

STEVE COEN

President and CEO

Kansas Health Foundation

Wichita

Need cooperation

Conflict between the Sedgwick County Commission and the Wichita City Council is part of our history. But past leadership led to the mergers of agencies that benefited the entire community. An example is the health department.

History also shows that much has been accomplished with private and government cooperation on local attractions and events, such as the Sedgwick County Zoo and the Wichita River Festival. The reason for such progress is that governments listened to each other and did not unilaterally change course.

As a longtime citizen of both Sedgwick County and Wichita, I urge the new majority on the County Commission to continue the cooperation to let both move forward in the future.

DOLORES CRUM

Wichita

Some exceptional

John H. Wilson’s commentary valuing teacher-education programs was well-argued and certainly protective of the status quo (“Licensed teachers better for students,” Aug. 2 Opinion). However, to not make an easy way for the exceptional – those well-educated men and women whose initial career path did not include education classes but who communicate easily with the young, who preside well from the front of a room, who possess those intangibles that create successful learning experiences, and who are quite bright – to enter into the public school classroom is foolish and prejudicial.

In my four decades of educating the young in public and private settings, my best colleagues were unlicensed – notably, a math teacher educated as a youth pastor and a third-grade teacher whose profession was hairstyling.

MIKE WITHERSPOON

Wichita

Thomas at it again

Columnist Cal Thomas is at it again (“Why selling baby parts should shock no one,” July 29 Opinion). Just as the video produced by a radically anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress was heavily edited, fraudulently obtained and aimed at suppressing Planned Parenthood with sensational “facts,” Thomas has his version of events.

Thomas has been certain for quite a while that we are all quite sinful and without hope, but this time he produced a potpourri of horror and fear.

“If we are living in an impersonal universe, if we are evolutionary accidents not endowed with certain rights by our Creator, if we are of no greater moral value than a hamburger, and if human value is to be assigned by the courts – then we are all potentially at risk of extermination should we become inconvenient or too expensive to sustain,” Thomas wrote.

It takes a leap to compare evolution with the Constitution, then fly to folks having the moral value of a hamburger, which is only assigned by a court, then on to everyone just about to be exterminated.

This warmed Thomas up, and soon he warned of “rationing medical care” and a “killing standard” for the elderly and sick, and finally mused about whether this led to the rise of the Islamic State. It was quite a distorted viewpoint devoid of reason and balance, but certainly no surprise from Thomas.

DAVE CROOK

Derby

GOP values?

Hearing these sanctimonious establishment Republicans trash Donald Trump makes me sick as they invoke their hallowed “Republican values.” What a joke.

These are the same Republicans who supported sending thousands of U.S. soldiers to die in an endless, decadelong, trillon-dollar Middle East “Vietnam,” with thousands more permanently disfigured, disabled and committing suicide. These are the ones who supported policies that sent much of our manufacturing sector to China and Mexico, allowed the Federal Reserve to virtually destroy our currency and voted us into a staggering national debt that now tops $18 trillion.

They are owned by the lobbyists for the megacorporations that wanted free trade for their windfall profits, the bankers and the military-industrial complex. Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, and Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and former Rep Todd Tiahrt are like-minded. There’s only one Republican value: love of money, the root of all evil.

Are the Democrats any better? I’m voting either for Trump or Democrat Bernie Sanders. Let’s send the old political faces into retirement.

JAMES L. McNULTY

Wichita

Letters to the Editor

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