Letters to the Editor

Letters on highway deaths, downtown arena, ‘The Interview,’ GOP reality, allergy drug

Highway deaths linked to phones?

Regarding “Fatal crashes spike after speed limit climbs to 75 mph” (Dec. 26 Eagle): The reporter should investigate for a correlation between the increased highway deaths and the proliferation of smartphone use by drivers.

Data from Statista indicates that smartphone use in the United States increased from 122 million in 2012 to 144.5 million in 2013, and is projected to be 163.9 million by the close of 2014. This increase is over the same period cited by the reporter.

In my frequent trips on Kansas highways, I have noticed that many of the vehicles that drift from lane to lane are being driven by people who are using smartphones. An interesting finding might be that the problem is not the youthful driver texting while driving but baby boomers who are technologically challenged and trying to text while they drive.

STAN SEYMOUR

El Dorado

What benefits?

Arena boosts downtown” (Dec. 23 Eagle Editorial) claimed that Intrust Bank Arena has indeed brought benefits to downtown Wichita. But it offered zero evidence for the claim. Instead, it noted some positives that have no direct link to the existence of the arena.

The editorial’s claims were contrary to a news article that provided actual cases and real reporting on people who do business in the area (“5 years after arena opening, little development has followed,” Dec. 21 Eagle).

The editorial stated that “expectations clearly were unrealistically high for how the new venue might come to be surrounded by restaurants, nightspots and shops.” It was The Eagle editorial board and the arena supporters who propagated those claims.

Now the editorial board claims it is all worth it because concerts downtown improve the quality of life for Wichitans, and that more benefits are surely coming. I’m not holding my breath.

MATT BICKHARD

Derby

Replace reality

An insidious liberal habit has led many to unacceptable conclusions.

For example, we’ve had an unprecedented 57 consecutive months of job growth and are finishing the best year for jobs since the Clinton administration. President Bush’s trillion-dollar annual deficit has been slashed to less than half. The United States has experienced the strongest recovery of any nation affected by the financial meltdown.

Liberals see this as indicating the success of President Obama’s economic policies. But they do so because of their unhealthy dependence on reality, supported by factual data, and subjected to that insidious liberal process of logical reasoning.

It is the solemn duty of those of you who are true Republicans – not mere RINOs – to repeal and replace this reality wherever it raises its horrible head. If you are not the creative type, you can find plenty of help on talk radio and Fox News. They will help you understand how the Kenyan Muslim communist in the White House has destroyed the vibrant economy left us by George W. Bush.

The task will be a long and arduous one. I know you Republicans can do it, as your record on this has been outstanding.

ROBERT PECCHIONI

Wichita

Film irresponsible

Thanks to Davis Merritt for his excellent reflections about freedom of the press, cyberwar defense and Sony’s “pile of greed-driven rubbish” (“Why must we defend Sony’s juvenile junk?” Dec. 23 Opinion).

Sony’s film about the assassination of Kim Jong Un is spectacularly irresponsible. We would certainly condemn a North Korean film about the assassination of a living American president. The same holds for any such films produced anywhere in the world about current national leaders.

It is ironic that Sony scheduled “The Interview” to be released during the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the “Prince of Peace.” Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies. Sony, in contrast, invited the public to be entertained by a so-called comedy about the murder of an enemy. No Christian should defend Sony’s proposal to pollute Christmas by profiting from the imagined assassination of a living leader.

Freedom of speech must be preserved. But our defense of that freedom should not reduce us to silence in the face of irresponsible film companies that foster murderous hatred and violence.

JAMES JUHNKE

North Newton

Help for allergies

It seems as if everyone I know suffers from seasonal allergies or has a family member who does. The allergies were particularly bad this fall. It’s not surprising that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation named Wichita the second-worst city in America in its fall Allergy Capitals rankings.

My family, like many others I talk to, relies on pseudoephedrine to help us get through allergy season without constantly dealing with running noses and itching eyes.

Because this medicine has been so vital to our family, it is shocking to me that some groups within our state have been trying to limit our access to it. They believe that pseudoephedrine should be accessible only to those with a prescription, which would make it harder for people to get the drugs they need. I know many would have to take time off of work to go to the doctor. I do not believe increasing the steps necessary to obtain pseudoephedrine benefits our state and those hardworking citizens who live here.

For all Kansas allergy sufferers, I hope Kansas preserves access to safe and effective pseudoephedrine medicine.

ERIC MAKI

Andover

Letters to the Editor

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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