Efficiency study a lot of common sense
It was genuinely encouraging to see The Eagle editorial board finally express optimism about many of the state budget solutions that various national and state conservative policy experts have been recommending for years.
“Efficiencies might help fix budget woes” (Jan. 14 Opinion) referred to the “promising ideas” that were detailed in the efficiency report conducted by the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal.
Among the ideas were contracting with a private health insurer for state employees and/or retirees, consolidating several government offices and functions, and adopting a statewide procurement plan for school districts.
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The principal matter at stake is that citizens deserve efficient and accountable government – before the government asks taxpayers for more money. And while there is much to be hopeful about in this report, it’s not a shining example of efficiency when the Legislature paid more than $2 million for a spoonful of common sense.
However, what’s done is done. It’s just good to see others finally coming on board.
Jeffrey Romine, Wichita
Fear can be unhealthy
“Fear” is the kind of word that one can comprehend only from his own perspective. When one writes that “fear will destroy us,” what is the message?
The message is most likely one of precaution. Fear that is so irrational that it paralyzes is not healthy.
Caution and knowledge that we are surrounded by things that can cause us harm may lead us to wash our hands with sanitary soap, or drive defensively, or lock our doors at night, or even get earthquake insurance. But I don’t want to assume that every person with a hoodie is going to harm me, or a black child on a playground is dangerous, or every police officer is out to get me. I don’t want to assume that suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay will be more dangerous in a controlled federal or military prison in my state than they are in a similar facility on the tip of Cuba.
If I lived in constant fear that my cats might steal my breath while I sleep, then I should not have cats, or should get some psychiatric help.
John R. Maxwell, Wichita
Sanders is the best
The Democratic debates this campaign have been scheduled for the lowest number of viewers by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who co-chaired Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign. As the Democratic National Committee chairwoman feared when she scheduled only six Democratic debates (as opposed to 26 Democratic debates for the 2008 campaign), the more people who are exposed to Bernie Sanders, the more his poll numbers go up.
Sanders is currently ahead in the polls in New Hampshire and surging ahead in Iowa. Sanders’ popularity is not a result of mudslinging but is a result of his intelligence, honesty and positions on the issues.
Sanders is not beholden to Wall Street, nor to the military industrial complex. I believe he is the best candidate for president.
Carl Williams, Wichita
Winning political ticket
I may not have won at Powerball, but I do have a winning ticket: Donald Trump as president, Ted Cruz as vice president, Marco Rubio as secretary of state, Chris Christie as attorney general, and Hillary Clinton as inmate No. 3916 at the federal penitentiary in Florence, Colo.
Michael Mackay, Mulvane
Pot use change?
I see where Attorney General Derek Schmidt is looking into the problem of marijuana from Colorado flooding into Kansas. That’s probably a good idea, as pot is illegal here and legal in Colorado, so there might be a problem.
However, we should be wise as we proceed with this investigation. The other salient fact that we have to establish is whether or not legalization in our neighbor state has resulted in a significant increase in pot use here. If it has, we should move to protect our citizens. If, on the other hand, marijuana use is at about the same level it has always been, then our investment of legal and enforcement resources to curtail pot from Colorado won’t do much for our state. Instead, we might merely increase the market share and profits of the Mexican drug cartels. That end goal would not be worth our effort.
Steven C. Flanders, Larned
Check home for radon
Our old, dependable house is comfortably warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Why wouldn’t we feel happy and secure? Because our house had a dangerous secret in the basement. It was radon.
We hung a simple test ($6 from Kansas State extension office and elsewhere) in our basement after our daughter Beth was diagnosed with lung cancer. Based on the results, we had a pump installed that will run forever and rid us of that radioactive gas.
Beth was a nonsmoker. After her diagnosis, her Wichita home tested very high for radon, which is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. We share this story in her memory, hoping you will check your residence. K-State engineers believe that 1 in 4 homes has lethal levels of radon.
Margaret and Don Anderson, Winfield
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