Stand together in support of our community
There’s a great deal that makes me proud to be a Wichitan. Nationally recognized companies headquartered in our backyard. Being known as the Air Capital of the World. A thriving arts and cultural scene.
But I understand there’s room to improve in Wichita, similar to most cities.
The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s recent Chairman’s Lunch brought together city, county and chamber leadership to discuss four challenges that plague Wichita: business cycle, human capital, entrepreneurial and perception (Feb. 12 Eagle). While these challenges are complex, other communities have successfully tackled similar hurdles. I’m proud to report that our community’s leadership echoed that we, Wichita, will do the same.
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But is it just up to our elected officials? To the businesses that promote Wichita as a place to live and work? No. It’s up to every single one of us. We’re already making great progress in each of these four areas, but are we communicating the activities already underway? Are we encouraging our peers to participate? Inspiring our neighbors to get involved?
I ask you to stand in support of Wichita – the great community we are today, and the better community we’ll be tomorrow. Acknowledge that while we have work to do, we plan to do it together. Elected officials, business leaders and citizens working side by side will help us regain speed on a positive, economically impactful route.
Dan Powers, Wichita
Richard Crowson’s Feb. 14 editorial cartoon, featuring a child expressing his appreciation to a classroom teacher with a thoughtful valentine, was especially powerful when the reader can imagine the dedication of today’s teachers.
While Kansas legislators manage the state’s fragile budget with far too little regard for the impact upon educators’ workload and students’ learning opportunities, classroom teachers steadfastly meet with their classes in the same professional manner that most likely benefits every challenging learner.
As class sizes increase, special-needs students are paired with fewer paraprofessionals, testing remains the focus, scripted curriculum replaces the joy of creative instruction, and critics call for arbitrary merit pay schemes, the classroom teacher maintains a learning environment that benefits every student in every possible way.
Classroom teachers today face pressures and distractions that demand an unprecedented level of time, energy and resources. Yet those of us who frequent the schools can report that these professionals continue to perform their contracted responsibilities in exemplary fashion.
That prompts the question: When was the last time you sent a Valentine’s Day-type communication of any sort to a teacher?
John H. Wilson, Wichita
Pope told it like it is
As a Christian and a Catholic, I am so happy with Pope Francis for telling it like it is regarding Christianity and the Gospel.
For too long, so many of us Christians have justified all sorts of behavior that is really against the Gospel message. We profess being against abortion and think that is enough. But Jesus really called us to more – to see Him in the least, to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to care for the poor. We are to see ourselves as “One” and to unite with our brothers and sisters.
For those who take offense at the pope’s words, perhaps it is because we see ourselves to be guilty. The pope has taken risks for the poor, but even Jesus was not liked by many of the spiritual and civic leaders for calling it like it really was, and was put to death by them.
Christianity is a very difficult religion to live true to the Gospel values. I applaud those spiritual leaders who know this truth and have spoken out in the support of Christian values. I would hope that many more of us can do so.
Mary Ellen Loch, Wichita
Kansas legislators may soon be faced with the choice of upholding our American values or giving in to fear (“Religion and refugees before Kan. lawmakers,” Feb. 18 Eagle).
House Bill 2612 seeks to exclude refugees from Muslim countries. I appeal to those who represent us to take the moral high road and use this opportunity to explain to Kansans, including the many who have legitimate fears about security, why HB 2612 is wrong and will not make us more secure. Excluding refugees fleeing violence is a repudiation of the moral principles all true Americans hold dear.
Some will call suspension of immigration by refugees from Muslim countries “prudence.” Yet these lawmakers cannot cite a single instance of terrorism in the United States committed by a refugee. There have been complaints that the “vetting” process is inadequate. Yet lawmakers have not been able to cite a specific problem in the current “vetting” process.
I ask our legislators to search deeply into their hearts and examine their moral and spiritual commitments. I believe if they do so, honestly and fearlessly, they will recognize that HB 2612 is wrong and a perversion of values all Americans hold dear.
Harold Schlechtweg, Wichita
Glad for gas prices
I’ve been watching all the news concerning how gas prices are going down and how the petroleum companies and some other entities are hurting because of it. Hmmm.
Flash back to several years ago when the prices were heading skyward at a fast clip due to speculators and oil companies cashing in. At that time, people who depended on gas to help make their living were hurting. Where was the concern for them?
I’m sure that eventually OPEC and the oil companies will figure a way to make the price go back up. Until then I, like all Americans, am going to enjoy these low prices and take advantage of them. We’ve suffered enough.
Kent Keene, Andover
Congress recently tweaked the rules for filing for Social Security. In the grand scheme of things, it probably wasn’t a big deal.
What worries me, though, is how little input the public had. Congress obviously passed the changes in order to save money. Medicare benefits are sure to be next.
Here’s hoping Congress doesn’t try to fly under the public’s radar when it comes to tweaking those benefits. With health care costs out of control and neither party willing or able to corral those costs, maintaining Medicare benefits is key to making sure retirees have access to much-needed health care.
Pam Rosenberry, Wichita
Need is the same
The other night while leaving a grocery store, I was approached by a woman who needed a few dollars for something to eat. I had three extra dollars, so I was happy to help.
As I left for the car, I was approached by a couple of teens who expressed that she was only “ripping me off.” I asked whether they had time for a story. They said they did, and I began:
In April 2012, I lost my house and everything else in a tornado, including two vehicles. My father was kind enough to take me in until I got back on my feet. United Way helped me get and furnish an apartment a few months later, and my father lent me his van. When he passed away last year, I had to return the van to my stepmother. My wife and I had her car, which I pointed to, and I told the teens that we were getting a divorce and I would again be without a vehicle.
I told them that whether it’s a car or just a few dollars, when you need something, it’s all the same.
Kyle Dailey, Wichita
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