Rather than install poles, bury more power lines
In the past year, Westar Energy has been installing huge metal power line poles within the city limits on the west side of Wichita. It is one of the most unsightly projects I have witnessed in quite a while.
The intersections of Tyler and Central, 13th and Tyler, and 13th and Maize are prime examples. They remind me of early 1900s photos of how areas of New York City looked with the advent of electricity, telegraph and telephone. All this seems to be happening with the Wichita City Council’s blessing.
If we can routinely bury utility lines in new developments, why can’t the Kansas Corporation Commission insist Westar have some kind of annual budget to bury lines in established neighborhoods? When can Kansans expect a visionary plan from Westar and the other power companies to have 70 to 90 percent of our power safely underground, instead of swinging in the air?
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Burying lines in existed neighborhoods would be expensive, but eventually the savings would be dramatic when weather-related repairs were significantly reduced. Even a 100-year plan to bury lines would be acceptable – certainly better than no current plan.
What do you think, Kansans? Do you want 90 percent of our electricity swinging in the air 100 years from now? Do you like what you see now?
Robert Randall, Wichita
‘Bernies’ are a force
I was proud that Kansas Democrats voted 67.7 percent for Bernie Sanders and only 32.3 percent for the corporate Democrat.
Though the whole caucus thing was tedious, the best part at my caucus was when we all trooped outside for the count. The Hillary Clinton bunch was just to the left of the door, and their number seemed to remain constant. As the Sanders supporters filed out, they had to push us out farther and farther into the cornfield as our numbers kept growing. It was a great feeling.
After years of being marginalized, we all looked around in astonishment at the mass of “Bernies.” We are a force.
The usual mantra is: “Dumb Kansas voters, you deserve what you get.” There are lots of sensible people in Kansas who fought hard to keep the GOP corporate/fundamentalist juggernaut out. We may have failed, but we keep trying.
If the Democratic National Committee doesn’t stop catering to Wall Street and realize it is supposed to be the party of labor, it will end up as superfluous as the GOP.
Mary Wehrheim, Wichita
GOP needs to unite
I am not a huge fan of radio talk host Glenn Beck, but he offered an opinion about Republican chances of winning back the presidency that I believe is right-on.
Beck opined that unless Republicans quit their infighting and unite behind a principled Republican conservative such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, they will lose the election to an unworthy Democrat, who will follow President Obama’s job-killing policies.
We now know Cruz took the Kansas caucus by storm, so is that a precursor of what’s to come?
Dan Goble, Wichita
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked other GOP presidential candidates to “prayerfully consider” dropping out of the race. “Prayerfully,” huh? How’s that been working out for us lately?
Did God tell former President George W. Bush, “Sure, invade Iraq at the cost of thousands of lives,” when he prayed about it? Does God say that “blacks have achieved equality in the South, gays are second-class people, all women’s uteruses are yours to control, but guns are really cool” when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas prays? Did God tell Scott Roeder, who murdered Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller, “Sure, and do it at church this Sunday”?
How about our leaders dropping the failed “prayerfully considered” policies, and apply logic and science and unfiltered compassion to our mutual benefit?
Lee Davis, Wichita
GOP shocked by Trump?
I would laugh out loud at the Republican establishment’s shock, surprise and bewilderment at Donald Trump’s ascendancy in the polls and delegate counts as he gathers momentum toward winning their nomination – that is, if I weren’t disgusted by him and embarrassed for our country by this clown show.
Trump’s brand of bellicose, belligerent rhetoric and machismo that is so popular with the base is the natural and logical conclusion of the brand of Republican politics that started with Barry Goldwater in 1964. It was carried on with Richard Nixon’s “silent majority,” Ronald Reagan’s making up of Cadillac-driving welfare queens, campaign strategist Lee Atwater’s dog whistles of states’ rights and forced busing, and now the tea party’s open bigotry toward President Obama.
Trump is what the base of the Republican Party has been clamoring for – nay, demanding – for decades and has given an outlet to racists, bigots and misogynists who blame political correctness on their inability to practice these openly. So why is the party surprised?
Just as I predicted when Trump started to rise, Republicans who openly despise him are now pledging to support him if he is their nominee, proving definitively that Republicans don’t vote for the person, they vote party.
Jess Duncan, Wichita
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