Letters to the Editor

Letters on Islamic Society, harming education, Wichita’s good governance, federal looters, public health

Islamic Society valued part of community

The following letter was submitted by the Revs. Tim Lytle, Carolyn Schwarz, Titus James, Robin McGonigle, Jo Mead, David Hansen, Kent H. Little, Jackie Carter, David Carter, Sam Muyskens and Donald P. Olsen and pastor Paul Ellis Jackson:

As ministers, we are writing to express support for the faith traditions of our community, which help to make Wichita a great place to live.

This includes the members of the Islamic Society of Wichita and Muslims, who are residents and citizens of our community. These people share our beliefs in goodness, justice and the importance of giving back to the community. Like many of us, their members volunteer and participate in community projects here in Wichita while working to promote peace. And also like us, they do not promote violence of any kind, but to the contrary have repeatedly condemned terrorism and terrorist acts around the world.

The person who had been invited to speak on March 25, by the way, has no legal charges against him in any way connected to terrorism and has never been charged with any crime, but is a highly regarded motivational speaker. We appreciate that the society canceled its fundraiser because of security concerns after the threat of an armed protest, but we believe it, and the speaker, were treated unfairly.

We are united with the Islamic Society of Wichita as believers who stand against terrorism and work toward a better community and a better world.

It is our sincere prayer, desire and effort to promote peace and equality among all of our residents who contribute so much to our community and who abide by the tenets of love that we all share.

Harming education

I enjoyed reading Bonnie Bing’s column “Teachers undervalued, but without them we’d be ‘a bunch of dummies’” (March 27 Arts & Culture). It seems her Girl Power group of fifth-graders consider teachers and education more important than Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature.

During the past two years, the Legislature has done more to harm the future of education than it has done to improve it. Schools don’t know how to plan for next year because of the current state budget situation. Other states are coming to Kansas to recruit our best teachers. I’ve talked to some college students who are considering changing their majors to something other than education.

Brownback wants to bring new business to Kansas, but can he do that with what executives read and hear about the conflict between the courts and the Legislature?

Perhaps, as Bing suggested, legislators should visit schools during their break to take a look at the necessities. See what the teachers deal with every day and the time they commit to deliver a quality education.

I enjoyed teaching for 31 years and watching the success of my former students. But teachers today have seen class sizes grow, less support from parents, curriculum changes, and no guarantee they will have a job tomorrow.

A quality education is priceless, but our current legislators apparently don’t see it that way. Perhaps it is time for new ideas.

Gerald Schmitt, Wichita

Good governance

While our governor continues to govern badly by blaming how revenue is forecast rather than his tax cuts that have led to the bad forecasts, the city of Wichita shows us what sound governance looks like. I cite the 10-year project to replace lead pipes that is nearing completion (March 30 Eagle).

It is because past leaders had the foresight to replace our pipes that we will not end up with poisoned water like Flint, Mich. Because local leaders built the Big Ditch back in the 1950s, we have little or no flooding anymore. Because they spent tax dollars partnering with businesses downtown, we have a vibrant city center.

Conservatives often cite the words of Ronald Reagan in his first inaugural address: “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” I beg to differ. It’s bad governing that’s the problem, not government itself.

Kansas’ bad governing began when unfair tax policy was passed so that services we all rely on are cut or not supplied at all (seven-year waits for disabled services?). Good elected officials know city and state services cost money, and if they’re worth their salt, they tax fairly to take care of those needs.

Kathleen Butler, Wichita

Turning blind eye

Duane Goossen’s argument for accepting Washington’s offer to expand Medicaid (March 27 Opinion) is the problem with Kansas and with America today: We blindly worship at Washington’s altar of the “free lunch.”

Of course, Goossen would probably object that “I paid for it,” but he would be wrong.

Washington produces nothing and pays for very few of the massive resources it consumes. It has become little more than a gang of international financial looters using delusional deficits, Wall Street cartels and currency counterfeiting (via Federal Reserve printing presses) to rob anyone it can. But these political pirates keep their thievery going by giving some of their loot to others, who thoughtlessly swallow the lie that they “paid” the looters for it and as such have a “right” to it. That willingness to be pleasantly deceived is what all criminals rely on to dupe weak-minded accomplices.

Instead of claiming they deserve something for nothing, Goossen and all the other “free lunch” worshippers should be crying, “There’s something rotten in Washington.” But, of course, they already know that and have long ago decided to turn a blind eye to the truth.

Bob Love, Wichita

Public health matters

April 4-10 marks National Public Health Week. Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices by public and private organizations, communities and individuals.

We are all responsible for the health of our community. Seat belt safety, safe water standards, walking trails, bike paths and supportive programs help each of us develop healthier, happier lifestyles and contribute to a more vibrant community.

It’s up to each of us as individuals, along with our neighbors, employers and elected officials working together, to ensure a healthy population and workforce.

Please consider how you too can contribute to a healthier community. Making a few, even small, daily changes in eating and exercise habits have a profound impact. Learn more about how to do that at nphw.org.

And let’s challenge ourselves and our elected officials to support a strong public health system so Wichita/Sedgwick County will be a safe and healthy community we will be proud to leave for our children and grandchildren.

Anne Nelson, Wichita

Executive director, Central Plains Health Care Partnership/Project Access

Part of WSU’s mission

Wichita State University is excited to stand with our community partners to celebrate National Public Health Week.

As our country prepares for its next plan to create a healthy population, through the Healthiest Nation 2030 initiative, I am reminded of how WSU has been working to make this a reality right here in Wichita. From our focus on creating safe and economically vibrant neighborhoods, to strengthening the health care and public health workforce in the College of Health Professions, to building public health capacity through the Community Engagement Institute, community psychology program and Regional Institute on Aging – WSU is strongly committed to public health.

As WSU continues to focus on its mission to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good, we believe this is possible when everyone has a chance to live, learn, work and play in a healthy community.

Tony Vizzini, Wichita

Provost and senior vice president, Wichita State University

Letters to the Editor

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