Letters to the Editor

Letters on train crossing, school cuts, state representatives, Hiroshima, Mental Health Awareness Month

Train blocking crossing for much too long

I sat at a railroad crossing last week for more than 50 minutes while a southbound train blocked MacArthur just west of K-15. Because of construction west of there, vehicles were virtually trapped. After about 35 minutes, a northbound train crossed. The train still did not move. After another 15 minutes, another northbound train crossed. After it cleared the crossing, the southbound train finally began to move.

What if I or someone else in the three lines of traffic had had a heart attack or other serious medical emergency during those 50 minutes? Someone could have died.

The Uniform Vehicle Code, a comprehensive guide designed to help states develop standard motor vehicle and safety laws, suggests that trains not block crossings for more than five minutes. The Federal Railroad Administration says that a majority of states place some restrictions on the amount of time a highway rail crossing can be blocked “but in no case does it exceed more than 20 minutes.”

I did call 911 after the first northbound train passed and there was no movement from the southbound train. I think I wasted my breath. Is no one accountable? Does someone have to die before anyone takes action?

Robert Nordyke, Wichita

Cut administration

I worked at Beech Aircraft for 35 years before retiring. There were several times during that period when Beech had a lot of layoffs and the nonunion hourly and salaried help had to accept up to 10 percent pay cuts. The teachers in USD 259 have not had any recent pay raises, and now they will pay more for insurance. Maybe now is the time for all the administrators to take a mandatory 10 percent cut. In addition, they can pay for some of their own pens, copy paper and other supplies, as most of the teachers do.

Dick Anderson, Wichita

Not representing

Whom are our state representatives representing? Surely not the poor, indigent and those who live with grievous pain of body or mind. They are certainly not a voice for those who have no voice in the upper echelons of power.

I question the moral ethics of our House of Representative members when they cannot tell our governor, who has put our beautiful and beloved state on the road to bankruptcy, “No more!” How long will it take us to get back to a pre-Brownback level of living in Kansas?

What has Sam Brownback accomplished? Well, he has succeeded in at least one category: Kansas has the least popular governor in the nation (May 13 Eagle).

Those who sit in positions of great authority, making grave decisions affecting people’s lives, have grave responsibilities to make those decisions with justice and compassion. And as far as the existing condition of our school system – shame, shame, shame.

Laura Shriner, Wichita

No apology needed

A letter writer suggested the United States apologize for the use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed as many as 200,000 Japanese (“Why not apologize?” May 22 Letters to the Editor). The United States has nothing to apologize for concerning those bombings.

Those bombings saved an estimated 1 million American lives and as many as 4 million lives total, and shortened the war by several months, possibly even more than a year. The Japanese were asked to surrender at least twice before the bombings took place and declined both times. The Japanese military was arming civilians to help defend the homeland against an Allied invasion.

An invasion force was being assembled and plans were being made for the invasion, but the two bombings finally brought Japan to the realization that all was lost.

Ronald McReynolds, Wichita

Have fun, fight stigma

May is designated as National Mental Health Awareness Month. The Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas invites the public to come help us raise awareness in our community while having a great time with an event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at O.J. Watson Park, 3022 S. McLean, shelter No. 5. (In case of inclement weather, check mhasck.org for an alternative date for the event.)

During this event, O.J. Watson Park will offer discounted train rides and mini golf and provide bouncy houses. The first 200 people at the event each will receive one free ticket for either the train or mini golf; thereafter, tickets will be 50 cents. We will also have a DJ, face painting, Wichita police officers and firefighters, adoptable dogs, games, Spinner the Squirrel from the Wichita Wingnuts, a raffle, hot dogs, chips and drinks, and a mural for all to participate in painting facilitated by ICT Army of Artists. These activities, including lunch, will be free.

Mental illness affects a large number in our community, including 1 in 5 youths. Come together with us to have fun and support fighting stigma that prevents youths and families from getting mental health support.

Autumn Schowalter, Wichita

Senior director, Children and Family Services,

Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact

Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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