Letters to the Editor

Letters on teachers, arena upgrade, code enforcement, military spending

Many ways teachers impact students

I enthusiastically and appreciatively endorse “Teachers are changing lives” (Aug. 23 Eagle Editorial). As with any such citing of how teachers positively impact their students’ lives, the editorial was incomplete.

Here are some of the many ways classroom teachers have prepared us for our careers via the instruction in basic skills: communication/the language arts, include writing, speaking, listening, drawing messages from literature; problem-solving, including analytical and critical thinking as we read proficiently; computation, including basic arithmetic to higher mathematics. To wit, the three Rs.

Arguably just as important, teachers have strengthened students’ facilities with human relationships, moral and character development, career success talents, and the ever important citizenship education commitments. As historian Henry Steele Commager wrote, “Our schools have kept us free.”

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time for all of us, especially parents, to become the strongest advocates of what our teachers are committed to doing while “changing lives” for the better. The messages our students hear, from day one throughout the school year, ought to be positive, encouraging and oft repeated. Teachers deserve this support.

Students profit from collaboration between we the public and educators, while our country, our culture, benefits.

John H. Wilson, Wichita

Code crackdown

I wholeheartedly support Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay’s request for an ordinance to crack down on businesses and homes that excessively require police responses (Aug 24 Eagle).

I own the modest 1950s starter home in Delano that I grew up in. Over the years, an adjacent “cottage” has been owned by numerous landlords who do not appear to vet their tenants. Rabbit breeders, salvage yard operations, and other activities inconsistent with a quiet neighborhood have existed. It has been increasingly challenging to keep good tenants in the property that I continue to maintain in as good a shape as I possibly can.

Code enforcement officials try as much as the law allows to assist me in trying to keep the neighborhood in good condition. Often, their hands are tied by processes that take weeks or months to traverse before city action can be taken.

We need to help those agencies created to help us. Instead of worrying about the “rights” of property owners who have code enforcement files that are as thick as a person is tall, draft and enact an ordinance that will have absolute consequences for a property owner’s neglect of responsibilities. If there are three strikes (or violation reports) verified by the city, the city should be able to immediately seize and resell or bulldoze the property.

Sheryl Newberry, Wichita

No arena upgrade

Regarding the requested $2 million upgrade for the northern entrance of Intrust Bank Arena (Aug. 23 Eagle):

No. The facility as a whole provides ample access for current fan levels for performances. The proposal is trying to prepare the arena for the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Let’s not speculate on the fan levels associated with this future event and leave the original shell of the arena in place.

No. The proposal does not provide any new seating capacity and would not provide any new future revenue levels.

No. The arena’s reserve fund needs to be protected.

This proposed upgrade simply does not merit pursuing further.

Thomas F. Schippers, Wichita

U.S. role model?

Has ancient Rome become the American military’s role model? As Roman taxpayer money financed the huge military complex, under-funded civil infrastructure deteriorated, technological advancement slowed, and once-powerful Rome fell.

In 2015, the declared U.S. military and defense spending was more than the next seven highest-spending countries combined. No doubt, this disproportionate amount of spending requires the Pentagon to be extremely diligent in financial accountability.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General reported that the Army had made $6.5 trillion in wrongful accounting adjustments in 2015 to create the misleading impression that the books were balanced. The Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers, because more than 16,000 financial data files vanished from the Army computer system. One can only guess how much in assets the Army has, if it has $6.5 trillion in mere adjustments.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General concluded that the Army’s 2015 financial statements were “materially misstated.” This disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is an example of the Defense Department’s decades-long accounting problems. As a result, there is no way to know how the Defense Department spends taxpayers’ money.

Marsha Sears, Wichita

Not same values

A recent letter criticized the United Methodist Church for parting ways with the Rev. Cynthia Meyer because she publicly preached a personal adherence to the homosexual lifestyle (“Contrasting articles about bigotry,” Aug. 23 Letters to the Editor). The writer claimed the UMC failed to live up to the standards for a church, namely: “acceptance of your fellow man, inclusiveness and a sense of respect for humanity.”

However, those values, as the writer understands them, are not Christ’s standards for a church. Though Christ certainly loved each and every person he encountered, he did not accept each and every person’s behavior. Many recall his stern words to the Pharisees, or his challenge to the woman found in adultery (“go and sin no more”).

Christ loved people at a higher plane, heaven’s plane. For Christ’s followers to correct him in this regard would make them, well, something other than Christians.

There is at present an organized and powerful impetus to export the values of the sexual revolution inside the walls of modern day religious communities. Such a movement demonstrates not only a kind of intellectual colonialism but also an intolerance toward the traditional understanding of human sexuality. As such, it manifests bigotry that the letter writer claimed to expose.

Alan Winter, Mount Hope

Can’t go lower

Contrasting articles about bigotry” (Aug. 23 Letters to the Editor) was stunning. When your religion loses out to the state of Mississippi, you’ve hit bedrock. You can’t go any lower.

Joe Cassell, Wichita

Letters to the Editor

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