Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on I/DD community, Wings folding, Common Core, IRS workers, weak culture, talented grads, fighting cancer

I/DD community has great history

The planned inclusion of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the new KanCare program continues to receive a remarkable level of attention from legislators. State leaders have attributed this visibility to a campaign of misinformation from the service-provider network.

The truth is that a major change that will affect thousands of Kansans who most commonly cannot advocate for themselves was designed and put on a timeline without any real exchange of ideas about how best to pursue the goal to maximize resources and ensure the best outcomes for those who rely upon support services each day.

In his commentary (May 17 Opinion), Rep. Dave Crum, R-Augusta, seemed to indicate that state leaders and the Legislature took a huge step against the wishes of the I/DD community in 1995, when they passed the landmark Developmental Disabilities Reform Act. As a fairly new legislator, Crum may not realize that the act was a collaborative effort between state leaders, legislators, disability advocates and community-service providers to make Kansas a leader in meeting the needs of this vulnerable population.

The I/DD community has a great history of embracing change to improve our system in an amazingly collaborative way. If the same type of collaborative approach had been used related to applying a greater degree of managed care to this population, my belief is that the extended debate over this issue could have been avoided.

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Thanks, Wings

Wink Hartman has broken the hearts of thousands of fans in the Wings nation by folding the Wichita Wings. I want to thank coach LeBaron Hollimon and the staff for the memories and the fun times of the past two years. We’ll also miss the players, both on the field and in our community.

It’s so sad that no one in the community was able to keep professional soccer alive in Wichita.



Core knowledge

I was sore oppressed in the third grade when they tried to make me conform to national standards for spelling. I knew it was a violation of my personal sovereignty – although in my manifesto I spelled it “sufferenity,” so they may not have known what I was talking about.

Unlike the Kansas Senate, however, I got over it (“Proposal could halt education standards,” May 17 Local & State). Because sometimes trading “sufferenity” for knowledge is a good thing.



Take closer look

We all better take a closer look. Who was it who put about 200 people in Cincinnati and gave them the job of reviewing about 70,000 applications per year for tax-exempt status by groups claiming to be “public welfare organizations” and not primarily political? And who gave these people no understandable rules to follow, and reduced staffing just to help them do their jobs?

Yes, it was us. We did it by sending those generally mendacious individuals to Congress who are now surprised and outraged by the fact that people screwed up the job.

We, on the other hand – having never been overworked, and having never been subjected to rules that were contradictory, and having never screwed up – can sit blissfully in front of our “media devices” and make ourselves believe those congressional clowns are actually doing something for us.



Weak culture

I believe that the culture we know as “American” is vastly changing right before our eyes. Take a look at how our culture appeared 20 years ago and what it is evolving into now.

Twitter, Facebook, ridiculous reality TV, smartphones, and trash literature such as “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Twilight” all combine to dampen the American culture we all claim. We can best describe our culture by listing what items we own, what events we attend – every facet of our life adds up to make our culture.

I’m afraid America’s culture is becoming weak and lame due to the value placed on these societal media outlets and the lack of value placed on reading worthy literature, writing often, and attending local cultural events. By ignoring these rich and sublime cultural values, society is placing its values in idiotic gestures, improper speech and low-cultural events.

We fix this as a society by being aware of the possible abuse of these social outlets, making a point to avoid using them too much, and making a conscious effort at attaining high-cultural ideals.



Talented grads

On Sunday I had the privilege of presenting diplomas to 395 high school seniors from Andover Central High School and Andover High School. My hope is these talented young people will be highly accomplished in their chosen paths, and that ample opportunity exists to pursue their dreams in Kansas.



Join the fight

This week the American Cancer Society celebrates 100 years of saving lives. I’m a survivor of stage 4 colon cancer and have been battling cancer for 10 years. As a survivor and volunteer, I am committed to fighting against the disease. The American Cancer Society needs everyone to join in the fight.



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