Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on Stephenson, Brownback economics, Koch gifts, Kobach, rabid skunk

Firing Stephenson a WSU low point

Thanks to the Wichita State University basketball team, 2013 will always be remembered as a great year for Shocker athletics. Unfortunately, because of the firing of baseball coach Gene Stephenson, it will also be remembered as a low point (June 5 Eagle).

Couldn’t the WSU administration at least compromise and let Stephenson coach one more year, to have him coach against the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, the West Coast teams and Oral Roberts University one last time?

Couldn’t it let him do a victory lap of sorts while the fans and former players pay him the tribute he deserves for building the program from nothing to one of the elite programs in the country, instead of being unceremoniously dumped?

At his press conference, Stephenson said he considered his former and current players his “sons.” I think that statement reflects all that is good about college athletics, and his firing reflects all that is wrong with college athletics.

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Changes happen

I attended Wichita State as a student from the early to the late 1980s. I recall with pride the incredible baseball successes of Gene Stephenson.

For sure, I applaud Stephenson’s contributions to WSU. However, I don’t believe that his departure should “rankle” any Wichita State students, faculty, alumni or fans (June 2 Sports). A “changing of the guard” happens.

Fans shouldn’t expect Stephenson to stay on as coach purely because of sentimental reasons. That’s not enough justification to retain him. Sentimentality doesn’t feed the bulldog. Sports is a money-driven enterprise – even at the collegiate level.

I wish Stephenson well and hope he enjoys his retirement to the fullest. He has no “uncertain future.” His future largely is what he chooses to mold it to become. He can still make his mark on WSU baseball in various other capacities, especially with volunteerism and being a Shocker booster.

Coaches come and go, but players actually play the game. That is what any successful program is all about.



Come to senses

How long will it take for Gov. Sam Brownback to come to his senses concerning the lack of economic improvement promised by his reduction of income-tax rates?

By listening to idiot economist Arthur Laffer, Brownback has screwed up the economy in the state so badly that he is reneging on allowing the temporary sales-tax hike to expire. He is robbing Peter to pay Paul (working Peter, wealthy Paul).

His favoring of the 1 percent at the cost of the 99 percent should open the eyes of all Kansans. But too many citizens are still buying into the whole supply-side, trickle-down economics theory that didn’t work for President Reagan or either President Bush. It’s still being championed by members of the elite so they keep their money while the working class gets stuck with the bill.



Zeros impressive

I felt compelled to respond to “Can afford it” (June 4 Letters to the Editor). The general implication was that since the Kochs can afford to donate a million dollars to a worthy cause, it somehow diminishes the gesture.

The letter writer suggested we do the math and compare a $1 million gift from Charles Koch (based on the highly questionable assumption that he earns $1 billion a year) to a $100 gift from someone earning $100,000 per year. We should not “be so impressed with the zeros,” the writer said.

Well, I am very much impressed with the zeros. Let me suggest that the letter writer do this math: $1 million will provide 10,000 times the benefit $100 will provide for the public good.

Thank God we live in a free country where people like the Kochs have the opportunity to prosper and are generous enough to give back to the community in such a meaningful way.



Resign, Kobach

So now Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is pushing Alaska to adopt a restricted voter-ID law. Such a law would keep some native Alaskans, people who can trace their origins back before statehood, from exercising their right to vote.

Kobach also gives a lot of speeches in other states. He should resign from his job in Kansas and quit taking taxpayer money for his salary, as he doesn’t seem interested in doing the duties of secretary of state.


Enid, Okla.

Rabies serious

I live in the country. At about 5 p.m. on a recent Sunday, a skunk was near my house in broad daylight. Skunks are seldom seen unless something is wrong. The skunk was running around in circles, falling down and spraying every weed and rock it came near.

I called 911 and the operator said she would get on it. A few minutes later, she called me back and said it was after hours and no one would come out.

Really, folks – what if someone had been bitten? Or if a dog, cat or horse had been bitten? Rabies is serious business, and I do believe that animal-control people should take care of business, whether or not it is after hours.



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