The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on September 18, 2002 · Page 4
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 4

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A4 • THE HAYS DAILY NEWS OPINION WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 18,2002 Editorial A diamond revealed Beginnings of restoration show beauty of 1877 building beneath 1950s brick L ike peeling away old wallpaper from an era of hideous fashion sense, the brick exterior of one of downtown Hays' purposely nondescript buildings is being chipped away. And, voila, underneath the blonde brick exterior of an abandoned building at Ninth and Fort is a masterpiece. The original cut limestone facade is still there, as are the tall, arched windows. It was just that in the 1950s, someone had the bright idea of covering it all up. Not to blame anyone's style sense in the '50s, the old Opera House building was just one of many repackaged in the name of progress. That started an era during which many old buildings were made to look supposedly modern. That was when the metal facades went up on downtown buildings everywhere. Now, of course, you have the likes of the building at 801 Main, which houses Franklin Crafts, with its faded green metal front complete with zig-zag-design canopy. Ah, what were we thinking? One would not know the building at 811 Fort to be an architectural gem judging by its exterior for the most recent 50 years. But we will soon see the former Opera House returned as near as possible to its 1877 glory. A Fort Scott architectural restoration company started on Monday to remove the brick veneer, a process that is to take a week to 10 days. Besides this being a story of the undoing of the product of our historic wrong-headedness, it is a sterling example of the commitment of Chuck Comeau of Plainville, the leading developer of the Chestnut Street District revitalization project. Comeau bought the old building last year knowing that it was a diamond in the proverbial rough. He knew what was underneath. He knew it was a rare example of rural Second Empire design, a sole such survivor of a devastating downtown fire in 1895 and that original woodwork remained inside. He knew what was underneath the plain-looking brick remake. But the National Park Service did not have the same appreciation. The building was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places, in hopes of making it eligible for historic grants and financing, but it was declined. The park service, however, will re-evaluate it once the original exterior is revealed. Chuck Comeau did not need to buy this building. And he could have given it up with the denial for the national historic register. But he chose instead to invest in a building many before had given up as useless and not valuable. Subsequently it should be deserving of placement on the historic register. Comeau has seen similar value and potential in other discarded downtown properties. Along with the Opera House, he purchased another of downtown's oldest remaining structures, the Philip Hardware building, and will pour resources into its restoration. And, in the East llth Street building soon to house a microbrewery and restaurant, he removed the metal facade from its days as the Midwest Energy offices to reveal original brick architecture. Unlike our European ancestors, we Americans have had the habit of tearing down old buildings or trying to update them. Fortunately, we seem to have emerged from the days of urban renewal with a newfound appreciation for history and the quality of craftsmanship that characterized many of our original buildings. Fortunately, the old Opera House, for one, is a building that was not torn down nor altered beyond reversal. editorial by John D. Montgomery imont@dallynews.net The editorials represent the opinion and institutional voice of The Hays Daily News but are signed by the author for the reader's information. Guest editorials are from other newspapers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Hays Daily News. Other content on this page represents the views of the signed columnist or letter-writer. The Opinion Page is intended to be a community forum. Guest editorials and syndicated columnists are selected to present a variety of opinion. -knujiu.-j itii, .-in jjr •' -no:) fooshofltminii 'lot ; Bush'iS comments about Iraq put unfair pressure on Congress In a statement shortly after he addressed the United Nations, urging them to accept their responsibility with regard to the threat from Iraq, President Bush said that members of the U.S. Congress should be afraid to face an election if they don't immediately give him the authority to make war on Iraq. This is a highly political statement and is an attempt to shame or scare our lawmakers into rushing into a decision about attacking Iraq without waiting to see how the United Nations will deal with the challenges he set before it. I hope that our senators and representatives will not let P»esident Bush succeed in putting this kind of pressure on Congress. They should take the time they need to find the answers to these questions: Where is the evidence of clear and present danger? What about our pursuit of Bin Laden and al-Qaida and our commitment to helping rebuild Afghanistan? Are we prepared to pick up the pieces in Iraq after a war there? Why the pressure now, right before an election? How many lives will be lost if we attack Iraq? How much money will be spent? What will be the fallout effects on the entire Middle East? What are the alternatives? Reader Forum Arid finally, if President Bush thought it was important to bring his case to the United Nations, why doesn't he think it is important to give that body time to deal with this huge problem before he gets Congress to back him on a unilateral attack on Iraq? I'm urging citizens to write or call their senators and representatives telling them to oppose a congressional rubber stamp for the president's plans on Iraq at this time. Anita Markley 203 W. 22nd Restaurant inspection results should be published routinely After reading Thursday's paper, I was wondering if we are being served properly. Why does it have to be a story before we know about the safety of our local eateries? If you read The Salina Journal, it regularly lists all inspections with every violation of each restaurant. Here it takes multiple violations, large fines and state- enforced closings before it makes your pages. Maybe if you would list these inspections, restaurant management wouldn't have such a cavalier attitude about these things. Jim Borthwick 213 W. 17th Where to write President George W. Bush, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington DC 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: (202) 456-2461. www.white house.gov. President Bush can be reached at president@whitehouse.gov or Vice President Dick Cheney can be reached at vice.president@whitehouse.gov. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, 302 Hart Office Building, Washington DC 20510. (202) 2244774. pat_roberts@roberts.senate.gov U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, 303 Hart Office Building, Washington DC 20510. (202) 224-6521. To e-mail, go to brownback. senate.gov/CMEmailMe.htm Position on immigrants is wrong OK, so vacationing in North Dakota is not so easy to imagine. But imagine you are doing that. When you are in Maida, N.D., you'tie- cide to go through an untended crossing over the border into Canada, just so you can look for those rounded vowels and so the kids can write about what they did on their summer vacation. But then disaster strikes: You get hit by a truck, and, worst of all, the ambulance will not pick up your daughter and take her to the hospital because she is an undocumented alien. They leave your family on the plains of southern Manitoba to bleed to death. Unfortunately, we in western Kansas soon will be electing someone to represent us on the State Board of Education who advocates something like letting children bleed to death. We will be electing her unless we make a concerted effort not to do so. Connie Morris is the Republican candidate for the State Board of Education from the 5th District, which covers the western part of the state. It is one of 10 districts statewide. In an interview published in The Hays Daily News on July 18, Morris was quoted as saying not that we should deny medical care to children, but that we should deny public education to children if the children are undocumented aliens. "We have a huge problem in western Kansas with illegal immigrants draining the system of tax dollars and hampering teachers' ability to focus," said Morris. In Sunday's HDN, she reaffirmed her position. This is wrong, and it is wrong for a few different reasons. First of all, even if a child is an illegal immigrant, that child is a child. A child is not here of her own accord, and it is wrong to punish someone for some- LOCAL VOICES U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, 1st District, 1519 Longworth Office Building, Washington DC 20515. (202) 225-2715. Hays constituent office, (785) 628-6401. jerry. moran@mail.house.gov Gov. Bill Graves, 2nd Floor, State Capitol, Topeka KS 66612. (785) 296-3232. governor@ink.org Your Kansas senator or representative, State Capitol, Topeka KS 66612. (785) 296-0111. Legislative information hot line (800) 432-3924. For e-mail addresses go to www.accesskansas.org/government/ state-representatives.html thing she did not do. Her parents might be to blame for immigrating illegally, but it would be wrong for us to punish the children for the errors of the parents. Secondly, this looks like a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. If we deny any group of children an education, we are greatly increasing the chances that these people will grow up excluded from our economic system. And people who cannot work as butchers or bakers or candlestick-makers have to get their daily bread without working. Excluding people from meaningful work is an invitation to crime. Thirdly, if Morris wants to focus on tax dollars, we should point out that the illegal immigrant parents, though they might be illegal, still pay taxes. Neither Dillon's nor Wal-Mart refunds sales taxes to those who are illegal immigrants, nor does the city say to a landlord, "I see you have illegal immigrants living in your rental property; therefore there will be no property taxes for you this year. Just take it off their rent." Immigrants — legal or illegal — pay taxes, and they deserve the benefits. Fourthly, Morris charges that the presence of illegal immigrant children in classes hampers "teachers' ability to focus." It is harder to teach children when there are more in a classroom, and it is harder to teach when students are at different levels and abilities. But teachers are here to teach, and we can make more of a contribu- tion to those who need us more. Having students in class who are unwilling to learn is a definite problem in the classroom, but having students who are eager to learn, even if they have a different background than most, is no problem at all. Or, if it is a problem, it is the kind of problem that we are hired to solve. Finally, what Morris proposes is wrong because it is illegal. In 1982 the Supreme Court decided in a case called Plyler v. Doe that public schools cannot deny an education to illegal immigrants. Their reasoning was based on the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides that no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Immigrants — legal or not — are persons within the jurisdiction of the state. The Democratic Party did not field a candidate for this position, so Morris is virtually without opposition in the November election. I.E. "Sonny" Rundell, who has served the 5th District since 1989 and who was defeated by Morris in the August Republican primary, reportedly is willing to be a write-in candidate for the position. Rundell could be elected if enough people write his name in on the line beneath that of Morris on the ballot in November, but write-in candidates usually do not win. If a child were to lie on the sidewalk and bleed to death, unhelped because she was an illegal immigrant, we all would be horrified. We all should be equally horrified by the prospect of condemning the minds of immigrant children .condemned to death by denying them education. Ms. Morris, please change your mind. Paul Faber has been teaching philosophy at Fort Hays State University for 20 years. LEAVE ITTD FLJ3RIPIANS TO SCREW UP TZPUCH-5CREEN vonN<s,.. Remember the Cassandras BRITAIN IB BEHIND AND I'M SURE OTH AHJES WILL BACK U6, JDSTASSOQKAS THEY FIND OUT WHAT FAVORITE Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., was asked, following President Bush's address to the United Nations, whether he thought Bush had made the case for pre-emptive action against Iraq. Daschle allowed that each time the president addresses the matter, he strengthens the case. Still, Daschle insisted, there remain unanswered questions. What would be the response of the "international community." How would the war against Iraq affect the war against terrorism? Democrats worry a lot about the "international community." They believe that the views of world leaders, elected and unelected, carry more moral weight than those of Americans. And their tendency is to seek not just the advice of "allies" but their permission for American action. Who can forget the spectacle of Secretary of State Warren Christopher scurrying from one European capital to another "consulting" about Bosnia and being rebuffed as often as not? Or the memory of the same fellow cooling his heels outside Syrian dictator Assad's office, hoping for an interview. What Democrats almost never seem to grasp is that steadfast American leadership can affect world opinion. Just one recent example: After the latest round of Palestinian terror and Israeli response, rumors circulated that President Bush might call for the replacement of Arafat. Any number of voices were raised in .opposition, arguing that Arafat was the legitimate leader or at least the devil we know and that it was no business of the United States to tell others whom to choose. Bush did it anyway. And within a few weeks, European foreign ministers Nona Charen COMMENTARY and even some Arab leaders were announcing that Arafat's day had passed. Daschle's second objection has been voiced by Brent Scowcroft and other war-wary former officials. But, as the president carefully spelled out, far from distracting us from the war on terror, dealing with Iraq is an urgent and essential part of the war on terror. With Iraqi cooperation, the worldwide terror network can inflict catastrophic damage on us. Mere retaliation is an empty threat. As Vice President Cheney put it, "Who launched the anthrax attacks?" We don't know, and that's the point. Deterrence made sense against an enemy in possession of thousands of ICBMs. It does not make sense against an ally of terrorists cooking up vats of poison in the desert. History is replete with examples of stupid prewar boasts: North and South in the U.S. civil war predicted rapid victory. Most of the nations who fought World War I imagined the war would be over in a few weeks. But it is also possible to be overly pessimistic about what • war can achieve. Remember the Cassandras who predicted disaster before the Gulf War? "We stand on the brink of catastrophe," said Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn. "An effort to oust Iraqi forces from Kuwait would, according to estimates, cost the lives of 20,000 American soldiers," reported Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I. "If war comes, Iraq's fondest hope is that the United States will commit substantial ground forces to frontal assaults, thus giving Iraq a chance to inflict heavy casualties," cautioned Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga. Others were certain that by attacking Iraq we'd ignite a fuse that would cause the entire Arab world to take up arms against us. Evans and Novak wrote, "One very high official told us that every Arab head of state except Saudi King Fahd (and the tiny Gulf states)... agrees that that if a single Iraqi soldier is killed by an American, it would be taken as 'an aggressive act against us.' " In the event, members of the vaunted Republican Guard were surrendering to CNN crews, and the war was a walkover. But even if the next war is not, it is still worth fighting. Churchill famously said that the Second World War was the "avoidable war." If resolute action had ; been taken against Hitler earlier, millions of lives would have been spared. Churchill's words are particularly apposite now: "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed. If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." Mona Charen is a columnist and political analyst based in Washington. A community is best served when residents are willing to discuss issues publicly. You can be part of the discussion by participating in the. Reader Forum. Please limit your submissions to 600 words. They will be edited for length and clarity. They must be signed and Reader Forum policy include a name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. We reserve the right not to print a submission. We do not accept for publication on the editorial page poems, consumer complaints, business testimonials or group letters. ; Mail them to Reader Forum, The Hays Daily News, 507 Main, Hays KS T 67601 .You also can send them by e-mail at letters@dailynews.net. ; Please include ah address and daytime telephone number. \ I

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