The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 8, 1997 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, October 8, 1997
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WEDNESDAY. OCTOBER 8. 1997 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page , editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. -• To join the - conversation, •write a letter to the Journal at: , ' P.O. Box 740 Sallna, KS 67402 Fax: (785) 827-6363 E-mail: . SJLetters® skljournal.com Quote of the day "We all understand what elections are .about, and when • they're over, :.• they're over." ' Sally '• Thompson after the man who defeated her in last year's Senate race, Pat Roberts, backed her for a post at the Agriculture Department. By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal How times change IHEBJUf Land for parks in Salina THEARGUMBUT City commission made the right decision T ime was that anybody building a house was under no obligation to hook it up to a sewer. An outhouse was just fine. And, time was, no city required homebuilders or people putting up stores to pave the street or arrange for drainage. Dirt roads were all anyone thought necessary. Times change. Now, building a housing development without sewers or a downtown without paved streets are things that just are not done. Civilization took another step forward in Salina Monday when city commissioners agreed that, just as developers must include sewers and streets with their projects, they must also provide for park land. The commission's action is a formal realization of the fact that, for our quality of life in Salina to be anything worth having, planned open space is just as essential to a community as streets and sewers, as police patrols and fire protection. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity. The new law requires developers to either provide land for new neighborhood parks or to pay a fee to the city so it can buy park land. It will, obviously, add to the cost of development, which adds to the cost of home ownership. But so did the cost of sewers and streets when cities started requiring those. It did not stop us then, it should not stop us now. Developers may whine that the city has added to the cost of building more houses in Salina. But those developers should ask themselves some questions. Why build houses in Salina? To make money. And how do they make money? By providing a product people want to buy. And why would people want to buy houses in Salina? Because it is a nice town, relatively safe, with good schools and nice parks. And how will Salina continue to be a nice town to live in, where people want to buy houses? By making sure that, as the town grows, it has, among other things, the quantity and quality of park land it needs. Taking such steps does add to the cost of development, and thus the cost of purchase. But is also adds to the value of what is being built and being bought. Commissioners made the right call. LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL SJLetters @ saljpumal.com P.O. Box 740, Salina, KS 674O2 T SPEAKING ENGLISH Paper cuts to the soul DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal Parents, teachers need to know how much te!asing can hurt M aybe now they will understand. Maybe now all the parents, fellow students, and yes, even a few teachers will understand how much it hurts to be one of the few, the cowered, the maligned. 'It's too bad that it takes the death of a little girl to make every one understand. But, then again, it always takes something huge, something tragic, usually someone dying, to make people snap out of their television-induced hazes and take notice for even just a second. Before the Oklahoma City bombing, everyone except FBI agents and Solider of Fortune readers thought the militia movement was that rag-tag band of rebels in the TV classic "The A-Team." You probably saw the story about the death. But maybe it didn't stick in your mind. Kelly Yeomans, a chubby 13-year-old, endured taunts of "fatty." Her teenage tormentors threw salt in her school lunch and dumped her clothes in the garbage. :Last week, they pelted her house, first with stones and finally with butter and eggs, the ingredients for cake. Yeomaijs, who lived in the working-class Allenton neighborhood of Derby, 1$Q miles northwest of London, took a fa.tal overdose of painkillers after telling her parents she couldn't take the abuse. This time the bullies won. But it sfiould be the last time. ;Now, let's be fair here. Anyone who commits suicide has big emotional problems that probably go beyond teasing. The fact that this Doctors, not lawyers, can curb smoking is a big story really says a lot about just how well most of these situations are handled by school teachers and administrators. And we don't know the whole story here: It may be that her parents weren't as supportive as the stories say, or she could have been chemically depressed, or there are a million other possibilities. But really, this should be a signal that the teasing is not just a simple adolescent exercise that everyone should have to go through, like puberty, pimples or pushy parents. Those insults are little paper cuts to the soul. A few of them only hurt like hell. Many of them might require some attention. A few thousand can be deadly. And any one of them can scar you for life. I have no reason to have any problems with my self-esteem, but there are times I do, and I attribute 'that to the insults thrown my way during junior high. You feel so low when your peers are ganging up on you, picking at your shattered ego like hyenas on a carcass. So I have a special interest in this case. I know what she went through. You could say that I felt her pain, though I don't plan on running for president anytime soon. Now that I'm much older, I can say I'm somewhat grateful for the teiasing. It made me untrusting of anyone except my closest friends. It taught me to rely on myself. And it provided me with a healthy dose of cynicism. Whether or not those are good things, I'm not sure. The next time kids say they can't take it anymore, maybe we should listen a little bit more instead of patting them PJI the head and smiling. This should be the last time we consider harsh teasing to be a rite of passage. As for the kids who are forced to bear the brunt of the badgering, there's only one thing you need to understand. You matter. They don't. I n her June 21 Wichita Eagle commentary, "The fight against smoking continues," Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall stated, "One of my proudest moments as attorney general was standing with my colleagues to announce bur historic settlement with the Liggett Group." Really? By entering into a back door settlement with a weak tobacco (Liggett) group, Stovall, Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore and the 20 other state attorneys general who brokered this settlement have circumvented the democratic process, waived the rights of affected individuals to have their day in court and started us down the path to criminalization of one of man's most ancient vices, tobacco. Stovall went on to say, in her column, "a settlement must ban ... advertisement." Perhaps Stovall and her colleagues, in denying this First (as well as Fourth and Fourteenth) Amendment right, is unaware that Portugal, where all cigarette advertising has been banned for decades, still has one of the highest smoking rates in the world. And Canada and New Zealand have both banned all cigarette advertising in the past decade and yet the incidence of smoking in these countries is unchanged. Conversely, in the United States, where only three short decades ago, 51 percent of the adult population used to smoke, the smoking rate (26 percent of adult population, or 20 percent of our overall population) is much lower than that of Japan, Great Britain, Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and much of the rest of the industrialized world. Our country's low rate of cigarette smoking is the result of the tedious work of our physi- , cians, not the result of some "brokered agreement" between a group of (government) lawyers and the (tobacco) industry to be regulated. Instead, the relatively low rate of cigarette smoking in our country is the result of meticulous, scrupulous scientific reports that were published in more than 100 properly refereed English language medical journals, and is the result of millions of individual medical and surgical efforts on the behalf of, and advice to, millions of Americans. By their physicians! Not by their government lawyers! How can these young lawyer-politicians have the gall to look us right straight in the television camera and tell us this coercion of the tobacco companies, this circumvention of the Constitution, this bypass of our democratic system, how can they tell us that this "brokered agreement" is going to lower our smoking rates? This newest experiment in prohibition, as Richard Klein put it in his June 26 Wall Street Journal column, "promises an explosive increase in black markets, smuggling, criminality and general cynicism." In fact, the end result of tobacco prohibition will be an increase, not a decrease, in the incidence of cigarette smoking. Just as with drugs, alcohol and prostitution, the end result will instead be more laws, more government lawyers (prosecutors), more (defense) lawyers, more police, more police corruption, more police misconduct, more prisons and more Americans behind bars. Wake up America! We don't need a bunch of showboat lawyer- politicians trying to micromanage our lives, while all the while further corrupting the very Constitution that they took a sacred oath to uphold and defend. — GEORGE MEREDITH, M.D. Great Bend Veterans Day should focus on the living Veterans Day approaches, as I was reminded by my daughter when she mentioned that her high school band would march in the Veterans Day parade — if they have one. I was a little surprised at how quickly a year goes by, but not so surprised at the uncertainty of any celebration for the day to be held in our city, A year ago I wrote a letter to your newspaper expressing my viewpoint that I would much rather see a celebration of the living veterans than a memorial to fallen comrades as is expressed in May on Memorial Day. What I did not want to see is a total disregard for the day, completely. I feel that the men and women who served in the military, and those who continue to serve, should be given a.heartfelt thank you and recognition for the sacrifices they have made to keep our country free. Please continue to have the parade, but also have seminars for the veterans and their spouses or surviving spouses to update them on their benefits. How about a free health evaluation clinic for the veterans, spouses and surviving spouses. What benefits do they still have, what ones have been changed, deleted or improved? How about a free breakfast or a free hot dog lunch? These people don't want anything extravagant, but many deserve a feast. Where is the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion? Why are they not more involved in the participation of events for this day? How about the ladies auxiliaries to these Oufc BOS/MESS US£D To A SURE w/N&j vow u/rrn me DEALS we //AVC IT'S 7MWE TO TWO DWTHATTCE TOBACCO DEAL /S 7UE TO&\CCP o? One Era two organizations? Do you have information that might be helpful to the widows and widowers of the veterans? Let's not ignore these veterans. Let us all celebrate the day. Employers, where you can and are able to, allow your employees time to view the parade. If you have a veteran in your employ go to them and thank them, shake their hand. Please do not fail to celebrate Veterans Day. — CHRISTINE BERNDT Salina Salina health center's lost that caring feeling In recent weeks, we, the citizens of Salina, have been informed that there is a need for an outpatient surgical center. We have been informed that this will help to reduce costs, centralize services and be more convenient for patients and physicians. Excuse me? Did I miss something when Asbury and St. John's hospitals were merged into Salina Regional Health Center? Two of the benefits that we were told would come from this merger were "a reduction of medical costs and a consolidation of duplicated services." The Santa Fe Campus would be the primary emergency and medical center with respite care, rehabilitation and outpatient surgeries to be at the Penri Campus. Now, I read that the outpatient surgeries are still being duplicated and the physicians are complaining that this is an inconvenience to them. Who is going to do the surgeries at this proposed outpatient surgical center? Are these same surgeons in our community going to be commuting from hospital to the surgery center, or are we going to get a new crop of surgeons for this center alone? When the two hospitals were merged, why were we told one thing, only to discover that the long-term goal was another? Were some of us right in our suspicions that this was really to do away with the competition of a loving, caring environment which could no longer vie against the ever-mounting financial pressures of another institution which was strongly and openly endorsed by our medical providers? For myself, I have yet to walk into the Santa Fe Campus and feel the warmth and concern that I felt at St. John's — or, for that matter, that I have felt at Shawnee Mission Regional Medical Center or at the Overland Park Regional Medical Center (formerly Humana Hospital). Both of these are in the greater Kansas City area. Maybe, they have something to teach. That something might be that people walk through those doors, not numbers of dollars, and that, no matter the reason, they deserve a caring environment. That may be one of the reasons that many people in Salina chose to go to physicians and surgeons in Hays, Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and even to Rochester, Minn, and Phoenix, Ariz, for medical care and lessen the medical profits of this community. As for the proposed surgical center, maybe those financial wizards of Salina Regional Health Center need to look under their noses at what is available in our community and do what is necessary to establish an outpatient surgical center that will meet the demands of insurance providers, provide the caring environment that this community longs for again, and establish better community relations to make us a stronger medical draw for the north-central region of Kansas. — HARRIET A. TAYLOR Salina ill Taming killer 81 ' / , With great thankfulness we see that the^ four-lane U.S. 81 has opened at Minneapolis^ south to the Clyde corner, putting this section"' of killer 81 permanently to rest. This is the sec-", tion of where my. husband and many other'" loved ones were killed. .,. Work continues to put this killer highway to ' rest to the Nebraska line. This U.S. 81 Highway", is very beautiful, but is filled with unsuspec^-, ing death. Many have discovered that by just wanting to travel through our state on this,' beautiful killer highway. -'' • The 24-81 junction looked so beautiful arid" innocent and yet was so deadly. What a sdfe ' beautiful interchange is being built there. : Each section of killer 81 is just as deadly as"; any other section. None of this four-lane 81,. safe expressway would of happened had it noj: ••' been for individuals working for the common good, being so caring of lives to put this killer-, 81 permanently to rest. God granted this safe four-lane 81 because'of the caring of lives. This four-lane 81 express^ way will also be beautiful, but it will be safe.". — BARBARA SNYDER 1 Republic'"'; Where's the IRS? In your Oct. 4 opinion ("Sign of the times")' '\ you stated that we should not be afraid of an- , other government list, like keeping track of,, deadbeat parents by employers. '" Why bother the employers with more gov- H ernment paper work? If the IRS already has all. employer/employee information why couldn't • the government secret police just make there' • list of deadbeat scum from the existing IRS records? I guess it would be asking to much for two government entities to exchange information, and I guess requesting the IRS to cooperate with anyone is asking to much. ••:.• — RANDY LOHMANN Lincoln lscl@nckcn.com. Some censoring was in order Marv Albert, our intelligent sports reporter, lias turned to cannibal-like activities, chewing up his victims and expects his victims to perform acts that are not accepted in our present day society. She said he looked aroused in his women's panties and garter belt. What is wrong with today's society? Here we have the smut as front page news, on our TV. It should appear on the back burner of our newspaper, with the lost or found stray dogs and cats. With the instinct that our creator provided us with, above the animals, we should act accordingly. What kind of impression does,, that leave for our younger generation that'is subjected to this kind of behavior. How fortunate in our age, we were not exposed to degrading activities like our young people are today on our daily TV and media. We need censoring on the activities that we have experienced the last few days. — ARTHUR DENNING Salina. By Q.B. TRUDEAU

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