The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 16, 2001 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

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Salina, Kansas
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Monday, April 16, 2001
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2001 A7 Tom Bell Editor & Publisher Opinions expressed on tliis page are tliose of the identified writers. To join tfie conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: (785) 827-6363 E-mail: SJLeHers® saljournal.com Quote of the day "I wish people could live without fighting, without war." Natalia Nefedova Russian Orthodox woman who celebrated Easter Sunday in the ruins of a churdh in Grozny, Chechnya Passing water THE ISSUE Water quality in Kansas THEARGUMBUT We'd better mean what we say W ith the stroke of Gov. Bill Graves' pen Friday, it became official. Kansas can monitor and deal with its own water quality, thank you very much. The Environmental Protection Agency the Sierra Club and, well, just about everybody else who cares about clean water can just go soak their heads. If they can find some clean water. The governor signed a bill that environmentalists, and even his own secretary of health and environment, wanted him to veto. It creates a process for the state to arrange its rivers and streams into different categories and apply less rigorous standards to those that are remote, dry or both. The bill is the state's official answer to EPA proposed rules, pushed by environmental groups' lawsuits, that would have counted most of the state's waterways as important enough to be inspected and protected from pollution. But many Kansans, primarly farm groups and the lawmakers who listen to them, found those rules too invasive. They envisioned government inspectors tromping through their fields and pastures, posting notices and requiring fencing to keet) cattle — well, to keep cattle poop — away from even the dustiest stream. .And perhaps that is exactly what would have happened. But, even with the passage of this bill, Kansas officials have yet to come up with anything better. Now, we have to. We have to mean it. And we have to pay for it. If we say we can take care of our own water supply, then we had better take care of our own water supply We had better have good reasons for exempting even the most isolated stream from water- quality standards, because even the most isolated stream, above ground or below, connects to other streams, and into larger rivers and, eventually, into the state's common water supply, the one that feeds not only cities but other farms. Somehow, this bill flies in the face of everything else we've seen in Topeka this year. It's been a year of falling revenues, tight budgets and conservative Republicans, the same ones who pushed for this water-quality legislation, claiming there's no money to do anything new. And now the state has committed to improving its water-quality inspection and regulation. Who's going to pay for that? — George B. Pyle Journal Columnist • EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK T LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL Where is the 'pro-woman' argument? Hoarding the 'Wind' fir \tie U.S. Constitution is I clear that the purpose of A. copyright law is to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts," not give unlimited power to copyright- holders. A federal judge in Atlanta ought to reject a lawsuit by the holder of the "Gone With the Wind" copyright and allow the publication of "The Wind Done Gone," a reinterpretation of the story from a slave's perspective. Margaret Mitchell, in "Gone with the Wind," created vivid characters who personified a myth of benign slave-owning. Alice Randall, in "The Wind Done Gone," creates a new character, the former slave Cynara, and inserts her into the story, and into the years beyond, with a different mission. The Mitchell estate approved publication of a sequel in 1991 only if there was no mention of miscegenation. Yet in "The Wind Done Gone," Cynara is the child of the plantation owner and the slave Mammy and half-sister of a character called "Other," clearly the "Gone With the Wind" heroine Scarlett O'Hara. This is a book — replete with interracial sex, white oppression, and quiet black resistance — that the myth-maker Margaret Mitchell could not have written. Readers will not be allowed a peek at the book if U.S. Judge Charles Pannell, who will be hearing the case this week, upholds the Mitchell estate's request for a preliminary injunction to prevent publication. An injunction would stitte free expression of ideas without the due process inherent in a trial. The motion should be rejected out of hand. The estate also wants a permanent injunction, and this sliould be rejected as well, because the book does hot infringe on the "Gone With the Wind" copyright. The court needs to consider that the book is not a counterfeit of the original but a commentary on the values that underlie Mitchell's work. Readers unfamilar with the plot of the original would be lost in "The Wind Done Gone." But because "Gone With the Wind" has become a popular classic, Mitchell's characters live in the imaginations of millions of readers. Seen through the eyes of Randall and Cynara, they take on a radically altered appearance. "Other," for instance, lacks the fire of Mitchell's Scarlett and becomes a vague figure whose chief role is to keep Cynara from her mother, the nursemaid Mammy Mitchell died in 1949 just as blacks were beginning their struggle to end the system of segregation that '"Gone With the Wind" sustained. Copyright law will continue to protect the original for the next 30 years from illegal copying and use. Randall's book, a product of a different era and point of view, is also an example of "the useful arts" that the copyright clause was written to foster. People ought to be free to read "The Wind Done Gone" for themselves and decide whether it is successful in helping to right a historic wrong. — The Boston Globe r I have never heard of anyone who believes that abortion is something noble and wonderful, have you? In fact, not even the most radical pro-abortion advocates want to appear really enthusiastic about it. Rather, they claim to simply be supportive of the "concept" of "legal" abortion. Consequently, pro-abortion advocates want to distance themselves from the very act which they defend. Therefore, one strategy pro-abortionists use is to assert that women don't really want to have an abortion, but they sometimes are placed in a situation where they feel that abortion is their only option. And there is an element of truth in this argument. Barring insanity, it's doubtful there has ever been a woman in the history of the world whose fondest dream was that one day she would have an abortion. So the question pro-abortion advocates need to answer is why someone who claims to be "pro-choice" equates this with being "pro-woman?" How is it being "pro- woman" to make it easier for women to do something they really don't want to do? If someone is planning to rob a bank because he lost his job, is deep in debt and has a family to feed, can we honestly claim to be helping him if we make it easier for him to do it? Would we provide a gun to someone threatening suicide? Or alcohol to help a teen overcome her depression? It seems to me, if we are truly interested in helping someone, if we were really interested in their well-being, we would find a way to help them deal with their probl6m instead of aiding and abetting a robbery, suicide, or misuse of alcohol. Abortion is no different. If abortion advocates claim women don't really want abortions, then it's totally illogical and irresponsible for these same people to suggest that women are being "helped" and their lives are "improved" by readily available "legalized" abortion. Which is the pro-woman side in this' battle? The side that profits in a huge way financially from "helping" women make a decision they don't want to make? Or is it the side that pays for, out of their own pockets, and staffs more than 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers and offers these women . legitimate alternatives to an abortion which they don't want? Alternatives such as advocacy, medical care, legal assistance, food, clothing, housing or rent money education or employment resources and other needed services free of charge? And don't try to dodge the issue by talking about advocating birth control. The issue here is about women who are already pregnant, and who really don't want to kill their babies. So the central question is, other than offering to sell them an abortion they don'it really want, just what is the abortion industry doing for women facing a crisis in their pregnancy? — NORBERT HERMES Salina A society gone mad The recent trial of Craig Fischer raised some very disturbing questions. Can anyone explain to me why we allow convicted murderers loose on our streets to prey on our children? Are the lives of those girls he murdered worth no more than 15 or 16 years? The crimes against Charity Maune were totally preventable, just as the murder of the Pittsburgh co-ed Carrie Williams by Gary Kleypas was totally preventable. They should have been executed, or at least never let out of prison. / A society that condones 'killing the innocent (abortion) and yet condemns the execution of murderers is a society gone mad. Isaiah the prophet said, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." That is exactly what we are doing. Those pseudo-righteous individuals who tell me I am not pro-life because I am against abortion but for the death penalty need to inform God that He is not pro-life. It was his idea. — KATHY KINDALL Wells Stop the cruelty Please, no more unwanted dogs and cats. As a animal lover, I am so happy the state inspectors monitoring dog and cat breeding are more aggressive. The animals need someone to speak up and protect them. It is pitiful the way some people treat them. We do not need any more dogs or cats until there are no more animals in the animal shelters. Even the people who treat well the animals they raise to sell, do they know what happens to them? Some die in shipping. Some pet shops let the ones that don't sell starve to death. Please stop raising so many *dogs. One breeder had 130 at one time. Please, people OR OL.V who have dogs and cats, spay/neuter your pets, and animal shelters should not have to do the dirty work of putting, them to sleep. There are about 16,400 dogs killed and put to sleep every single day! We are civilized people. Let's enforce more humane laws for the animals and stop the cruelty — ALITA POPP Wilson Do the right thing It is time for the Kansas Legislature to do the right thing. A $1.76 billion budget for the state social services agency is currently pending without the $2 million that could eliminate the waiting list for the head injury program. The Salina Journal has given some excellent coverage to the long wait people currently have for rehabilitation after a head injury in the state of Kansas. The governor and all state legislators agree this is an overlooked area. The House subcommittee on the Social and Rehabilitation Services budget even stated, "The two- year wait only adds to the damage done at the time of initial injury because research has shown that early intervention after head injury is one of the most important factors in successful rehabilitation." Yet no one has stepped up to the plate and taken on this issue. We must keep the pressure on. The, final chance for this important program is during the final budget bill of the year in late April. Both the House and Senate agree it is important and recommend it for the omnibus appropriations bill. Now it is time to do the right thing. Be fiscally wise and spend the dollars for early rehabilitation rather than lifelong care. Be sensible and spend the dollars on people with potential to become self-sufficient. Appropriate $2 million in the SRS budget so we can draw down the maximum federal match of $3 million so people can become self-sufficient without the wait. Think of your own situation. If money is tight and you know there is something you can't do without, you figure our how to do the right thing. People with brain injuries cannot do without rehabilitation. Our elected officials need to hear from all of us that we want them to do the right thing and give people with brain injuries a fighting chance. Please contact the governor and your legislator today — JANET M. WILLIAMS Mission Sports put too much strain on children After cutting corruption, another way school districts can save money is cut sports programs by one-third. It is a documented fact that students do not get enough sleep, yet during the school months we see buses loaded with pupils at mid-afternoon going to some distant part of the state for a ball game. Those kids won't get back home before midnight. At dawn they are rousted out of bed to do a bit of homework then back to the rat race. It is no coincidence that academics lag during the years sports activities increase. Considering all the other activities kids are pushed into, it's no wonder they are stressed out. It seems to be a status symbol for parents to see how many activities they can load on their children. Kids need two nights a week at home to get re-acquainted with their parents and siblings and one night a week at their church where they can learn morals and DOONESBURY ethics that they certainly aren't learning anywhere else. It's time maniacal coaches and egotistical parents put aside their own feelings and consider the children. And besides, that's taxpayer money you are spending. — ARLISS WEINMAN Phillipsburg A wonderful teacher What a wonderful article on Pat Lindquist ("Hall of Famer," April 6). I was a member of the Cardinal 4-H Club from 7th grade until I graduated from Ell- Saline High School in 1992. Pat is a wonderful leader and teacher. She coached me through many 4-H talks and even on to win the state 4-H award for wildlife. She has had a very positive influence-on my life and even to this day I appreciate all she has taught me. She gave me the confi- •« dence to speak in front of large crowds and to be confident in myself. Whenever I call my parents, I always ask how she's doing and it never fails that whenever I run into her at a community event I always get a big hug. — JENNY FARMER GARCIA Manhattan Good luck with anti-tobacco program in Saline County Those of us concerned about the tobacco-caused death rates in Kansas and the numbers of children afflicted with tobacco addiction appreciated your recent discussion of the $500,000 tobacco prevention program funded from the tobacco settlement proceeds. And you are right. The tobacco companies are still in the fight to maintain their "market share," and they are doing it with our children, who are still the newest tobacco customers. In Kansas, we see the representative from the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association and from the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association travel from Overland Park, to Topeka, to Manhattan to bewail the fate of restaurant owners who have been coerced into believing that the elimination of smoking in eating establishments will somehow destroy their businesses. And yet only about one in five adult Kansans smoke — and many of those understand the importance of "Taking It Outside." Kansas is receiving millions of dollars from the tobacco companies and yet allocating only a "sliver," as you call it, to tobacco prevention. We have great hopes for Salina's fight against the health and economic disaster caused by tobacco use. Good luck to the your tobacco-prevention program. Those of us in other communities can only hope that the Legislature reinvests in this program so Salina will receive multi-year funding for its life-saving project. We also hope the successful results in Saline County will lead to funding for similar programs for other communities in Kansas. As much as we commend the immunization-against-tobacco program in Salina, we want all Kansans, particularly all Kansas children, to receive the same level of vaccinations to protect them against tobacco use: the single, most deadly most preventable cause of death in our country and in our state. — MARY JAYNE HELLEBUST Topeka • Mary Jayne Hellebust is executive director of the Kansas Smokeless Kids Initiative Inc. By G.B. TRUDEAU ^'^•^ \ PONT

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