The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 17, 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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Tuesday, April 17, 2001
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2001 AJ Tom Bell Editor & Publisher Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. " To join the conversation, Swrite a letter to J3!vthe Journai at: ;X P.O. Box 740 Salina,KS 67402 Fax: (785) 827-6363 E-mail: SJLetters® saljournal.com W Ms In C (ft Quote of the day "It is still our duty this session to do something responsible— something that is responsible to the schools and administrators and responsible to the taxpayers." Sen. Dwayne Umbarger R-Thayer, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Do US no favors THE ISSUE Saline County Commission THEARGUMBUT County needs new administrator I et's give Saline County commissioners the benefit of -J the doubt and assume they mean well by delaying the hiring of a covmty administrator. Let's assume one of the reasons commissioners have not even decided whether to hire an administrator is because they sincerely want to do what is right for county residents, and they are not sure we are better served by a full-time professional administrator. And let's assume they think that by delaying this decision, they are doing us a favor by saving county taxpayer's money by doing the job themselves. If that is the case, then we have one request of the county commission: Please, please, don't do us any more favors. It has been proven time and again that cities and counties — and organizations in general — run better and more efficiently if they are managed by one fuU-time trained professional. And it is common knowledge in business that managers and their employees are happier and more productive if they are given specific responsibilities and performance standards, plus the authority to accomplish their jobs without over-the-shoulder monitoring. There is no reason to believe that managing Saline County would be any different. Management by committee rarely works — no matter how sincere its members. This is especially true when the committee only works part-time, which is the case with Saline County commissioners. In fact, while commissioners may assume they are saving money by this delay, they may be costing taxpayers money in lost efficiencies. In this current arrangement, decisions that should be made instantly instead are made weekly Those delays can cost money Additionally, there are advantages to hiring a full-time professional manager from outside the county, one who can bring fresh perspective to the job. Organizations find there is value to hiring managers from current staff, but there is also value in injecting new blood into a system — someone who may know more efficient ways of completing tasks and projects. We appreciate commissioners' desire to save money and do what is best for the county But we urge them to foUow the example set by countless successful organizations and businesses: Hire a professional manager and then get out of the way — Tom Bell Editor & Publisher LETTERS TO THE JDURIMAL P.O. Box 740, Salina, KS 67402 SJLetters@saljournal.com Dowd is just consumed by fear j The April 5 editorial page is linterestingly arranged. A laud- lable piece on teaching a child ["social and emotional competence" is sandwiched inbe- tween a vicious cartoon showing our new president gleefully running over "kids" while the new veep chucks out "Programs for Children" and a mean-spirited and equally vicious and truth-distorting piece entitled "Soon we will be fearing fear itself." In it, Maureen Dowd seems to pe on intimate terms with our new president. She calls him ."W" eight times. I get the feeling though, that she is really scared to death of him. But I can understand how ishe feels, when I read on, that he has been able to mess up the ^tock market, get into deep ;trouble with China, upset the Japanese stock markets, cause itrouble with Russia and has jeven annoyed a German news•paper editor. Isn't this amazing? I. can't recall another president who has been able to screw up so much in only 75 days. Wow! And to do all this while "he's taking naps and knocking off early, while the rest of us are getting jittery jand losing sleep"! I Notice the words "us" and "we" — "soon we will be fearing"! I fear the poor woman is con­ sumed with fear. She writes, (with trembling hand, no doubt), that she is "afraid" to drink the water, to breathe the air, to visit California in the dark, that the Dow will drop. And she's "afraid" of China, of Russia and that North Korea wiU fire missiles at us. Maureen Dowd is not alone in this type of writing in the Journal. Molly Ivins and Tom Teepen are, if anything, more vicious. One wonders if they are at aU capable of a gracious word for those who dare to hold a contrary opinion. I do enjoy other coverage, local news and features of the Journal, but it would be nice if you would exercise some control over what comes from other sources, which are in glaring contrast to the mores of many of your readers, who distrust syndicated columnists the likes of Dowd, Ivins and Teepen. — DAVID A. LANGTON Salina Even the Bible has evolved My heart goes out to those who need the illusion of a God to know right from wrong. My heart goes out to those whose faith is so shallow that they cannot embrace the beauty of the fact of evolution. Even the Bible has evolved. — FRED ELLIOTT Salina • VISIONS OF KANSAS A new Kansas media star is born -4- Charles Koch has finally figured out how to get along with the media C harles Koch has finally learned how to get along with the media — love us and laugh at yourself At this year's journalists-produced Gridiron show in Wichita, Koch and his wife, Liz, were the surprise guests of honor. Tradition calls for guests to do stand-up shtick with cast members — a couple of double-entendre jokes, a few zingers and some self- deprecating humor — the goal being to reduce news­ makers to the level of journalists. With its motto "burn, but don't singe," the Wichita Gridiron, modeled after a similar skits-and-satire event put on by journalists in Washington, is a chance to let off some pressure between the media and the people they cover It's like medieval times when the court jesters took over the castle for a day Koch was terrific. The head of one of the nation's largest corporations and a fascinating individual in his own right, Koch cracked wise about his tumultuous relationship with the press. The best comparison is Union and Confederate veterans meeting 50 years after the war and recalling old battles: the Koch • POINT OF VIEW DAVID AWBREY for the Salina Journal Kansas — to be blunt—faces a leadership crisis. family feuds, the environmental lawsuits, the secretive political contributions. Indeed, for journalists seeking great stories — whether gossip mongers or Wall Street reporters —the Kochs have offered one- stop shopping for more than two decades. But Koch shouldn't complain about recent headlines. The company last week ended a politically charged confrontation with the federal government by paying a fine in a Texas pollution case. Koch Industries has been highly praised — deservedly so — for its sponsorship of the television documentary "Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie," on PBS this week. The Kochs also have won hearts by recent large donations to charities in Kansas and to a new basketball arena at Wichita State University In Kansas, the Kochs matter. Headquartered in a giant glassy black box in north Wichita, Koch Industries employs thousands of Kansans and pays them well to oversee company operations ranging from cattle ranching to options trading, from the Internet to oil wells. Old Economy New Economy Koch Industries is practically an economy within itself Under Charles Koch's leadership, Koch Industries has risen from a regional energy company to become one of the most successful corporations in U.S. business history A global financial mover-and-shaker, Koch Indus­ tries alone makes Kansas a big player in the world economy. Son of a fierce anti-communist father and brother of a Libertarian Party vice- presidential candidate, Charles Koch has been somewhat active in national conservative politics — he helped found the freethinking Cato Institute — and has favored such causes as school vouchers, but he has maintained a low profile within the state's political and business communities. I hope the Gridiron appearance and the Tallgrass Prairie show indicate that Koch will become more active in Kansas now that he has passed the age 65 milestone. Kansas — to be blunt — faces a leadership crisis. There are many good people in politics, but none seems to have a strong vision of what Kansas should do to maintain a strong economy and enhance the quality of life in the state. And none is a compelling character capturing the public's interest. Koch owns a worldwide business that needs to recruit the highest-caliber talent to Kansas. Koch's values — "Integrity and humility and hard work, respect for others, and then, as I mentioned earlier, a strong sense of entrepreneurship," he told The Wichita Business Journal — are those held by the vast majority of Kansans. And in the age of the celebrity business executive, Koch, who is disarmingly unpretentious, easily commands public attention. Accept it, Mr Koch, you're a media star. Any comment? • David S. Awbrey, editor of Ad Astra magazine, can be reached by e-mail at awbrey@sunflower.com. Meanwliile, back at the ranch... Europe appears to be a vast untapped market for the finest of salad dressings K etchup, mustard and mayonaise are very popular condiments. They can be found at virtually any restaurant and in the kitchens of all sorts of people. These three condiments are very good, there is no denying it, but an often overlooked staple condiment is ranch dressing. Ranch dressing can be used to improve any food item that is not sweet. It improves the taste of pizza, breadsticks, chicken, croutons, rice and (obviously) salad. It does wonders for any food made from potatoes: french fries, potato skins, baked potatoes and potato chips. It is truly a wonderful thing. Without ranch, on most days, school lunch would be hopelessly sub-par all the time. Ranch can be used to disguise the staleness of the breadsticks. It's also a good topic for lunchtime conversation. It's a rather controversial conversation, reaUy I brought up the subject at lunch one day. People either love it or they hate it, and they wiU defend their preference with a raised voice and lots of hand ges- KRISTIN CONARD for the Salina Journal -# tures. It was one of the more interesting lunch topics of the year I didn't participate much after bringing up the subject. I did a lot of glaring at the anti-ranch people, and after questioning their sanity I realized that they were people, too, and started talking to them again. I brought up ranch another time at lunch and discovered to my horror that it could not be obtained in the Cayman Islands. Ashley Snyder, a close friend of mine who visited the Islands on spring break, said, "I asked for ranch dressing and they (the waiter) didn't know what I was talking about." I almost choked on my water, I just couldn't believe it. Ranch dressing should be a staple for restaurants and resorts everywhere. During this same conversation, someone brought up the fact that in Europe they don't have ranch dressing. That being truly unbelievable, plus the fact that the person who told me wasn't reaUy sure, I decided to research. The only thing you get when you enter "ranch dressing" in a search engine is about 500 different recipes for various kinds of ranch dressing. Nowhere, that I saw, does anyone devote a Web site to the history and usage of ranch dressing throughout the world. It's quite sad. I didn't give up. I went to a chat room. I'm not really a chat room person, this was probably my second or third time. I asked if there was anyone in the room from Europe. There was someone from England DOOIMESBURY and someone from Scotland. I asked them if they ever used ranch dressing. It took a while for them to realize that I was talking about salad dressing, which is caUed salad cream according to my English source. Once they realized what I was talking about, they thought I was a crazy nut. Apparently salad dressing isn't a hot topic in chat rooms. I explained what I was doing, and eventually they said they had never heard of ranch dressing before. They asked me what it was, and I didn't really know how to put into words just how good ranch dressing is. So I simply shut off my computer I brought back my new knowledge to the lunch table. Several people were a bit creeped out by the intensity of my research, due to the fact that it's commonly known I have an attention span of about 7 seconds. A fellow r^nch lover decided that Europe was an untapped market for ranch dress'- ing, and that we should move to Europe following graduation and sell ranch dressing packets on street corners. It's an intriguing idea, but one I'll put off seriously thinking about until after college. So, in 600 some odd words, I have dazzled you with my wit, or I have bored you to tears. Either way, long live ranch dressing! • Kristin Conard is a senior at Salina Central High School who is writing for the Salina Journal Viewpoints page as a part of the career intern program. By G.B. TRUDEAy eOOP MORNING. /WP HO/SBCOMBMORYOF

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