B2 FRIDAY. OCTOBER 25, 1996 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 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal ©aol.com Quote of the day "Ifeel sort of popular and sort of silly." Kalina Arpke 9-year-old Salina girl on being pictured on the cover of the new Southwestern Bell • telephone book T COMMENT By SCOTT SEIRER / The Salina Journal Kansas' old house THE ISSUE A crumbling Cedar Crest THE ARGUMENT It's time to invest in the governor's mansion T he electrical wiring is a fire hazard, the plumbing is antiquated and the steam heat system is so finicky that the tenants must battle it with air conditioning in deep winter. A slumlord's rental property? Hardly. It's our governor's mansion in Topeka. From a distance, Cedar Crest, a three- story French country-style mansion of more than 5,000 square feet, is a jewel. It is a handsome and stately crown at the peak of a hill visible from Interstate 70 in northwest Topeka. But look closer and the house is an unsafe, unsightly mess. Such a close look was taken recently by Thaine Hoffman, state architect, whose list of needed repairs and improvements totals nearly $1.5 million. It's a cost that the state should bear. Governor and Salina native Bill Graves is too kind to pitch a fuss, but he has to be concerned about housing his wife and baby in such a dilapidated structure. Cedar Crest is an historic building and an architectural treasure that was donated to the state 35 years ago by Madge MacLennan, wife of a wealthy Topekan. It is more than a residence for the governor. Cedar Crest is a museum, housing antiques and state artifacts that are available for public viewing. And it is a site for state functions. But like many grand old homes, Cedar Crest is a maintenance nightmare. The make-do patches and improvements have not kept pace with deterioration and obsolescence. The consequences of neglect are starting to show. Recently, leaky plumbing damaged an ornate ceiling in the dining room. The problems could be worse. The electrical system, not properly grounded, is a threat to life and safety. Architect Hoffman's list of needed improvements includes electrical and plumbing work, a heating and cooling system, security system work, asbestos removal and window replacement. There's more. As you'd expect in such a rundown place, the interior decor is a joke. The furniture and fabrics are frayed and the wood floors are pitted and scratched. A private, nonprofit group, Friends of Cedar Crest, has plans to seek donations to redecorate the mansion. That's a good start. But first, structural and mechanical improvements are needed to stabilize the building. That's a responsibility the state should not shrink away from. Cedar Crest is worth the investment of improvement, from historical, architectural and functional standpoints. But the reasons to begin the work soon are more compelling than that, for health and safety are at risk. We owe the state's chief executive the peace of mind of knowing that Cedar Crest is a safe and pleasant place not only for his family, but also for the staff and visitors who share the home. Parental rights vs. public school system Religious right's first parental rights test will be with Colorado voters u TOM TEEPEN Cox News Service I nable this year to slip its misleading "parental rights" leg- ^ islation past a Congress even more sympathetic than most, the religious right is now trying to pick off the states like strays. The first target is Colorado. Supporters have said that if Colorado suckers this year, they will launch similar efforts in 20-plus ^ states next year. The Colorado referendum proposes a benign-seeming amendment to the state constitution: "The rights of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children shall not be infringed. The legislature shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." Sounds fine, but the real goal is to create such turmoil in public education that weary voters and courts finally give in to school i WISH me /SRA.EUIS WOULD JUST LET us DO AS W£ PLEASE. PALEST/AJ/ANlS WOULD JUST LET US DO AS £ PLEASE. In case you were -wondering vihai to the dove, of peace WWAT CAME 70 THE TABLE LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL P.O. BOX 740, SALINA, KANSAS 67402 vouchers and shift tax money to religious and other private schools, the joint aim of sectarian and secular reactionaries. The amendment could call child-abuse laws and other children's protections into legal doubt. It would open the schools to endless harassment by parents provoked by right-wing hustlers, to sue over homework, reading lists, course syllabuses — even, as a study by the Congressional Research Service concluded, classroom seating arrangements. The parental rights campaign acts out the goofball paranoia that public schools are enemies of God and country and child-protection laws snatch kids from good Christian homes to tutor them in — something. It's nonsense, but the push has big conservative foundation money behind it and the enthusiasm of the right — home-schoolers and the Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer, James Dobson crowd, no fans of public schools. The issue might flummox a Colorado electorate more focused on a noisy proposal to tax the property of churches and other nonprof- its. More kids than Colorado's are at risk. If they can make it rain in Colorado, the parental- rights pushers will take that as a sign they can flood the country. Lack of support for education will cost us I hear it, and I believe it. Youth crime is up. Youth drug use is up. Youth gang involvement is up. Well guess what? We paid for it. What do people expect when they begrudge the education system every penny appropriated? I have said it before and I will continue to say it: every • dollar cut from education will be spent 10 times over in corrections and social programs. Does anyone out there honestly think it is a coincidence that we closed a school during the same year we opened a new and bigger jail? A jail, by the way, that is still too small to serve the community. Doesn't that sound odd? We don't think of a jail as performing a community service, but that's what it does. Jail is where society's failures go to be separated from society's successes. It's what protects the rest of us from the predators. Sadly though, each of those predators started life the same way we did — as innocent children, trusting, needing nurturing, training, respect, discipline, education and love. Through no fault of their own they did not receive the tools they needed to make socially acceptable decisions. I do not know that the education system could have made much of a difference, but I do know that many successful people who come from difficult family circumstances-often credit some special teacher with motivating them to believe in themselves and aspire to overcome their upbringing. Think about it people — from ages 5 through 12 it is the grade school teacher who spends over six hours a day with our children. Think also about this: in a capitalist system a person's value to society is measured by his/her salary. I make no judgment about it: that's simply the way it is. We value sports players, actors, bureaucrats and politicians far more than we value the teachers who will, literally as well as figuratively, shape the future of our civilization. Interestingly enough, in a democracy we do everything necessary to have exactly the social conditions we deserve. I just don't know where we are going to find the money to build all the jails we will eventually need. — MICHAEL MURPHY Salina Our need for Perot ought to be obvious Mr. Perot talks about the real issues and how to face our problems together — not misleading issues to draw your attention away from the real thing. They tramp on our freedoms and the Constitution by stopping Perot in the debate, by censoring the congressional records and trying to stop you from even knowing how they vote (Christian Coalition). They tell you about their wonderful new drug programs while at the same time they let it come in from Mexico (Readers Digest, January 1996). They make promise upon promise while they steal your job, taxes, etc. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have a media controlled by those in power. If you love your country, the time to do something was many years before now, but it's not too late. Read the back pages; get informed. By using honesty and common sense you will see the need for Mr. Perot. It's not too late. Step up — vote Perot and the Reform Party. — RAY BELDEN Glen Elder There's someone who wants to live here? I've noticed that much is being made of the fact that Tara Dawn Holland, Miss America 1997, hasn't lived in Kansas very long. Surely a state that blindly supports Bob Dole, who hasn't lived here for 36 years, and Pat Roberts, who lived in a Kansas hotel until he was old enough to leave for Washington, D.C., some 40 years ago, can find it in its heart to tolerate someone who has voluntarily chosen to move to Kansas. Ms. Holland has already made more trips back to Kansas since her election than Dole or Roberts make between elections. — JOHN T. BIRD Hays Evolutionists, get ready for your fate So, you believe in evolution, right? Did you fall out of the monkey tree and eventually learn to walk upright? Or, did two amoeba wash up on a distant shore, one male and one female that eventually became human? I, personally, believe in God's creation, beginning at the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, all the way through Revelation chapter 22 (King James Version). I have the following questions for evolutionists: The Earth is 24,901.55 miles around at the equator, it rotates once each 24 hours at a speed of 1,037.56 miles an hour. Is that the cause of gravity that keeps everything in its place? How were the sun, moon, stars, galaxies, planets, put in the heavens? How was the water separated from the Earth so you'd have a place to live? How come when the sun is south of the equator we have winter north of the equator? When the earth begins to rotate so the sun starts north of the equator we have spring, then summer, then fall, then winter again? Why was potable water provided for human use? Read chapter 7 of I Corinthians: "Because God established marriage." Read chapter 11 of I Corinthians. God loves all people. But, God hates sin. That is why Jesus Christ, the Son -of God, came to earth. His purpose — to provide the last "blood sacrifice" for sinfulness, wickedness and the evil ways of the people in the flesh. No more would animals or birds be slaughtered and offered as a blood sacrifice for man's sin, wickedness, evil. Even virgin women were sacrificed in some cults/religions. But, if you confess your sin to Jesus Christ, with your mind and heart open to Him; receive Him as your Savior, and are baptized in the Christian baptism — immersion in water — buried alive with Christ and raised up a new creature, repenting of your sins, He is, faithful to have a place prepared for you in God's Heaven. If you do not do these things you will forever be separated from God and be cast into hell along with Satan, the fallen angel, who tried to take away God's Kingdom from Him. Every person is responsible for his belief or disbelief. Every person chooses his eternal destination. There is an eternal destination, when the flesh dies. If only one person finds the way, it will be worth the criticism I will receive from evolutionists — WILBER H. DAVIS Salina Sorry Bob, I trust Clinton with the kids If Clinton and Dole were to be tested about the Christian Bible, which man do you think would be more knowledgeable about the Christian religion? Watching the first family. Clinton does seem to be a good father. He did not dump his first wife for a younger, wealthy woman as did Robert Dole. Some of the population does not seem to realize that all sins do not belong to the sexual category though. Taking from the poor to give to the rich isn't the best way to receive the trust of the American voters. Compassion for those in poverty and without decent-paying work should be high on the political agenda. The signs are positive in many ways of American life with Clinton as president. Life will never be the same as before because our population is growing all over the world, as well as in the United States. With more people, more jobs are needed; yet we have these big American business companies (with U.S. tax welfare) going elsewhere for cheap labor. The average American voter can tell you it takes money to live, to send your children to college or to receive health care. Citizens are caught in a bind because they care about each other, yet we have this huge debt in government that should be paid. Only magic can pay an enormous debt while cutting taxes for citizens with children, raising the defense budget and ignoring the large corporation welfare problem. Dole is not without changing his mind back and forth in his long political life. His recent turn about ideas is difficult to swallow. Sorry, Dole, I would trust my children's lives with President Clinton. — BILLIE SCHARDEIN Great Bend Swartzendruber will serve the people Voters in the 69th District should elect Gary Swartzendruber as their state representative this November. Gary understands "the purpose of a Legislature is to serve the people. Many times we find elected officials with big egos who only want to make a difference as long as they have a personal gain to. make their own life better, usually financially. Gary knows that serving as a legislator is not a career. He is a friendly person and listens to other people's ideas and opinions. He won't have the attitude that only he knows what is best for Kansas. What we need in the Kansas House are good, down-to-earth, common-sense-thinking people. Fortunately, Gary Swartzendruber is one of them. — MATTHEW TRAMP Salina Write-in candidate left out of the debates I am very proud to be running for the First District Congressional seat as an independent candidate. However, I am very appalled at the treatment independent candidates have received this election cycle. What's with being left out of debates and uninvited to public candidate forums? I offer my experience of having been left out of the Salina Jaycees Candidate Forum — Randy Picking knew that I am a candidate — and the PBS debate in Manhattan. Mr. Dave Pomeroy of Topeka PBS said I didn't meet the criteria set by PBS for debates. Come on Mr. Pomeroy — the public isn't stupid, nor am I. It's a shame that PBS has allowed Archer Daniels Midland and their other corporate sponsors along with the Democratic and Republican parties to set the criteria for the debates. It's also a shame that when challenged, the Democratic and Republican parties are not good enough to issue a response saying no thank you. I can only hope that KSAL stands by its claim of being the "information authority of north- central Kansas" and not just the information authority for the Republican and Democratic parties. — SAMUEL G.S. PRIDY Independent write-in candidate 1st Congressional District By G.B. TRUDEAU WUHB& IS, IMROUANA?! 7HOU6HT7H&® 7HAT&WWPROP2151& 50 IMPORTANT! WITH A POCJQKS IQW5P10GKW IJUANA IN/W QWNHQM&!
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