Archive for Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Letters to the editor

December 19, 2001

To the editor:

I'm writing for many people. We feel we deserve the reasons for all this police mess. Our administrator, mayor, council members and city employees are also paid by the rest of us. It may concern personnel but we, the public, deserve an explanation for all the mess that has been going on. Surely all this couldn't have just occurred when the new members and mayor came into office. We think it is time we were let known, being that we, too, are paying the bills. Not just a few pay the bills. We are not impressed with all this hubbub. Answers are due the public, whether it is personnel or not. It does concern us.

Phyllis Hobson
Baldwin City

To the editor:

I wish to thank the Baldwin Athletic Club for their community support in displaying one of the posters made by one of the Cub Scout dens. Your understanding of a small community and willingness to promote the spirit of a small town is commended.

I am, though, disappointed with another new business in town that, per corporate rules (?) declined to assist these young gentlemen. I noticed that the shelving in the business blocked a large portion of the windows and to put a poster in the window behind the shelving would not have deterred anyone's view.

I realize in large cities that corporations must have some guidelines, but in a small town? Especially when the Cub Scouts were not asking for donations, just a spot in the window to display a poster? A poster honoring veterans, emergency workers and the spirit of the country.

Maybe the corporation just came to town to take our money, eh? Maybe that is their (mean) spirit? I do understand this probably is not the opinion of the employees (community members). They are just following the corporate rules.

Again, kudos to the Baldwin Athletic Club and sympathies to the other one.

Kelly Garrison
Lawrence

To the editor:

For the past year, I have listened to my husband and our neighbors near our Baldwin City/Ottawa farm express concern and dismay about the proposed John Coen dairy. They have written many articles citing valid information regarding this giant Confined Animal Facility and why it should not be built in this highly populated area, why it should not be built near the flood plains of Tauy Creek, and why it should not be built so near Baldwin City or Ottawa. The lists are endless.

Although his information is very important and accurate, I feel there is only one fact important to the reader: this huge proposed dairy facility will be placed 400 feet from a neighbor's house. I repeat, 400 feet from a family home and farm where a married couple raised their children and worked for over 50 years. It is inconceivable why anyone would even consider this selfish and uncivil action. With so many laws, does Kansas not have a "be kind and decent to your neighbor law," especially when a home and property are at stake that has been acquired and paid for through years of hard work and commitment.

I teach seniors in high school, a position I feel each day is a privilege because it allows me to be part of the future of today's youth. I want them to understand we all have an obligation as a responsible citizen to take care of our neighbors and to fight for their rights and dignity, but we do not have the right to destroy their lifetime of work, or take away their pride in what they have accomplished for our own self-serving purpose. To do this would be "un-American" and a complete disregard for all the ideals and freedoms most of us fight to preserve.

With this in mind, I find it difficult to believe that a person who has accepted the leadership of helping guide and protect the education of young people would act in such a self-serving manner. As a teacher I am suspect of the integrity of the lessons Coen will be teaching the youth of Baldwin City and Ottawa by this example of "400 feet." What lesson plans would Coen construct? For example, a math lesson to measure the distance of 400 feet from one structure to the next to prove just what a "long" distance it is. Or, a lecture for the psychology class introduces as "The Coen and 21st Century Alliance Theory: Today we will learn how to introduce stress into our neighbor's lives." How about rewriting the preamble to the Constitution in a government class to state, "We the people of the 'Dairy' do hereby agree not to respect or regard the rights of others." Finally, an English class could compose a satire for Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and title it "Cow Tails." The members of this dairy group can exemplify the seven sins such as Envy, Pride and Avarice, etc., found in Chaucer's pilgrams. You know Chaucer's characters, the ones who take advantage of other members of society. The moral of Coen's lessons appears to show students how to exploit other people for one's own benefit. I assure you these are not the lessons I would want my students, my children or the students in this community to learn. There are no examples found in Coen's lessons to exemplify respect, dignity, protection, good citizenship or gentlemanly-like conduct. There are no examples found for virtue or wisdom, the qualities needed for the education for today's youth.

It's obvious to me that Coen and his associates have neglected and forgotten their personal and educational responsibilities to the students of this region. Maybe they have also forgotten another basic lesson in life: "treat others as you would have others treat you."

I must ask the question one more time. If one builds a dairy to house 1400 plus cows just 400 feet from a neighbor's house, how does one live with oneself? There is no honor here, but there is a lesson to be learned: four hundred feet is just too close.

Sandra A. Hermreck
Lake Quivira

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