Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2005

Letters to the Editor

May 5, 2005

To the Editor:

The weeks long summer break is close at hand. Families are planning vacations, looking at summer ball schedules, outlining projects around the house and generally just looking forward to a busy and often hectic time ahead. Most, that is, except the elementary and intermediate aged school kids who often times find themselves with not much to do until mom and dad get home from work, or an older sibling can get them to the pool for the afternoon. Television, computer games or an aimless roaming of the house or the neighborhood are too often the only choice they have, even if in the care of surrogate parents for the daylight hours.

Some are fortunate enough to have basketball camps, Scout camps or day and residential camps on the schedule for the summer. For others, none of these options are available due to financial restraints that are very real. The Baldwin City Recreation Department does offer day camp for those who have completed kindergarten through fifth grade as one option for the summer. I am pleased to note that an increasingly large number of families are seeing these camps as a viable choice for their children. We believe that we are providing a positive and enriching experience for our children to have. Unfortunately, with camp costing around $1,000 for the whole summer, many who seriously need both the experience and the mundane requirement for supervision are unable to attend simply due to a lack of funds.

It is ironic to find that those least able to afford the fees we must charge are the ones who value the opportunity the most. Therefore, we are attempting to develop a scholarship fund that will bridge the shortfall of honoring all the requests we have for scholarships at day camp. We do not give anyone a free ride to camp. We believe that it is important for each family to pay what they can. However we hate to turn kids away from programs simply due to financial reasons. Consequently, we ask you to help.

A week at camp costs a participant $85 for the hours 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when most families have the greatest need of something for the kids to do. Because we ask they pay what they can, we find that $55 will cover the costs for staffing, supplies and most field trips. This year, virtually half of those who have signed up for camp right now have requested scholarships. So far, The Baldwin State Bank, Hillco Mortgage, The Lodge, The Mother's Club, Rodrock Chiropratic, Santa Fe Market and True Brit have pledged or donated at least two week's fees for a child to attend our Day Camps. Can you help? You don't have to be a business or make a major contribution. We welcome any assistance, and the kids will be better for it. Call us at 594-3670 for additional information.

Monte Ezell

Director of Recreation

To the editor:

Last weekend, Lighthouse Baptist Temple held its annual Mother/Daughter Banquet at Harter Union on the Baker campus. The banquet was a tremendous success and we would like to thank everyone who participated in any way. Our thanks to those who prepared the food and decorated and thanks to those who attended. We are looking forward to next year.

The Women of Lighthouse Baptist Temple

To the editor:

The Rainbow Experience Preschool received exciting news on Wednesday, April 27. After many years and hours of labor, the vision of several boards of directors and teachers of past has finally come to fruition. Rainbow has received national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This was not an easy endeavor, and with each obstacle and setback that had to be overcome, the focus remained on the children who would benefit.

For those teachers and parents and countless volunteers who worked diligently all these years, constantly seeking improvements in Rainbow's early education program and meeting the standards set by NAEYC, the current board of directors and staff want to extend a big thank you! Without you and your vision, Rainbow would not be what it is today. Our community can be very proud to know that we have another option for our preschoolers to receive a quality, early childhood education.

Angel Fursman

Board President


To the editor:

The Kansas Chamber's Legal Institute works toward greater fairness in the civil justice system. Unfortunately, asbestos litigation is out of control causing dozens of companies in America to declare bankruptcy jeopardizing thousands of jobs.

The majority of asbestos claims are filed by individuals who have not suffered physical impairment.This has overwhelmed our courts and caused a delay in compensating those asbestos victims who truly need it. Already, companies with factories in Kansas have been targeted by trial lawyers and it is only a matter of time before these lawsuits hurt small businesses and damage the Kansas economy.

The best solution to this problem is in legislation before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Sam Brownback sits.Mark-up of the bill is scheduled for May 12.There is an opportunity to create a no-fault asbestos victims compensation fund wholly funded by defendant companies.No taxpayer dollars will be required.It would be a win-win for asbestos victims, small businesses, and the Kansas economy.

Asbestos victims will finally receive fair, timely compensation and will not have to pay attorney fees as they won t need a lawyer to receive a settlement from the fund.Small businesses will be protected from groundless lawsuits.

Congress should act on this problem now.Every year that Congress delays dealing with this situation is another year of lost jobs, asbestos victims without compensation, and small businesses going broke due to frivolous lawsuits.Passing this legislation will help the Kansas economy.

S. Lewis Ebert

President & CEO

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce

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