Letter to the editor
To the editor,
As a local Chanute business owner and a member of our local high school site council, my wife and I attend a lot of area school activities. This has been our first experience in Chanute at the state level with our football team, as it has been more than 70 years since we have advanced this far.
As a member of our site council we are privy to many complaints that may arise while attending these events and problems associated with them, personally speaking it is generally nit picking and not worth mentioning. From what I witnessed at this game and the complaints I received from people that I respect, there were a lot of problems with this game and some members of your community.
The first complaint I have is how our local radio broadcaster Mike Sutcliffe was treated.
He is a 25+year veteran of broadcasting and confined to a wheel chair. I know for a fact he makes a lot of extra preparation to do these games because of the limitations of many of these facilities. At the end of the game the lights were turned out and he had to recover his equipment by flashlight. Then he was pelted with food and rocks by local fans. To top it off the battery on his vehicle went dead so he contacted the local police department to find out who could possibly help him and was told he would have to "contact someone else." So he was forced to call for help out of Lawrence. Not to mention he had been barricaded in the parking lot in the process!
The secnd complaint is as I understand it that more than 140 parking tickets were issued to our local fans. Having recently hosted a state playoff game in Chanute, and having our own limitations for parking and having fans parking in inappropriate places, I am quite sure there were no tickets issued that night. It is the responsibility of the host to make sure of ample parking for the out of town fans. Why should they be punished for someone else's inadequacies? I would like to know how many total tickets were issued and were our local fans targeted. As I walked out the only vehicles I saw with tickets were Chanute fans. This has the appearance of nothing more than either a quick buck for your city or spite, neither of which should be acceptable.
The third and final complaint there should be some kind of state guidelines as to what facilities should be available to host a state playoff game as this game was overwhelming for you and probably most other communities. The KSHSAA should be involved in doing a better job of oversight. If they can regulate the amount of admission they should be able to set other guidelines.
If this is what goes on during state playoffs in Baldwin and how the games are played and how fans act, for myself I think Chanute can wait another 70 years.
(Editor's note: After receiving this letter late Tuesday night, the Signal started checking on the acqusations. We will continue. However, after talking to the broadcaster on the phone Wednesday morning, we want to make it clear and so does he, that he was not personally pelted with rocks and food. His bus was. A story on all the allegations will be in next week's Signal.)