If this is truly a Government of the People, By the People and For the People, thin i believe that it is time that we should let Kansas and Federal legislatures uno what we, the People, want instead of letting the legislatures telling us what we want (e.g. cuts to education). I propose that residents of Crawford County submit to this paper letters identifying just two items of their want list (allowing for more letters) and the reasons why we are submitting these wants. then we should collect the letters and send them to our representatives.

I will begin:

First, I want affordable higher education. The only surefire way out of poverty is through education. Yet the cost of educations growing out of the reach of those who need it to climb out of poverty. due to the fact that the rate at which the cost of school is outpacing the cost of living, the students who borrow to go to school cannot afford to make the loan payments on the money that was borrowed. A good paying summer job used to be sufficient to cover the cost of your tuition for the upcoming fall and spring semesters. Not any more: From 1982 to 2006 the Consumer Price Index rose 106 percent, the Median Family Income rose 147 percent, the cost of Medical Care 251 percent, but the cost to students for a higher education rose a staggering 439 percent and it is still rising while the Median Income remains almost stagnant. The rise is not due to inflation (CPI rose only 106 percent) bu in a large part to the state declining to fund higher education.

We need to get back to making higher education affordable. Maybe the new slogan should be: Making Americans great again and that means providing an affordable education for the people who live in America.

Second, I want no sales tax on on grocery items. We are one of only 13 states who impose a sales tax on grocery items; and of those 13 states many, (like Missouri) have a reduced sales tax for grocery items. Eliminating the sales tax on grocery items will enable a family with a $200 grocery bill to spend almost 18 more dollars on groceries: more milk, more poultry, more pasta. In a time when the Lord’s Diner is providing meals for those who find it difficult to afford to buy groceries it seems intentionally cruel to make people pay an ever increasing sales tax (increased last session under Gov Brownback) on grocery items when they have trouble buying groceries.

Robert Tomassi

Pittsburg

(Editor’s note: We think this a fine idea and encourage our readers to send us similar letters. We’ll be happy to collect them and forward them on to the Crawford County Legislative Delegation. — ed.)

Shame on Morning Sun

Letter to the Editor:

Shame on you, Morning Sun! How sad that school children study hard for the spelling bee and you don’t even put the same or picture of the winner in the paper, but you DO have pictures of person(s) who commit crimes! I for one am so tired of hearing news about bad people — especially on the front page — so why not put more emphasis on good things that happen. Even the sports section tells you who won a game! I feel sorry for the child who won and also the winners in each division along with runners-up. This was an honor for them so why not let them know it? Stop giving criminals the attention!

Thank you … until next time.

Marsha Mauersberger

Pittsburg

Thanks to National Guard

To The Editor:

Question: Why would someone wake up at 6:00 AM and then drive a couple hours to spend 5 minutes raising an American flag?

Answer: Because it is the duty they were asked to perform by their commanding officer…but more to the point is the fact that they would do it over, and over, and over again, because it is their privilege to honor our flag, and what it stands for.

This was the scene last weekend when four members of the Kansas Army National Guard’s 35th Military Police Company drove hours to get to the middle of nowhere by 8:15 AM to show a group of young Boy Scouts how to properly raise an American Flag. 

The four enlisted service men and women did not know each other well despite being from the same unit, but they quickly assembled, shared ideas and allowed the ranking service woman to lay a plan which would be executed by her newly formed team. 

Her team performed flawlessly and I have never seen the boys in our Troop stand so straight, and salute so resolutely, as they did that unusually warm February morning. The site of that flag whipping against a bright blue sky 20 feet in the air, and the pride I had seeing those young men and women perform that solemn duty, will stay with me always. 

Following the ceremony the Guardsmen and women volunteered an hour of their time to discuss service to others, the chain of command and their personal stories that led them to join the Air Force and Army. Their stories were honest and from the heart, and this discussion set the tone for a weekend of learning about leadership and teamwork for the future leaders of our communities, our state and our nation.  

As a state we should be honored to know that our young Guardsmen and women are willing to give of themselves so freely and openly for the betterment of the future. Through this letter I would like to publicly thank the leadership of the Kansas Army National Guard, the leadership and men and women of the 35th Military Police Company and the Kansas State Coordinator for Military Funeral Honors, Rod Moyer. These are outstanding members of our community. I am proud of their contributions to the development of youth in our state and I am proud to know that Southeastern Kansas has turned out another outstanding leader for the Guard and the service men and women of our state in Major General Lee Tafanelli. 

Sincerely:

R.J. Wilson

Shawnee