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Category Archives: Commentary/Polls

Sunday guest editorial: The trouble with ‘lesser of 2 evils” is one is still evil

Guest editorial generic

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Fort Worth

by Jason Janoski, Sumner County Republican Party Chairman — On Thursday, Donald Trump officially became the Republican nominee for President of the United States of America.  I reflect now on the future of the Republican Party and the future of our Republic.

Our party has been a noble one.  The Republican Party was founded in 1854 by an anti-slavery Whigs.  Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president.  Republicans led the charge to end slavery.  We resisted, though unsuccessfully, Franklin Roosevelt’s determination to quash individual and state rights and instead magnify the role of the federal government.  Republicans led the civil rights reforms of the 1950s and 1960s, enacting civil rights laws over Democrat objections. 

Jason Janoski

Jason Janoski

Republicans honor the Constitution and the Rule of Law.  We believe what the Declaration of Independence says – that God (not government) gives people inalienable natural rights and it is the purpose of government to preserve those rights.  By providence, our founding fathers wrote and ratified a Constitution which preserves those rights. 

We believe that the federal government may only exercise powers listed in the Constitution.  All other authority is reserved to the states and to the people.   

Because federal authority is enumerated, Republicans believe that the Constitution cannot prohibit states from protecting the lives of unborn babies.  We believe the Constitution cannot prohibit states from deciding that certain conduct or relationships are sexually immoral.  We believe that states are independent laboratories of justice and liberty, free to experiment according to the will of their people.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Cowley College in Wellington question

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What's your initial reaction to a 1/2 cent sales tax proposal to build a Cowley College Campus in Wellington?

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Letter to the editor: Voting for new leadership


To the editor:

The recent Sumner County Farm Bureau Political Forum held July 9 in Wellington and published in the Sumner County Newscow (see here) underscores the importance of the August 2 primary. The incumbents who spoke at the Raymond-Frye Complex clearly don’t understand that Kansas is being driven off a fiscal cliff. Instead, they think that current policies are fine, that there is plenty of revenue, and are roads are great.

They are living with head-in-the-sand syndrome. Sumner Newscow letter to editorBrownback’s tax policies are ruinous.

Brownback and his legions of Republican rubber-stampers thought they could spin tax cuts into gold. The 2012 tax cuts cut individual tax rates by 25 percent and went even further by eliminating taxes on businesses.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The race relations question

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Do you worry about race relations in the U.S.?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The fireworks in Wellington question

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How long do you think fireworks should be legally shot in Wellington?

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Independence Day blog: Our 10 greatest Presidents according to Cueball

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Happy Independence Day weekend everyone. Since I’m in a Patriotic mood and we are about to choose between Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb for President in six months, I thought I would take a look back at Presidents of years past.

So I’ve decided to release the official, “Cueball’s top 10 U.S. Presidents of All Time.”

I’ll count it down Casey Kasem style from 10 to No. 1. This is so exciting – kind of like shooting off fireworks.

10. Andrew Jackson.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

I would have loved to have knocked Mr. Jackson off this list because he was a racist and a jerk. He removed the Indians from the south and put them in Oklahoma (should anyone have to live in Oklahoma?). He also kept the slave trade prospering.

But he dismantled the Bank of the United States that was riddled with corrupt rich fat cat bankers. He also held off South Carolina from seceding from the Union after the state was establishing higher tariffs than the U.S. on imported goods. South Carolina would eventually secede 25 years later, but not because of Jackson.

Jackson could be defined as the Rambo amongst Presidents. He didn’t take much guff from anyone.

9. Lyndon Johnson.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Kevin Durant question

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Do you think Kevin Durant will leave the Oklahoma City Thunder?

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Sumner Newscow poll: The afterlife question

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Do you believe in the afterlife?

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Sumner Newscow weekly polls: The Pew Research Center gun questions

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The following are polls recently conducted by the Pew Research Center. We felt we’d ask the same question here for our weekly poll:

 

Do you support background checks for gun shows and private sales?

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Do you feel there is need for laws to prevent mentally ill from buying guns?

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Do you support a federal database to track gun sales?

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Do you support a ban on assault-style weapons?

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Sunday editorial: Time to name an interim city manager… NOW!

Sumner Newscow editorial

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — There is an old saying that I will clean up for you since this is a family publication.

“Do your business, or get off the toilet.”

I have in the past accused this Wellington City Council of being impulsive. Now I’m asking it to be more decisive.

Name an interim city manager, now.

“Interim” is defined as: “in or for the intervening period; provisional or temporary.”

In other words, it isn’t permanent. It gives the council time to find a permanent city manager replacement while someone is in charge.

But since firing Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert, the council has met twice and has not acted in putting someone in charge. Instead, Mayor Shelley Hansel has stated that assistant to the now phantom city manager (find that job title ironic) Jason Newberry is being place in the day-to-day operation. Finance Director Shane Shields will be in charge of finance. But there has been no resolution to document this.

That may be fine and dandy if things run smoothly. But, let’s say, God forbid, a natural disaster strikes Wellington. Who is in charge? Or let’s say the City of Wellington has a major infrastructure catastrophe? Who is in charge? Would the city be liable by not having someone in charge? What about a lawsuit?

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The what to do next with city manager question

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What should the Wellington city council do with the city manager situation?

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Sumner Newscow Weekly Poll (newer one): The gorilla and small boy question

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Sumner Newscow report — A big controversy has erupted at the Cincinnati Zoo after a 3-year-old boy fell into a pit containing a 400-pound gorilla. Zoo officials killed the gorilla in an attempt to save the boy who had been trapped alone with the gorilla for 10 to 15 minutes. The gorilla was an endangered species. The boy turned out fine. See full story here.

What's your primary feeling of the gorilla killing at the Cincinnati zoo?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The value of your education question

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Do you feel your education whether it be high school or college has been helpful to you in your career?

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Sunday editorial: What is wrong with my state?

Guest editorial generic

Commentary by Andy Speagle, Vice Chairman, Sumner County Democratic Party — What is wrong with my state?

Like many of you, I’m a born, raised and educated citizen of Kansas.  I grew up in a small town and was always amazed at the beauty of this state and the friendliness and caring that I saw from my fellow Kansans.  I served for nearly a decade in the U.S. Army, and upon my departure from that institution I looked forward to returning home to my native land.  Sadly, as the years have drawn on, I’ve become somewhat less enamored with my home state.

Andy Speagle

Andy Speagle

The current failed government experiment, led by Governor Brownback and his cronies in Topeka, threatens to destroy our state.  As we stare down the barrel of another almost $300 million revenue shortfall, we are left looking forward to another raiding of our highway funds, primary, secondary and higher education budgets, retirement funds and other key social programs.  The government’s continued refusal to expand Medicaid via the Affordable Care Act leaves many of our seniors paying much higher medical care costs than necessary.  Why?  How could this happen to the state I call home?  How did we allow this to happen?

It’s clear that our governor and state legislators have forgotten that their jobs are to serve the people; not themselves, not special interests and not their big business buddies.  What’s ultimately sadder is that we seem to be continuing to allow this.  When did we forget that the folks in Topeka don’t rule us, aren’t our lords and masters and are elected merely to represent and serve our best interests?  Does anyone truly believe it’s in our best interests for our schools to go unfunded, for our highways to fall into disrepair, for our citizens to be denied access to affordable health care options?

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The texting question

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How many times do you send a text message via cell phone or social media a day?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Trump nomination has been sown up question

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Trump appears to have sown up the Republican nomination. Your thoughts?

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Sunday editorial: It is time for a frank discussion on education

Guest editorial generic

Commentary by Steve Abrams, State District 32nd District — I was recently the target of an editorial by Kyle Green, an accusatory, ill-informed interpretation of the “facts.”  Mr. Green’s attack piece illustrates why the education debate has raged in Kansas since the 1970’s, under governors and legislative majorities of both parties, with still no finality in sight.  Offering ideas that challenge the status quo, for even a modicum of discussion, is met with derision – particularly if there is even a mere suggestion that schools might 1) run more efficiently; 2) focus resources more intently on student achievement; or 3) try new methods of operation or instruction to keep pace with the modern needs of students, employers and our communities.

Steve Abrams

Steve Abrams

At various points over the past many decades of wrangling over this issue, the legislature has asked the education industry to put forth a dollar figure and expected outcomes to be achieved. The response remains a moving target.  The legislature has on multiple occasions increased funding, only to later be met with more litigation, and demands for even more money.  So, to Mr. Green and his industry attorneys, we must ask for a definitive and final answer to the question “Kansas families have finite resources, how much more of their wages do you require?”

But, even more imperative, we must also ask Mr. Green, why it is that his industry believes tax dollars are the only measure of an education, rather than employing a measure of what is actually being learned and how well students are prepared to either enter the workforce or pursue higher education?

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The big financial concern question

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What is your most important financial concern you have at the moment?

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Sunday blog: How much is city water really worth?

Sumner Newscow editorial

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The latest throw down at Wellington City Hall comes courtesy of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Water quality has become the hot topic since the unfortunate situation in Flint, Mich. The feds have mandated to KDHE that stiffer water regulations must apply.

As a result, KDHE has issued a warning to the city of Wellington that it will face stiff fines if it doesn’t stop supplying untreated water to those in the Mayfield area who have tapped in the water lines in turn allowing them to pump for much needed water on their private properties.

According to James Jordan story (see here), there has been a gentleman’s agreement since the 1950s in which the city can drill on the personal property of those living in rural Sumner County, east of Mayfield. In turn, these property owners could have access to city water near these wells – albeit it be untreated water.

Originally, there were 25 property owners who agreed to the deal. Earlier this year, the council attempted to contact these 25 owners, and 13 of them responded that they don’t want or need water; or could not be reached. That left 12 who responded and needed water. The city formed an agreement with seven property owners to be given $6,000 to help dig a well. The other five property owners have not taken the deal, including one who has refused saying $6,000 wasn’t enough.

Sunday blog: Sibyl Wells has made Wellington a better place to live

Five Cueball thoughts

Wells, Sibyl PIC 2

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I don’t think I ever met Sibyl Wells. If I had, I don’t remember.

We may have had a conversation. I may have taken her picture sometime, somewhere.

But when she died at 97 years of age, I placed her obituary on Sumner Newscow on Oct. 22, 2015 without any kind of recognition or remembrance (see obit here). Did I remember reading that obituary the first time? Not in the least.

We feature a lot of obituaries on this site. Since April 17, 2015, Sumner Newscow has run 193 obits. I would venture to say I recognize about 30 percent of the people, who have left us recently. Unfortunately for myself, Sibyl Wells was not one of them.

So goes life. After placing her obit, I moved on not remembering.

Members of the Sumner Regional Medical Center Endowment learn of sizable donation.

Members of the Sumner Regional Medical Center Endowment learn of sizable donation.

But then something happened. I received an e-mail in March from Sumner Regional Medical Center. The endowment foundation was receiving a sizable donation from someone who had recently died. I learned that Sibyl Wells had donated more than $100,000 to the service organization that helps the local hospital with philanthropy endeavors including the purchase of equipment.

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