by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Since it is Easter Sunday and it’s about renewal and hope, I’m turning over my Sunday blog to a sixth grader at the Wellington Middle School.
Each year, “The Excellence in Teaching Award” is sponsored by the USD 353 School Foundation Inc. and seeks to encourage and recognize the professional and leadership excellence of Wellington educators.
A USD 353 student can nominate a teacher. At the end of the year, a winner is presented the award and receives a $1,000 cash reward.
The other day, Carrie Lough, the mother of a sixth grader, shared with me a letter written by her son Mason. Mason if you remember was the 11-year-old boys who performed a piano solo “Colder Weather” at a Zac Brown Band concert in Wichita in 2012 (see story here).
She said for the past four years he has been nominating Jill Kiker, a third grade teacher at Kennedy Elementary, for the award.
“I’m not sure how they decide,” Carrie said. “But don’t listen to me, just read Mason’s letter.”
It’s a good one and we’re sharing it here.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Wellington and Sumner County have always been about three things: planes, trains and combines. It is how our economy works. But if we don’t periodically bring in new business and keep our existing ones happy we will be about moving vans, unemployment checks and empty pockets.
The question is: Can Wellington/Sumner County adequately compete in today’s business world against other municipalities, court houses and state capitols to attract the kind of industry that helps us grow and remain economically viable?
Wellington is no different than any other town in America. We all hope for prosperity, and sometimes that means luring new industry or commerce to town. What results is an incentive war not much different than college universities trying to snag the latest five-star football recruit, or the auto dealers trying to get you to buy a car.
It has come to the point where governmental entities are literally “prostituting” themselves with various tax incentives and other quirks in hopes something will move to town.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Sunday, March 30, 2014…
1. Worden Park road
Wellington has one of the best multi-sports facilities in south-central Kansas with Worden Park.
With its combination of youth baseball/softball facilities, a nationally acclaimed go-kart complex, youth football/soccer fields, walking trails, premier playground, and the location for various other events such as demolition derbies and Fourth of July fireworks show, Worden Park has been the go-to facility for special events in Wellington. Worden Park has brought in countless dollars to the community from outside sources.
But Monday night a roll over accident occurred just north of the complex that brings up what could be a ticking time bomb. The roads leading to and from Worden Park are made of dirt. East 20th Ave. North is a busy thoroughfare that serves both the park and Wellington Christian Academy. The number of young inexperienced, and out of town drivers who use the road is tremendous.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for March 23, 2014…
1. NCAA basketball tournament…
The NCAA Basketball tournament is the best sporting event of the year. Yes, the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl are great, but those are usually events that culminate a year of watching football. I don’t necessarily watch a lot of college basketball until this tournament. But I always get addicted – whether it’s filling out my terribly misguided brackets, cheering for the Kansas teams, or my fascination with geography. Did you know Mercer is in Georgia? I may send one of my kids there just because that basketball team beat Duke on Friday.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Have you ever had someone try to pick a fight with you over a subject for which you are in complete agreement?
A couple of school board members felt intent to inform the public (among other things) on Thursday about what a good job everyone did with the negotiated teachers contract agreement and the phasing out of the ERIP despite what that lousy no-good Sumner Newscow says.
If a few of these board members could put aside their collective paranoia schizophrenia for one second, they will probably see they wouldn’t get an argument from me on that issue.
The most recent negotiating teams have had the thankless job of slowly bringing this costly piece of policy to termination. They didn’t eliminate it abruptly, and tried to fulfill their obligation to the older teachers in the process. It was a no win situation, especially with so many unsustainable promises to teachers in yesteryear. They probably handled it as well as they could.
What has been lost in the whole brouhaha, is how expensive the ERIP has been to the taxpayers of USD 353 District.
By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Recently, the Wellington City Council discussed establishing ”quiet zone” intersections across the five railroad-highway crossings on the south side of Wellington. The intersections would be rebuilt in a way that motorists could not pass over the railroad tracks when a train approaches with 100-foot concrete barriers on each side. In turn the railroaders would not blow a train whistle when approaching a quiet zone intersection, which has been a nuisance for neighbors living near the railroad tracks (see story here).
By Quinn McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Quinn’s thoughts for March 9, 2014.
1. I kind of have nothing to write about his week has been very normal.Wait QUINN NORMAL! This has to stop.
2.Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Wilmoth for their new baby girl Charlie!
3.Yesterday I was watching natural disasters (video) with my dad. Wow! Im so glad I live here.
Sumner Newscow strongly encourages signed guest editorials and letters to the editors which have been traditional staples of the printed newspapers.
Letters to the editor and Guest Editorials will be treated prominently as regular news blogs, and with little editing only for basic clarity, grammar and syntax. We will feature editorials and letters on Sundays.
Contact us here at 620-326-0717 or e-mail us at email@example.com if you so choose to have one published. The comment section will not be pulled for either guest editorials or letters to the editor. Thank you notes and cleverly disguised political candidate advertisements are not considered legitimate editorials.
To the editor:
Recently I took in a dog that had been turned in at the Cowley Country Animal Shelter.
The dog was in horrendous condition. He was filthy, matted and once clipped. He was skin and bones. The forms the owners filled out at the shelter stated that they were from Oxford.
Of course no name was put down. The dog died tonight after a week and a half with me. During that time he was warm, well fed, watered, clean, and had a soft cushy bed available at all times. I have attached an editorial that I would like you to print. Even if we don’t find out who his original owners were, maybe it will convince other dog owners not to wait so long to give the dog up so that others may care for them they way they should be.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The popular trend among sports talk blabbers these days is to create what is called Mount Rushmore sports lists. The theory is if you owned this rock and were to chisel a monument much like the four U.S. Presidents in South Dakota, who would be on your “mountain” for a specific sport?
For example, the other day, Miami Heat’ Lebron James stated he wanted to be on the Mount Rushmore of NBA Players. He, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Celtic great Bill Russell objected and thought he should be on it.
I love debates like this. And it got me thinking about various Mount Rushmore lists on the local sports level.
Since I haven’t been shot at lately, I decided to compile a Mount Rushmores of Sumner County Sports.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — H.B. No. 2453…
Kansas is in the national spotlight again for all the wrong reasons with a bill called H.B. No. 2453 that proposes allowing public and private employees the right to refuse service based on religious views of marriage.
Translation: We don’t want to serve homosexuals.
The bill passed the House, and now goes to the Senate. If it is passed there then all eyes will be on Governor Sam Brownback to sign it into law.
However, there is some good news. The bill appears on its way to dying thanks to one courageous legislator, who happens to be a Republican.