Category Archives: Commentary/Polls

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Amazon Prime Day question







Did you participate in Amazon Prime Day?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Letter to the editor: The public needs to re-elect Anita Judd-Jenkins

To the editor:

We elected Anita Judd-Jenkins in 2016, and are pleased with her efforts in support of those issues important to Kansas moderates of both parties.  Kansas again needs our votes for Rep Judd-Jenkins in the upcoming primary and general elections.

Rep Judd-Jenkins works to cut intrusive regulations that stifle small business, supports family value issues,  Fights to end corporate tax loopholes, is pro life, defends our second amendment rights, and promotes tax breaks for Kansas families.

In the Republican primary, Rep Judd Jenkins will face an opponent schooled and supported by remnants of the Historic Brownback “Experiment”. A tragic experiment which preferentially reduced taxes for certain groups to the point that our State government had to raid turnpike revenues and underfund KPERS to supplement the State general budget.   This “theft” did not escape review  and resulted in both Moody’s Financial and Standard and  Poor downgrading our Kansas Securities, not just once, but twice.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Roe v. Wade question







Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sunday Blog: Fireworks are great, unless it’s 2 a.m., and then they really, really aren’t

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I have finally came to terms on my official position with fireworks.

I am for fireworks. The people shooting off fireworks not so much. So my proposal to the Wellington City Council is we keep fireworks legal. We just get rid of the people.

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

Not all the people, mind you. We have some really cool fireworks going out here on the west side of town. I’ve shot off more than my share over the years. I propose we ban the sale of fireworks to people who are, well, idiots.

For example, on July 5 morning I took my puppy outside so she can relieve herself around 2 a.m. since her preference at the moment is to make huge messes in the living room.

I then heard someone shooting off fireworks someplace in Wellington… at 2 a.m.

4th of July Blog: The 10 greatest American inventions of the past 50 years (according to me)

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Welcome to my third annual Fourth of July column special where I do the most American thing possible: make up a useless Internet list for no apparent reason.

Two years ago I rated my 10 favorite Presidents of all time (click here). In 2017, I rated the American wars in order of importance (click here). This year, I’m listing the 10 greatest American inventions of the past 50 years. — with a little help from another website that makes up useless lists (click here).

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

Originally, I was going to list the top 10 American inventions of all time, but that was too massive of a list. Of course, electricity is No. 1 and the light bulb is probably No. 2. But that would be boring. I, instead, decided to round it off to 50 years. 

And, of course, to reiterate, this is my list, not Captain America’s. I’m sure the invention of ARPANET, the system that created the Internet, is the greatest invention of the last 50 years. But I’m not intelligent enough to explain it, and do you really care? I’m sure there are gains in medicine I should include. But my wife isn’t writing this column.

Perhaps, it isn’t a legitimate list if I don’t include the Hubble Telescope. But I don’t really care about the bleeping Hubble Telescope.

I’m here to make things simplistic and deal with things we can all understand. So here we go. We are counting them down American Top 40 style. Here are my picks of the top 10 American inventions of the past 50 years (according to me): 

10. Microwave popcorn.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: Your favorite holiday question







What's your favorite holiday?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sunday blog: Guess what? Journalists are people too

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Friday when the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. put out a newspaper immediately after its office was shot up and five employees were killed, I was reminded of a quote I heard back when I started by journalism career.

Norm Sunderland, who worked at the Wellington Daily News in the late 1960s and early 1970s, bought a paper in my home county: The Limon Leader in eastern Colorado. I worked with his family for one summer in college, and he had a motto.

“If I were to die on Tuesday morning, you damn well better get that paper out on Tuesday afternoon.”

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

That has always been my favorite aspect of newspapering. No matter what happens, the job gets done.

Heck, the schools call off classes over a snow flake falling from the sky. People call off high school games in anticipation of a storm.

But there are some professions, where life doesn’t stop. A newspaper is one of them. I’ve put out some pretty awful copy over my years, because when that 9:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. WDN deadline was approaching, I’m submitting my story no matter if it is unreadable and filled with grammatical atrocities.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The family separation question







Do you feel immigration family separation at the border was a good idea?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sunday blog: When fortune shines on one, and not another

Two Wild, Wild West Shows in the late 1800s may have had very similar entertainment, but one was hugely successful and the other was not.

Commentary by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — On a recent Oklahoma trip, I was struck by how fortune shines on some and not others.  The question of why someone succeeds and someone does not has always been a mystery.

James Jordan

Hard work by itself guarantees nothing – except make you tired.  You do have a better chance at a good life if you work hard, but the world holds no promises.

This level of thought came about a couple of weeks ago when we went to see the Pawnee Bill Wild West Show in Pawnee, Okla.

The late 1800s and early 1900s was an era of wild, wild west shows with Buffalo Bill having the most famous one of all.

In Pawnee, there were two: Pawnee Bill and the 101 Ranch right down the road.

Pawnee Bill, whose real name was Gordon Lillie, actually lived in Wellington in his teenage years from 1870 to about 1880 when he moved to Oklahoma.  He had a strong connection to Wellington and must have come here often. Buckskin Joe, a showman from Arkansas City, wrote about coming to Wellington to join Pawnee Bill in the 1890s.

Pawnee Bill was one of the Boomers who settled into Oklahoma before the land rush. He started a wild west show that traveled the world, but mostly in the United States. They still do the show, more than 100 years later.

Sunday blog: A new way of learning

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Late August should be an interesting time at USD 353.

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

The start of the new school year is always interesting as students and teachers scramble with new schedules, new teachers, new grade levels. But this year’s change will be rather revolutionary – for students who are freshmen, sophomores and those entering in the fourth and fifth grade at Kennedy Elementary.

Wellington will be the first of seven schools in the state implementing the Kansas Can School Redesign (click here for details). The Redesign as defined by the Kansas Department of Education is…

“…An individual plan of study that is a tailor-made road map helping students align career interests with coursework and a plan for two years beyond high school graduation. That could entail working, joining the military, completing a certification program or attending a two- or four-year college.”

Wellington was one of the seven schools selected to take part in this new project titled “Mercury 7” after the seven original astronauts. Over the past year, Wellington school administrators and some teachers have been busy preparing for the transition and implementation of the plan.

I don’t know what to think. It sounds great on paper. The new project replaces standard classrooms with education individualized training. I have always thought public education, and private for that matter, could use a little innovation. I applaud this bold step.

But in the most negative reaches of my mind, though, I keep thinking the new initiative seems like a big study hall or the public school system is getting into homeschooling. One of the things essential to the school experience is the socialization of students. How we interact with one another is as important as what we learn. There is always something to having a shared experience.

Weekly columnist Robert Escandon has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — You may have been wondering where Sunday weekly columnist Robert Escandon has been the past month.

Robert Escandon

It is with deep regret that Escandon has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an inoperable brain tumor.

In a statement released by his wife Marsha Escandon from Wellington:

“The family of Robert Escandon regrets to announce that he has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  This was discovered just after school ended in May. Dr. Matthew Henry performed a biopsy to determine the type of tumor and the appropriate course of treatment.  He is currently in St. Teresa’s Hospital going through rehab to regain muscle strength and other skills affected by the biopsy.  Once he comes home, radiation will begin at a Cancer Center in Winfield.  We sincerely request prayers for Robert’s health and healing.”

Escandon has been a Sumner Newscow contributor for over a year producing his unique perspective on life as he see it. He has taught mathematics at the Wellington school system and Cowley County Community College. He is originally from Great Britain and came to the U.S. after marrying his wife Marsha five years earlier.

While the odds of recovery are not promising, we here at Sumner Newscow will continue our vigil in hopes there might be a day that we can again enjoy (or curse) his weekly perspectives in the future.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Kim Jong Un question







What's your opinion of the Kim Jong Un, Trump meeting?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sunday blog: It is more about what team you play for, than what is right

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — We are a nation that likes taking sides. Trouble is in today’s world, it interferes with reality.

For instance, the other day Sumner Newscow ran a poll asking readers if Roseanne Barr’s show should have been canceled due to a racially insensitive tweet (see poll here).

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

The Sumner Newscow weekly polls is far from scientific, but is as accurate of a barometer as anything else out there of the general consensus of the town. And enough people participate that its sample size is significant to take it seriously.

Of the 351 who voted in the Roseanne poll, 57 percent said “no.”


A majority of you believe the very insane Roseanne Barr should have a TV show after comparing an African American to an ape. And it confirmed my suspicions. Today, it isn’t about what people think is right, but what team you play for. 

Wellington Regent bound Deadpool 2 is No. 1 in the world… And more on Michelle Wolf

Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — The worst thing about missing a week of CultureCow is missing out on talking about landmark events such as the release of the most anticipated comic book movie not called Infinity War: Deadpool 2.  But, guess what? It works out because Deadpool 2 is coming to the Wellington Regent this weekend so you have the most update Deadpool review out there.

The Merc with a mouth was the most successful R-rated movie of all time last go-round and his return did not disappoint.  It took what we loved most about the original: the fourth wall breaking, hilarious jokes, and absurd humor of Ryan Reynolds and revamped it with new life and new characters to channel that humor through. 

The previous film claimed itself to be a love story between the title character and his girlfriend Venessa (played by beautiful and talented Morena Baccarin), whereas this film packed in several new characters and told the audience this was a family film, and what a family film it turned out to be.  The most important of these new characters is Josh Brolin’s Cable, a time-traveling cyborg who acts as the main antagonist of the film — you will also note that Brolin plays Thanos so he’s really got a knack for this villain thing. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Roseanne Barr question







Do you feel Rosanne Barr's show should have been cancelled because of her racially insensitive tweet?

  • No. (57%, 199 Votes)
  • Yes. (43%, 152 Votes)

Total Voters: 351

Loading ... Loading ...

Sunday Blog: The issue with past and present tense, and the English language

Commentary by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow — Two years ago I had finished teaching a math class and one of the students held back to speak with me after the class had finished.  He said ”you’ve got an accent, but I can easily understand you,” — followed by — “How did you learn to speak English so well?”

Robert Escandon

I told him I’d spent 56 years practicing it in England before coming here to live.  He clearly didn’t see the irony of his question.  I guess he thought that “English” was just the name given to the predominate language spoken in the U.S. and hadn’t ever related it to a country.

Later, I was asked  ”How do you guys celebrate July 4?”  I jokingly told him that we let off a huge rocket and when it explodes everyone shouts  “Yeh –we lost!”   He failed to see the joke, presumably because he hadn’t realized that July 4 was a celebration of Independence and not just a national party.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Royal Wedding question







Are you excited about the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Royal Wedding?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sunday Blog: The strange choice of the people Trump chooses to surround himself with

Commentary by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow — Whether you are a supporter of President Trump (or not) it has to be admitted that he is surrounded by “strangeness, often of his own making.

Robert Escandon

Take, as just one example, the choice of his personal physician Dr. Bornstein.  There is a general perception that a physician is going to be a smartly dressed conservative (with a small c) person whose demeanor and bearing reflect the nature of his profession.

Like so many things associated with Donald Trump, his choice of personal physician seems out of line with any normal perception.

He looks like some over-weight , degenerate, left over from a 60’s Hippy convention.  On a personal review site Dr Bornstein scored a massive one star out of a possible five stars.  Now it has come to light, that our President dictated his own letter commenting on his official health status. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Iran Nuclear decision question







What do you think of Trump pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sunday blog: May the Wellington Valedictorian process rest in peace

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Wellington USD 353 is doing away with the Valedictorian process at the end of this year.

Good riddance.

That’s not to say I don’t have great respect for those who have achieved the honor. It is quite an accomplishment to be one of the top students in the class.

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

But the new system, to be fully implemented in 2019, will honor students based on several educational criteria (see graph below) that will no doubt be fairer, less political and replace a process that needs to die in oblivion.

Every year, there are two announcements that make me cringe: the announcing of the football all league selections and the picking of the Valedictorian. Both guarantee drama and hurt feelings. Both can turn any well-meaning parent into Attila the Hun.

It always political. Johnny Jay is Valedictorian but Suzie Sue took harder classes. UNFAIR! Suzie Sue is Valedictorian but Johnny Jay couldn’t afford the honors classes. UNFAIR! Suzie Sue and Johnny Jay are Valedictorian but so is half the class in Wellington. They should be the only ones recognized because everyone knows they are the smartest. UNFAIR! 

Powered by WordPress