by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts, um… make that three thoughts, on this busy holiday weekend…
1. Damage control…
Much has been made with a lawsuit against the City of Wellington over the demolishing of property owned by a Burden couple on 806 South Cherry Street in April (see story here).
While I can’t say that the city of Wellington adhered to proper procedures in this particular case, I will say the demolishing of structures has always been a controversial, dicey proposition that no one at city hall particularly likes. The city is placed in a no-win situation. Do you leave property that is not only a neighborhood nuisance but a potential health hazard? Or do you risk the alienation of not only the property owners but those who have lived in Wellington and view the condemned property through rose-colored memories?
There’s a lot of gray manner to the whole ideal. Do you tear down this property, while leaving a similar property standing? How do you define condemned property anyway?
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Dec. 7, 2014 – i.e. Pearl Harbor Day…
1. Condoleeza Rice…
My idea of a rock concert? I would have loved to shake my booty last Thursday night to Condoleezza Rice at the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at Century II in Wichita.
Rice is infinitely smarter than the Commander in Chief she worked for and should be the first woman U.S. President – although it is more likely to go to you-know-who.
Rice made an interesting point during her speech (see story here). She stated the biggest threat there is to national security is the disparity of K-12 education and she prescribed vouchers at least as a temporary solution. Rice also said she can still look at a ZIP code and tell which students will get a quality education and which won’t.
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five lists of five thankful thanks for this Thanksgiving holiday season…
1. Five of the most important things for which I’m thankful …
1. My God — who without him/her nothing is possible.
2. My wife — who I can’t even begin to describe what she means to me and has done for my life.
3. My kids — all three unique individuals, who are outstanding people in their own right.
4. My friends – who keep me honest and laughing.
5. My dogs, every single canine I ever have had — because I love dogs.
2. Five Sumner Newscow things I’m thankful for …
6. My advertisers and readers – who keeps this website rolling.
7. Spellcheck on this computer – for obvious reasons.
Editor’s note: This editorial was written by the Lawrence Journal-World staff on Nov. 29. We are reprinting it because of its relevance here.
Kansas legislators once again are studying different options for moving local city and school board elections.
Their stated goal is to increase voter turnout for those elections. Turnout for local elections admittedly is deplorably low, but all of the proposals currently being considered would create more problems than they would solve.
City and school board elections currently are held in the spring. Primaries, if necessary, are held in March, and the general election in April. All of the proposals being considered would move those elections to November either in even-numbered years, when they would be combined with partisan state and national elections, or in odd-numbered years, when they would be held on their own.
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014…
1. Downtown restaurants…
With the opening of Rocco’s Restaurant, in the former Lunchbox location, Monday, I’ve noticed an interesting trend. Downtown Wellington will have eight restaurants in the vicinity. Since moving here in 1992, I can’t remember Wellington having that many.
There is Rocco’s serving Italian, El Chili Verde serving Mexican, Fabiola’s serving Mexican, Barefoot Jerry’s serving American dishes; The Dore serving American dishes; Wishing Well serving homestyle food; Best of the Orient, serving Chinese; The Donut Shop serving great donuts; and Big Cheese Pizza serving pizza.
That’s quite a selection – all businesses owned by local people. It’s as if we have our own food court.
Ultimately, the onus is on you the customers to keep these businesses thriving. Downtown Wellington can only survive if it provides something unique that you can’t find elsewhere in town. But it is a two-way street. You, the customers, have to support these unique businesses.
The downtown has always been the lifeblood of the community – and that hasn’t changed.
If you’re hungry go get something to eat downtown. And while you are there kill two birds with one stone and get a little of your Christmas shopping out of the way.
And if you aren’t downtown, Penny’s Diner, Andy’s Restaurant, The Great Wall, Pig Shack, Good Taste Chinese, Mi Casita and the various fast-food restaurants are sure to satisfy your tastebuds.
2. Veteran’s Memorial…
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Nov. 16, 2014…
1. Long lost e-mail…
This week when cleaning out e-mails for the first time in years, I stumbled across an e-mail written on January 25, 2013, by my CPA neighbor Lonnie Cooper. I ws hoping to do a story on the local reaction to the latest Sam Brownback tax cuts. The story, like many I plan, didn’t get written.
But reading this e-mail this week made me realize how valid the fears of two years ago has come to fruition.
I’ll share this January, 2013 e-mail now:
by Leonard Hernandez, Sumner Regional Medical Center, C.E.O — I have had the opportunity to live all across Kansas over the last 25 years, but I chose to make my home here in Wellington. I did this because I believe in the power of our community to grow and the even greater community it aspires to become.
The sales tax initiative is a big step towards those goals. The idea of the sales tax was born many years ago out of the opinions that were expressed, by many community meetings, by listening to the growing concerns and support over the years for SRMC. The initiative we ask you to support, comes from us, represents us and is for us, those who choose to live here and want to see Wellington grow to its full potential.
The following is a guest editorial written by Mary Lucas of Winfield, a reader of Sumner Newscow:
I’m writing this piece in the hopes of cutting through the political noise of the upcoming election. I have a story to tell and I believe it matters.
My name is Mary Lucas and I’m the proud mother of a six-year-old boy. We are the face of Governor Brownback’s experiment.
I’ve seen his ad featuring “Becky,” a young woman attesting to her belief Governor Brownback’s economic solutions are better for her and her family.
I passionately disagree.
The following is a guest editorial written by two Kansas State Legislators, requested to be published by State Representative Kyle Hoffman of the 116th District. “I completely endorse what they are saying,” Hoffman said.
We have read with interest over the past few months as misinformation has been provided on the Governor and Legislature’s education and fiscal record. As Chairs of the House and Senate Budget Committees, we would like to address a few of these false claims.
Claim: Governor Brownback made the “largest cut to schools in state history.”
Guest Editorial by Robert Miller — As a lifelong Republican I believe in fiscally prudent and conservative philosophies, including living within my means, saving for emergencies, investing wisely, and working hard to support my family. That’s why I’ve been so dismayed by Gov. Sam Brownback’s reckless economic “experiment.”
· Increased Taxes: Brownback’s tax plan gave out huge tax breaks to wealthy special interests, while raising taxes on middle and lower income families. Local property taxes have gone up $300 million and sales taxes have increased $777 million. During my 26 years in the Legislature I heard hundreds of objections about property taxes and sales tax, and worked hard to enact changes to fix those problems. I don’t recall ever hearing a complaint about the Kansas Income Tax.
The following are four polls on races of consequences on next Tuesday’s Sumner County election ballot. We asked who you would vote for as governor last week. You could still vote here.
This is an unscientific poll. Use the poll results at your own discretion.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Oct. 26, 2014…
1. City Manager search…
I’ve been in this business for 25 years and even to this day I’m still learning.
So was the case this past month with the hiring of Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert — a man I have not personally met, but was impressive during a phone interview.
I knew the council was looking at Eckert for more than two weeks, but I was at a dilemma whether or not I should share information with the public. After all, my primary job is to inform the public.
I eventually decided it was a privacy issue and until his name became public I would not do anything. That time came on the Friday, Oct. 17 before the official meeting when the council released its agenda and the terms of the city manager agreement.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington school board had an interesting discussion the other night.
Wellington school board member Larry Mangan at the Oct. 9 meeting posed a legitimate question to the other elected members in the room: Does the Sellers Park football stadium fit the standards of the American Disabilities Act?
That set off a debate amongst the members, and the answer to the question was never reached. About a decade ago, the school district installed bleachers on the visitor’s side which were indeed ADA compliant for wheelchair citizens. Wellington Superintendent Rick Weiss said by the letter of the law he was told that would make the stadium ADA compliant.
However, he said if the stadium was to be completely rebuilt it would not meet ADA standards. The home stands are not compliant, nor were the restrooms or the paths leading to the stands.