Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for November 13, 2015…
1. Paris attacks
The recent attacks in Paris, France, leads me to three conclusions…
1) It’s miraculous that we haven’t had a major terrorist attack on our U.S. soil since 2001.
2) When we humans finally decide to destroy ourselves once and for all, it will come with little or no warning.
3) Somewhere, someplace some fringe terroristic lunatics are planning a Paris type attack on this country as we speak and there really isn’t anything we can do about it. As the well orchestrated Paris attacks demonstrated, all it takes is money, intelligence, loyalty and resolve.
As for me, I’m not going to think about it and hope someone a lot smarter than me can figure out how to keep us safe. I’m too busy raising my kids, riding my bike and gathering news for Sumner County, Kansas to worry about things I can’t do anything about.
2. Financial records
Commentary by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — It is almost humorous to me when I hear people complain at a public meeting that they do not have information. Sometimes I think I am as frustrated as city officials are. I sometimes want to shout “read that darned website!”
When electric rates went up recently, people were up in arms. Well the truth is, I have been writing about the increase for almost a year, and it was a year ago or so that I wrote the first story in Wellington explaining the situation.
We learned then that the city had not raised rates in nine years or so, and had used up their reserves instead. This has put them in a bad situation. Had they raised rates each year they would not be in this position, but you can’t blame the current council for trying to fix the problem.
Editor’s note: The following was a letter that was sent out to the members of Sumner-Cowley Electric Cooperative from Clete Rains, CEO. We have decided to reprint it here.
Lately there has been a lot of information in the news concerning the electric rate increase recently implemented by the City of Wellington. The purpose of this article is to clarify some of the information, much of which is incorrect and incomplete, that has made it into the public conversation where a comparison of the city’s rates is being made to our rates.
I want to assure our members that at this time we have no plans to increase our electric rates at Sumner-Cowley Electric. The most recent increase in the kWh rate came in 1995. In 2004, we did increase the facilities charge from $12 per month to $18.75 per month and, in 2008, implemented the Energy Cost Adjustment (ECA). Prior to implementation of the ECA in 2008 we did have a fuel adjustment charge which was discontinued in the late 1990s after the kWh increase was implemented.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — As some of you might have noticed, we have been experimenting with the Sumner Newscow comment section.
I am implementing a new policy requiring a surname — preferably a first and middle name — with a registered e-mail address. Comments without a valid e-mail address will be automatically deleted. The e-mail address will not be publicly displayed, but will allow me to communicate with you if I have an issue or a way to improve your content.
Some will see this as a step toward me becoming more of a p.c. cop. Others will say it still does not go far enough. I have found with the comment section of this site, there is really no room for compromise or a way to make anyone happy.
My goal: to bring as much accountability to the community forum without hampering the free flow of expression. If I could ever obtain that goal, I’d be a happy man.
This will be my last attempt before I decide to either pull the comment section all together or start a registration system with required signatures like through Facebook.
Ultimately, I would prefer you to sign your name in its entirety. There is great power that comes with a signature. People like David Kuchar, Wes Smith and Charlie Jeffries always bring it to this site when they sign their name and state their views. I don’t always agree with what they have to say, and I’m sure they don’t always agree with me, but they have my respect. Besides a lot of you people don’t seem to have any problem bringing it to Facebook or Twitter. Why not do it here?
Let’s just say, I have been making a nuisance of myself off and on for almost 25 years here in Wellington with many irritating inane myopic opinions, and I have yet to be shot. Being hated is overrated.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015…
1. Bev Stallbaumer…
It’s always hard to say goodbye to a friend. And Beverly Stallbaumer, who died last Sunday, was my friend.
When I moved to Wellington in 1992, Bev lived at the Wellington Daily News. When I say lived, I mean lived. She was in the office almost 24/7. She had a corner office in the sprawling room that held four full-time reporters, two office helpers, the late publisher Jackson Mitchell and herself. I was thinking about this the other day, but the WDN had 15 full time staffers when I moved here and that didn’t include those working at cable which was right next door. Thinking back on those days make me smile. WDN was a true local paper.
Bev was my first best friend in Wellington during those early years, and I’m not sure I would not have gotten to know the town as well if it wasn’t for her. I was amazed at how many people she was related to. And her daughter, Misty, was at the age of playing high school sports when I was a sports editor.
For all you living under that rock, someone filmed the K-State band performing during its season opener against South Dakota on Sept. 5. Near the end of the act, half the band formed a spaceship while the other half formed a Jayhawk. But it devolved into an interpretation of the Jayhawk performing a sex act. Google the Internet if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Granted the first time I saw it, I couldn’t stop laughing. If you watched it from a You Tube perspective, it hard not to catch what looks like an innuendo.
But never for one second did I think this was done on purpose. And there has been nothing out there that has changed my mind otherwise.
Commentary by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The Kentucky county clerk who is in jail for contempt of court after refusing to hand out marriage licenses to gay couples is not a victim of religious persecution.
She is an elected official and has sworn to follow the law and uphold the law. She does not like the law that makes gay marriage legal, that’s fair enough. But that is her job. She was jailed for contempt of court, but offered releases if she would not try to stop others in her office from issuing the licenses. She refused. So now she is in jail by choice.
People on both sides are trying to make this into a big issue, but it just bothers me for her to play the religious persecution card. It also bothers me for politicians to say this means Christians are now under attack.
The Christian thing for her to do – from a Biblical perspective – would be to resign. Maybe then she could say she lost her job for her religious beliefs. As it is, she is just disobeying the law and getting lots of publicity.
Right leaning politicians are saying its religious persecution and praising her for standing up for her beliefs.