Letters to the editor


September 9, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Dear editor,
We have failed. We have failed as parents, as administrators and as citizens.
The last couple of weeks have been filled with emotional highs and lows for my family and me. It’s football season — we are a football family. With four kids who have played, are playing, or will continue to play on the IHS football field, I must say I was extremely embarrassed and appalled by the condition of the field and stadium Friday night. Even the visiting team from Santa Fe Trail wouldn’t step foot in the locker room. Their exact words as they opened the door were “this looks like it used to be a locker room, but it isn’t anymore.” They chose, instead, to have their team gather in the grassy area across the street from the stadium both before the game and at half time.
There have been a few flashes of light recently — the inside seating area of the stadium has been painted, the home team locker room has been upgraded (some) and painted, the east half of the stadium inside has been given a fresh coat of paint. All of these things have been done by the coach and his staff, and a handful of volunteers. Soon there will be some concrete sidewalks poured out front to connect the stadium to the street so that grass and potentially mud won’t be tracked inside, creating yet another issue in the long list of issues — thanks to the efforts of the Iola Booster Club. The field itself is a whole separate issue in itself. It’s awful. There are grub worms holes everywhere, the grass is dead from being mowed too much and too short in the off-season, it’s just not being taken care of as it should be — none of it is.
If we have an issue at one of the schools, do we expect the teachers or PTO to fix it? To paint it? As an employer, do you expect your employees to do maintenance on their offices or buildings? No, so why then is the maintenance and upkeep of this facility left up to the football coach and volunteers? 
At Friday night’s game, first and foremost was the condition of the field, second was the visitors’ locker room, third the speaker system did not work so therefore no announcing and complete confusion in the stands because no one knew what the calls were, what the penalties were, who the kids were, etc.
Whose responsibility is this building? Apparently right now, no one’s. It’s being ignored. There should be no reason why, the week of a home game, someone from USD 257 can’t find the time to go down there and get things ready, clean up a bit. Sweep the grass out of the tunnels, clean up the glass/Plexiglas windows so they shine a little, make sure the sound system works, paint an “I” in the middle of the field — DO SOMETHING! Have a little pride, or at least do a job. These types of things should not be left up to the coach, his staff, the kids, the parents, or the Booster Club. I think all of these people are more than willing to help because they have pride! They need help. All of the things that need done won’t cost an arm or a leg, they just take time and attention.
Where’s the pride Iola? It’s obvious that this stadium is to be our home for several more years to come, so why wouldn’t we take care of it? Enhance it? Make it something to be proud of? So far, ignoring it isn’t working.
Come on USD 257 — we can do better! Our kids deserve it.
Daniel R. Sigg,
Iola, Kan.

Dear editor,
In reference to Bob Johnson’s column last Saturday, what “begs a cure” is when generalities over-shadow the facts being presented: Australia is not noted for its independence and the Queen still rules when she is there. The U.S.A. is noted for its independence since the Treaty of Paris, 1783, and the Queen — well, she just visits us.
As to what the “Second Amendment surely meant,” I have no way of knowing that, but I do know that when it was written women couldn’t vote, people owned slaves, there was no freedom of the press, no right to a jury trial, etc., etc. So, we have advanced in the past 200-plus years and we still retain and have the right to own, possess, and have on our person firearms, and, you get to print your opinion.
As for the “epidemic,” let’s discuss that. The Centers for Disease and Control lists the top 15 causes of death in the U.S., with 1-14 being health problems. It happens that Nos. 14 and 15 are tied at 0.07 percent. No. 15 is homicides: One murder every 37 minutes, 89.3 percent of the victims are male; 52.4 percent are black; 67.8 percent involved firearms; and, 54.3 percent of the victims were killed by someone that they knew.
There are approximately 2.4 million people who die annually in the U.S. and 98 percent are from health issues; the remaining 2 percent consist of suicides, car wrecks, homicides, accidents and defensive homicides by police and civilians. Car wrecks have exceeded homicides for the 85 years, in a row.
So, let us say you have 100 friends. According to statistical probability, 98 of them will die of a health issue; one will die in a car wreck and one might kill himself or be killed by a friend.
So the question remains — do you want new laws and cures for only one of your friends, who by probability would be a black male age 20-24, and who will be shot by an angry husband. I don’t see that this as an “epidemic” needing a “cure.”
Larry H. Walden,
Iola, Kan.

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