Fireworks ban still needed

There has been quite a bit of discussion about lifting the ban on aerial fireworks this year over the past two weeks. Firecracker stand owners/operators got the "go-ahead" by the decision to lift the ban on aerials this year and were fully stocked and ready to sell them, which began on June 27. The lifting of this ban, when all areas around Finney County/Garden City kept their bans in place, appeared to be a gross lack of using good common sense on behalf of both our county and city commissioners. We are no better off this year than last year in respect to drought conditions, unbearable heat and hot, gusty winds.

I had the opportunity, a few short days after this decision was printed in The Garden City Telegram, to visit with Fire Chief Allen Shelton by phone. In the course of our conversation he told me that he was not consulted nor invited to the meetings where this decision was made. In Tuesday's paper, there was a comment with which I don't really agree when Roman Halbur said, "We need to get this thing off our backs ... If our fire chief was doing his job, he would ban these immediately." Well, it is rather difficult to get the horse back into the barn after it catches on fire. The sale of these fireworks had already gotten a huge reception at the stands. This is very evident due to the abundant shooting of them from the very first day they went on sale. The decision to lift this ban rests squarely on the shoulders of both bodies of the commissioners with the exception of Roman Halbur. Banning them after letting them be sold isn't and wasn't a practical solution. The ban, with all things considered, should have been left in place no question.

KAREN LIVINGSTON,

Garden City

Morris deserves local support

You only have one opportunity to vote for your next state senator.

Our state senator will be decided in the Republican primary held on Aug. 7. Our current state senator, Steve Morris of Hugoton, is also president of the Kansas Senate. Sen. Morris is not only one of the leading Republicans in the state, but also one of the most intelligent, wise and judicious men I know.

No question, outside special interest groups will be involved in this primary election. They are raising significant amounts of money to take over the Kansas Senate. This is the wrong direction. Western Kansas needs a strong voice. As Senate president, Sen. Morris knows the process. He knows how to get things done.

If you are a Democrat or an Independent, you can also have a voice, but you need to act now. I am encouraging all of you to immediately change your party affiliation to the Republican party. This is the only opportunity you will have to support Sen. Morris as he will not be challenged in the general election.

You have until July 17 to change your affiliation. Just stop by the clerk's office at the Finney County Administrative Center. You can also change your party or register to vote online at www.KDOR.org. Either way, it only takes a minute.

Why am I doing this? The reason is simple. A good democracy requires moderation and I want to vote for the person who best represents my beliefs and interests regardless of party affiliation. Don't miss out on this opportunity. I'm not.

LON WARTMAN,

Garden City

Problems with voter ID plan

I would like to present a basic problem underlying the integrity of our voter registration.

A citizen of Canada recently completed the process to become a citizen of the United States. She proudly went to register to vote. The clerk asked for her driver's license. The woman questioned whether she needed to present proof of citizenship. The clerk replied that this was not necessary. The new citizen said "I could have been voting the past eight years and no one would have known the difference."

If preventing voter fraud is so very important in Kansas and other states, why not spend the federal money on educating the clerks as to what proof of citizenship and identity are necessary for the registration? Then we could be assured that each person registered was indeed legally able to vote.

Only then can all the time, energy and money spent on the voter ID be worth anything at all.

I again urge our state officials to spend their time, energy and creativity on solving our state's economic problems. The finances taken from the education of and services to our next generation are going to affect us far more than each year having a couple of people voting who are ineligible.

SISTER JANICE THOME,

Garden City

Morris brings welcome clout

Steve Morris is a good senator and deserves to be re-elected. He has earned his way to Kansas Senate president, thus has a lot of clout in the Senate.

Let's continue this clout and re-elect Steve Morris as our senator.

I know Steve personally and he is a fine, upstanding man.

Vote Steve Morris.

CHARLES SKILLING,

Garden City

Poor decisions with fireworks

Throw the bums out.

That old political adage applies to city and county commissioners, who for a few pieces of silver (tax revenue), subjected Garden City citizens and their pets to the bombardment of high-powered fireworks every evening for a week.

JAMES ARWINE,

Garden City