Compliments to Ascension Via Christi Hospital

I’d been hearing some unpleasant comments about our local hospital the past year or two, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I recently spent four days there as a patient. The earlier criticisms from others may or may not be legitimate, but I would like to let others know that I was very impressed by the entire staff at our local hospital. From admissions to the ER staff, to housekeepers, to dining services, to chaplains, to LPN students, and on through the entire nursing staff. I was treated with caring kindness by each and every person. They each appeared to go the extra mile in making my stay as pleasant and as short as possible under the circumstances.

We are often quick to criticize but less likely to give credit where it is due which is the intent of my letter.

Nancy Kopp

1212 Meadowlark Circle

Sad to hear MHS is cutting girls’ diving

It was with a great deal of sadness and dismay that I read in the March 22 paper that the Manhattan High Girls’ Diving Team will no longer exist. I know the reason is the lack of a facility to allow for the girls to practice and compete. I’m sure some will point to the closing of the K-State Natatorium as the reason, but this never should have been about reliance on K-State providing a facility. Our daughter was a diver for Manhattan High School and a four-time league champion and went on to dive collegiately at the University of Arkansas. This wouldn’t have been possible without Coach Al Days and the opportunity to hone her diving skills in high school. Even during her years diving in high school it was evident that the natatorium was living on borrowed time so no one can say they couldn’t see this coming.

Since leaving Manhattan I have seen two communities partner with their school districts to build indoor swimming and diving facilities. Gladstone, Missouri, population approximately 26,000, partnered with the North Kansas City School District to build a joint community center/natatorium that seats almost 1000 spectators. The city of Lenexa. (population approximately 52,000) provided the Shawnee Mission School District land to build a state of the art pool/diving facility in the City’s new City Center development.

Now Manhattan High School doesn’t even have a facility for the now swim only team to practice and compete. The governing bodies and administrations of both USD 383 and the City of Manhattan should be ashamed of themselves for not coming together and resolving this community issue until it was too late.

Chuck Williams,


Legalizing cannabis would lead to bigger problems

HB 2184, an act concerning health and healthcare; enacting the Kansas medical marijuana act, is making its way through the Kansas legislature on its way to becoming law. The only reason Democrats and Gov. Laura Kelly support this measure is because they need another revenue stream. Kelley herself said as much in a February press brief: “By combining broadly popular, common-sense medical marijuana policy that will generate significant revenue with Medicaid expansion, all logical opposition to expansion is eliminated, this bill just makes sense.”

Did you catch that? She is admitting Medicaid expansion is a financial hardship for Kansas, so legalize drug use and make money doing it. She’s right, legalization would bring in that cold hard cash. HB 2184 could swell our coffers and bring on tens of thousands to the state’s healthcare system, but this newfound wealth comes at what cost?

A number of other statistics show a trend that may alarm more reasonable Kansans had they been informed by our media. In a March 12, 2019 article CBS reported a “three-fold” increase in emergency room visits due to marijuana cases in Colorado. USA Today quotes the Nation’s Mental Health Czar as well as doctors in Colorado, the state of Washington, and elsewhere that “High THC pot and concentrated oil is linked to an increasing number of psychotic episodes.”

This isn’t the only troubling trend seen in the state of Colorado. In the seven years since the legislation expanded from medical to recreational use, the black market for cannabis has increased, NOT decreased, which was a major selling point to its citizens. In a July 2019 article, PBS reported that in every state that has passed recreational use there has seen a major increase in the criminal black market and street sales.

While Kelly is championing HB 2184 “Medical Marijuana,” I concentrated on statistics with laws legalizing recreational use. There is a disturbing trend, of the 36 states that started out with legalization of Medical Marijuana, 12 have gone on to pass recreational use, with 10 others now introducing various recreational use bills in their prospective legislative houses.

It is all about incrementalism, a tactic used by both sides of the aisle, creating a bill with a threshold low enough to get bipartisan support. The state would get an infusion of cash, Democrats get to check off another thing from their socialistic wish list. Then five years down the road, the next bill will be introduced touting the benefits of recreational use. Yet, looking at states that have gone before us, we see the legalization of cannabis bringing larger more alarming issues.

Charles Cherry,


Support Kansas meat producers

Governors have difficult jobs. They get pulled in lots of directions. We all get that. But sometimes they succumb to requests made by very divisive groups, and that doesn’t help them at all.

Take Colorado Gov. Jared Polis who took office in January 2019. He recently signed a “proclamation” for “Meat-Out Day” encouraging his fellow Coloradans to forego meat on March 20, 2021 (and encouraging meatless Mondays from there on). Almost half of the counties in the state have responded by initiating “Meat-In Day” proclamations of their own, and more than 100 restaurants and vendors are offering specials and sales on burgers, bratwurst and barbecue.

It’s no surprise that the beef hit the fan outside the walls of Colorado as well. Wyoming’s Governor quickly signed his own proclamation for “Hearty Meat Day” and Nebraska proclaimed March 20th as “Meat on the Menu” Day… both governors acknowledging, recognizing, and celebrating those in their state that produce and provide food for us all. This is what a proclamation should do – give tribute to what’s positive.

Why the uproar about one measly proclamation? Well, first of all, the idea for the proclamation came from outside of Gov. Polis’s economic contributors. Colorado’s economy is very much dependent upon the livestock industry. States with farmers and ranchers are hitting back on PETA and other radical activist groups and their inspired initiatives because they are aggressively anti-science and anti-agriculture.

And secondly, this is not about whether a person is vegetarian or vegan or carnivorous. Those are lifestyle choices that are all appreciated. Rather, this proclamation affects peoples’ livelihoods, and that makes it a very personal issue for farmers and ranchers.

During COVID lockdown, people were desperate for meat. At the beginning of the pandemic, people stocked up with packages and packages of meat. People then bought freezers so that they could store their supply. By summer, the beef sections of the grocery stores were offering slim pickings at high prices and freezers were on backorder.

It was evident throughout the nation how much people appreciate their meat supply, which we believe is the best in the world.

We are very proud of the cattle ranchers and farmers in Colorado and surrounding states who quickly stood up and said… ”No thank you, Mr. Governor. We don’t support that proclamation!” They turned the situation into one that shed light on the types of misinformation and false pronouncements that the agricultural community is so tired of having to deal with and offered a better idea: support and applaud those in the livestock livelihood, those out there 24/7 year-round raising healthy, nutritious food for us.

So let’s join in and do our own proclamation for the remainder of March to support our ranchers and our hometown restaurants (which have specifically suffered from COVID) by ordering up a couple of extra burgers at Vista, or a few more spicy beef tacos from Taco Lucha, or maybe a couple of medium-rare steak dinners from Little Apple Brewery.

Let’s go high and show our support and appreciation for hardworking people while showing the activists that celebrations are better than hurtful divisive proclamations. Thank you.


Riley County Farm Bureau Board of Directors

Donnell Scott, Mary Mertz, Bo Downing, Terry Henry, Tom Link, Lori Fink, Galen Hofmann, Megan Larson, Twig Marston, Bob Whearty