A government job well done

My wife, Julia, and I just had our second COVID-19 vaccination at CiCo Park. We take this space to thank the county health department for making good processing adjustments. This time was far more efficient.

And in spite of The Mercury publisher’s earlier petulant comments directed at the county commission, our representatives who rightly oversee our health department, let me say that all levels of government from Trump’s “Warp Speed,” to Gov. Laura Kelly’s prioritization, and the county’s effective implementation are due credit and thanks. A government job well done.

Bob Strawn

1551 Williamsburg Court

Please support library as it cancels annual book sale

Normally this time of year, all of us on the Manhattan Library Association (MLA) Board and an army of volunteers would be busy preparing for our Annual Book Sale. We’d be setting up tables, sorting through books, and canvassing the community with flyers. This event is not only our largest fundraiser but an amazing opportunity to promote low cost literacy in our community.

We were extremely lucky to have fit in our Book Sale just a few weeks prior to the COVID shutdown last year, securing financial support for the rest of 2020. But now, we need your help to carry through to ’22.

We made the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s Book Sale. All the proceeds would have gone directly to support youth and adult programs at Manhattan Public Library.

We call on all our members to renew their MLA membership to support programs throughout 2021. As an added incentive, all new and renewing members will receive a special book bond entitling them to 20% off their entire purchase at the 2022 book sale.

Your support today will help us be successful tomorrow. Help carry us through to ‘22!


Stephen Bridenstine

Membership Chair,

Manhattan Library Association

County’s vaccine clinic was friendly, efficient

Kudos to the volunteers and staff of the Riley County Health Department for administering the Moderna vaccine to seniors and other designated persons at CiCo Park yesterday. Patients were greeted with smiles and efficiency. Thank you.

Pam Kallhof

300 N. Fourth St.

Support train length legislation

Freight train length has increased in recent years. All seven Class I freight railroads told the Government Accountability Office, according to a July 2020 report, that their average train lengths had grown 25 percent or more since 2008, with some trains stretching longer than three miles.

Longer trains are affecting our people. Blocked crossings are making it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for employees to reach work on time. Longer trains lead to crossings being blocked more often and for longer periods.

Railroads have fought for decades not to be regulated. We regulate truck weight, we regulate speed limits, why are they different?

Fortunately, Kansas has said enough. Legislators in Topeka now have an opportunity to address the issue.

SB 224, introduced in the Kansas Legislature, states, “No railroad operating in the state of Kansas shall run or permit to be ran any train that exceeds 8,500 feet in length on any mainline or branch line.”

I, for one, have seen trains at least 3 miles long (16,000 ft) almost daily in locations throughout the state. Please reach out to them and tell them to support SB 224.


Lucas Brooks


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