City should continue mask requirement through school year

To the editor:

With Fort Riley, Kansas State University and USD 383 all still requiring mask wearing until the end of the school year, I had hoped that the city commissioners would continue the city-wide mask ordinance at least until that time. We have our own historical data that with warmer weather and more time spent in outdoor activities the virus threat was reduced last year. By that time more people will have been vaccinated and it is possible that we can be in a much safer position to fully open our doors.

I believe in mask wearing, and I believe in social distancing and I believe in hand washing. So, this letter contains no new news! I am heartbroken with the deaths of friends from COVID-19 and devastated that I have not been able to attend memorial services for them or to console their families. I am anxious to get the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. I want to visit my friends and go out to dinner and shake hands and give hugs again.

Perhaps we will be lucky. Perhaps we will skate through this new round of openings with no problems. But, if we want to do it safely at this time, we must continue mask wearing. We can attend church with social distancing and mask wearing. We can go to the movies and shop ‘til we drop with mask wearing. But if we are wrong about this, we will overwhelm our hospital, exhaust our medical community and shut down our schools and businesses once again.

Please continue to wear your masks until this flattens out. Listen to the experts, pay attention to the trends and be safe.

Sydney Carlin

State representative, 66th District, Manhattan

Congress should

pass motorsports

protection law

To the editor:

I respectfully request that Congress pass the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act. The bipartisan RPM Act protects the right to convert an automobile or motorcycle into a racecar used exclusively at the track.

Modifying a vehicle into a racecar is an integral part of America’s automotive heritage. Many types of racing, including NASCAR, were founded on the premise that street vehicles, including motorcycles, can be converted into dedicated race vehicles. Racing events are an economic driver for many communities and a source of affordable family-friendly entertainment for millions, with participants that range from professionals to novices using converted race vehicles.

Congress never intended for the Clean Air Act (CAA) to apply to motor vehicles modified for competition use only. However, the EPA maintains that CAA requires converted vehicles driven exclusively on the track to remain emissions-compliant.

The RPM Act clarifies that transforming motor vehicles into racecars used exclusively for competition does not violate the CAA. It is imperative that Congress passes the RPM Act to provide long-term certainty to racers and motorsports parts businesses.

Garrett Dicken

Fort Riley

Senators should expand Child Tax Credit

To the editor:

In Manhattan, we celebrate the successes of children in our community, whether that be major sports wins, reigning spelling bee champs, or future artists. Every day these accomplishments of school children make the front page of newspapers. Achievements like these are made more attainable by strong financial support systems from families.

The Child Tax Credit is another avenue that aids in a child’s success. Unfortunately, 27 million low-income children are excluded from the full Child Tax Credits (CTC).

According to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.1% of children in Manhattan live below the poverty line. That is more than a thousand children not benefiting from Child Tax Credits — those who need it the most. We applaud Senators’ continued support of SNAP benefits, but there’s more that needs to be done. Expanding CTC for low-income workers and families is an opportunity to promote equitable opportunity for children in our community and cut child poverty in half.

All kids deserve the chance to achieve something newsworthy. We urge our senators, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran, to support expansion of CTC for low-income households in the upcoming COVID relief legislation.

Sincerely,

Melissa Bryan, Ashley Grills and Amy Whitworth,

Manhattan

Call lawmakers

about law prohibiting domestic abusers from buying firearms

To the editor:

HB 2251 and SB 192, legislation prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing guns and requiring abusers to relinquish guns they already own, have been referred to committee. I implore readers to call or write their state senators and representatives and urge them to see these bills passed and placed on the governor’s desk.

Women, this affects you directly. All females are targets of domestic abuse, regardless of race or economic status, including children and senior women. Help protect your sisters.

Men, this affects you directly. Don’t risk losing a loved one because it’s too much of a hassle to pick up the phone. Your daughter/mother/sister is across town or across the state, and you won’t be there to protect her.

“But I’m a responsible gun owner,” you say. “I’m affluent and live in a safe neighborhood. This is not my fight.” Yes, gentle reader, and those are the same neighborhoods where domestic murder/suicides can occur. And when the reporters converge on the crime scene, the neighbors say, “They were a lovely family and the kids played with our kids, so sad….”

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE!

Pam Kallhof,

300 N. Fourth St.

Mercury’s new

photographer is

a great addition

To the editor:

The past few months we have been excited by Lucas Boland’s photographs in The Mercury. Sometimes they add much to stories. Often they beautifully tell stories on their own or help us see the world in a different way! Tonight we are enjoying his shot of the moon behind the courthouse.

Thank you for this great addition to your staff.

Jan and Judy Rayl

Shawnee

Traffic on I-70 needs to slow down, give space

To the editor:

I read the tragic article in The Manhattan Mercury: “Manhattan woman dies in 7-vehicle crash in Topeka” (Feb 25).

Although pipes slipping off a semi-trailer hauling the load on I-70 were a mitigating factor, I have driven Interstate I-70 numerous times from Salina to Topeka, and I don’t care whether the maximum speed-limit is 70 or 75 mph (or whatever); drivers must adjust to differing road conditions and otherwise.

I am experienced enough as a driver (since 16, now 57 and NEVER had a speeding-ticket or parking ticket, EVER — knock on wood). A few of rules-of-the-road I live by, is that the maximum posted speed need not be the speed I drive. Additionally, when I was in “Driver’s Ed” in high school, I was taught the “2-second rule” when following vehicles. I sometimes even add more seconds of buffer space between me and the cars ahead of me. When I hear of crashes involving seven vehicles or 50 vehicles: several things initially come to mind: Various factors such as inclement weather, drivers following too closely, and drivers driving too dang fast.

As it turns out, two of the three factors were at-play in this recent wreck. I truly feel sorry for the family of the 29-year-old woman who died Wednesday The wreck occurred at 4:20 P.M. in the afternoon, so the driver had daylight visibility. Again, my condolences. It’s vital drivers slow-down: No tailgating.

James Marples,

Esbon

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