Editor’s note: The following is a paid political letter.

Tom Hawk’s strong leadership benefits our community

To the editor:

Sen. Tom Hawk, our area senator, has served in this position for the past seven years and is seeking an additional term this November. During his tenure in the legislature he has made significant leadership strides and is now serving as the ranking minority member on the Ways and Means committee and Senate Caucus leader. This strong leadership benefits our community.

Many of the voters may not be aware of the effort Tom has extended regarding COVID-19. He is a member of the governor’s COVID-19 economic recovery task force (SPARK, for Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas). In conjunction with the Office of Recovery team, SPARK is responsible for the statewide distribution of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. In this role Tom has brought to the committee’s attention two important issues. 1) The need for increased funding for adult care and nursing home facilities for personal protective gear and equipment ($25 million was designated). 2) Money to address renters’ inability to pay rent due to job loss or layoffs and to help landlords with their mortgage payments and expenses due to loss of rental income ($35 million was designated). In a letter to Tom’s office, the executive director of Kansas Manufactured Housing Association stated in regard to No. 2 that she didn’t think any of this would have happened without Tom’s initial comment and concern about rental housing.

Other COVID-19 significant involvements include his advocacy for increased funding for testing with faster turn around and funding for child care. The latter funds will be disbursed to organizations such as the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and others who are eligible and apply.

Solid leadership continues to be the backbone of our democracy. Please join me in voting for Tom Hawk for Senate District 22.

Sue Maes

428 Wickham Road

When OK is not OK; on Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

To the editor:

So often we miss the opportunity that could save a life. You see a friend whom you’ve noticed hasn’t been answering your calls or commenting on your latest social media post like they used to; you ask them, “Haven’t seen you in a while. How have you been?” Your friend forces a bit of a smile and says, “I’m doing OK.” Feeling slightly uncomfortable, you move the conversation on to a casual topic. Is your friend really OK?

The past two decades have seen suicide rates increase among young adults, white males and especially farmers. The Centers for Disease Control (2016) reported a 40% increase in farmers completing suicide; the study rates farming as the occupation with the highest suicide rate. So when your friend says they are “OK” but haven’t been acting OK, simply asking a little more can save a life.

Many people can’t understand how someone could get to the point where they could actually take their life. However, none of us are as immune to getting to that point as one may think. It’s not unusual for us to feel instances of hopelessness and despair is times of great stress, or turmoil. However, when the situation and feelings persist, combined with depression and sadness can combine to feel the three components of suicide: Hopeless (nothing’s ever going to change); helpless (things are bad and there’s nothing I can do about it); worthless (nobody cares anyways). When our emotions get the best of us, we can start to believe these feelings are fact. To intervene, you can make the difference by focusing on at least one of those three areas.

As the director of the Pawnee Mental Health CSU (Crisis Stabilization Unit), we take calls from people in distress 24/7. We are fortunate to have many resources available including the ability to see community members around the clock by walking into the CSU assessment center any time, any day. I encourage people to reach out if they have a concern about themselves or a loved one, we can be reached at 800-609-2002 or come in to see a crisis clinician at 1558 Hayes Drive, Manhattan KS 66502.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts during this national suicide awareness month.

Bruce Johnson,

director of Pawnee Mental Health Services

It would be nice to see local candidates’ positions

To the editor:

The other day in editorial you questioned what we might like to see the paper publish about candidates, noting that a lot of what ends up in the paper is what they say in meetings and not necessarily what they really think.

What I would like to see, for state and local candidates, is where they stand on state issues such as medicare, taxes and other pressing questions. Likewise for local canadiates it would be nice to see where they stand on local issues. I would also like to see some background information on each one. All this BEFORE Election Day so I have a better chance or making an educated choice!

Jim Dotts,

4417 Leone Terrace

Editor’s note: Our Voters Guide will appear in the Sunday, Oct. 11 edition. Advance voting begins on Oct. 14.

Former mayor: Black lives matter to all of us

To the editor:

So, K-State football jerseys are now carrying a “BLM” patch. And this has caused a degree of angst amongst some Wildcat fans. So much so that they have withdrawn support in an amount yet to be quantified by the Athletics Department.

As a conservative former mayor of this fine town, and an avid fan, my hope is that we accept this slogan as a statement about the culture we hope to further at our university and within the athletics program.

That in fact black lives do matter to us, all of us. That we recognize being a black youngster carries with it challenges that perhaps we have not recognized. And that better-policing benefits all of us.

Now some will read this as Bob Strawn kowtowing to some far-off leftist agenda. To which I say, poppycock! Black lives matter to you, to me, to all of us. To deny that is evil.

So, get behind these administrators, coaches, and youngsters. See the good in their hopes. Cheer your hearts out for them. And oh, yeah, EMAW!

Bob Strawn,

1551 Williamsburg Court

Shouldn’t K-State say that all lives matter?

To the editor:

I am Randy Rich, KSU BSME ’68. I grew up in St. John, Kansas, listening to KSU basketball with my dad on the only radio in the house. I have closely supported the university and Wildcat sports since, being an avid fan just short of obnoxious. I bleed purple. Finally, I am a Christ follower, sinner but forgiven!

As I watched the game on Sept. 12, I was sad to see that K-State sports has become political. Apparently it is no longer the goal of the Athletic Department only to put quality, competitive teams on the field/floor while embracing integrity, but additionally to push a political agenda. Of course I am referring to the BLM icon on the players’ jerseys.

What does BLM stand for? Well it could stand for just a phrase that is true, black lives do matter. Or, it could stand for a Marxist movement supported by corporate and private dollars to aggressively push the US into socialism.

BLM is not about diversity, it is about a movement. It is about a movement I trust K State does not support.

I am aware of the blackmail of the KSU family by a handful of football athletes supported by most KSU athletes. And I am aware of the school’s caring and extensive response. Good work!

Diversity is defined as the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion or socioeconomic stratum. If KSU is to be diverse, shouldn’t our public image suggest “all lives matter”? Shouldn’t all colors and all origins be equally supported and equally promoted? I’m confused and sad.

Randy Rich,

Scroggins, Texas

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