Archive for Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Letters to the editor:

A positive school atmosphere; Post office decision a mistake; A historical view of post office; Speak out about post office

August 17, 2005

A positive school atmosphere

To the editor:

It's in the news. One can hear about it on the radio or read about it in the newspapers. As one could guess, I'm referencing the lawsuit against the school involving a former student and supposed sexual harassment.

People are hearing about Tonganoxie for the wrong reasons, and I fear that a tainted image has fallen upon our town, our school and our people.

People are getting a wrong impression of what our high school is at Tonganoxie. As one of the many students at THS, we have become the victims as this lawsuit creates a bad name for us and establishes a phony precedent that we are bullies and have a huge problem with harassment at our school. This acquired representation is outstandingly false.

Although there certainly might have been some instances in the past years where a few of our students have indeed tormented a fellow classmate, I can't emphasize enough that this scenario is a rarity. I'm actually glad that those students who might have employed the "bullying" are now gone from THS, and I'm truly excited about our school's future. What many outsiders don't realize: Right now, we have a special and amazing atmosphere going on at THS, mainly shaped by the efforts of our faculty and student body. This atmosphere that I cite is characterized by students and faculty who genuinely care about one another. Students are routinely seen saying hi, smiling, and making conversation whether it be as they pass each other in the hall, at the lunch table or at a school event. Tongie High is unique in the sense that everyone pretty much knows everyone, if not that, one can still talk to someone else with ease. Students from other schools continually tell me how friendly our kids are. This compliment might also be demonstrated by our school's sportsmanship award it received last winter.

One negative event shouldn't overshadow the pride and dignity our school and community have, and we should recognize the more common positives in what we do.

Zack Pistora,

Tonganoxie High School senior

and student body president.

Post office decision a mistake

To the editor:

I have been a resident of Tonganoxie since June of 1937, attended grade school and high school here and have sold real estate and insurance for the past 47 years. I have built homes in this community. I worked to get the nursing home built, participated in getting the chamber of commerce started and was one of the partners in the construction of the NorthStar subdivision. I think I know Tonganoxie pretty well after 68 years.

People liked to live in this community because of the small-town environment. We are quickly losing that title. The town has needed to grow, but I feel that expansion has come too quickly, and mistakes are being made.

The recent decision made to build the new post office out near the annex is just one such mistake. I believe it is a decision made in haste and will create an inconvenience and safety hazard to the public for many years.

It is my opinion that the new post office should be located two blocks from downtown -- west of the present elementary school on land owned by Mike and Janice Seymour, the older homes owned by Steve and Cindy LaForge, the house owned by Matt Bichelmeyer and the old four-plex. There would be streets on three sides -- Fourth Street, 24-40 and Fifth Street -- and no highway crossing. All the necessary utilities are in place, including sewer, water, natural gas and electricity.

Where the new post office will be located should be decided by the patrons of the community and not outsiders. We live here and we will be using the facility on a daily basis.

Lem Evans,


A historical view of post office

To the editor:

A little history of the post office is appropriate now.

In the year 1900, there were 18 post offices in Leavenworth County -- now, perhaps, there are six.

Early day locations were in privately owned commercial establishments -- such as food and hardware stores, saloons, livery stables, etc. -- on the condition it was the center of the area's activities. The only exception of a mail pickup place was Chief Tonganoxie's Tavern; it was on the fringe of the community. The chief could neither read nor write. He left it up to the individual to identify his mail.

As a native of Tonganoxie nearly 83 years, I have seen some history myself. I have conveniently received my mail in Box 325 for nearly 55 years. Now, I must look forward to a trip to the fringe of the community to do the same. The object of this letter is to express my objection to the proposed location of the new post office. Not only is the proposed location historically wrong, it creates a serious situation for us old ones to cope with the increased traffic.

As a reminder, history records more than 4,400 post offices in Kansas in the year 1900. There are fewer than 700 today. What direction is the post office going? Is it in the interest of the community or the post office?

John Cass Lenahan Sr.,


Speak out about post office

To the editor:

As of Aug. 2, the new post office location has been preliminarily selected along the U.S. Highway 24-40 corridor east, near the courthouse annex.

This information is available in the lobby of the post office, conveniently located downtown.

It is sad to think that this will not be the case in the future.

The letter on the post office wall says the Tonganoxie City Council has 30 days to respond in writing to this decision. The public also could respond by writing letters and mailing them to:

Vice President Facilities; in care of Keith LaShier, Western FSO Manager; 160 Inverness Drive West, Suite 400; Englewood, CO. 80112-5005.

Make sure to tell them that it is the Tonganoxie Post Office you are writing about and your reasons for writing -- pro or con.

Tonganoxie has community spirit and a great part of that is our downtown. This type of atmosphere is disappearing fast.

Roger Shilling,


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