Archive for Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Letters to the editor: Vandalism: Take a bold stand; No more small town values?

June 21, 2006

Vandalism: Take a bold stand

To the editor:

As I read the article about the abhorrent acts of vandalism and theft at the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission ball fields, I was heavy-hearted and troubled.

Tonganoxie is a thriving and evolving community. Growth is always accompanied by change, and Tonganoxie natives can certainly attest to this. Not all change is positive, yet inevitable. Being proactive, agents of change can reap positive results.

As a vocation, I am executive director of a tutoring program operating in the urban core of Kansas City, Kan. In a variety of capacities, I collaborate with many to organize and strengthen the community fabric in KCK, focusing on the neighborhoods east of 635.

Complacency and apathy will not lead to the quality of life that the residents tell me they are seeking. Stepping outside of our comfort zone, connecting with neighbors and collectively removing the barriers are the solution.

Once I tell the youth I interact with that I graduated from Washington High School -- before metal detectors, heat schedule or air conditioning -- we are able to engage in insightful dialogue using this frame of reference about change.

In the same vein, 18 years ago when I moved from KCK a sniper wasn't firing shots from Eisenhower Junior High School grounds. However, on June 2, 2006, it happened. This is the neighborhood of my youth. My guess is the June attendance at my parents' neighborhood meeting will swell. Thankfully there are over 125 grassroots neighborhood groups in KCK collectively removing barriers in the neighborhoods and community.

My hope is that someone is enticed by the $500 reward offered by TRC, or money aside, by taking a bold stand against crime in our community and will provide the necessary information in order to identify the individuals responsible for these criminal acts of vandalism and theft.

April Dohle,


No more small town values?

To the editor:

I have grown up in this area, and am terrified at the growth and the amount of crimes that are taking place.

Today, as my husband left for work he noticed that my 5-year-old son's go-cart was gone. The go-cart is nothing special, old style frame, blue and white boat seat, and the darn thing doesn't even work.

My husband had hopes of getting it running for my son. You might ask why keep trying? Well, because my father bought the go-cart for my little brother several years ago, and when he lost interest, my dad passed it on to my son. Well, my dad passed away from cancer a year ago.

So it has a lot of memories, and time invested.

Tonganoxie citizens need to wake up, and realize that our small town is no more. It's time to lock everything up, and become leery of a strange face. It is a shame to see it go. I was hoping that my kids would see what mommy has seen all these years: friendship, trust and freedom from fear.

We'll see.

Sarah Kouns,


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