Daily Archives: Nov. 13, 2009

2,000 send thank-you notes to Moore for supporting health-care bill in Congress

Moore

Moore

About 2,000 people have sent electronic greetings to Rep. Dennis Moore, thanking him for supporting the comprehensive health care bill that passed the House of Representatives last week.

Moore, D-Lenexa, is the only Democrat in the Kansas congressional delegation and was the state’s only representative to support the bill.

The state Democratic Party set up a link on its website for residents to send personal thank-yous to Moore for his vote.

As of Friday afternoon, 1,942 had done so, with responses still coming in and expected to exceed 2,000, said party spokesman Tyler Longpine.

Critics of national health care have been shouting down supporters and congresspeople at town hall meetings around the country; it’s also been a favored target for scorn at conservative “tea party” meetings nationwide.

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Wichita Mayor wants aviation to get same consideration auto industry got

jetMayor Carl Brewer and council member Lavonta Williams are down in San Antonio this afternoon helping put a playground together in a low-income neighborhood. It’s one of the outings on their four-day National League of Cities conference.

So far, Brewer said one of the biggest messages he’s sending on Wichita’s behalf to President Obama’s representatives is that the aviation industry deserves the same government attention the ailing auto industry has gotten. He said that means providing tax breaks and other incentives to those buying planes. It also means federal funds to pay for training centers to not only train people how to work in aviation but to prepare them for work in similar fields when aviation companies layoff workers. That, he said, would also help Wichita diversify its economy. And, finally, he said he wants the federal government to do more to remove the negative stigma attached to corporate jets.

Asked how that message could be floated in the context of corporate executives getting fat cat bonuses even when stocks tank, he said that he understands that concern but also thinks people have to realize that those executives have valuable skill sets. “If you don’t keep them, somebody else will get them,” he said.

Eisenhower Library seeking quilts to warm wounded soldiers, vets

ike logoABILENE — Harkening back to the homefront of World War II, the Dwight Eisenhower Library and Museum is looking for quilters who want to make wounded soldiers more comfortable.

The library is launching its first “Quilts of Valor” challenge, seeking Kansas quilting enthusiasts who will have about a year to stitch something together for the troops.

The goal is to put the quilts on display at the presidential library for Veteran’s Day, 2010, and then distribute them to wounded service men and women.

The impulse is the same one that drove women to sew for the soldiers under Eisenhower’s command in WW II, said Jan Hottman, the library staff member who is organizing the quilting project.

Back then, quilting was more of a practical necessity than the hobby and art form it is today.

“The cotton and everything was used for military supplies,” Hottman said. “They (civilians) were rationed seriously, so women would take old clothes and tear them apart to make blankets. With all the (war) injuries, a lot of women would make them for the hospitals.”

The quilt drive is being run in conjunction with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, which Hottman discovered while reading a quilting magazine during the summer.

Catherine Roberts, a quilting enthusiast and retired nurse and midwife, started the foundation in 2003 when her son, Nathanael, was called up for duty in Iraq. He was wounded in action and has since left the military, although her daughter, Hannah, is deployed with the Navy.

Wanting to do something for wounded soldiers like her son, she recruited a few volunteers to piece quilts together. To distribute them, she contacted a chaplain at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, whose wife also happened to be a quilter.

Since then, the group has grown to include thousands of volunteers and distributed more than 26,000 quilts.

Roberts said she is thrilled to be working with the presidential library because — little-known fact confirmed by the museum — Eisenhower was a quilter. He and his brothers helped their mother, Ida, make quilts while growing up in Abilene.

“My message is everyone can get involved, as President Eisenhower did when he was a small boy,” Roberts said.

Hottman said quilts are a good way to show support for the wounded because of the amount of time and handwork that goes into them.

“There’s just something about a quilt, knowing that somebody made that for you, that’s just very comforting,” she said.

In addition to soldiers injured in current conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the museum also hopes to present quilts to veterans wounded in earlier wars.

To participate, contact the museum at 785-263-6700 or toll-free at 877-746-4453 or visit www.eisenhower.archives.gov.