A New York Times article and video chronicles life in what it calls “Kochville,” detailing the vast charitable footprint of Koch Industries and the Koch family in Wichita (Wichita State University’s Charles Koch Arena, the Sedgwick County Zoo’s Koch Orangutan and Chimpanzee Habitat, etc.) and complicated feelings locally about the Kochs’ even more vast political giving. Elsewhere, and especially on the Senate floor during the anti-Koch rants of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Charles and David Koch “are ready villains,” noted the Times’ Carl Hulse. But as Wichita Festivals CEO Mary Beth Jarvis, formerly of Koch Industries, told the Times, “There is almost no one in town who doesn’t have a friend, a neighbor, a relative who works out at Koch.” Last week the Times visited north Wichita as part of its interactive “The Way North” series about traveling up I-35 to see how immigration is changing the U.S., noting that Wichita’s Hispanic population has increased from 9 to 15 percent since 2000.
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