Rhonda Holman

Economic fallacy supports arts in Wichita

Recently two editorials appeared in The Wichita Eagle promoting government spending on the arts because it does wonderful things for the local economy. The writers are Rhonda Holman and Joan Cole, who is chairwoman of the Arts Council. I read the study that these local writers relied on. The single greatest defect in this study is that it selectively ignores the secondary effects of government spending on the arts. As an example, the writers in the Eagle promote the study's conclusion that the return on dollars spent on the arts is "a spectacular 7-to-1 that would even thrill Wall Street…
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Government funds promoting downtown Wichita arena

... it is our opinion that public funds may not be used to promote or advocate the position of a governing body on a matter which is before the electorate. However, this does not mean that public funds may not be expended to educate and inform the electorate. That's the opinion of the Kansas Attorney General Robert Stephan from 1993. In this opinion, the Attorney General cited this court opinion: It would be establishing a dangerous and untenable precedent to permit the government or any agency thereof, to use public funds to disseminate propaganda in favor of or against any…
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Rhonda, markets are the answer

Writing from New Orleans, Louisiana An editorial in the October 13, 2006 Wichita Eagle by Rhonda Holman expresses disgust with the Kansas State Board of Education, and praises Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius's criticism of the board. (I am a little ashamed to admit that I am in New Orleans, but still reading The Wichita Eagle.) Now it is no secret that Ms. Holman disagrees with some of the actions the board has taken the past few years. I am quite certain that if she agreed with what the board has done, she would have not written this editorial, and the…
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What to do with others’ money

Writing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania In a June 20, 2006 Wichita Eagle editorial, Rhonda Holman writes about the WaterWalk project in Wichita. Evidently there is controversy over the public not knowing the name of the "destination restaurant" that is being courted and favored with a gift of $1 million. To me, the controversy is not the identify of the restaurant or when and how the city should conduct its negotiations, but that we are paying for a restaurant to be built. We are not lacking for fine restaurants in Wichita. On both the east and west sides of town (and other…
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The AirTran subsidy and its unseen effects

Writing from Natchez, Mississippi In a June 16, 2006 column, Wichita Eagle editorial writer Rhonda Holman again congratulates local and state government for its success in renewing the AirTran subsidy, and for getting the entire state of Kansas to help for it. We should take a moment to understand, however, that while the allure of the subsidy is undeniable, it may eventually extract a high price on Wichita. Currently, the legacy airlines provide service to Wichita and other small markets partly because they feel a duty to provide comprehensive, nationwide service. But that may be changing. In an article titled…
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Arts funding in Wichita produces controversy

As local government tries to decide which arts and cultural institutions are to receive government funds, controversy arises. A June 8, 2006 Wichita Eagle article titled "Arts panel biases alleged" tells how some funding applicants are upset that some of the members of the funding committee have ties to organizations that also applied for funds. In an editorial titled "Let Arts Funding Work" published in the June 10, 2006 Wichita Eagle, Rhonda Holman writes "The process may not be perfect, but it's a precious opportunity for public dollars to be invested in the arts and attractions in a merit-based way…
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