Why so angered?


Our governor did not restrict religious freedom. She restricted gatherings of over 10 people in public places, be it parks, churches, bars, etc. You may worship freely in your car, in your home, with your family, through television or radio. She did not make this proclamation to punish, she did it to save lives. In so declaring she joined governors from numerous other states who delivered the same restrictions, to no such outrage. So what's the difference here in our state? Why are these five Republicans so angered? Could it be that SHE had the audacity to tell them what to do? Temper, temper, little guys! You are cutting off your noses to spite your faces!


— Beth Vannatta, Halstead


Why are they competing with us?


Maybe a crisis is not a time to be political? I really do not want to be. I know everyone is struggling, this is my soapbox.


I love all the restaurants in Newton that are owned by individuals and I support all of them. You will see me eating at The Breadbasket, Genovas, China Inn, Curtis C's, Casa Fiesta, Acapulco, El Toro, Lupes, Chongs and more.


There are approximately 10 small, locally owned restaurants in Newton. To be honest, if Gurty's was my only business, we would be close to bankruptcy, with business being down over 70%. I decided to keep the restaurant open for carry-out and curbside, so I could continue to get my 14 employees a paycheck.


I have publicly criticized the City of Newton-owned Meridian Center selling meals competing with local, tax-paying restaurants. Now more than ever, as we struggle to survive, and I predict all will not survive, this is disgusting.


For the last year actual expenditures and revenue were reported, two years ago, the City of Newton, or may I say, you can me, contributed to the loss (negative cash loss) of $141,000. And they lose money every year. If they lose more money, they get more of our tax money to cover the loss.


So the Meridian Center doesn't care if they try something that loses money. Kemper Sports, who is paid to run the facility, has nothing to lose. Only the citizens of Newton lose. And we lose every year. I have always advocated for the city to sell the event center, and the golf course, to private enterprise and get these properties on the tax rolls instead of us subsidizing them. Think of the amount of new property taxes that would come to our budget, instead of this revolting loss.


When I see the Meridian Center competing against Newton restaurants especially in this time, when we are praying for the phone to ring with another order, is below contempt. This is a blatant abuse of government and we need to address this. Our city leaders need to make this a top priority.


Or let's do something different. Let me, and the other restaurants in Newton, submit our expenditures and the City of Newton can write each of us a check each December for our losses. Hey, I'm on board with that.


— Murray Anderson, Newton