Express your views about the current government shutdown to our elected Kansas congressman and senators. Telephone numbers are provided.

Tonight I did something that I haven’t done in quite awhile. I contacted my elected representatives by phone and e-mail

While my message to Pompeo, Moran, and Roberts varied, it essentially boiled down to this:  quit playing politics, do your job, and fund the government.

As a registered Kansas voter who has never missed an election, I hope that our congressman and senators will at least consider my views and those of others who may have called or e-mailed about this or other important issues. In any case, it feels good to live in a free country where we can express our views without fear of reprisal or “disappearing” during the middle of the night. That’s what makes America such a great place to live.

And yes, the government shutdown has impacted me personally. I am on the board of the Friends of Quivira, a national wildlife refuge near Stafford. This morning I opened an e-mail from Mike Oldham, refuge manager, which had attached a “Fact Sheet for Friends Organization Operations during a Lapse in Appropriations.”

Basically, the refuge is closed until our elected representatives get off their duffs and stop grandstanding.

National Wildlife Refuge Week is set for October 19 at Quivira. Tonight’s Pratt Tribune had a notice about this in the Briefs section. If the government—essentially Congress and the Senate—does not have its act together by then, this event won’t happen.

Also, the next FOQ Board Meeting, originally set for October 7 at the refuge, will be moved to Hudson if the current impasse continues.

It’s really kind of absurd what’s happening on a national level, but it’s not the first time this has happened. In fact, according to Fox News, the government has shut down 18 times since 1977. October 1, 2013 marks over 17 years since the government has closed its doors in.

So if you’re tired of politics as usual, Washington-style, contact our elected representatives at the telephone numbers listed below:

Congressman Mike Pompeo: 316-262-8992 (Wichita) or 202-225-6216

Senator Jerry Moran: 785-628-6401 (Hays) or 202-224-6521

Senator Pat Roberts: 620-227-2244 (Dodge City) or 202-224-4774