Archive for Monday, February 21, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Computers stolen from Audio-Reader; Kansas Public Radio hires new classical music director; reader ‘references’ inattention to KU debate successes

February 21, 2011


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Stealing is bad. We all know this.

But maybe there ought to be some other, higher punishment reserved for people who steal from a nonprofit agency devoted to helping the visually impaired.

Audio-Reader, KU’s radio-reading service, reports that someone stole eight of their computers worth more than $6,000.

The touch-screen computers allow readers to access newspapers online, and resize the typeface on the screen much like a smart phone.

The computers were purchased as part of a grant from the Douglas County Community Foundation, which paid for 13 of the computers. Audio-Reader raised private funds to match the grant, and all told the project cost more than $17,000.

“The project will continue to go forward,” Audio-Reader Director Janet Campbell said in a statement. “Individual recording studios will be outfitted. The ‘live studio’ can’t be upgraded right now and we won’t have any for backup.”

The theft occurred sometime between Jan. 30 and Feb. 16, and KU police are investigating.

• A message from a reader:

“(Kansas Public Radio) has a new classical music program director. Makes me wonder where Rachel Hunter is. Did I miss her retirement?”

Yes indeed, Hunter retired last fall after 27 years of service, reports KPR’s Phil Wilke.

Taking the helm is Mark Edwards, who brings with him more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He was most recently in Portsmouth, N.H., where he was director of operations for several stations.

He has also worked in Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans and Kansas City.

• I got another message from a reader who had a few things to say about my recent debate coverage.

He was a little miffed that I referred to Emory and Northwestern as debate “powerhouses,” but glossed over KU’s rich history and tradition.

So, here’s a little extra KU debate love, courtesy of the KU Debate website.

KU is No. 1 among public universities in National Debate Tournament championship appearances, it has won the tournament five times, reached the final four 14 times and has qualified for the tournament 43 years in a row.

It has also reached the final four of the Cross Examination Debate Association’s national championship tournament five times since 1998. That’s another, separate entity that awards a debate national champion in addition to the NDT’s.

That all sounds like the makings of a "powerhouse" to me.

The reader also pointed out that I tend to use the word “reference” as a verb a lot, which he didn’t seem to appreciate.

“Stop this JTalk!” he implored.

It is a little “journalistic,” I agreed, and I’m going to make an effort to give it up for awhile. So watch for it. And if I slip up, be sure to let me know. I’m sure he will.

• I’d like to reference my usual reference in this space, referencing of course the reference referring you to send your tips for my own reference to so that I might reference them in a future column. OK. That felt good. Should be all out of my system now...


cato_the_elder 7 years, 3 months ago

Andy, turning nouns into verbs, one of the worst "power speech" habits of the last three decades, annoys many of us. (Using "impact" as a verb is still the most annoying to me.) However, since that horse has been out of the barn for some time now, you are to be forgiven.

ahyland 7 years, 3 months ago

I hate it, too, but I obviously slip up every now and again. That last part of this post was me making fun of myself, not me making fun of the reader's (quite valid) point.

KU_cynic 7 years, 3 months ago

"The theft occurred sometime between Jan. 30 and Feb. 16..."

There is a major flaw in the security and IT management protocols at KU if $6000 worth of equipment (8 computers) can go missing and nobody notices it for more than two weeks.

borntoplay 7 years, 3 months ago

I wonder why people, who have no knowledge about the details of an event, decide to comment, and always in the negative. The computers were in their boxes, in a storage area, waiting to be installed. It's not like they were already in place being used or out in the open. Give them a break. They work to serve the blind. And kudos to KU for supporting such a program for 40 years.

Jason Badgett 7 years, 3 months ago

For more on the KU debate team's success, you can check out this documentary:

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