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Local Columns

Opinion: Email monitoring is disturbing trend
July 30, 2014
Last week, the New York Times reported a story about the continuing practice of the U.S. Justice Department to monitor and read emails from federal prisoners to their lawyers. This practice, which first became known to the public after the tragedy of 9/11 with the revelation that prison officials had been monitoring communications between imprisoned suspected terrorists and their attorneys, has now spread to other types of prisoners, most recently including alleged organized crime figures and white collar offenders. This continuing monitoring of the communications of ordinary prisoners, as opposed to suspected terrorists, has been creating quite a controversy among both lawyers and judges.
Your Turn: Planning must respect community vision
July 28, 2014
Lawrence city planning must be guided by a vision that protects the interests and welfare of all residents and safeguards the quality of life we have come to enjoy. Our comprehensive planning document for growth and development, Horizon 2020, provides such a vision and needs to be used as a valued reference tool to evaluate the impact of development projects.
Your turn: Voter registration raises risk of identity theft
July 26, 2014
Starting this year, each person registering to vote for the first time in Kansas must provide proof of citizenship. Though intended to prevent greatly hyped though rarely documented “voter fraud,” this requirement both disenfranchises voters and puts Kansans at risk for identity theft.
Saturday Column: How will universities replace state budget funds?
July 26, 2014
Earlier this week, representatives of the state’s six universities presented their “wish lists” or budget requests to the Kansas Board of Regents. Officials at each of the institutions devoted weeks to studying the needs of their schools. Keeping in mind Kansas’ tight fiscal situation, the attitude of state legislators and the governor and the admonition of regents to use a very sharp pencil in adding up the dollars requested, the universities put together budgets they believed they could defend and justify.
Saturday Column: Kansas voters must focus on state’s best interests
July 18, 2014
Earlier this week, a number of prominent Kansas Republicans, many of whom were former elected officeholders, announced plans to support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis rather than the incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. Many of those in this group have made their dislike or disappointment of Brownback known earlier, but Tuesday’s announcement was a political bombshell.
Opinion: Drones spur privacy concerns
July 16, 2014
Last week, Amazon petitioned the FAA for permission to use drones to deliver packages to customers. This new delivery service, announced last December, and called “Prime Air,” will, according to company executives, revolutionize Internet commerce.
Opinion: Technology hard to duck
July 6, 2014
No doubt you’ve heard the expression, “Nibbled to death by ducks.” Perhaps you think it’s kind of cute or funny. Let me tell you: It’s not cute, it’s not funny. Being nibbled to death by ducks is a hideous way to die. Day after day you watch helplessly as, little by little, they nibble away at you. Then all of a sudden — poof! — you’re gone. I honestly think I would rather be ripped apart by sharks or sharp-toothed jackals than to be nibbled to death by ducks.
Saturday Column: Holiday a time to reflect on what makes U.S. great
July 5, 2014
This weekend, Americans will be celebrating this country’s Independence Day, which commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The national holiday is marked by fireworks, parades, picnics and family gatherings, along with politicians proclaiming their commitment to a free, strong America.
Opinion: Kansas needs honest debate
July 2, 2014
Several weeks ago, in response to a column I wrote about the problems now plaguing the Kansas economy, a reader posted a comment that I didn’t know what a “true” conservative was and that my statement that Gov. Brownback was not acting like a traditional conservative politician was false.
Saturday Column: Football stadium isn’t the only KU embarrassment
June 28, 2014
Several years ago, Kansas Athletics officials started talking about major renovations to Memorial Stadium, home of the Kansas University football team and host site for the nationally known Kansas Relays.
Saturday Column: National security advice should be free of politics
June 21, 2014
Susan Rice serves as senior adviser to President Obama on international affairs and chairs the National Security Council overseeing the National Security staff. She serves on the president’s cabinet and is said to be among the president’s inner-inner circle of advisers.
Opinion: Downtown’s special ambiance
June 18, 2014
For the past few years I have been going to downtown Lawrence each morning before 9 a.m. in order to take my morning exercise walk. At that time of day, Massachusetts Street is relatively quiet. Few places other than the coffee shops and the barbershops are open (with the exception of Saturday when the Farmer’s Market is in full swing).
Opinion: Liberals must show tolerance
June 17, 2014
Based on conversations with 12 university and college presidents, a continuation of liberal intolerance on campus appears likely in the 2014-2015 school year.
Saturday Column: Declining Iraq situation reflects poorly on Obama
June 14, 2014
Who calls the shots, and how are major decisions made in Washington? How many of these decisions are based on what is best for the country as opposed to what will win the most votes and elections?
Your Turn: Student decries power play
June 13, 2014
The recent announcement by Kansas Athletics Inc., to reallocate prime student seats to donors is a detriment to student-university relations and an appalling power move against the Student Senate in response to the recent women’s and non-revenue sports fee reduction.

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