Local Columns

Saturday Column: Clinton coronation may not benefit party, nation
12:00 a.m., April 25, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Who are the true “kingmakers” in the Democratic Party, and what must they be thinking about the “Hillary situation”? Are the Clintons themselves the party’s kingmakers, and, if so, it is what it is. However, if there are other individuals or factions within the Democratic Party such as the Obama clique or a group of powerful liberals or moderates, what are they thinking about the early days of the “Go Hillary” drive for the presidency?
Your Turn: Kansas needs juvenile justice reform
April 22, 2015
Kansas’ juvenile justice system should be doing more to keep our communities safe and to make better use of state funds. Our juvenile code was written in 1996. Since then, research has shown many strategies once believed to fight youth crime actually do more harm than good — and at great cost to taxpayers. Other states are adopting smarter approaches to juvenile justice that result in declining crime rates and more cost-effective systems.
Saturday Column: Regents, Relays and roads among comment topics
April 18, 2015
Based on numerous reports, past accomplishments and evaluations, the departure of Kansas Board of Regents President and CEO Andy Tompkins will be a major loss for Kansas and the Regents. Tompkins was held in high regard prior to his move to the Regents five years ago; he has strengthened this reputation and will be difficult to replace.
Opinion: 70 years ago, nation mourned FDR
April 16, 2015
Seventy years ago this week, on April 12, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died at Warm Springs, Ga. The president died on the eve of victory against Germany and Japan in the Second World War; just three weeks after his death, Germany signed the instrument of unconditional surrender to the Allies.
Opinion: Future of baseball is looking bright
April 13, 2015
About this you may be certain: The 2015 Major League Baseball season will be one to remember for young and old alike with a record number of people (some 74 million people plus) passing through the turnstiles. Once again, the American and National Leagues will draw more fans than the combined total of the National Football League, National Basketball League and National Hockey League.
Saturday Column: KU faces challenges in finding, hiring top faculty
April 11, 2015
It’s good to learn that several new Foundation Distinguished Professors are joining the Kansas University faculty. Hopefully more will be added.
Opinion: Should Kansas have a constitutional convention?
April 8, 2015
Now that the Legislature is on its traditional “spring break” before coming back to deal with all the remaining business in the last few days of the session, it is worth taking a moment to review what has been done so far this year. As I look at the Legislature’s work over the past weeks, it seems to me that it has been a mixture of extremely significant legislation as well as a number of things that might have well been left undone.
Saturday column: Brownback still has opportunity to move state forward
12:00 a.m., April 4, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
Several weeks ago, this writer received a letter from a well-known former state legislator expressing his disappointment that the Journal-World and this writer had not backed Lawrence attorney Paul Davis for the governorship.
Opinion: Media should focus on education solutions
March 31, 2015
April brings both hope and fear to thousands of anxious teenagers. It is the month when many high school seniors receive acceptances and rejections from the colleges of their choice.
Saturday Column: Passion aimed at sports could benefit other ‘teams’
March 28, 2015
Consider what might be accomplished if local and state residents gave as much attention and involvement to issues such as education, good government, job opportunities and the performance of those in elective office as they give to competitive high school and college sports.
Opinion: Presidential candidates must re-examine U.S. role
March 25, 2015
There was a time after the collapse of the Soviet Union when it became common to speak of the United States as the only “superpower” in the world. At that point the American economy was clearly the strongest in the world and it was believed that our military forces could handle any threats to the security of the homeland.
Your Turn: Longtime resident concerned for Kansas
March 24, 2015
I recently spent a rough night, filled with bad dreams. Everything I tried to do turned out exactly the opposite of what I had set out to achieve: Several haircuts left my hair even longer than before, and multiple attempts to park my bike near some building I apparently needed to get to were thwarted by regulations that sent me increasingly farther from my destination (“You’re using the wrong brand of lock and chain, so you’ll be fined if you park here”).
Your Turn: Battle for open government continues
March 17, 2015
March 15-21 marks the 10th anniversary of the nationally commemorated Sunshine Week during which open government proponents throughout our nation point with pride at transparency breakthroughs, but are equally alarmed about setbacks to the people’s right to know what their government is up to. A review by the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government shows the Kansas experience over the past 10 years is no different. While sunshine victories can be proclaimed in some areas of our state government — the legislative enactment of a media shield law, for example — there have been serious setbacks, including the expansion of exceptions to the state’s Open Records Act from 10 or so to 57 and counting. Meanwhile, the cost of gaining access to these “open government” records has mushroomed to the point that pressing access in many instances simply isn’t worth the effort to the citizenry.
Saturday Column: U.S. suffers loss of honesty, integrity, leadership
March 14, 2015
What is our country going to look like 25 to 50 years from now if the current attitude of “most anything goes” or “most anything is accepted” is allowed to grow and infect every facet of our society?
Opinion: Walker lauds new facility
March 11, 2015
Rock Chalk Park and Sports Pavilion Lawrence there have been in the news almost constantly for months. Many in the community have been concerned and confused by the various financial arrangements, payments, audit problems and other seeming irregularities in the construction of the project from its earliest days.