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Local Columns

Opinion: Jewish holidays spur reflection
October 1, 2014
This weekend marks the end of the Jewish “High Holy Days” of Rosh Hashanah  and Yom Kippur, the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah is the holiday that marks the new year in the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur is the day on which Jews must acknowledge and atone for their sins of the year just passed. It is the time when all Jews focus themselves on God and on the lives they have led for the past year. It is a time for prayer and a time of remembrance. It is a time for taking stock of one’s life, for recognizing one’s failures and for setting one’s aspirations for the coming year.
Your turn: Baseball still America’s pastime
September 28, 2014
Major League Baseball posted its 11th consecutive year of record industry revenues with an all-time high exceeding $8 billion in 2013. And now some within the game believe that MLB will reach $10 billion in 2014.
Saturday Column: Shifting political waters challenge state incumbents
September 27, 2014
The state of politics in Kansas today is interesting, if not shocking. History shows that, over the years, Kansas has been one of the most consistently Republican states in the nation: Republican governors, Republican senators, Republican U.S. House members and a Republican-controlled state Legislature.
Your Turn: Business dean responds to student concerns
September 24, 2014
As a Jayhawk alumna, I am very proud of our rich tradition of idealism and activism and applaud all students who stay engaged in critical conversations. As dean, I would like to clarify a few points in response to the article written by Students for a Sustainable Future in Lawrence Journal-World’s Your Turn column (Sept. 21).
Your turn: Schools, society must confront racism
September 23, 2014
The vandalism that recently occurred at Lawrence High School is a clear reminder that racism still exists across our nation, in our state and even in our hometown. While the Lawrence Police Department quickly apprehended five high school seniors suspected of committing this crime, this incident should not be ignored or quickly forgotten by our community. To simply dismiss this act as “a high school prank taken too far” is to willfully ignore the word of choice used in the graffiti on the field: “N–-rs.”
Your turn: Koch ties to KU concern students
September 21, 2014
School is difficult enough without having to weed through corporate bias. As Gov. Sam Brownback and the state legislature incrementally cut education funding, they are opening the door for donors with specific agendas to purchase influence at Kansas University. Enter the Koch brothers.
Saturday Column: KU struggles to establish winning football program
September 19, 2014
It’s anyone’s guess who will win this afternoon’s football game between Kansas University and Central Michigan. So far, the Jayhawks’ performance has been a tremendous disappointment, winning one and losing one, with today’s game a toss-up. Really, it doesn’t matter that much who wins because it’s likely the Jayhawks will be heavy underdogs for the rest of the season when they face much stronger Big 12 Conference teams. Unfortunately, this football season is a fairly accurate reflection of the past five Jayhawk football seasons.
Saturday Column: Transparency crucial on private military operations
September 12, 2014
President Obama announced this week he intends to intensify this country’s military actions against ISIS terrorist forces but with no U.S. boots “on the ground.”
Opinion: Column starts the conversation
September 10, 2014
This fall marks the 20th year I have been writing this column. Obviously a great deal has happened during those 20 years. When I began writing this column I was the newly appointed dean of the law school at Kansas University, I was 32 years old and my idea in offering to write the column was that it would be a public service to give my views on legal matters through the column.
Opinion: Rhythms of nature reassuring
September 7, 2014
Two spiders have hung their webs just beyond my kitchen window, one directly in front of the other, between a juniper tree and a bird feeder. You’d think that with the vast outdoors available, they would have staked out individual, exclusive territories. But what do I know about the ways of spiders?
Saturday Column: U.S. can’t ignore threat posed by illegal immigration
September 5, 2014
It’s ironic that, at a time when this country’s senior military leaders talk about the growing and imminent danger of terrorists, when ISIS forces boast about flying their flags in Washington, when European leaders make it clear they are alarmed about the spread of terrorism and the advances made by ISIS, when al-Qaida leaders boast of new units in India, and when there is growing concern about American ISIS fighters returning to the U.S., our borders with Mexico in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California remain an open sieve with thousands of undocumented workers and “children” moving into our country every day.
Your turn: Expectations guide police plans
August 31, 2014
One of the tasks of a leader of any organization is to look at how prepared it is to accomplish the mission expected of it. As a Lawrence resident for 29 years and a member of the Lawrence Police Department for 23 of those, I have an appreciation for what I believe is the expectation of police in Lawrence. The culmination of historical input of residents, city leaders and officers who have gone before us makes us all shareholders in the definition of this expectation.
Opinion: Aging population needs more doctors
August 30, 2014
All of us are getting older, but those of us at the bottom of the actuarial tables face particular challenges. Most of us lead full lives but we worry about our increasing ailments. We also worry that small aches are preludes to something more serious.
Opinion: Appeasement won’t stop evil
August 27, 2014
The beheading of James Foley by members of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is just one more in a long series of savage and barbarous acts by what should be categorized as an international criminal group. Unfortunately the reign of terror that these murderers have perpetrated upon thousands of men and women in Syria and parts of Iraq has not lessened and will not lessen until they have either killed every single human being opposed to their ideas and dominance or they are simply wiped off the face of the earth.
Saturday Column: Changes in Lawrence attitude aren’t for the better
August 23, 2014
Some years ago, Lawrence was the envy of most every Kansas community along with many of the cities that were home to Big 8 Conference universities.