Local Columns

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.
Your turn: Police review should precede new facility
August 20, 2014
Does Lawrence have a disquieting crime problem? It certainly seems that way. Instead of building a $28 million police facility with a shiny bronze plaque memorializing the city fathers, we ought first to determine why our policing strategies aren’t working very well.
Your turn: Local cyclist remembered fondly
August 18, 2014
When Cal Melick was killed on his bicycle last Wednesday, the pulse of the cycling community stopped. When it restarted, it was at a different beat, a sudden dissonant harmonic, missing that fundamental undertone that kept the order of things in the right key. There is no making sense of it. At least not with reason, which has no power to explain or soothe the madness in the random. 
Saturday Column: GOP splits threaten Brownback re-election bid
August 16, 2014
The Kansas gubernatorial election is less than three months away, and traditional Kansas Republicans should be frustrated and alarmed at the findings of the recent statewide poll showing Lawrence attorney and Democrat Paul Davis enjoying a surprising lead over Gov. Sam Brownback.
Opinion: Campaign ads miss mark
August 13, 2014
Now that the primaries are over and the “real” election season is about to begin, I have been thinking about what aspects of the primary campaigns I found most irritating and bizarre. As I think about the political advertising to which we have all been subjected over the past few months — and how much more we will have to suffer in the next few — I think that two things in particular are worth noting.
Opinion: Report reveals higher ed bias
August 5, 2014
A recent report from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania sheds important and disturbing new light on racial and gender inequality in higher education.
Opinion: Development pendulum swings
August 3, 2014
I was talking to a perceptive observer of Lawrence, Kansas, when we got onto the subject of the roadwork that has turned the town into a bewildering maze.
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.