Local Columns

Your turn: Landlord-tenant tales have two sides
December 3, 2013
When my husband Ray and I bought the brand new little duplex we owned as a rental for 13 years, we thought our elderly mothers might one day want to live there when maintaining their own homes became too difficult for them. In short order, they let us know they had no intention of ever leaving their homes.
Opinion: N.D. fracking: Boom or bust?
December 1, 2013
For the first time in some 40 years, I didn’t open the pheasant season in Kansas with the same group of friends. Such traditions are painful to break, but the dearth of birds in drought-stricken Kansas and divergent commitments trumped nostalgia. So I struck out for South Dakota, where pheasants are plentiful. Then on to North Dakota, where I met up with a friend who’s moved his contracting business there to take advantage of the fracking oil and gas boom.
Your turn: Compressed natural gas advocated
November 30, 2013
At their Aug. 13 meeting, our city commissioners wisely voted to study the option of moving toward compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel the city’s fleet of buses, trash trucks and other vehicles before they purchase three new buses. Here are some key points of interest to voters and taxpayers.
Saturday Column: KU football needs more than promise of ‘next year’
November 30, 2013
Earlier this week, a Journal-World editorial congratulated all those associated with Kansas University football for the excellent academic record posted by the players. For the second year in a row, KU placed 19 players on the Big 12 academic football team, tying for the top spot with Oklahoma.
Your turn: It’s all about the green bean casserole
November 28, 2013
Recently, I heard the phrase, “Love is the dream…marriage is the alarm clock.” This is the time of year for the annual ringing of our marital alarm. Is it about money? No. Is it about in-laws? No. Is it about household chores? No. It’s about green bean casserole. Forgive me Julia Child, for I have sinned. I love green bean casserole. While it is true that I have taken a number of courses at the Culinary Institute of America and our friends think that our home is one of the best restaurants in town, I can’t help myself. I love green bean casserole.
Opinion: Conspicuous consumption
November 27, 2013
The art world has very much been in the news the past few weeks. First, German police found a cache of art obtained during the Nazi era in Germany. The art has been valued at over $1 billion. Second, Christie’s, the international auction giant, set a new record for a work of art when it sold Francis Bacon’s study of Lucian Freud for over $142 million and, at the same sale, sold a sculpture of a cartoon dog by Jeff Koons’ for over $58 million.
Opinion: Arts are important part of education
November 25, 2013
This year marks the 100-year anniversary of one of the seminal events in American culture.
Saturday Column: Teammate’s death spurs reflection on football changes
November 23, 2013
Mike McCormack, one of Kansas University’s finest athletes, died last week in Palm Desert, Calif. McCormack played football at KU in 1948, ‘49 and ‘50 and enjoyed a Hall of Fame career as a professional football player and as a coach, director of football operations and president of an NFL team.
Simons’ Saturday Column: Quality of regents is critically important to the state
November 16, 2013
How does the state of Kansas strengthen and build the excellence of its regents system of universities?
Saturday Column: KU should explore medical research opportunity
November 9, 2013
Last week, residents of Kansas City’s Jackson County rejected a proposal to boost medical research with $800 million in new taxpayer funds. The plan was to OK a half-cent, 20-year sales tax to fund “translational research” at two private hospitals — Children’s Mercy and St. Luke’s — and raise $40 million annually to recruit top scientists for cutting edge research at the participating hospitals and approximately $4 million to aid in economic development programs.
Opinion: Scotland ponders independence
November 3, 2013
“You say tom-ay-toe, and I say tom-ah-toe” and according to the song, the remedy for such lovers’ quarrels is to, “call the whole thing off.” From breakups and divorces it’s but a short distance to riots in the streets, schisms, world war, genocide, and Apocalypse. So it goes – from fists to cudgels to spears to muskets to hydrogen bombs. People gather together for mutual security and, when the threat of invasion by aliens passes, they begin to discover irreconcilable differences among themselves. The next thing you know, the word “We” is forgotten and the community divides itself into “Us” and “Them.”
Saturday Column: Obama voter data a valuable campaign commodity
November 2, 2013
Although President Obama has three-plus years before he vacates the Oval Office, there is increasing speculation about what he will do after serving as the world’s most powerful individual.
Opinion: Law degree opens doors
October 30, 2013
Over the past few years the media has been filled with articles about the “crash” of the legal profession since 2008. A few large law firms have disappeared, starting lawyers’ salaries have, for the most part, dropped from the stratospheric heights they had achieved in the mid-2000s, and applications to law school have fallen precipitously, so much so that many law schools (including the Kansas University School of Law) have reduced their class sizes dramatically. On casual reading of the media, it would seem that only a crazy person would go to law school these days.
Your Turn: Brownback responds to NY Times
Editor’s note: The following letter by Gov. Sam Brownback was written to the New York Times in response to its Oct. 13 editorial.
October 30, 2013
While the citizens of Kansas do appreciate your interest in the quality of education received by our children, it appears you may be unaware of a few simple facts. Therefore, I would respectfully request that you reconsider the conclusions drawn in your recent editorial entitled “Shortchanging Kansas Schoolchildren” in light of the following:
Saturday Column: College basketball far different from Naismith’s game
October 26, 2013
Next Tuesday, a group of young men in their late teens and early 20s will launch the 116th season of Kansas University basketball.