Opinion and Commentary

Journal-World Editorials

Editorial: Smoking bans
A local resident is seeking to eliminate all smoking both inside and outside public buildings in downtown Lawrence.
July 30, 2014
Lawrence was the first city in Kansas to approve a ban on smoking in most public buildings, but a petition drive currently underway to extend the smoking ban to the outdoor areas throughout downtown probably may be a step too far.

Local Columns

July 30, 2014

Opinion: Email monitoring is disturbing trend
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.

July 28, 2014

Your Turn: Planning must respect community vision
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.

July 26, 2014

Your turn: Voter registration raises risk of identity theft
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?
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.

Syndicated Columns

July 30, 2014

Opinion: Human toll too great in Gaza
On my refrigerator door I keep a photo of an exceptional Palestinian woman who ran kindergartens in Gaza in the 1990s for the Philly-based American Friends Service Committee. Mary Khaas, who died more than a decade ago, would drag her teachers from their refugee-camp homes to visit her Jewish friends at a kibbutz just across the Gaza border. She believed in two states, and wanted each side to stop demonizing the other.

July 29, 2014

Opinion: Kerry error hampers long-term pact
Secretary of State John Kerry has made a significant mistake in how he’s pursuing a Gaza cease-fire — and it’s not surprising that he has upset both the Israelis and some moderate Palestinians.

July 28, 2014

Opinion: Oregonian doesn’t fit GOP image
“Are you kidding?” This is Monica Wehby’s amiable response to people who wonder whether she will be able to bear the pressures of office if she wins her race as a Republican Senate candidate. For 17 of her 52 years she has been a pediatric neurosurgeon, holding in steady hands sharp steel and the fate of children’s brains. She probably can cope with the strains of legislative life.

July 27, 2014

Opinion: Inappropriate selfies: It’s all about me
In a place haunted by ghosts, on a thoroughfare of the damned, standing upon ground once watered by blood, Breanna Mitchell lifted a camera to take her own picture. She smiled a sunshine smile.
Letters to the Editor

July 29, 2014

Letter: Universal care


July 30 will be the 49th anniversary of the Medicare Act of 1965. Why can’t we have a system that ...

Letter: Penalty justified


I was disappointed the courts threw out the death sentence for the Carr brothers. Most of my life I have ...

Letter: Self-policing

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Some people are selling drugs from their home. There has been several witnesses come forward and report the activity and ...

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July 25, 2014

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Sports columns