Your Turn

To submit a lengthier opinion piece about a topic of public interest, please email your submission to letters@ljworld.com and indicate that you would like it to be considered for a “Your Turn” column. Submissions must bear the name, address and telephone number of the writer.

Your Turn: Editorial on Peaslee Tech was short-sighted

Recent articles have acknowledged Peaslee Tech’s benefit to our community and the value for economic development to Lawrence and Douglas County. Several aspects of the July 17 editorial, however, missed the point about Peaslee Tech’s role for Lawrence and the county. The editorial stated ...

Opinion: Deep down we know: Health care is a right

At this moment, two events crowd my consciousness, requiring some comment. First, Donald Trump Jr.’s dalliance with a Russian lawyer in hopes of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton. Second, the Trumpcare bill pending in the Senate.An email chain unabashedly reveals the Russian government’s ...

Opinion: Community colleges play key role, but are often overlooked

For all the focus on our nation’s schools, community colleges get short shrift. In the debates about the role education plays in our nation’s economy and democracy, we too often overlook our two-year colleges.Created more than a century ago, arising from a variety of forces including ...

Opinion: Finding common cause is the only answer

My last column was about Arlo Guthrie singing “This Land is Your Land.” The song says we’re all in this together, togetherness is necessary to our well-being, and such togetherness requires fairness and equality. It won’t work any other way. This land was made for all, not the few. But ...

Your Turn: Our health care system is a failure

You really have to wonder what kind of health care system we have when Micah Fletcher, the sole surviving hero of Jeremy Christian’s racist attack in Portland, Ore., needs a Go Fund Me page to cover his medical expenses. Think about it. What kind of society do we live in when people go ...

Opinion: Magical thinking must stop now

The Trump Administration’s new budget proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and other programs that benefit the poorest Americans, while rewarding the super rich. This is to be expected, but there is more. The proposal forecasts 3 percent annual growth in the coming years: about twice what ...

Opinion: Yes vote on Trump tax plan a betrayal

An open letter to the Kansas congressional delegation:Dear Reps. Marshall, Jenkins, Yoder and Estes, and Sens. Roberts and Moran,A moment of truth for each of you is at hand. President Trump has proposed a tax plan that looks and sounds remarkably like the Brownback experiment now playing out ...

Opinion: The difference is always the stand we take

I have The New York Times from May 10, 2017 — the real print edition. I’m reluctant to throw it away. Mark you, I’ve trashed lots of newsprint: KU winning two national championships and even the Chicago Tribune the day after the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, but I’m ...

Opinion: ‘Christian’ values not too evident

Last week our governor and some members of the Legislature gathered at the Statehouse to experience a day of prayer. Participants prayed that the work of the Legislature would serve the will of the Lord. There were also prayers that the Legislature not enact laws that reinforce a dependency ...

Opinion: With DeVos, no cause for elation or despair

Over the last several months, there has been considerable debate surrounding the nomination and confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Questions have been raised about her knowledge of education, management experience, policy positions on issues such as school choice and willingness ...

Opinion: Let’s have good reasons for good laws

The headline read “Governor tightens waterslide regulations” (Lawrence Journal World, April 25). Caleb Schwab, the son of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab, R-Olathe, was killed last summer riding a waterslide at the Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. Less than a year later the ...

Your Turn: For foster kids, safety net is now a sieve

Shortly after Gov. Sam Brownback took office in 2011, there were almost 5,200 children in Kansas’ foster care system. Today, there are more than 6,900. The prospect of adding 1,700 kids to a system that was already stretched thin was beyond most policymakers’ imagination six years ago. ...

Opinion: How we got here, the short version

I recently talked to a national reporter who came to Kansas to cover the Legislature’s wrap-up session. He wanted to know how we arrived at our current Rubik’s Cube of revenue, funding and budget issues.Here’s my story of how Kansas arrived in its current circumstances. From the early ...

Your Turn: Concealed carry or great universities?

I am submitting the following letter of resignation from the University of Kansas in light of the looming July deadline to allow concealed carry in college classrooms, a policy that will do irreparable harm to higher education in Kansas and the well-being of Kansans. To: Dr. Eve Levin, chair, ...

Opinion: Will the real Wagle please stand up?

Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, serves as president of the Kansas Senate, first elected to that post in 2012 and re-elected last December. She has served in the Legislature for more than one-quarter of a century, elected to the House in 1990, before moving to the Senate in 2000.For most of her ...

Opinion: Secret settlements harm public

Women who worked for him accused Bill O’Reilly of sexually harassing them. He denied all of it, said the stories were made up. Someone else, who will come into this later, might have called it “fake news.” Then recently, the New York Times reported that O’Reilly and Fox News had paid ...

Opinion: Our trust in democracy is under attack

Can we trust democratic institutions? To bring this home, think about a bank account. You deposit your paycheck; during the month there are automatic withdrawals, you use your bank card, write a few checks, and at the end of the month you get your online statement. You’ve actually seen few ...

Opinion: Defeat Brownback’s hold on Kansas

Kansas is thrashing in Gov. Sam Brownback’s grip. Tax reform to restore desperately needed financial stability? Vetoed. Medicaid expansion? Vetoed. A fair and adequate school finance formula? That bill has not yet arrived at the governor’s desk, but the prospect of a signature ...

Your Turn: Secondary school bond needed for students

The May 2, 2017, Lawrence School Bond Mail-Ballot Election addresses educational needs as well as decades of deferred maintenance that face Lawrence’s (and many of our state’s and nation’s) schools, due in part to a general underfunding of public education. Our school board and district ...

Opinion: Surrendering ourselves to ‘strongmen’

Two high-profile elected executives, President Donald Trump and Gov. Sam Brownback, have stimulated a long dormant itch I need to scratch. I first felt this sensation nearly 50 years ago as a graduate student. At that time international politics interested me. We were in the midst of both ...