Catsap (Joe Blackford II)


Comment history

Trump slams national monuments as 'massive federal land grab,' orders review

As I've commented previously, the Trump presidency => "virtueless reality."

April 26, 2017 at 1:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Secret search unfortunate

KSU successfully (?) set the stage for a secret search for a new President => placing the acting KSU President, Gen. Myers, in the coronation seat.

Naturally, with 25% of KSU's SRO research funds dedicated to the "TOP SECRET" research conducted @ the KSU Biosecurity Research Institute. it likely appeared mandatory from the point of Wefald's departure to select a president who already had a Top Secret-Sensitive Information security clearance.

I would assume President Schulz brought a TS-SCI with him from Mississippi, as he led that state's effort to secure the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, Schulz would tell the KS Board of Regents that he couldn't discuss the BRI's research, as the Regents did not have the necessary TS-SCI clearance.

KSU's new VP for R & D quit after 9 months on the job, but she did issue a report that exposed the Wefald & crew albatross (the 25% dedication of SRO funds for the next 18 years to the BRI debt).

IMHO, the regents could NOT conduct an open search for KSU's president. Imagine any candidate who settles for "I can't tell you about that because you don't have a TS-SCI clearance." Any candidate who would accept that 25% of SRO funds are obligated to the BRI for 18 years; that the BRI hasn't successfully secured the anticipated Dept. of Homeland Security contracts; that any future KSU president will be hamstrung with policies that can NOT be discussed before the public; and likely won't be popular with students, faculty, staff & Kansans who don't have Top Secret - Sensitive Compartmented Information clearances.

April 19, 2017 at 11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing; 'Nothing like this has ever happened'

Another moment of "virtueless reality" from the Trump administration.

February 24, 2017 at 3:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Attempt to override tax veto falls 3 votes short in Senate; little consensus on what comes next

Here's a mindset in Kansas the Bobettes have never been:

Over One Hundred Years of Being "Liberal"

"Mr. S.S. Rogers was the first homesteader in what would later become Liberal. Outside of the Cimarron River, water was very scarce in Southwestern Kansas and there was usually a charge for even a small amount; however Mr. Rogers always gave his water free to passing travelers. Quite often he would hear a reply of "that's mighty Liberal of you" from the grateful recipients.

By 1885 Mr. Rogers had opened a general store and the government established an official Post Office. It seemed only natural to call the new town "LIBERAL"."

February 23, 2017 at 9:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Kansas whitewater

KSU NRPM students discovered that the program was not recognized by the National Park Service nor Forest Service as "certified," and students could not be considered for multi-year internships. I approached the KSU prof for Wildlife Conservation with the notion I wished for a career in interpretation. His response "well, don't go into the Park Mgmt. program" (too late).

~ 1986, some improvements were made to KDWP (when Fish & Game & Parks were combined) in the form of salary increases. The nepotism within F&G rivaled that within Parks. In speaking with a KSU NRPM professor in 2001, I was told that ~1986 KDWP had asked how to improve the quality of hires. The response was to hire out-of-state applicants! (Example: we attended an interpretive program @ Cheney SP given by the long-time manager, a KSU NRPM grad. He could run the slide projector, but he didn't know the wildflowers, which were the subject.

There have been a few acquisitions of park lands not built on flooding reservoirs in the intervening years. That means the CoE or Bureau of Land Mgmt didn't provide the land & improvements; so Kansas had to step up. Sand Hills SP was a donation of the Dillon family. 5-acre Mushroom Rocks SP was a donation of concerned citizens. I believe there is another small prairie park near KC?

I had high hopes that Gov. Hayden, or KDWP Secretary Hayden, would improve the KS park system & add public lands. IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. A hiking/horse trail was built on the E. side of Tuttle Creek Reservoir, linking Randolph SP & the abandoned Garrison park. The park was redesigned to enhance facilities for equestrians. New campsites accommodated the horse trailers & campers, with no screening between each camping spot. The trail was viable for a few years, before the landowner rescinded public access just S of Randolph SP.

The recent dredging @ John Redmond Reservoir (mandated by CoE contract to provide water to Wolf Creek Nuclear Plant's cooling lake) appears to be a very short-term solution. It did point out that the CoE could not accurately predict the volume of contaminated silt to be removed. That is the future for all CoE reservoirs which were built with the premise that recreation would be a benefit in addition to flood control. At Tuttle Creek, there are prolonged periods of flood & low-water, making the remaining parks above the dam unpredictable for any recreational purposes.

The future of public lands in Kansas remains dismal. The locals, from school board members to ESU science educators, fought the establishment of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Kansas should have stepped up when the Pyramid Ranch, the site of the famous Monument Rocks, deemed a National Natural Landmark and one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas, sold for $10 million in 2013. Now we have Brownback & Jennison pushing for a $70 million "not a water park" purchased by Douglas Countians.

February 22, 2017 at 12:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Kansas whitewater


Well, it certainly reeks as though Brownback's & KDWPT Secretary Jennison's thumbs are all over it. AFAIK, KDWPT put out a request for bids/interest in establishing a commercial resort at a State Park some years back. I believe KDWPT provided ~14 parks as "viable" locations. As I recall, there was no interest, although KDWPT did suggest Clinton State Park was the obvious choice.

A little perspective from a Kansan who was a student in KSU's Natural Resource & Park Mgmt program (1976-78).

I worked @ John Redmond Reservoir for the CoE the summers of 75-77 & 79. Dr. Ben Mahaffey, head of KSU's NRPM, visited me & stayed overnight. He was adamant that I should report on what a mess John Redmond was: flooding every year prior to Memorial Day => all camping areas closed, other than a dozen spots below the dam. Therefore, no showers, flush toilets, etc. Mahaffey had a personal CoE grudge by this point, as the parks in his backyard, @ Tuttle Creek Reservoir, were suffering from siltation & annual flooding. Parks @ Garrison, Baldwin Creek, N. Randolph (+ 1 I can't remember the name of) were already abandoned. The large marina/parking lot @ Fancy Creek SP was unusable. The remaining boat ramps might, or might not, be usable. Only camping sites on the bluffs, way above the water level, were dry.

Mahaffey believed this was the future for all KS State Parks, as they were all located on CoE reservoirs. Melvern Reservoir was completed during this time & its Outlet Campground was a means to avoid all camp sites being flooded. I also worked @ Fall River & Elk City Reservoirs, where campgrounds would be closed for flooding, as well.

At this point in time, the Kansas Department of Parks was a backwater of nepotism. A classmate who worked @ Pomona State Park said the office secretary was the wife of the park manager. His brother (or BIL) had the contract for garbage collection. The KS state park rangers I knew @ Fall River & Elk City were more concerned with catching speeders & issuing tickets for not having a permit, than interaction with the public. For the most part, managers @ Kansas county "fishing lakes" worked only M-F, with no presence on weekends, other than "game wardens" checking for fishing licenses.

The Asst. Director of Kansas Dept. of Parks came to KSU to address the Natural Resource Mgmt club. I asked what professional positions were available within the department. The answer was: the director (Gov-appointed & usually not a "professional") & 2 landscape architects.

February 22, 2017 at 12:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A new cafe with a competitive twist in west Lawrence; an international airport 20 minutes from downtown Lawrence?

YES, I agree.

I have an ex-relative who sold her intellectual property (Wizard of Oz rides, etc.) to a group of developers who I'm guessing were going to build the Wizard of Oz theme park on the SFAAP site. She took their $ & ran. I don't know what happened to the developers & their theme park.

Google does. Seems as the # of peanuts has ~ tripled:

"Civilian development plans, including a proposed Land of Oz theme park, ensued. Johnson County commissioners rejected the theme park plan in 2001.

Another plan called for the area to become a multi-use housing and commercial development, but that proposal ran into trouble because of the cost of environmental cleanup of explosives residues, arsenic, lead and mercury, and other toxins in the soil.

The county in 2005 approved Sunflower Redevelopment LLC, a joint venture of International Risk Group and Kessinger/Hunter, a Kansas City area real estate company, as the redeveloper. But that plan was held up after the Army spent more than $100 million on site cleanup but declined to foot the bill for an estimated $100 million more."

Read more here:

February 21, 2017 at 3:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A new cafe with a competitive twist in west Lawrence; an international airport 20 minutes from downtown Lawrence?


Cleanup @ Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant

Combined Cost of Asbestos and Pesticides ranges from $32.2 million to $67.2 million (2005 estimates).

February 21, 2017 at 1:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Drawing Attention: Brownback's education savings


I've always considered Brownback to have all the physical attributes & "spin" of my idealized used car salesman. THANX

February 21, 2017 at 12:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )