Comment history

Should the cairn terrier, the dog breed that played Toto in “The Wizard of Oz,” be the official state dog of Kansas?

Totally agree!

Who cares if we have an official "state dog". How about spending more time dealing with school financing and other budget issues. How about more level headed discussions of substance about issues that effect peoples lives and help those in need? Wouldn't that be novel...

And folks, buy a Cairn if you're jonesing for a connection to Wizard of Oz beyond the refrigerator magnets, but for the rest of you, don't forget the perfectly fine mixed breeds at your local animal shelter that need a good home. They'll be grateful if you do.

January 31, 2012 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: From Denver, site of today's oral arguments in the SLT case; a primer on the fight over whether the road should be built through the Baker Wetlands

If your property was once wetlands that were later drained, and the soils still hold characteristics of a wetland, then I'll bet you can.

January 19, 2012 at 8:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: Free State to auction old-time jerseys; Consolidation Working Group receives direction

Sounds like Masten is giving cover to folks who don't want to make hard decisions. From the quotes here and in the original article, Masten and Diaz-Moore are giving the task force permission to not agree on anything or even suggesting that the task force try to work through difficult issues. Presumably, each school group can now submit their own recommendation (to save their own school?) without being forced to really consider what is the best course of action for the district. Is this really what the task force was charged with? From what the LJW has published, it sure doesn't appear that every recommendation is equally logical or sustainable as far as the school budget goes.

Mark, you include quotes here and in your main article by both Masten and Diaz-Moore where they addressed "several representatives", but you don't note whether they shared these insights during the meeting (and on the official record). Did they? Did they address the same small group? If so, would this qualify as a de facto meeting or is it a legit side conversation?

It would be nice to know whether these Board members are giving the same direction on the official record as they are "off the record".

January 10, 2012 at 10:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School sense

I agree that none of these schools should be closed or consolidated, but will point out that there are already children that cross Iowa Street to attend Hillcrest. Under the scenario that Hillcrest closes and those students are shifted to Sunset Hills, the students who cross Iowa Street would be different, but the number who do would probably not be much, if any, of a net gain.

Did you know that currently there are dozens of children who have to cross 23rd Street every day to attend Schwegler Elementary? And that there are children who live SW of the Iowa/23rd intersection that attend Schwegler, but are not afforded a crossing guard because it would be "unsafe" ... for the crossing guard? USD 497 won't provide busing for those children, since they live within 2.5 miles of the school, so they're on their own to get to school. Those who can afford it probably drive their children, but what about those who can't?

And finally, if you've followed this process at all, I would think you CAN imagine what the good folks on the School Consolidation Task Force were thinking when they VOLUNTEERED to be on this thankless committee: better to be involved in the process than to simply sit on the sidelines wait to see their schools' fate, not knowing what forces or people are influencing the process.

Most folks on this task force are NOT in favor of closing or consolidating these neighborhood schools, but the charge they were given by our elected School Board was to offer scenarios on how to close/consolidate and do the least harm. Trust me, most of the folks on this task force ARE thinking.

January 9, 2012 at 12:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School consolidation group ready to move from talk to action

abcd123 - Give Josh Davis some credit - he is trying to get the conversation started. And why not start with New York/Kennedy? That option, like all options, needs to be discussed and vetted, so starting with one he's most familiar with is probably the most politic thing to do. If a New York parent suggests focusing on Sunset Hills and Hillcrest first or Cordley and Kennedy, that might raise the dander of those folks and lose him some credibility. I think all he's doing is acknowledging that an option that has been discussed by many should get it's day in court, and most importantly, the whole process needs to get started. Hopefully, all the options will be discussed and vetted and wisdom will prevail.

November 8, 2011 at 10:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: Brownback defends hiring IT chief as questions surface about degree

Are you serious? Warren Buffet only buys businesses with an untapped upside! Chances are, any price would be too high.

November 8, 2011 at 2:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: Brownback defends hiring IT chief as questions surface about degree

Scott, can you confirm that Sam's former IT guy was a meat-cutter or is this another anecdotal spin to justify a questionable hire?

I think, the greater issue with the Devonshire degreeis that the Mr. Mann believed he needed a credential (he had been working for 20 years before he got it), but took a short-cut to getting it by going through a diploma mill. Is he a short-cut kinda guy? Will he take short-cuts in his current job that fill a requirement (i.e. a diploma), but are otherwise meaningless?

The fact that he touts on his resume that he saved his company 68% by moving IT positions from US to off-shore, might support this. It also raises a question of whether he intends to make Kansas IT by moving some of these jobs out of state or out of the country. Such a move could save the budget line money, but would add other societal costs through unemployment, etc. to our state.

November 8, 2011 at 11:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Retired KU professor giving $1.4 million to establish urban planning position

Way to put your money where your heart is, Dr. Black! What a great gift to an under appreciated field.

November 8, 2011 at 8:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback hires $150,000 information technology chief from Florida, but questions arise about qualifications

Wow, he saved 68% in IT jobs by moving US jobs oversees. Will State of Kansas IT jobs be far behind?
And what is it with Florida that Sammy keeps going there to hire top Kansas bureaucrats?

November 7, 2011 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )