Comment history

A new Kansas River trail and city nature area near Burcham Park may be in the works

In my opinion, the logical place for a sidewalk/trail between Constant and Burcham would be under the Westar transmission lines that already go through there. It's already being brush-hogged regularly, it's already 'developed', and, it's a little further from the river. Not quite as pretty as a ride through the woods, but lots of people use the not-extremely-scenic trails we have now.

From my understanding, Westar has been a little reluctant to encourage trails in transmission corridors, but they're very common in other places I've traveled (suburbs of Toronto struck me the most... almost every transmission line had a trail). There are a number of other transmission corridor/swaths, particularly in western parts of Lawrence, that would also be worth considering adding to the trail inventory in the future if Westar and funding ever coincide.

October 2, 2013 at 3:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday Column: As Obamacare kicks off, many questions remain

Americans hated Obamacare so much that they re-elected Obama handily and 1.5 million more Americans voted for a Democratic member of the US House in 2012 than voted for a Republican (the GOP held the House only because of how districts are gerrymandered). Resounding hatred, that.

September 28, 2013 at 10:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas premiums lower than expected under new health insurance marketplaces, report says

"A law could have been written". But, let us note, in 15 years of GOP control of Congress and skyrocketing medical expenses, such laws were in fact never written and were nowhere near being written.

You can't compare the ACA to some theory that never happened. You have to compare it to what its opponents actually provided when given the chance (the status quo ante). And the ACA beats that hands-down.

September 26, 2013 at 7:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Phenom gives Royals hope for future during present collapse

He stands a fine chance... of looking great in pinstripes some day.

September 18, 2013 at 9:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Will young, healthy people purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act?

The questions about malpractice/torts are pretty clearly a state-level problem. 99.9% of medical malpractice suits are filed in state (district) courts.

Of course, Kansas sharply capped most pain-and-suffering/emotional-distress payouts and passed the rest of the tort reform agenda *many years ago*. Already happened. A generation ago! As did nearly every other state, by the way, including California. If you don't think the tort reforms passed in the early 1990s went far enough, lobby Topeka to go further.

Hasn't exactly kept medical bills in check, now has it?

September 17, 2013 at 5:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas faces looming teacher shortage

From a philosophical standpoint, the legislature would have and could have changed KPERS to a defined-contribution (401k-like) plan at any point in the last 30 years. It's not like the GOP hasn't run the state for that long. It's not like the state employee unions are tremendously powerful. Hell, Sebelius probably would have signed it herself.

You will notice, though, that despite 30 years of GOP rule, KPERS remains a defined-benefit pension. Why is that?

Simple. Anything that removes new contributions to the system (i.e., making new KPERS employees go into a 401k system) would accelerate the inevitable day of reckoning for 30+ years of KPERS underfunding and overestimation. If new state employees keep contributing to KPERS, that day of reckoning is still 10-15 years away.

Several states did go 'defined contribution' over the years. Michigan, even... union-heavy Michigan... has been for a long time. But, they all did that change at a point in time when their existing pension obligations were fully funded. That's not something that has ever been true of KPERS.

September 9, 2013 at 12:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Unsightly structure

And, as for the library itself... I'm going to reserve judgement on its actual improvement til it's open at this point. A lot changed between the pre-vote materials that were mailed out and the drawings I've seen since the vote (few of those changes to the positive), and at this point, well, we're getting what we get.

September 5, 2013 at 3:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Unsightly structure

Yeah, honestly, it's a parking garage. It is what it is. It could have a giant Coke billboard on one side and a Powercat K-State ad on the other and it would be better than the equivalent number of parking spaces in neatly manicured surface lots. Sadly, I do think the giant Coke billboard would look less dated in ten years than the current cor-ten (rusty) steel fad.

September 5, 2013 at 3:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Unsightly structure

"Even the Riverfront garage more resembles a parking lot than a garage as it presents itself to the traffic along New Hampshire Street."

As if 'resembles a parking lot' were the height of aesthetic praise...

September 5, 2013 at 12:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )