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spaceman_spiff (Tyler Palmer)

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Bids for South Lawrence Trafficway come in low; work may begin by mid-October

Before you try to throwing something back in someone's face that is trying to help educate you using facts and evidence instead of hearsay, you might actually try to read the information thoroughly yourself first. I know Brownback and Bush have tried to teach people that if you feel something in your gut, it must be right, but that's just not how reality works.

You appear to have missed a couple of important bits of information from the wetlands faq, so I'll help you out. Having hydric soil on it's own is not sufficient to create a wetlands, you also have to have the appropriate plants, and, important for this discussion, appropriate hydrology. The area in question has not been a natural wetland for some time and without the man-made levees and water control structures present to keep it wet, would not be a wetlands today (it's not being "drained" by anyone and would not "go back to being a wetlands"). Here's the relevant section from that faq that you appear to have only selectively read:

"The only thing that is man made is the levee and water-control structures that were installed in the early 1990s. Today there are virtually no naturally occurring wetlands in Kansas. All have either been drained or are artificially maintained through levees and water control structures. The exceptions would be shallow playa basins found in western Kansas."

If you take the time to read the rest of the faq, you'll also discover that this project will only affect 10% of the existing wetlands, will not negatively affect the hydrology or biodiversity of the remaining wetlands, and will, in fact, be a benefit to the remaining 90%.

Here's another fact sheet regarding the project: http://kdotapp.ksdot.org/TWorks/ProjD...

In regard to traffic on 23rd street, I know that some folks in Wasilla consider that being able to see something from your house qualifies as evidence of authority, but that's not reality either.

Just because trucks "should be taking I-70" doesn't mean that is occurring. Truck and commuter traffic going back and forth from southern johnson county simply isn't going to go all the way up to I-70 and around to get to destinations in south, southwest, and west Lawrence. That traffic comes through the middle of town on 23rd street. Most of the traffic during peak congestion hours is not destined for businesses on 23rd street, it is through traffic. It is also not the case that a ton of traffic is KU employees coming from KC. It's the exact opposite. It's folks that live in Lawrence and work in KC. If you observe or participate in the traffic in the mornings and evenings, you will clearly see that a majority of the traffic in the morning on K-10 is leaving Lawrence and a majority of the traffic after work on K-10 is coming into Lawrence.

Here some more reading material about the SLT project: http://bit.ly/16GNqWo

September 27, 2013 at 6:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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

It is true, actually. Just because your particular plan doesn't meet the requirements, doesn't make my statement false. It is, in fact, true that you do not have to buy health insurance through the exchanges. You can purchase health insurance on your own through a private provider.

I know Brownback and Bush have tried to teach people that if your gut tells you something, it must be right, but that's just not how reality works. I know it's painful for anti-fact folks to actually investigate and present evidence, so I'll go ahead and spend the minutes and a half it takes to discover the truth.

Here's a quote from the relevant section of the Kansas Insurance site FAQ: http://insureks.org/faq.php

"Consumers may buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace to satisfy the individual mandate, but they don’t have to. Other forms of health coverage that satisfy the requirement to have “minimum essential coverage” include most employer-sponsored plans, union plans, and enrollment in a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or CHIP. Consumers can continue to use agents to buy insurance available in the market outside the exchange."

September 27, 2013 at 5:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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

Hmm. So, according to the link, if we just continue to ignore health care reform and continue to focus on health insurance reform where we give more and more money to private insurance corporations, some how, our citizens will be healthier. Just like we don't need the federal government making health care decisions for people, we also don't need private health insurance corporations making health care decisions for people.

September 26, 2013 at 4:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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

The only solution to what you are saying is a single-payer system and the removal of insurance companies from health care.

Insurance corporations have been increasing premiums at double-digit percentages, since long before Obama and the ACA. Insurance corporations are driven by profit and will continue to extract as much money from customers as they can get away with. That's how corporations work. They will always try to maximize profits and charge as much for their products as customers will pay.

The only means of stopping the out-of-control increases in health costs in the US that is likely to work is to remove the insurance industry from the picture. They are an unnecessary part of the process. They do not provide care to patients and they cause huge headaches for the people that do provide care to patients as well as the patients themselves.

As long as health insurance remains a part of our health care environment in the US, we aren't going to see much change in the continued rise in costs demanded by the insurance companies.

An alternative would be to require health insurance corporations be non-profit entities, have to use a single standardized claims form (to remove the unnecessary administrative costs currently burdening health care providers due to mountains of insurance paperwork), and require a much higher percentage of revenue be used directly for care rather than overhead and management salaries.

September 26, 2013 at 11:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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

You can still buy the $41 per month plan. You don't have to purchase health insurance through the exchange, you just have to purchase health insurance. If you find a private plan outside the exchange that meets your needs, then buy that one.

September 26, 2013 at 11:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Education commissioner to respond to Kansas GOP resolution on Common Core standards

Frankly, the opposition to Common Core is stupid. We keep hearing that these folks are tired of the federal government trying to control education which is simply ignorant, since this is a multi-state coalition effort, not a federal government project. Our elected state officials continue to do their constituents a huge disservice by failing to correct misinformation and educate people that come to them in opposition that have clearly been mislead about issues. Our elected state officials have a responsibility to educate themselves and the public on the facts, rather than regurgitating what ALEC and other corporate legislative interference organizations that are pushing ideological propaganda instead of fact-based information give them.

September 19, 2013 at 3:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bids for South Lawrence Trafficway come in low; work may begin by mid-October

It's not the shopping, restaurant, and student traffic on 23rd street that is the target of the SLT; it's all the heavy truck, commercial traffic, and through traffic that has no other way to get through town from K-10 on the east side except to use 23rd street. Maintenance costs for 23rd street and other heavily used interior roads should see a decline when the heavy truck and other commercial traffic gets rerouted onto the state highway (SLT) which is not a city-maintained road.

With so many large big-box stores on the south and west side of town, getting the SLT in place to take care of their supply traffic is long overdue.

In regard to the wetlands, the 31st street wetlands aren't natural wetlands. They exist because of the man-made levees and other water control mechanisms that were put in place not that long ago, so populating the new mitigation wetlands will likely occur on a similar timescale as the 31st creation. Based on the following, it sounds like the SLT may actually contribute to improvements of the 31st street wetlands that aren't disturbed by the building process: http://www.bakeru.edu/wetlands/faq

September 19, 2013 at 3:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

KSDE seeks disciplined message on Common Core

Frankly, the opposition to Common Core is stupid. We keep hearing that these folks are tired of the federal government trying to control education which is simply ignorant, since this is a multi-state coalition effort, not a federal government project. Our elected state officials continue to do their constituents a huge disservice by failing to correct misinformation and educate people that come to them in opposition that have clearly been mislead about issues. Our elected state officials have a responsibility to educate themselves and the public on the facts, rather than regurgitating what ALEC and other corporate legislative interference organizations that are pushing ideological propaganda instead of fact-based information give them.

September 19, 2013 at 2:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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

We still need what we've needed for decades: health care reform. The Affordable Care Act only provided a hole-ladden smidgeon of health insurance reform which isn't really going to do much to tame ever-rising costs of health care and health insurance in the U.S.

The US currently uses all four of the different health care models (The Beveridge Model, The Bismarck Model, The National Health Insurance Model, and The Out-of-Pocket Model....see URLs below) and it's no wonder that a huge part of the costs is the use of so many different models and different insurance providers with their own plans which means a tremendous amount of administrative overhead for care givers to try to process all the paperwork and hurdles associated with all the different models and insurance provider plans.

If the country really wants to fix our broken health care system, a couple of steps in the right direction would be 1) make a single, simple insurance claim form that all insurers must accept to reduce the administrative overhead for provider reimbursement 2) require health insurance companies to be non-profit and raise the percentage of their revenue that must go towards actual care [no more huge rate increases because the insurer is trying to drive up "shareholder value" and profits]. These are only steps in the right direction. What we really need is to pick one health care model and eliminate as much of the the complexity as possible to bring down costs.

Health Care Models:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontli...
or
http://www.pnhp.org/single_payer_reso...

The Man Who Was Treated for $17,000 Less
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

September 17, 2013 at 4:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two legislators will file bill to change proof-of-citizenship requirement for voters

Based on what has been reported about this issue, it appears that the biggest problem may not be that these folks don't have appropriate documentation to register to vote, it's that the system to let them know additional documentation is required is broken.

These folks went in for a driver's license, either a new or renewal, and checked the motor-voter box to also register to vote at the address they were putting on their driver's license. Because the new driver's license computer system has been a total mess to implement (the state is still withholding the final payments to the vendor because of all the issues), it doesn't work correctly and apparently, is not appropriately connected to other state systems as it was supposed to in order to be able to pass information between the motor vehicles division, secretary of state's office, and county clerks. So, many of these folks probably don't even know that their voter registration wasn't processed because they are likely under the impression they already did everything that was required at the driver's license bureau and they haven't been notified otherwise.

The legislation to require all this additional proof of citizenship documentation is a bunch of crap anyway. It was a solution looking for a problem. Kansas simply does not have a voter fraud problem and hasn't had a voter fraud problem. The number of verified cases of voter fraud over the past 30 years in Kansas can be counted on one hand. This is just another example of the radicals currently running the state government simply pushing through more ALEC model legislation to make themselves look tough on [insert fictitious issue here] rather than taking the time to work on issues that are actually important to the well-being of Kansans.

Since voting is one of our most fundamental rights, I would prefer that our elected officials worked much harder to make voting and registering to vote much easier and to get more people to participate in elections, so that we can have a truly representative government rather than one comprised of people selected because they were able to get the vocal minority of their party energized enough to get out and vote for them.

August 29, 2013 at 4:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )