streamfortyseven (Hudson Luce)

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Letter: Flagging debate

The practice of flying the Confederate Battle Flag over state property was begun in 1948 as a protest by state legislatures in the South as a protest against desegregation efforts by the Federal government, see http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/a.... It's a political statement by legislatures which now have black members, in a society where black civil rights are more or less respected. On the grounds of nearly every state in the South, there's a statue of a Confederate soldier. The soldier is always standing with his back facing North. That's a political statement, too, but those statues were put in place long before desegregation efforts started even up North, when Woodrow Wilson, a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan, was President, before Calvin Coolidge posed for pictures with white-robed Klansmen at the White House in the 1920s. Times have changed. It's no longer appropriate for Confederate flags to fly over state legislatures or other property, perhaps excepting cemeteries where Confederate war dead are buried or Confederate war memorials. Taking down flags is easily done, and as a matter of policy should be done in these cases; the change in attitudes and beliefs is a far more difficult matter, still not done although generations have passed. As for the gay pride flag, that's as much of a political statement as the Confederate flag, and before flying it - or any other flag conveying a political statement - over state property, the question should be put to a vote of the people, not just by legislative action.

July 14, 2015 at 2:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Statement may foreshadow state crisis

It's a game of "rock, paper, scissors". The Legislature could put an end to it by simply repealing that part of the state constitution that says that the state has the duty to provide children with an education. If they did so, the Supreme Court would have no basis for any kind of action. For some reason, the Legislature has not done this, perhaps due to anticipated public reaction.

June 24, 2015 at 4:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas House approves new tax plan after governor's plea

It's the combined effects of local and state sales taxes that's the trouble: With this increase in sales tax at the state level, local sales taxes in Lawrence rise to 9.2%, and 10.2% in certain areas. To finance the continued stream of infrastructure projects in Lawrence, sales taxes will continue to increase, so it's not beyond reason to project that sales taxes may get up to 10% (and 11% in certain areas). The interest rates required for bond issues will be increasing as the Fed increases its interest rates, so that payments on interest and principal for those bonds will also increase. And next year, we'll have a repeat of this drama, because the projected shortfall will be the same, or more, dependent on the rate of inflation in the cost of government services and the obligation to support the KPERS system, whose difficulties will be magnified by the increase in Fed funds rates. And this will continue for the foreseeable future given present policy; at some point, drastic cuts in the state education budget will occur. Given that the education outlay represents 50% of the budget right now, a six percent increase per year in that budget will result in a doubling of it in 70/6 years...

June 12, 2015 at 2:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Police and fire put together list of more than $33 million in funding needs for 2016; Sprouts sets new opening date for Lawrence store; former KU basketball player says deal is near on wing restaurant

Here's an excerpt from an article which Mr Heckler and Mr Williams, as well as others, might be interested in:
"In economic terms, the "place entrepreneurs" at the center of the growth coalitions are trying to maximize "rents" from land and buildings, which is a little different than the goal of the corporate community -- maximizing profits from the sale of goods and services. As sociologists Jonathan Logan and Harvey Molotch explain:

Unlike the capitalist, the place entrepreneur's goal is not profit from production, but rent from trapping human activity in place. Besides sale prices and regular payments made by tenants to landlords, we take rent to include, more broadly, outlays made to realtors, mortgage lenders, title companies, and so forth. The people who are involved in generating rent are the investors in land and buildings and the professionals who serve them. We think of them as a special class among the privileged, analogous to the classic "rentiers" of a former age in a modern urban form. Not merely a residue of a disappearing social group, rentiers persist as a dynamic social force. (Logan & Molotch, 1987.)" http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/...

April 20, 2015 at 10:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Police and fire put together list of more than $33 million in funding needs for 2016; Sprouts sets new opening date for Lawrence store; former KU basketball player says deal is near on wing restaurant

Lawrence is growing westward more so than eastward. The Lecompton exit is 10 miles from the eastern part of Topeka where growth is occurring, so Lawrence and Topeka are more likely to merge.

April 20, 2015 at 10:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School district may increase property taxes to offset expected state funding cuts

But there is a limit to how much people can charge for their services - even unionized public employees. The limit gets imposed by voters, for public employees. They elect legislators and governors who will impose funding cuts. And if the schools and teachers' unions decide to sock it to people who pay property tax, if they hit hard enough, they'll find that limits exist there, too. The fact is, is that you *do* need the approval of the "anti-teacher" crowd, because the more that people have to pay, especially in a recessionary economy, the more of them will *become* "anti-teacher" with painful consequences for you and your cohort.

April 15, 2015 at 1:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School district may increase property taxes to offset expected state funding cuts

Other commenters might have similar conflicts as well - just a few picked out at random: Dorothy Hoyt-Reed is a high school Spanish teacher in USD 458 (http://www.usd458.org/blhs/dhoyt-reed/); Paul Youk is a professor of Sociology at KU (http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowR...); Jeff Plinsky is a teacher of English and Debate at USD 497 (http://www.usd497.org/Domain/1287)

April 14, 2015 at 9:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School district may increase property taxes to offset expected state funding cuts

As long as Dave Trabert is being accused of conflict of interest, it should be noted that at least one of the people contesting Trabert's data has a similar conflict of interest: "David Reber teaches High School biology in Lawrence, Kansas. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Science Degree in Education from Emporia State University. In addition to teaching, David is active in state and local politics with interests in school finance, curriculum, and content standards. David has represented Kansas teachers as an elected delegate to both state and national level assemblies." http://www.examiner.com/k12-in-topeka...

April 14, 2015 at 8:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Soden, Boley, Herbert win seats on Lawrence City Commission; two incumbents voted out

Actually, not. This group of leaders just caters to a different set of "special interests" than the ones you support, the ones who have ruled the roost for the past twenty-five years. This time, the people of Lawrence, who are being made to pay for all this corporate welfare, are going to have their voices heard - and acted upon. I'll bet some research into the current bonded indebtedness of the City of Lawrence for all of these projects, coupled with the tax breaks which act to shift the tax burden onto the people, will reveal some troubling data, which will require appropriate action to set right.

April 7, 2015 at 11:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday Column: Congressional debates reflect lack of trust in Obama

Condoleeza Rice, the National Security adviser and later Secretary of State for the Bush/Cheney Administration, had *two* American black parents, not a white mother and a black Kenyan father like Obama. This racial analysis thus fails. At certain levels, race fails to be an issue, it's merit, education, intelligence, and character that matter.

February 16, 2015 at 3:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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