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Drug testing bill goes to governor

I call b.s. on this story that so many of you "overhead" or "heard from a friend." Try some actual facts on TANF in Kansas: "
TANF benefits are figured based on individual state guidelines and dependent on factors such as family size, earned and unearned income, and housing expenses. The Kansas TANF program is available to eligible residents for a maximum of 60 months (5 years). Benefits are figured with a formula that takes into account a familys size and income, in addition to the county in which the family resides. Cash assistance payments range from $224 to $497 per month." Recipients also have to have at least one child under 18 living at home and also have to earn less than $600 A YEAR to qualify.

Yeah, you're so correct. $497 a month is obviously way more than anyone would earn working. Try some facts, next time.

April 4, 2013 at 10:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City set to finalize curbside recycling program to begin October 2014; monthly rate $2.81

Ah... answered my own question, re-reading the article - more information on it would be helpful though. Our alley Dumpster already takes up too much space, and often, the workers leave it partially blocking a parking space. There is literally no more room for another dumpster at our place. Considering that our alley has at least 6 Dumpsters (and no room for 6 more), I would think it might be consolidated somehow?

Will we each be charged the monthly fee, or will it be divided? As it stands now, I believe we are each individually charged for trash service (which is hit and miss, at best - so much so that I've had to contact the city at least twice for our trash not being removed on schedule).

March 22, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City set to finalize curbside recycling program to begin October 2014; monthly rate $2.81

Article reads that you can opt out (or request a smaller one) but will still be charged the monthly fee. A larger cart is easily fillable in two-weeks' time, considering everything they're accepting as recyclable, I think.

March 22, 2013 at 12:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City set to finalize curbside recycling program to begin October 2014; monthly rate $2.81

How does this impact those of us who have alley/lot Dumpsters and not trash cans? I recycle now, but curb(alley)side would be more convenient, especially with taking plastics #1-7, which most places will not.

March 22, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence district testing 'blended classroom' model to provide more flexibility, learning opportunities

"...but in most cases students would be responsible for bringing their own devices: laptops, tablets or smartphones. The bond issue, Doll said, will not be used to buy devices, but it could free up money in other funds so the district can buy devices much like it now buys textbooks."

It seems unclear whether the devices that the district might buy would be in-school use only or otherwise. Therefore, the inherent flaw in this plan of requiring students to provide their own devices is that many families cannot afford those or internet access. Thus, equity is not achieved, unless everyone has equal access. I am not advocating that the district should buy everyone a device, only that they must make concessions for those who cannot afford to do so, which I don't see considered here (other than the last statement regarding "access" which I interpret to mean no internet access at home).

Equity is a constant challenge in education, especially in light of technologically based learning, and should be a top goal of any institution.

March 11, 2013 at 8:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Capitol Report: School finance; Democratic gubernatorial candidate; why Francisco voted for drug testing

This is the email response I received from her in relation to asking why she voted for SB142. Her answers still don't make much sense to me, and I really didn't appreciate her admitting that she was "confused" but still voted in favor. She made it sound like patients wouldn't have access to fetal testing without its passage, which is patently incorrect:

Thank you for letting me know of your concerns and objections to SB 142. I can often respond that I am in agreement with many of those who contact me; in this case I am not clear about the argument that you were making and was conflicted about my vote. I need to let you know that I voted in favor of the bill.

The claim is being made that SB 142 would “allow doctors to purposefully withhold medical information about serious issues with a pregnancy in order to influence their patients’ decisions”. “Claim of wrongful birth” means a cause of action brought by a parent, legal guardian or other individual legally required to provide for the support of a minor, which seeks damages, whether economic or noneconomic, as a result of a physical condition of such minor that existed at the time of such minor’s birth and which is based on a claim that a person’s action or omission contributed to such minor’s mother not obtaining an abortion.” I do not understand how eliminating the right to make this claim changes the obligations of doctors to provide medical information or prevents other civil actions that can be taken against them. Women can still obtain the tests they want to get information about the health and genetic makeup of a fetus prior to making their decisions.

I think that the concept of “wrongful birth” is awkward; I am hopeful that we can find ways to adequately address this issue without using language that is inflammatory to individuals who are against abortion. I think that this bill takes one step towards that.

I have been a consistent supporter of women’s rights, and have spoken out about problems I see with many of the bills dealing with abortion that have been debated in the Kansas Senate. I have stood firm when my vote counted. I will continue to address specific concerns within the bills and present logical arguments and would certainly appreciate any further comments you may have. If you have any suggestions for amendments I would be pleased to share them with legislators in the House.

Marci Francisco
Kansas Senator, 2nd District

March 4, 2013 at 8:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

U.S. Postal Service to deliver on Sunday because of snow

Haven't had mail since Tuesday. I suppose it will get here, when it gets here. :-)

February 24, 2013 at 10:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Snow more: Winter storm warning issued for Monday, Tuesday

My mother, who lives in SE KS, mentioned that they had similar amounts of snow, but that their neighborhood doesn't see a plow at all, since their town is in such dire financial straits. That frankly doesn't make much sense to me, if they already have access to the equipment and manpower, but I don't question her account. I know that their downtown square is plowed but am unsure as to how much of the town is left on its own.

Could be worse here, for sure (although I would appreciate our paved alley getting a once over - more cars park in the lots back here than on the street, probably at least 40)! I do feel for the people whose cars get plowed in when parked on the street. It's bad enough that with the partial melting yesterday and people driving on the snow, the alley (and elsewhere) are now big ice rinks, especially the alley intersections, and probably will be for quite some time given that the area receives very little direct sunlight. Good thing I don't have a low vehicle! :-)

February 24, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

More classrooms in use at KU on Tuesdays and Thursdays; far fewer on Fridays

A comparison of these same usage stats would be interesting - say, compare now to 20 years ago when I was an undergrad at KU. Everyone had MWF classes, except perhaps the professional schools. There were no weekly 3-day weekends, for those of us in liberal arts, unless we skipped our Friday classes (with penalty, of course).

My understanding is that there has been an institutional shift toward not scheduling Friday classes, because it's not what the students (and probably faculty) want, as opposed to any documented pedagogical or other worthwhile reason (e.g. saving energy by shutting down those classrooms, buildings, etc. Friday to Sunday or potential payroll savings). Gotta keep those enrollment numbers up! We certainly can't have students failing, because they choose to skip Friday sessions. Seems like a dirty little secret in higher education that isn't really so secret.

February 22, 2013 at 12:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Mail deliveries interrupted by snow; normal schedule should return Saturday

Did the post office change its policy, in relation to delivery during a storm? Our mail lady was a no-show (no tracks up to our building from the sidewalk), but I wonder if they're allowed to skip your address if the walkway hasn't been shoveled? It's all shoveled now. :-) My dad delivered mail for many decades and never missed a day due to weather.

Anyone know if the mail was being delivered yesterday? Also received a delivery alert for UPS, but that didn't arrive either. Not a huge deal, but I was wondering about policies.

February 22, 2013 at 12:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )