Your Turn

To submit a lengthier opinion piece about a topic of public interest, please email your submission to letters@ljworld.com and indicate that you would like it to be considered for a “Your Turn” column. Submissions must bear the name, address and telephone number of the writer.

Your Turn: Secondary school bond needed for students

The May 2, 2017, Lawrence School Bond Mail-Ballot Election addresses educational needs as well as decades of deferred maintenance that face Lawrence’s (and many of our state’s and nation’s) schools, due in part to a general underfunding of public education. Our school board and district ...

Opinion: Surrendering ourselves to ‘strongmen’

Two high-profile elected executives, President Donald Trump and Gov. Sam Brownback, have stimulated a long dormant itch I need to scratch. I first felt this sensation nearly 50 years ago as a graduate student. At that time international politics interested me. We were in the midst of both ...

Opinion: Student debt situation is creating indentured servitude

Perhaps as much as half of settlement in the British American colonies was by indentured servants. Mostly under the age of 25, they lacked the money for passage to the New World and “indentured” themselves to repay the cost of getting here. Their time and labor was owned by their masters; ...

Opinion: A banner year for Major League Baseball

It could be “back to the future” for the New York Yankees in 2017.And their arch rival from Bean Town, the Boston Red Sox, is loaded with riches of young talent, too.As the new baseball season opens expect to hear and see much about the Yanks and their cast of promising kids headed by ...

Opinion: Time for Brownback to say goodbye

Where is Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback?Physically, he still inhabits his second-floor suite in the Capitol, haunts the Statehouse halls in his sweater vest, and resides at Cedar Crest, courtesy of Kansas taxpayers.Legislatively, however, Brownback is nowhere. He is essentially absent from the ...

Opinion: Founders believed we had a duty to help

From what some politicians are saying you’d think the makers of our nation were a bunch of bare-knuckled libertarians. A nation of hardy individuals and the Founding Fathers, this narrative goes, thought government an evil — the politicians say — because Americans don’t want help and ...

Opinion: ERA not needed? Women still get raw deal

So, there is hope. It’s not quite like the play “Lysistrata,” in which women used the ultimate trump card to stop their men from killing each other. First performed in Athens, around 411 B.C., Aristophanes’ comedy had women on both of the warring sides, Athenian and Spartan, come ...

Opinion: Name your state budget cuts now

Kansas budget cutters: The time has come to get real and very specific. Which expenses can be cut to balance the state budget? What’s your plan? Put out the details so that Kansans can judge the best course of action. Despite multiple rounds of budget cuts over the last years, some ...

Opinion: Senate leadership needed on tax bill

Undoubtedly many informed Kansans were upset by events in the Kansas Capitol last week.Deliberating at nearly the speed of prairie lightning the Kansas House and Senate had considered and passed, by nearly veto-proof margins, tax legislation that made progress toward resolving the structural ...

Opinion: Trump’s message is exceptional fear

Donald Trump’s inaugural speech was a message of fear: Fear Isis, fear China, fear Mexicans, be afraid in both public restrooms and private bedrooms, and be afraid on city streets. Be afraid of now, and be afraid of the future. The reason to be afraid is people who are different from us and ...

Opinion: Brownback obstructs will of majority

In a flurry of statehouse drama rarely seen, Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed the monumental tax bill Wednesday morning; within a couple hours the House overrode the veto, and that afternoon the Senate narrowly sustained the governor.In the end Brownback had obstructed the will of legislative ...

Opinion: A Legislature worthy of the Capitol

The Kansas State Capitol is a beautiful, breath-taking building. From the solid limestone foundation to the top of the dome, this structure exudes a solid feeling of strength and confidence, captured in our motto: “To the stars, through difficulties.”For much of its history, the Capitol has ...

Opinion: Governor’s plan fiscally unsound

There’s a $350 million elephant in the room, and it’s time to acknowledge it.The state is suffering a record $350 million shortfall — and growing. I’ve received numerous visits, calls and emails from constituents asking: How did we get here?At the end of the last legislative session, ...

Opinion: Will GOP end love affair with deficits?

Republicans were once married to balanced budgets and conservative money management, but now they have run off with something new: the seduction of tax cuts and budget deficits. They try to cover up the truth about their new relationship by cooking the books. Kansas’ own Dwight Eisenhower ...

Your Turn: Fight laws that allow guns on our campuses

Come July 1, a law going into effect will shake the very foundations of the University of Kansas. The Personal and Family Protection Act, which authorizes “conceal and carry” on campus, will permit the presence of firearms in nearly every sector of the university. When polled, more than 80 ...

Opinion: Tired of alternative facts? Go to a museum

Alternative reality — or “alternative facts” — used to be the stuff of science fiction. Now it’s the stuff of everyday fiction. Among recent examples of patently false “alternative facts” are 3–5 million illegal votes cast in the presidential election, the size of the ...

Opinion: Repeal tax loophole and much more

The LLC loophole has come to epitomize budget-busting tax policy in Kansas. It appears that a majority in the new Kansas Legislature know the loophole must be repealed and fully intend to end it. But if viewing the situation with clear-eyed honesty, those legislators also know that loophole ...

Opinion: Voters, please pay close attention

Dear Kansans, it’s going to take continued effort and attention from you to complete the changes in school finance, taxation and state budgeting you demanded last November. A great place to begin the work is to read your newspaper. It might help to ignore the adjectives and adverbs in the ...

Your Turn: A look back at strategic planning in Lawrence

I was encouraged to see that city leaders are once again engaging in strategic planning. It was disappointing to read that this is thought to be the city’s first experience in strategic planning.I suggest a few notes could be added to Rochelle Valverde’s recent article. My thoughts come ...

Your Turn: A harder conversation about school equity

Next to employment and police relations, education is of perennial concern for people of color. Conflicts involving educational access and racial equity certainly have affected Lawrence recently. In the fall of 2015, University of Kansas students joined a national wave of activism targeted to ...