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.

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 It appears that a majority in the new Kansas Legislature know the loophole must be repealed and fully intend to end it.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 ...

Opinion: Schools cannot do everything

The debates about how best to improve our schools will soon be in the media again. The confirmation process for Betsy DeVos, secretary of education nominee, has been one of many newsworthy flash points as President Trump and his team take the reins of power.The DeVos nomination signals ...

Opinion: Republicans in the Trump Era

MEMO TO: Sens. Moran and Roberts; Reps. Jenkins, Marshall and YoderAs Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th U.S. president, you and all your congressional colleagues have a solemn obligation to support your co-equal branch of government. Above all else, this means using your independent ...

Opinion: Some predictions for the coming year

After 2016’s wild ride in politics, science, sports, and entertainment, no one in their right mind would dare venture predictions for 2017. Here goes.This is easy. A total eclipse of the sun will occur on Aug. 21, when the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth. Lawrence will be on ...

Opinion: Say no to Brownback’s disastrous ideas

Gov. Sam Brownback has known for months that the state budget was shockingly out of balance. He also knew he had authority to order budget cuts and bring spending in line with revenues. His failure to act has allowed red ink to balloon to $350 million this year, plus another $580 million in the ...

Opinion: Mods, Dems and deals in Kansas

Three-party politics is back in Kansas. The parties consist of moderate Republicans, conservative Republicans and Democrats. Deals being made and leadership changes afoot all point to a new era — but the state’s problems remain daunting.In the race for House minority leader, the narrow ...

Opinion: A reminiscence on dinner with Castro

Now that Fidel Castro has passed, I thought it appropriate to tell a bizarre story about him and a trip to Cuba.Some years ago, 1999 to be exact, the Baltimore Orioles with their owner, Peter Angelos, ventured to Havana to challenge the Cuban national baseball team in an exhibition game.It was ...

Opinion: Happy New Year! Now fix the budget

For Kansas legislators, the new year may not feel all that happy. Veterans and first-termers alike have to be wondering why they ran for the job. In the upcoming legislative session, they face a daunting task, brimming with political risk.Brownback’s “Kansas experiment” has brought the ...

Opinion: A wish list for the people of Kansas

Christmas is a tough season for a political columnist. We are a grumpy bunch who find a lot to grouse about. This season, however, should bring good cheer and well wishes for our fellow humans. Herewith an effort to put a little cheer into a meager Kansas political Christmas.With the 2016 ...

Your Turn: We can do much better on mental health

When a person living in Lawrence experiences a heart attack, a stroke, or a car wreck that leaves the person in critical condition, we call 911, the ambulance arrives and takes the person to the emergency department at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The emergency department’s staff provides ...

Opinion: A New Year’s resolution for fiscal sanity

In the spirit of the season this retired professor offers Kansas state lawmakers and their newly elected leaders a resolution for starting down the path to fiscal sanity.First, end the tax experiment as the first order of business. Move state finance in the direction of tax fairness by putting ...

Opinion: On Bill of Rights anniversary, please reflect

As our nation prepares to observe the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights, some of us might be excused for wondering if the individual liberties we have come to cherish will survive another two centuries.Although such a thought might seem preposterous in a country ...