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December 31, 2009


Thursday, December 31
No local opinion stories today.

Wednesday, December 30
A Zero Decade? Or are we inching toward the light? -
As the first decade of the new century slinks to its end days, the pessimists among us counsel against taking stock: the exercise, they say, would hurt too much.

Tuesday, December 29
In Iran, all demonstrations seen as suspect -
Elation and fear come in the same breath for the people of Iran these days.

Monday, December 29
Averted disaster has important security lessons -
Call it a Christmas Day miracle that the airplane descending into Detroit Friday night did not crash.

Thursday, December 24
No local opinion stories today.

Wednesday, December 23
Nothing beats locally owned -
Looking back, Bob Bagby’s explanation about the dismantling of our 54 Drive-In appears disingenuous.

Tuesday, December 22
A modern-day tragedy the bard could appreciate -
“What would she say if she were here,” the judge queried the accused. “Would she blanche at the spectacle?”

Monday, December 21
Here’s a chance for your touch to the Iola scene -
Thomas Hoving died recently in New York City, giving historians an opportunity to recall that when he was New York’s park commissioner in 1966 he championed the cause of pocket parks, the conversion of small, sometimes irregularly shaped, parcels of land into dots of quiet beauty in an otherwise harsh urban scene: places where trees would be planted, fountains in-stalled, a park bench or two placed to invite strollers to rest a minute.

Friday, December 18
An equilibrium in state politics will shift in 2011 -
Sen. Sam Brownback is again without a credible opponent. Democrat Tom Wiggans dropped out of the race Wednesday.

Thursday, December 17
A bad health bill now is far better than no bill at all -
Much has been made of the concessions made to Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in an effort to round up the 60 votes needed to pass a health care bill over the nearly unanimous opposition of the Senate’s 40 Republicans.

Wednesday, December 16
No local opinion stories today.

Tuesday, December 15
Gov. Parkinson, ask for a tax increase, already -
Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson should quit hinting that he might ask the 2010 Legislature to raise taxes and just do it.

Monday, December 14
Congress must consider a VAT to pay the bills -
With trillion dollar deficits well into the future staring Congress in the face, talk about imposing a value-added tax on goods and services is more often heard in capitol corridors.

Friday, December 11
No local opinion stories today.

Thursday, December 10
Surprising source offers appealing way to add jobs -
Paul O’Neill, former chairman of Alcoa, was Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002.

Wednesday, December 9
Generous perks for big givers depletes coffers -
It almost seems a contradiction, but we have way too many charitable organizations for the good of the country — and the good of the ordinary American family.

Tuesday, December 8
Sarah Palin, the ‘rogue’ we made -
At 7 this morning there were 1,500 people in Grand Rapids, Mich., standing in line to meet Sarah Palin who picked the mid-sized city to begin her “Going Rogue” book tour.

Monday, December 7
No local editorial stories today.

Friday, December 4
How surplus cash has changed the face of charity -
Bob Hawk, his grandson, Chase Vaughn, and Dr. Ellis Potter told Iola Rotarians about their spectacle-making journey to Calcutta, India, and environs Thursday.

Thursday, December 3
Kansas City firm sticks neck out on wind, sun energy -
A reliable sign that the United States can afford to take global warming seriously showed up in Overland Park this fall.

Wednesday, December 2
Afghanistan still a necessary war -
President Barack Obama made a persuasive case Tuesday night.

Tuesday, December 1
Don’t put KU with Mangino -
With Kansas State University and the University of Kansas both facing the prospect of paying millions of dollars to disgraced coaches, Kansas has the incentive to lead the nation in a head-to-toe reform of the role money plays in college athletics.

Monday, November 30
Debt limit hike needed, but it’s just the first step -
Congress will increase the debt limit in December. It must, otherwise Uncle’s checks will bounce.

Friday, November 27
Estate tax faces year-end deadline -
Congress must rewrite the estate tax law before the end of the year or do without the billions it brings in just when the deficit is exploding.

My pet peeve: lists of pet peeves - Howard Fish had a column to fill so he asked readers to help him compile a list of commonplace phrases and announcements which were most irritating.

Wednesday, November 25
No local opinion stories today.

Tuesday, November 24
3 reasonable goals county can adopt -
Iola and Allen County should set goals, Richard Zahn told an overflowing Thrive Allen County audience last Thursday evening at its annual meeting.

Monday, November 23
City, county step forward to spark a county renewal -
Thursday night’s annual banquet for Thrive Allen County set benchmarks for the organization it will find nigh impossible to match in the years to come.

Friday, November 20
Two state regents plead for higher state spending -
Wednesday, two members of the Kansas Board of Regents said the 2010 Legislature should raise more revenue to support the state’s universities or face the possibility that some Kansas youngsters will be denied a university education.

Hope: A dare worth taking - Oh no. Here comes that “H” word again.

Thursday, November 19
Kansas energy plan will pay back perpetually -
A penny saved, Ben Franklin calculated, is a full penny earned.

Maybe there is a tomorrow for U.S. carmakers - News item: General Motors lost another $1.2 billion in its third quarter.

Wednesday, November 18
David Brooks sees China taking role U.S. once played -
David Brooks rears back every week or so and writes a column so remarkably prescient it makes a reader like me want to make jillions of copies and scatter them about the land to amaze and inform everyone lucky enough to get a copy.

Tuesday, November 17
Lean times make reform easier on immigration -
Another effort to restructure U.S. immigration law will be made next year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said last week.

Monday, November 16
K-State’s scandal should end secret pay to coaches -
Ron Prince, the Kansas State University football coach who was shown the door a year ago after racking up a 17-20 win-loss record, now is suing K-State for $6.2 million.

Friday, November 13
We’re all asked to answer call for excellence -
I’m paraphrasing words the elder Dolph Simons, publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World, learned from his grandfather about service to his hometown.

Thursday, November 12
Give homeless more than a bed -
Veterans Day drew attention to the sad fact that 130,000 or more American veterans will go to sleep tonight in a doorway, under a bridge or, if fortunate, in a home for the homeless in some community.

Random thoughts - Were the famous Dust Bowl photographs art, journalism, propaganda — or all three?

Wednesday, November 11
On this Nov. 11, let’s don’t study war no more -
Armistice Day became Veterans Day when memories of World War I were overwhelmed by the holocaust of World War II.

Tuesday, November 10
Some taking glee at cutting school budgets, it seems -
Last week the consensus estimating group that calculates how much money the state will take in said income will drop by 4.2 percent between now and July 1, when the fiscal year begins.

Monday, November 9
A so-so health bill goes to the Senate and louder debate -
A health care bill chock full of compromises passed the House of Representatives Saturday night by a scant five-vote margin. It will take all of the president’s political skills and a willingness to be tough as nails to get it past the Senate in recognizable shape.

Friday, November 6
Despite falling fertility rates, trouble ahead -
Guess which country has the lowest fertility rate, Iran or the United States. Wrong. It’s Iran.

Thursday, November 5
Off-year elections cheer Republicans but issue a caution -
Three off-year elections Tuesday bolstered Republican hopes for 2010, but also issued a warning.

Wednesday, November 4
Kansas prospects in health sciences keep brightening -
A federal animal disease laboratory now in Laramie, Wyo., is moving to Manhattan, Kan., because the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility will be built on the K-State campus there.

Tuesday, November 3
Community banks get reprieve from reform legislation -
It’s practically a given that Congress looks for babies to throw out with the bath water.

Monday, November 2
Incredible ideas, like tax hikes, just the ticket -
Increase taxes? In Kansas? Wow, how unreal can you get?

Friday, October 30
No local opinion stories today

Thursday, October 29
Education took the biggest hit as state revenue fell -
Duane Goosen was as somber-toned as an un-dertaker when he talked about the state’s budget last week at the conference on the state’s economy at the University of Kansas.

Wednesday, October 28
Did $505 million help Kansas cope? -
Kansas received — and spent — $505 million in federal stimulus funds through September and there is now a dispute over the effect on the economy.

Tuesday, October 27
Hawaii marches backward on education reform -
Hawaii’s public schools ranked 47 in the nation in eighth grade reading and math in the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores.

Monday, October 26
Entrepreneurs create new jobs, should be coddled -
Every fall the University of Kansas takes a look at the Kansas economy at a conference that draws on the knowledge and experience of a bevy of experts from various fields.

Friday, October 23
Geologist finds a ‘clean coal’ solution costly -
Every fall the University of Kansas takes a look at the Kansas economy at a conference that draws on the knowledge and experience of a bevy of experts from various fields.

Thursday, October 22
Yo-yo gas prices show how to pay for highways -
A few days ago regular gasoline cost $2.35 a gallon at Iola pumps.

KBI needs funds or DNA testing - Should Kansas legislators be charged with murder because they failed to give law enforcement officials the information they needed to stop a murderer before he killed?

Wednesday, October 21
Hiding health care costs defeats reform -
The basic Medicare premium will shoot up by $110.50, or 15 percent, next year, government officials sternly announced on Monday, because the cost of health care continues to skyrocket even though the cost of living is declining as other prices fall.

Tuesday, October 20
Bankers should be ashamed of bonus binge -
Kenneth Lewis agreed to forego any of his salary as head of Bank of America.

Fall in Kansas; an unfailing paradise - Keats wanted to be in England when April came; what a pity he never relished Kansas in the golden days of fall.

Monday, October 19
Decision to derail Obama also puts nation at risk -
Rep. Earl Blaumenauer of Washington state is a frustrated liberal Democrat.

Swine flu no-nos: same old stuff - Fear of swine flu hits beer pong hard on college campuses.

Friday, October 16
Give only where it’s needed -
America’s seniors won’t get a cost of living boost in their Social Security checks in January because prices haven’t risen in this down economy and have actually fallen in areas such as energy.

A sure sign - If we believed in omens, we’d say the sun’s semi-emergence is a sign to get out and enjoy Farm-City Days.

Thursday, October 15
Iola needs to face the facts on Riverside -
Now comes word that Riverside Park is in the flood plain.

Unsafe abortions kill 70,000 a year, injure many more - A new report by the Guttmacher Institute showed that the worldwide abortion rate dropped over a eight-year period,

Wednesday, October 14
Foreign students ‘internationalize’ state schools -
America’s universities have a significant economic stake in keeping our nation’s borders as open as possible to young men and women from other countries eager to study here and win degrees from what still rank among the world’s best.

Tuesday, October 13
Afghanistan is right next door -
Sixty years ago a journalism student aimed at editorial writing would be counseled against “Afghanistanism.”

Friday, October 9
Bob Dole breaks ranks to support health care bill -
Bob Dole of Kansas put partisan politics aside Wednesday and urged support of health care reform at a Kansas City forum.

Thursday, October 8
Midwest economy recovering faster -
Kansas belongs to a nine-state bloc covering the Midwest and Plains states that Creighton University in Omaha watches for economic progress. Its latest report is encouraging.

Wednesday, October 7
Brazil’s lessons -
Americans will learn a lot more about Brazil, which won the bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics last week, between now and when those games begin.

Tuesday, October 6
U.S. jobless aid should go to all -
With the ballooning federal deficit in mind, Congress is temporizing on extending unemployment pay.

Monday, October 5
State should fully fund KPERS, not substitute 401(k)s -
Kansas teachers, firemen, city employees and all of the others who work in the public sphere look forward to pensions from the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) based on their earnings history and the length of their service.

Friday, October 2
Long-gone editor saw life clearly -
On Oct. 3, 1985, the editor of the Register grieved at the death from cancer of his friend, Stu Awbrey, who was publisher of the Hutchinson News and took the opportunity to reprint one of Awbrey’s best:

Thursday, October 1
Think the paper is a ‘liberal rag?’ Hey, look again! -
Register circulation manager Gita Johnson made some random telephone calls seeking new subscribers to our newspaper last week and found some Iolans “really mad” because, they told her, the newspaper was “so one-sided; so liberal.”

Wednesday, September 30
High speed rail in the U.S. is coming of age -
Maybe sometime in the next 10 years a high speed train will zoom along welded rails between San Francisco and Los Angeles as fast as 230 mph.

Tuesday, September 29
No death panels, but let’s talk about how America dies -
Sarah Palin and Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa both earned themselves blazing headlines by warning seniors that the health care legislation in the House set up so-called death panels that would decide when granny and granddad should die.

Monday, September 28
An honest look at the deficit drivers -
How about those federal deficits! Terrible, aren’t they?

Friday, September 25
The boogie-bear we’re using to excuse doing little -
A wide-ranging survey of recession-related im-pacts on American life begins by saying, “the recession is profoundly disrupting American life: More people are delaying marriage and home-buying, turning to carpools yet getting stuck in ever-worse traffic, staying put rather than moving to new cities.”

Thursday, September 24
Funding schools shouldn’t take another lawsuit -
After a respected Colorado consulting firm, Augenblick & Myers, Inc., studied “the cost of a suitable education in Kansas” and issued its report in May 2002, the Legislature did nothing, so a group of state school districts filed a lawsuit.

Wednesday, September 23
Kansas gets an ‘A’ for housing prices -
Kansas has the most affordable houses in the nation, according to a study made by the Center for Enterprise Development, a Washington-based think tank.

McCain steps into Kansas GOP race - Sen. John McCain has endorsed Rep. Jerry Moran of the Kansas First District for the Republican nomination for the Senate.

Tuesday, September 22
State prisons pay high health bills -
Health care costs consume 17 percent of the Kansas prison budget and have ballooned 116 percent since 2000, the Associated Press reported this week.

What’s in a name: a solemn subject for state gamblers - Should the only state-owned casino Wyandotte County will have be named “Hard Rock” or “Hollywood,” that is the question.

Monday, September 21
Panel could help commission move forward -
In April, Iola voters weighed in favor of expanding the size of the city commission.

Need for power presents a threat and opportunity - A survey of the way families in rich countries such as ours use electric power discovered that flat screen television sets, iPods, cell phones, game consoles and other gadgets consume a huge and growing percentage of power generated — and that this demand is growing rapidly.

Friday, September 18
Schmidt switches for higher profile -
Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, who has represented this district in the Senate since 2001, is now a candidate for the Republican nomination for attorney general.

Turn back clock on ambulances - I don’t belong to any regular coffee klatch in town, but the rumblings are reaching the Register that we are to be saddled with two ambulance services — forever.

Thursday, September 17
Three poisons, three useful aids -
A Topeka food processing plant has been fined $13,000 for failing to alert authorities immediately when a leak developed in an anhydrous ammonia tank a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, September 16
Lessons from 9/12 -
The day dawned different and stayed that way.

Tuesday, September 15
LaHarpe decision a winner for all -
Harry Lee said it perfectly: Unifed School District 257 had far more to gain in good will and better friendships by giving the LaHarpe Elementary School building to the people of LaHarpe than it could from selling it to the highest bidder.

Ruckus robs focus from core issues - Democratic leaders in Congress want Republican Rep. Joe Wilson to apologize on the floor of the House for shouting “you lie!” at President Barack Obama when he said his health care plan would not give low cost coverage to illegal immigrants. If he does not, they say, they will pass a resolution condemning his bad manners.

Monday, September 14
Financial crisis had clear causes -
Apologists for the financial meltdown that threw the country and the rest of the world into the deepest recession since World War II now say it was all the fault of the computer model they were using to measure risk.

Kansas casinos should start out smoke-free - As construction of a first casino the State of Kansas will own continues in Dodge City, an advocacy group is warning the state lottery that it will be violating federal law if it doesn’t ban smoking there — and in every other casino the state owns.

Friday, September 11
No local opinion stories today

Thursday, September 10
A powerful case for making care a right for all -
It was an argument heavy with emotion; but it was the right argument.

Wednesday, September 9
Germany picks Hutchinson for a turbine plant -
At last. Kansas will get a wind turbine manufacturing plant — about 20 years late.

Colorado may let convicts out early to trim its deficit - Colorado may turn about 1,000 prisoners loose early to trim $42 million from its depression-shrunk state budget.

Tuesday, September 8
Obama moves to encourage saving -
President Barack Obama is tackling the sad state of personal saving through presidential orders, a power he can use without depending on Congress to back him up.

Friday, September 4
Support for health care reform sags, but crisis grows -
Polls show waning support for health care reform. While more than 60 percent favored re-form following President Barack Obama’s election.

Thursday, September 3
Parkinson moves against tobacco -
Gov. Mark Parkinson may take advantage of his self-imposed lame duck status and push for a tax increase on tobacco products next year, he said Tuesday.

Accidental racist comment mars Jenkins’ image - Rep. Lynn Jenkins, second district Republican, continues to draw flack for an unintended racist comment.

Wednesday, September 2
State-run casinos no big surprise: Kansas loves sin -
Kansas will open the first casino the state will own sometime in December, prompting tut-tut comments across the state.

Tuesday, September 1
No local opinion stories today.

Monday, August 31
Court will revisit campaign finance law and its limits -
Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether “Hillary, the Movie,” should have been allowed to be distributed.

Friday, August 28
Cuts in education may get deeper, a state senator says -
State Sen. John Vratil of Leawood, a leading Republican, writes an occassional column on Kansas affairs titled Capital Coments. The current issue arrived via the Internet Monday.

Thursday, August 27
Ted Kennedy -
If Sen. Edward Kennedy had been elected president in 1980, the United States would now have single-payer, universal health care and, quite possibly, a balanced budget.

Wednesday, August 26
LaHarpe should get empty school -
LaHarpe is being treated like a second-class citizen.

Maize principal bans sexy dancing - Students in Maize High School, which apparently got started early this year, are staying away from school dances en masse because they don’t like the new rules.

Tuesday, August 25
Kobach asks for radical changes -
Kris Kobach, who wants to be Kansas Secretary of State and be in charge of the state’s elections, spoke at the public meeting in the courthouse park Friday night and listed three turning points that tilted power to the federal government and away from the states: Adopting the progressive income tax, creating the Internal Revenue Service and adopting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.

City-farm ag bill a deliberate ploy - Rep. Jerry Moran told Allen County Farm Bureau members Friday night that there is a “disconnect” between Washington, D.C. and rural America as evidenced by the fact that 54 percent of the farm bill pays for food stamps, school lunches and other nutrition programs rather than aid to farmers.

Monday, August 24
Social Security checks may freeze along with prices -
The good news is that prices have stayed stable or even declined over the past year.

Story on Jenkins failed to give her all ‘no’-ness credit - This is to apologize to Rep. Lynn Jenkins for misstatements in the report of a public meeting she held last Tuesday at Allen County Courthouse.

Friday, August 21
Recession habits may take root and change the culture -
Last week Allen County Community College announced a sharp increase in enrollment, including its satellite campuses and its Internet student count.

History begs for better records - Ken Rowe has a point.

Thursday, August 20
Health care critics using skeptical scare tactics -
Frankly speaking, more members of Congress should take a clue from Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee.

Wednesday, August 19
Politics may kill cap and trade bill -
Republican members of the Kansas congressional delegation said Monday that the “cap and trade” proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would put a costly burden on the Midwest where most of the electricity used is generated by coal-fired plants.

Higher admission standards wise for state schools - KU officials are considering asking the Board of Regents to raise the bar on entering freshmen.

Tuesday, August 18
Tax exemptions eat far too much of state’s income -
Legislators hungry for new money to ease the state’s budget problems should repeal some of the exemptions on the state sales tax.

Monday, August 17
Greedy for profits, Enterprise, GM endanger public -
Enterprise Rent-A-Car deliberately had General Motors sell it a fleet of Chevrolet Impalas without side curtain air bags to save itself $175 a vehicle and then sold those vehicles as “program cars” on the used market without informing purchasers that the safety feature had been deleted.

Friday, August 14
Sheets breaks sports barrier -
Jocelyn Sheets marks her 25th year at the Iola Register this week.

Thursday, August 13
Plug-in cars move from dreamland to almost here -
Plug-in cars — and energy independence — are just around the corner, er, make that just around the calendar.

Wednesday, August 12
Back to the future on taxing bonuses -
Congress continues to wrestle with ways to curb bonuses given to executives and high producers in the finance industry. At present only institutions that have received federal bailout money must comply — and they are balking. One defended a $100 million signing bonus as necessary for it to compete.

Tuesday, August 11
Climate change debate: science vs. today’s cash costs -
Maybe the sky is falling, after all.

Monday, August 10
Voting against an Hispanic woman a curious choice -
Sonia Sotomayor became an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday. She was the first Hispanic and only the third woman in the history of the court to do so.

Friday, August 7
Kansas tops on economic map - Each month the Associated Press creates an economic stress map showing where the recession hits hardest — and where folks are luckier.

Thursday, August 6
Wal-Mart now the darling of our liberals? - The National Retail Federation says it is “flabbergasted” that Wal-Mart has decided to offer its unqualified support for an employer mandate requiring companies to provide health insurance to their employees.

Wednesday, August 5
Clinton succeeds by stroking Kim - Former President Bill Clinton visited North Korea and was successful in winning the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, American journalists who crossed into North Korea from China illegally in March, were arrested and sentenced to 12 years hard labor.

Tuesday, August 4
Try detainees, close Gitmo - When the U.S. shuts down the prison camp in Guantanamo it must move the 229 remaining detainees to another prison somewhere in the U.S.

Monday, August 3
Alabama debacle teaches budget lessons to all - Jefferson County in Alabama ran out of money and is threatening to lay off two thirds of county employees.

Friday, July 31
Eating right costs but value is there - It is no accident that waist lines tend to ex-pand in a reverse ratio to family incomes: eating right costs more.

Thursday, July 30
Crooks selling phony stimulus grant access - Want a bucketfull of federal money?

Serial killer lives on despite death sentence - John E. Robinson, sr. was sentenced to death in 2002 for murdering three women and stuffing their bodies into barrels on his northeast Kansas rural property.

Wednesday, July 29
A Kansan’s view of reforming health care - For decades, Washington has talked about fixing a broken health care system. And for decades Washington failed to act — allowing the special interests to stall reform while the cracks in the system turned into crev-ices, then craters.

Tuesday, July 28
Other highway program needed: sell funding - A new 10-year highway program — the third since 1989 — is in the works. Gov. Mark Parkinson and legislative leaders will be putting proposals together now so that the 2010 Legislature will have the whole session to complete the details and pass it into law.

Monday, July 27
False choices mar health care talks - As the debate over health care reform rages on, some members of Congress would like the public to believe that the choice being presented is between a government takeover and a free market system in which individual citizens make their own health care choices.

Friday, July 24
County short on leadership - Not to beat a dead horse … but it’s still a kickin’.

Thursday, July 23
Kansas senators keeping state in backward mode - Two recent votes by Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback reveal their ideological lockstep.

Internet stories need verification - The Internet is a wonderful tool that provides next to limitless opportunities. Some, unfortunately, aren’t what they seem to be.

Wednesday, July 22
Private sector has not put U.S. health care first - Mention health care reform and most people need life-support. Some see reform as thinly veiled socialism if government were to manage payments to hospitals and doctors.

Tuesday, July 21
Next stop Mars? Is that what the world needs now? - America’s aging astronauts didn’t get all choked up with nostalgia on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon.

Monday, July 20
Humboldt’s water stirs memories - Shortly after World War II, my brother Scott took his portion of the GI Bill of Rights and enrolled at the University of Kansas to study chemistry.

Friday, July 16
No local opinon stories today.

Thursday, July 16
Cool Sotomayor heats up panel - Sonia Sotomayor hasn’t broken into a sweat yet, much less a meltdown.

Making the numbers add up - This time of year the Register publishes reports about city, school and county budgets.

Wednesday, July 15
Allen County’s poor standing should get action - In the debate about fluoride at Monday night’s Humboldt City Council meeting, Dr. Sean Mc-Reynolds, a dentist, said that Allen County ranks in the bottom tier of Kansas counties when it comes to health.

Tuesday, July 14
Balanced budget sure to agitate all Californians - If California were a state unto its own, its government could be left to founder.

Monday, July 13
Escaping into the wild — tamely - Before the sun beat down in its fury Sunday afternoon, came a “window” of cloud cover. The overcast sky allowed us to venture out like in some science fiction movie where humans are averse to daylight, except in our case it’s the blasted heat.

Friday, July 10
China suppresses Muslim minority with brutal force - The Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu province in northwest China shares common borders with several Muslim nations, including Pakistan, Tadzhikistan, Kirgiziya and Kazakhstan, so it is understandable that the Uighur minority there is Muslim.

Thursday, July 9
Sotomayor will bring strengths - As the Senate drew nearer to considering the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, a Columbia Law School professor jumped in with a letter signed by 1,181 law professors from across the country — including two each from Washburn University and University of Kansas law faculties — urging her confirmation.

Wednesday, July 8
State’s cash flow may be a sign of a new economy - Kansas will borrow $700 million from itself to provide the cash needed to pay its bills and other obligations, including $31 million worth of unpaid tax refunds.

Tuesday, July 7
Coal power costs are becoming a pocketbook issue - Kansas has chips in the energy bill being debated in Congress. If the law passed imposes costs on carbon emissions, the cost of generating power at the Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys, Westar North’s main plant, will rise. Kansans will pay more for power every month as a consequence.

Monday, July 6
Caution: follow role models for the right reasons - A batch of governors, senators, representatives and a president or two over the past half century have stepped over one or more sexual conduct lines during their terms of office, been caught and roundly criticized for their conduct. This brings up the question, should politicians be role models?

Bye, bye, Sarah; go in peace - Sarah Palin’s extraordinary announcement on nationwide television that she would resign as Governor of Alaska on July 26 — a year and a half before the end of her first term — took her out of elective politics, in my estimation.

Friday, July 3
Two birthdays to celebrate gladly - As Iola celebrates its 150th year, the nation turns 233 tomorrow. Two hundred and thirty-three doesn’t end in a five or zero so the anniversary will not draw too much attention. Besides, times are still tough and quite a few of us foam at the mouth at government and blame it for hard times.

Thursday, July 2
Vote for no guns in courthouse was loud, clear - In response to a public meeting called by the County Commissioners, about 35 people showed up to talk about overriding state law and allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons into the courthouse.

Housing prices dropping down toward sensible - Real estate people took great comfort Tuesday in the fact that a housing price index dropped only 18.1 percent in April, the third straight month the decline didn’t set a record, and, get this, yearly losses in 13 metropolitan areas were still significant but not as bad as in March.

Wednesday, July 1
Too-free freedom puts Six in a fix - A state law regulating billboards advertising sex that was scheduled to go into effect today has been put on hold by a federal judge.

Tuesday, June 30
Jenkins’ survey as phony as Iran’s election - Lynn Jenkins, our gal in Congress, mailed a survey on national issues to her Second District constituents last week asking their opinions as concerned citizens.

Monday, June 29
Emission control a big first step to two priority goals - A climate change bill tailored to appease polluters squeaked by the House Friday and headed for a doubtful future in the Senate, where it will take 60 votes to overcome Republican opposition.

Friday, June 26
Unnecessary cuts in Regents funds force tuition up - Tuition will increase in the six state universities because the Legislature cut higher education 10 percent, or $17 million, due to the recession.

Thursday, June 25
Public supports a competing plan to lower costs - A public health insurance plan for the general population similar to Medicare for those over 65 would bring health insurance costs down and “keep private insurance companies honest,” the administration proposes.

Wednesday, June 24
No local opinion stories today.

Tuesday, June 23
Imaginary voters gave huge win to Iran’s president - Hard evidence is mounting that the Iranian vote count was fraudulent.

You’ve been told — but only by us - Iola and Allen County have been dissed again.

Monday, June 22
Majority favors public plan and broader coverage - Public opinion is swinging toward fundamental changes in the way America’s health care industry operates, a poll taken earlier this month shows.

Friday, June 19
An afterthought about fatherhood - (An explanation: In gathering items for the 25 Year Ago column I found this editorial in the June 19, 1984, edition. It seemed OK for today, too. -Emerson Lynn, jr.)

Thursday, June 18
Sleeper Trust a tremendous boon - Each year about this time Susan Raines, director of the Bowlus Fine Arts Center, makes a request to the trustees of the Sleeper Family Trust for program funding for the upcoming year. The requests are most always granted.

Wednesday, June 17
Clearing the way for a renewable power explosion - Building high-voltage power transmission lines through empty country costs billions and requires state and local permits along the route.

Tuesday, June 16
Solar-thermal: a better way to use sun’s heat - There are two primary ways to generate electricity from solar power, photovoltaic panels and solar-thermal plants which focus the sun’s heat to generate steam that turns a generator.

Monday, June 15
Physicians the key to affordable health care - Last week in this column an article on health care costs that ran in the June 1 edition of The New Yorker was reviewed. The story by Dr. Atul Gawande has become must-reading in the White House. President Barack Obama believes it points the way to massive savings in spending on Medicare; savings that can be used to extend health care coverage to today’s uninsured and to reduce the cost of health care to all Americans.

Friday, June 12
Lessons from GM - At the end of World War II, 13 million or so American men streamed home from the services into America’s businesses and industries, eager to go to work and live normal lives again.

Thursday, June 11
Geithner works to create a better business culture - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pushed Congress this week to adopt salary caps on executives and make bonus payments dependent on long-term corporate performance.

Wednesday, June 10
Kansas is putting an unfair burden on sellers of beer - A Lawrence restaurant owner was fined $500 for serving beer to a 20-year-old with a fake ID last year and now wants to sue him for the $500.

Tuesday, June 9
Flickers of light from the Mideast - Good news from the Middle East seems a contradiction.

Monday, June 8
No local opinion story today

Friday, June 5
Obama outlines U.S. hopes for Mideast peace - “ ... The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.

Thursday, June 4
Low cost care at the Mayo Clinic? Yes, here’s why - Atul Gawande, a physician who is writing about health care costs and reform of the system for The New Yorker, decided that one way to get a handle on the subject was to study cities where costs were high and compare them with low-cost centers.

Wednesday, June 3
Letter to editor was thoughtful, deserves answer - Michael Mann’s letter in Tuesday night’s Forum criticizing my comments on the murder of Dr. George Tiller last Sunday in Wichita was thoughtful and deserves a response.

Tuesday, June 2
With GM federal, will capitalism retain its vitality? - General Motors will operate in bankruptcy with an additional $30 billion investment — let’s not call it a loan — from the federal government, which will then have title to 60 percent of the company and can call the shots.

Exit the king - Robin Soderling ended Rafael Nadal’s reign at the French Open Sunday in a four-set match already being hailed as a classic.

Monday, June 1
Pro Life(!) hate drove a killer - Dr. Warren Hern of Boulder, Colo., said it best: Dr. George Tiller’s assassination on Sunday was the “inevitable and predictable consequence of decades of anti-abortion” rhetoric and violence.

Friday, May 29
Flaws critics find in court choice make her shine - As the Senate begins to consider Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court it is dismaying to see conservatives attack her for being philosophic and intellectually honest.

Thursday, May 28
Kansas students have alternatives to big school costs - As the Class of 2009 leaves the nation’s universities for the world of work only one in five graduates has a job waiting.

K-State scandal points to reform - Kansas State University officials have filed a lawsuit in Riley County District Court to cancel an agreement made by its athletic director to pay a former football coach $3.2 million in additional severance pay.

Wednesday, May 27
N. Korea loses its allies in effort to fill nuclear role - North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb underground Monday that Russian scientists said was comparable in power to those that obliterated Nagasaki and Hiroshima in World War II and followed up Tuesday by firing three short range missiles off its western coast.

Tuesday, May 26
Obama loves law, will bet his legacy on his court picks - Observers expected President Obama to appoint a woman, who may also be Hispanic, early this week to replace Justice David Souter.

Reason to double Saturday’s count - Saturday’s Memorial Day parade was just the right length: 20 minutes, perhaps 25, which was plenty on that almost-summer day.

Friday, May 22
California gives nation a lesson on bad governing - California is a broken state. Government by referendum has made the nation’s largest state ungovernable.

Thursday, May 21
Guantanamo is a dandy club in partisan hands - President Barack Obama will expand today on his plans for the inmates at Guantanamo as he spars with Congress over his intention to close the prison in Cuba before the end of the year.

Wednesday, May 20
Sinning rates on race, gender, faith keep declining - Nearly 300 people gathered at the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historical Site in Topeka Sunday to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that declared racial segregation in the nation’s public schools to be unconstitutional.

Tuesday, May 19
KSU rediscovers uses for garbage - Food waste from two of the dining halls at Kansas State University is being salvaged and turned into compost which is used to fertilize a campus garden.

Monday, May 18
Post filled with thoughtfulness, not just politics - President Barack Obama has appointed Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah as America’s ambassador to China.

Friday, May 15
No local opinion stories today

Thursday, May 14
No local opinion stories today

Wednesday, May 13
Legislators avoid financial solution - Tuesday Chief Justice Robert E. Davis warned that cuts in the Kansas judiciary budget could mean up to 30 days of statewide court closures and furloughs for nonjudicial employees during fiscal 2010, which starts June 30.

Tuesday, May 12
Revitalization good pathway for community - City commissioners were scheduled to have a public hearing on continuation of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program this afternoon.

Ghost given up - Hans Holzer, among the most famous of ghosthunters, died April 26. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t been heard from since.

Monday, May 11
Assessment scores improved locally - USD 257 Board of Education members will learn tonight students at all but one grade level improved their reading scores on Kansas assessment tests taken this school year.

Friday, May 8
IMS students learn how to make money - Earlier this year the Register reported Iola Middle School students were learning about the stock market through hands-on phantom trading.

More than just a green thumb - According to an Associated Press story, the first plot has been sold in a city-owned cemetery in Lawrence that offers dearly departed a chance to be buried without being embalmed, in a biodegradable casket and with no concrete grave liner or traditional cut or polished headstone.

Thursday, May 7
Let’s all spruce up for Memorial Day - On Memorial Day weekend, a little over two weeks hence, Iola’s sesquicentennial celebration will be accentuated by a homecoming parade through downtown.

Add some zeros - In an editorial concerning the deal struck between Sunflower Electric and Gov. Mark Parkinson, the word “million” was omitted at an important place near the end of the piece.

Wednesday, May 6
What does coal plant deal mean? - You have to wonder what’s cooking in the governor’s office.

Tuesday, May 5
GED program at ACCC gives many a second chance - Delivery of education doesn’t always come in quick-step fashion.

Monday, May 4
Men in black are good guys - Hollywood and the disregard for convention by some in real life gave motorcycles fanciers a bad name in the 1950s and for years afterward.

Friday, May 1
Meltdown on fire; loss of a ton now appears too little - A third of the way through its 12-week run, those participating in Thrive Allen County’s Meltdown have an accumulative loss of 1,150 pounds.

Thursday, April 30
Swine flu threat more than just headline news - The World Health Organization is on the cusp of declaring swine flu a full-fledged pandemic.

Wednesday, April 29
Educating kids is No. 1 priority - Here’s something for USD 257 board members to keep in mind when they agonize over flagging state aid as Kansas legislators deal with revenue shortfalls.

Tuesday, April 28
A tiny tax can save school funding - The Kansas Legislature will meet Wednesday to wrap up the 2009 session.

Monday, April 27
GOP head attacks Sebelius over veto - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele attacked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s nomination to be health secretary because he disapproved her veto of a Kansas bill designed to harass Dr. George Tiller of Wichita and any other physician who chose to perform a late term abortion.

Friday, April 24
Four-day school week awful idea - Several Kansas school districts have gone to four-day weeks to save money, prompting USD 257 to consider the same.

How to stop being a cookie monster - Dr. David Kessler once led the attack on addictive tobacco for the government.

Thursday, April 23
School dropouts hurt the country and themselves - A national study of high school dropout rates showed dramatic improvement in some cities, including Kansas City, and equally disappointing numbers in others. Wichita’s rate, for example, increased by 17.6 percent from 1995 to 2005, while the rate in Kansas City decreased by a whopping 19.7 percent over the same period.

Wednesday, April 22
$100 million! How little that is in Washington - Monday President Barack Obama ordered his cabinet to find $100 million in savings to achieve over time.

Tuesday, April 21
Budget dilemma can be solved - As had been widely assumed, last week’s pessimistic revenue projections for the rest of the state’s current fiscal year means deeper cuts in spending for education at all levels or tax increases.

Here, Mr. Kihuha, have some U.S. law - The government wants a federal court order allowing it to knock David Kihuha out with drugs so they can fly him back to Kenya and turn him over to authorities there.

Monday, April 20
A brief timeout for D.C. laughter - Paul F. Boller, Jr. collects examples of Washington wit and published a selection in his book “Congressional Anecdotes.” Excerpts were published in Sunday’s New York Times — perhaps in the expectation and hope that some of us will learn to laugh with Congress rather than at it.

Friday, April 17
Republicans: Have they a death wish? - Republicans in Kansas and Minnesota have something in common — they aren’t very good at reading the handwriting on the political wall.

Thursday, April 16
Let’s get positive in talk on taxes - Everyone loves a party. Even a TEA — Taxed Enough Already — party, which turns ordinary citizens into unpaid lobbyists.

Wednesday, April 15
Tax refunds pay down debt; shows healthy change - More than half of those who expect a refund on their income tax told AP pollsters they will use the money to pay bills rather than go on a spending spree.

New Cuba policy in U.S. interests - President Barack Obama opened the door to Cuba a crack, but much more must happen before relations between the United States and its island neighbor move toward normal.

Tuesday, April 14
Windfall for banks may be withdrawn to aid Pell students - Billions in profits are being made annually on government-subsidized student loans by banks.

Monday, April 13
Attack the pirates: fight fire with fire - Capt. Richard Phillips, an unusually brave and resolute man, was freed Sunday from his pirate captors off the coast of the Horn of Africa by Navy Seals who killed his three captors.

Easter on the lawn: a great tradition - For 30 years and more the Iola Kiwanis Club has sponsored, managed and staffed an Easter egg hunt on the Allen County Courthouse south lawn — and for 30 years and more, jillions of kids from toddler to mid-elementary school age have lined up, focused their energies and swarmed onto the grass to scoop up as many goodies as they could when the noon whistle blew.

Friday, April 10
Two states so alike yet also very different - When the Vermont Legislature overrode Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gay marriage a record was set.

Transparency is better for all in government - The best government, at all levels, is that most open to constituents.

Thursday, April 9
Iola’s voters call loudly for change now, not in 2011 - Tuesday’s overwhelming vote to change Iola’s form of government was a loud demand for our community to take a new direction.

Wednesday, April 8
Iola can learn from lab success - Tom Thornton of the Kansas Bioscience Authority told the Associated Press Monday that his group is working with 10 companies that are considering business ventures in the region to work in concert with the National Bio and Agro-defense laboratory that the federal government will build on the Kansas State University campus.

About taxation - To appeal to the self-centered wealthy and their wannabees, the controlling faction of the Republican Party in Kansas and the nation put tax reductions or outright elimination at the top of its priority list.

Tuesday, April 7
Losing my Mickey June - Mickey June Killough Lynn died Monday morning half way through dressing without so much as a whispered cry of alarm.

Monday, April 6
New growth model a U.S. imperative -Finally, we’re getting it.

Friday, April 3
Travel to Cuba may get easier - An impressive array of interest groups have joined a group of senators and representatives in backing bills to re-move the ban on travel to Cuba.

Thursday, April 2
Larger council adds to vision - For more than 100 years the crucial decisions for Iola have been made by as few as two people, sometimes three, if they all get along.

Sebeliuses show their integrity - Now it’s Gov. Kathleen Sebelius with tax trouble — or is it?

Wednesday, April 1
U.S. needs car industry to work — all by itself - A peevish editorial in the Detroit News the day after General Motors and Chrysler were given ultimatums by the Obama administration concluded thusly, “Obama has been harshly critical of the way Detroit’s auto-makers run their businesses. We’ll see now if he can run GM any better.”

Tuesday, Mar. 31
Big 4 gobblers adding trillions to national debt - Washington Post columnist David Broder raised alarm flags in his article Monday on page four. The national debt will rise by a staggering $9.3 trillion over the next 10 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office calculates, if current patterns continue.

Do lottery sales gauge rationality? - Lottery sales in Kansas dropped 5 percent in 2008 and are down again so far this year. March sales were 4.3 percent lower than March, 2008. Powerball sales fell 12 percent below last year’s level.

Monday, Mar. 30
Pray to A. Smith - On Sunday’s television news shows, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said, “I would not spend a penny on helping a bank for the purpose of helping a bank.

Noose on tobacco draws a bit tighter - Smoking, chewing and sniffing snuff will get more expensive April 1, when the first tax increase signed by President Barack Obama goes into effect.

Friday, Mar. 27
When Mother isn’t very nice - With weary bodies and souls, the people of Fargo, N.D., worked through the night to erect a second levee to ward against the still rising Red River.

Correction - In an editorial earlier this week I stated that banks in Colony, Bronson and Chanute failed during the 1970s Savings and Loans crisis.

Thursday, Mar. 26
Tailor budget to meet costs of good education - Schools aren’t bearing their share of the budget burden, according to Republican leaders in the Kansas House.

Students could work on land use - Iola’s south side looks 100 percent better thanks to the post-flood cleanup.

Wednesday, Mar. 25
Forcing the state to build up cash would be hurtful - On a 32-8 vote Monday the state Senate passed a resolution to require the state to establish a reserve fund by setting aside as much as .25 percent of tax revenues every year.

Tuesday, Mar. 24
A tip of the hat to Gilpins - Friday’s purchase of what used to be Iola Bank and Trust by Great Southern Bank of Springfield, Mo. brings to mind how much a single family can do over three generations for a small rural community like Iola.

Lessons of bank’s demise - The demise of TeamBank is a textbook lesson on how to lose your shirt.

Monday, Mar. 23
Teaching conduct tricky challenge - KU student Jason Wren died March 8 at a fraternity house off-campus after a night of heavy drinking.

Iacocca ridiculed - Lee Iacocca, the former Chrysler CEO who rescued his bankrupt company in 1980 with the help of a government loan, gave a slap-dash interview to the current isssue of AARP magazine.

Friday, Mar. 20
Valuable lessons from A.I.G. Outrage at the $165 million in bonuses American International Group paid to executives in its Financial Products Unit continues to bring red-faced, loud-voiced senators to microphones and inspires blistering editorials across the country.

Thursday, Mar. 19
A notable death - Another newspaper died Tuesday.

Surprise! Surprise! - Another anti-abortion bill appears certain of passage by the Kansas Legislature just in time to hand to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as she awaits confirmation by the U.S. Senate as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Wednesday, Mar. 18
AIG executives paid by U.S. public, should act like it - Citigroup paid its chief executive officer, Vikram S. Pandit, at least $216 million over the last year or so.

Tuesday, Mar. 17
Will new behavior prove permanent? - Warren Buffett said the other day that the economy had “fallen off a cliff” and added that the American people had changed their behavior in ways he had never seen before.

Monday, Mar. 16
GOP doomsayers want Kansas to reject fed money - Republican leaders in the Kansas Legislature continue to resist using federal stimulus money to avoid budget cuts, as Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has proposed.

Friday, Mar. 13
No local opinion stories today.

Thursday, Mar. 12
Gas-sipping cars good/bad news for highways - Volkswagen is pushing a diesel-powered sedan that gets 41 miles a gallon; if it doesn’t fold first, General Motors will have its Volt in the showrooms in a year or two.

Wednesday, Mar. 11
Crow is chewy - Monday’s Register printed a letter to the editor accusing Rep. Bill Otto of sneaking a pay raise into House Bill 2069.

Bold reforms for U.S. schools - As promised throughout last year’s presidential campaign, President Obama has proposed bold public school re-forms that would, among other things, pay more to good teachers, root out poor teachers, move the states toward a unified set of academic standards, require longer school days and longer school years.

Tuesday, Mar. 10
Stem cell decision sets science free, will create wealth - President Barack Obama gave the U.S. economy a terrific boost Monday by ending the ban on using federal dollars for stem cell research.

Monday, Mar. 9
Death penalty a tough issue for state lawmakers - Editor’s note: Sen. John Vratril, a Johnson County Republican, sends a newsletter to constituents and others interested about current issues in the Kansas Legislature.

Friday, Mar. 6
Federal dollars create jobs in Obama’s gamble - About $50 billion of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill is being spent on highway projects across the nation.

Wednesday, Mar. 4
Gov. Parkinson prepared for the major challenges - Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson will step up to the top job when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius resigns to accept President Barack Obama’s appointment as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Tuesday, Mar. 3
Stimulus money can keep school funding level - As a parting gift before she takes off for Washington, D.C., Gov. Kathleen Sebelius sent state lawmakers a revised budget that makes good use of the $1.7 billion the state expects to receive from the federal stimulus package.

Obama details health care crisis - In introducing Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his Secretary of Health and Human Services, President Barack Obama reminded Americans of the pressing need for health care reform in these words: “ ... The good news is that we have already done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last month than we have in the last decade."

Monday, Mar. 2
Sebelius tapped; country’s gain, Kansas’ loss - Seems everybody realizes what a gem we have as a governor — except Kansans.

Sunday theater - Area residents were treated to first-class theater Sunday afternoon with the production of “To Kill A Mockingbird” by the Montana Repertory Theatre.


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