Commentary

Thu
26
Mar
Edgar's picture

Letter to the editor

I read in the notes from the March 16 Commissioners’ meeting that there was some discussion regarding free dump days. To that extent I would offer this opinion;

I feel it would be a mistake to discontinue this service, if even for one year. As a general rule, once something is discontinued, more often than not, it does not return. Free dump days has always afforded the population of a city the avenue in which to dispose of items accumulated over a short period of time without each and every individual having to find a way to transport these items to the landfill individually. This service is especially attractive to people who may find it very difficult, physically to transport these items.

Regardless of the abuse and/or mis-use by a minority of individuals, (and we all know it does exist) a far greater number of responsible people utilize this service, as I believe it was originally intended.

Thu
26
Mar
Edgar's picture

Teachers asked to reinvent education

One week to totally recreate education as we know it.

That is the task given to the teachers of our local school districts as they figure out how to provide a meaningful education to our children in an unprecedented situation where kids have to spend the next couple of months learning from home.

A task force of teachers from across the state recently released “guidance” for a continuous learning plan after Kansas became the first state to officially close schools for the rest of the school year as a way to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The closure wasn’t an announcement for an early summer break; the task force leaned toward a sharp focus on the critical outcomes needed to advance children through the core subjects of their grade level.

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Thu
26
Mar
Edgar's picture

Closing schools a painful decision, and not without costs

Closing schools a painful decision, and not without costs

Kansas became the first state in the nation last Tuesday to declare its schools would close for the remainder of the school year.

By now, a majority of states have closed their schools, though to a lesser degree.

The disruption will be immense and strengthens the argument for year-round school so that when a crisis such as the COVID-19 or a natural disaster occurs, children can get back on track with their education as soon as possible.

We appreciate the severity of this health crisis and don’t argue with the Governor’s decision to close the schools in order to suppress the spread of the virus. It was a painful, but necessary, decision and one most other states will be forced to make as the full impact of the coronavirus is made evident.

Thu
26
Mar
Edgar's picture

Support local businesses during this economic crisis

Don’t neglect your small, locally-owned businesses during this pandemic. There is significant pressure on citizens to stay at home to avoid the coronavirus, and rightfully so, but as a result many small businesses are suffering at levels they have never experienced.

I’ve already heard of hours being cut for employees at some businesses and others have closed down entirely. Unfortunately, we’re not even close to the worst of this downturn.

With comparisons being made between this pandemic and the Great Depression, if something doesn’t change quickly, we could be looking at an economic catastrophe.

In rural Kansas, many jobs are linked to mom-and-pop type businesses. Business in a rural setting is already a struggle and these entities simply don’t have the financial reserves to last very long when customers are forced to stay at home.

Thu
26
Mar
Edgar's picture

You need your newspaper, and it needs you, too

You need your newspaper, and it needs you, too

As this week started, it appears more and more Kansas counties are looking to enact stay-at-home orders similar to what was adopted by Johnson and Wyandotte counties last weekend.

Through various state and local orders, and through voluntary action taken by many operations, many businesses have closed their doors and cut back on their operations. Other businesses are cutting back as their customers suddenly shut their pocketbooks and wallets.

Small businesses are a key part of our communities in Kansas, from one-stoplight towns to major metropolitan areas. Now more than ever, they need the support of their communities.

Your local newspaper is one of those businesses.

Newspapers have long been part of the fabric of the communities they serve. Journalists across the state have been scrambling to bring you the ever-changing news concerning the COVID-19 outbreak, to help make sense of the situation, and to separate fact from fiction at this time.

Thu
19
Mar
Edgar's picture

Germs in general

Germs in general

Here we go again.

A year ago I wrote to you about germs being everywhere and one reader responded that I’d “creeped him out.”

Good.

I think that piece is worthy of repeating since coronavirus has emerged and is spreading. I think nobody actually knows how many Americans have it. It will bloom in one place, then another and first thing you know someone you personally know will have it.

I upset a fast food worker when she handed me a cup by gripping the rim. I refused it and asked for another. Oh, the pain.

 

 

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Thu
19
Mar
Edgar's picture

Support Trump’s effort to reshore drug manufacturing

We’re hearing a lot about supply chains in association with the coronavirus pandemic. The sparse or empty shelves in the toilet paper aisle at our local grocery stores has been a hot topic of discussion and has shown us how quickly our supply of necessary goods can go away.

Beyond the concern of having to use tree leaves or corn husks as a bathroom alternative, something much more important is being exposed during this time. We have an unacceptable dependence on China for important and life-saving drugs. Certain drugs are in short supply and we’re still early in this pandemic.

 

 

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Thu
12
Mar
Edgar's picture

The Dirty People

The Dirty People

SPENCER CROWTHER Country Vibes

You know who I’m talking about. The person with dirt under their fingernails. They are probably covered from head to toe in mud, grease, and maybe even some unknown substance from another species.

The smell usually is not much better. Could be diesel, silage, or the sweet scent of manure. Their clothes are probably plain and tattered, seeing many years of use. Some have unkempt hair and maybe a scraggly beard. Covering up that messy hairdo is a hat bleached by the sun and stained by rings of sweat.

If you look down at their feet you’ll see boots that have seen way too many miles. At this point, you might think I’m describing a homeless person, but I’m not.

Who would walk out of the house like this? “The Dirty People” will.

 

 

 

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Thu
12
Mar
Edgar's picture

Don’t kill your grandparent Wash your hands!

Scientists are still learning how to most effectively combat the spread of coronavirus and how to treat those who have been infected. One thing that seems to be evident is that older people with underlying conditions are the most at risk for serious illness or death if they catch COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-10 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you are suffering from these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and avoid contact with others.

Thu
05
Mar
Edgar's picture

Most don’t choose farming, it chooses them

 Most don’t choose farming, it chooses them

Editor’s note: After his Facebook post about actor Joaquin Phoenix’s Academy Award speech (printed last week) went viral with almost 2,000 shares, Spencer followed up with the following:

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