Commentary

Wed
24
Jan
Edgar's picture

When education moves backward

By John Richard Schrock

Why has the rigor in American public education declined in the last 30 years?

There have been a few attempts to increase the rigor of coursework and teacher training.

 

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Wed
17
Jan
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Beards and Hallmark Christmas movies

By DAN THALMANN

I recently took three weeks off from work. I didn’t go anywhere, but after 18 years at the Washington County News, it was time for a little break.

During my career, I’ve missed two “paper days” which used to be Wednesdays and is now Tuesdays. One time was in 2013 during a vacation to South Carolina, but I made the mistake of bringing my laptop with me and I ended up working several hours each day, during the drive there and during the three day stay in a hotel. I helped finish the front page on the morning we left to return to Kansas. That was not a relaxing vacation at all.

 

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Wed
17
Jan
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Don’t leave me a voice message; I probably won’t check it

By CYNTHIA SCHEER

My husband lost his cell phone recently and couldn’t function without it. He spent the morning looking everywhere and even had me drive to the school and look through the boys’ book bags and coats. He later found the phone under one of the boys’ bed. It had fallen out of his pocket during bed time stories the night before.

I realize Michael has a lot of cattle people calling him throughout the day, especially if a cow is out. While I use and love my phone – especially for entertainment during board meetings, looking up directions, or price comparison shopping on the Amazon app – a day or two without my phone is nothing to get excited about.

 

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Wed
10
Jan
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I appreciate the health department folks; they’ve had a string of misfortune

By CYNTHIA SCHEER

I try to remain neutral and unbiased when covering news or meetings for the newspaper.

I hate controversy, and I certainly hate sensational journalism. I don’t choose and write my stories with the hope that maybe that issue will sell more copies that week. At a buck a paper, an extra few dollars isn’t going to pay any bills.

 

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Wed
10
Jan
Edgar's picture

Clock ticks on insurance for children

By Dena Sattler

Nearly 80,000 youngsters in Kansas need the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Nationwide, the federally funded CHIP program provides coverage to some 9 million children — about one in every eight — in lowand middle-income families.

 

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Wed
27
Dec
Edgar's picture

Be the smartest person in the room on national news

By DAN THALMANN

I’ve been following the news all my life, but how I consume news has changed significantly over the years.

For national and international news, I subscribe to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and many, many magazines. I also use Twitter to keep me up on breaking news.

 

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Wed
27
Dec
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Surprise supper from the back yard

By JOE PHILLIPS

Fear bound. The forecast called for miserable conditions in the Sunny South, forcing the “unprepared” to scamper to whatever was open on Friday afternoon. The morning deer hunt proved futile despite generous, but impossible, sightings. After that I was out gathering supplies to end a craving for bacon.

“Little Miss Phillips” is a life-long foodie. On a coastal weekend her interest in shells and surf walking ebbed, waned and vanished. It became hard to get her out of the hotel room. She wasn’t a television addict since the set wasn’t used as a sitter. It took most of the next day to discover the focus with her new fascination with the hotel television. It was the “Food” network.

 

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Wed
20
Dec
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Birds and bald eagles, but no bears

BY DAN THALMANN

I’ve been feeding backyard birds yearround for many years. Sunflower seed, suet and a few other types of seed in the winter (and at least one feeder year-round), grape jelly in the spring for orioles and sugar water in the spring through fall for hummingbirds.

As a feeder of birds, I’m always hoping to attract a little something different. This could be the winter.

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Wed
20
Dec
Edgar's picture

Christmas: It’s about the little moments

BY CYNTHIA SCHEER

I have read many times over the years that the things you remember from Christmases past aren’t the gifts you’ve gotten. That’s mostly true; I can think of only a few toys I ever got as a kid, including a package of tiny, quarter-sized My Little Ponies with plastic bodies and real, rainbow-colored manes and tails that I got when I was probably about 6.

What I remember more than the gifts is our annual traditions:

Every year we ventured out into the pasture in the middle of the section to select and cut down a cedar tree, which we would have to drag a couple hundred yards through the ravines and over the fence to the pickup. The tree was always cut down with a blue hand saw, too. There was never a chainsaw. Us kids would then ride in the back of the pickup with the tree through the pasture to the yard.

Wed
13
Dec
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Tax overhaul only mirrors Kansas fiasco

By Dena Sattler

Kansans want no part of another flawed taxcut scheme.

With the debacle launched in 2012 by Gov. Sam Brownback and his ultraconservative allies still exacting great harm, Kansans don’t understand why the same tax-cut approach has gained favor in the nation’s capital — and why our own elected representatives, of all people, are on board.

Deep income-tax cuts didn’t generate meaningful job growth as promised in Kansas by Brownback and company. Generous corporate-tax breaks at the federal level won’t, either.

 

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