Monthly Archives: November 2009

Kelsey campaign to bring ‘Renewing American Leadership’ leader to Wichita





On the heels of Alan Keyes’ visit to Wichita in support of congressional candidate Jim Anderson, rival candidate and state Sen. Dick Kelsey is bringing another national conservative leader to Wichita.

Kelsey, R-Goddard, will be the host for two seminars Dec. 8 by former Ohio Rep. Bob McEwen, now chairman of Renewing American Leadership, an organization formed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich launched the group in an effort to mobilize conservative Catholics and evangelical Christians in the political process and strengthen ties between economic and social conservatives.

The group’s platform combines traditional economic conservative themes such as lower taxes and less regulation of business with social conservative principles on issues such as abortion and school prayer.

A six-term congressman, McEwen served on the powerful Select Committee on Intelligence. He also served as a U.S. observer in Moscow during the 1991 coup attempt and at the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992.

McEwen’s Wichita seminars will be the second visit to Wichita in recent weeks by a nationally prominent conservative, as candidates in the 4th Congressional District jockey for support in a crowded Republican primary field.

Nov. 21, the Anderson campaign drew about 200 people to the Cessna Events Center for a speech by Keyes, a former diplomat and perennial candidate for Senate and the presidency.

In addition to Kelsey and Anderson, the race also features Republican National Committeeman Mike Pompeo; oilman, investor and football-team owner Wink Hartman, and state Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita.

Democrats campaigning for the seat are state Rep. Raj Goyle and retired court services officer Robert Tillman.

McEwen’s Dec. 8 appearance will begin with a breakfast seminar on Renewing American Leadership at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, 549 S. Rock Road, Wichita.

Starting at 9 a.m., he’ll conduct a separate seminar, also at the Holiday Inn, on enhancing local economic development.

Admission to both seminars and breakfast is $30 a person. The price for the economic development seminar alone, without breakfast, is $10.

Proceeds will benefit Kelsey’s campaign. For information, call 316-771-7310 or e-mail

Eisenhower library to hold holiday concert

ike logo

ABILENE — The Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum will kick off the holiday season with a concert and reception Dec. 6.

The Abilene Community Band will play at 2 p.m., followed by a reception.

Events will take place at the visitors’ center auditorium and are free and open to the public, although seating is limited.

The presidential library is at 200 SE 4th St., Abilene. For information, call 785-263-6764 or, toll free, 877-746-4453.

Pack up your coolers, loophole on public drinking is about to close

beerIn June, we told readers about a little-known loophole in city code: You can drink under the sunshine in a few choice plots of city-owned land. (Those unmarked oases are the Old Town Farm and Art Market, Old Town Cinema Plaza and the lawn of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.)

But that’s about to end. The City Council Tuesday will vote on revisions to the city’s 58-page drinking establishment and community event law that will require those three locations to follow the same rules as elsewhere. In short, you need a special community event license to booze it up in public places.

The same council move would allow pool halls and places with pool tournaments to stay open past 2 a.m., when bars are otherwise required to close down. But even though the pool matches can go on into the early morning, no alcohol can be served after 2 a.m.

State rejects Wichita group’s proposal for southeast Kansas casino

The application process for a casino in southeast Kansas will remain open after the Kansas Lottery rejected a pro-posal from a Wichita-based investment group Tuesday.

Ozark Trail Gaming, a group that included former Wichita Mayor Bob Knight, proposed to build and manage a $225 million casino in Cherokee County at U.S. Highway 166/400, one mile north of I-44.

The application was rejected because it “provided no information” that shows the group had the money or experience that is required, a statement from the lottery said.

The Ozark group includes Wichita attorney Henry Blase, also listed as trustee of the Schultz Family Trust; Knight; and Wichita investment banker Theron Froggatte.

Its first phase was to have included a casino with 900 slot machines and 30 gaming tables, a 30-seat coffee and pastry shop, a 225-seat buffet, a lounge and retail space.

Any new applications for a casino in southeast Kansas face a Jan. 19 deadline.

Powerball winner provides a windfall for state revenues

TOPEKA – Someday, you take good news where you find it.

State coffers should get about a $3 million boost in income taxes collected from a Great Bend-man who won the $96.6 million Powerball Jackpot earlier this month, state Budget Director Duane Goossen told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

It might not seem like much coming the day after Gov. Mark Parkinson announced a fifth round of cuts to this year’s budget – this round excising $260 million.

Given that most news about state revenue collection has been about short falls, this news at least prompted some smiles.

Where to leave leaves…

leaf pileWhat to do with all those fallen leaves?

There are several answers, according to Joe Pajor, assistant director of public works with the city, and Roger Lyon, director of not-for-profit PRoKansas Recycling Center.

You can leave them where they are. They’ll decompose and fertilize your lawn. If that doesn’t work for your aesthetics or you fear it will kill the grass, you can mulch mow them into little bits and speed up the decomposing process.

If you decide to rake them up and bag them, you can bring them to Brooks C&D Landfill where you’ll have to pay a minimum $15 for up to 1,200 pounds of waste. The landfill has an area to dump organic waste for composting — then just reuse your plastic bags or toss them in a different part of the landfill.

Last option is to put them at the curb with your other trash — a common practice from what I’ve observed. Since there are many companies, you’ll have to ask whether your trash service accepts leaves and where they go.

For more detail and smoother writing, see the column after the jump by Anne Calovich, The Eagle’s green thumb… Read More »

Governor’s $260 million in cuts hits roads, schools, disabled hardest

TOPEKA – A fifth round of cuts to state agency budgets hit highway maintenance funds and education hard.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, on Monday announced a fifth set of cuts to the current budget, which began July 1.

Every state agency has had money cut, he said.

At the beginning of the month, the Revenue Estimating Committee released its revised budget numbers, which showed the state needed to cut about $260 million from the state budget. That figure assumed the state would not pay additional money to kindergarten through 12th grade to make up for increased costs from enrollment growth and more students receiving free and reduced lunches.

The cuts fulfill Parkinson’s promise that lawmakers would have a balanced budget when they return to Topeka in January.

Below is the governor’s press release detailing the newest cuts.

Read More »

Moore: Congress “most exciting and frustrating” job I ever had

WASHINGTON –Congressman Dennis Moore released the following statement today:

It has been an honor and a privilege to have been elected six times to represent the people of the Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives. I have decided not to seek reelection in 2010. It is time for a new generation of leadership to step forward.

I am proud of all we have accomplished since I was first elected in 1998. I have always sought to be an active representative, engaged in the concerns and activities of our community.

My staff of hardworking Kansans has resolved thousands of cases for constituents facing federal government-related problems and has supported my work in Washington. I was proud to write and help enact legislation to increase death gratuity benefits for service members’ families, improved R&R travel benefits for service personnel and childproof cap requirements for gasoline cans.

Read More »

Phill Kline’s former chief of staff hit with legal ethics complaint

Eric Rucker, Phill Kline’s former top assistant, faces a formal ethics complaint that he made misleading comments before the Kansas Supreme Court.

The state’s disciplinary administrator, who investigates complaints against attorneys, today released the complaint against Rucker, who served as chief of staff when Kline was attorney general.

The complaint alleges that Rucker made misleading comments before the Kansas Supreme Court and used flawed statistics to back up a criminal case.

The allegations stem from Kline’s investigation of abortion clinics. Rucker’s complaint will go before a disciplinary panel in April; the panel will determine whether Rucker violated ethical rules for attorneys and will decide whether to recommend any disciplinary actions to the Supreme Court. Punishment could range from nothing to disbarment.

Read More »

Kansas governor to announce latest round of budget cuts

Today’s the day for more budget cuts in Kansas.

Gov. Mark Parkinson will unveil his plan to reduce state spending by some $260 million at 3:30 this afternoon, his office says.

This round of cuts – at least the fourth since the year began – comes as state revenues continue to flag.

Several Kansas school districts are threatening a lawsuit if school funding is cut again. The Board of Regents is hinting that any more budget cuts could prompt more tuition increases. Parkinson himself has said that social services and corrections have already been cut to the bone.

Last week Parkinson told reporters that there’s no more fat to cut from the budget.

“We are past the point of there being any easy decisions,” he said. “We are now cutting into the bone of government services.”

He said his office was examining every option, including employee furloughs.

“We’re looking at every possibility,” Parkinson said.