Daily Archives: Nov. 11, 2012

Thank you, veterans

Last week’s election was made possible by the courage and sacrifice of America’s veterans. On this Veterans Day and every day, they deserve our gratitude and praise. In a commentary in the Opinion pages of the Sunday Eagle, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., notes with alarm that more veterans have died by suicide since 2001 than have been killed serving in Afghanistan, and that this year the Army is averaging one suicide per day. “No less concerning is the amount of time it takes for veterans to begin receiving the benefits they were promised for their service – from disability compensation and pension benefits to education benefits and health appointments,” Moran writes, restating his commitment to use his seat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to help them.

Brownback fares well in exit polls

Gov. Sam Brownback received mostly good reviews in exit polls of voters Tuesday, Associated Press reported. More than half of those interviewed approved of Brownback. Men viewed him more favorably than women. In SurveyUSA polling throughout this year, only about a third of Kansans polled have approved of Brownback’s job performance.

Sometimes incumbency can travel

When three federal court justices stepped in to do the Legislature’s job of redistricting in June, their new maps set off a number of sudden moves by displaced incumbents and others. And how did the carpetbaggers do at the ballot box? The ones who made it to Tuesday’s general election won with ease: Eight-term Rep. Clark Shultz, who had moved from Lindsborg to McPherson; two-term Democratic Rep. Melanie Meier, who had moved within Leavenworth; and 10-term Rep. Jan Pauls, D-Hutchinson (who was challenged by her primary opponent for claiming her new residence was an old church she was renovating). Two others didn’t survive the August primary: Wichita businessman Gary Mason, who had moved to Park City to run against Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, and one-term Rep. TerriLois Gregory, who had relocated from Baldwin City to Ottawa.

2008 bond issue paying off, under budget

President Obama’s re-election refreshed memories of how his 2008 win had coincided with the passage of the USD 259 bond issue – narrowly and unexpectedly, given the aviation layoffs and other economic shocks hitting the community that fall. Tackling the $370 million in bond projects during the historic downturn has been challenging fiscally and politically, especially when the board decided to close five schools this year while opening new ones built by the bond issue. And tough decisions loom about the nearly 20 projects on hold, including another new high school. But the completed projects of the 2008 bond issue are benefiting students and the community, especially for arts and athletics programs. And it was gratifying to learn last week that with 52 projects completed, the bond issue is $4.1 million under budget. On Monday, board members also approved a $3.5 million bond issue project for Pleasant Valley Elementary School.