Daily Archives: Feb. 12, 2013

State of the Union thread

What is O’Donnell’s beef with health department accreditation?

State Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita, wouldn’t comment Monday on a bill he has proposed to prohibit county health departments from seeking national accreditation, other than saying it was prompted by “widespread concerns that many people have had.” What concerns? What people? Is this some Agenda 21 thing? Health officials are also puzzled. At least 12 health departments in Kansas, including Sedgwick County, have been working on becoming nationally accredited, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported.

Loosen up on home-brewed beer

The Wichita Homebrewers Organization was among the groups that provided testimony last week in favor of a bill to loosen state law on home-brewed beer. Current law says that such beer can be made only for the use of the brewer and family members who live in the same residence, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. The Kansas Department of Revenue’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is OK with changing the law to allow the brewers to take their beer to club meetings and competitions, but it doesn’t want home brewers to receive compensation for their beer. Does the state really need to be so controlling?

WATC proving value of its degrees

The Wichita Area Technical College is demonstrating the impressive value of its degrees among employers, even in a lackluster economy. WATC’s survey of 90 percent of its fall graduates revealed that 97 percent of them had found jobs already, mostly in the area. Meanwhile, spring enrollment is 19 percent higher than last spring, just as last fall saw a 25 percent increase over fall 2011. Much of the momentum can be linked to WATC’s strengthened partnership with USD 259, and to the state funding made available by the career and technical education initiative promoted by Gov. Sam Brownback. But credit also is due WATC president Tony Kinkel and the elected officials at all levels, led by Sedgwick County commissioners, who pressed ahead with the funding and construction of the National Center for Aviation Training, one of WATC’s three campuses. Because they didn’t let the downturn cloud their foresight about workforce needs, Wichita-area employers are able to look to WATC for the workers they need now.