Opinion - Columns

  • Columns | July 09, 2012

    Tuition increases justified but troubling

    The latest round of tuition increases the Kansas Board of Regents approved Wednesday has us wondering where the tipping point is. At what point will college in Kansas — a comparative bargain despite its rising cost — become too expensive for students and their families? That question

  • Columns | June 27, 2012

    A foray into pet food

    Jimsuber2

    From the “Why didn’t we think of that sooner?” department…Kansas State University, long a feed, milling and grain science world leader, is only now going to create a pet food research and teaching department. Of course, Kansas has been home for decades and

  • Columns | June 27, 2012

    Syria presents thorny diplomatic challenges

    If the diplomats we send to represent the United States in other countries and the ones we receive from abroad are smart — and they are — why haven’t we gotten a better handle on the world’s problems? Diplomatic problems are among the most difficult

  • Columns | June 20, 2012

    Redistricting’s winners, losers

    On Thursday, June 7, just four days before the June 11 filing deadline for candidates, a three-judge federal panel hit the “reset” button on legislative districts in Kansas. The federal court’s redrawing of congressional, state Board of Education, and House and Senate maps came after Kansas

  • Columns | June 14, 2012

    The new, high-tech oil wells

    Jimsuber2

    Resting in the aftermath of a rare rain that exceeded one inch and left muddy trails, I was idly watching a cable business news channel when with shocking suddenness onto the TV popped a picture of new high tech oil wells in south central Kansas.

  • Columns | June 13, 2012

    Scott Walker re-evaluated

    By failing to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Democrats may have unwittingly created a formidable personality for the 2012 election cycle and beyond. Walker won election in 2010 on a platform of controlling government spending in part by taking on entrenched public employee unions. Once in

  • Columns | June 13, 2012

    Commissioners fear SOS vote

    Tuesday night, four Manhattan city commissioners thought they chose to do nothing by accepting the city attorney’s opinion that the proposed ordinance to provide 2 percent of the city’s general fund for social services was administrative and not allowed under petition referendum. But they’

  • Columns | June 13, 2012

    A game of chicken goes to court

    At some point in the near future, a three-judge federal panel will release the maps that will set boundaries for legislative and congressional districts to be in place through 2020. When that happens, at least some (and perhaps all) factions of the deadlocked Kansas Legislature will

  • Columns | June 12, 2012

    School funding battle resumes

    We’ll let the judges who are hearing the most recent legal challenge over school funding levels decide whether the Legislature is making “suitable provision” for students’ education. Our sense is that if schools had a winning case the first go-round, when both a Shawnee

  • Columns | June 12, 2012

    A distinguished career closes

    Paul Miller hasn’t been a Riley County District Court judge forever, though it might seem that way for residents who moved here in the last 30 years. As a story in Sunday’s Mercury observed, Judge Miller, who’s been chief judge of the 21st


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