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Commentaries

Here's the historical marker you'll find in Burdett, Kansas, summarizing Clyde Tombaugh's amazing discovery: Pluto!  (Photo by Kimberly Fertig)
Rex Buchanan Wednesday, July 1st

We'll soon have a much better idea of what Pluto really looks like. This month, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will finally fly past the icy planet on the edge of our solar system. After a nine-year mission in space, New Horizons will come closer to Pluto than any other NASA spacecraft and it will be taking lots of pictures.

Depiction of the scene, witnessed by George Armstrong Custer, following the "Kidder Massacre" in Sherman County, Kansas, in the summer of 1867. (Image credit: Harper's Weekly)
Rex Buchanan Tuesday, June 16th

Almost 150 years ago this month, a group of Union Army soldiers were attacked and killed by Indians on the High Plains of northwest Kansas in what's come to be called the "Kidder Massacre" by some historians.  Like many Native Americans, Commentator Rex Buchanan doesn't refer to the attack as a "massacre," but he did recently visit the site of the battle, near Beaver Creek in Sherman County.

Dave Kendall, host of Sunflower Jouneys on public television stations in Kansas (Photo credit KTWU)
Dave Kendall Wednesday, May 27th

Dave Kendall, the longtime host of KTWU's Sunflower Journeys, says goodbye to public broadcasting. In this guest commentary, he shares memories of the show... and some of the reasons behind his departure from public broadcasting.

17-year cicada (Photo credit: Tennessee Farm Bureau)
John Richard Schrock Friday, May 22nd

Today's commentary has been 17 years in the making! Emporia State Biology Professor John "Richard" Schrock tells us about the emergence of the 17-year cicada, coming soon to a backyard near you! Listen up, whippersnappers! If you're 17-years-old or younger, you will soon hear a sound in nature that you've never heard before.

(Background image of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Southwind Trail by Miguel Vieira/Flickr)
Rex Buchanan Tuesday, May 19th

As summer travel season approaches, Commentator Rex Buchanan suggests you take a hike... right here in Kansas. As he tells us, there's a new travel guide about Kansas trails that will tell you everything you need to know for all corners of the state.

(Photo via freeimages.com)
Michael Ralph Thursday, May 14th

According to recent surveys, fewer students are interested in teaching careers. That wasn't the case for Michael Ralph, who teaches biology at Olathe East High School. In this guest commentary, Ralph credits a program at the University of Kansas for preparing him - and other college students - for a job in the classroom.

Monument Rocks, located in Gove County, not too far from U.S. Highway 83, which cuts north and south through the western third of the state. (Photo by John Charlton, Kansas Geological Survey)
Rex Buchanan Thursday, April 30th

Has springtime given you a case of wanderlust?  Commentator Rex Buchanan says U.S. Highway 83, which runs north and south through the western third of Kansas, is well worth a weekend trip.  

Fewer students are choosing a career path in teaching, which has many people worried, including those who train teachers, like commentator John "Richard" Schrock. (Photo by J. Schafer)
John Richard Schrock Wednesday, April 29th

Fewer Kansas students are choosing to pursue careers as teachers.  Commentator John "Richard" Schrock thinks new policies at the state and federal level are making the profession far less attractive.  

A Kansas irrigation pump, c. 1915, pumping 1,300 gallons per minute. (Flickr Photo Courtesy of WaterArchives.org)
Rex Buchanan Friday, April 3rd

Water continues to be a scarce and valuable resource in many parts of Kansas and the American West in general. As this trend continues, we're likely to see more litigation between neighboring states and between neighbors themselves.

(Flicker Photo by hjl)
Ron Keefover Friday, March 20th

Kansas officials can conduct state business using private email accounts and personal cell phones - neither of which is subject to open records laws. Such secrecy isn't good for democracy. As we hear in this commentary, other aspects of state government could benefit from more transparency.

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