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Commentaries

Kansas Statehouse (Photo by J. Schafer)
Tom Averill Thursday, November 20th

<span "="" src="/images/NEWS/reusable%20images/Kansas_State_Capitol_2.jpg" alt="Kansas State Capitol 2" style="margin-top: 5px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; ;" height="275" width="520"> In January, Kansas lawmakers will return to Topeka for the start of a new legislative session. Their first order of business will be fixing a huge hole in the state budget. Of course, lawmakers will take up other issues as well -- and one of them could affect the way Kansas Supreme Court Justices are selected. Commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander expects a renewed effort to change the...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, October 9th

(Flickr Photo by Eren Eris) What's the future of water in Kansas? That's a big question. But the state of Kansas has been working on a 50-year plan to address this complex issue. The Kansas Water Office has been soliciting public input on its latest proposal and not everyone is pleased. Guest Commentator Julene Bair thinks the plan doesn't do enough to conserve water, especially out west, in the Ogallala (OH-guh-lah-lah) Aquifer. Guest Commentator Julene Bair is a native Kansan and author of the book, The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning.    The Kansas Water Office is...

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, August 20th

A Kansas sunset northwest of Lawrence. (Photo by J. Schafer)Of all the natural beauty that can be found in Kansas, perhaps the most spectacular vision is also the most elusive: sunsets. What we see in the evening on the western horizon is transitory, ever-changing. And we never know from one day to the next what we'll get. It could be gloriously grand... or modest and ordinary. Commentator Cheryl Unruh has seen her share of Kansas sunsets and encourages others to keep their eyes on the western skies.   Commentator Cheryl Unruh is a writer and author who lives in Emporia. Her latest book is...

KPR Web Operations Monday, July 28th

Most fishermen can probably name at least a dozen different kinds of fish that can be found in Kansas waters. But few anglers can name a hundred of them. Now, a new book called Kansas Fishes not only identifies the 140-some different species of fish found in Kansas rivers, lakes and streams, it also includes detailed and colorful illustrations to go along with them. Commentator Rex Buchanan took a look at this new book, fished-around for something to say, and came up with this.   Commentator Rex Buchanan, recording a commentary, at the KPR studios.Our book review today comes from...

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, July 15th

The Native American people known as the Kanza Indians are mostly gone from Kansas. But here, in the state that bears their name, you can still find remnants of when the Kanza called this place home. The tribe lived here for generations before they were forced to move south into present-day Oklahoma. Commentator Rex Buchanan says a new book on the history of the Kanza provides insight into this group of people, about which most modern-day Kansans know so little. Commentator Rex Buchanan is the interim director of the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas. He's also a frequent...

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, June 3rd

The flying pteranodon (tuh-RAN-uh-don) is on the left. The sea-roaming tylosaurus is on the right. Both creatures roamed what is now Kansas during the Cretaceous Period, when a giant sea covered the area. These pictures are what we think the animals looked like. And, they display better than the fossils!Most Kansans probably know many of our state symbols, like the official state flower, animal and insect. They are, of course, the sunflower, the buffalo and the honeybee. But what about our latest state symbols - the official state fossils? As Commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander...

KPR Web Operations Friday, May 16th

Atlas of Kansas Lakes and Field Guide to the Common Grasses of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The beauty of Kansas scenery can be subtle, revealing itself slowly.  Sometimes, it washes over you in measured time, like a symphony, slowly adding instruments and steadily building toward a crescendo.  With wide-open spaces, a sizable sky and plenty of prairie... Kansas is a giant playground for plants, waterfowl and other wildlife.  Commentator Rex Buchanan says two new books can help you discover and appreciate some of the wonders of Kansas nature.     Commentator Rex...

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, May 13th

(Photo via freeimages) Earlier this year, the Kansas Supreme Court told the Legislature it was violating the state constitution by not adequately funding poor schools. Lawmakers added more money to the education budget... but they wanted something in return. Guest Commentator Tony Moss says they put into the law two very bad ideas. Guest Commentator Tony Moss is a former school social worker. He's currently a researcher and data analyst for the Kansas Department of Education, but he spoke to us today as a private citizen, not as a representative of the education department.   (SCRIPT) The...

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, May 6th

(Flickr Photo by Philip Taylor)Tax day has come and gone. But the folks in Here, Kan., are still talking about all the changes in state tax policy, including Commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander.   The comments of William Jennings Bryan Oleander, otherwise known as Tom Averill, Writer-in-Residence at Washburn University.            

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, April 30th

The largest intaglio in Kansas is located in Rice County. It is the figure of a serpent holding something in its mouth. (Image via Great Bend Aspect) The people who lived in Kansas long before Europeans arrived left behind many signs to remind us they were here. They built mounds and carved pictures into rocks. They also left behind intaglios. Commentator Rex Buchanan explains what intaglios are...and ponders their meaning.   Commentator Rex Buchanan is the interim director of the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas. He's also a frequent contributor to KPR's Morning...

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