When news looks like promotion

Of course there are plenty of stories that qualify as news that nobody would want to keep in the dark, but it’s also true that many people want reporters and photographers to tell their stories in the interest of self promotion.

Kansas school funding bill is a huge win for Johnson County

Last week Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature made historic strides in bringing more local control to Kansas school districts, particularly to Johnson County and, specifically to the Shawnee Mission School District. They also made great strides for higher education, which has been lost in all the publicity about K-12 funding.

More to a good life than college

Silas, our son, graduates high school next spring and is knee-deep in campus visits and SAT test prep. As he talks aloud about his own future, we hear his inner conflict: Do I pursue what I love? I’m not even sure what that is, yet. Maybe I should just pick a career that will make me a lot of money.

Veto the stingy Kansas school funding bill

Sleep-deprived Kansas lawmakers left Topeka on Sunday night not certain what they had actually legislated. Only now is the impact of the massive education bill becoming clear. And the more that’s known, the worse it looks.

Up in the sky! It’s reality, untethered in Kansas

Kansas is in deep fiscal trouble. “We are flat broke,” said Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly, the ranking minority member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. So how are the Republicans in charge responding to this crisis? By giving money away, of course.

Help police stop the rash of area road shootings

The last thing motorists should have to worry about is bullets fired at them from another vehicle. A reported rash of shootings in and around Kansas City is creating anxiety here and unwelcome attention nationwide. Quickly catching whoever is responsible is the best prescription for relief.

Support the Westport school plan

Fortunately for the now vacant Westport High School and the community surrounding it, there are second chances. The Kansas City Public Schools board should reverse an earlier decision and sell the midtown building for a promising new development that would include a charter high school.

Kansas City Public Library earns a deserved honor

Like its fellow systems around the metro area and around the country, the Kansas City Public Library is undergoing a transformation in how it serves and reaches the public and how it will address and thrive in the future. A new national honor should tip off more residents to enjoy the library's offerings.

From Kansas City to the Boston Marathon tragedy

“When the marathon bombing happened, like every other American I felt fear,” writes Yusufi Vali, the executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. “I was scared for my wife, who was driving home from downtown Boston. Then that fear turned into anger. How dare someone do this to our city?”

Home from war, our soldiers continue to die

Mental health is the new battlefield for many returning soldiers. At Fort Hood, the actions of Army Spc. Ivan Lopez might well serve as the military’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Let’s see if enough people listen. The Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that 22 former members of the military commit suicide every day. Every day.

Kansas weekend theatrics can’t obscure state’s fiscal crisis

Even before a weekend of late nights and frayed nerves, Kansas lawmakers were in the throes of agony. They needed to find $129 million to correct unconstitutional school funding inequities. But thanks to a self-inflicted budget crisis with no end in sight, the road to $129 million was paved only with brutal choices.

A better future is the goal for children in Guatemala

What stands out in a visit to Guatemala are the hardworking, gracious people who endured a 36-year civil war claiming more than 200,000 lives and displacing even more before it ended in 1996. With more education, fewer children to raise and more time, Guatemalans will widen today’s narrow paths into opportunities and new ways to improve the country.