Steve Rose

Steve Rose

Union Station’s rough start turns into solid success story

Besides a ridiculous estimate of attendance, Science City was in the beginning a big disappointment. It was a flawed concept perpetrated by another so-called expert, who held a PhD from M.I.T. and had been No. 2 at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. He had all the credentials but he didn’t have a clue as to what kids would want to do in his ill-conceived “city.”

Steve Rose

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s blather: Is it denial or spin?

Gov. Sam Brownback was asked several times in several different ways about his unpopularity in Kansas and whether he thought the recent sweeping successes by Republican moderates were a repudiation of his tax policies. Brownback smiled broadly and explained, they were not repudiation, and, no he didn’t think his extremely low approval ratings were justified. It was the media’s fault for beating the drums with false information, and also he had not done a very good job of getting the real story out to the public.

Steve Rose

Shawnee Mission teacher salaries stall negotiations

Let’s be clear. Teachers everywhere are underpaid. They are among our most crucial professionals. Ditto for Shawnee Mission teachers. But as we all know too well, there are two factors that determine teachers’ wages: The marketplace usually plays a major role, and so does state government.

Steve Rose

Fond memories, deep patriotism tied to Tuesday

It was August 1992 when I wrote a column that has stuck with me ever since. It must have stuck with some of my readers because every now and then someone will send me a photocopy of the column with a nice remark. This is an entirely new column, but the key part of the story has not changed one iota.

Steve Rose

New sheriff must corral overtime pay for deputies

Some Johnson County deputies are thrilled with overtime. It is not unusual for a master deputy to earn $75,000 in overtime in one year. And there is great incentive to pile up as much overtime as possible, especially in years right before retirement. Under the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, lifetime retirement income is based on an average of the final three earning years.

Steve Rose

Delayed pain leads to voter apathy in Kansas

Here’s the dirty little secret as to why so many moderate Republicans in Kansas, especially in Johnson County, will not bother to vote in the August primary. Despite the fact that approval ratings for Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature are in the toilet, the direct impact of their sins has not yet been felt. And if the impact has not yet hit home, all the headlines about mismanagement of the state’s budget may seem like a distant dream, or maybe a distant nightmare.

Steve Rose

Phony numbers meant to smear superb Kansas services

The Kansas “Fallacy” Institute, er, I mean Kansas Policy Institute, headquartered in Wichita, is called a think-tank. But that is a misnomer because the folks who crank out numbers there don’t really think about issues at all. Rather, they take a preconceived notion that government and schools are enormously wasteful and inefficient, and then concoct absurd calculations to make it seem so.

Steve Rose

Stage is set for epic Kansas GOP showdown

Aug. 2 may be one of the most important elections for Republicans in modern Kansas history. On that primary election date, Republicans will decide whether the Brownback “bad guys” will continue to rule the Legislature or turn over to the “good guys” the keys to the Capitol.

Steve Rose

Ben Craig and Johnson County are inseparable

Those who don’t know Ben Craig may think his request to throw a portion of his ashes in the air along Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park is a bit odd. But this 87-year-old civic leader, who has cancer and been given three months to live, has rational reasons for this unusual request.

Steve Rose

Kansas legislators will comply with Supreme Court’s ruling on schools

The Kansas Legislature, or governor, or both will comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling. But the outcome is likely to be ugly. The Kansas Supreme Court just dropped the first of what is likely to be two shoes on the Legislature. The justices predictably declared the disparity between state funding for poor school districts and wealthier districts to be unconstitutional.

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