Midwest Voices

Meet The Star’s 2015 Midwest Voices columnists

Diane Bigler
Diane Bigler The Kansas City Star

For a dozen years the Opinion pages have presented a rich variety of writers — Midwest Voices columnists — who represent the real concerns of readers, writers and everyday people in our region. In 2014, we brought back a crop of alums, whose columns proved once again that they could reach out and touch the lives and political hot buttons of many of our readers. Today we introduce the class of 2015, an almost all-new lineup of Midwest Voices.

The newest contributors to Midwest Voices come from many walks of life — teachers, lawyers, the military, social work, writers, a student — and they reflect at least two generations of viewpoints. Watch for their columns on this page on Saturday and online at KansasCity.com/opinion. And respond to any of them via email: oped@kcstar.com.

For others with an itch to contribute their views, our Letters column and the As I See It feature remain outlets for lively conversation and debate.

So welcome our new contributors, and here’s to a sometimes provocative, always engaging 2015.

| Steve Paul

Diane Bigler

Residence: Platte City, Mo.

Work experience: A licensed clinical social worker and adjunct professor of social work.

Interests: Traveling, baking, reading true crime stories.

James Byrne

Residence: Leavenworth

Work experience: A former U.S. Army officer and semi-retired telecommunications engineering manager.

Interests: History, politics, licensed private pilot, certified scuba diver, golf.

Rodger Bowman

Residence: Kansas City, North

Work experience: A teacher at New Mark Middle School in the North Kansas City School District.

Interests: Travel, history, architecture, art, motorcycles, bass guitar, running.

Glennie Burks

Residence: Waynesville, Mo.

Work experience: A colonel and deputy assistant commandant at the U.S. Army Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Interests: Juvenile justice, social justice, the environment, traveling, reading, running and being a grandfather.

Liz Cook

Residence: Kansas City

Work experience: An economic research editor and free-lance writer.

Interests: Local theater, working with the Greater Kansas City Writing Project and volunteering with the journal Poverty & Public Policy.

Steve Johnson

Residence: Overland Park.

Work experience: A lawyer in solo practice with emphasis on families, small businesses and non-profits.

Interests: History, art, literature, law, faith, current events.

Brian Noland

Residence: Kansas City

Work experience: A lawyer and civic activist who has worked in political campaigns for Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Mayor Sly James.

Interests: Chess, cycling, hiking and film.

Brooke Palmer

Residence: Kansas City

Work experience: A career editor for a publishing company and freelance writer on music and nightlife.

Interests: Music, books, vinyl, cinema, family and friendship, nature and urbanity, tolerance and fighting bigotry.

Ike Uri

Residence: Lawrence, Kan.

Work experience: A student at the University of Kansas studying sociology and Russian language and writer for the University Daily Kansan.

Interests: Politics and economic issues, travel (especially to India), roasting coffee and making wine.

Roger Williams Jr.

Residence: Lee’s Summit

Work experience: A retired school principal, counselor and music teacher, contributor to Midwest Voices in 2013.

Interests: Reading, cooking, writing, travel, jazz, golf and supporting the educational pursuits of youth.