The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Tuesday released some sobering news. Based on data from the Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network, influenza activity has increased in nearly every region of the state.
No one is blind to the fact that people will travel to shop for the holidays. Larger communities have much to offer. However, we should not forget our local merchants whose livelihoods depend on our business.
"Black Friday and Cyber Monday are good for the economy, and #GivingTuesday is good for the soul." This comment referring to the official opening of the Christmas shopping season is posted on 92nd Street Y's website.
In 1633, Galileo Galilei was put on trial at Inquisition headquarters in Rome. He had been controversial for years, because he presented a "theory" that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of our universe and the Earth went around the Sun. Somehow the idea of this famous scientist had been allowed to stand, so long as it was presented as a hypothetical and not as reality.
Statewide, Gasbuddy tells us, gas prices continue to plummet. Average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have fallen 4.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.63 Sunday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.78.
It is easy this time of year to get caught up in the whirlwind of commercialism that has devoured the holidays. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the relentless barrage of television commercials and the aisles of Christmas stuff in stores, this idea shoves out all visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.
At the request of Be Well Barton County, a coalition of folks promoting access to convenient and safe active transportation for all county residents, the County Commission Monday morning adopted a proclamation marking this as National Bike Month.
All week, the national news has brought us more footage of young people protesting the actions of police, looting and burning, and throwing things at officers dressed in S.W.A.T. gear. Meanwhile, the police and fire and rescue personnel of Great Bend and the surrounding jurisdictions continued to go about the business of keeping the public safe.
Last week the Kansas League of Women Voters elected co-presidents Marge Arhens of Topeka and Carole Neal of Wichita to lead the nonpartisan organization. Citing a tax position based on League's 2013 tax study, the new co-presidents issued a statement calling for a balanced and fair three-pronged system of state taxation which returns the use of the income tax to the 2012 level.
There was no guarantee Thursday afternoon that the Barton Community College journalism teacher or the theater teacher would have their contracts renewed. Their names were on a list recommended for "non-renewal," even though their employers appeared to be happy with their work.
When it comes to landfills, Barton County is proof that NIMBY (not in my backyard) is not a universal concept. Here, our commissioners understand the value of having a landfill nearby, accessible to county residents. The news that our landfill's lifetime has been doubled to 60 years from it's previous 30 is fantastic news.