When the Internet swept the landscape twenty years ago, few imagined the chatting, Facebook, and other instantaneous social media that has resulted in breathtaking changes in communication structure. These changes have occurred faster than any manmade changes in the history of humankind.
The Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office reports that of the hundreds of crash related deaths that have occurred in Kansas, almost 70 percent of them were not wearing a seat belt. According to a 2011 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,384 lives could be saved if seat belts had been worn. As of 2013, Kansas has an 81 percent seat belt usage rate.
If you see local youths being hauled around in police cars or in the back of ambulances today, it is not because they are in trouble with the law or injured in an accident. Approximately 80 seventh and eighth graders are participating in the annual City Youth Academy sponsored by the City of Great Bend.
It would be difficult to find a Kansas community that isn't having some sort of festival this weekend. Close to home, there's June Jaunt all along K-96 from the Colorado border to Ellinwood, and Santa Fe Trail Days in Pawnee County.
It is sad that although in a rural area, many of us don't take the time to enjoy the great outdoors that exists just a short distance from our front doors. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 Wilderness Act, the conservation bill that enshrined our nation's most pristine wildlands for future generations. The 1964 Wilderness Act, written by The Wilderness Society's Howard Zahniser, created the National Wilderness Preservation System, which protects nearly 110 million acres of wilderness areas from coast to coast.
This week's meeting of the Barton County Commission has provided much to think about. Listening to the county administrator, ABBB auditors and the county's software provider elaborate on the reconciliation and record keeping issues in the Treasurer's Office was nauseating.
"I do not know if everyone realizes how serious the drought situation is for Barton County and the State of Kansas," Barton County Emergency Manager Amy Miller said. She was responding to an announcement from Governor Sam Brownback's office last week updated the state's Drought Declaration for Kansas which now includes all 105 counties either in an emergency, warning or watch status.