In a novel by Umberto Eco, a character comments on the long list of rules imposed on the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages. "From prohibitions you can tell what people normally do. It's a way of drawing a picture of daily life."
Seventy-one years ago today, a surprise military attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, rocked our world. Twenty-four hundred people lost their lives. Americans who had resisted entering World War II were now taking the global strife personally.
Near the end of 2008, the stock market had crashed at a record pace, gas was fluctuating at around $4 per gallon, the big banks were in serious trouble, the housing market crashed, and the auto industry was tanking.
It's Black Friday, the official opening of Shopping Season, perhaps the biggest day of the year for retail sales. The countdown to Christmas begins today, and for many people the spending scoreboard has begun to tick off the days while adding up the gifts.
A lot of people were whining the day after the election, because their candidate for president didn't win. It's OK to whine; some people think they've earned the right to whine by voting. But some folks have gone too far.
The first time someone threw a baseball into the metal door at Barton Community College's Kirkman Center, it may have been an accident. But today, Athletic Director Trevor Rolfs has dozens of photos of damaged walls, heavy vinyl curtains, and the aforementioned door, all of them pocked or broken from the hundreds of baseballs, softballs and soccer balls that have been hurled without a thought or care about the damage being done.
One of the basic rules of elementary school is to learn to stand in line, wait your turn and cooperate and compromise until a solution where everyone is a little happy and everyone is a little unhappy.
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.