The Kansas treasury has been raking in money

Kansas has billions of dollars in the bank. Just imagine the shopping spree ahead.

BY: - December 6, 2023

For those familiar with the persistent fiscal crisis that Kansas endured under former Gov. Sam Brownback, it may come as a shock to learn that our state now sits on billions of dollars. That’s right, friends and neighbors — by the end of fiscal year 2024, next summer, experts predict that Kansas will have a […]

Kansas House lawmakers display LGBTQ flags on their desks during a vote April 5, 2023, to override the governor's veto and impose a transgender sports ban on public schools

Kansas LGBTQ+ youths deserve protection from conversion ‘therapy’ before looming Supreme Court case

BY: - December 5, 2023

LGBTQ+ advocates across the country — myself included — are keeping a steadfast watch on the U.S. Supreme Court, as the highest court in the land weighs the possibility of taking on a critical case, one that could potentially overturn state bans on so-called conversion “therapy” for minors. As a number of anti-LGBTQ+ and hate […]

A fisherman sorts freshly caught Dungeness crab.

Animals keep evolving into crabs. So do Kansas politicians. Let’s turn back before it’s too late.

BY: - December 4, 2023

Eventually, everything turns into a crab. This particular type of convergent evolution — when animals develop similar traits despite coming from different families — has even been given a special name by scientists: carcinization. We know that crustaceans have independently evolved into crablike forms at least five different times. Something about the shape and traits […]

Topeka collector Tom Allen — shown with a small portion of his collection — has some 10,000 license tags, 85 percent of which are from Kansas.

For a better Kansas license plate design, we need a history lesson and maybe a bit of tape

BY: - December 3, 2023

When the governor rolled out the new Kansas license plate redesign just before Thanksgiving, she said the design “promotes the state and our sense of optimism as Kansans travel near and far.” But most folks recognized the new plate for what it was — a turkey. No wonder Gov. Laura Kelly scrapped the new plates […]

Keyboard glows purple against a hazy yellow background.

ChatGPT turns 1: AI chatbot’s success says as much about humans as technology

BY: - December 2, 2023

ChatGPT was launched on Nov. 30, 2022, ushering in what many have called artificial intelligence’s breakout year. Within days of its release, ChatGPT went viral. Screenshots of conversations snowballed across social media, and the use of ChatGPT skyrocketed to an extent that seems to have surprised even its maker, OpenAI. By January, ChatGPT was seeing 13 […]

100 US dollars. Macro photo of banknotes of money in the US currency one hundred dollars.

Corporations get free government stimulus money. Why can’t everyday Kansans?

BY: - December 1, 2023

In 2022, corporations received billions in subsidies at state and local levels across the United States. In fact, it was “a uniquely expensive year for corporate welfare” as state governments dished out “a decade’s worth of billion-dollar subsidy deals into less than a single year.” Do corporations really need the money? Given record corporate profits […]

Thanksgiving Cornucopia

As seasons change, enjoy the bounties of a poetry harvest. Words nourish us with sensation, memory.

BY: - November 30, 2023

In my first year as a poet laureate for the state of Kansas, I’ve visited numerous towns and communities to talk about poetry. Often, I am reading poems or discussing the importance of good questions, but one of my favorite things to share with others is the similarity between food and poetry. Food and poetry […]

Nurses station in busy hospital

COVID and cold and flu, oh my! Winter sickly season has arrived in Kansas, so look out for yourself

BY: - November 29, 2023

I write to you this morning through an apathetic fog of mild illness. No, the illness doesn’t appear to be COVID-19, at least according to repeated tests construed via intrusive nasal swab. Given my receipt of a booster late last month, I’m well-protected against that virus for the time being. More likely I’m fending off […]

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly addresses a Medicaid expansion rally at the Statehouse on March 15, 2023.

We have a mental health crisis in Kansas — it’s time to expand Medicaid

BY: - November 28, 2023

Earlier this year, Mental Health America released its annual mental health rankings by state. They placed Kansas last in the nation. Let that sink in — last, out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. Although this is disappointing news, we’ve come together before to make progress. In 2021, Kansas became the first state […]

Gov. Laura Kelly touted a new design for Kansas license plates saturated in wheat-colored yellow and announced the plan for eradicating older. peeling embossed tags during 2024. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Department of Revenue image)

Face it, Kansas: Our new license plate design looks slapdash and dull. Surely we can do better.

BY: - November 27, 2023

Beauty, as the poets say, is in the eye of the beholder. Except when it comes to the design of new Kansas license plates. Those things are ugly as sin. And not the fun sins like lust and gluttony, but the nasty ones like avarice and wrath. Rep. Brandon Woodard, a Lenexa Democrat, spoke for […]

A time exposure at the Lower Fox Creek School at the National Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

As the year burns to a close, be unafraid to ponder hard questions. Answers may be in the asking.

BY: - November 26, 2023

There’s a little candle in a glass jar on the table where Kim and I have just finished our Thanksgiving dinner. The flame flutters as she clears some plates, and the room is suffused with the subtle aroma of spiced apples, just as promised on the candle’s package. It’s a cheerful touch that unexpectedly becomes […]

Kids jump on a trampoline as steam rises from a coal power plant

Pollution from coal plants contributes to far more deaths than scientists realized, study shows

BY: - November 25, 2023

Air pollution particles from coal-fired power plants are more harmful to human health than many experts realized, and it’s more than twice as likely to contribute to premature deaths as air pollution particles from other sources, new research demonstrates. In the study, published in the journal Science, colleagues and I mapped how U.S. coal power plant emissions […]