Opinion

Billionaires slipped the surly bonds of Earth, but couldn’t escape its problems

BY: - July 24, 2021

Billionaire space cowboys Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have rightfully been taking some flak for sub-orbital jaunts earlier this month that garnered plenty of headlines but little in the way of actual scientific advancement, apart from trying to normalize the idea of routine spaceflight for other exceptionally rich people. With all the power of the […]

Audio Astra: Concerns for workers, unvaccinated patients, bird bureaucracy

BY: - July 23, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Listening to podcasts from around the state provides some unexpected connections from week to week and from one podcast to another. This week, those […]

Designation of lesser prairie chicken must consider landowner needs

BY: - July 22, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Shawna Bethell is a freelance essayist/journalist covering the people and places of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. I never thought much about the lesser prairie chicken, or […]

My daughter is enrolled in Pfizer’s vaccine trial because I don’t trust COVID

BY: - July 21, 2021

On a sunny Wednesday a little over a month ago, my 7-year-old daughter bravely held my hand as we walked into Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to participate in a pediatric vaccine trial. After a numbing agent, a blood draw and a nasal swab, she was finally injected with either a placebo or the first […]

What this artist discovered about green spaces during the pandemic

BY: - July 20, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Barbara Waterman-Peters is a Topeka-based award-winning artist. This article is adapted from remarks she gave to the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Foundation’s Wilder Society […]

Why the electric vehicle revolution may never happen in Kansas

BY: and - July 19, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. David Clement is the North American affairs manager with the Consumer Choice Center. Elizabeth Hicks is the U.S. affairs analyst with the Consumer Choice Center. One […]

The Chase County Courthouse is a Kansas icon. The jail in its shadow is a disgrace.

BY: - July 18, 2021

If you’ve ever strolled downtown in Cottonwood Falls, you’ll remember the charming courthouse perched on the square at the south end of the brick street. Charming is not a word I use often, but there’s no doubt about it: The Chase County Courthouse is downright charming. With its local limestone walls, red mansard roof and […]

From flying boats to secret Soviet weapons to alien visitors — a brief cultural history of UFOs

BY: - July 17, 2021

On June 25, 2021, the U.S. government released a nine-page preliminary report on UFOs, or, as it is now calling them, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs. The report is the latest notable event in what has been a renaissance for UFOs in recent years. Greg Eghigian is a historian of science at Penn State University […]

Audio Astra: Saving the planet, home to vultures, combatting COVID-19

BY: - July 16, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Reporting on climate change is a staple in coastal areas, but the topic emerged a few times this week in the audio reporting in […]

Why the mother of a woman who killed her rapist isn’t happy with an ‘extraordinary’ settlement

BY: - July 15, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Michelle Gonzales, 53, is a native Topekan and a graduate of Topeka High School. I am the of mother of Sarah Gonzales-McLinn, the 19-year-old woman who […]

What we learned from Northern Cheyenne men held captive in Dodge City in 1879

BY: and - July 14, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Denise Low and Ramon Powers are the co-authors of “Northern Cheyenne Ledger Art by Fort Robinson Breakout Survivors,” a 2021 Kansas Notable Book.  In January, 1879, […]

Kansas heritage sites can help save rural communities

BY: - July 13, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Shawna Bethell is a freelance essayist/journalist covering the people and places of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. On a recent trip to Nebraska I decided to find […]