Byzantine checkout process at retail, restaurants, drives this Kansas opinion editor to distraction

BY: - May 29, 2023

I went to a big box on Saturday to buy three items: a USB flash drive, a bottle of Sprite and a bag of Twin Snakes gummies. Finding the items took mere seconds. Completing the purchase, on the other hand, took what felt like ages. Civilizations rose and fell in the time it took to […]

Grim realities of Kansas generations past collide with climate crisis facing us all today

BY: - May 28, 2023

When I was growing up, I remember my parents heading off to visit the graves of family members at this time of year, taking flowers to set alongside headstones. I usually chose not to go with them, seeing it as something relevant to older folks, but not to me. Now I wish I would have […]

The U.S. men’s national soccer team warms up before a friendly match against the national team of Uruguay on June 5, 2022, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Eric Thomas)

Adding one twist to our sports leagues would bring manic tension for fans of struggling teams

BY: - May 27, 2023

Springtime as a Kansas City sports fan has been more rain than sunshine this year. Kansas City Royals fans have known heartbreak. The team’s record has earned them a place at the bottom of their division. As the Boys in Blue seek a new stadium deal, they have failed to compete, losing three games in […]

Farmers face soaring risk of flash droughts in every major food-growing region, new research shows

BY: and - May 26, 2023

Flash droughts develop fast, and when they hit at the wrong time, they can devastate a region’s agriculture. They’re also becoming increasingly common as the planet warms. In a new study published May 25, 2023, we found that the risk of flash droughts, which can develop in the span of a few weeks, is on pace to rise in every major agriculture […]

Want to practice martial arts? Make sure you don’t sign your life away.

BY: - May 25, 2023

I stood still, trembling in fear, as I watched the individual swiftly move around me through my peripheral vision. I was struck in the head by their fist. They didn’t stop the move or back away, and I suffered a second blow to the head. I felt myself falling and felt my head hit the […]

Adam Peters testifies via video on Feb. 1, 2023, before a legislative committee.

Revelations of religious zealotry infiltrating Kansas politics raise alarms near and far

BY: - May 24, 2023

Kansas Reflector’s comprehensive series on religion in public life keeps making waves. Throughout the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen multiple news outlets pick up our reporting for their audiences. Politicians have taken note. Those at the center of the story have pushed back. In all cases, readers can see why compelling, fact-based journalism makes […]

A new survey of Kansas child-care facilities reveals lingering financial, personnel challenges of COVID-19 pandemic that advocates say pushing system to the brink. (Getty Images)

For an example of inclusive and caring community in Kansas, just look back 60 years

BY: - May 23, 2023

In Sherman Smith’s recent article, “Church and state: Kansas Republicans target ’eminently exploitable’ LGBTQ community,” a nurse from Wiley Elementary School was quoted saying: “At the high school, they’re allowing kids to identify as cats and provided them litter boxes.” This was part of a “serious” conversation about transgender youth during a Republican meeting. The […]

Religious bullies in Kansas politics fantasize about being victims of the left. Don’t fall for it.

BY: - May 22, 2023

The epic church and state series published last week by Kansas Reflector shocked and surprised me. Sure, I understood the radical agenda and anti-democratic goals of religious extremists in my beloved state. But I hadn’t appreciated the way a group of fervent bullies — folks wanting to drive people with different beliefs out of the […]

Kansas faces grim spike in train-pedestrian deaths. We can do more than label victims ‘trespassers’

BY: - May 21, 2023

At age 85, John Speece was using a walker the afternoon of May 4 to cross the triple railway tracks on Commercial Street in downtown Emporia. He was struck and killed by an eastbound BNSF freight, one of 80 trains that pass through the city day and night, at speeds of up to 40 mph. […]

Close-up of bartender serving beers at bar

Craft breweries are fermenting change, addressing local ills while serving local ales

BY: - May 20, 2023

Some scholars say beer and wine — and fermentation in general — helped develop civilization and shaped culture and landscapes over millennia. Today, craft breweries, which are by definition small and independent and thus focus their production on innovative, small-scale methods rather than industrialized, mass-produced ones, are still playing that role. They are increasingly prominent players in America’s […]

From fellow conservative states, here’s a model for Kansas to protect kids from social media

BY: - May 19, 2023

After a day of skiing in December, my then-13-year-old son made a pitch to me while we were sitting in a hot tub in Colorado. Surrounded by knee-deep snow, he asked if I would let him have his first social media app, SnapChat.  The price? He was willing to run a lap around the house […]

Construction has already begun on the Panasonic electric vehicle battery production plant in Desoto, Kansas. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Acceptance, not land restrictions, will guarantee Kansas success in the future

BY: - May 18, 2023

The announcement, groundbreaking and construction of the Panasonic plant in De Soto is a transformative event for Kansas, painting a pathway for the future. Our state has been the beneficiary of fantastic financial news that will change the look of our population and makeup of our industries, while attracting new residents. We can already see […]