Opinion

Virgil Peck, as he appears in a campaign video on his Facebook page.

This Kansas Senate candidate can’t apologize enough

BY: - July 31, 2020

It’s been almost a decade since Virgil Peck first apologized. “Looks like to me, if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem,” Peck, then a state representative from southeast Kansas, said during a legislative committee hearing back in March 2011. This made national news. “He […]

Linda Mason, left, has frequently advocated on her mother’s behalf after encountering issues in nursing facilities.

Kansans in care facilities have a right to visitors — it’s time to give them a voice

BY: - July 30, 2020

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. Mitzi E. McFatrich is the executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care. We see the images — older adults in beds and wheelchairs, separated by […]

In his video "Transathletes: Unfair to our children," Kris Kobach demonstrates his skills at archery, "one of the very, very few sports, in which men and women, boys and girls, can compete on a completely equal footing."

Hey, Kobach and Marshall: By attacking trans people, you hurt Kansas

BY: - July 29, 2020

Kris Kobach made his name by punching down. He rose to prominence by targeting undocumented immigrants, one of the least powerful groups of people in this country. Over the summer, increasingly abandoned by his party in the race for Pat Roberts’ U.S. Senate seat, Kobach threw punches at an even less-powerful group: transgender people. In […]

A child at a Douglas county child care center pauses to have their temperature taken at the front door. (Submitted by Kansas Action for Children)

Kansans must ask leaders to support child care

BY: - July 28, 2020

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. John Wilson is president of Kansas Action for Children. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Kansas and the nation, all eyes are on the K-12 education […]

Former WDAF chief meteorologist and current Kansas Sen. Mike Thompson in a video announcing why he has formed a nonprofit called the Academy for Climate and Energy Analysis. (Screenshot)

Weather alert — smoke blowing in this Kansas Senate race

BY: - July 27, 2020

Late July is the traditional forecasting season in Kansas: Trying to predict which brand of Republican, conservative or “moderate,” will win the party’s primary on the first Tuesday of August. The game is less fun since actual moderate Republicans are as threatened as lesser prairie chickens. But this year, a couple of primaries stand out. […]

We need to see more names and faces of Kansans lost to COVID-19

BY: - July 26, 2020

When Fern Chester Meek, a 22-year-old former high school teacher from Coffey County, Kansas, succumbed to the pandemic, the pain his community felt was heartbreaking. A local paper reported that the last time Meek had visited Lebo, he’d umpired a baseball game. Another piece recalled that he’d been active in debate in high school and […]

Kansas rivers provide recreation

One way to find peace in the time of COVID-19: Discover a Kansas River

BY: - July 25, 2020

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. Jessica Mounts is executive director for the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams. In the spring of 2004, I stood chest-deep in the Arkansas River in […]

Kansas school board member tutors Zoom hostages on dangerous voting

BY: - July 24, 2020

Here’s a textbook case, Kansas, on what happens when people don’t pay enough attention to down-ballot elections. It happened a little after an hour into Wednesday’s meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education, whose members were deciding whether to approve Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order delaying the start of public and private school instruction […]

Members of the Kansas State Board of Education meet via video conference Wednesday to consider the governor's order delaying the opening of public schools until after Labor Day. (Screenshot of Kansas State Board of Education virtual meeting)

Attention Kansas leaders: Here is mental health help from the state’s most famous psychologist

BY: - July 23, 2020

Facing a horrifying midsummer surge of coronavirus cases, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly wanted to delay the start of the school year for three weeks. It seemed reasonable. Everyone wants things to get back to normal. Parents want to send their kids back to school. Teachers want to be back with their students. Maybe even some […]

Blanca Soto and Tammy West share information about the 2020 census during an event in February at Eryn's Downtown Center in Dodge City. (Kansas Appleseed)

COVID-19 adds another barrier to census effort in southwest Kansas

BY: - July 22, 2020

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. Blanca Soto is southwest Kansas campaign director at Kansas Appleseed. For most households, completing the 2020 census is quick and easy. But for some it isn’t, […]

At the Kansas Capitol, progress always comes with pain

BY: - July 21, 2020

There’s this beautiful thing that sometimes happens at the Kansas Capitol. A group of people will stop in front of some striking piece of art, and a tour guide will tell them a story. They’re usually kids on field trips or elders, perhaps with an RV parked outside. They look enraptured. “It’s an awe-inspiring building,” […]

From left, Kansas Reflector's founding team members are reporter Noah Taborda, senior reporter Tim Carpenter, opinion editor C.J. Janovy and editor in chief Sherman Smith. (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

I was on front lines, and sidelines, of pandemic coverage. Now, I’m living the dream.

BY: - July 21, 2020

At the height of an unprecedented health crisis, I found myself on the sidelines. I knew somebody who knew somebody, and before I knew it, I had accepted an offer for my dream job — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch a nonprofit news organization dedicated to serving the people of Kansas.