Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five lists of five for Aug. 24, 2014…
1. Five things that probably should go away soon…
Ice Bucket Water Challenge - Yes, it goes without saying pouring ice water over one’s head is extremely funny and goes to a great cause, but after viewing 2,426,213 videos on Facebook and this site, it’s time to move on to something else.
Ferguson Mo. – I’m sure there are lessons to be learned here, but I can’t help but think if CNN and Fox News wasn’t there, rioting would have ended long ago.
Detroit Tigers – They are standing in the way of the Kansas City Royals making their first playoff performance in 30 years. It’s almost September and football is about to start, and yet I find myself nervous about baseball.
The summer heat - Oh, I shouldn’t complain because it has been a cool summer. But the 100 degree days which hit this week simultaneously with the start of the fall sports season has been a true bummer.
ISIS – Oh, them. International terrorism appears to be on the upswing. It just feels like something bad is going to happen soon. Maybe we are paying enough attention to prevent another 911 this time.
2. Five things that made Max Bretches cool…
Sumner Newscow note — The following is a guest editorial written by Tracy Heath, Wellington Police Chief. If you wish to submit a guest editorial or letter to the editor for Sunday, send it to email@example.com.
By Tracy Heath, WPD Chief — You Drink. You Drive. You Lose.
If you or someone you know occasionally drives after drinking alcohol be warned that during the period, August 15 through Labor Day, September 2, there will be additional enforcement of Kansas drunk driving and other traffic laws as Wellington Police Department participates in a crackdown with almost 150 other local police agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol to educate about impaired driving and remove impaired drivers from the roadways. Known as You Drink. You Drive. You Lose., the crackdown is underwritten by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).
It is not uncommon in Kansas for 61 persons to be injured and 3 persons killed every day on Kansas roads in alcohol-related crashes. According to KDOT, if you are involved in such a crash – in any capacity – you are 2 1/2 times more likely to be injured and 4 1/2 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than if you are involved in a crash in which alcohol is not determined to be a factor. The ratio of death to injury in alcohol-related crashes is almost four times higher than the death to injury ratio for non-alcohol related crashes.
I want this enforcement to remind drivers of several things:
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014…
1. Low voter turnout…
It was a rather strange election. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ruling that put limitations on campaign finance it allowed politicians the ability to spend as much money as they so pleased. That’s why you saw a campaign commercial nearly every moment touting the joys of one candidate over the evils of the other, who loves Obamacare.
Yet for all the bombastic rhetoric, voters basically shrugged their shoulders. Only 19 percent in Sumner County registered voters made it to the polls. It wasn’t much difference elsewhere.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure myself whether I would go to the polls, and only cast a vote, because I was at the election booth doing a story on election turnout.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council had an interesting topic at its Tuesday work session.
The council is starting the city manager hiring search, which might have started that night since a 45-plus minute executive session (closed meeting) was called to discuss non-elected personnel. I don’t know that for sure. I wasn’t privy to the closed meeting.
But before the executive session there was a 20 minute discussion on how the council should conduct the city manager job interviews. Some readers on this website feel the interviews should be conducted in open session. Wellington Mayor Roger Stallbaumer brought the issue up wondering if the council had any legal authority to do conduct open interviews.
City Attorney Mike Brown said the city has no obligation to conduct any of the interviews in public. He did say the city can place the names of the candidates out there for public consumption when the search gets whittled down to a select few candidates.
He said one town in the vicinity did a similar tactic and he said he was aware of four other names who were vying for the Wellington City Manager position when Gus Collins was hired in 2006. He couldn’t recall if the public knew those names though.
For the record, Sumner Newscow has never suggested the city manager interviews should be conducted in open session. Am I against it? Absolutely not. I advocate open government and those open interviews would make a great news story.
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Listed below are the three most hotly contested races in next week’s Kansas State Primary. Sumner Newscow is conducting a straw poll on the races where there is opposition:
•The Republican primary battle in Sumner County District 3 between incumbent Cliff Bales of Oxford and challenger Jason Boyd of South Haven;
•The 80th State Representative District Republican race between incumbent Kasha Kelley of Arkansas City and challenger Andrew Lawson of Arkansas City;
•The U.S. House Fourth District Republican primary race between Mike Pompeo and Todd Tiahrt. The polls listed below are not scientific, but have proven to be a reliable barometer of the general mood of the electorate going into election booth. Use this information at your discretion.
In order to make this information as accurate as possible, we urge you to vote only in the polls for those that appear on your ballot next Tuesday or with advanced voting. Maps for the District 3 Commissioners race and the 80th District State Representative race are featured below with the poll question.
We will be featuring a District 3 Commissioner forum on Friday.
Polls in Sumner County are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Information about voting locations are as follows:
By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Third District Sumner County Commissioner Republican Primary will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Incumbent Cliff Bales of Oxford is being challenged by Jason Boyd of South Haven. Only voters in Sumner County’s third district will be voting in this race. The third district is in white in the maps below. Please vote in this straw poll if you are a registered Republican living in the third district and plan on voting on Tuesday.
Click for larger image of Commissioner District Sumner County Map here
Click for larger image of Commissioner District Wellington map here
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The U.S. District 4 Representative Republican Primary will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Incumbent Mike Pompeo is being challenged by Todd Tiahrt. All voters in Sumner County will be voting in this race. Please vote in this straw poll if you are a registered Republican and plan on voting on Tuesday.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for July 27, 2014…
You may have noticed Sumner Newscow ran a little slow last week. That’s because SN headquarters along with my daughter and a friend took off to California for a few days.
There’s a lot to like about California. The weather, the beautiful women, the food.
Trouble is, now that I have returned home, I need a second job – because I was most certainly fleeced.
For example, I checked into a hotel near Disneyland last week and while the room was well beyond triple figures – the city of Anaheim and the state of California knocked on an 18 percent lodging tax on the bill… Eighteen percent!!!
We spent a day at Disneyland where they say all your dreams come true. Yeah, I believe them. I’m having nightmares about next month’s credit card bill.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I believe Lebron James.
James is coming back to the Cleveland Cavaliers after a four-year stint with the Miami Heat. He gives his reasons here.
There’s plenty of cynicism out there — James is self serving, he is just piecing another dream team together in Cleveland, that the guy is being disingenuous.
But I think he’s telling the truth. He wants to come home to prove something to himself.
Why do I feel that way? Because I went through the same thing a few years back.
I remember the day I left the Wellington Daily News the first time in 2002 – not really by choice. I was mad and determined to take my family and split. There was nothing else left here to accomplish. I had an enemies list a mile long, I hated the school, I hated the town. I had worn out my welcome.
The following is an editorial written in the Clay Center Dispatch. Former State Representative Vince Wetta sent this to Sumner Newscow wishing for its publication:
A new Kansas law requires county treasurers to turn over the 20 mills property tax revenue they collect for local schools to the Kansas treasurer for distribution.
Many legislators were not aware of the provision, buried in a bill dealing with mineral severance taxes and oil and gas depletion funds, until after it passed. Yet it represents a power grab by the state that should be of concern to their constituents.
Now for the first time, Clay County Treasurer Christine Swaim will send at least $1.3 million in property tax revenue to the state instead of directly to USD 379. The district also receives general state aid in addition to the property tax revenue.
Republican leaders, who hustled the provision through a conference committee without general debate, said the change is necessary to establish an audit trail they say is required by the recent Supreme Court order on school finance, an excuse attorney John Robb, who represents school districts in the state, termed as ridiculous.
To the Editor,
The Sumner County Farm Bureau wants our fellow Kansans to know the Environmental Protection Agency is attempting an unprecedented federal land grab that will hurt Kansas businesses and damage our fragile state economy.
The EPA has proposed a rule that would allow it and the Army Corps of Engineers to use the federal Clean Water Act to dictate how landowners use their land. Currently, the Clean Water Act only applies to “navigable” waters. That is how Congress wrote it, and that is how the Supreme Court has said it should be in two different rulings. The proposed rule oversteps that boundary.
The proposal says most bodies of water that run into a river or lake would be under the EPA’s power. This includes farm ditches, flood control levees or golf course ponds. It even includes low spots that only hold water after it rains. The EPA doesn’t care if those small bodies of water are on private property. It still wants to regulate them.
Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The other day I discovered Netflix live streaming.
Some of you are smirking. Cueball just joined the 21st Century. But I also know a few of you are a bit befuddled wondering what the heck I’m talking about.
It’s not like I didn’t know about Netflix and all its wonderful soul-sucking traits. My kids have been live streaming for years. My only relationship to Netflix was paying the monthly fee for their entertainment. Which is fine. I’m an ATM machine for my teenage kids. I know my place.
Anyway, the other day, my daughter came up to me and said we needed Apple TV for the living room so we could live stream on the big TV. I resisted at first. I never understood the appeal of Netflix since I don’t like watching movies on my computer, because being on a computer is what I do for a living.
But, of course, I eventually relented. I am my teenagers’ slave… and ATM machine. I ordered the box and to my surprise it came in a size of a wallet and even with my feeble technological knowledge I was about to connect the recommended wires.
Then something happened. I got hooked.