Archive for March 7th, 2009

NY Times: Son’s Death Recasts Image of a British Leader

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

NY Times:

LONDON — Ivan Cameron was just 6, a boy with a lovely smile who was born with cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy that deprived him of the ability to walk, talk or feed himself. He spent much of his time in the hospital, sometimes with his parents sleeping on the floor beside him, helping care for their “beautiful boy.”

JCCC plans day for administrative professionals

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


Story by Peggy Graham

JCCC plans day for administrative professionals

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Center for Business and Technology at Johnson County Community College will host its 21st Annual Administrative Professionals Day from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at the Ritz Charles, 9000 W. 137th St., Overland Park.

JCCC trustees change retreat date

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


Written 2/20/09

Story by Julie Haas

JCCC trustees change retreat date

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College board of trustees’ retreat originally scheduled for March 7 will now take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 28 in room 270 of the Regnier Center.

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Sherry Jones and Mike Ning share love of music

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


News at a Glance:
Who: Sherry Jones/Mike Ning Trio
What: Jazz Series
When: noon Tuesday, March 24
Where: Recital Hall of Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College
Cost: Free and open to the public
Info: 913-469-8500, ext. 3605

Story by Peggy Graham

Sherry Jones and Mike Ning share love of music

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Jazz pianist Mike Ning and vocalist Sherry Jones perform with drummer Victor Perelmuter at noon Tuesday, March 24, in the Recital Hall of the Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, as part of the 2009 Jazz Series. The Jazz Series, featuring Kansas City musicians, is free and open to the public.

Ning and Jones, husband and wife, have performed regularly in Kansas City jazz venues and toured extensively throughout the United States and China. Together they have recorded several CDs.

Ning was born in Shanghai, China, but raised in Thailand and the United States. He is labeled “a lyrical piano player.” Jones, a native of Kansas City, sings a variety of styles from bop to ballads and is known for her fluid vocal stylings. Together they bring out the best of jazz standards.
Perelmuter has been a jazz musician since the 1960s, when he played professionally in Poland. In 1998, he relocated to Kansas City and currently plays with Ning and Jones.

The spring 2009 Jazz Series concludes with the Bill Crain Quartet at noon Tuesday, March 31, in Polsky Theatre.The series is cosponsored by the JCCC music departments, Community Services and the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts. Seating is available first-come, first-served.
For information, call 913-469-8500, ext. 3605.


Habitat news

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From Habitat:

Meg Potts, HFHMGC – 228-314-0011 Ext. 315, cell: 228-243-5981,
Mary Kay Wright, NHL – 212-789-2157, cell: 917-648-4415,
Michelle Stajan, NHLPA – 416-313-2302, cell: 647-274-6814,
Brenda Maysonet, Habitat for Humanity International – 404-420-6733,

National Hockey League Players’ Association, National Hockey League and Habitat for Humanity celebrate completion of building effort to aid Gulf Coast hurricane recovery
Build is part of $500,000 hurricane recovery effort in partnership with Habitat for Humanity (more…)

Microsoft on over-paid severance package: ‘Just kidding; keep the money’

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


Microsoft Corp. will let about two dozen laid-off workers who were overpaid severance keep the money, the company’s head of human resources said Monday afternoon. The decision was a quick turn-about for the company, which last week sent letters to some of the 1,400 employees who were laid off in late January, asking them to return some of their severance because of an “administrative error.”

Most of the overpayments were in the $4,000 to $5,000 range … Microsoft overpaid between $100,000 and $125,000. An additional 20 former employees were initially underpaid, but have since been paid what they were owed.more

Bobbie Johnson adds:

Microsoft said that it had mishandled the affair and would no longer be chasing repayment … The gaffe came after 1,400 workers were given their marching orders in January – the first major job cuts in Microsoft’s long history, and part of the software titan’s plan to reduce its staffing levels by 5,000 posts next year. Most employees affected were given a 12-week severance package as part of the deal.

However, news that the company was asking for the excess cash to be returned spread across the internet last weekend, after one letter demanding repayment was published online.

Agenda for the March 9 Planning Commission meeting

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From OP:

Planning Commission

Feb. 26, 2009

Agenda for the March 9 Planning Commission meeting

The Planning Commission will meet at 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive (map). The agenda has been posted to the city’s Web site. **

The public is welcome to attend Planning Commission meetings. If you need accommodations, please contact Leslie Karr, 913/895-6190 (Kansas Relay Service 1-800-766-3777). Please give 48 hours’ notice.

The Online Development Center is available for the public to comment on Planning Commission agenda items, or you may contact the Planner of the Day at 913/895-6217.

Information on other boards and commissions and the City Council agenda also can be found on the city’s Web site,

** This agenda is subject to change. Please check back frequently for updates.

Louis Sheldon Endorses Tim Huelskamp

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From Tim Huelskamp:

National Pro-Family Leader Rev.
Louis Sheldon Endorses Tim Huelskamp March 6, 2009

“This is a crucial time for our nation, and we need leaders who have a clear record we can count on…and Tim Huelskamp is such a leader.”

National Conservative Leader Rev. Louis Sheldon, Chairman of the influential Traditional Values Coalition, announced his endorsement of Senator Tim Huelskamp for Congress…

“I am proud to officially announce my personal endorsement of State Senator Tim Huelskamp for Congress in Kansas’ first district. (more…)

Heritage: D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The Heritage Foundation:

With the 111th Congress scheduled to consider its reauthorization, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP) may be in jeopardy. But a new evaluation highlights how the DCOSP is benefiting families, adding to the reasons why Congress and the Obama Administration should continue this successful program.

Program Background

The DCOSP was passed by Congress in January 2004. The program, which provided more than 1,700 children with scholarships of up to $7,500 in 2008 to attend a private school of their choice, has repeatedly shown improved family satisfaction and increased parental involvement. Since 2004, approximately 7,200 children have applied for spots in the program, or about four applicants for each available scholarship.[1]

The program has served as an alternative for families with children underserved by the D.C. public school system. Although the District spends far above the national per-pupil average ($14,400), D.C. students lag well behind the academic achievement of their peers nationwide, and only slightly more than half of students graduate.[2]

Hoover Institute: Teacher Retirement Benefits

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Hoover Institute:

The vast majority of teacher pension plans are not fully funded. This means that contributions include both the “normal cost” of pension liabilities accruing to current employees and the legacy costs of amortizing unfunded liabilities accrued previously (due to a variety of reasons, including the original pay-as-you go nature of most plans, as well as unfunded benefit enhancements over the years). In theory, if the actuarial assumptions hold true going forward and no new benefits are enacted, the amortization costs will eventually disappear (after 30 years, under a typical funding schedule), in much the same way that a homeowner’s monthly expenses decline when the mortgage gets paid off.


Kraske rallies for Democrats

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The Star’s Steve Kraske is the go-to guy for Democratic talking points in Kansas and Missouri:

On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson, who will succeed Sebelius, said again that he wouldn’t run for governor in 2010.

So much for the party’s best-positioned candidate for that office.

Sebelius spoke for many Democrats last weekend at the party’s annual Washington Days banquet in Topeka.

“I know there’s a lot of angst among some of you tonight, angst about what’s going to happen … in 2010,” she said. “Are we at the edge of a cliff?”

The answer, the governor insisted, is absolutely not. The party holds four of six statewide offices and a congressional seat.

Democrats have rebounded before, she said. In 2001, the party couldn’t pay its bills. The next year, she won governor.

AP: Senate passes coal plants bill

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The AP:


The Senate has pushed a proposal for two coal-fired power plants in western Kansas a step closer to a promised veto by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Senators approved the measure Thursday on a 31-9 vote. It would allow Sunflower Electric Power Corp., based in Hays, to build the two plants near Holcomb in Finney County.

The House has already approved a version of the bill, and the final version will be worked out by House and Senate negotiators.

Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican whose district includes Finney County, said a bill could be ready to send to the governor next week.

This is the second year of jousting between the Republican-controlled Legislature and the Democratic governor over the power plants. Last year, she vetoed three similar bills.

KU women’s team has turned things around

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The Star:

LAWRENCE | The Kansas women’s basketball team was well on its way to following the same tired pattern, and Bonnie Henrickson couldn’t take it anymore.

The Jayhawks had started strong in nonconference play but were suddenly 1-5 in the Big 12, with two of the losses coming to rival Kansas State. It was around that time that Henrickson, KU’s fifth-year coach, threw up her hands in disgust.

“What else can I do?” Henrickson kept asking herself.

Five weeks later, Henrickson can look back on her frustration and smile. The Jayhawks came out of nowhere and won their last four games, highlighted by Wednesday night’s 69-45 victory over No. 5 Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse. The win was KU’s first over a top-10 team in Henrickson’s tenure.

KU’s Morningstar looks for redemption against Texas

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The Star:

LAWRENCE | Fresh off watching Texas Tech’s Alan Voskuil torch his team for 35 points, Kansas coach Bill Self now faces the unwelcome task of figuring out which of his players will guard Texas’ A.J. Abrams.

Self has at least one volunteer.

“I hope I get to guard him,” KU guard Brady Morningstar said. “You know, to try to redeem myself a little bit.”

Morningstar has taken the Jayhawks’ shocking loss to Texas Tech on Wednesday night harder than anyone. He began the night on Voskuil, who proceeded to swish four three-pointers in the first 7 minutes.

Poll: Many Americans Question Fairness of Tax System

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


Americans tend to believe they pay a higher share of their income in taxes than people in other income brackets.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% say people who earn twice as much as they do pay less than twice as much in taxes. At the same time, 37% say those who earn half as much pay less thanhalf as much in taxes.

Only 14% believe those with higher incomes pay a higher share of it in taxes, and only nine percent (9%) believe those with lower incomes do the same.

Democrats are more suspicious of high earners, Republicans of those who earn less.

Recent KU news

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From KU:

Today’s News from the University of Kansas


* KU research finds human emotions hold sway over physical health around the world

Most strikingly, the link between emotion and physical health was strongest in the poorest countries surveyed.

* ‘Jana Mackey Day’ set to honor legacy of slain KU law student

Mackey, who grew up in Hays, spent countless hours volunteering to aid victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

* Kansas Geological Survey wins contract to test new oil production methods

If successful, the new techniques would not only produce more oil but would be more cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly than current production methods. HOMETOWN INTEREST: Marion and Sedgwick counties

* KU names 15 Kansas Asia Scholars for 2009

Students preparing to teach at the elementary or secondary level will spend three weeks in China studying Chinese language, culture and history. HOMETOWNS: Basehor, Clyde, Derby, Dodge City, Garden City, Lawrence, Lenexa, Mission, Olathe, Overland Park and Stilwell, Kan.; Burr Ridge, Ill.; and  Sumner, Wash.


More KU news at
NEW: Multimedia features at (more…)

News from Starlight Theater

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From Starlight:

No Doubt with Paramore
July 6, 2009 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tickets on sale: Saturday, March 7 @ 10 a.m.

Hailing from Orange County, CA, No Doubt emerged in the 1990s as one of the country’s hottest new-wave ska bands. Bolstered by the strength of lead singer Gwen Stefani’s vocals and personality, the group achieved commercial success with breakout singles “Just a Girl,” “Spiderwebs,” and “Don’t Speak.” Stefani launched a solo tour in the early 2000s and grew into superstar status. The reunited group featuring Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young is touring for the first time in four years. (more…)

OP: join a golf league

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From the City of OP:

For Immediate ReIease: March 4, 2009

Join a golf league, make new friends

Overland Park, KS – Grab a friend and make some new ones through our weekday golf leagues.

Leagues are offered at both golf courses: Overland Park and St. Andrews.

These leagues appeal to men and women golfers of all levels. Participants compete against one another in a fun, friendly environment.

Many of these leagues host member/guest tournaments, friendship days and other competitive and fun outings on league play days throughout the season. Golf professionals also provide free clinics to league members.

If you are interested in joining one of the leagues, plan to attend one of the spring meetings. All are held in the Highlands Room at St. Andrews Golf Course, 11099 W. 135th St.:
Tuesday, March 10: 9-hole women’s league at Overland Park, 10 a.m., fees are $22; 18-hole women’s league at St. Andrews, 7 p.m., $35.

Wednesday, March 11: Overland Park and St. Andrews men’s association leagues, 10 a.m., $30.

Thursday, March 12: Adult Par 3 men’s/women’s league at Overland Park, 10 a.m., $25; 9-hole women’s league at St. Andrews, 1 p.m., $20; and 18-hole women’s league at Overland Park, 7 p.m., $35.
For more information, visit the city’s Web site,

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Recent K-State news

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From K-State:

In today’s news from K-State for Monday, March 2, 2009:

The new issue of K-State’s Webzine, Perspectives, spotlights undergraduate research.

K-State undergraduate students have opportunities to work alongside faculty on challenging research projects. For video, photos and text, please visit:

MORE COMING: We anticipate having an additional e-mail later this morning.

1) MANHATTAN interest/ TIMELY: K-State to Observe Asian-American Awareness Month in March

2) President of K-State’s Asian American Student Union Successfully Transitions from The Work Force Back to College (Hometown interest for MANHATTAN and RANDOLPH)

3) MANHATTAN interest/ TIMELY: K-State’s Beach Museum of Art to Have Resource Center Open House for Teachers

Legislative news from Jerry Moran

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

From Jerry Moran:

This Week in Congress

By Congressman Jerry Moran

March 2, 2009

Dear Friend,

Welcome to “This Week in Congress.” I hope you find this newsletter useful.

Visiting with a Kansas Military Hero

This week, I attended the President’s State of the Budget speech. President Obama delivered his speech to a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday night. During his address, the President laid out his economic priorities for the year, which included a focus on energy, education and heath care.

I was honored to have Army Sgt. Ryan Newell as my guest. Sgt. Newell grew up in Goddard, Kansas and has served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year in Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded beneath his armored Humvee. The attack caused Sgt. Newell to lose both legs. For the past 12 months he has been recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and has learned to walk again on prosthetic legs. (more…)