The pieces in this section are generally written by members of the Lawrence community and those who have close ties. In addition, the Times is offering some space for area organizations and organizers to provide updates and attempt to reach other folks who might share their mission.
The Lawrence Times does not publish staff editorials (unsigned opinion columns, usually about the topics we cover, that many news publications run).
Want to submit a letter or column to the Times? Great! Click here to find out how.
Melody Alexander: School closures are not an equitable answer (Column)
”Equity resides in the community we’ve built for these children. And that equity was a priority because of these schools’ walls, where they feel the safety and security they deserve,” Melody Alexander writes in this column.
Ashley All: Lawmakers are ignoring Kansas voters, interfering in our private medical decisions (Column)
”Back in August, I could not have envisioned the extreme overreach that legislators would attempt during the 2023 legislative session,” Ashley All writes in this Kansas Reflector column.
Clay Wirestone: Emporia State demands ransom for public records. You deserve to know what they’re hiding. (Column)
”We asked Emporia State University a simple question. After breaking the law in responding to us, the school now wants a preposterous ransom to answer it,” Clay Wirestone writes in this Kansas Reflector column.
Dot Nary: Despite Kansas state rep’s view, disabled people will not ‘rot at home’ (Column)
”Rep. Sean Tarwater, a Stilwell Republican, described some of his constituents as ’people who really can’t do anything … they will rot at home.’ … I want to address the prejudicial attitude revealed in his statement and his stereotypical and outdated view of some of the people he was elected to represent: disabled people,” Dot Nary writes in this column.
Tom Harper: Smith Hall demolition is on hold for now, but the building is still endangered (Column)
”The University of Kansas last year placed Smith Hall on a list of 12 buildings deemed obsolete, ’demolition ready,’ and likely to be razed in fiscal year 2023. Those plans have changed, but the fight is not over,” Tom Harper writes in this column.
Eric Thomas: Bill Self’s illness reminds us how much he has accomplished as Kansas head coach (Column)
”The University of Kansas men’s basketball team and its fans face the prospect of entering the postseason with head coach Bill Self away from the bench. It’s a striking absence — hopefully temporary — for a program that has been defined by its head coach,” Eric Thomas writes in this Kansas Reflector column.
LETTERS TO THE TIMES
Letter to the Times: Closing Broken Arrow would compound systemic issues
”(The Lawrence school board’s) vote to hold a hearing on closing Broken Arrow Elementary School is a great disappointment and a clear testament that the winds of prejudice are still blowing across the land,” a group of community members write in this letter to the Times.
Letter to the Times: We can prevent more deaths of unhoused community members
”Those of us who care about Lawrence and who care about the state of our society must come together to help unhoused people,” Nancy Snow writes in this letter to the Times.
Letter to the Times: Legislators are exploring child care deregulation; here’s what the community should know
”Not only does SB 282 ignore the real factors contributing to the child care crisis in Kansas, but it also ignores the valuable investments state agencies and communities have made to overcome the root problems with our child care system,” Chavis Lickvar-Armstrong writes in this letter to the Times.
Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners: Water gardening – mini to magnificent (Column)
Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners are pleased to provide a free, one-day workshop on water gardening with Kelly Billing this weekend.
Educate Lawrence invites public participation in state legislation (Column)
”Committees are working on more than 20 bills affecting school funding that will soon be up for votes by the Kansas House or Senate. Educate Lawrence is working closely with school board members and parent groups to bring awareness to the Lawrence community,” Elizabeth Garrett Christensen writes in this column.
Community Children’s Center: If only they came with a manual (Column)
”The longest drive of my life was the 30-minute drive with my wife and newborn son home from the hospital in Topeka. … They give you some basic instruction at the hospital, but after that, you’re on your own,” Will Averill writes in this column from the Children’s Community Center.
FROM THE STACKS
Note: Staff members at the Lawrence Public Library write blog posts about books, bookish things and other media. The Times is reposting some of those blogs in this feature, From the Stacks. Find many other blog posts, titles referenced in these posts and much more on the library’s website, lplks.org.
From the Stacks: What I learned about tardigrades, aka ‘water bears’
Tardigrades “have inched their way into the public imagination in recent years. For one thing, they are cute as heck, especially for a microscopic creature that doesn’t really have a face,” Dan Coleman writes in this piece for the Lawrence Public Library.
From the Stacks: Green spaces of Douglas County
“I thought I would write up and share a few of my favorite off-the-beaten-path corners of Douglas County,” Dan Coleman writes.
From the Stacks: Goodbye storytime, hello book club
Angela Hyde writes about the benefits and bonding experience of starting a book club with tweens and teens.