Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Winter Energy Conservation and Assistance

"Old Winter sad in snow yclad,
Is making a doleful din;
But let him howl til he crack his jowl,
We will not let him in!"
~Thomas Noel, "Old Winter"

As the leaves fall from the trees so does the temperature outside creating a need for energy to heat schools, businesses, other buildings and homes. Conserving our energy resources and assisting others in staying warm throughout the winter months are vital tools in keeping "Old Winter" howling outside.

Listed below are links to resources on home energy conservation and energy cost assistance programs:


Kansas State University Extension
(You can find answers to frequently asked questions, publications, and an extensive list of other Web resources in their link library to help answer your home energy questions.)

Winter Storm Preparation Tips
(Provided by NOAA National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, Wichita, Kansas)

10 Ways to Increase Home Energy Efficiency
(Provided by Governor Mark Parkinson)

70 Helpful Energy Conservation Tips of the Home
(Information from KU Center for Sustainability)

Home Energy Checklist for Action
(Provided by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)

Furnace Maintenance
(Lawrence Journal-World article by Julie Anderson on home heating systems)

Weather Star Program
(Information, tips and resources on energy conservation from the U.S. Government)

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency

(Information for children on energy conservation from the US Energy Information Admin.)


Cold Weather Rule
(The Kansas Corporation Commission established the Cold Weather Rule in 1983 to protect human health and safety and to insure that Kansans have residential electric and gas services they need during the winter. The Cold Weather Rule is effective from November 1 through March 31.)

Kansas Low Income Energy Assistance Program
(The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a federally funded program. It helps eligible households pay a portion of their home energy costs by providing a one-time per year benefit.)

Weatherization Assistance Program
(The Weatherization Assistance Program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, provides housing improvements that increase energy efficiency in income-eligible, single- or multi-family dwellings, including manufactured homes. Found on the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation website)

Energy Assistance Agencies
(A list of agencies around the state that may be able to help. Due to limited funds some may not be able to be of assistance. Information provided by the Kansas Gas Service corporation)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection here)
(This article updates an October 3, 2008 post by Kim Harp)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Drop INs

Each school year there are a number of children who are at risk of dropping out of school. Due to circumstances such as needing to work to support the family, disinterest, academic difficulty, absenteeism, or homelessness, students must make difficult decisions regarding whether finishing high school is right for them. The Kansas Drop Ins program from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is looking to address this issue on a multi-level front. This program involves the students, the parents, the community, and businesses in ensuring that students make it through school. Your Kansas and U.S. Governments are offering many choices to help students prepare for the next step in their lives.

Home page of the Kansas Drop-Ins program

Resources offered by the Drop-Ins program

Kansas Statistics relating to drop outs:

You can search for your school district's drop-out rate and many other useful statistics at:

Kansas Kids Count data regarding the drop-out rate

Title I and II and at-risk student program fact sheets

Resources for students struggling with the decision whether to drop out:

Flint Hills Job Corps

YouthBuild- Alternative education that helps youth obtain GED's

Kansas Board of Regents GED site including the testing schedule

Article contact: Kim Harp
(Check out recent additions to our collection here)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Child Abuse

Today, Governor Mark Parkinson announced that, with $934,591 from the State Children's Advocacy Centers Grant Program, child advocacy centers across Kansas will continue to help support young children who have been victims of child abuse.

More than 800,000 children are confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect each year in the U.S. One in every four girls and one in every seven boys will be victims of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.

Across Kansas private and public agencies, institutions and organizations strive to educate, assist, respond to and provide healing to children, their families and communities in an effort to cut these statistics down.

Below are links to information on child abuse, services to abused children, statistical resources and other family services programs.

Governor Parkinson's Announcement

Kansas Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers (KSCAC)
(A statewide non-profit membership association of children’s advocacy centers in Kansas)
Some Resources at the KSCAC website:
--What is a children’s advocacy center?
--Children's Advocacy Centers in Kansas Locator
--Child Abuse Prevention Tips

Kansas Child Protection Services (Kansas SRS)
(Includes contact information for reporting suspected child abuse cases: "If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected in Kansas, please contact the Kansas Protection Report Center (PRC) at 1-800-922-5330. Telephone lines at the Protection Report Center are staffed 24 hours a day. In the event of an emergency contact your local law enforcement or call 911. Every call is taken seriously and every effort will be made to protect your identity.")

A Guide to Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Kansas (Kansas SRS)
(This child abuse and neglect booklet is intended to help both individuals who are required by law to report child abuse and interested citizens.)

Child Abuse Pamphlet
(Easy to print pamphlet on identifying and reporting child abuse in Kansas. Also includes contact information on counseling services.)

Kansas Family Preservation Services (Kansas SRS)
(Intensive, well-designed early care and education for infants, toddlers and young children enrich children’s early experiences and provide critical support to their families.)

Kansas Kids Count Data
(Access profiles for many Kansas locations; rankings, maps, or trend graphs by topic; and raw data. Includes over 100 measures of child well-being.)

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
--Resources and Hotlines

Child Welfare League of America
Online Statistics:
--Kansas's Children 2009

U.S. Child Welfare Information Gateway
(Nationwide overview, legal definitions, abuse/neglect identification & reporting, prevalence, statistics, perpetrator characteristics, risk & protective factors, characteristics of parents or caretakers, families, children, and communities that increase risk or promote safe and supportive families and resilience in children, and impacts or abuse and neglect)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection here)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Interim and the Legislature

Even though your Kansas legislators are not currently in session does not mean that they are not working. Interim, or the months between sessions, is a time in which the Legislature does much of its work. Your Senators and Representatives are busy at home learning the wishes and desires of their constituents. Many legislators serve on task forces assigned by the Governor druing the interim. But there is more work than that to be done.

What is not widely known is the volume of the legislature's work takes place between sessions in interim committee meetings. Because the action of the legislative session flies by in 90 days, most of the discussion, negotiation, and research of the issues must take place well before the 2010 legislative session begins. Just before the start of session in January, the interim committees will produce reports to the legislature to utilize in the formation of new legislation.

If you wish to learn what is being worked on currently, there are online tools to help you:

You can find the list of interim committees, what is on their agenda, and the committee members at

You can see this month's interim committee schedule at

You can find minutes of interim committees at

You can find a calendar of interim meetings at

An index of interim reports from 1934-2005 is available at

If you have any questions about the legislature or about interim, you are welcome to call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-432-3924 or you may Ask a Librarian.

Article contact: Kim Harp
(Check out recent additions to our collection here)