Friday, March 15, 2013

Concealed Carry in Kansas

Weapons and second amendment rights has been a contentious issue all across the United States.   Across the nation, several states have instigated laws that are commonly known as "castle doctrines" or "stand your ground laws."  In Kansas, it is known as the Personal and Family Protection Act.  This week, we provide you with information regarding Federal and Kansas laws and regulations regarding guns and personal safety. 

Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution from the National Archives

National Firearms Act Handbook
Federal Firearms Regulations Reference guide

Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives

State Firearms Laws and Ordinances

Text of Kansas' Concealed Carry Law, also known as the Personal and Family Protection Act, KSA 75-7c01 through 75-7c19

Administrative Regulations regarding the Personal and Family Protection Act, KAR 16-11-1 through 16-11-8,%202012%20KAR%20Supp.pdf

Kansas Attorney General's page to apply for a Concealed Carry License:

List of states that honor and do not honor Kansas Concealed Carry Licenses:

Statistics regarding Concealed Carry Licensure:

Annual Report given to the Governor regarding the Personal and Family Protection Act

Directory of Concealed Carry License instructors for Kansas

Article Contact: Kim Harp 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Climate Change in Kansas

Global warming and climate change are big topics today.  What follows are a list of information sites that pertain to Kansas and to the subject matter in general.  In the years to come this will be a much talked about topics.  We hope you find this information helpful to you, and be sure to use your local library to search further on this topic.

In Kansas:

Climate change in Kansas

Economic Impact of climate change in Kansas.

Saving energy and global warming in Salina.

A list of scholarly article on climate change in Kansas, many of these can be downloaded as pdf files.

You can obtain others by going to your local library.

Kansas and Climate Change by Feddema and Brunsell University of Kansas Dept. of Geography, no date

 Climate change hits home: the risks for Kansas:   

 Lots of graphs and charts on current and future trends.

Here is a large list of general web site that give a wide variety of information on climate change and global warming.
Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Climate Institute

U.S. Global Change Research Program

World Meterological Organization

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Page

PBS NOVA Frontline – What’s Up with the Weather?

U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change

U.S. NOAA Climate Prediction Center

NASA: Destination Earth

Climate Arc (Climate Change Activist Website)

Climate Change Research Library (Worldwatch Institute)

CO2 Science Magazine

World Wildlife Fund: Climate

U.S. EPA Energy Star Program

U.S. Geological Survey

Union of Concerned Scientists

Article author and contact: Tom Roth

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kansas Elections

After a sweltering summer it’s finally late October and election season is upon us. It’s also a Leap Year, which means stakes are particularly high – the state of Kansas will be voting on all of its state and US representatives, all of its state senators, as well as many judges, State Board of Education members, district attorneys, and of course President of the United States.

The Kansas Office of the Secretary of State administers elections in Kansas and they have done an excellent job at providing detailed but easily accessible election information to the Kansas public. Much of their website is geared to the concerned and curious voter and can be found here:

Kansas Office of the Secretary of State

As an executive level state office, the Secretary of State is nonpartisan, meaning voters who wish to find their candidates’ positions on issues need to look elsewhere.
In Kansas, voter registration is suspended 21 days before an election and resumes afterwards, meaning those who have not yet registered in Kansas will have to sit out the Nov. 6th election and then register to be eligible to vote in future polls.

However, on the day following the general election, November 7th, voter registration will resume. County election offices usually make official voter registration forms available at banks, schools, libraries, and government offices.  Forms are also online and can be printed, filled out, and mailed to your county election office. Faxed and electronically submitted forms are not accepted by the State of Kansas. Voter registration forms are also available in Spanish.
Modern society is mobile and many people are relatively new to their neighborhoods and may not always be clear where they go to vote. The Secretary of State directs voters to contact their County Election Officer who can then tell them where their local polling station is. Information on how to contact your County Election Officer can be found on the Secretary of State’s FAQ page:
KSSOS FAQ Elections

 Many of us consider ourselves educated about our elected representatives at the federal level, as well as concerned and opinionated about the direction of state public policy. However it is not uncommon for even concerned citizens to be unsure of who their district’s elected state officials are on an individual level until it is time to vote. If this is the case, the following link may be helpful:

KU Institute for Policy & Social Research

 From this web page you can enter your county and street address to find out what your various districts are and which officials currently represent you in state government.
One issue that will be on the Kansas ballot that is infrequent is a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution, specifically Article 11, Section 1. The Kansas Legislature can propose Constitutional amendments by passing a concurrent resolution; by law it must then go to the public as a referendum to be approved or rejected. The proposed amendment, House Concurrent Resolution 5017, concerns property taxation.  Presently “watercraft” in Kansas such as boats are taxed the same as other forms of property; the amendment to be voted on is whether or not to make watercraft a separate category of taxable property. The amendment in its entirety will be printed on the ballot verbatim; fortunately it is Kansas law to have an explanatory statement in lay terms visible at the polling place when proposed Constitutional amendments are addressed.

For those who would like to learn more about the specifics of the election season calendar in Kansas, you can also find that at the Secretary of State’s website. Even if you are already prepared with your election plans, it makes for some interesting reading:

 Secretary of State 2012-2013 Election Calendar
Article contact: Brian Herder

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fire Prevention Week October 7-13, 2012

The Great Chicago Fire of October 8 and 9, 1871 destroyed more than 17,400 structures and claimed at least 250 lives.  In addition to the obvious effects on the city of Chicago, the fire also changed the way people saw fire safety. 

Forty years later, the Fire Marshals Association of North America suggested observing the anniversary of the Chicago Fire as a reminder to the pubic of the importance of fire prevention.  Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation in 1920, and Calvin Coolidge expanded that to Fire Prevention Week in 1925.  National Fire Prevention Week is observed during the week (Sunday to Saturday) during which October 9 falls.

The theme of National Fire Prevention Week this year is “Have 2 Ways Out.”  The emphasis is on having an escape plan that includes at least two means of escape from each room, making sure everyone in the home knows the plan, and practicing the plan at least twice a year. 

U.S. Fire Administration on Fire Escape Plans:

National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week Site:

The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Division site has information on fire safety for homes and businesses:
Article contact: Peter Haxton

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adult Literacy Help in Kansas

The Kansas Book Festival  is being held on September 15, 2012. In conjunction with this festival, it seems like a good time to examine literacy resources for adults here in the state of Kansas.

The literacy rate in Kansas for adults 16 years and older lacking basic prose skill was eight percent in 2003. This number includes those who could not be tested due to language barriers. This statistic is nearly 10 years old, but adult literacy issues still exists, and the resources below can be useful in finding tutoring and other information across Kansas.

 Below are links to various government, non-profit, and educational websites.  If you know someone who struggles with reading, or who has a disability, you can use these resources to find help, and as always, check your local libraries for more information:

Goodwill-KS (information at bottom of page)

Below are links to websites that includes a list of adult education centers to find help throughout the state:

 Article contact: Sarah Tenfelde-Dubois

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kansas Home Care Association Shares Critical Information on Health Care Options

Many Kansans are working to become aware of health care options, because of health issues they are dealing with for themselves or their family members. Among the service agencies they need to know about is the Kansas Home Care Association.

Home care is a health care option offering a broad range of medical care and support services provided in the home. Services range from simple assistance in the activities of daily living to high-tech medical procedures.

Home care is a cost-effective alternative to hospital and nursing home stays. Home care services are provided through a variety of home care providers, whether independently owned or associated with hospitals, nursing homes, or public health departments. The Kansas Home Care Association offers a directory of member agencies that will allow you to search for an agency using specific search criteria. All agencies providing medical care in the home in Kansas are licensed and surveyed by the state, and many are certified by Medicare.

The site reviews the types of Home Care that might be available,specifies the advantages of home care, gives advice on how to choose a home care agency, and shares information on how Home Care is usually paid for.

When actually trying to find an appropriate agency:

It is wise to move to Advanced Search, because that allows the search to be limited by both type of care and geographical location.

Many people probably make their first contact with home care through a hospital or other health care provider, but there is also an extensive set of helpful links to agencies and organizations.

The site also has good information for those who want to work in the fields of home care and hospice and become active in the Kansas Home Care Association.

Article contact: Shannon Roy

Friday, August 10, 2012

Synthetic Marijuana

 Search, seizure and investigations into the possession and sale of various forms of "synthetic marijuana" by law enforcement agencies in Kansas have been in the news of late giving rise to questions about synthetic marijuana.

Below are links to information on synthetic marijuana from various government websites as well as an article from a Kansas newspaper:

Synthetic pot cases increase
Lawrence Journal World article - August 9, 2012

DrugFacts: Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)
(from the National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Synthetic Marijuana
(from FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin)

Synthetic Drugs (a.k.a. K2, Spice, Bath Salts, etc.)
(from U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy)
(Easily printable pdf version)

Frequently Asked Questions
(from New York City Health Department... pdf file)

A guide for parents and other influencers
(pdf booklet for adult caretakers on synthetic marijuana from

Article contact: Bill Sowers
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