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Commentaries

Shannon Fletcher Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

The pandemic is taking a heavy toll on healthcare workers, especially those who work long hours caring for COVID-19 patients. As Kansas hospitals become overwhelmed with an influx of coronavirus patients, one respiratory therapist in Lawrence pleads for the public's help.

Northern Harrier (Photo from The Cornell Lab: www.allaboutbirds.org)
Rex Buchanan Thursday, February 6th, 2020

The North American bird population has been declining for years, perhaps by as much as 30% since the 1970s. But even in the depths of a Kansas winter, there may be signs of hope. Commentator Rex Buchanan saw one such sign during a recent trip out west.

Sign at the entrance to an exhibit at the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka. (Photo by J. Schafer)
Rex Buchanan Monday, December 30th, 2019

Some of the most iconic depictions of Kansas have been created by NON-Kansans. Think the "Wizard of Oz" or... "In Cold Blood." That's why it's refreshing to read about the state as seen through the eyes of actual residents. Commentator Rex Buchanan tells us about two Kansas-related books he read this year, written by fellow Kansans.

Sign at southern entrance to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Stafford, in central Kansas. (Photo by J. Schafer)
Rex Buchanan Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide and protect a vital habitat for migratory waterfowl. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has expressed concern for decades that the refuge has not been getting the water to which it is legally entitled. In 2016, state water authorities agreed. As officials search for a solution, Commentator Rex Buchanan encourages anyone interested in wildlife, particularly birds, to visit Quivira and experience the majesty of Mother Nature.

Vietnam War memorial at the University of Kansas. (Photo by J. Schafer)
Tai Edwards Friday, November 15th, 2019

On Monday, the nation observed Veterans Day. Parades and ceremonies were held all across the country to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Relatively few Americans have served in uniform. But most Americans say they appreciate the service of those who have. That raises a question: what's the best way to honor and thank our veterans? Guest Commentator Tai Edwards has a suggestion.

Rex Buchanan Friday, September 27th, 2019

A new exhibit about knowledge, at the Spencer Museum of Art, is generating some buzz. Not just among the art community, but among those who study geology. Part of the exhibit features a tall stack of books -- a spire -- in the shape of a well-known Kansas rock formation. Among geologists, such a formation is called a hoodoo. Commentator Rex Buchanan assures us this is a real word.

(Photo by J. Schafer)
Rex Buchanan Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Have you seen the Netflix series Last Chance U? It chronicles community college football, including a disastrous season for the Pirates at Independence Community College in southeast Kansas. It's the TV series that many Kansans can't stop talking about, including Commentator Rex Buchanan.

Dyche Hall, Natural History Museum, University of Kansas
John Richard Schrock Friday, August 30th, 2019

A prominent building at the University of Kansas is named after a man from Osage County who spent most of his childhood unable to read and write. Commentator John Richard Schrock brings us the remarkable story of Lewis Lindsay Dyche, the namesake of KU's Museum of Natural History.

Remembering Emmett Till, by KU Professor Dave Tell (Photo by J. Schafer)
Rex Buchanan Thursday, August 1st, 2019

In 1955, an African-American teenager from Chicago, Emmett Till, visited a tiny town in Mississippi. Witnesses claim he spoke to, or perhaps whistled at, a white woman. Whatever happened, locals perceived the incident as disrespectful. Till was abducted and killed. His open-casket funeral back in Chicago sparked nationwide outrage. A KU professor has written a new book about the way we remember the incident. It's called Remembering Emmett Till. Commentator Rex Buchanan has this review.

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Oklahoma (Photo by Mike Fuhr, The Nature Conservancy)
Julene Bair Friday, July 19th, 2019

Are phrases like "the Great Plains" and "the Midwest" interchangeable? Guest Commentator Julene Bair, who grew up in western Kansas, says no! She also tells us why that matters when it comes to growing crops.

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