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Opinion A7 The Iola Register

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

~ Journalism that makes a difference

Trying to make sense of terrorism Tuesday’s marking of the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was a sober event. Probably the most poignant of participants was little Jane Richard, 8, whose prosthetic leg appeared through the bottom of her navy blue dress. Her other leg was lost to the bombings. Beside her were her parents, Denise and Bill, also seriously injured. Denise sustained a head injury and lost the vision of one eye. Bill suffered shrapnel wounds, burns and severe hearing loss. Miraculously, a brother, Henry, 12, was not injured by the blasts. But brother Martin, then 8, was killed. Like many Bostonians, the Richard family made the marathon a family outing, reveling in the pageantry of Patriot’s Day. In all, three were killed by the blasts, 16 lost limbs, 264 suffered lesser injuries, and thousands still bear emotional scars from the senseless violence carried out by two brothers in the throes of Islamic extremism. A fourth fatality was a police officer caught in the crossfire in the pursuit of the two brothers. SUNDAY afternoon, Kan-

sas City was the scene of similar violence. A grandfather and grandson were shot and killed while in their car in the parking lot of a Jewish community center. The boy was to audition for a musical. The assailant then went to a nearby retirement home and shot and killed a woman who was there to visit her mother. “Heil Hitler!” the alleged assailant shouted from the police car upon his arrest. Grandfather and grandson were Methodists. The woman Catholic. EVERY DAY we read of bombings around the world, mostly confined to the Middle East and Africa. Most are done in the name of some political or religious ideology. They happen with such frequency they barely make most news outlets these days. At this coming Monday’s Boston Marathon, 9,000 additional runners are expected along with 1 million spectators. Twice the usual number. “Boston Strong” is plastered on billboards and banners. Unlike other parts of the world, terror does not rule our lives. For that, we are thankful. — Susan Lynn

A�look�back�in�time � 30 Years Ago Week of April 13, 1984

Bob Kleier, who grew up in Gas City, has purchased the Farm Fresh Grocery store in Iola. He said he intends to keep the operation pretty much as is. Charlie Morin will continue to be the store manager. ***** Back 35 years ago when Elmer Belknap was operating a dairy at the north end of

Jefferson Street, son Jimmy helped out with the chores. Today James Belknap is president of Steffen Dairy Foods Co. in Wichita. ***** Dennis Krouse, former manager of the Moran Co-op who pleaded guilty to misappropriating co-op funds, was placed on five-year probation yesterday by District Judge John White.

‘There’s no place like Kansas’

New tourism slogan rather catchy Kansas doesn’t get great mileage out of its tourism slogans. Maybe we’re just too great to articulate in mere words. We always remember that Texas is “like a whole other country.” As for Kansas, are we the “Land of Ahs”? “As big as you think”? Or maybe something else to do with “The Wizard of Oz”? The latest state tourism slogan is in part a reference to the movie many Kansas would just as soon distance themselves from. Unveiled this week, the new message is “There’s no place like Kansas.” Other than the Oz connotation, it’s not a bad theme. Kansas can do some things with the notion that we have some uniqueness to our state that makes it a special place to visit, if not live. No mountains or ocean but some stunning landscapes nonetheless. Quirky sights such as the “Garden of Eden” in Lucas. Good food and warm hospitality. Leisure places. The video and television spots create a sense of re-

Maybe “no place like Kansas” works better as a resident retention campaign, which, given the population trends, maybe should be the focus anyway.

laxation and wonder about our fair state. And the theme song, “Sunflowers,” an original recording by Clearwater native Logan Mize, is catchy. Hutchinson is among seven communities with its own TV spot. Dodge City is another. MARKETING campaigns aren’t done well by committee, but no doubt Kansans will have their opinions on “no place like Kansas.” For many, it is likely to make them think of Oz, and “no place like home” doesn’t work too well as a tourism slogan since you’re trying to get people to leave home to come visit Kansas. We wouldn’t be surprised if some people extended “There’s no place like Kansas” to describe some of the wackos and their shenanigans

in the Statehouse these days. Maybe “no place like Kansas” works better as a resident retention campaign, which, given the population trends, maybe should be the focus anyway. It also can play well for in-state tourism, encouraging the “staycation.” But whether for tourism or retention, the effort can’t stop with the creative. The state needs to budget money to spend on marketing. In the past, Kansas has ranked near the bottom of states in spending on marketing and promotion. One of these days we might land on a slogan that sticks. In the meantime, what we do with the message probably is more important than finding the universally winning message. ­— The Hutchinson News

Koch brothers benefit from Affordable Care Act The Koch brothers did their best to link select Kansas lawmakers to controversial Obamacare as a way to torpedo their campaigns. Several state lawmakers — namely traditional, more moderate Republicans who wouldn’t serve as puppets for a far-right agenda coveted by Gov. Sam Brownback and other Koch allies — were targeted in the August 2012 GOP primary, The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and Kansas Chamber unleashed last-minute, misleading ads

designed to take down lawmakers who dared to challenge their radical pursuits. Unfortunately, many voters fell for the outlandish claims that lawmakers who were targeted somehow supported the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It was bunk, of course, as those singled out had nothing to do with the federal law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. As if that wasn’t enough, the Koch-AFP-Kansas Chamber camp recently dredged up Obamacare again in calling

for repeal of Kansas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard. While it clearly was another absurd claim, they argued the RPS was just another costly mandate. Yet the chief critic — giant oil-and-gas conglomerate Koch Industries — has long reaped the benefit of taxpayer subsidies involving energy production, among other government-related deals. And now it appears Obamacare wasn’t such a problem after all for Koch Industries, as the company benefited from the same health-care

reform the Kochs say they detest. Koch Industries reportedly was among big corporations that reaped millions of dollars from the Affordable Care Act, even as the Kochs continued to support GOP candidates who have vowed to work on repeal of the law. Federal records show Koch Industries benefited from a temporary provision of the health-care law in an Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which helped the company pay health insurance costs for retirees not covered

by Medicare. The records show Koch Industries applied for and received $1.4 million in early retiree subsidies. So, an Affordable Care Act in place to help the uninsured, seniors and young adults with coverage also has something in it for large businesses. The Kochs, like others, took advantage. Kansans should keep such hypocrisy in mind when the next Koch-financed onslaught of political advertising materializes. ­— The Garden City Telegram

How to contact your elected officials

President Barack Obama, (Democrat) 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Washington D.C., 20500; phone (switchboard): (202) 456-1414; (comments): (202) 456-1111

Gov. Sam Brownback, (Republican) Capital, 300 S.W. 10th Ave., Suite 212S, Topeka, KS 66612-1590; phone: (785) 296-3232; comments/comment.htm

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, (Republican) 109 Hart Senate Office Building Washington D.C., 20510; phone: (202) 224-4774; Email: www.roberts. cfm?p=EmailPat

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, (Republican) Russell Senate Office Building, Room 354, Washington D.C., 20510; phone: (202) 224-6521; Pittsburg: 306 N. Broadway, Suite 125, Pittsburg, KS, 66762; (620) 232-2286. Email: moran. cfm/e-mail-jerry

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, (Republican) 130 Cannon House Office Building, Washington D.C., 20515; phone: (202) 225-6601; Pittsburg: 701 N. Broadway, Pittsburg, KS 66762; phone: (620) 231-5966. Email: gov/contact-me/

Sen. Caryn Tyson, (Republican) State Capitol-236 E Topeka, KS 66612 phone: (785) 296-6838; e-mail: or 19984 County Rd. 1077 Parker, KS 66072 phone: (913) 898-2366

Rep. Kent Thompson, (Republican) House District No. 9, phone: (785)-296-7673 State Capitol, Room 268W, 300 SW Tenth Ave. Topeka, KS 66612, or phone: 620-496-2255 1816 2800 St., LaHarpe, KS 66751. email: kent.thompson@