Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 22 July 2008 14:20Here’s one of those interesting “small-world” stories. Via e-mail, daughter Amy described how she was riding on a shuttle with George and the boys at the Newark, N.J., airport to pick up a rental car. They were headed to George’s dad’s surprise 70th birthday party in eastern Pennsylvania.
On the shuttle was a family with a daughter who was wearing a KU shirt. Following initial conversation, Amy learned the family was from Newton and the dad had an appointment at a Hillsboro dentist this week.
The e-mail came via her Blackberry, which is commonly called “Crackberry” because its use is so addictive.
Grandson Alex is ramping up for his visit to Hillsboro. We just received a Rip Stick he bought (actually his mom...
Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 15 July 2008 14:45Finally, we know the commissioner’s decision on how they plan to finance a new 72-bed jail-for-hire. They’ll ask us to approve a 1 percent county-wide sales tax on the November general-election ballot.
It’s no secret that I oppose this idea. It is my opinion that a 1 percent sales tax would put our businesses—and everyone living in the county—in peril.
Forget for a moment that the jail-for-hire concept is risky. I don’t think anyone could say that having the highest sales taxes in the state of Kansas would be a good thing. While it would harm big-ticket businesses in Hillsboro the most, it would have a negative impact on the entire county.
All of the revenue projections that an additional 1 percent sales tax would generate...
Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 08 July 2008 14:29We’re glad our friends on the farm have had a very good wheat crop at this juncture of the growing season, and with very good prices to boot. In these parts we’ve managed to avoid most of the bad weather that seemed to hit all around us.
Now on to the fall crops and even better prices. Who wouldn’t like a bumper crop of beans at more than $14 per bushel?
Gambling on a big scale has always been in Kansas. Not the CasiNO type, but out in the field.
I don’t know if I could go through what our Kansas farmers do each year. Not knowing if the rain will come, whether the hail and wind will hit or even if there is too much rain and the timing of it—not to mention all of the diseases that come with the whole growing cycle...
Written by Joel Klaassen Wednesday, 02 July 2008 11:02When I determined that we needed ESPNU to watch the Jayhawks last winter, we also received the Planet Green channel. It currently has a nine-week series featuring the rebuilding of Greensburg and how the town is attempting to go “green” in the process. The theory: If they build it back like it was, it will just be another western Kansas town with nothing new to offer.
They will be the first community in the United States to build green. One of the smartest moves by the town’s leadership was to involve the youth and get them excited about the concept, as they don’t have any preconceived ideas that it can’t be done.
The show also points out the difficulties the town must overcome to get back on its feet. I believe when they...
Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 24 June 2008 15:08The biggest news to hit town in a long while was the announcement of a brand-new hospital for our community. Even bigger news is that it will be on the tax roll and not subsidized by anyone except its users, which are expected to increase dramatically when it is up and running.
Even more amazing is that the idea was kept a secret by a few key people for the past 12 months.
Our family has benefited a great deal from the existing Hillsboro Community Medical Center facility, formerly Salem Hospital. It was new in the mid-1950s when we moved to Hillsboro. My mother was a registered nurse there for many years.
We never saw the need to go out of town for medical services that were offered here, and have been served very well since...
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