Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday January 12, 2011

iPhone screen

New Kansas Legislature website. The Kansas Legislature website is now online. But important parts don’t work, and other parts of it are a move backwards in functionality. … Journals and calendars are not available. There are links, but they don’t work. These are very important documents. … The text of some bills are available, but not for all. For the bills that are available, the pdf opens in an unusual and non-standard frame. At least in my testing, the window can’t be resized or maximized for easier reading. … In the list of bills, resolutions appear, but only the number appears, without a caption. … The search feature that is supplied doesn’t seem to reach into the text of bills. … The roster of members is inconvenient. Instead of a list of 125 House members in which you can scroll rapidly to find a member, now there is an interface where the members are listed on 11 separate tabs. Which tab would I click on to find a representative whose name started with “S”? … On the page for each member, their hometown is missing. The old system had links to maps of the members’ districts and another link to demographic information. Not so for the new. … Finally, I can’t find a link to the audio of the House and Senate sessions. … Dave Larson, Director of Legislative Computer Services, was apologetic in a telephone call. He said consultants are working hard on bringing important parts of the website online, and he listened to my opinion as to which sections are most important.

Few states, including Kansas, have good charter school laws. In a press release, the Center for Education Reform says: “Only 11 states and the District of Columbia have charter school laws that do not require significant improvements in order to allow for the effective creation and growth of these innovative school options, according to a new study and legislative blueprint released today by The Center for Education Reform (CER). Of the rest, 14 states received a grade of ‘C’, and 15 a ‘D’ or ‘F’ for their laws governing charter schools in CER’s Charter School Laws Across the States.” Kansas receives a grade of “F” and its charter school law is ranked fourth weakest among the 41 states that have such laws. More information is at charter schools laws across the states.

Will on Tuscon shootings. “It would be merciful if, when tragedies such as Tucson’s occur, there were a moratorium on sociology. But respites from half-baked explanations, often serving political opportunism, are impossible because of a timeless human craving and a characteristic of many modern minds.” Indeed. More from George Will on this matter at Charlatans Rise To Explain Unexplainable.

Public safety director at Pachyderm. Bob Lamkey, Director of Sedgwick County Division of Public Safety, will speak this Friday (January 14) at the Wichita Pachyderm Club on the topic “An Overview of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC).” This group is studying overcrowding at the Sedgwick County Jail. … As a bonus, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Lamkey will take interested Pachyderm Club members and guests on a tour of the Sedgwick County Emergency Operations Center and 911 Center located in the Sedgwick County Public Safety Center building at 714 N. Main. … The public is welcome and encouraged to attend Wichita Pachyderm meetings. For more information click on Wichita Pachyderm Club.

Kansas state sovereignty rally. This Friday (January 14) it’s the third annual Kansas state sovereignty rally in Topeka. Speakers include Senator Dick Kelsey, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert, and Jeff Lewis of the Patriot Coalition. There is transportation from Wichita. For more information, click on third annual Kansas state sovereignty rally.

AFP Kansas podcasts. The Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity launches its first podcast. Click on AFP Kansas podcasts.

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