Link to KansasPrairie.net

9/29/2012

I’M SO PROUD OF MY GRANDDAUGHTER…

Filed under: prairie musings, Civil/Gay Rights, Mackenzie — Peg Britton @ 3:29 pm

To give you a little background on our family involvement with the Boy Scouts of America:

Mackenzie’s father, Dane, was an Eagle Scout, worked summers at the Charles L. Sommer’s Wilderness Canoe Base and was heavily involved with the BSA national organization and received recognition for it;

her grandpa, Roy Britton, was a scout leader and spent a life time supporting scouts, and being instrumental in getting a Boy Scout cabin built in Ellsworth;

her uncle, Todd Britton, a Life Scout, has been a scout leader all his adult life and spent many of his personal vacation days taking scouts to Camp Hansen or Camp Brown. Todd’s two sons, Tyler and Drew, are both Eagle Scouts. Tyler achieved recognition for the amount of popcorn he sold during his tenure as a scout which materialized into a substantial college scholarship. They all attended the Boy Scout National Jamboree.

Mackenzie is more than aware of all this and the support the entire family has given to scouting.

Recently, Boy Scouts canvassed her neighborhood in O’Fallon IL selling Boy Scout popcorn, their premier fundraiser. She refused to buy their popcorn because she is acutely aware that the Supreme Court ruled that as a private organization BSA has the right to discriminate against gay people by expelling them or barring them from joining. They have been enforcing that policy with gusto, expelling gay and lesbian scouts and scout leaders across the country. And they have done the same with atheists. They have openly affirmed and reaffirmed the policy which is very much against everything she holds true.

She said her decision not to buy from the visiting Boy Scout made her “feel like crap”.  “Having to say no to the Boy Scout selling popcorn makes me feel like crap, but until (if) the organization can fix their s***, I have to say no :(

I admire her decision.  It was thought through carefully.  She has grown into a very strong and vocal advocate for human and personal civil rights and freedom from discrimination and bigotry. In clear conscience, she could not do otherwise.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that opposition to homosexuality is part of BSA’s “expressive message” and that allowing homosexuals as adult leaders would interfere with that message.

This teaches discrimination and provides the unspoken message that some persons are simply unworthy of consideration. It teaches that a gay person can’t be a good person and does not present a desirable role model to be the best kind of citizen.

And since the Scouts must put duty to god before country, others and self, they also condemn non-believers in the same way.

The three biggest sponsors of the BSA are the Mormon, Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist churches, whom many call the strongest purveyors of bigotry in the country.

Many Eagle Scouts have turned in their medals, often with polite but scathing remarks.

Major media have strongly questioned the BSA on this policy. And in a recent 5-year period, scout enrollment has declined 13 percent.

When the BSA gives the excuse that major sponsors support their policy so they can’t afford to offend them, they overlook the fact the Girl Scouts have the same sponsors but have a commendable policy and record of no discrimination.

A Southern Baptist who chairs the BSA Religious Relationships Committee has said the no-gays no-atheists policy is unlikely to change as long as it has the support of the churches most active in sponsoring Scout units.

The scouts receive federal monies, use of government facilities at little or no cost and use of local schools.  They want to be a public entity on one hand and to be treated as a private organization on the other hand. Like religion itself, the Scouts are treated as something special and beyond the law.

The only way to change their policy is to speak out against it and to stop supporting it financially.

I know it made you feel “crappy”, Mackenzie, but you did the right thing and I’m very proud of you.

MORE OF THIS AND THAT…PRETTY BOY FLOYD’S…

My friend, “Kim from the Palace”, and I went to Pretty Boy Floyd’s for dinner last night. She had never been there so I was pleased to expose her to an evening of good fun, food and drink. I made it down and up the stairs one more time and pondered each riser with effort. As luck would have it, Mark, Pretty Boy’s owner, assured me he’ll haul me back up to the alley one way or another if I need help.  Good food and drink lure me down, but  I need a lift for the trip back up. They are “easy” stairs but from the bottom of the flight they remind me of the Great Wall of China. I once climbed the west wall close enough to the top of the world to view Mongolia so you’d think these stairs wouldn’t be intimidating, but they are. Rest assured, the effort it takes to enjoy the pleasures of the Ellsworth underground is worth it.

The place was packed, as I understand it is every weekend…Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.  Congratulations to Mark and Josie for creating such an interesting atmosphere and maintaining a consistently wonderful presentation of delicious meals to assure its success. Their reservation calendar is filling with holiday parties and even includes a huge busload of people coming from the west coast for a meal and tour, which is exciting. That will be a busload of outside money to help the local economy.  That’s the best kind of economic development.

Pretty Boy Floyd’s salmon is particularly good and I usually order it with their signature salad as a dinner. My friend, Kim, had a rib eye steak, onion strings, carrots/corn/green beans and fruit salad.  She was very pleased with her dinner as well.  I know they serve dessert but I’ve never been tempted after finishing a meal.  Maybe some day I’ll just order Tito’s and dessert for my meal. Age entitles one to such pleasures.

My Kansas City niece, Ann, her husband, and other relatives from Hutchinson just stopped by for a quick visit, lunch and a turkey tour. I have very neat relatives and love it when they stop by for a chat. Ann saw Ally’s turkeys last spring when they were young chicks so she wanted to take another look to see what a ton of food every other day does to their growth pattern. They are getting to be impressive looking birds and approaching the dimensions suitable for Thanksgiving fare.

Ringo is over-guarding the house.  He barks every time someone approaches the house from the highway so this weekend he’s in a state of constant anxiety and barking. Our neighbor’s eldest son is being married and there is lots of activity in and around their house. Poor Ringo. Maybe tomorrow he can take a break from his watch dog duties.

Voila! Todd is here to mow my yard.  He does such a good job with it.  His dad is smiling on him.

Thanks for tuning in…

ELLSWORTH-KANOPOLIS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ACTIVITIES FOR OCTOBER…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, EKCC — Peg Britton @ 9:14 am

October 1 - Ellsworth Community Blood Drive - 2 pm to 7 pm at the Presbyterian Church at 405 North Lincoln, Ellsworth. Walk ins welcome.

October 1 - Ellsworth County Health Department Flu Shot Clinic - at 1609 Aylward Ave in Ellsworth from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

October 1 - VFW Bingo - 7 pm at the American Legion at Dees St and Hwy 140 in Ellsworth.

October 5 - Immanuel Lutheran Soup Supper - at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 905 Stanberry in Ellsworth. Chicken noodle, Chili and Vegetable Beef soups with pie and homemade ice cream. Serving starts at 5 pm till 7 pm or gone. Free will donations accepted.

October 5 - Ellsworth Senior Center Pitch Tournament - Come play 10 point pitch with a great group of people. Cost  $1 and bring a snack to share. 7 pm at 115 East N Main, Ellsworth.

October 6 - Ellsworth County Medical Center Health Fair - Ellsworth Senior Citizen’s Center at 115 N Main at 7 am to 10 pm. Free Blood Pressure Checks, For more Information call 472-3111 or register online at www.ewmed.com.

October 8 - VFW Bingo - 7 pm at the American Legion at Dees St and Hwy 140 in Ellsworth.

October 12 - Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Noon Luncheon - Lunch will be a BBQ served at Maico at 936 Hwy 14 at Noon. Following lunch there will be a tour of the Maico facilities. Call 785-472-4071 or email to make reservations by 3 pm Thursday, October 11.

October 15 - VFW Bingo - 7 pm at the American Legion at Dees St and Hwy 140 in Ellsworth.

October 16 - Mosaic “Discover the Possibilities” - Come to one of two workshops put on at 7:30 am  - 8:30 am and 12:00 pm - 1 pm. Discover all that goes on at Mosaic and how you can be a part of this exciting work. Call Lindsey Kepka at 472-4081 by Friday, October 12 for reservations.

October 19 - Ellsworth Senior Center Pitch Tournament - Come play 10 point pitch with a great group of people. Cost  $1 and bring a snack to share. 7pm at 115 East N Main, Ellsworth.

October 20 - Ellsworth County Historical Society Soup Supper - at the Officers quarters at Fort Harker in Kanopolis from 5 pm to 7 pm. Minimum donation of $6 per person suggested. Chili, Chicken Noodle and Vegetable Beef soup with French Bread, pies and ice cream for dessert.

October 22 - Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting - the chamber meets at 6 pm at the office at 114½ North Douglas in Ellsworth. All are welcome to attend.

October 22 - VFW Bingo - 7 pm at the American Legion at Dees St and Hwy 140 in Ellsworth.

October 27 - Mosaic Job Fair - 9 am to Noon at Mosaic Vocational Workshop Building at 124 W 3rd Street.

October 29 - VFW Bingo - 7 pm at the American Legion at Dees St and Hwy 140 in Ellsworth.

October 29 and 30 - Project Management Workshop  - sponsored by Ellsworth County Medical Center from Noon to 5:30 pm both days.

October 31 - Kiwanis Halloween Costume Party - 4:30 to 6 pm at Ellsworth Elementary School. Chili feed with costume parade and contest. Watch for more information.

CHRISTMAS LIGHT PARADE

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:11 am

The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce will be having their Christmas Season Shopping Kick-off on Monday, November 26. Events start at 1 pm to 6 pm at Mosaic with an Arts and Craft Fair. Soup and Pie will be served from 4:30 pm to 6 pm at the First United Methodist Church. The Parade starts at 6 pm. There will be prizes for the best float in the parade. Chamber Gift checks of $100 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third. If your business or group is interested in being in the parade call the chamber office at 472-4071 or email.

CHAMBER HOLIDAY AUCTION

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Ellsworth Art Gallery — Peg Britton @ 9:08 am

This year the chamber is asking area businesses to create a centerpiece for the Holiday Auction. It can be any type of centerpiece. It does not need to be Christmas related. All centerpieces will be on display at the Ellsworth Area Art Gallery from November 5 to November 30 for bids. Hours at the Ellsworth Area Art Gallery are 12:30 - 4:30 - Monday - Friday. The Auction will take place on the 29th of November with pick up being the next day during the art gallery’s hours.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, ECMC — Peg Britton @ 9:07 am

The Ellsworth County Medical Center is offering a workshop titled “Project Management.” It is a practical approach to Project Management. Franklin Covey’s Project Management training involves four steps: Visualizing, planning, implementing and closing. This proven approach helps project managers and their teams create, plan, and complete successful projects on time and within budget. Course taught at Ellsworth County Medical Center Administrative Building Conference Room. Cost of materials $160. For more information or to register call Beth at 785-472-5028 ext 328. Registration deadline October 19, 2012.

9/24/2012

OPINION BY BURDETT LOOMIS…SALINA JOURNAL 9/24/2012 A5

Eco-devo in Brownback era

9/24/2012
Sam Brownback this past week came to the KU Business School’s annual Chandler Lecture and rhapsodized about his tax-cut legislation.

“We are trying to create a pro-growth environment,” he said, as he defended the large and highly weighted (to partnerships, trusts, sole proprietors, etc.) tax cuts enacted last May.

Like some Texas hold ‘em poker pro, the governor has pushed most of the state’s chips into the pot, banking on the power of tax cuts to help us attract new investment to Kansas. In his homey metaphor, he said, “I want to win our (economic) league.”

To tell the truth, this goal of regional domination might have meant more before Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12 Conference.

The entire tax-cut philosophy rests on shaky ground, but state taxes unquestionably play some role in business decisions. Still, the quality of the workforce, the strength of schools, good transportation and various amenities are also significant. Indeed, any state seeking to attract new business must be seen as an attractive destination.

And there’s the rub.

Over the past two years, the Brownback-Kobach administration, which definitely is how the outside world views Kansas government, has done a tremendous job in making the state appear unattractive to exactly the kind of high-quality, financially sound firms and start-ups that would provide a powerful wave of good new jobs.

Most recently, we have experienced the fatuous “birther” controversy, which Kobach and his Objection Board needlessly fueled, to the point of legitimizing a trivial complaint that could have been dismissed with no fanfare. Rather, Kobach and his wingmen, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, extended the agony by seeking further documentation, only to have the request withdrawn. Across the country, the news stories and editorials were withering in their criticism.

In this case, Kobach won further adulation from his right-wing base, always valuable in some forthcoming primary election, while conveniently not being forced to make a pro-Obama decision that might alienate his most fervent supporters.

So, Kobach was a winner, Obama was a winner, to an extent, and the state of Kansas again became the butt of national — even international — jokes. Blessed by the presence at the hearing of Orly Taitz, the so-called “queen of the birthers,” Kansas was once more painted with the broad brush strokes of political weirdness and intolerance.

Such a portrait, of course, is just what the state needs in the wake of two decades of creationist controversies, unending Westboro Church protests, a governor whose administration monitors a student’s Twitter account and a secretary of state who flies around the country amping up a nasty, ego-satisfying campaign against any presence of illegal immigrants.

That’s not all. Remember the governor’s ill-conceived “marriage summit” and his $75,000 contract with discredited economics guru Alfred Laffer? Or, more recently, Kobach’s sterling anti-immigrant, anti-Sharia-law stances at the GOP convention?

All these incendiary statements, false steps and flat-out blunders encourage the thought that perhaps there has been a cagey plot to make prospective employers, along with thousands of well-qualified professionals recruited by NBAF and the KU Cancer Center, think long and hard about putting down roots in Kansas.

In contrast, as illustrated by Richard Florida’s “Creative Class” argument, it is good schools, lively cities, safe suburbs and thriving arts communities that attract the most innovative firms and the most accomplished professionals.

Who knows? Maybe cutting taxes to the bone will prove a great boon to the Kansas economy. But this narrow policy choice must navigate upstream against an unceasing flow of national news that makes the state look spiteful and stupid. I’m not sure we can lower taxes enough to overwhelm the torrent of negative stories that shows no sign of drying up.

– Burdett Loomis is a political science professor at the University of Kansas.

CHECKS AND BALANCES…THE HAYS DAILY NEWS 9/16/2012

Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback, Kansas, GOP — Peg Britton @ 2:03 pm

Checks, balances

Published on -9/16/2012, 1:43 PM
Editorial by Patrick Lowry

Having three distinct and equal branches of government is a hallmark of the American political experience. Clearly defined in the U.S. Constitution, the form allows for checks and balances amongst various factions. In the context of this nation’s throwing off the yoke of British imperialism, the system was designed to ensure one despot could not control all facets of its citizens’ lives.

Individual states followed suit in creating their own constitutions. Kansas is no exception — at least on paper.

In practical terms, however, a power grab is under way that might well subvert all checks and balances in place since the Sunflower State was admitted to the union.

It began with Gov. Sam Brownback’s election in 2010. In and of itself, no big deal. After six years of Democrat Kathleen Sebelius and another two with Republican-turned-Democrat Mark Parkinson, voters in this red state were ready to try another Republican.

But this was no run-of-the-mill member of the GOP. Fourteen years as a member of Congress allowed him not only to learn the ways of both Washington politics and The Fellowship’s religious conservatism.

Not even two years into his tenure at Cedar Crest, the governor has had great success pushing through his dogmatic vision. Frustrated by being stymied on certain issues, Brownback set about pushing the moderate wing of the party out of office. The recent primary election found Brownback aiding the campaigns of fellow conservatives. The scope of his participation was without precedent in recent memory — and extremely effective. Barring an unlikely miracle such as a bunch of Democrats winning in November or the defeated moderates mounting successful write-in campaigns, conservatives will have a veto-proof super majority of both the Senate and House in Topeka.

Not satisfied with merely two branches of government, conservatives challenged the method in which appellate justices were selected to the court. Tired of activist liberal judges who kept getting appointed by a panel of attorneys who actually are aware of the judges’ qualifications, conservatives are attempting to empanel their own activist judges via the governor’s office and subject to legislative confirmation. Claiming the current system does provide equal protection rights, conservatives filed a legal challenge.

Last week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit. The bench ruled the merit-based selection process allows Kansas to have quality nominees and limits the influence of politics. Attorneys are “better equipped than non-attorneys to evaluate the temperament and legal acumen of judicial candidates,” not merely their party affiliation or perceived stance on an issue. Additionally, judges are subjected to statewide elections or retainment votes.

Don’t expect Gov. Brownback to accept this rebuff. We wouldn’t anticipate an appeal to the Supreme Court, however. What we foresee is the Legislature voting in a new judicial selection process as early as next session. With no credible opposition in place, such legislation might be the first item to hit the governor’s desk for a signature.

And sign he will, completing the political trifecta — and ending 150 years of the apparently bothersome checks and balances of legitimate government.

Only the people of Kansas can prevent such grand manipulation from taking place. We allowed the Legislature to become an extension of the executive branch. Will we stand by and allow the judiciary to suffer the same?

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

9/22/2012

BEGINNING IN 2013, THE KANSAS TAX SYSTEM WILL BE AMONG THE MOST REGRESSIVE IN THE NATION…THE RICH WILL GET RICHER, THE POOR WILL GET POORER…

Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback, Kansas, GOP — Peg Britton @ 8:59 am

I posted the following the end of May.  Do you remember reading it?  Are you starting to notice what it means?  I thought a reminder was in order.  Wait until the lid comes off property taxes…
5/29/2012

KANSAS TAX ACT MOST REGRESSIVE IN NATION… GOVERNOR BROWNBACK HAS GORED YOUR OX!

Filed under: political musings, Sam Brownback — Peg Britton @ 3:34 pm Edit This

If you don’t think your ox has been gored, you haven’t been paying attention.  That is if you are an average person, average income and not among the wealthy.  The poor will get poorer and the rich will get richer.   I fear to think what this will do to our schools and small communities.  The whole state will be impacted.  Martin Dickinson boils this down so it’s easy to understand. It’s from the Lawrence Journal World:

Gov. Sam Brownback’s signing of the new Kansas Tax Act on Tuesday was a historic event. The act will shape the lives of Kansans for many years to come.

The nonpartisan Legislative Research Department has estimated that the act will reduce Kansas government revenues by $4.5 billion over the next six years. Inevitably, there will be major reductions in the government services Kansans have come to expect — especially education.

Equally important, the act dramatically changes the Kansas tax system, shifting the income tax burden from the wealthy and prosperous to working people. The act provides that all income of business owners is tax-free (except in the unusual case where a regular corporation is used). Although the act was promoted as a boost to small business, there is no limit on the size of business that can be exempt from tax.

Income of professionals — such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants — practicing in partnerships will be tax-free. In a law firm, for example, the partners will pay no tax, while the clerical staff will continue on the tax rolls.

Income received from partnerships and trusts will be tax-free. Wealthy Kansans who own real estate, stocks, bonds and other investments will simply transfer those assets to a partnership or trust, thereby freeing all their investment income from tax.

All income of farmers will be exempt from tax.

Who will still be paying Kansas income tax? Only three groups: 1) employees, 2) some retirees and 3) individuals whose investments are so modest that they cannot afford to create a trust or partnership to shelter their investment income.

Kansas government relies on three taxes: property, sales and income. Property and sales taxes are regressive in the sense that a lower-income person pays more of these taxes as a percent of income than does a higher-income person. The new income tax will be dramatically regressive. Low- and moderate-income workers will remain on the tax rolls. Meanwhile, wealthy Kansans will readily escape the tax, and many prosperous (but not wealthy) Kansans will be able to evade the tax as well. Beginning in 2013, the Kansas tax system will be among the most regressive in the nation.

Can a just society tax the poor while not taxing the rich?

Martin B. Dickinson is a nationally recognized expert in tax law and the Schroeder Distinguished Professor of Law at Kansas University.

9/21/2012

THE END OF A KANSAS TRADITION: MODERATION—-BY MICAH COHEN

Filed under: prairie musings, Kansas, GOP, Koch Brothers — Peg Britton @ 9:28 pm

New York Times

Friday, September 21, 2012

FiveThirtyEight - Nate Silver\’s Political Calculus
September 19, 2012, 1:33 pm

The End of a Kansas Tradition: Moderation
By MICAH COHEN

We continue our Presidential Geography series, a one-by-one examination of the peculiarities that drive the politics in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Here is a look at Kansas, the Sunflower State. FiveThirtyEight spoke with Joseph A. Aistrup, a professor of political science at Kansas State University; Burdett A. Loomis, a professor of political science at Kansas University; H. Edward Flentje, a professor in Wichita State University’s Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs; and David Kensinger, president of Roadmap Solutions, Gov. Sam Brownback’s policy organization.

A long tradition of centrist Republicanism in Kansas — exemplified by politicians like former Senator Bob Dole and former Gov. Bill Graves — was dealt a near-fatal wound last month when a group of state senators, deemed insufficiently conservative, were defeated in Republican primaries.

Kansas had been a reliably conservative state for years, and Mitt Romney is all but guaranteed the state’s six electoral votes. But until recently, Kansans still preferred a government far from the ideological poles.

“A moderate coalition ran the state for 40 years,” Mr. Loomis said.

That era appears to be over. The primaries were the culmination of a gradual, two-decade drift to the political right in Kansas, but they also came after several years of faster-paced conservative ascension, as well-financed interest groups capitalized on a backlash against President Obama and his policies, local political analysts said.

Unless Democrats are able to pull off upsets in the November general elections, the victories of the less-centrist Republican candidates will clear the way for a more conservative vision of the state. Long-sought conservative legislation on issues including health care, the selection of judges and environmental regulations is expected to become law.

In 2010, the Tea Party movement that swept conservatives into power nationally helped Kansas conservatives to extend their influence. The state’s Democratic governor was replaced by a conservative Republican, Sam Brownback, and the G.O.P. expanded its majority in the State House of Representatives.

Only the Kansas State Senate retained significant centrist tendencies, and several of Mr. Brownback’s legislative goals were stymied by a coalition of Democratic and moderate Republican senators.

That conflict set up the recent “moderate” vs. “conservative” Republican primaries. And the conservatives, backed by Mr. Brownback and an avalanche of outside money, won. Americans for Prosperity, financed by the Wichita-based Koch brothers; the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, who also received a large Koch check; and other groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars during the campaign.

But the rightward lurches last month and in 2010 were made possible by a longer term shift in the state’s political landscape. Over the past two decades, Kansas’ Republican Party has become more conservative, particularly in two of the state’s main population centers: Wichita’s Sedgwick County and the Kansas City suburbs in Johnson County.

In presidential elections, there are just two truly Democratic counties remaining in the state: Wyandotte County and Douglas County.

Wyandotte County is home to blue-collar Kansas City, Kan., sometimes abbreviated as K.C.K., a traditional Democratic city with large minority populations. Democrats are also dominant in Douglas County, home to the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

The rest of Kansas is heavily Republican. There are counties where Democrats keep the vote close, mostly the suburban counties around K.C.K. But in this case, close means a Republican margin of victory of around 10 percentage points. Republican voters in the fast-growing suburbs of Johnson County tend to be more conservative than the typical suburban Republican in other states.

And voters in Kansas tend to get more conservative as you travel away from the state’s population centers. The deeply religious farm counties in western Kansas are among the most conservative counties in the nation. In 2008, Senator John McCain, of Arizona, won more than 70 percent of the vote in most of them.

In the southwest, the flat land is dotted by dairy farms and slaughterhouses (Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal are known as the “Golden Triangle of meatpacking”). Meatpacking plants have attracted an influx of Latino workers, and in many rural schools a majority of students are Hispanic. But the state’s growing Latino community has yet to have an appreciable effect at the ballot box.

The Bellwether: Sedgwick County

Kansas’ rightward shift is perhaps best exemplified by Wichita’s Sedgwick County, where Democrats used to be a majority. Wichita, home to some of the biggest airplane manufacturers in the nation, is mostly Republican, partly because residents from more rural parts of the state have resettled there, Mr. Loomis said. It has transformed into a good political bellwether, coming within one percentage point of the statewide vote in the last three elections.

The shift to the right in Kansas is unlikely to be reversed in the near future, especially in presidential elections. Mr. Romney has a 100 percent chance of carrying the state, according to the current FiveThirtyEight forecast.

However, a moderate Republican or Democratic comeback on the state level is possible, the local analysts said, particularly if the new governing coalition overreaches. In addition, the state’s shift to the right was, at least in part, a reaction to Mr. Obama, who will be president for a finite amount of time (either 124 or 1,584 more days).

“Barack Obama tended to be the worst thing that ever happened to Democrats in states like Kansas,” Mr. Aistrup said, “because all of a sudden these moderate Republicans were mobilized and became much more conservative than I think they otherwise are.”

Outside interest groups like Americans for Prosperity were able to capitalize on those anti-Obama feelings, tying moderates to the administration. With the elimination of those moderate Republican senators, the more conservative wing of the Kansas G.O.P. will have a largely unobstructed path to implement its vision.

“You’re going to see durable conservative majority governing Kansas for the foreseeable future,” Mr. Kensinger said.

KANSAS IS BECOMING GOVERNOR SAM’S DREAM STATE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback, GOP, Women's Rights — Peg Britton @ 2:35 pm

Did anyone else observe that Governor Sam Brownback was noticeably absent from the RNC? Coming from the reddest of really, really red Republican states, one would assume he would be front and center for the festivities.  After all, at the beginning of all this presidential election foldarol he was also one of the candidates.  Brownback is as conservative as they make them and fits the mold to have been a rock star at the convention which makes one wonder why he didn’t have a light beam shining on him.   Certainly it wasn’t for lack of ambition on his part.

Even Clint Eastwood had a speaking part although it was directed at an empty chair.  Brownback was also sidestepped for younger rising stars like vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan who was a former staffer of Brownback’s, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina who were all in the limelight.

What’s happening in Kansas under his leadership is what the Romney camp wants to spread nationwide.  Kansas is being called by some “a pseudo-Christian fascist state where the arts are not publicly funded, women’s reproductive rights are relentlessly attacked, public school funding is drastically cut, voter suppression laws make it nearly impossible for new voters to register to vote, and social services are turned over to evangelical “Christian” groups, all done with the backing of the fabulously wealthy and Christian right evangelical Koch brothers of Wichita. Kansas is becoming a place where civil responsibility takes a back seat to religious intolerance and corporate greed.” Kansas is becoming Brownback’s dream state.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration on Thursday announced it was discontinuing the Kansas Main Street program, citing “smaller state and federal budgets moving forward.”  Next may come the elimination of historic rehabilitation tax credits. Then in January, let’s see what he does to eliminate the property tax lids to the benefit of wealthy and detriment of the middle class.

Maybe Governor Sam is too busy running for his own re-election as governor to bother this time around with presidential aspirations. Jeff Sharlet said it best years ago of Brownback:

“Now, Brownback seeks something far more radical: not faith-based politics but faith in place of politics. In his dream America, the one he believes both the Bible and the Constitution promise, the state will simply wither away. In its place will be a country so suffused with God and the free market that the social fabric of the last hundred years — schools, Social Security, welfare — will be privatized or simply done away with. There will be no abortions; sex will be confined to heterosexual marriage. Men will lead families, mothers will tend children, and big business and the church will take care of all.”

My guess is he wants to turn Kansas into the model for all other states to emulate. That’s the bright light he wants shining on him.

I ask…how is it working out for you so far to have Brownback as your Governor?

9/20/2012

CHAPTER 11….RE/MAX LISTING

Filed under: prairie musings, 1404 N.Douglas — Peg Britton @ 2:31 pm

For your information, my house has it own special listing with RE/MAX:

http://www.remax-midstates.com/11684 

ALLY’S PRAIRIE DANCER FARM HERITAGE TURKEYS…SHE’S TAKING ORDERS NOW…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 11:27 am

1-turkey.jpg

Dear friends and friends of friends…

Six months ago  I took on a new venture when  I bought 500 baby turkeys (poults)  from Frank Reese , the grandfather of Good Shepherd Heritage turkey preservation.   Frank has worked since he was a young boy to keep these breeds from extinction.  Like a few other friends of his, I’m trying to help preserve these rare turkey breeds.  It sounds strange to say, but these turkeys need to be eaten to avoid extinction.  To increase the demand for them is the key to their survival so I’m encouraging you to try one of them for your Thanksgiving dinner.

allys-free-range-turkeys.jpg

I’ve gone from a very tiny bird I could cradle in my hand to really big guys and gals that roam the range at my farm following my every move and pecking at me along the way.  They are beautiful, healthy  birds and thrive on the special mix of locally grown grains that I buy at the Ellsworth Co-op.

baby-turkey-2012.jpg
For me, this has been so worth the time, labor and love it requires to take care of turkeys.  They can be difficult critters to keep alive and  I feel so good being able to care for them properly and watching them mature into big birds.  It’s not everyone who likes to listen to turkeys pecking on their front door wanting someone to come play, but I do.

I’d like to see what I can do with local sales before they are all shipped to market and would like to have 50 willing customers who will order an oven-ready turkey for the holidays. I can provide a turkey and recipes the week of Thanksgiving.

They don’t taste like either a wild turkey or a domestic bird. There is less breast meat with the Heritage Turkey and more juicy, dark meat. My turkeys have only been fed the best feed with no chemical additives.

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I will have turkeys of all sizes and will sell them dressed, ready for the oven at  $4.50 per lb.  That  is more expensive than the mass-produced turkey farm birds, but with mine, you’re getting a free-range quality bird that isn’t full of chemicals and you’re helping to preserve a species.  I know you will enjoy it very much and feel good about the purchase.

I need to have your order and deposit by October 15th.  That’s the deadline for orders as soon thereafter I’ll have my roundup date and all my turkeys then will be on their way to other parts of the county.

My phone number is 785.472.7065. When you call,  I’ll be happy to fill you in on other details about my turkeys.  When your order is ready, you’ll need to pick it up at my farm.
I also have two varieties of my Prairie Mustard for sale that is a wonderful complement to serve with turkey and ham. It is $12.00 a pint for either the variety with seeds or spicy jalapeno.  I have it available at the present time.  You can pick it up from my mom, Peg, in Ellsworth.  Call first at 472.3844.

Thanks for your support.

Ally Britton

Prairie Dancer Turkey Farm

Located a small hop south of Ellsworth Kansas

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9/19/2012

LIGHTNING STRIKES…LIGHTENING THE LOAD…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, 1404 N.Douglas — Peg Britton @ 6:53 pm

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The Brunswick snooker table that came from the Pla-Mor pool hall “a long time ago” is going to a new home in western Kansas.  It has been sold.

Ally played snooker on that particular table when George Panzer owned the pool hall.  When we built this house, Brit talked with George about buying the table.  I can’t recall the circumstances, but I think it was because George  was selling the pool hall…maybe to expand the Svaty - Sherman law offices.

In any event, George wouldn’t sell it to Brit because “he didn’t hang out at the pool hall”, he said. That was true.  But, since Ally did, and he liked Ally, he said he would sell it to her.  A lot of that was tongue in cheek conversation as he accepted Brit’s check for the table, with a smile. Brit and George were friends.  So, we acquired a great snooker table with a lot of history.  A great many friends have enjoyed playing on it over the years.  Ally usually always came away the big winner. After all, it was her table.

I remember well the day the table came through the patio door.  The three Kohls brothers, Chick Pflughoeft, Harold Kralik, and Clarence Peterman (the men who built our house)  plus two additional hulks they recruited from the Pla-Mor carried the table through an opening in the house where double patio doors had been removed.  The slate is 1 1/2″ thick and the table weighs a ton.   Ally convinced the new owner to consult people who know about moving such items and he is now going to take the table apart, remove the slate and move it in pieces.  That’s a wise move, so to speak.

And, another very, very heavy object is leaving too…the old safe from Seitz Clothing Store that has been another conversation piece for a long time.  It’s going to my friend in Lindsborg.  I have a big TV that going in the same load…but he doesn’t know it yet.  The TV works fine…it’s just older, big and heavy. I’m sure he has a place for it…somewhere…if someone doesn’t ask for it first.

Three big items are leaving the house.  I think we are making headway.

Thanks for tuning in…

9/18/2012

A YARD FULL OF GROWN MEN AND THEIR TOYS…ANOTHER HOUSE CHAPTER…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Todd Britton, 1404 N.Douglas — Peg Britton @ 2:52 pm

“Escalate” is the theme of the day.

What started out to be a rather routine relocation of a couple of rock treasures (gifts from Gertie Kunkle) from my yard to Todd’s has now escalated into a full-blown operation involving half a dozen men, a fork lift, a trailer, two trucks, a highway patrol vehicle, and a really big wrecker.

It all started when Todd and his friend found the objects too heavy for them to lift with their dollies, etc. More help and equipment would be needed.

Then a highway patrolman friend arrived, but it’s not clear to me what his involvement  is, if any, in the operation.  He’s moving something from one truck to another and appears it to be an entirely different “moving” project.

Then they all take a break and look skyward at a plane passing overhead.

Ally arrives, takes one look and departs shaking her head.

A fork lift arrives on the scene to move the second extremely heavy object onto the friend’s trailer, but it never gets that far.  The fork lift and driver have sunk waist deep in my driveway or yard, or somewhere out there. I didn’t want specifics from Todd. I should go look, but I’m not in the mood for a disaster today. This has all the earmarks of one.

Because of an extended drought and restrictions against watering, nothing within miles is soft enough to sink into, so I’m wondering what collapsed. I may have a new exit shaft to the salt mine in my yard or I no longer have a water well.

Now everyone is standing outside waiting for George to arrive with a really, really big wrecker to free the fork lift and correct all the damage that has taken place. I couldn’t count the number of times George has had to come save the day at our house…trucks stuck in the back yard, cars stuck in dead man’s curve, garage doors that wouldn’t open…and moving, moving, moving kids from here to there, moving a painting to Logan, the list is endless.  He’s part of our family for sure.

The rumbling of big engines continues.

I know you are wondering why I’m not out there with my camera.  Not a chance of that happening.

Meantime, I’m listening to 100 different…literally…variations of  O Mio Bambino Caro on Spotify to control the anxiety of the escalation of what is occurring outside my house. If I don’t get anything else moved (which seems very likely at this point), I’m taking my computer and music with me wherever I go.

Thanks for tuning in…

9/17/2012

A LITTLE OF THIS AND THAT…PRESBY MANOR…SELLING A HOUSE…

Filed under: prairie musings, 1404 N.Douglas, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 11:02 am

I “announced” in June, I think it was, my intentions to move to Salina but, as yet, I haven’t budged. (More on that later.)  I think I better shuffle on a little faster as everytime I go to the grocery store or aimlessly wander the streets, people think I’m “back for a visit”.  How do you like living in Salina, they ask.  Oh…good to see you back, they say.  Sheepishly, I reply…”I haven’t moved yet.”  They all know I’ve been one to move through life’s daily events quickly and are puzzled that I’m still just “hanging around”. It’s the “stuff” I have to deal with that is like a lodestone around my neck.

Two of my very good friends, Ivy and Ginny, live at Presbyterian Manor in independent living apartments, the highrise place I intend to live in as soon as practicable.  One has been there about seven years, the other moved in just a couple of months ago.  Both love it there and apparently want to make sure I join them.  I’m all for that.

Ivy and I have been friends since we were about four and ended up facing each other for the first time at the altar of the First Presbyterian Church in Salina. We saw a lot of each other in junior and senior high and lived in the same sorority house at K.U.  Our families have been close friends for a very long time. Eighty years is a long time, in my books.

Ginny and I have been friends for almost as long, but not quite.  Her late husband and I share common ancestors so she’s been my “cousin” and good friend for over 60 years.

Ivy called the other day with a specific invitation to join her and Ginny for lunch at the “Palace”.  I know they think I’m  waffling about the move, but I’m not.  I’ll take advantage of their luncheon invitation anytime to check out the food service.  I think they want to give me the sorority sales job so I won’t change my mind. I haven’t eaten there and knowing my penchant for good food, they want me to see how good the food is and be sold on the place.  Food could definitely be a deal breaker under other circumstances, but in this case, it won’t be as there are a myriad of other reasons I want to live there, the least of all being the food.  I can always figure out a diplomatic way to change that after I get there, if need be.  But, I’ve heard that the meals are delicious and served fine-dining style.  That’s something to look forward to on a daily basis. Good food, no dishes and you can take leftovers back to your apartment for a snack later in the day.  Most who live there gather together for the noon meal, which is their most lavish of the day, but breakfast and supper are good too.   They really work at pleasing the palates of those who live there.  I won’t be an exception as I’ll look forward to that too and visiting with whomever I share elbows on the table.

As to the stuff, and disposition thereof, it’s going very slowly, in my estimation.  There are vacant places in the house where literally truckloads of stuff have been removed, but it’s not enough to suit me.  Realtors these days, want an empty house to show, not one full  of my “stuff”.  That is a perfect plan for me, but it’s a slow process. I need two strong grandsons to move things to their new location and my granddaughter to do the sorting and organizing.  They’ll be here at some point, but the timing may be off kilter.  It usually is.

Interest in the house is high and there have been a substantial number of inquiries.  I’m not in any rush to sell it as I know one day the right person will come along and offer a fair price to buy it.  There are several ways you can look at it, but one is that 4,256 is a plentiful amount of premium living space for $88.00 a square foot compared to the $200-$250.00 it costs to build today. Regardless of the measure you use, it’s the best in-town 3 acre wooded hideaway location to be found.  I have it listed with Jessica Decker of Remax in Salina, if you care to look over the specifics or talk with her about it. We’re willing to consider any reasonable offer.

It’s time for Ringo and me to take a tour through town, get our mail and wait for the rain to come, or so we hope.

Thanks for tuning in…

9/14/2012

NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE: POLITICS THREATEN STATE’S WIND ENERGY MARKET BY KIMBERLY SVATY

Filed under: energy, political musings, print news, Sam Brownback, Kansas, Kimberly Svaty — Peg Britton @ 8:00 am

Not In Kansas Anymore: Politics Threaten State’s Wind Energy Market

by Kimberly Svaty
North American Wind Power
Thursday 06 September 2012

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Kansas is leading the U.S. in new wind farm installations this year. By the end of the year, eight new utility-scale wind projects will come online - representing approximately $3 billion in new investment - and the state will have more than doubled its installed wind power by adding 1.489 GW of new wind power capacity.

Sixty percent of the nearly 1.5 GW that will be placed in service this year will be exported. The balance will remain in state to fulfill the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) objectives. (Kansas’ RPS is 20% of peak demand capacity by 2020.) Of the existing 1.076 GW of wind power, the vast majority is used in state, and roughly 8% is exported to nearby Missouri. Power from the new projects will be exported to Missouri Electric Cooperative and Tennessee Valley Authority customers.

For example, TradeWind Energy, a Kansas-based wind developer, is sending wind power from a project developed in Oklahoma to customers of Southern Company. Meanwhile, BP Wind is constructing the 479 MW Flat Ridge 2 wind farm as major oil and gas developers are fracking the ground below. And Siemens’ wind turbine nacelles, manufactured in Hutchinson, Kan., are being deployed across many new Kansas wind farms.

Stormy political clouds
However, all of this progress is threatened by the looming expiration of the production tax credit (PTC).

While Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., continues to work with Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., to extend the PTC, other members of the Kansas congressional delegation, such as Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and Tim Huelskmap, R-Kan., are advocating for an end to all tax incentives for renewable energy.

Statewide, the political attitude toward wind energy has also changed. Kansas’ congressional delegation has traditionally been supportive of an “all of the above” energy policy and transmission development, but that changed when these representatives were ousted in Kansas’ recent primary elections.

Kansas has also endured two recent attempts to substantially change its 20% by 2020 RPS in the 2012 legislative session.

The first attempt was to freeze the RPS at 10%. The RPS-freeze amendment was made on the State House floor to a bill dealing with energy storage introduced by State Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Fredonia, vice chairman of the State House Energy and Utilities Committee. However, the amendment failed.

The second amendment was immediately introduced by State Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, and would have tied further increases to the RPS to the permitting and construction of the Holcomb Power Plant expansion.

The second amendment passed the House, but House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, sent the amended bill back to House Energy and Utilities Committee for a hearing that lasted for five days. Ultimately, the amendment was defeated by the committee. Therefore, the RPS survived unscathed.

However, there are no guarantees that state legislators will not redouble their efforts to ease the RPS in the future. For starters, the state is losing two key advocates. First, Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal, R- Hutchinson, whose Reno County district is home to Siemens’ nacelle plant, has announced his retirement.

Another key lawmaker and energy advocate is Carl Holmes, a conservative Republican and a 28-year member of the Kansas legislature, longtime chairman of the House Energy and Utilities Committee, chairman of the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority and tireless advocate for transmission construction. Holmes was defeated in the primary election by a Tea Party candidate and, therefore, will not be returning to the legislature.

In the August primary elections, the State Senate moved decidedly conservative, and the State House may have tilted further to the right as well, placing further uncertainty on the short-term prospects for wind energy in the state.

Therefore, the future of wind energy development in Kansas faces a confounding future, and the 2013 legislative session will be very telling.

Two prominent state legislators vying for House and Senate positions are also currently on the board of directors for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative-oriented policy forum for state legislators. Moreover ALEC’s board of directors is contemplating model legislation to encourage legislators to repeal all state RPS programs.

Even as top lawmakers at the state and federal level support further development of wind energy for export and related component manufacturing, some Kansas congressional members are pursuing legislation to eliminate federal tax incentives, and many state policymakers are actively pursuing legislation to repeal the state’s RPS.

Despite policy uncertainty at both the state and federal level, however, there is one constant: Kansas still has a rich and plentiful supply of high-capacity wind that can provide low-cost, renewable energy.

Kimberly Svaty is a consultant at the Wind Coalition, a regional partner of the American Wind Energy Association. She can be reached at (913) 486-4446 or kimberly©gencursvaty.com.

9/12/2012

REV IT UP…ANOTHER WONDERFUL ESSAY FROM REV. KATHRYN TIMPANY

Filed under: prairie musings, Rev. Kathryn Timpany — Peg Britton @ 9:24 am

Rev It Up
reflections on faith and life
Rev. Kathryn Timpany,
First Congregational UCC, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
September 12, 2012

When I was about 6 years old, Santa brought me a baton for Christmas. It was silver and shiny with white rubber ends, and sat solidly and well-balanced on my outstretched hands. I loved learning to float it in figure-eights and toss it in the air and catch it one-handed, but unlike my best friend Marilyn I never did learn to catch it behind my back. (That kind of talent deficit probably had something to do with the fact that she ended up becoming homecoming queen in high school while I found my place playing the clarinet in the marching band.)

Which leads me to tell you that my favorite story of the week is about Betty Lambert of Harmony, Pennsylvania. She is 79 years old and still marches in her home-town parades, during which she often stops and does the splits. “She gave up cartwheels recently, but still twirls knives, and fire-batons when it isn’t windy.” Clare Ansberry reports in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

The story continues: “Ms. Lambert, who threw a baton when she was in high school, then married and had children, took the sport up again in her 40s after seeing a small classified ad in the newspaper looking for people who wanted to start a marching band. The group called itself the Resurrection Band because members resurrected their instruments from attics. Ms.Lambert didn’t play an instrument but offered majorette services. Cartwheels and baton twirling are like riding a bike, she found. ‘You don’t forget’.”

She also has 41 costumes she likes to wear when she rides on floats. One of her daughters, who watched her mother march as she grew up remarks, “I thought this would be a phase she would go through.”

Besides all the smiles this story elicits, there is this little tidbit as well: Betty is a beautician and she continues to cut hair and give permanents in the little salon attached to her house. And “she makes house calls to her customers who no longer drive.”

She makes house calls. Of course she does.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Jesus of Nazareth said that a long time ago. Some of us, all these years later, are still trying to learn the way of life that he modeled. I have noticed that some of us who call ourselves Christians seem to have missed out on the joy part. I ponder that often. I wonder why it seems to be so hard for some to receive that gift of joy that Jesus offered.

I have no idea whether Betty Lambert is a Christian, or whether she professes any faith at all. But she has figured out what joy is all about, and if Jesus were to show up in the crowd cheering her on from the sidelines, I suspect he would be smiling and thinking, “Ah, someone gets it!”

Betty has figured out that joy has something to do with refusing to relinquish your childhood delights, and even more to do with being willing to make house calls on those who are in danger of losing the pleasure from their own as the process of aging encroaches.

It also helps to be extraordinarily limber, which is something we can all learn at a soul level even if our bodies won’t cooperate any more.

…may your joy spill over into the sorrowing world…

9/11/2012

YOU’LL BE A MORMON…AND MY PAL RINGO…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 2:58 pm

I would love to see The Book of Mormon. A good seat, which I’d want, can run close to $600 so that’s one reason I won’t be going.  The main one is:  you’ll never get me on another plane to go anywhere, no matter how attractive the destination! Even NYC  If I were to go, which we’ve already established I’m not, they’d have to peel me off the floor after the introductory Hello!  Geezzzz…it’s hysterical so it’s no wonder they are playing to a full house month after month, year after year.

Since I won’t get to Broadway to see it,  I do the most convenient thing and listen to it on Spotify, over and over. “The hip new All-American profit Joseph Smith went to that spot on the hill where he was told and dug a hole….and found a whole new book about Jesus Christ….” etc.  It’s very, very funny.  I love Spotify.  It has opened a whole new world of music to me that people without computers (and are adamant about not wanting one) will never experience.  And it’s free…a whole wide world of any music ever recorded anywhere…and it’s free.  Life can’t get any better than that.  Especially if you live smack dab in the center of Kansas.

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Ringo’s toothy grin…

Ringo and I just returned from a swing through town.   He loves to go on “errands” with me and is full of grins when I jingle my car keys alerting him to the prospect of an outing.  He does three high leaps in front of the garage door in anticipation of what is really a very dull trip to town.  His enthusiasm is contagious and it makes me eager to get my mail just because he loves it so much.  That tells you how exciting my life really is.

We stopped at the post office to pick up fliers and a few pieces of mail.  He particularly likes that stop as people are inclined to stop by the car and offer him a friendly word and a pat on his head.  With his head hanging out the window and that silly toothy grin on his face he is just asking for a hug.  And he gets them.  Ringo has lots of friends.

We rounded the corner to the bank and Ringo waited patiently while I visited with Karen a brief moment.  She’s one of my personal shoppers and recently found some slacks for me to replace the shreds I’ve been wearing…and loving them, btw.  They have lots of big pockets after all.  Some of the new one’s fit and are okay (but I miss the big pockets),  some didn’t so I returned the unfit ones to her. My good friend, Cindy, offered to shorten them.  Anyone who offers to do that is a dang good friend.  Anytime I try to sew I end up being sewed to it.

Our final stop was the grocery store.  There is not much activity when I shop as I try to avoid going when busy people are trying to get in and out in a hurry.  Ringo still likes to see who comes and goes.  Occasionally,  he gets to see the lady who has a half dozen super humongous St. Bernard’s in the bed of her truck.  That is a special treat for him as he dreams of romping with them, or so it seems.  At least he doesn’t bark at them or other dogs.

His favorite stop is the bank drive-in where he’s assured a doggy cookie every time the teller draw opens.  We didn’t stop there today and I’m sure he noticed.

Ringo’s really uncomfortable in my car right now…and confused.   He usually sits in the back seat with the windows down so he can stick his head out, eat bugs, see oncoming traffic and stay alert for impending calamities.  Back in the days when he was Brit’s pal, he rode in the front seat of his truck.  When he lost his best friend and had to change his allegiance he had to adopt my rules and sit in the back seat.  After a time, he liked it there and learned to respond to “BACK” very quickly.  It’s a good arrangement for us. But recently my back seat filled to the headliner with books for Ad Astra.  I’d put them in the far back, but that’s loaded with trash bags full of clothes for the What Not Shop in Kanopolis.  So, Ringo has to sit in the front seat with me for the time being. He remains in the car while I do my errands then he immediately jumps into the driver’s seat and is in charge.  Then I have to work my way back in again as he really prefers to sit there, regardless of what I think.  It’s not the best arrangement, but will do until I can get my car cleared of things to share. I keep thinking the local gendarmes will stop me as he is without a seat belt and ours is not the safest arrangement.

I’m going to miss Ringo when I move and he’s going to miss the only home he’s known since he was adopted.  He has visitation privileges at the Palace and Ally will bring him to see me.  He just can’t stay overnight. He’ll miss the peace and solitude of the only home he’s ever known since he was adopted.  He’ll miss his comfortable bed next to mine. And, he’ll miss the special groceries I prepare from him from time to time.  I’ll miss him enormously.  He will adjust to his new surrounds.  He loves Ally and will love all the activity on the farm.  He’ll have a good life with her and Hailey, Sam and …especially…Maggie.  We all move on.

Thanks for tuning in…

AGURBAN FACTS ABOUT THE SHALE BOOM IN NORTH DAKOTA…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:36 am

Important Facts About Drilling in North Dakota

We have shared with you many Agurbans about the shale gas boom occurring in the United States. This week, we want to pass along some facts we have learned about the drilling taking place in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota:

•    As of the end of May 2012, state statistics show a record 217 rigs drilling in North Dakota, with 95A% of those in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in western North Dakota. The number of wells awaiting hydraulic fracturing services stands at 248.

•    State officials say a typical well drilled in the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations will produce about 540,000 barrels of oil over its 29-year lifespan. A horizontal well in the formations cost an average of $7.9 million to drill and complete, and according to the State Department of Mineral Resources, will generate more than $20 million in net profit over its lifetime and pay more than $4.5 million in taxes. The average well also will pay about $7.5 million in royalties to its mineral owners.

•    It is estimated that there are between 27 billion and 45 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Bakken and associated formations. That’s substantially more than estimated just two years ago, and more than six times the amount the Geological Survey estimated six years ago.

•    North Dakota’s top oil regulator says the state could double its oil production by 2015 to more than 1 million barrels daily, putting it on par with Texas. North Dakota has gone from the nation’s ninth-biggest oil producer in 2006 to No. 2 this year, trailing only Texas.

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