Monday, October 23, 2017

State of LGBTQ Equality in Nine Kansas Cities Detailed in HRC’s 6th Edition of the Municipal Equality Index

Press Release

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community. The group released the following statement indicating most Kansas fall below their threshold of communities supporting their cause.

Many municipalities extend vital protections to their LGBTQ citizens and visitors

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Recently the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), assessing LGBTQ equality in 506 cities across the nation, including nine in Kansas.
The 2017 Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, shows that cities across the country, including in Kansas, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ people and workers -- even in face of renewed attacks this year on the LGBTQ community by federal and state officials.
For LGBTQ Americans, legal protections and benefits vary widely depending on location -- states and cities have markedly different laws governing discrimination. 20 states have non-discrimination laws that include protections for LGBTQ people in employment, and 19 states have laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in places of public accommodation. But cities are leading the way: since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.
The average score for cities in Kansas is 35 out of 100 points, which falls below the national average of 57.
Emporia
23
Hutchinson
32
Kansas City
35
Lawrence
74
Manhattan
57
Olathe
7
Overland Park
19
Topeka
35
Wichita
31
“This year’s MEI paints a vivid picture: cities big and small, in red and blue states alike, are continuing our progress toward full equality, regardless of the political drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, the MEI serves as a vital tool for business leaders and municipal officials alike when it comes to economic development. CEOs know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities. The MEI is the best tool to help these businesses make crucial evaluations about the welcoming -- or unwelcoming -- nature of towns and cities across the nation.”
“Our movement is stronger and more united than ever, and we stand in resistance to the unprecedented attacks on all our communities,” said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the Equality Federation Institute. “This report is a proven, powerful tool for local advocates to leverage in their efforts to win full equality at the local level, and serves as a reminder that we aren’t going back, despite a most hostile federal administration and organized opposition.”
Since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased by more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.
Progress on transgender equality has been particularly noteworthy in cities across America this year, continuing a positive trend that the MEI has tracked -- and encouraged -- since 2012. Transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits are offered to employees of 111 municipalities this year -- up from 86 in 2016, 66 in 2015 and just five in 2012. The MEI’s Issue Brief on Transgender-Inclusive Health Benefits is available here.
Other key findings from the 2017 Municipal Equality Index include:
  • 86 cities from states without comprehensive non-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people scored above the overall national average of 57 points. These cities averaged 84-point scores; 28 scored a perfect 100.
  • Cities continue to excel even in the absence of inclusive state laws: 41“All-Star” cities in states lacking comprehensive non-discrimination laws scored above 85 points, up from 37 last year, 31 in 2016, 15 in 2014, eight in 2013, and just two in 2012.
  • The national city score average increased from 55 to 57 points. 68 cities scored 100 points; 25 percent scored over 79 points; 50 percent scored over 59 points; 25 percent scored less than 36, and 11 cities scored zero points.
The MEI rated 506 cities including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 44 criteria covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and city leadership’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. Starting in 2018, the MEI will introduce new criteria including protecting youth from “conversion therapy” and will deduct points for religious exemptions that allow discrimination by singling out LGBTQ people.
The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online at www.hrc.org/mei.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Area Happenings - Week of October 22, 2017

Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  October 21, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to press@baldwingazette.com.



October 25, 2017 






 October 26, 2017

 City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum
  • 6-7 P.M. Mayoral Candidate Forum 
  • Refreshment Breaak  
  • 7:30-9:30 P.M. City Council Candidate Forum Forums will start promptly at 6 and 7:30
Lumberyard Art Center
718 High Street


October 27, 2017
 Messages 
Featuring the Baker University Choirs
Baker University Concert Choir,
Chamber Singers, and Community Choir

7:30pm

Rice Auditorium

Freewill donations accepted as fundraiser for choir’s tour to England in Spring 2018

October 27, 2017

Baldwin City Chamber and City of Baldwin City Civic Engagement Program
Got Electric Questions?
Rob Culey, Glenn Rodden and Brad Smith
Location: Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice

Time: 8-9 A.M.
 Refreshments Available

  October 28, 2017

COME AND ENJOY OUR
COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?



HOST
VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
1724 N 692 RD
BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600





November 7, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

November 21, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 2, 2017
 6 PM
 Festival of Lights


 
December 5, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 19, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 29, 2017

COME AND ENJOY OUR
COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?


HOST
VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
1724 N 692 RD
BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600


January 2, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.



January 16, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.


Third Friday Art Walk and Farmers Market

Downtown Baldwin City





Every 4th Thursday of the Month
10 A.M. - 11 A.M.
Mobile Food Bank
Baldwin City New Life Assembly of God
118 5th St  Baldwin City, KS
Stay in car, line up and drive through



Every Tuesday through October  
Eudora Local Gardening Farmer’s Market
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Tuesdays
through October 2016
1402 Church Street
Eudora, KS.
In the parking lot of Gene’s Hartland Foods.
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Wednesday through October
De Soto Farmer’s Market (Fresh Promise’s Market)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesdays through October 2016
at The Barn at Kill Creek Farm
9200 Kill Creek Road
De Soto, KS
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Thursday through October 
Cottin's Hardware Farmer's Market on Thursdays from
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
through September
at Cottin's Hardware & Rental back parking lot
1832 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS
Local vendors offer a variety of goods including produce, baked items, hot foods, meats, eggs, soaps, jams, jellies, herbs, fudge and much more!;


Every Friday through October
Perry Lecompton Farmers' Market
Fridays from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
at Bernie's parking lot
24 Hwy and Ferguson Road
Perry, KS
Visit the market to find fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, honey, fresh cut flowers, farm fresh eggs, handmade crafts and more!


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Obituary: Lloyd Lacer


Lloyd Lacer
August 21, 1924 - October 18, 2017


Lloyd Lacer, age 93, of Baldwin City, Kansas died Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at Wellsville Manor Care Center in Wellsville, Kansas. Lloyd was born in Bucklin, Missouri on August 21, 1924, to Grover and Marie Lacer. He married Rowena (Mauk) Poindexter on June 5, 1985, and she survives him.
Lloyd Lacer
Lloyd served 4 years in the United States Army during World War II in the South Pacific theater
returning to a long and varied working life which included employment in the petroleum industry in oil production facilities in Libya and the Middle East. In 1985 Lloyd retired after a lengthy employment at the Hercules Ammunition Plant in DeSoto, Kansas and used his “retirement” years raising cattle, helping neighbors with farming chores and sharing life with his wife, Rowena. Lloyd enjoyed gathering with family and friends in the Baldwin community at the local feed store or pubs telling entertaining “true” stories and sharing bets on the latest sporting events. He considered
everyone a friend and if for some reason a wire got crossed, he usually figured out a way to set it straight.
Rowena would like to communicate her gratefulness for all the friends and relatives who attended Lloyd’s last birthday celebration in August and how much Lloyd appreciated that time.
A private gathering of family and close friends is planned at the Lacer home in Baldwin October 19-21.
A public memorial service is scheduled for October 28, 2017, at 1:00 pm at Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City, Kansas. Opportunity after the service has been made for guests to share memories and condolences.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Obituary: Robert “Bob” L. Morse

Robert “Bob” L. Morse, 72, of Baldwin City, Kansas passed away Sunday, October 15, 2017, at St. Francis Health Center, Topeka, KS. He was born December 20, 1944, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the son of Robert C. Morse and Bernice (Peterson) Morse, both deceased.
Robert “Bob” L. Morse
Bob served honorably as a Captain in the United States Army from 1968-1974. He served in Vietnam from 1969-1970. His military awards and decorations include The Soldier’s Medal; Bronze Star with ”V” device and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Medal; Republic of Vietnam Service Medal with 3 campaign stars; and Combat Infantry Badge.
Bob graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and in 1975 with a Juris Doctorate from the School of Law. He received a Masters of Law in Trial Advocacy from the University of Missouri- Kansas City in 1976. Bob became a criminal defense attorney, Olathe Municipal Judge, and a professor. He loved teaching at Johnson County Community College, Brown Mackie College and Kaplan University totaling over 25 years.
Bob’s most cherished titles were husband, father, and teacher. Bob was united in marriage to Bonnie Lauxen on July 10, 1971, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She survives of the home. Other survivors include his daughter, Michelle Morse of Mission, KS and his son, Ryan Morse, and wife, Christine, of Medina, Texas and many beloved students.
A Celebration of Life Service with Military Honors will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, October 23, 2017 at Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, 712 Ninth St., Baldwin City, KS. Prior to the service, the family will greet friends for a visitation beginning at 12:30 p.m. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Disabled American Veterans, www.dav.org or Unleashed Pet Rescue & Adoption, www.unleashedrescue.com c/o Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.

Meet the Candidate - Brian Cramer

Candidate Questionnaire
Brian Cramer

Gazette: What sets you apart from other candidates? 
Cramer: 
For the past 18 months, I have actively volunteered for projects that impact economic vitality and quality of life in Baldwin City.  I have volunteered for Baldwin City Economic Development Corp., Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin City Senior Engagement Coordinating Council, and Douglas County E-Community.

I have experience working on a wide variety of Baldwin City initiatives including senior housing, youth entrepreneurship, and small business development.  I have also participated in fund raising projects for non-profits in Baldwin City including cultural and historic attractions.

I'm committed to serving Baldwin City now and in the future, regardless of the outcome of this election.

Gazette: What aspects of your personal history, accomplishments, and personal philosophy make you the best possible choice in this election cycle? 
Cramer: 
Personal accomplishments don't  matter once you are on the council.  What does matter, is being able to listen, learn, communicate, and make decisions based on the values of integrity, discipline, and character.



I am a team player, and I believe the other candidates who have communicated their ideas are as well.  My goal is for Baldwin City to be at its best, not for me to be the "best possible choice".

GazetteWhat do you see as the most important issue this election? 
Cramer:   I believe helping Baldwin City achieve responsible economic growth is the most important issue during this election.  Our Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) will provide property tax incentives for new construction and improvements to existing property.  But it won't do much unless we engage property owners, developers, and builders on the benefits of the NRP.


I am ready to help the council and city staff educate the public on the NRP if called on to do so.



Gazette: What would you do to ensure the community you hope to represent is a livable community? 
Cramer:  I would continue strong collaborations with the community organizations that make Baldwin City more livable.  Organizations such as the Chamber, Lumberyard Arts Center, Recreation Commission, and the Library do a fantastic job providing programs and services for our citizens.  Their leadership fosters growth in programs despite large increases in public funding.  That leadership helped inspire me to run for city council.  The City of Baldwin City supports these organizations in various ways, and I would be excited to collaborate with them as a councilperson.


GazetteIf money were no obstacle, what is one project you’d like to see the city move forward on? 
Cramer:  Let's focus on making money less of an obstacle instead of pretending it's not.  That starts by assertively pursuing economic growth while considering how we spend tax dollars and revenue from utilities.  


Gazette: Polls show most voters don't think government works. What would you do to reform the underlying structures and systems that seem to be a major cause of the problem? 
Cramer:
I applaud City staff that traveled to Florida to face a hurricane and restore power to our distant neighbors.  Their spirit was supported by City administration, council, and our citizens.  That's one example of our local government at work.  It works here in Baldwin City on a daily basis...you can see examples of it everywhere.

The city council has improved over the past four years, and I believe it can continue to make more improvement over the next four.


Gazette: Do you think eliminating obsolete laws, regulations (and bureaucracies) would help reduce wasteful spending in government? And if so, how would you do it? 
Cramer:  The city council approves the budget, so wasteful spending should be addressed during the budget formation process.  As a councilperson, I would demand full transparency to get the best information from city staff.  I'm not aware of any laws or regulations that prevent doing those things.





 Gazette: Do you think state and local civil service rules make it harder to cut wasteful spending and to efficiently manage public agencies? If so, what would you do about it? 
Cramer:  Again, the council is responsible for approving the budget and policy.  It's about planning and considering all options including cuts prior to budget approval.





Gazette: What is your position on the Baldwin City Recreation Center?
Cramer: I agree with the City Council's desire to have citizens vote on this issue. 

LDCHD news release about community flu clinics

Press Release


Lawrence, KS – The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has scheduled three
community flu vaccination clinics. They will be:
• Tuesday, Oct. 17 — 4-6 p.m., Eudora City Hall, 4 E. Seventh St., Eudora.
• Thursday, Nov. 2 — 3:30-5:45 p.m., Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.,
Lawrence.
• Wednesday, Nov. 8 — 4-6 p.m. Baldwin City Public Library, 800 Seventh St., Baldwin
City.
Participants should bring health insurance information or cash, credit card or check. The flu shot is:
• $28 for children ages 6 months to 35 months.
• $35 for individuals 3 years and older.
• $62 for the high-dose vaccine for individuals 65 years and older.
The Health Department recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a
yearly flu vaccine. Getting the vaccination is the most effective way to avoid getting the flu, a
contagious respiratory illness.
Influenza can cause mild to severe symptoms and can lead to hospitalizations and death.
During the 2016-17 flu season, influenza was a contributing factor or directly caused 1,205
deaths in Kansas, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Those
most at risk are infants and young children, older adults and pregnant women; however, flu is
unpredictable and even healthy children and adults can get flu.
Clinic Supervisor Kathy Colson said it’s not only important to get vaccinated to protect yourself,
but also your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. “People can be infected with the flu
virus and not be showing symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus
to others.”
For more information about flu or to view Douglas County flu activity, visit ldchealth.org/flu.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Meet the Candidate - Brian Messenger

Candidate Questionnaire

Gazette: What sets you apart from other candidates? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact

Gazette: What aspects of your personal history, accomplishments, and personal philosophy make you the best possible choice in this election cycle? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact

GazetteWhat do you see as the most important issue this election? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact



Gazette: What would you do to ensure the community you hope to represent is a livable community? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact


GazetteIf money were no obstacle, what is one project you’d like to see the city move forward on? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact


Gazette: Polls show most voters don't think government works. What would you do to reform the underlying structures and systems that seem to be a major cause of the problem? 
Messenger:  No response/Unable to contact



Gazette: Do you think eliminating obsolete laws, regulations (and bureaucracies) would help reduce wasteful spending in government? And if so, how would you do it? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact





 Gazette: Do you think state and local civil service rules make it harder to cut wasteful spending and to efficiently manage public agencies? If so, what would you do about it? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact





Gazette: What is your position on the Baldwin City Recreation Center?
Messenger:  No response/Unable to contact

Jenkins, Loebsack Send Letter to HHS on Direct Supervision

Press Release

Congress Person Lynn
Jenkins
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-R) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-D) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Don Wright to permanently prevent Medicare’s enforcement of unreasonable and inflexible direct supervision rules for outpatient therapy services at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other small, rural hospitals. The bipartisan letter was signed by 54 other members of the House of Representatives.

“Critical Access Hospitals and small hospitals are the lifeblood of rural communities,” said Congresswoman Jenkins. “Permanently preventing the “direct supervision” rule will help CAHs and other rural hospitals plan for the future and focus more on their patients. I will continue working to repeal burdensome regulations on our rural and critical access hospitals to ensure their continued presence and vitality throughout Kansas.”

“We must keep fighting to ensure all Iowans have access to high-quality health care no matter where they live,” said Loebsack. “Critical Access Hospitals play an important role in rural communities by providing access to primary, emergency, and acute care services. I have visited CAHs across the state that has struggled to meet the direct supervision requirement. I am proud to continue working with Rep. Jenkins on a bipartisan basis to permanently extend this rule to provide CAHs with certainty that they deserve.”


Dear Acting Secretary Wright:

On July 13, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the proposed rule for “Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Changes for 2018.” While we were pleased CMS included a two-year moratorium on enforcement of its burdensome direct supervision requirement for outpatient therapeutic services provided in certain small and rural hospitals, we urge you to include a moratorium for the current year, 2017, and to permanently extend the enforcement moratorium.

Under current regulations, hospitals must perform most outpatient therapeutic services under the “direct supervision” of a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner, which can be challenging for small and rural hospitals due to already low numbers of available health professionals and associated costs. When these services become too expensive or difficult to provide under “direct supervision” requirements, they are at risk of being terminated, leaving patients without access to care in their communities.

The American Hospital Association, which represents nearly 2,000 small and rural hospitals, has stated that hospital outpatient services in rural communities have always been – and will continue to be provided by licensed, skilled professionals under the overall direction of a physician. However, if CMS enforces its burdensome direct supervision policy in these vulnerable facilities, we are concerned that many hospitals will simply stop offering certain services or drastically limit when they are offered to patients because they cannot afford to maintain compliance with the regulation. Furthermore, we are concerned that without a moratorium in 2017, hospitals operations and services may be jeopardized by the prospect of enforcement of this burdensome regulation.
We appreciate your willingness to listen to and consider our concerns, and for your commitment to protect access to patient care in rural communities and provide regulatory relief to America’s small and rural hospitals.

Baldwin High Community Homecoming

Kevin Surbaugh

 Baldwin High School held a community-wide Homecoming Celebration complete with a parade in downtown Baldwin City on Thursday, October 12, 2017.   Citizens from throughout the district came out to pump the team up, before the big victory that came the next night.
Baldwin High Football Team   Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Baldwin High fans show their support for Baldwin Football
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Baldwin City Council Agenda - October 17, 2017

Baldwin City Public Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS 66006
TUESDAY
October 17, 2017
7:00 PM

A. Call to Order- Mayor Marilyn Pearse
B. Consent Agenda
   1. Minutes of the October 3, 2017, Regular Meeting
C. Public Comment:
Members of the public are welcome to comment on items relating to City business not listed on this
Agenda. Please stand and wait to be recognized by the Mayor. As a general practice, the comments may or may not be acted upon by the Council during the meeting, or Council may refer the items to staff for .follow up.
If you wish to comment on an item listed on the Agenda, a sign-up sheet is provided for you to sign in and .provide your address. You will be called on when the Agenda item of interest is under discussion by the Council.
D. Special Reports or Presentations
   1. Highway 56 Project Update -- BG Consultants
E. Old Business
F. New Business
  1. Mayor appointments
       a. Gerard Arantowicz-library board
       b. Glenn Rodden - treasurer
 2. Ordinance 1381 Amending Water Rates
3. Ordinance 1380 Amending Sewer Rates
4. Lotatorium discussion
5. Capital Improvement Plan discussion
G. Committee and/or Commission Reports
1. Budget and Finance/Kathy Gerstner, David Simmons
2. Community Development Committee/A.J. Stevens, Tony Brown
3. Public Health and Safety Committee/David Simmons, Kathy Gerstner
4. Public Works Committee/Christi Darnell, A.J. Stevens
5. Utilities Committee/ Tony Brown, Christi Darnell
H. City Administrator and Staff comments
I. Council & Mayor Comments
J. Executive Session
K. Adjourn