Monday, January 30, 2017

Opinion: OpEd: Embracing Electoral Progress in Haiti Share

Kenneth H. Merten
Special Coordinator for Haiti and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Washington, DC

In 2017, Haiti turns the page. For the next five years, stakeholders in Haiti have a choice. They can work together toward the common good of the nation, or they can sacrifice the interests of the Haitian people for individual advancement.
Kenneth H. Merten Photograph
courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Hatti
Over a year has been lost in completing elections. Haiti deserves this long-awaited chance to regain its due. Democracy is always a work in progress, building on each step achieved, self-correcting as necessary, while maintaining a trajectory moving forward. Over two hundred years ago, the father of the Haitian Revolution Toussaint L’Ouverture demonstrated leadership by reminding early Haitian patriots to “reflect on the disasters which may ensue from longer obstinacy.” There is no need to forsake Haiti’s 213 years of accumulated nationhood by not heeding such sage advice. Let us allow the wind to fill Haiti’s sails and support its new leaders in setting the course.
While, the United States congratulates the Government of Haiti and the Provisional Electoral Council on the January 3 publication of the final presidential results, Haiti’s nearly two-year journey to democratically elect a president has taken a toll on the Haitian people, the national economy, and the country’s ability to address threats from natural disasters and other urgent issues. The United States is encouraged by the ongoing preparations to hold January 29 elections for legislative and local seats and calls on all actors to ensure that the election is secure, credible and free and fair. We look forward to the February 7 inauguration of Jovenel Moise as Haiti’s 58th President and to working closely with him and his government on the range of issues facing the Haitian people.
Having a legitimate government in place a fully functioning parliament and a democratically elected president ushers in a return to full constitutional rule and permits the Government of Haiti, civil society, and partners of Haiti to renew a reciprocal commitment to address key issues facing the Haitian people.

Congressional Update

Press release submitted by Tyler Price, Baker University Assistant Athletic Director

Passed the Senate:
 The confirmation process continues for President Trump's appointments.
There were two nominees who were confirmed and sworn in on Inauguration Day:
  1. Retired Gen. James Mattis (Secretary of Defense)     
  2. Retired Gen. John Kelly (Secretary of Homeland Security)     
  • Representative Mike Pompeo was confirmed as CIA Director. He resigned from Congress and took the oath of office Monday evening.     
  • former South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, was confirmed by the Senate for the position of UN Ambassador. She submitted her resignation from the governor's post on Tuesday afternoon.
Passed committee: 
  1. Senate committees approved the nominations of Elaine Chao (Transportation)
  2. Dr. Ben Carson (Housing and Urban Development)
  3. Wilbur Ross (Commerce)
  4. On Monday, the nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a vote of 11-10.
Passed the House:
H.R. 7: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions
Party Yes No Present Not Voting
Republicans 235 4
Democrats 3 183 7
Total 238 183
What H. R. 7 means:
  • Permanently authorizes the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of Federal funds for abortion or health plans that cover abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger. 
  • Prohibits premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies authorized under the A.C.A. (aka ObamaCare) from being granted for health plans that include elective abortion coverage.
Retirement  Announcement:
On Wednesday January 25, 2017, Second District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, announced that she would not seek re-election to the House seat she was elected to in 2008.  Jenkins had been a favorite possible Gubernatorial candidate, seem to squash any thought of that saying, she would not seek any office in 2018. 

Baldwin EDC Holds Annual Meeting

Press release submitted by Hank Booth and the Economic Development Corporation

The Baldwin City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) held their Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony Tuesday evening at The Lodge.  Keynote speaker for the meeting was Steve Kelly the new VP of Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County and VP of Economic Development for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.  Kelly stressed the importance of partnerships within the county among the communities in seeking development of a strong, lasting economic base.  He also presented a very positive viewpoint on Baldwin City's position after spending time with BCEDC leaders touring the community.

A&H Air Conditioning and Heating and owners
Bill Harmon and Alan Wright
Photographer  Andrew Madl, Mid-America Bank/EDC
The EDC, now marking its 10th year of service, also made presentations of three awards given annually.  EDC President Dave Hill, President of Mid-American Bank, presented the Business of the Year Award to A&H Air Conditioning and Heating and owners Bill Harmon and Alan Wright.  Hill noted the two had been schoolmates in Baldwin since childhood, and were the only employees when they started A&H in 2000.  Today A&H has 30 employees and serves customers from Kansas City to Wichita.  

Homestead Kitchen and Bakery
owner/operator Lori Gardner
Photographer  Andrew Madl
The New Business of the Year award, presented by EDC Executive Director Hank Booth was presented to Homestead Kitchen and Bakery and owner/operator Lori Gardner.  Gardner officially opened the downtown restaurant and bakery in November last year after five years of dreaming and planning for combining something she loved to do, baking and cooking, with a business plan.

Bill Neuenswander
Photographer  Andrew Madl
The EDC Community Service Award was presented to long time Baldwin resident Bill Neuenswander.  Neuenswander served as the Superintendent of Schools in the Baldwin City district in the 1980's and returned to Baldwin to lead the Baker University School of Education in 1995.  Since his retirement from that position in 2006 he has been an active volunteer in many groups in the community.

School Lunches - January 31-February 3

Week of January 31-February 3, 2016

Breakfast Pizza

Mini Corn Dogs
Cucumber and Celery
Baked Beans
Fresh Fruit
(Fruit Juice)
 Sausage Patty with Whole Wheat Biscuit

Chicken Nuggets
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Whole Wheat Rolls
(Fresh Fruit)
Tossed Salad
2/1  Biscuit and Gravy Pulled Pork on Whole Wheat Bun
Creamy Cole Slaw
Baked Beans
(Fruit Juice)
2/2Bubble Bread
Taco Salad 
Tortilla Chips/Tomato Salsa
Refried Beans
(Fruit Juice)
Cinnamon Puff 6-12

2/3Whole Wheat Bagel
Garden Salad
Fresh Apple
(Fruit Juice)
Garlic Bread Stick with Marinara Sauce
Chocolate Chip Cookie

Fruit Juice only available at Baldwin High and Junior High School

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Number 4 William Penn Edges Baker, 95-93, in Double OT

Press release submitted by Tyler Price, Baker University Assistant Athletic Director

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – The Baker University men’s basketball team nearly knocked off number 4 William Penn for the second time this season, as the Wildcats fell, 95-93, at WPU in double overtime on Saturday afternoon.

Baker defeated WPU, 88-85, back on Nov. 19, 2016 inside the Collins Center for the Statesmen’s first conference loss this season.

BU falls to 11-10 overall and 8-9 in Heart of America Athletic Conference play, while William Penn moves to 18-2 overall and 14-2 in the Heart.

The Wildcats had to fight back from a 46-32 first half deficit and outscored the Statesmen, 48-34, in the second half to force overtime.

There were 91 total free-throws taken in the contest, as Baker went 32-of-45 for 71.1-percent, while WPU when 31-of-49 for 63.3-percent.

Five Wildcats scored in double figures including a big game from senior Tyrome Parker who scored 22.

Javeion Gray added 15, Taylor Johnson scored 14, Brock Mick added 10 and CJ Bolton netted 11.

Parker shot 11-of-16 from the free-throw line and Tyree Peter led all players with 13 rebounds. Baker forced 13 turnovers and held the Statesmen to just 25.8-percent from three-point range.

The Wildcats will next take on Missouri Valley on Monday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. inside the Collins Center.

NAIA Men's Basketball Box Score

Baker (Kan.)32487693
William Penn (Iowa)46347895

Number 10 Baker Women Uses Big Second Half Comeback to Defeat (RV) William Penn

Press release submitted by Tyler Price, Baker University Assistant Athletic Director

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – In this week’s installment of the NAIA DI Women’s Basketball Game of the Week, the number 10 ranked Baker Wildcats used a huge second half push to defeat (RV) William Penn, 71-67, and remains in first place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference standings.

With the win, the ‘Cats move to 17-4 overall, and 15-2 in conference action and is still tied with Benedictine in the conference standings, while William Penn drops to 13-7, and 11-5 in the Heart.

Baker was able to come away with victory late in the fourth period, as Kelsey Larson hit the go-ahead field goal with eight seconds remaining.

After a William Penn turnover, Larson nailed two free-throws to capture Baker’s third- straight Heart victory.

The Statesmen outscored the ‘Cats in every quarter except the fourth, leading by as many as eight points in the final period.

Larson led Baker in scoring with 19 points, while Mackenzie Cook scored 15, and Jessica Zweifel netted 10.

Syndey Buchel led the team in rebounds with nine, while also recording two blocks and a steal.

The ‘Cats were able to force fifteen turnovers and held the Statesmen to 30-percent shooting in the second half.

Baker was outrebounded, 50-37, but held the Statesmen to just nine points in the third quarter and the ‘Cats get the season sweep over WPU.

The number 10 Wildcats will next take on Missouri Valley on Monday, January 30 at 5:30 p.m. inside the Collins Center.

NAIA Women's Basketball Box Score

Baker (Kan.)1714162471
William Penn (Iowa)192091967

Strategic Operational Realignment and Additional Staff Hiring Underway at the New Heartland Park

Topeka, KS - With all operational indicators pointing to positive results for the New Heartland Park Topeka, a strategic operational realignment and additional staffing is underway to prepare for the explosion of growth. “It’s no secret we are growing at a record pace” says Scott Gardner, President and General Manager of the New Heartland Park Topeka, said in a media release. “With this growth, we are moving forward operationally to be even better prepared for the future.”
This fall, Heartland Park Topeka completed a complete repave of the 2.5-mile championship-caliber road course and pit road and has added a full slate of events scheduled for that venue in 2017. In addition, Menards, the popular home improvement retailer, has been named as the title sponsor of the NHRA Heartland Nationals as well as Minties Pet Treats as the presenting sponsor. Both arrangements are major indicators of the direction the diverse motorsports facility is moving.
Heartland Park Topeka which opened in 1989, will now have the largest expansion of events ever to be presented with five separate venues in operation. Events will be contested on the drag strip, road course, motocross, dirt oval and autocross pad throughout 2017. In addition, events conducted outside of those venues at HPT include Hare-Scramble, Rallycross and drift.
The realignment of staff is designed to allow focus to be placed specifically on individual areas. Chris Payne, as the sole owner is the CEO/CFO and Scott Gardner will continue to lead daily operations as President & General Manager. Laura Gardner continues as Director of Business Operations with emphasis on ticket operations, Jeff Lacina serves as Director of Road Course Operations and Marketing & Communications Manager. Jordan Donald’s responsibility is expanded from Outside Services Manager to include Director of Motocross Operations, Ron Conner continues as the Director of Drag Strip Operations and Grounds & Maintenance Supervisor and Darla Conner takes an expanded role in Office Operations to include being the Business to Business Marketing Consultant.
In addition, according to the media release, Tami Gwaltney has been hired and will start in February as HPT’s new Food and Beverage Service Manager. Additional staff expansion announcements are expected to be made in the next 90 days.