Kansas Common Sense
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Greeting Honor Flight Veterans at the WWII Memorial
On Tuesday and Thursday, I was privileged and humbled to spend time with World War II veterans from Kansas at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. These veterans represent the best of America – a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. It is because these veterans answered the call of duty that we enjoy the freedoms we have today.
The veterans I visited with were visiting Washington, D.C., with the Central Prairie Honor Flights, a grassroots organization that enables veterans to visit the WWII Memorial created in their honor. A driving force in the creation of this Memorial was former Kansas Senator Bob Dole. To the delight of the veterans visiting on Thursday, Senator Dole greeted them as they passed through their Memorial. It was a great experience for me to interact with Senator Dole and fellow members of The Greatest Generation. These visits truly reaffirm my commitment to do all I can to make our nation a better place for future generations. Click here to view photos of their visit.
Working to Protect Rural Post Offices
The U.S. Postal Service faces financial challenges, and has proposed closing nearly 3,700 post offices across the country, including 134 post offices in Kansas. People often think post offices are funded by taxpayer dollars, but they are not. In fact, the Postal Service’s funding comes from the sale of postal goods and services. In the past five years, mail volume has decreased by more than 20 percent due to the increased use of email and our struggling economy.
Kansas is ranked 7th on the list of states with the largest number of post offices to be closed. And, many of the 134 post offices slated to be closed in Kansas are located in rural communities that rely on postal services the most. But, the Postal Regulatory Commission has found that maintaining rural post offices only amounts to 0.7 percent of the Postal Service’s budget. While I recognized the USPS is facing difficult financial times, reducing service to rural communities and senior citizens will have little benefit to their bottom line.
This week I introduced legislation to make certain rural America is not forgotten during the decision making process in Washington. Because of local post offices, many small businesses can still keep their doors open in rural Kansas. And, for many senior citizens who no longer have the ability to drive long distances, it is the local post office that gives them a personal and business connection to the rest of the world.
Progress on the Colombia, Panama and South Korea Trade Agreements
This week President Obama submitted the trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to Congress for consideration. Their passage will not only open more foreign markets for our agricultural commodities and manufactured goods, but it will also lead to the creation of more jobs and opportunities for all Americans.
Together, these trade agreements are expected to increase direct exports from Kansas by $129.5 million per year and lead to more than 1,100 new jobs in the Kansas economy. America cannot afford to sit on the sidelines while other countries move forward. Tariffs have caused American farmers to lose nearly 20 percent of total agriculture markets in Colombia over the last 5 years. I look forward to the approval of these trade agreements as soon as possible, so we can give American producers the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, and create more jobs here at home.
Debating Chinese Currency Manipulation in the Senate
This week, the Senate considered the issue of China’s manipulation of its currency. I voted to consider this legislation on Tuesday because I believe we should work to identify methods to hold China accountable for manipulating its currency. After several attempts to amend this legislation, the majority leader cut off the ability of Senators to offer amendments to improve the bill. A final vote on the legislation is expected on Tuesday.
There is widespread recognition that the Chinese government has undervalued its currency for decades. This can make many of our exports more expensive and Chinese imports cheaper than they would be otherwise. I will keep you posted on this issue as it moves forward.
Recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and efforts are underway to increase breast cancer screening rates among women throughout the country. This week, my wife, Robba, and I recorded a public service announcement to remind Kansans of the importance of regular screening exams. Breast cancer awareness month is intended to increase awareness of the disease and help raise funds for important research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment initiatives. Every two minutes, a woman in our country is diagnosed with breast cancer – and in Kansas alone, nearly 2,000 women will be diagnosed this year. You might know someone who is a breast cancer survivor, because there are more than 2.5 million survivors in America today. Thanks to advances in research and screening, more women are detecting this cancer early and improving their chances at beating the disease. Regular screening is the best way for women to lower their risk, because breast cancer is most treatable when it’s detected early. To learn more about cancer prevention and screening, please visit the National Cancer Institute’s website at www.cancer.gov.
Touring LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City
Kansas is fortunate to have the first philanthropic stadium in the world, LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City. On Monday I had the opportunity to tour the stadium, home of the Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City, before returning to Washington. The stadium is designed for the ultimate fan experience, and I was very impressed with its innovative technology. The Park is also used for concerts and corporate and private events. A portion of the stadium revenues fund LIVESTRONG’s work in the fight against cancer. Thank you to my tour guides Greg Cotton and Chris Wyche with the Sporting Club. Click here to view a photo from the visit.
First Friday Forum in Ottawa
On Friday morning I was glad to have the opportunity to attend the First Friday Forum in Ottawa. The forum is a time for members of the public and community leaders to come together and communicate about issues impacting the community in a casual atmosphere. It was nice to see a crowd of more than 60 citizens who came out to hear about area business and local government activities. I also had the opportunity to answer some of their questions and give an update on what’s happening in Washington. I was pleased to learn about a planned Honor Flight in November of 26 area veterans from Cathy McClay. I also had opportunity to visit with Arvest Bank Director Dennis Woolman, Ottawa Community President for Arvest Ed York, City Manager Richard Neinstedt, and Ottawa Herald Editor Jeanny Sharp, as well as several others. It was also nice to see KS Majority Whip Willie Prescott and 5th District Representative Bill Feuerborn on hand to support this event. Kudos to the Ottawa Herald, Arvest Bank, the City of Ottawa, and Ottawa Main Street Association for their joint sponsorship of this great public forum. Click here to see a photo from the event.
Fort Hays State University Homecoming
On Saturday, Robba and I attended the Fort Hays State University (FHSU) Tigers’ homecoming football game against the Pittsburg State University (PSU) Gorillas. I’ve enjoyed participating in FHSU homecoming activities many times over the years, and this year was no different. I appreciated the chance to visit with President Ed Hammond, PSU President Steve Scott and many students during the exciting game, which ended in Pittsburg State defeating FHSU by a score of 38-17. I’m proud Hays is home to such a terrific university. Thank you to President and Mary Hammond for inviting me to be their guest at the game.
Welcoming NASCAR Fans to Kansas Speedway for Sprint Cup Series
On Sunday, I was honored to welcome NASCAR fans to the Kansas Speedway for the fourth race in “the Chase” for the Sprint Cup. It was a great day for racing and more than 80,000 fans were in attendance to cheer on their favorite drivers – including Emporia native Clint Bowyer, number 33. Kansans love racing – in fact, in 1949 when the Cup Series got its start, better known in those days as the Grand National, Jim Roper of Great Bend was the winner. NASCAR fans are known for their passion and dedication to the sport – but also for their unwavering support of the members of our Armed Forces and their families. I appreciate their efforts to honor and recognize our men and women in uniform for their service to our country. Thanks to the drivers for an exciting race and thanks to all the fans who came out to show their support. Click here to view photos from my visit.
Now Accepting Spring 2012 Internship Applications
My own interest in public service was sparked by an internship for Kansas First District Congressman Keith Sebelius in 1974. As an intern, I had the chance to learn firsthand how a Congressional office operates and how the legislative process works.
I am proud to be able to offer this same opportunity in my Senate office today. Applications are being accepted for internships in my Washington, D.C., Topeka, Wichita, Hays and Pittsburg offices for the spring 2012 term. Congressional internships are open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in public service and have achieved academic excellence.
Applications are due by October 21st. The spring 2012 internship session will take place from January 4th to June 1st. To apply for an internship, students should complete and submit an application, cover letter, résumé, college transcript and two letters of reference. Students should apply online at my website (www.moran.senate.gov) under the “services” tab. Please submit additional materials to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to the address listed below:
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran
Attention: Internship Coordinator
354 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Applicants can feel free to call (202) 224-6521 or email email@example.com to obtain more information.
In the Office
This week we had several visitors in the Washington, D.C., office from across the state, including the Kansans listed below. Click here to view photos of some of the visits.
Tom Roberts of Lenexa
American Veterinary Medical Association
Dr. Brian Huseman of Overland Park
Dr. Dave Hustead of Overland Park
Dr. Vern Otte of Overland Park
Dr. Mark Spire of Overland Park
National Sorghum Producers
Leon Sowers of Murdock
Kathy Petersen of Wichita
International Association of Machinists
Stanley Chapman of Wichita
Sandia National Laboratories
Keith Yehle of Albuquerque, NM (formerly of Lawrence)
American Academy of Dermatology
Robert Durst of Topeka
Holly Fritch of Leawood
Frank Koranda of Prairie Village
Christopher Moeller of Wichita
Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Dr. Dennis Cooley of Topeka
Kansas Hospital Association
Fred Lucky of Topeka
Jodi Schmidt of Parsons
Mike Ryan of Hillsboro
Kansas Head Start Association
Lori Alvarado of Lawrence
Glenda Wilcox of Lawrence
Terrie VanZandt Travis of Overland Park
Rita Gedney of Salina
American Occupational Therapy Association
Nicole Sampson of McPherson
Fort Leavenworth School District
Keith Mispagel of Ft. Leavenworth
USD 475 Geary County Schools
Janet Christian of Junction City
Bob Henderson of Junction City
Ron Walker of Junction City
Roundtable on Critical Care Policy
Brad Poss of Wichita
Air Traffic Control Association
Greg Schoofs of Overland Park
Thales ATM Inc.
Mark Boguski of Shawnee
Financial Services Institute
John Stanfield of Olathe
Terry Betzelberger of Overland Park
Plastics Industry Trade Association
Grant Flaharty of McPherson
John Idoux of Kansas City
Many Kansans stopped by this week for a tour of the United States Capitol including: Terry and Sharon Funk of El Dorado; William and Mary Orr of El Dorado; Jeff and Joyce Zillinger, and their daughter, Faith, of Topeka; Ann Williamson and Alexander Wiebel of Topeka; Kathryn Calvert of Wichita; Randy and Karml Blumanhourst of Lyons; Spencer Alefs of Wichita; Emily Edwards of Derby; and John Neet of Lawrence.
It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Please let me know how I can be of assistance. To send me an email, click here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.
Very truly yours,
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