Kansas Common Sense
Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thank you for your continued interest in receiving my weekly newsletter. Please feel free to forward it on to your family and friends if it would interest them.
Congratulating Gordon and Mary Jenkins of Cimarron
Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed National Small Business Week, which recognizes the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners and took place May 20-26 this year. As part of National Small Business week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states. On Wednesday, I was in Cimarron to attend the awards reception for Gordon and Mary Jenkins, the 2012 Kansas Small Business Persons of the Year.
Gordon and Mary are owners of White’s Foodliner in Cimarron, offering “big city” choices with small-town service and friendliness. Since purchasing the store in 2007, they have continued to innovate, update facilities and expand product offerings, attracting the attention of Patty Richardson, Executive Director of Great Plains Development, Inc. of Dodge City, who nominated the Jenkins’ for the SBA award.
Small businesses, the backbone of our economy, employ more than half of Americans and create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. Grocery stores, in particular, are a cornerstone for any rural community. Necessary to the survival of any small town, grocery stores often represent not only a place to purchase food and necessities close to home, but also serve as a social institution for a community.
Thanks to Wayne Bell, District Director of the Wichita SBA office; Al Hatch, President of Great Plains Development, Inc.; and the good folks of White’s Foodliner for their hospitality. Thanks also to State Senator Garrett Love for joining us at the special event. I offer my sincere congratulations to Gordon and Mary Jenkins, for their exceptional work and dedication to Cimarron and the Gray County community, on this tremendously well-deserved recognition. Click here to view a photo of State Senator Garrett Love and me from the event.
Joining Rotarians for Meetings in Garden City, Pratt and Liberal
I had the opportunity to visit with members of Liberal, Garden City and Pratt Rotary Clubs this week. During the meetings I spoke to local business and community leaders about a range of issues, including America’s ominous debt situation, the upcoming farm bill and our recent efforts to repeal disastrous Department of Labor regulations that would have fundamentally altered the future of agriculture. I enjoyed my conversations with local residents and commend the members on their efforts to strengthen and improve their local communities. Thanks to all the clubs for graciously hosting and welcoming me this week. Click here to view photos from the visits.
Law of the Sea Treaty
Washington has recently seen renewed discussion on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty. This treaty defines the rights and responsibilities of all nations on matters ranging from the breadth of a nation’s territorial waters to the conduct of ships on the high seas. Though it was signed by the United States in 1994, it has yet to be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate to become binding. I am concerned about provisions in the treaty which could erode American sovereignty, and I have shared my concerns with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and my opposition to ratification of this Treaty. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has determined the Law of the Sea Treaty will not be considered until after the November elections, but I will remain vigilant to ensure American interests are protected.
Visiting the Community of Dodge City
On Tuesday morning I stopped by the community of Dodge City and visited with residents. It was great to see Duane Ross at the High Plains Journal and chat about agriculture issues and the summer wheat harvest. I also had the opportunity to stop by Western Beverage and say hello to Joe Bogner.
The folks I met at both the Ford County Governmental Center and the Dodge City Visitors Center continue to ask what President Obama and Congress are going to do to grow the economy and put Americans back to work. I share their frustration and look forward to returning to Washington this week to tackle the challenges facing our nation. I appreciated the chance to visit with local residents in Dodge City. Our conversations help me gain a better understanding of their views and the ways I can serve them better in Washington, D.C.
Visiting the Community of St. John
On my drive to Pratt on Thursday, I stopped by the community of St. John to visit with local residents and businesses. During my stop, I visited with County Treasurer Lisa Milton, and County Clerk Nita Keenan. I also dropped by the St. John News and visited with Trish Coleman, Assistant Editor of the St. John News and Christie Snyder, Director of the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library. Spending time in rural communities reminds me what I loved about growing up in rural Kansas: the strong sense of community. Thanks to all the folks who also welcomed me at the courthouse, city hall, Stafford County Farm Bureau, Kanza Cooperative Cenex and the Goodman Public Library. Click here to view photos from my visit.
Remembering Overland Park Soldier Cale Miller
Last week on Memorial Day, we remembered that freedom is not free as we paid tribute to our nation’s fallen troops who laid down their lives for our country. On May 24, 2012, Kansans lost one of their own when U.S. Army Private First Class Cale Miller of Overland Park died in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to B Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. All Americans will forever be indebted to Private Miller for his service and sacrifice. My deepest sympathies go out to his family, and I ask all Kansans to join me in remembering his family and friends in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
In the Office
This week we had several visitors in the Washington, D.C., office, including the Kansans listed below. Click here to view photos of some of the visits:
Salvation Army Supportive Services
Aaron Estabrook from Kansas City
Chad Crispin from Kansas City
Dr. Mark Sarver of Garden City
Brian Hansen of Andover
Kip Spray of Great Bend
Randy Hattesohl of Hays
Eugene Beachner of St. Paul
Mike Shilling of Manhattan
Wendy Harms of Topeka
Woody Moses of Topeka
Bob Totten of Topek
Vern Hopkins of Salina
David Guillaume of Overland Park
Valerie Harms of Topeka
Chad Girard of Sedalia
Mary Lou Reece of Wichita
Steve Sloan of Pittsburg
Beau Bolden of Overland Park
Hermis ‘Bean’ Boulden of Overland Park
Diane Gaede of Manhattan
Jake Klaver of Kingman
Chad Moore of Kansas City
Many Kansans stopped by to take a tour of the U.S. Capitol this week including:
Dr. Gavin Buffington
Bryan Phillips of Topeka
Cheri Phillips of Topeka
Kylie Phillips of Topeka
Maryn Phillips of Topeka
Reese Phillips of Topeka
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,
Newsletter Sign-up Form
Note: Fields marked with an * are required.