Kansas Common Sense
Sep 26 2011
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The University of Kansas Cancer Center Applies for NCI Designation
This week, The University of Kansas Cancer Center (KUCC) formally applied to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to become an “NCI-designated Cancer Center.” NCI is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and our nation’s principal agency for cancer research and training. Obtaining NCI designation would dramatically enhance KUCC’s ability to discover, develop and deliver innovative treatments to patients in our state, improving their quality of life. Currently, there are 66 NCI-designated cancer centers across the country - but none in Kansas. With NCI designation, KUCC patients would have access to the latest clinical trials and the most advanced cancer treatments close to home.
Kansas has the potential to become a thriving research powerhouse for medical, pharmaceutical and technological advancement, and KUCC’s pursuit of NCI designation is an integral component of that potential. Because NCI designation is the highest recognition for an academic cancer center, KUCC would be better positioned to recruit the brightest researchers and scientists to develop cutting-edge treatments and cures right here in Kansas. Furthermore, studies have shown that NCI designation would attract thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to our state’s economy. Economic development on this scale would not only impact thousands of Kansans today, but would benefit residents for years to come.
Our nation’s scientists are continuing to make important progress against some of the world’s most devastating diseases and our state stands ready to make a greater impact in the effort to improve health and save lives. I commend the teams at KUCC, KU Medical Center, and other partners for their pursuit of NCI designation and I strongly support their application.
Helping Community Banks Provide Prudent Loans, Create Jobs
With 14 million Americans looking for work, our government’s first priority should be to create an environment where businesses can grow and hire workers. Community banks play a critical role in our nation’s economic recovery, serving rural, small town and suburban customers alike. Unfortunately, I continue to hear concerns from Kansas bankers who are hesitant to lend as they wait for the next burdensome regulation to come out of Washington. Until banks are willing and able to make prudent loans to hometown customers, job creation will remain stifled and our economic recovery will continue to lag.
This week, I introduced the Communities First Act, S. 1600, which would provide much needed regulatory and tax relief to community banks and their customers. By stripping away outdated or unnecessary regulation, my bill would help community banks focus on what they do best: providing loans to their communities and helping to create jobs. Among other provisions, my bill would:
- Bring accountability to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;
- Enhance rural lending programs in communities with a population of 2,500 or less.
- Extend the 5-year net operating loss (NOL) carry-back provision through 2011 for community banks with $15 billion or less in assets; and
- Exempt financial institutions with assets of less than $1 billion from certain requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley.
I intend to continue to look for ways to provide a bright future for community banks throughout Kansas and believe that the Communities First Act is an important piece of the process. Click here to learn more about my legislation.
Prospects for Middle East Peace Suffer Setback
The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, submitted a formal application for Palestinian membership to the United Nations on Friday despite the strong objections of the United States. In doing so, the Palestinians chose confrontation rather than negotiations with Israel and violated the Oslo peace agreements, which state that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians must be solved through direct negotiations. Peace cannot be made by votes in the Security Council or General Assembly; it can only be achieved by the Palestinians and Israel through direct negotiations.
Both the United States and Israel have endorsed the creation of a future Palestinian state. What prevents that state’s creation is not the United States or Israel; it is the Palestinian’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state with an historical right going back thousands of years to the land and to Jerusalem. I spoke to my colleagues in the Senate this week about the Palestinian statehood bid and reminded them of a Senate resolution I sponsored that passed in June, which stated the Senate’s intent to consider restrictions on aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continued its efforts to circumvent direct negotiations by turning to the United Nations. Click here to view my speech.
Visiting with the Associated General Contractors of America
On Tuesday morning I had the privilege of speaking before chapter leaders from The Associated General Contractors of America, a diverse group of commercial contractors with projects ranging from highway construction and pavement preservation, to drilling, trenching and air field patching. I discussed with the group my support for a multi-year, surface transportation bill that will provide certainty to contractors and allow project contracts to be honored.
At the event, the contractors conveyed their frustration with the perception by many Americans that President Obama’s stimulus package was spent overwhelmingly on infrastructure. They cite their inability to retain workforce and start new projects as evidence that the less than 7 percent of the last stimulus plan was spent on shovel-ready infrastructure projects. We also discussed repeal of the 3 percent withholding requirement from payments to contractors for goods and services. The contractors told me that their companies face narrow profit margins in these hard economic times, and the prospect of an additional tax withholding hurts their bottom line by diverting expenditures that could be used on workforce investment and equipment. I am a co-sponsor on two pieces of legislation currently before the Senate aimed at making this repeal a reality. I am pleased to be able to support many of the initiatives that were discussed on Tuesday, and I also enjoyed seeing friends from Kansas in the audience and in my office that day. Click here to view a photo from the event.
Congratulating Kansas' Principals of the Year
On Thursday, I got to congratulate Kansas’ middle school and high school Principals of the Year for 2011: Tom Palmer, principal of Sabetha Middle School, and Larry Thompson, principal of Hesston High School. Tom and Larry were selected for this recognition by their peers across the state and the awards were presented by the Kansas Association for Secondary School Principals. They were in Washington as part of the MetLife/National Association of Secondary School Principals National Principal of the Year program, which recognizes outstanding middle level and high school principals. This program annually honors principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. Each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity select one middle level and one high school principal to represent them at an awards banquet held each year in Washington. This event not only saluted Tom and Larry for their outstanding school leadership, but also allowed them to meet with other exceptional principals from across the country to share ideas and best practices. The competitiveness of our state and our nation is directly linked to the quality of our children’s education, and I thank Tom and Larry for their dedication to Kansas students and their future. Click here to view a photo of our meeting.
Visiting the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how laboratory discoveries are being translated into new drugs and treatments during a visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland – the nation’s largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research. Currently, there are 1,500 clinical research studies in progress at the Center and 10,000 new patients being cared for annually. The Center is uniquely designed to enable researchers to work alongside a wide range of specialists, who deliver the best possible care to patients with the most advanced treatments available. This powerful arrangement has led to a long list of groundbreaking medical discoveries, including the development of chemotherapy for cancer, the first tests to detect AIDS/HIV, and the first treatment of AIDS.
Additionally, research at the Center and throughout NIH directly supports 350,000 U.S. jobs, and indirectly drives 6 million more jobs across the nation. In 2010 alone, NIH research led to the creation of 487,900 quality jobs and produced $68.035 billion in new economic activity across the country. This research is directly linked to biomedical industry developments and private sector growth in Kansas and throughout the U.S. Congress today faces the challenge of balancing effective, efficient government operation with the necessity of righting our nation’s fiscal course during these challenging times. Therefore, it is extremely important that we reduce spending, lower our national debt, and prioritize programs that effectively serve the American people and demonstrate sufficient return on taxpayer dollars. I believe medical research needs to be a priority because it saves lives, improves health, drives economic development, and enhances our global competitiveness. Click here to view photos from my visit to the Center.
Continuing My Support for Biomedical Research
While in Washington this week, I was humbled to receive the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The mission of the AACR is to prevent and cure cancer. The award is presented in recognition of efforts to strengthen the nation’s biomedical research capabilities in order to prevent and cure diseases like cancer. I am honored to receive this award and will continue to be a strong advocate for research focused toward the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer, and saving the lives of more than half a million Americans each year. I was also pleased to visit with Dr. Roy Jensen, Director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center at the event. Click here to see a photo.
Increasing Access to Health Care in Kansas
Access to health care is essential to the prosperity and survival of the towns we call home. Throughout my time in public service, I have worked hard to preserve and protect access to quality health care for all Kansans – especially for those living in rural areas of our state. This weekend, I traveled to Stockton on Saturday evening to participate in an event to raise funds for a new health care clinic. The current clinic was built in 1950 and no longer has the capacity to serve the larger population. Efforts are underway to build a new clinic in order to provide Stockton residents better access to health care closer to home. The new 6,000-square-foot building will house two full-time physicians, a part-time nurse practitioner and other visiting physicians. Two current University of Kansas School of Medicine students are contracted to begin work after the clinic opens in the fall: Dr. Mike Oller, who grew up in Hays, and Dr. Beth Loney. Thanks to Kathy Ramsay for the invitation to attend.
On Sunday, I was in Larned to celebrate the groundbreaking of Pawnee Valley Community Hospital. The Larned community was faced with losing its hospital in June 2009, but now two years later – they are celebrating the groundbreaking of a new hospital building. The new facility will be built on the current location following a partial demolition, but medical services will continue until construction is complete. The new hospital will offer 23 patient rooms and an enhanced emergency department with an on-site helicopter pad for emergency transports. The new hospital is estimated to be finished in the spring of 2013. Click here to view a photo from the event.
Photo credit: Michael Gilmore with the Tiller and Toiler
Upcoming Conservation Tour Highlights
On Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30, I will be hosting my 11th Annual Partners in Conservation Tour. This year’s conservation tour will focus on water conservation and tour attendees will learn firsthand about a variety of conservation practices important to water quality and quantity throughout Kansas.
I am excited that this year’s tour will start in Harvey County were we will visit the EQUUS Beds and Groundwater Management District. We will then travel to Sedgwick County where we will visit the Aquifer Storage and Recovery Site and the Wichita Water Center, as well as the Jackman Forest and local watershed programs. On Friday, we will begin with a tour of three great sites in Greenwood Country, which include a look at livestock alternative watering supplies, salt scars and stream bank restoration projects. The tour will wrap up in Butler County with stops at the El Dorado Waste Water Treatment Facility and El Dorado State Lake and Cole Creek.
Site visits will feature presentations by landowners, Natural Resources Conservation Service district conservationists, groundwater management district representatives, municipality representatives and others. The tour is open to anyone who is interested in attending. If you would like more information about the tour or would like to RSVP, please e-mail email@example.com or contact my Wichita office at 316-631-1410.
2011 Service Academy Selection Board Announced
This week, I announced the members of my 2011 Kansas Service Academy Selection Board. This 20-member board is made up of Kansans from across our state who will review applications and interview candidates who are applying for admission to U.S. Service Academies for 2012. These include the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Our country is fortunate to have so many talented young men and women interested in serving our country through the Armed Forces. The Selection Board will have a tough time narrowing the field of qualified candidates, but I value their insight and thank them for their service. Click here to view the members of the board.
My office is now accepting applications for nominations to the United States Service Academies and the application deadline is October 1, 2011. Applicants will be required to interview with the Service Academy Selection Board on Saturday, November 19, 2011. If nominated, applicants must then meet the individual admission requirements of each academy. The academies will make the final decision on who will receive an appointment of admission in early 2012. Click here to learn more or to request application materials. You can also call my Olathe office at 913-393-0711 with any questions.
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.
Kansas Geological Survey
Rex Buchanan of Lawrence
Dairy Farmers of America
Steve Strickler of Iola
Byron Lehman of Newton
DeAnn Sullivan of Wichita
Michael Chisam of Lyons
Greg Stone of Garden City
Nick Hatcher of Liberal
Mark Devries of Wichita
Steve McNich of Oakley
Dick Sterrett of Oakley
Dave Vandergriend of Wichita
Gary Oborny of Wichita
Russell Stovers Candies
Tom Ward of Mission
Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
David Combs of Kansas City
Overland Park Chamber of Commerce
Tracey Osborne of Overland Park
Rick Worrel of Overland Park
Tom Robinett of Overland Park
Jennifer Bruning of Overland Park
Dr. Mike Cook of Wichita
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Dr. Michael Sokol of Leawood
American Pharmacists Association
Harold Godwin of Kansas City
Butler County RSVP
Melody Gault of Augusta
Lori Bishop of Manhattan
Walton Rural Life Center
Natise Vogt of Walton
Barbara Bunting of Walton
Staci Schill of Walton
Carol Sue Stayrock of Walton
The University of Kansas Hospital
Dorothy Hughes of Kansas City
Sisters of Mercy Health System
Karen Endicott-Coyan of Fort Scott
Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics
Genny Nicholas of Kansas City
Dallas Polen of Overland Park
Sandra Lawrence of Leawood
Michael Artman of Kansas City
Pittsburg State University
Steve Robb of Pittsburg
Coalition for the Life Sciences
Rebecca Peterson of Lawrence
Jean Mayhugh of Shawnee
Donald Kempin of Olathe
Brian Sakurada of Overland Park
Mike Ketcher of Overland Park
Laura Austin of Wichita
Marva Meats of Wichita
Karl Woolsey of Wichita
Larry Burnett of Hutchinson
Larry Burnett, Jr. of Hutchinson
Paul O'Dell of Topeka
Julia Davis of Pomona
Cecil Walker of El Dorado
Cathy Walker of El Dorado
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Amber Lucas of Olathe
Linda Radke of Salina
Philip Schneider of Lenexa
Suzanne Schrater of Valley Center
Kansas National Education Association
Bob Thesman of Overland Park
Kimberly Howard of Wichita
ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer
David Emerson of Overland Park
The University of Kansas Cancer Center
Roy Jensen of Kansas City
2011 Kansas Middle School Principal of the Year
Tom Palmer, principal of Sabetha Middle School
2011 Kansas High School Principal of the Year
Larry Thompson, principal of Hesston High School
University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center
Tama Sawyer of Kansas City
Disability Rights Center of Kansas
Rocky Nichols of Topeka
American Academy of Hospice & Pallative Medicine
David Daniel Wensel of Topeka
Jack & Jill of America Organization
April Hall-Key of Overland Park
University of Kansas School of Pharmacy
Prof. Harold Goodwin of Kansas City
Bob Thesman of Overland Park
ZERO, The Project to End Prostate Cancer
David Emmerson of Overland Park
Fraternity and Sorority Leaders
Patrick Alderdice of Lawrence
Vicki Nixon of Lubbock, TX
Leadership of Kansas Contractors Association
Brian Hansen of Towanda
Jake Klaver of Kingman
Association of General Contractors of Kansas
Mike Gibson of Topeka
David Snodgrass of Wichita
Mike Gibson of Topeka
Kansas Automobile Dealers Association
Don McNeely of Topeka
Les Eck of Wichita
Kansas Credit Union Association
LeeAnn Marker of Hutchinson
Raymond Stroud of Garden City
Larry Damm of Wichita
Kathy Hutchins of Wichita
Wanda Scott of Wichita
Greg Winkler of Topeka
Jim Holt of Wichita
Mike Welli of Wichita
Bruce Taylor of Overland Park
Vickie Hurt of Topeka
Kim Wheelock of Topeka
Cindy Olson of Kansas City
Mary Williams of Kansas City
Miriam Glueck of Leawood
National Peace Corps Association
Patricia Burns of Mission
Carl Schramm of Kansas City
Cameron Cushman of Kansas City
George Miller of Kansas City
William Carey of Whitewater
Women's Action for New Direction
State Rep. Sydney Carlin of Manhattan
Kansas Telecommunications Industry Association
Mike & Jackie Foster of Clay Center
Archie Macias of Udall
Greg Aldridge of Arkansas City
Carl Krehbiel of Moundridge
Kansas American Legion
Dave Warnken of Hutchinson
DeeDee Danin of Wichita
Rithvik Mogali of Overland Park
Many Kansans stopped by this week for a tour of the United States Capitol including: Randall and Brenda Rezac of Baldwin City; Kevin and Beverly Jennison of Stilwell; Ronald and Linda Totsch of Shawnee; DeAnn Sullivan of Wichita; Steve Strickler of Iola; Charles and Diana Frickey of Oberlin; Ron & Betty Meyer of Overland Park; Don & Cindy Meyer of Topeka; Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Hofstetter of Tonganoxie; Dr. Tama Sawyer of Kansas City; Lisa Oller of Kansas City; Kendra Elliot of Pratt; DeAnn Sullivan of Wichita; Steve Strickler of Iola.
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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