• P.J. Griekspoor

    Roberts, Stabenow Show Rare Quality for Today's Washington: Congeniality

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 28, 2011

    Sens. Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow demonstrated a quality in extremely short supply in today's politics in a field hearing in Wichita last Thursday. They were congenial, respectful of differences of opinion and resolute about working together to come up with the best possible 2012 Farm Bill. And comfortable enough to joke easily. Roberts said that in the first field hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill on May 31 in Michigan, he learned to appreciate specialty crops. "Now, I have a Bing…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Here's to Hoping Washington Gets the Message

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 24, 2011

    If ever there was an argument for an agriculture safety net, this year's drought devastation covering more than two-thirds of Kansas should make it. On Wednesday, Sen. Pat Roberts was the guest of Reno County farmer Chad Basinger and his wife, Cassondra, for a tour of south central Kansas, where the only thing that's green is under irrigation and most of it isn't doing too well. The temperature hit 107 degrees as the Senator's tour bus traversed the county roads. Roberts joked about…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    A Kernel of Truth in Political Rhetoric

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 23, 2011

    Just when I thought this political season couldn't get any more nuts, Michelle Bachman takes the podium and guarantees that under her presidency, prices will come crashing down. Gas will be a $1.79, maybe $1.29. Candy bars will be a nickel and a loaf of bread 15 cents. Considering the political policies she advocates -- Warren Harding is a hero -- she just might do it. Plunge the U.S. into a depression that makes the 1930s  look like good times and you'll see deflation push those…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Triple Digits Back; No Real End in Sight

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 23, 2011

    The temperature hit 104 today and 108 is in the forecast for tomorrow. The long cooker that has been the summer of 2008 is going to be remembered for a long time to come. Sen. Pat Roberts is in south-central Kansas tomorrow for a drought tour in Kingman and Reno Counties. It looks like he couldn't have picked a better day if he wants to experience this summer first…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    And Now, For A Few Milestones

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 15, 2011

    It's hard to believe but school starts in just a couple of days. We have milestones this year: Jaime starts first grade, Michele starts kindergarten, Jackson starts pre-K and Chloe starts her last year in elementary school. Where, oh where, has all the time gone? Wasn't it just yesterday that we first learned Chloe was joining our family? Now she's so big -- taking care of her siblings, practicing her piano, obsessing about horses and wanting to become an astronaut. And if that's not…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Just When We Were Beginning To Green, Back to 100 Degrees

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 15, 2011

    The rain came with the price -- high winds and hail and power outages. But it was so worth it to see temperatures drop out of the persistent triple-digit range that marked most of July and early August. Now the party is over. Just as a little tinge of green here and there began to appear, we are back to the triple-digit forecasts, with highs flirting with the low 100s for the next several days. One thing I know for sure.  Most of Kansas will be happy to say goodbye to the summer…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    AGCO Product Launch Is Good Show With Touching Announcement

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 8, 2011

    I'm in Kansas City, Mo. for the biggest new product launch ever for Agco Corp., which has a special place in my heart because of what the Hesston manufacturing plant means to the economy of South Central Kansas. This launch is quite the show; the culmination of five years of research and development for Agco, with 15 new products, some of them ground-up redesigns, being announced. But the big moment of the night for me didn't come with the parade of impressive new tractor, combine…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Rain At Last, But With A Price -- And Little Relief From Heat

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 7, 2011

    Wichita and most of south central Kansas finally got rain this week. Almost two inches fell in the Wichita metro area on Aug. 3 and we've had another round of storms with at least some rain since then. But the water came with a price. Hail and power outages came with the storms that hit with 60 to 70 mph winds about 10 p.m. Wednesday night. Tree limbs are down all over town and the silver maple at the side of my driveway lost a big limb right out of the center of the tree. The wisteria was…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Ag Dodges First-Round Bullet

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 2, 2011

    Agriculture cuts were not part of the debt reduction agreement pounded out in Congress at the last minute today, says Tyler Lund, an aide in the office of Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran. That doesn't mean cuts aren't coming, however, he warned. He said program reductions are very likely to come in the future when the "super committee" in charge of identifying more spending reductions gets to work. Moran voted against the bill raising the debt ceiling and reducing spending, saying it was not…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    The Heat Goes On

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 1, 2011

    Blistering Kansas was supposed to get a "respite" Sunday from 100-degree heat, with a forecast high of "only" 96. It hit 101. Things heated up more today, topping out at 108 and Tuesday is expected to be hotter still with highs around 112. That's air temperature for the folks accustomed to talk about "heat index." The stats for July were tallied over the weekend, making it officially the second hottest July on record, with an average temperature of 89.3 degrees, topped only by the heat of…

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