Author: Kate Campbell (Page 1 of 29)

Evers Makes Connections at PETS

 Jim Evers, PE – Lawrence Central Rotary and Jennifer Jones, PE, Rotary International at 2022 Heartland Pets in Wichita, Kansas

Thanks to DGE Stephanie Meyer and everyone involved in planning the 2022 Heartland PETS Conference last weekend in Wichita.  It was the best training programs I have attended in a long time and provided helpful information to help me prepare for my year as President.  

I also want to thank Rotary International President Elect, Jennifer Jones for her inspirational message and insightful leadership for our great organization.  She is a perfect role model to show my granddaughters they can accomplish anything they commit to.  Thank you Jennifer. 

Jim Evers, President Elect 
Lawrence Central Rotary

Dinsdale Shares Lawrence Past

Dr. Bob Dinsdale, a soon-to-be-retired ENT physician at LMH, is a long-time Lawrence resident with a decades-long passion for history, especially the stories of the people and events that have shaped our town. His walking tours around the community provide insight into little-known facts and trivia about Lawrence and the people who preceded us.

Dinsdale shared the stories of Charles Langston and John Lewis Waller, contemporaries in Lawrence during the late 1800s.  Well-educated and politically active, together they helped to shape the community.  Eventually their grandsons Langston Hughes and Andy Razaf met in New York City where together they fostered the arts and political activism that helped create the culture of the Harlem Renaissance.   


Protecting Plants Is A Challenge

Jennifer Smith writes a weekly column in the Lawrence Journal World concerning plants and other things horticultural.  A veteran of the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s extension service, she plays a significant role by inspecting  nurseries and greenhouses for pests that might infest local plants.

Her work is established by law.  The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) runs the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program to  “safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of economically and environmentally significant pests, and facilitates the safe trade of agricultural products.”

What is a pest?  Weeds, algae and fungi, and insects all can damage plants.  The pests may be endemic–that is, indigenous to a locale–or exotic–that is, imported from elsewhere.  A pest creates an economic or environmental hazard.  

The emerald ash borer is a prime example of an exotic pest.  The Emerald ash borer was not identified as a problem when it first appeared in the United States.  Once it was, specialists tried all sorts of mitigation strategies, but they have been unable to halt its spread in the United States.  Other examples of exotic pests include Canadian thistle, the Japanese beetle, and the gypsy moth.

What can citizens do to assist in the difficult effort to detect, trace, and enforce against infestations?  

  • Avoid monoculture and mix species in your landscape
  • Shop for plants locally
  • Plant species native to Kansas
  • Take time to identify problems that may occur in plants in your landscape


Douglas County Extension Program Impacts Lives

Marlin Bates, the director of Douglas County Extension Services, has made a career of his work in the field.

Bates explained the history of land grant institutions and the breadth of services that they provide.  Many are unaware of the scope of programs in place to fulfill the land grant mission: “We are dedicated to a safe, sustainable, competitive food and fiber system and to strong, healthy communities, families and youth through integrated research, analysis and education.”

Many extension programs are familiar to the public: 

  • 4-H Youth Development
  • Health, Nutrition & Safety
  • Lawn & Garden
  • Business & Economics
  • Home & Family
  • Crops & Livestock

In recent years, extension staff has focused more on programs that address issues at the systems level as opposed to teaching particular skills.   Those broad areas include health, global food systems, community vitality, water and natural resources, and development of leaders.

During the Civil War, the Morrill Act of 1862 established land grant universities to teach agricultural science, mechanical arts, and military science.  Kansas’ land grant institution is Kansas State University in Manhattan.  The Hatch Act of 1887 widened the definition of land grant institutions to include research and established a network of field stations to conduct that research.  The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 directed the land grant institutions to distribute and disseminate information to the public. 

Kansas has an extension office in every one of its 105 counties.  Each has a 24-member board that is elected by the citizens in the county.  An executive board tends to day-to-day issues.  Douglas County has fourteen staff.

Family Can Be Complicated

Jim Peter’s explained Eleanor Roosevelt’s family tree, revealing complicated formative relationships in the early life of the woman who served as First Lady for twelve years and became the role model for modern First Ladies. 

Peter’s comments were a preview of the six-hour course he will teach this winter for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on “Eleanor Roosevelt: Her Private Struggles and Public Triumphs.”

Here are facts from Eleanor’s early years:

  • Eleanor was a descendent of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts in New York. The family gained wealth in business and banking and was known for its philanthropy and political influence.
  • Born in 1884, the daughter of Elliott and Anna Hall Roosevelt, she was named “Anna Eleanor.”
  • President Theodore Roosevelt was her uncle, her father’s older brother.
  • Her mother and one of her two brothers died when she was eight years old, and she was orphaned by the time she was nine. 
  • She was raised by her maternal grandmother Mary Livingston Ludlow Hall along with aunts and uncles who were close to her in age.
  • Schooled at home until she was 15, she then attended finishing school at Allenswood Academy in England where she played field hockey, danced, and toured Europe.
  • In 1907, she married Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of the Hyde Park Roosevelts. He was her fifth cousin once removed. 
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