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.
Robba and I joined all Kansans
today in celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends this week, and gave thanks for our blessings.
I am especially thankful for the service and charitable organization across Kansas who support our
communities and those in need. I hope Kansans consider supporting or volunteering at these organizations
during the holiday season. Just a few hours of your time giving back to your community can make this
holiday a memorable one for those in need.
I hope you and your family also enjoyed time together and
had the chance to reflect on all we have to be thankful for as Americans.
Airlines to Operate Out of Wichita
On Monday, Southwest
Airlines announced their plan to start operating five routes out of Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita
starting on June 2, 2013. Victor White, Director of Airports, Wichita Airport Authority, announced
that Southwest Airlines will now operate five daily routes to the “Air Capital of the World:”
two flights to Dallas, two to Chicago, and one daily flight to Las Vegas. Mid-Continent Airport recently
began work on their new $101.5 million terminal, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015. Joining
me at event were Governor Sam Brownback; U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo; Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer; Commissioner
Dave Unruh; Walt Berry, 2012 Chair, Wichita Metro Chamber; and Bob Montgomery, VP Airport Affairs,
Southwest Airlines. This announcement is great news for the news for the people of South Central
Kansas who now have new options to connect them and their businesses to the rest of the country. Click
here to see a photo.
4A State Championship Football Pre-game Coin Flip
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to participate in the coin flip
for the class 4A State Championship Football game between the Eudora High School Cardinals and the Holton
High School Wildcats. The game was held in Salina at Salina District Stadium and was well attended by
fans of both schools. It was an exciting game with great plays by both sides but Eudora was unable
to break Holton’s defense; Holton won 21-0. Congratulations to the players, coaches, administrators
and fans of both schools on a successful season. Thanks to the Kansas State High School Activities
Association (KSHSAA) football administrator Mark Lentz, KSHSAA representative Reggie Romine, and Tiffany
Benien of Salina for making my participation possible as well as Salina Chamber of Commerce President
Dennis Lauver for hosting me. Click
here to see a photo from the game.
Celebrating National Rural Health Day
Kansas Department of Health and Environment along with the National Organization of State Offices of
Rural Health recognized November 15th as National Rural Health Day. Setting aside this day provides
an opportunity to honor the community-minded spirit that prevails in Kansas and other parts of rural
America and to recognize the unique health care challenges that rural Americans face.
Nearly 60 million people – about one in five Americans –
call rural communities home. While these communities deal with the challenges such as medical
workforce shortages, caring for an aging population across a wide area, and serving a large proportion
of uninsured and underinsured patients, it is important to recognize the selfless, resilient, community-minded
doctors, nurses and administrators who are the foundation of many Kansas towns. The access to hospitals
and quality health care services they provide determines whether Kansans can remain in the communities
they call home and whether their children can return to raise families of their own.
I have had the privilege of visiting each of Kansas’ 127 community
hospitals in Kansas to learn firsthand the vital role each hospital plays in caring for the residents
of its community. Based on conversations I had during these visits, I sponsored legislation currently
in the Senate to help address some of the unique challenges rural providers face. In addition to
the quality care these providers give to patients, rural hospitals drive local economies as one of the
largest employers in rural areas. I commend the men and women working in these facilities for their
tireless effort and dedication to their communities.
This weekend, people around the country
began their Christmas shopping. The holiday season is always a much needed boost to retail businesses,
especially for small businesses which are the backbone of our economy. Small businesses employ more
than half of Americans and create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the United States each
year. That's why there is an effort underway to make the Saturday after Black Friday a day dedicated
to shopping at small businesses to help fuel the economy. Small Business Saturday is a great idea, but
I hope folks will continue supporting their Main Street businesses throughout the year. These businesses
do a lot to strengthen our communities and shopping there is a great way to say thank you to the business
owners and employees who keep our communities strong.
a Helping Hand to Kansans
As one of your U.S. Senators,
I am privileged to have the opportunity to be of immediate and direct assistance to the citizens of
Kansas. Helping Kansans who have difficulty navigating the vast network of federal resources is a long-standing
tradition I am glad to continue in the U.S. Senate. Since I was sworn is a U.S. Senator in January
2011, my office has already handled more than 3,800
requests for help from Kansans.
you need assistance when working with any federal agency, please do not hesitate to contact me. You
can submit a request for help and learn more about the additional services I offer by visiting my website
These services include:
- Capitol Tours: Most
of Washington’s institutions are open to the public; however, a few require an entrance pass or
reservations. By contacting my office, individuals, families and groups – both large and small
– can arrange for free, guided tours of sites like the Capitol Building, the Senate Gallery, the
White House, the Pentagon and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
and Photos: One of the things I enjoy most is meeting Kansans
who have traveled to Washington to see their capital city. If your school, civic or religious group
would like to meet with me or have a picture taken on the steps of the Capitol, please contact my office
as far in advance as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Requests: My office would be glad to request an American flag
that has been flown over the United States Capitol building for interested Kansans. If you are able
to provide sufficient advance notice, we can arrange for the flag to be flown on a requested date.
With your flag, you will also receive a certificate to commemorate the event. There is a fee associated
with receiving a flag.
- Internships: Senate
internships are available in my Washington, D.C. office and my state offices. Internships are available
in the fall, spring and summer terms.
- Service Academies:
It is my honor to nominate bright young Kansans to our United
States service academies: the U.S. Military Academy at West Point,
the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Coast
Guard Academy. I am now accepting applications for the class entering in summer 2012.
Whether it’s something as small as helping you enjoy your trip
to Washington, or as important as expediting passports, working out a problem with veterans’
benefits and medals, or working through an issue with Social Security or Medicare, I am proud to assist
Kansans in helping their government work for them.
This week we had several visitors in the
Washington, D.C., office, including the Kansans listed below.
Academy of Pediatrics
Dennis Cooley of Topeka
Pamela Shaw of Kansas City
Sue Peterson (Manhattan)
James & Susan Wantland (Overland Park)
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,
Very truly yours,