Author: Kate Campbell (page 1 of 18)

Kansas Land Trust Protects and Preserves

Jerry Jost speaks to Rotarians

Jerry Jost explained that the Kansas Land Trust (KLT) has been protecting land and water in Kansas for 29 years. During that time, KLT has permanently conserved 74 properties equaling nearly 39,000 acres.

The KLT works to protect and preserve land of ecological, agricultural, scenic, historic, or recreational significance in Kansas. Thus, the protected acres may be virgin prairie, prime farmland, stream banks, or woodland. Nearly 30,000 acres of land in the Flint Hills falls within KLT protection. Six properties preserve threatened species. Protected property may or may not allow public access.

When property owners place land into the trust, they retain ownership, but create conservation easements.The easements are voluntary arrangements in which the owner gives up certain options for using the land in exchange for the protection of the land in perpetuity .  Thus, they also end up contributing some portion of the equity in the property to the Kansas Land Trust.  Each trust is negotiated individually.  

Visiting Nurses of Douglas County Celebrates Fifty Years

“We come in as strangers. We leave as friends.”

This phrase summarizes the impact of Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association in the community during the past fifty years. Lori McSorley, business development manager for the organization, told the story.

Over the years, Visiting Nurses has had six different offices and a number of dedicated directors.  Currently the organization houses at Bert Nash.  Cynthia Lewis has been CEO since 2013.

Services expanded from home health and rehabilitation to include hospice care in 1981.  In 2010, the organization began providing non-medical assistance through “Help at Home.”  Visiting Nurses has made over 1,580,000 visits to more than 38,000 patients since they began.

Funding remains a challenge as federal reimbursements to Medicare continue to be reduced, but Visiting Nurses remains dedicated to serving everyone, whether or not they can pay.  

Find “high quality comfort food” at Leeway Franks

K Meisel knows Leeway Franks well. She and her husband Lee established the restaurant in 2015. This fall, they have expanded to include a butcher shop. K’s husband Lee is owner-operator, chef and butcher of Leeway Franks and Leeway Butcher. K is the co-owner and business administrator for Leeway Enterprises.

Leeway Franks offers “high-quality comfort food.” The flavors are “approachable” and “memory driven,” according to K, inspired by family recipes that appeal to all ages.

Leeway Butcher serves as a retail outlet for handcrafted sausages, meat cuts including steaks and chops, deli meats, sandwiches, and more. The shop also offers custom processing and cut-to-order bundles. Meats are sourced from small Kansas farms and livestock producers with an emphasis on humane production methods and sustainable agriculture.

Lee Meisel was born into a cattle ranching family in North Dakota. A member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Lee was schooled in old-world style butchery, sausage making and meat processing. He brought his trade to Lawrence in 2005. Lee earned a business degree from Haskell Indian Nations University and spent more than two decades in the food service industry as a butcher, manager and chef before opening Leeway Franks.

Leeway Franks has won accolades as a Native American-owned certified Minority Business Enterprise. It was named “Minority-Owned Retail Business of the Year” by the Kansas Department of Commerce (2016 & 2018); “Top 50 Native American Entrepreneurs” by Native Business Magazine (2019); and “Emerging Small Business of the Year” by Kansas Small Business Development Center (2019).

Youth Benefit from LCR Support

It was a day for young achievers at Lawrence Central Rotary as two high school students reported on club-sponsored summer activities.

Hamidat Asuku received a financial award from the club to help her participate in the Sister Cities student exchange trip to Hiratsuka, Japan. Hamidat shared images of her trip and her impressions of Hiratsuka, which she described as safe, clean and pleasant, with a small town atmosphere.

The most memorable part of the trip was her host family who were very kind and made her feel welcomed. Hamidat is studying Japanese, but she was grateful that the host family spoke English. She was impressed with the interesting and tasty variety of food she was served. The “host dog” was great fun, and it went along on various excursions. Hamidat enjoyed trips to museums, places and to the beach. She would very much like to return to Japan. Hamidat’s mother, Billy Asuku, was present at the meeting.

Shreya Bhaka, daughter of club member Sam Bhaka and his wife Rohini, was selected by the club to attend Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA). Some sixty students assembled in Lawrence this summer for a week of presentations on leadership and various civic and social issues.

Shreya enjoyed working with the mix of students drawn from schools in the area. The students formed small work groups and took on such topics as “the state brain-drain” and activities such as preparing care packages for tornado victims. They also learned about Rotary service options for young people as well as other avenues for service. Shreya spoke of numerous new friendships and intends to maintain contact with others in the group to create a forum of RYLA attendees for sharing school issues and ideas in the coming year.

Chance Encounters of the Visual Kind

Lynn O’Neal, retired opthamologist and charter member of Lawrence Central Rotary, told a story of a chance encounter with fascinating “small world” coincidences attached to it.  

The story begins with Lynn’s Navy ROTC scholarship to medical school.  After twelves years of active duty and four years in the reserves, he was eager to meet old friends at the 2015 Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, PA.  While exploring the city, he and his wife Debbie happened to stumble upon the Barnes Foundation, a private collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern art.

Intrigued by the fact that the collection was little known, Lynn did some research and discovered that the art was acquired in Europe during the Depression by a Dr. Albert C. Barnes of Philadelphia (1872-1951).  Trained as a doctor, Barnes pursued chemistry as it applied to the practice of medicine.  In fact, Barnes’ wealth came from a drug he developed called Argyrol, an antiseptic which is used in the treatment of ophthalmic infections and to prevent newborn infant blindness.  It was a treatment that Lynn prescribed often in his opthamological practice. (That’s the “small world” part of the story.)

Barnes formed A.C. Barnes Company and registered the trademark for Argyrol, selling the company just days before the stock market crash in 1929.  He spent his wealth purchasing fine art throughout his lifetime. 

Philadelphia’s art intelligentia declared Barnes’ collection to be too avant-garde when he shared it with the public in 1923.  As a result, Barnes maintained a long-lasting and well-publicized antagonism toward those he considered part of the art establishment.  There are over 4,000 objects in the Barnes collection.  The works are not hung traditionally, a fact that generates ongoing criticism.

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