Pete Dulin got some teasing about the research he conducted in eastern Kansas and western Missouri for his new book Expedition of Thirst. He does admit it was a real pleasure to work on his travel guide focused on regional breweries and wineries.
On April 1, 2019, Kansas law changed to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell strong beer. The new law lifted a restriction that dated from the time of Prohibition, according to Dulin. Dulin went on to explain that in the 1880’s, before Prohibition, Kansas was the number one producter of beer and wine in the United States. Then, ironically, forty years prior to federal Prohibition, Kansas became the first state to enact a statewide rule against alcohol.
Today, craft beer has rebounded to have a $480 million impact in the Kansas economy, ranking the state 43rd in the production of craft beer in United States according to the Brewers Association 2017 statistics. Still, Missouri craft beer production is six time that of Kansas and generates twice the revenue.
Many small breweries start as a “food pub,” brewing beer to serve with food for local customers. Those breweries may sell their beers from the taproom, but to expand their distribution, they must find a distributor to reach retailers as required by state law.
In 1976, Hannes Zacharias paddled a canoe down the Arkansas River from his home in Fort Dodge, KS, to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2018, Zacharias took the adventure once again. In his replay, he started at the mouth of the river in the mountains of Colorado, making the 2,060 mile trip to Venice, LA, largely by kayak.
The plot pf Zacharias’ story focused on the significant changes that he observed in the river itself as much as his tales about the people and the places he encountered.
The mouth of the Arkansas River is in central Colorado. It is the sixth-longest river in the United States, the second-longest tributary in the Mississippi–Missouri system, and the 45th longest river in the world. Fed by snow melt in the Rocky Mountains, water in the “Ark,” as Zacharias calls it, flows through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas before joining the Mississippi River.
In the upper miles of the Ark, recreational uses such as rafting, canoeing, kayaking and fishing are available only in compromise with ranchers who are reluctant to give access to the river.
Once the river hits the plains, reservoirs intended to control flooding and supply irrigation systems divert the water. As a result, the water that remains in the river is of poor quality. And often, the river bed is completely dry. Zacharias estimates that he was unable to travel on water for about 250 miles of his trip down the river channel.
By the time the river goes through Oklahoma, it fills with water again to supply hydroelectric power plants. Below Tulsa, a series of locks and dams begins, facilitating commercial barge traffic.
Once the Arkansas River joins the Mississippi, the water travels another 600 miles before entering the Gulf of Mexico. When Zacharias finally reached the mouth of the Mississippi, he poured water that he had collected at the mouth of the river in Colorado into the Gulf waters.
According to Dr. Matthew Stein, the current health care debate can be framed as the tension between opportunity and equity in American values. On one hand, health care can be understood as a privilege that one must earn and purchase as an individual–an opportunity. On the other hand, health care is a basic requirement for a life of liberty as a part of the social contract that Americans share as a part of the common welfare–a question of equity.
Dr. Stein, a retired physician, is a student of the history of health care and health insurance. With that background, he explained the evolution of health care models in America and defined various types of health insurance. His comments clarified terms in the current debate on health care.
Members of Lawrence Central Rotary gathered with spouses, children, and other guests at S&S Artisan Pub and Coffeehouse to celebrate the club’s birthday. Established in March 2003, the club currently has 38 members.
President Audrey Coleman presented the Becky Castro Award for Community Service to Kate Campbell during the program.