Rhonda Holman

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2016 is $4,293,901

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2016 is $4,293,901

As in years past, a truthful accounting of the finances of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita shows a large loss. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. An example: In February 2015 the Wichita Eagle reported: "The arena’s net income for…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2015 is $4.1 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2015 is $4.1 million

The depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There hasn't been much talk…
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Wichita Eagle opinion watch

Another nonsensical editorial from the Wichita Eagle. This is contained in an editorial urging Sedgwick County government to "stop messing" with the zoo.[1. Holman, Rhonda. Stop messing with Sedgwick County Zoo. Wichita Eagle, July 20, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article90624332.html.] Nor is there any justification for a “non-disparagement clause” in the proposed operating agreement about the zoo director’s public statements, including a prohibition against doing anything to bring the county or society “unwanted or unfavorable publicity.” Even if the county is right -- and the society wrong -- about the constitutionality of such a gag rule on a public employee, it’s…
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‘Trump, Trump, Trump’ … oops!

An event in Wichita that made national headlines has so far turned out to be not the story news media enthusiastically promoted. When two Wichita State University students -- one a Muslim and also a student leader -- reported they were victims of a hate crime, national news media took up the story. A Washington Post headline read "'Trump! Trump! Trump!' attacker allegedly yelled as he beat Hispanic man, Muslim student." USA Today headlined with "Muslim student claims attacker yelled 'Trump, Trump!'' From the Wichita Eagle: "A Muslim student at Wichita State University says he and a Hispanic friend, who…
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What else can Wichita do for downtown companies?

What else can Wichita do for downtown companies?

With all Wichita has done, it may not be enough. Within a month, these two headlines appeared in the opinion pages of the Wichita Eagle: Investment in downtown Wichita is impressive [1. Brownlee, Phillip. Investment in downtown Wichita is impressive. Wichita Eagle. March 5, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article64129977.html.] State and local leaders need to help meet Cargill’s needs [2. Holman, Rhonda. State and local leaders need to help meet Cargill’s needs. Wichita Eagle. April 1, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/now-consider-this/article69534982.html.] The second headline was in response to the news story "Cargill plans to move its Wichita headquarters -- but where?" [3.…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo

WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo talks about passing legislation like the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the Iran nuclear deal and his role in discovering the secret side deals, and other topics. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 94, broadcast August 30, 2015.
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Intellectuals vs. the rest of us

Intellectuals vs. the rest of us

Why are so many opposed to private property and free exchange -- capitalism, in other words -- in favor of large-scale government interventionism? Lack of knowledge, or ignorance, is one answer, but there is another. From August 2013. At a recent educational meeting I attended, someone asked the question: Why doesn't everyone believe what we (most of the people attending) believe: that private property and free exchange -- capitalism, in other words -- are superior to government intervention and control over the economy? It's question that I've asked at conferences I've attended. The most hopeful answer is ignorance. While that…
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Sedgwick County WATC funding trajectory following manager’s recommendations

Sedgwick County WATC funding trajectory following manager’s recommendations

Sedgwick County taxpayers have been generous with funding for Wichita Area Technical College, and the former county manager has recommended reducing its funding. During the July 16, 2014 meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, county manager Bill Buchanan presented the recommended budget for 2015. It included a cut in funding for Wichita Area Technical College in the amount of $150,000. In response to a question, Buchanan told the commissioners: "The new president has been assertive and aggressive in trying to deal with their financial issues. They have, he has turned that financial, that institution around financially. They are in pretty…
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Wichita Eagle editorial board on county budget

Wichita Eagle editorial board on county budget

When someone invokes "ideology" in their criticism of you, you know that they've either run short of actual arguments based on fact, or they don't know what ideological means. In its op-ed this Sunday, the Wichita Eagle editorial board blasts the Sedgwick County Commission for cuts to various programs, mentioning "Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, the Arts Council and Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition" specifically. I might invite the Eagle editorialists to revisit the county's recommended budget for 2013, prepared under the leadership of then-chairman Tim Norton, the body's sole Democrat, both then and now. According to county documents, Norton's…
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A big-picture look at the EDA

A big-picture look at the EDA

While praising the U.S. Economic Development Administration for a small grant to a local institution, the Wichita Eagle editorial board overlooks the big picture. While praising a grant to Wichita State University from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Wichita Eagle editorial board doesn't waste an opportunity remind us of its big-government, anti-taxpayer ideology. (Pompeo would eliminate source of WSU grants, July 11, 2015) The op-ed also criticizes U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, who has sponsored legislation and offered amendments to end the EDA. While the Eagle op-ed is designed to make us feel happy for Wichita State University (and bad…
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Brownback derangement syndrome on display

A newspaper op-ed illustrates some of the muddled thinking of Kansas newspaper editorialists, not to mention Brownback derangement syndrome. Recent discussion about restricting the ability to spend welfare benefits has lead one newspaper editorialist to compare elected politicians with welfare recipients. The writer is Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star, and his target is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Attempting to paint the governor as a government-paid freeloader, Helling wrote: "He’s earned his living from taxpayers almost all his life. He’s worked in state government, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and now as governor, where he earns around $100,000…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

The depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. But no one wants to talk about this. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing…
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As lawmakers, Kansas judges should be selected democratically

As lawmakers, Kansas judges should be selected democratically

While many believe that judges should not "legislate from the bench," that is, make law themselves, the reality is that lawmaking is a judicial function. In a democracy, lawmakers should be elected under the principle of "one person, one vote." But Kansas, which uses the Missouri Plan for judicial selection to its highest court, violates this principle. A 2012 paper by Kansas University School of Law Professor Stephen J. Ware explains the problem with the judicial selection process in Kansas. The paper is titled Originalism, Balanced Legal Realism and Judicial Selection: A Case Study and may be downloaded at no…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: The Wichita Eagle fails the city and its readers

WichitaLiberty.TV: The Wichita Eagle fails the city and its readers

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: In its coverage of the recent election, the Wichita Eagle has failed to inform its readers of city and state issues. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. For more on this topic, see In election coverage, The Wichita Eagle has fallen short and For Wichita Eagle, no immediate Kansas budget solution.
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Wichita arena sales tax not a model of success

Wichita arena sales tax not a model of success

Supporters of a new sales tax in Wichita use the Intrust Bank Arena as an example of successful application of a sales tax. As Wichita debates the desirability of a sales tax, a former sales tax is used as a model of success. Let's take a look at a few of the issues. Ongoing vs. capital expenses A portion of the proposed sales tax will be used for operational expenses, and the demand for this spending will not end when the sales tax ends. The sales tax for the Intrust Bank Arena was used to build a capital asset and…
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Intrust Bank Arena: Not accounted for like a business

Intrust Bank Arena: Not accounted for like a business

Proper attention given to the depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. It's a business-like way of accounting, but a well-hidden secret. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true…
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Kansas school finance reporting and opinion

There's a range of opinion, that's for sure. Republicans concede bill would let teachers be fired without cause (Wichita Eagle) "Statehouse Republicans are having to abandon a key talking point in their effort to defuse teacher anger over an anti-tenure bill the Legislature passed a week ago, conceding the bill would allow school districts to fire veteran teachers without having to give a reason why. If Gov. Sam Brownback signs the bill into law, teachers would essentially be at-will employees of their school districts and able to challenge termination only if they allege the firing violates their constitutional rights." Click…
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Shame, says Wichita Eagle editorial board

Shame, says Wichita Eagle editorial board

The Wichita Eagle editorial board, under the byline of Rhonda Holman, issued a stern rebuke to the Kansas Legislature for its passage of HB 2506 over the weekend. (Eagle editorial: Shame on Legislature, April 8, 2014) Here are some notes on a few of Holman's points. She wrote that the legislature should not "undermine teachers’ rights and meddle in education policymaking." First: There's controversy over what the bill actually means to the relationship between teachers and their employers. Courts will probably have to intervene. Second: Should the Legislature have a say in policy, or just pay? Then, she criticized the…
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In Kansas, the Blob is worked up

In Kansas, the Blob is worked up

"Education reformers have a name for the resistance: the education 'Blob.' The Blob includes the teachers unions, but also janitors and principals unions, school boards, PTA bureaucrats, local politicians and so on." (John Stossel, The Blob That Ate Children.) In Kansas, we're seeing the Blob at full activation, vigorously protecting its interests. The source of the Blob's consternation is a bill in the Kansas Legislature that would add charter schools and tax credit scholarships to the educational landscape in Kansas. (Kansas does have charter schools at present, but the law is so stacked in favor of the Blob's interests that…
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What is the import of the farm bill to Kansas?

Correcting the Wichita Eagle's facts will place the importance of the farm bill to Kansas in proper perspective. In criticizing five of the six members of the Kansas congressional delegation for voting against the farm bill, Rhonda Holman of the Wichita Eagle editorialized this: "Five of the six members of the Kansas delegation just voted against a farm bill -- a stunning abdication of leadership in a state in which agriculture is 25 percent of the economy." (Eagle editorial: AWOL on farm bill, Wednesday, February 5, 2014) The Eagle editorialist didn't specify what she meant by "percent of the economy"…
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