The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 7, 2001 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Monday, May 7, 2001
Page 1
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Rare colts PAGE A3 MONDJQY MAY 7, 2001 SALINA, KANSAS the Salina Journal Serving Kansas since 1871 50 cents Bucks, Lakers gain victories PAGE B1 PLAYOFFS T KANSAS LEGISLATURE Legislative proposals can tax syntax Reluctance to raise taxes has led to tortured rhetoric in Legislature By JOHN HANNA The Associated Press TOPEKA — What's a sure sign legislators are mulling proposals to dig into Kansans' pockets for a little more money? The use of phrases like "revenue correction" and "tax accelerator." Those words circulated like currency at the Statehouse over the past two weeks as legislators tried to figure out how to close a $206 million gap in the next state budget. A tough budget year, a reluctance to make deep cuts in spending al­ ready approved and the resulting need for more money have led many lawmakers to torture English in describing what they're doing. They certainly haven't wanted to • acknowledge they're increasing taxes. The fact they haven't indicates they worry the idea is unpopular with their constituents, something conservative Republicans have been saying all year. "Politically, it's not a popular thing," said Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, a consistent "no" vote on any increase, accelera-. tor, enhancement or revenue collection. "It's not what people want." Before they started their annual spring break, legislators approved a $9.11 billion state budget for the fis- Analysis 4 Legislators working to end impasse / Page A4 cal year that begins July 1. It contained $4.66 billion in spending from the state general fund, where the state holds most of its tax revenues. But they knew at the time they couldn't afford that much general fund spending. Two days earlier, they had received new estimates that said expected general fund revenues would be short of the spending — creating the $206 million hole. Another problem was Gov. Bill Graves has said he likes the budget they approved and would veto a plan that cut it back too deeply In addition, both chambers have rejected revenue-raising proposals to permit slot machines at dog- and horse-racing tracks. That means legislators were hunting hard for money They found $26.5 million in proposals that would raise taxes on insurance and motor fuels. Both ideas drew strong opposition. However, Senate President Dave Kerr, R-Hutchinson, talked to his chamber's 29 other Republicans and lined up enough votes to get the bills through the Senate, Asked how, Kerr, said: "These weren't necessarily tax increases in the traditional sense." Kerr and other supporters of the motor fuels tax bill call it a "tax accelerator." See PROPOSALS, Page A2 Legislature facts • Sunday was the 12th day since legislators returned from their annual spring break and the 97th calendar day of the 2001 session. • This year's "wrap-up session" ties the record for length, matching the session in 1991.The 1991 session also was the longest in total calendar days, at 103. • The Kansas Constitution does not place a limit on sessions in odd- numbered years^ although tradition dictates 90 days. The limit in even- numbered years Is 90 days, but legislators can work longer with approval from two-thirds of each chamber. Students »Stand Group takes issue against homosexuality intolerance By TANA THOMSON The Salina Journal At Salina Central High School, students with a common goal get together at 7:30 a.m. every Friday morning, wishing it weren't necessary to meet for the reason they do. It's not that they don't enjoy each other's company, or that it's too early in the morning. Nor does it have anything to do with being bored. It's simply that those who attend meetings of the Gay- Straight Alliance hope to extinguish the intolerance that fuels the group. The alliance has been meeting for the past three months, educating themselves and, they hope, others on issues of intolerance of homosexuality and issues concerning alternative sexuality "Hopefully things will progress until we don't need one anymore," said Alexander Schorn, vice president of the Gay-Straight Alliance. Meetings are open to anyone, but for now, mostly Central students attend, with a, few from Salina South and Kansas State University- Salina. Five Central High staff members rotate supervision duty "It is to promote tolerance and stop harassment toward gay, lesbian and transgender people," Schorn said. "We TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Tricia Martin, 18, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance that meets wgifekly at Salina Central High School, says the highly publicized murder of a gay college student in Wyoming helped lipen the eyes of the group's founders. "Let's quit complaining and do something about it," i\Aartin said of the attitude the group adopted. want to educate people and inform them to try to get rid of stereotypes." Schorn said 95 percent of the group is straight. What it's not, Schorn said, is a support group for people of alternative sexuality "You don't come here because you're gay," he said. At first, some vandalism When the group first put up posters to promote alliance meetings, they were vandalized or torn down. Alliance president Tricia Martin, 18, has had to deal with derogatory comments and jokes since starting the group. She picks her battles. "I couldn't get through a group of people without hearing some (negative) comment," Martin said. "I know some people are doing it to get me mad." Martin said she doesn't acknowledge comments from those just trying to get under her skin. The people to confront, she said, are those whose comments come from ignorance. However, only a vocal few have given the group trouble. Most have been understanding. "There was a lot of support from the students," Martin said. . Death leads to action Thfe murder of Matthew Shepatd, a 21-year old man in Laramie, Wyo., who was killed in 1998 because he was gay, sparked Martin's anger enough to create the group. After a conversation with Schorn about the injustice of Shepard's death, Martin adopted the attitude of, "Let's quit complaining and do something about it." The students discuss such issues as derogatory language surrounding alternative sexuality the U.S. military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy or religion and its P3rt in the issue. See STUDENTS, Page A2 T NURSING Study: Nurses unhappy Nearly half of nation's nurses score high on 'burnout inventory' By BILL BERGSTROM The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — Many hospital nurses are frustrated to the point of burnout by what they consider inadequate numbers of nurses, rising patient loads, declining quality of patient care and even verbal abuse directed at them on the job, a new survey finds. One of every three U.S. nurses surveyed under age 30 planned to leave their jobs within the next year, according to the study being published tonday in the May-June issue of the health policy journal Health Affairs. More than 43 percent scored high on a "burnout inventory" used to measure emiotional exhaustion and the extent to which they felt overwhelmed by their work. More than half said they had been subjected to verbal abuse. "A lot of people were saying to us that the equivalent of 'ward rage' was occurring in hospitals," said Linda Aiken, director of the University of Pennsylvania • School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. The center oversaw the survey of 43,329 registered nurses at 711 hospitals in five countries in 1998 and 1999. "The nurses receive the brunt of that frustration because they are the only professionals who are there around the clock," said Aiken, a professor of nursing and sociology See NURSES, Page AS T OKLAHOMA BOMBING McVeigh believes he's soldier to end File photo Timothy McVeigh, shown In SaudIa Arabia during the Gulf War, reportedly became disillusioned with the government during that time, leading eventually to the bombing of the 0i<- lahoma City federal building in 1995. One-time patriot was unlikely terrorist before stint in desert By SHARON COHEN The Associated Press He is a soldier in his own strange, twisted war. He sees himself as a patriot, not for the Bronze Star he won in a faraway desert but for blowing up a federal government building in the heart of America. He cries for those who died in the flames of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, not for the 168 people killed by the 7,000-pound bomb he unleashed in Oklahoma City - Six years ago, Timothy McVeigh drove across Oklahoma's dusty flatlands and into the nation's nightmares, his mysterious rage packed tighter than the 55-gallon drums of ammonium nitrate he hauled in the back of a rented Ryder truck. On May 16, the stone-faced man who became a symbol of homegrown terrorism will be executed in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. The 33-year- old Gulf War veteran faces death without apology For him, the bombing was necessary to take down a bully —- the U.S. government. "My decision to take human life at the Murrah Building — I did not do it for personal gain. I • others have tried to piece their lives together / Page A6 ease my mind in that.... I did it for the larger good," he told the authors of the recently published "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & The Oklahoma City Bombing." And the 19 children buried in smoldering debris? He called them "collateral damage" — military argot for civilian deaths in a military strike. It's a shocking description, but Richard Burr, a Houston lawyer who represented McVeigh for five years, offers an explanation: McVeigh saw the bombing as a military mission and sealed off his emo­ tions. "He doesn't in his mind see individual people with smiling faces he killed," Burr said. "He can't let himself think about people killed. He still can't. It would be overwhelming. He could not tolerate it. He couldn't stand it emotionally" The boy next door McVeigh's bombing of the federal building on April 19, 1995 — the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil — was more than a tragedy It touched a nerve in the nation's consciousness, heightening anxieties over terrorism that once seemed a foreign phenomenon. See MCVEIGH, Page A7 WEATHER High: 71 Low: 47 Partly cloudy today with north wind 10 mph. PAGE A5 Somew^here above the world's streets and highways, there is another hidden network of radio waves — amateur radio operators. PAGE AlO Actor Robert Blake is hospitalized as police search for the killer of his 45- year-old wife, who was shot outside and Italian restaurant in Studio City. I NSIDE Landers /B11 Classified / B5 Comics /B12 Deaths / A8 Great Plains / A3 Look Ahead /A2 Sports / B1 Weather /B11 Crossword / B12 Viewpoints / A11

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