Chats for September 2006

Chat about the KU-Cornhuskers game with Lincoln Journal Star sports editor John Mabry

Friday, September 29, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Last year, the Jayhawks beat Nebraska in football for the first time since the Vietnam War. But the Cornhuskers are 6-1 since then, and the Journal Star says Nebraska is on a roll: "In tattooing Troy, Nebraska rolled up its largest output on offense in five years (597 yards) and its first shutout in three. The Huskers rank No. 2 nationally in point production (42.75 per game) while allowing 11.25 to rank No. 15." John Mabry has been sports editor at the Lincoln Journal Star since 1997. He joined the staff three weeks before Tom Osborne announced his retirement. John is a graduate of Kansas University. John Mabry, the paper's sports editor, shares his Husker expertise with Jayhawk fans at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

David Ohle

Chat about Billy Burroughs with writer David Ohle

Thursday, September 28, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Chat with David Ohle, a Lawrence author who recently completed "Cursed from Birth," a biography of William S. Burroughs Jr., son of the famed beat writer who lived in Lawrence during the latter part of his life. The book, published by Soft Skull Press, is a compilation of letters, writings and interviews that paint a more complete image of Billy Burroughs. Ohle's previous books include "Motorman" and "The Age of Sinatra." He has been published in Esquire, Harper's, TriQuarterly and the Paris Review. <a href="">Read the article about Ohle's new book.</a>

Bill Lacy

Chat about politics, Madeleine Albright with Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Bill Lacy became the second director of the Dole Institute of Politics in 2004. Wednesday, the institute hosts former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the Lied Center. Lacy takes your questions about Albright and other political matters at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Andy Tompkins

Chat about education with former State Education Commissioner Andy Tompkins

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Now that the school funding lawsuit is over, <a href="">"challenges must be met in retaining teachers, and the state hopes to coordinate numerous innovative ideas produced by a school system that is becoming more diverse each day."</a> Andy Tompkins, a Kansas University professor who previously served as the state's education commissioner, takes your questions about the issues facing state schools.

Bo Harris

Chat about the future of East Lawrence with developer Bo Harris

Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Bo Harris, the man behind the Hobbs-Taylor Lofts in the 700 block of New Hampshire Street, has more development in mind to revitalize East Lawrence. Now he is proposing a mix of housing and commercial uses in the area near Eighth and Pennsylvania streets, but faces some neighborhood opposition.

Brett Mosiman

Chat about high-tech drug busts at Wakarusa Festival with concert promoter Brett Mosiman

Friday, September 22, 2006, 2:30 p.m.

Hidden, high-dollar equipment helped police crack down on drug dealing at this year's Wakarusa Festival. A new article in a trade journal, Government Security News, describes the roughly $250,000 worth of hidden-camera, night-vision and thermal-imaging equipment used by police throughout the festival grounds. The equipment was courtesy of a California company that agreed to give a free demonstration of its wares for marketing purposes. Organizer Brett Mosiman has come under fire from concertgoers since the news <a href="">was reported last week in the Journal-World.</a> He takes your questions at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Ask your car questions of Tom Stutz, Lawrence Corvette Club

Friday, September 22, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Chat with Lawrence Corvette Club member Tom Stutz at 1:30 p.m. Friday about buying and maintaining one of the sporty cars. <a href="">Also see more about the club in the Sept. 17 City Scene.</a>

Ray Bechard

Chat about KU volleyball with Coach Ray Bechard

Thursday, September 21, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

From the KU media guide: "Among the winningest coaches at the collegiate volleyball level, Ray Bechard enters his ninth season at Kansas after leading the Jayhawks to three straight NCAA Tournament bids and arguably the best three seasons in the program's 31-year history. Bechard has taken the Kansas program to new heights since his arrival in Lawrence prior to the 1998 season. The Sunflower State native holds a remarkable all-time coaching record of 854-168 (.836 winning percentage) and has led the Jayhawks to a 138-108 mark over the past eight seasons. Bechard led the Jayhawks to a 15-15 overall record and their third-straight postseason appearance in 2005. Despite a depleted roster due to injuries, KU battled No. 16 UCLA to four games in Los Angeles in the NCAA Tournament First Round."

Chat about the race for Congress with GOP candidate Chuck Ahner

Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Chuck Ahner is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore to represent the 3rd District in Congress. <a href="">His Web site can be found here.</a> <a href="">His opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, chats Oct. 11.</a> He takes your questions about the race and his positions at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20.

Rick Marquez

Chat about downtown's future with Rick Marquez, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 2:00 p.m.

Rick Marquez, the new DLI director, said his group is preparing to ask the downtown community to engage in creating a long-range plan that addresses how the business district will look, feel and function. The effort, which likely won't start until merchants are done with the busy holiday shopping season, could involve a committee of five to seven stakeholders and a series of public meetings to get input. Exactly what issues the plan would address won't be determined until the process begins. But Marquez said there are several obvious issues, including: ¢ The optimal mix of retail, entertainment and residential uses in downtown. ¢ The role that large special events should play in attracting people to downtown. ¢ Where and what type of new parking structures should be placed in the area. ¢ Perceptions that public safety in the area is on the decline. ¢ Whether the actual footprint of downtown needs to be expanded. <a href="">Read more about the future of downtown</a>

Reggie Robinson

Chat about crumbling classrooms with Reggie Robinson, president of the Kansas Board of Regents

Monday, September 18, 2006, 3:00 p.m.

State lawmakers in August released $15 million for repairs at public universities, but higher education officials say that's not enough to make a dent in the massive amount of needed work. A 2004 assessment of the six regents universities found a maintenance backlog of $584.5 million worth of projects. Reggie Robinson, president of the board of regents, will chat with readers about how Kansas universities are making due.

Chat about your financial questions with financial adviser Peggy Johnson

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Peggy Johnson, a certified financial planner and senior financial adviser for Ameriprise Financial Services in Lawrence, will take your personal-finance questions on a variety of topics: investing, saving for college, cutting your tax bill, planning for retirement or other matters that affect your financial present and future. Johnson has 15 years of financial planning experience, and focuses her business on investments, income tax, retirement planning, small business, protection and insurance, estate planning, charitable giving, saving for education, employee stock options and general financial planning.

Chat about the new Lied Center season with Anthea Scouffas, director of education at the Lied Center

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Anthea Scouffas, director of education at the Lied Center, will be talking about the upcoming Lied Center season and outreach efforts at the performing arts center. <a href="">Lied Center events can be found here.</a>

Paula Phillips

Chat about disaster response with Paula Phillips, director of Douglas County Emergency Management

Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Although Lawrence is far away from New York and Washington, local officials still try to be ready for a 9/11-type disaster. "Regardless of whether we are a low risk for international terrorism, you can't forget about domestic terrorism," said Paula Phillips, director of the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency. "That's usually an attack on government for social types of causes, and in some ways, we would be prime for that." She takes your questions at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Undersheriff Kenny Massey

Chat about reducing jail recidivism with Undersheriff Kenny Massey

Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Jail officials are working on ways to slow that revolving door and hold down the number of inmates, which has been on the increase. Jail employees are building a plan that will involve support services for every inmate upon release, ranging from drug counseling to mental health assistance to faith-based mentoring. This month, staff began working to reform many aspects of jail services. Their effort will touch on everything from where inmates are housed at the jail to what kind of help they receive when they exit the double doors. Massey, who oversees the jail, will take your questions.

Glenn Deck

Chat about the state employee retirement system with Glenn Deck.

Monday, September 11, 2006, 2:00 p.m.

Glenn Deck, executive director of the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System, will chat about the system with Journal-World readers. This will follow a Sept. 10 on challenges facing the system.

Chat about KU football with former player Chip Budde

Friday, September 8, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Budde was a lineman for the Jayhawks from 1987 to 1990. He now provides color commentary for Channel 6 telecasts of KU football games.

Maria Martin

Chat about the Lawrence Indian Arts show with Maria Martin

Thursday, September 7, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

The opening reception for the 18th annual Lawrence Indian Arts Show will be 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Sept. 8 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., 843-2787.

Tom Bracciano

Chat about school construction with Tom Bracciano

Wednesday, September 6, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

Tom Bracciano, operations and facility planning director for the Lawrence school district, talks about the district's $54 million bond-financed construction bonanza.

Chat about the city's water future with Chris Stewart, interim director of utilities

Tuesday, September 5, 2006, 1:30 p.m.

The Journal-World this weekend runs a series of stories about the water at Clinton Lake, and what it means for Lawrence's growth. Chris Stewart takes reader questions Tuesday afternoon.

Judy Billings

Chat about Civil War tourism with Judy Billings

Friday, September 1, 2006, 1:35 p.m.

Judy Billings is executive director of the Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has spearheaded efforts to highlight the Lawrence area's "Bleeding Kansas" history to tourists, helping efforts to designate the area part of a National Heritage Area that could draw millions of dollars in federal funding. She takes questions at 1:30 p.m. Friday.