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On KU, Lawrence should strive to be a ‘giant redwood’

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Robert Rauktis 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Both coastal and mountain redwoods need predictable moisture. That ain't in the cards for Kansas.. . maybe in a day, but not a year.

If you seriously want to cut costs of health problems in the U.S, you'd get some percentage of the forty plus in shape. Cut into the maladies of the Two: too many calories and too little exercise. That shaves the demographics a little. Beyond the people eliminate themselves.

Avoid stupid, wasteful, crony ideas of yet another expensive man made and little used concrete trail half out of the city. People don't go out of town to run on concrete or stone. They run in town as they like buildings; out because they like nature. That's why God invented Rim Rock.

In other words use the environment you got, don't spend ludicrous money importing California notions like redwoods. Big growth isn't in the cards without some basics.

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Richard Heckler 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The local movers and shakers of the real estate industry want Lawrence to become a city of 250,000 ..... for obvious reasons. Their bank accounts. Of course this is costing taxpayers a lot of tax $$$$$ money.

The more growth the more crime as we are watching. The more crime the more the police budget grows and grows and grows. How do we want to spend money?

New residential cost taxpayers too much money because houses do not in and of themselves DO NOT generate enough tax revenue to cover the cost of services coming from city hall.

Destroying downtown will cost the community a small fortune. Why not bring back the shopping experience instead of lining Mass street with more bar and grills than Lawrence can ever support? Reinstate Lawrence downtown as the central business district and maintain the old architecture that humans love.

One relatively new industry that does well in Lawrence is the bicycle competition. Bring it on.

People driving to Lawrence to shop our big box stores is simply NOT a realistic plan though some city commissioners continue to believe we can steal from well established markets.

Lawrence cost too much for seniors to relocate no matter how much wealthy developers keep thinking otherwise......they don't do homework. They prefer speculation no matter the cost to taxpayers. Then again former KU students living in the KCMO metro say Lawrence costs too much money.

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Ken Lassman 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The flip side of a renowned medical center complex is a town dedicated to the health of its residents. Rochester has gone a long way toward creating a healthy environment with its Active Living Rochester program, which Lawrence would do good to emulate: http://c133251.r51.cf0.rackcdn.com/CaseStudy_NLC_ActiveLivingRochester_June2012.pdf

We've done a pretty good job laying the foundations for such a program and it wouldn't take a whole lot of additional effort to even surpass Rochester in this respect. Some ideas that come to mind:

-a viable bicycle path program that separates bicycles from heavy motorized vehicle use areas. While I'm fine with competitive bicyclist groups like the Oread Bicycle club sharing the road with cars, Lawrence would do good for the health of its citizens if kids, retired folks and adults interested in daily bicycle commutes to work would have such a safe way to spend their time on bicycles. It could really be a selling point for attracting businesses to the area, I think, as well, as employers who care about the health and safety of their employees would be the kind of businesses we'd like to invite to Lawrence.

-really showcase the fact that the Landon Trail that runs out of Topeka and hooks up to the Flint Hills Trail also connects up to the west end of Clinton Lake. This means that it is possible to actually hike from Lawrence to the Flint Hills

-create "green corridors" hooking up the Clinton Lake woods and prairies with the Baker/Wakarusa wetlands, and while we're at it, connect it up with the Baldwin Woods, Prairie Park nature center and the Kaw River areas, creating a really interesting network of wild areas that could be a draw to hikers, nature lovers and a real boon to the public/private educational community.

While we don't have redwoods in these parts, we do have some prairies that have been living continuously since the ice age, which makes them older than those redwoods. They provide a nice metaphor for the observation that it takes a diverse, vibrant community to support a healthy individual. Let's run with that!

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KU_cynic 11 months, 2 weeks ago

If KU Med had been located in Lawrence (or even Topeka) rather than Kansas City, then a strategy of developing KU/Lawrence as a regionally or even nationally prominent healthcare and health science destination might make sense. For good and ill, KU Med is in Kansas City and is not going to be relocated to Lawrence. That legacy makes Simons's vision for KU/Lawrence seem unlikely.

I await articulation of a strategy for enhancing KU's prominence -- to Lawrence's economic benefit -- that acknowledges and overcomes the inherent disadvantages of the divided Lawrence and KU Med campuses. The failure -- yes failure -- of the massive investments in the Edwards Campus facilities to be integrated into Lawrence-based academic programs in a way that materially enhances KU's academic reputation and Lawrence's economy stand as a hard lesson and a continuing challenge, too.

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irtnog2001 11 months, 2 weeks ago

New tough minded non-politically correct leadership is needed that is willing to develop a unique vision for the university and step on toes if necessary to reach it. Everything KU bureaucracy has abhorred for the past generation or so.

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jayhawklawrence 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I like the tone of this editorial very much. It is very positive and I want to listen.

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irtnog2001 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Both KU and K-State need to recruit exceptional tough minded creative leadership to get to the next level. The only analogy I can think of is when K-State hired Coach Snyder in the athletic realm. Don't see that happening anytime soon based on the stodgy politically correct leadership that is in vogue in academia. At this point I think K-State has the best chance of progressing based on past history and the national bio-defense lab.

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Trumbull 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with Mr Simons on local and KU issues : ) Usually disagree with him on National ones : )

O well. Nice article

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fiddleback 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Pretty pathetic that Dolph can muster so much naive excitement for another state's investment in higher education and infrastructure, but can't bring himself to fully denounce the monstrous cretins he helped vote into office, the ones who would sooner drown kittens than send more money in the Lawrence's direction...

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Carol Bowen 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Rochester has had a community mission of service throughout its history. Cab drivers, auto mechanics, hotel staff. Everywhere you go, you can sense the intent to serve. DougCounty found information on healthy living. Rochester has more. It's comprehensive plan is to expand public transportation to adjacent communities. Every street has sidewalks. Buses stop everywhere and frequently. Affordable housing options are available, many of them ADA. It has quite a few open parks. The Clinic itself is non profit, and so are the physicians, labs, and other services. It has an incredible IT network that creates a diagnostic schedule that can be done in a week. You don't have to take off from work to go to appointments all over town.

We could create a model community using what we have. Improve the transportation to KU Med. LMH is quite good for a city our size. Medical records are computerized. Some clinics have access. Create closer ties with KU Med. Recruit more doctors and other professionals. Hmmm. Maybe, the new VoTech center should collaborate with a community college in KC to offer med tech courses. Work on a comprehensive plan that pulls everything together. There are a lot of things we could do that would be suited to Lawrence.

The question is, can Lawrencians define the city's mission and follow through? Or, will we just bicker and blame anyone else.

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irtnog2001 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't see Lawrence/KU Med as ever becoming more than a regional center for medical care and not a redwood by any stretch. There is just too much competition in the medical arena from nearby states such as Texas etc. I think they need to find a niche in some other field and money is not the answer without improved leadership which is key.

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Carol Bowen 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Irtnog, Not only do I agree with you, but I think a regional center for medical care is a great idea. We should not even try to imitate the Mayo Clinic. The clinic is there if we need it. Lawrence's medical community is already moving towards a regional center. Lawrence needs to get behind this effort. We have an aging population and the city hopes to recruit more seniors. Even for the general population, occasional office visits may not suffice given the advances in modern medicine. And, we already know that we need to find ways to make healthcare less expensive.

As Dolph Simon said, "How many people in Lawrence, at the university or even in Topeka are thinking about the so-called “big picture” — the future of the city and KU 20 or 30 years from now, not just in the next year or two?" A regional medical center could be part of a bigger picture, certainly not the whole picture. By developing a new and up to date comprehensive plan with a sense of direction, we can focus our efforts. What hurts us now is short term thinking and hostile factions.

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