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Archive for Friday, December 23, 2005

Safety concerns leave downtown dim

Outlets inside planter boxes shouldn’t be used for Christmas lights, officials say

December 23, 2005

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It sounds like something Santa might say: Patience, revelers, patience.

That's what both city and downtown Lawrence officials are preaching to folks wondering why the trees that line Massachusetts Street aren't full of Christmas lights as in past years.

"We're very hopeful of having them back for future years," said Maria Martin, executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. "They are missed by the merchants, but more than that they are missed by the community."

Safety is the main reason the lights aren't up now, City Manager Mike Wildgen said. City crews have concerns that the electrical outlets, which are inside the planter boxes for the trees, have become unsafe.

"The inspectors indicated that the infrastructure couldn't support the lights anymore," Wildgen said. "We had a worker who actually got shocked a bit. They just need to be renovated."

The city is in the process of improving the electrical system as it replaces water lines along Massachusetts Street. But that work isn't expected to be finished for another two summers, which means Massachusetts Street could be a bit dim next Christmas, too.

Christmas shopping is dim in downtown Law-rence on Thursday night because only a few stores have lights on them. Shoppers and merchants hope the Christmas lights will return for future holiday seasons.

Christmas shopping is dim in downtown Law-rence on Thursday night because only a few stores have lights on them. Shoppers and merchants hope the Christmas lights will return for future holiday seasons.

But Martin said the Downtown Lawrence Inc. board likely would discuss the possibility of asking the city to put the lights up in areas of downtown that have had outlets replaced. For example, the work in the 600 block of Massachusetts Street was completed this summer but the lights aren't up. By next Christmas, the 600, 700 and 800 blocks of Massachusetts Street should be rewired.

Wildgen said the city would work with the downtown association. He said the lights were owned by the association, but city crews string the lights in the trees.

"We'll cooperate to the extent possible, just like we have in the past," Wildgen said.

The lights also were absent from the trees last year for the same reasons, but that hasn't eased the pique of some shoppers, said Martin, who also owns Southwest & More. She said evening customers to her store often asked about the lights.

The association has tried to keep the downtown looking festive, though. The association, with help from the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau, spent $25,000 to line the tops of downtown buildings with lights.

"The lights on the buildings do a nice job, but they don't create that winter wonderland effect like the trees did," Martin said.

Comments

mr_sassy_pantsss 8 years, 3 months ago

Marion,

Oh, just shut up. If you can't be nice then stay off the boards. I demand that you start being polite.

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Multidisciplinary 8 years, 3 months ago

Marion, I don't know where you are from, but I grew up here. Yes, I understand merchants gain from brighter, happier places. But we all enjoy decorations, that's why we put them in our homes, and we don't profit monetarily there, do we? It gives us a sense of continuity to have those things year after year. Maybe someone should give you a reading assignment...Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor...teach you a little bit about chilling out and becoming a caring human being amongst other caring human beings, rip away some of the stoic wall you've got there. I had one, then real life hit..won't say what. Merry Christmas or whatever to all. Lights or no lights, they are still in our heads..remember the tinsel candles? And thank you for the display back up on top of Hillcrest shopping center, yes I was a child back in those days too. I'm not a believer, but that display still belongs up on top of that roof!

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 3 months ago

CalGal:

And strings of energy wasting light bulbs intalled for commercial purposes do what you suggest exactly how?

The City Of Lawrence did not install the lights.

Downtown Lawrence is privately funded promotional group with very high membership fees.

The lights downtown or lack thereof is soley a commercial issue and have nothing to do with goodwill but everything to do with that most cheerful of holiday sounds, the ringing of the cash registers!

Thanks.

Marion.

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CalGal 8 years, 3 months ago

Sure, the money COULD have been spent in some other, argueably more productive way, but I think the city did the right thing. Let's not overlook the immeasurable benefits of creating peace and joy and goodwill amongst a large number of people at this time of year by the simple act of lighting up the downtown...even without the trees.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 3 months ago

And the $25,000.00 spent by Downtown Lawrence would have bought just :

(1) How much food for LINK?

(2) How much toward a college scholarship for a needy student?

(3) How much toward free or discounted medical services for the needy?

Only examples.

oh

the 25K is very much like the MILLIONS spent on Houses Of The Lo-ord

a butler steel building would serve the same purpose but would be lacking in the traditional character of temples, a la; The Parthenon and would not be proper monuments to the Lo-ord!

of course using a butler building as a church would leave an awful ot of money left over with which to do good works and after all, doing good works doesn't count as far as getting into heaven goes

let those little kids starve and put up another temple! oh

and fix the Xmas lights

Thanks.

Marion.

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KsTwister 8 years, 3 months ago

Google: dropcords,extension cords.

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smitty 8 years, 3 months ago

WINTER SOLTICE(cut and paste)

The shortest day of the year marks at the Winter Soltice, known to Wiccans as Yule(from the Norse lul, meaning "wheel"). It is one of the Lesser Sabbaths of the year and falls at or about December 21.

Part of the Pagan celebration is the gathering and displaying of evergreen boughs, showing the promise of new life in the coming spring. A Yule tree is errected in many areas to represent the phallus, or spirit of fertility. From this came the Christian Christmas tree.

Yule was established as the birth date of Mithras-with veneration for the sun-and was then adopted by the New Religion(within a few days) to mark the birth of the "Son" Jesus.

Summary from THE WITCH BOOK,pp.519-520.

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Linda Endicott 8 years, 3 months ago

I guess my only thought is that, why were the outlets allowed to get in that kind of condition in the first place? Why weren't they replaced before now?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...or so they say...

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christie 8 years, 3 months ago

And just for grins, I'm a hard-core liberal.

I'll be celebrating Christmas with my family, my friends, and the Church of Christ. I hope to see you in Church.

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christie 8 years, 3 months ago

Marion, have you considered that Liberals don't complain because the lights and decorations are an extension of ancient Pagan rituals celebrating the Winter Solstice? Do you practice ancient pagan rituals?

It wasn't until the Church intervened and attached a religious meaning that the commercialization of the event occured.

But aren't we all celebrating the same thing. The winter solstice and the pagans were celebrating the renewal of life, after a dark and cold winter. Attach your own meaning to the event, and all roads lead to the same place, renewal of life.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, wouldn't you like to crack into the lottery???!!!!

If the codes were cracked thousands of small wins could be programmed in and no one would notice util it was too late.

Since small wins do not require that the winner divulge his/her name the cracker would be pretty much protected.

Any takers?

Thanks.

Marion.

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even_money 8 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps this is all the fault of the "Army of Darkness."

They won the lottery, you know.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 3 months ago

I notice that there are no Lefties decrying the wastefulness of elcetricity produced by coal-burning power plants being used for such things as strings of Christmas lights!

And where is the ACLU?

Using PUBLIC electricty to celebrate Chrsitmas!

What about GLOBAL WARMING?

Tsk, tsk, you liberal whacko hypocrites!

Thanks.

Marion.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

This has been explained many times. Hopefully they can be brought back again in the near future. Let's face it those lit up trees create a beautiful scene.

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