Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A conspiracy?

October 12, 2005


To the editor:

A recent Saturday Column states that Lawrence has planned poorly for growth, and City Hall bears some responsibility (Oct. 8 Saturday Column). I agree. The author goes on to suggest that "'no-growth' factions" and "no-growthers" are behind it, a charge he has repeated many times over the years. This charge has all the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory.

There are no public documents calling for zero growth in Lawrence. I don't know of a single organization or vocal activist supporting zero growth. If there are any no-growthers, they must be shadowy figures operating behind the scenes. Whom do they work through to implement their nefarious schemes? The Saturday Column writer has never named any names.

Now I don't say all conspiracy theories are wrong. There really was a vast right-wing conspiracy out to get President Clinton, as confessed by its CEO David Brock in his book "Blinded by the Right." (The conspirators finally made some of their mudslinging stick - Clinton really was an adulterer - so people don't think of it as a conspiracy. But it was, and many of their charges were lies.)

I do say, however, that you can't have a conspiracy without leaving traces. With major Journal-World resources behind him, the column writer ought to be able to dig out some concrete facts. Where is the beef?

Looks to me like he is doing mudslinging of his own, trying to mischaracterize people whose ideas of good planning he doesn't agree with. If he really believes smart growth leads to no growth, he ought to debate that openly.

David Burress,



just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

The reference to the "conspiracy" against Clinton was a bit gratuitous to the larger point of his letter, but your distrust of Brock aside, it's been well-documented that there was a tightly organized and well-funded campaign against Clinton from the day he took office.

Jamesaust 12 years, 5 months ago

I myself wondered about the Saturday column and who the "no growth"ers were and under what bushes they were hiding. In some minds, a "no growth" policy is any that is less than the maximum, unquestioned, untrammelled route that someone can conceive.

In contrast to these phantoms, an alternate species is all too apparent - the out-of-control growth interests (the "cancerous-growth" proponents, if you will). Many persons (perhaps a majority but I suspect not quite) fall into two groups of such persons.

First, the aspirational persons - those who believe their lives would be a bit better if only ... Lawrence had a mall, or a Red Lobster, or whatever isn't what was back in Johnson County or Orange County, etc. Or, unable to move to where they would rather live, seek to create some version of it here (even as others flee here to get away from it).

The others are the Sim City persons - those who profit directly from exponential growth. Perhaps they have land to sell, or they build on land, or broker what's been built on the land. Perhaps they sell cars or insurance. Perhaps they even sell newspapers as part of their media empire. Sure, they make a living right now but if they sold more, it could be ... more than just a living, or at least a retirement McMansion in Florida or Arizona.

Throwing around terms like "no growth" is only a slightly more modest avoidance of honest understanding of those who disagree with you than calling them Nazi's or "just like Hitler" (or from yesterday's letters, "a Mafia hit man"). Certainly, no further understanding is achieved (or quite apparently even desired) and matters become simply Win/Lose.

(BTW - no idea why the author references David Brock - a self-confessed liar and self-confessed liar about being a liar. It only distracts from his point.)

Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

It was not the so called "no growthers" who controlled the growth decisions for Lawrence and still do not. It was builders,developers,contractors and bankers or some had close family ties to all of the above who controlled the majority vote for more than a decade. This controlling majority built too many houses while not eagerly seeking light industrial growth to balance out tax revenues that housing does not generate. What has developed is many new neighborhoods with a fair amount of streets going nowhere. The older parts of Lawrence do not display that type of unplanning.

It's the builder/developers who seemed to have had the majority seating on the city/county planning commission,board of zoning appeals, city commission for many years. Perhaps this is why a laissezfaire attitude has permeated city hall. Two thirds of our current county commission is made up of builder/contractor/developer.

Mr Simons is correct about 23rd Street. That situation will never change due to the constant influx of new residents/shoppers. The city could buy out all of the retail on 23rd which I think would not be good use of tax dollars.

Builders,developers,contractors and bankers are not planners but enjoy making lots of money which may at times supercede frugal decision making. It was builders,developers,contractors and bankers who convinced KDOT to pick 32nd street through the wetlands knowing full well this was an environmentally sensitive area. Why would anyone choose an area such as that in Lawrence, Kansas? That choice was DOA, illogical and obsolete from day one. The wetlands route is not the only option available. This matter could be tied up in court many more years.

The wetlands route will affect the Prairie Park Nature Center to some degree in which more than a million total tax dollars were initially spent. Why wreck this beautiful educational venture and waste tax dollars at the same time?

There is a less expensive and more logical option that has not been put on the table. The current plan going through a flood zone requires elevation which is a costly endeavor. Staying SOR and completly out of the wetlands/flood zones requiring fewer bridges and connecting to an existing interchange(#1057) could save a few million.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm trying to imagine what would compel Ivins to become that corrupt, but I suppose a serious head injury might do the trick.

How's your head, Kevin?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure she's occasionally wrong about a few things, but unlike you, she would willingly acknowledge it when she is. I've never seen any indications of dishonesty or lying. But keep throwing sh*t against the wall, Kevin. Something might stick.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Gee, how many posts have you submitted here?

It's good to know that someone got the record set straight that BushCo aren't (yet) as murderous to the Iraqis as Saddam.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

I can't see how it could possilby be worth the time to look, but since you seem to have unlimited time for such trivia, if you think it's important to document, can you show us where you did?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm not a weasel-- I'm a clown.

So, there's my admission. Where's yours?

(I'm going to hold my breath till my nose turns a bright red, or you fess up, whichever comes first.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

My nose is really glowing, so I guess I'll exhale now.

Come on, Kevin, we all know you have everyone's posts, including yours, fully archived. Where did you ever admit that you were wrong about something?

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