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.