Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City’s wages lag behind Johnson County, state

Report also shows gender disparities

August 31, 2006


Some people just call it the price to live in Lawrence.

A new Census Bureau report shows that Lawrence residents - even nonstudents - earn far less on average than residents in nearby Johnson County and significantly less than the statewide average.

Many Lawrence residents said they didn't need a new government report to tell them that.

"The technical jobs are in Johnson County, and those are the ones that pay the most money," said Larry Franklin Sr., a downtown barber. "I think the Lawrence community is just more of a hodgepodge of things when it comes to jobs."

But the new survey - which is part of a census project to study every community with more than 65,000 in population - shows how great the gap has become. In some cases, the difference is nearly the equivalent of a Johnson County resident receiving two paychecks for every one received by a Lawrence resident.

The survey found that a male Lawrence resident who works full-time on a year-round basis earned an average of $35,610 in 2005. That compared to an average of $67,349 for the same Overland Park resident and $57,034 in Olathe. The statewide average for such workers was $39,251.

Jack Shane, a custodian at Kansas University, rolls a table into storage after a luncheon Wednesday at the Kansas Union. Shane works full-time for KU and moonlights as a bouncer at a local strip club to help pay the bills.

Jack Shane, a custodian at Kansas University, rolls a table into storage after a luncheon Wednesday at the Kansas Union. Shane works full-time for KU and moonlights as a bouncer at a local strip club to help pay the bills.

Females fare better

Lawrence ranked fifth out of the six Kansas communities that were surveyed. Kansas City was the lone community with a lower average income than Lawrence. Its average was $32,898.

The census report, by measuring only earnings of full-time workers, attempts to factor out the large number of university students who work for part-time wages in the city.

The report also looked at wages earned by female workers with full-time jobs. Like in every other Kansas community surveyed, females earned less than their male counterparts. In Lawrence, the average was $33,319. But compared with other communities, women fared better than Lawrence men did. The Lawrence female salaries were the third highest of those Kansas communities surveyed, trailing Overland Park and Olathe. The Lawrence female average, unlike the males' salaries, also was above the statewide average.

"I would say that is probably the influence of the university," said Xan Wedel, an information specialist with Kansas University's Institute for Policy & Social Research. "I think we have more higher-paying jobs for females through the university than communities that don't have a university."

Abundant work force

But Wedel said the reason Lawrence men make less than their counterparts in other communities also likely was a result of the university. She said Lawrence generally has a large number of graduates who stay in the community and are willing to work for entry-level wages because they do not have the experience to command higher-paying jobs.

Lavern Squier, president and chief executive officer of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said the other "university town" factor that Lawrence is dealing with is that the salaries of so many of Lawrence's jobs are controlled by the Legislature rather than business owners. For the past several years, the state budgets have been tight, which has limited wage growth of state employees.

Double duty

KU workers on Wednesday said they definitely have noticed the effect of the lower wages. Jack Shane, a custodian for the university, said he's taken a second job as a bouncer at a local strip club because the pay is better.

"If it wasn't for the benefits (offered by KU), I would work full-time," at the strip club, Shane said.

Squier said the report shows the need for Lawrence to continue efforts to attract high-tech, private sector jobs. Wedel said that has generally been the most successful strategy other university communities have used to boost wages.

Some Lawrence residents, though, were doubtful it would ever happen.

"Lawrence is very behind the times on wages," said Sharon Englebrecht, a former deputy treasurer for Douglas County. "We've always got punished because of all the university people."

She thought it would be difficult for Lawrence to ever overcome all the university community factors that keep wages down.

"I think that is probably just the type of community we are, unfortunately," Englebrecht said.

Franklin, the downtown barber, agreed it would be difficult to change. But he said he's not so sure that is a bad thing.

"You know what, instead of living in a $225,000 house, I live in a $170,000 house," Franklin said. "I don't think Lawrence really wants to change too much. We are a community where people still like to come spend money, we have a vibrant downtown that a lot of other communities don't have, offer a good education, and we're still just a nice place to live."

Staff photographer Thad Allender contributed to this report.


GOPConservative 10 years ago

Sounds like people should start moving back to JOCO and go for the better jobs. That would be a win-win situation for both Lawrence and JOCO.

In related news, job growth in Topeka was -2.35% while job growth in Lawrence was a positive 1.56%.

Sigmund 10 years ago

Significantly lower wages, cost of rents and housing higher than Johnson County, and soon to have the highest sales taxes in the State. So explain to me again how the zero growth policies of the current PLC Kommissionors and the new Business Czar, Commrade Burress, going to help Lawrence?

Stephen Roberts 10 years ago

Lawrence has lower paying jobs- No way!! Someone get some of the downtown business owners out to protest because we all know tey pay so well.

Aftre looking at the article. It looks like a full time person working 40 hours a week for 12 months months ayear makes about a thousand or two than a starting teacher does working for nine months. Also the teachers have to be at work at 7:30 leave around 3.

cowboy 10 years ago

new commission , new chamber leaders !

GOPConservative 10 years ago

Sigmund asks:

"Significantly lower wages, cost of rents and housing higher than Johnson County, and soon to have the highest sales taxes in the State. So explain to me again how the zero growth policies of the current PLC Kommissionors and the new Business Czar, Commrade Burress, going to help Lawrence?"

It has to do with supply and demand. Creating an atmosphere that is not as attractive results in fewer people moving here and more people leaving here. That means fewer people are looking for jobs in this market. That translates to higher wages because of the law of supply and demand.

Another aspect of supply and demand is that fewer people will be looking for the same number of rental units. That causes rent to drop. Again, supply and demand.

The net effect of slowing population growth is an increase in wages and a decrease in rent.

prioress 10 years ago

So, move to JOCO and have fun; who held guns to the heads of Lawrence's citizens and forced them to live in River City?

chzypoof1 10 years ago

It's funny to hear the arguments out here about people "moving back to JOCO for the jobs". This is NOT better for lawrence...I work in NKC, but I buy almost all of my goods here in lawrence. I pay property tax in lawrence. I contribute a lot.....BUT....I can't afford to work in lawrence. The jobs here don't pay half what they do in the metro. How do you people see that as a good thing?

I love this town, and I've contributed a ton of $$$ to it. If I could work here, that would just be more of a contribution to our quaint little college town.

Get over yourselves, and go back to work at the MERC. Your break is over.....

paladin 10 years ago

In my experience, rich folks don't care much or fret much about average or poor folks. Only on Sunday morning and at times when its to their advantage to do so. They aren't going to pay folks any more than they are required to, one way or the other, out of the goodness of their hearts. For the most part. Bidness is bidness. And, that's how they all stay rich folks. That's, like, Reality. Also, based on my observations, it seems like the way to become rich folks is to, somehow, anyhow, trick or cheat or talk other folks out of their money and make it your own. Life goes on.

chzypoof1 10 years ago

Man Logrithmic, you are on fire today. I never said the town OWED me anything. I think if this town wants to continue to grow, and expand, they need to be competitive with wages, and encourage more people to work/play in the same place. K-10 is a logjam with people like myself that have to work outside town to be able to afford to live in the "town I've helped build"

Lawrence needs to catch up a little, that's my only point.

plainspeaking 10 years ago

First, no community should exist without a plan to create high skill, high wage jobs for its citizens. Lawrence needs an economic development plan to close this wage gap.

Second, for 15 years I have been puzzled by the lack of innovation and creativity in Lawrence. KU educates and graduates the best in many fields, including biology, business, genetics, engineering, and so forth, but the no one - not even the university - has taken that talent and created a strong base of research and development, technology transfer, or even a simple business incubator within Douglas County.

Lawrence is a great place. And its future is in your hands.

craigers 10 years ago

Might I also add that Lawrence has been built with the salaries of those in other cities so everybody that just starts shouting, "Well leave Lawrence and go to JOCO then," needs to reexamine reality. Lawrence wouldn't grow very well without the earning power of commuters that work at a decent wage and then come back to Lawrence to spend it.

dozer 10 years ago

"If it wasn't for the benefits (offered by KU), I would work full-time," at the strip club, Shane said.

I vote this as the best quote ever printed in the paper. Way to go Shane!

GOPConservative 10 years ago

chzypoof1 asks:

"It's funny to hear the arguments out here about people "moving back to JOCO for the jobs". This is NOT better for lawrence...I work in NKC, but I buy almost all of my goods here in lawrence. I pay property tax in lawrence. I contribute a lot.....BUT....I can't afford to work in lawrence. The jobs here don't pay half what they do in the metro. How do you people see that as a good thing?"

Another good thing about continuing the current policies of not subsidizing development is a general reduction in prices for food and services.

When we cause supply (i.e., number of stores, apartments, etc.) to become greater than demand (i.e., number of people) by encouraging commuters to move closer to their jobs and discouraging further immigration, not only will will rents decrease and wages increase, but all those new supermarkets and other stores will face greater competition for a limited market. That will lower prices.

Besides these advantages, the general atmosphere in Lawrence will improve when all these whiners and complainers go back to their urban sprawl in the Kansas City area.

With less demand for housing by commuters and with a City Commission that is making development pay its own way rather than subsidizing it as we have in the past, the further uglification of Lawrence with JOCO sprawl can come to an end.

alm77 10 years ago

Craigers, do the commuters spend it in Lawrence? I seem to remember a report that said most of it went back to KC. And let's not forget that when those commuters are shopping at a big box stores that sends more money out of town than shopping locally.

GOPConservative 10 years ago

craigers said,

"Lawrence wouldn't grow very well without the earning power of commuters that work at a decent wage and then come back to Lawrence to spend it."

I find it curious that commuters complain that prices in Lawrence are higher than in the Kansas City area, yet they claim to shop here.

They drive to the Kansas City area almost every day. Why would they shop here when they can shop in Kansas City where the prices are lower.

As for Pilgrim's comment comparing free enterprise and the laws and supply and demand to socialism, I think the ignorance of that statement speaks for itself.

Further his claim that making development pay its own way rather than using the old socialistic tax-and-spend programs of the past will turn Lawrence into another Oskaloosa has to be the stupidist comment I've seen on these boards in quite some time.

imagold 10 years ago

Whoa, Nelly. I'm in the wrong line of work. Guess I need to become a barber so I can afford a $170,000 home in Lawrence.

prioress 10 years ago

"A few days ago when all of the teachers were bitching and whining about their pay, and how Johnson County teachers make more money than Douglas County teachers, nobody wanted to hear 'if you don't like it, move to Johnson County'." ++++++++ I will say that; no one forces anyone to work or live in Lawrence. Teachers are known to complain about their salary, like many others. They are, like police, firemen and women, and others who work for govermnent, public servants. Very high wages come to those who risk everything every day in the marketplace. No one who works for government will get rich, until they leave the federal government and join a lobbying firm, but that's another story.

eagle1 10 years ago

Lawrence is probably the most corruupt city in the state, thanks to city officials and the school board. They can raise taxes without a vote from the citizen's input. They can give themselfs raises, spend tax money on everything, but what it was meant to be used for. So it is no wonder the wages or low, because the city is not going to go after the ones who pay the most taxes (big bussiness). I hate this town and did not vote for any of these sorry azz people. If I could sell my house I would leave, and yes no one is holding a gun to my head it is just you can't sell because no one wants to move here because the schools suck and so do the politicians. Someday soon I hope to be out of here.

craigers 10 years ago

GOPConservative, I have never said Lawrence in general has higher prices on all the goods I want. I have said that I shop here in Lawrence except for the little niche shops downtown that hardly ever have sale prices. It seems like no "true Lawrencian" will ever be happy until all the commuters only shop at a locally owned clothing store, grocery store, and restraunts. I spend my money mostly here in town, whether it is a big box retail or not shouldn't matter.

dozer 10 years ago

no one is stopping you Eagle1.

I'm sure you could sell your house if you didn't ask an inflated sale price.

bye bye.

Confrontation 10 years ago

Other than KU Men's Basketball, there is nothing else that should keep KU graduates in town. Crappy wages, overpriced housing, horrible city leaders, psycho homeless people, and limited recreational activities (or anything else interesting) should be enough to scare everyone to another city. The quality of life here is only good for the hippies, stay-at-homes, homeless, soccer moms in minivans/SUVS, students, retired professors, and people raising pitbulls. You can disagree, but I honestly don't care.

bobesue 10 years ago

I left a Lawrence job for the same job in Olathe making $7,000 more per year and better benefits. Loved Lawrence, but you can't live on or pay bills on love.

prioress 10 years ago

"The quality of life here is only good for the hippies, stay-at-homes, homeless, soccer moms in minivans/SUVS, students, retired professors, and people raising pitbulls." +++++++++++ Well, I disagree. Blanket condemnations of people based on the group you perceive them to be from are wrong and (dare I say it?) UnAmerican.

sourpuss 10 years ago

People are shouting about how much the town has grown thanks to the good working people in KC who commute, but if they hadn't come over here and pushed up property costs with their high wages, then the wages in Lawrence would be just fine. Unfortunately, we are a mid-sized town with large-city housing costs. What surprises me are the people who think that Lawrence is so great. It isn't people. Little college towns are a dime a dozen. Only if having an overpriced "downtown" with nothing worth buying and poor service in the restauraunts is important to you would you want to stick around. Lawrence doesn't have a good shopping center, a good movie theatre, and while its schools are decent, there is a lot of waste in the system. I don't think the commuters should move, I think the silly graduates who think Lawrence is so super should leave. Lawrence is a pit that sucks souls in. Get out and leave Lawrence to those who can afford it.

ksmattfish 10 years ago

"...because the schools suck..."

Lawrence school kids had a higher average PSAT score than both the state and national averages.

estespark 10 years ago

But where are the clowns - There ought to be clowns -

Quick send in the clowns.

eagle1 10 years ago

I just want my name off of the deed, I am not asking for any equity, just my name off of the deed. So now dozer stick that up your great Lawrence nose. You must be one of those city officials I was talking about.

alm77 10 years ago

sourpuss, your name says it all.

amac 10 years ago

Does anyone else find it curious that KU is the largest employer in Lawrence and wages are low. I, too, have to work a part-time job to survive with KU wages. It's sad.

estespark 10 years ago


Not trying to bust you chops but this statement is regionally inaccurate, per cnn.

Lawrence: Med Inc - 57K Med Home Price - 183K

Columbia, MO: Med Inc - 56K Med Home Price - 168K

Iowa City, IA: Med Inc - 66K Med Home Price - 153K

Ames, IA: Med Inc - 63K Med Home Price - 158K

Omaha, NE: (fyi, Best big cities rank: 7) Med Inc - 57K Med Home Price - 115K

Topeka: (Not ranked in any emulative category, ever.) Med Inc - 50K Med Home Price - 95K

Wichita: (fyi, Best big cities rank: 9) Med Inc - 53K Med Home Price - 120K

As a sidenote... OP Kansas: (fyi, Top 100 rank:6) Med Inc - 90K Med Home Price - 239K

KsTwister 10 years ago

prioress obviously hasn't lived here all her life and struggled with making Lawrence a good place. So I gather that when more noise about what Lawrence should do to have a good infrastructure isn't her fight. Her attitude is why Lawrence has more guidance from developers than its own citizens. We work for years, watch businesses leave Lawrence rather than stay,raise our families when are schools were the best in the State and now watch it crumble as sewers line crash into the streets, water lines break downtown and endure yearly tax increases. The students leave on a yearly basis,too bad our commissioners don't follow suit.Many big businesses would like to locate here until they read the "New Rules" from City Hall. Change it.

laughingatallofu 10 years ago

Interesting discussion today. I have to say that, for the most part, everyone is making valid points today (well, I guess it depends on your perspective) and there isn't the usual name-calling that so frequently pollutes this board.

I don't have all of the census data in front of me, but it would be interesting to compare

Lawrence, KS (Medium-sized town, medium-sized university) to other college towns on whatever variable that you want to compare, acknowleging (spelling--that doesn't look right) that, in many cases, you'll be comparing apples to oranges:

Manhattan, KS (small town, medium-sized university) Iowa City, Iowa (small town, medium-sized university Austin, Texas (Big town, big university)

College Station, Texas - this one caught my eye because, while Texas A&M is generally considered a "rich kid" school, the town, as a whole, is pretty high up there in the % of residents who live in poverty.

State College, PA (small town, big university)

I'm sure that there are many others that you could throw on the list.

Not trying to make waves, just food for thought.

(waiting for the "you don't know what you're talking about" comments to appear)

eagle1 10 years ago

Very well said KsTwister. This just backs what I have said for years. Just look at what Wyandotte Co. has done there. (they have cut there personal property taxes) for the last two years. But Douglas Co on the other hand has done what? (nothing but give themselfs raises). They are pretty good at that.

estespark 10 years ago

The median incomes listed are by household.

Jamesaust 10 years ago

I'm not sure there's all that much new in these figures. Lawrence has an oversupply of relatively unskilled labor and an undersupply of relatively skill-demanding employers. The first probably cannot be changed with the presence of several universities, but the second can.

(What would be even more dismal would these same numbers separating the household incomes into those earned within Lawrence and without.)

There are some insights however:

A) By far, the greatest disparities between DougCo and JohnCo are at the extreme ends - those below $15k and those above $100k. This is largely unchangeable.

B) The greatest gap in movement up this scale occurs between the $25-35k range and $35-50k. At $50-75k, in JohnCo this is 19% of the population but in DougCo, it is a little over 14%. At the level below, it is, respectively, 14% and 16%. This is also the level that has the greatest quantity (in DougCo) of households.

What this means is that if little can be done about "A," there can be a concerted effort to address "B" - that is, get a significant number of people in the $25-35k range into the $35-50k range. Doing so would give the greatest degree of change for the least achievement.

Several policies would target this softspot but the most direct is simply to court employers who have median wages within the higher range. That should be doable for a city like Lawrence. (In other words, forget the various warehouse operators and light manufacturing employers that have so often been the target of development efforts.) Using an assumption of 1 & 1/2 workers per household, the bottom of this range would require an hourly wage of about $15/hr.

(A different, a less ideal, solution would be to lure those households >$75k in nearby communities to move to Lawrence and commute elsewhere.)

dozer 10 years ago

Eagle1 - please enlighten us as to why you can't get your name off the deed. Quickly, my Lawrencian nose hurts.

KsTwister 10 years ago

Did a little research, the 1999 Census for Lawrence (published in the LJW also and checked against each other)numbers were agreed to by all. So as I take time to point out this article today says median income of $32,898:

Somewhere we LOST wages over a 7 year period:

City Lawrence Population 2000: 80,098 Metro area: Lawrence MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME ($ IN 1999) Number Number Number Median household income was $34,669

No wonder people are upset with tax increases.

eagle1 10 years ago

dozer Because Lawrence is a selling market not a buying market. I have paid in on a mortage for seven years, and I am not upside down. I dont know why it won't sell. If you look at adds, homes for sale, you will find new homes for sale zero down (even with credit problems). This is what I have been told by realtors outside the market area. Realtors in the market area had it for 1 1/2 years. All I saw from them were tire kickers. Hope this answers your response. Sorry about the nose comment, just mad.

StirrrThePot 10 years ago

I work in JoCo. I have looked at available jobs in my field in Lawrence, and none of them come close to my current salary. I'd be willing to take a pay cut in order to eliminate my commute, but not by $20K or more.

prioress 10 years ago

Jamesaust: " I'm not sure there's all that much new in these figures. Lawrence has an oversupply of relatively unskilled labor and an undersupply of relatively skill-demanding employers. The first probably cannot be changed with the presence of several universities, but the second can." +++++++ Well done; cogent; coherent; perspicacious, etc. Facts and good data on this message board are an exception, not the rule.......good work, Grasshopper!

jcantspell 10 years ago

If you drive up property tax's and never raise the minimum wage You could affectively destroy the middle class. With the middle class gone. Getting rid of the poor and homeless will be no problem But Lawrence is such a nice town I'm sure they wouldn't try that here

Jamesaust 10 years ago

Differences between many places are far less extreme than the one this article uses (Douglas vs. Johnson).

Douglas (Lawrence, KS) - per capita income = $24 Storey (Ames, IA) - per capita income = $25 Johnson (Iowa City, IA) - per capita income = $25.5 Cole (Jefferson City, MO) - per capita income = $23.3 Boone (Columbia, MO) - per capita income = $23.5 Lancaster (Lincoln, NE) - per capita income = $24 Payne (Stillwater, OK) - per capita income = $19.5 Brazos (College Station, TX) - per capita income = $19 Centre (State College, PA) - per capita income = $21.8 Clarke (Athens, GA) - per capital income = $19.4 Alachua (Gainsville, FL) - per capita income = $23.7 Clinton (East Lansing, MI) - per capita income = $25.3 Monroe (Bloomington, IN) - per capita income = $21.5 Lubbock (Lubbock, TX) - per capita income = $19.6

The bottom line still remains true - only some of Douglas County's income issues lie with its large college population. Unless Lawrence can transform itself into Austin, Boulder, or maybe Madison, there's not much point to crying about it. Focus on the parts that can be changed: more skilled, high paying jobs in the 'average-above average range.'

Harry_Manback 10 years ago

Something that isn't mentioned is that many students who have jobs have to commute to KC also. Some people say students take up all the low paying jobs here, which is true, but a lot of them have to drive to KC and JoCo if they want to work also. I work in JoCo, and so do many of my friends. I don't work in a restaurant, but many of my friends do in KC. It's next to impossible to find a restaurant job in Lawrence unless you have at least 2 years experience and unlimited availibility (hard for a student). In KC you can get a good restaurant job with no experience and flexible hours. It's cause there aren't 25,000 people competing for the same job.

craigers 10 years ago

log, there are some good local stores that I shop at but just like everybody else in this world I have to find the cheaper prices to make it all work. Oh well, such as life.

hipper_than_hip 10 years ago

My wife works in OP for $46k/yr, and looked at a job in Lawrence doing the same exact thing that payed $27k/yr. Even with the hour commute each way, gas, oil changes, and wasted time, she couldn't afford to work in Lawrence.

KsTwister 10 years ago

Ok, because you asked logrithmic. For a few restraurants that pay better than Taco Bell: Red Lobster-denied because of sign ordinance,Cracker Barrel by Tangers -denied because of sign ordinance, Eagle Outfitters -denied because starting wage below $9.00 (although wages better as probation period on hiring passes), Serologicals Corp- got better offer in Illinois and just to add Berry Plastics would have moved if the city had not given it some tax breaks. What I would like to see? hmmm Siemens,IBM,Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Lever Brothers, Sony......................must I continue????????????? So much for the little time it took you to write your comment.

KsTwister 10 years ago

You think. Unilever relocated to outside of Jefferson City, Mo., Honeywell could not get a break here and moved those skilled jobs to CedarCreek in Olathe. Sony (just one example) has production and research jobs in the US - so much for using KU's strengths, There is an engineering shortage in the USA but with KU having a great engineering Department there is little to offer here. Kansas is centrally located which cuts down on shipping costs for big business(i.e. Ks City) so will the close relationship to freight lines another plus wasted. Truth is....Lawrence doesn't have a clue how to pull those companies in and keep them when they get them. Layoffs are common across the US- this is NOT an argument. For the excited in developing the business corridor between Overland Park and Lawrence little has actually happened in the last 15 years so you answer this----WHY?? You don't seem to have much manufacturing and research knowledge but maybe you can figure this out.

white_mountain 10 years ago

How can we have smart growth with all these people moving here??

It would be smarter to raise taxes to discourage more people from coming here.. we already can't afford smart growth as it is.

common_cents 10 years ago

Tech jobs would be the way to go in this community. The education level of the average inidividual begs those types of business to make a bed here.

But what do we get instead? Call centers, retail stores, retails stores, retail stores, factory lines (if we give them large tax breaks), and don't forget SUBWAYS!

If we don't take advantage of the brain power this community has, it won't be long before people actually DO move out and migrate to JoCo. They might like living here now, but you can only take a commute and high taxes for so long. People moved here years ago because it actually was cheaper to live here and it was nice. Now it's definitely not cheaper and is becoming less nice by the day.

KsTwister 10 years ago

The question has just been answered.

white_mountain 10 years ago

Lawrence could own the RFID business if someone took leadership and made it happen!!

NorthLawrenceDude 10 years ago

Eagle, you need a new hard working realtor. There was a house over here in North Lawrence (now Jericho!) that used a Jefferson County Realtor. That house sold in 2 weeks, and houses on the same block with the Lawrence realtors are still sitting for sale. However, they did sell that "straw house" that we all read about awhile back!

KsTwister 10 years ago

Heard of them?? King Radio was sold to Bendix, Bendix sold to AlliedSignal, AlliedSignal sold to Honeywell, and then GE actually entertained the thought of buying it. JUST small aircraft- wrong - they also made all the communication and navigation equip here for all military and commercial aircraft. Including in air avoidance systems and your infamous black boxes. Garmin was formed when two engineers here working for AlliedSignal designed a GPS system and AlliedSignal would not buy their patent. They quit and went to Olathe and formed GARMIN. King Radio was homegrown as you say from Olathe in the beginning,on Rogers Road with Ed King and he started a small spinoff on Connecticut street here until the new plant on Haskell. When he died his son sold it to Bendix beginning the line of sell offs.

Your comment: "We need to incubate our industry from the inside. Passive energy and energy conservation technologies are in much demand and the demand will increase. We need to get onboard. This kind of investment could tie in with KU's engineering department and bring high paying wages to this area."

As you see the opportunity started here and was lost. Look it up. All of Honeywell is now in Olathe,part of that can be blamed on expansion issues with the city.

And can you point to me where Kansas is on the map? I did not think so. Scoff if you must.

feefifofum 10 years ago

Does Jack have tattoo sideburns ? Maybe it is just bad lighting - but maybe some of you youngsters should take a look at NOT GETTING TATS all over your arms and legs and neck and sideburns? Does not exactly help you in your job search should you have to start looking in your middle age.

KsTwister 10 years ago

Thank you for proving me right again. Read real close.

Kelly Powell 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

sourpuss 10 years ago

To logrithmic:

I've already gotten out. After 28 years in Lawrence, enough is enough (as Sam Jackson would say). My family still lives there, I'm trying to convince them to leave as well.

There's a big world out there people.

KsTwister 10 years ago

OK, PROOF. Last word.Even though the original King Radio changed its name(5 times)King,Bendix,Bendix-King,AlliedSignal,Honeywell the same people(engineers included) still worked there.

KsTwister 10 years ago

I might add that for the most time an est 500+ worked here in Lawrence.

Confrontation 10 years ago

logrithmic: Nope, I really don't care. That was my opinion, and you can comment all you want. It still doesn't mean I care about what you think.

---Posted by prioress (anonymous) on August 31, 2006 at 10:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"The quality of life here is only good for the hippies, stay-at-homes, homeless, soccer moms in minivans/SUVS, students, retired professors, and people raising pitbulls." +++++++++++ Well, I disagree. Blanket condemnations of people based on the group you perceive them to be from are wrong and (dare I say it?) UnAmerican.

---How is there a "blanket condemnation" of anyone. I am referring to EXACTLY who I stated. I didn't assume that the librarians are homeless, or that every person on Mass Street are hippies. When I say "retired professors," then I'm talking about retired professors. I'm not perceiving people to be in any groups. I am talking about the groups. For the record, I do think that soccer moms should volunteer to drive the homeless to see retired professors who are now hippies that raise pitbulls rather than teach students.

ASBESTOS 10 years ago

High skilled jobs ARE anc can be in Kansas. Get the State and the Non profits out of the private sector, period.

Get the State of Kansa to Start using "home grown" consultants, instead of running out of state every time a study is needed.

Get rid of the "county extension" attitude, model or concept. IT drains away tax revenues, and provides services no longer needed in Kansas.

Recoginse that the Rural Kansas lanscape has already changed. The "Family farm" in just a myth in the state. There ars some hold outs, but prostituting the entire political process to serve the Kansas Livestock Ass'n. and the Kansas Farm Beau. has to stop.

Quit financing or funding all these rural little town centers. If the Kansas folks are gonna live out there, they need to travel to service centers.

Get the Kansas Department of Commerce to quit using out of state consultants (as they did with the lake thing) and stop spending money only on developers. We need small business inovators.

Quit wasting money on developers and "tourism". Kansas is not and never will be a tourism draw. Kansans work very well, but this is not a place to play. IT is the middle America, and transportation centers need to be set up here, because of the rise in fuel costs.

There are a lot of things that can and must be done. Because as it is now and with the legislators we have now, they are more interested in "wedge issues" and minutia (on both sides of the isle) than real results and really getting the Civil Servants to work productively.

Kansas is dying, and is in condition critical.

bankboy119 10 years ago

Wow log only read a few of your comments but can already see through the flaws in your arguments. Personally, I've already moved to KC so you don't have to worry about telling me to get out.

Sony coming here is an interesting idea. Kansas City is currently building a large customs port because the Mexican government has bought railroad to Kansas City. Why would the Mexican government do that you ask? Well it's because the Los Angeles port cannot handle all of the imports the United States receives from Asia. So, companies are going to start shipping their goods to Mexico for cheaper, and Mexico is going to rail it up to Kansas City, the middle of the US. It should have a great impact on the Kansas City economy and, if Lawrence stops with their no growth policy, will help Lawrence as well.

xenophonschild 10 years ago

Asbestor was right yesterday: Kansas needs to accept realities that are both inescapable and evident to anyone who drives around the state.

Small towns are shriveling up and dying. Only the old remain; the young flee to cities/jobs/romance in droves. Some western Kansas counties will be almost entirely depopulated in another generation.

And Kansas will truly never be a tourist mecca. It is a waste of money to pretend otherwise.

However, we should be able to build on our strengths in aviation and bio-science to attract hi-tech companies and high wage jobs to what metro centers we have. It may be even that the state should work harder to encourage home-grown small businesses specifically designed to flourish in alternative-fuel tecnologies of the future.

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