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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Is downtown’s nightlife a boon or headache?

Recent shooting raises questions about three faces of central district

February 13, 2006

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It was during a discussion of the city's future two years ago that Commissioner Sue Hack worried aloud whether the sometimes-rowdy Massachusetts Street nightlife was driving away downtown's other customers and visitors.

"We have three downtowns," Hack said during a commission meeting in November 2003. "We have downtown during the day, downtown during the dining hours and downtown from 10 until 3. There's a lot of concern from a lot of people that after 10:30 they don't want to be downtown."

Following last week's early morning downtown shooting that killed one man and injured another - both from out-of-town after a hip-hop show at the Granada - Hack repeated her "three downtowns" sentiment.

Downtown's shifting identities can be a mixed blessing, she said.

"We have created a lot of really neat nightspots, and that contributes to the overall character of Lawrence," she said. "I think the concern is sometimes it attracts individuals to the community who don't live here, aren't stewards of the community, behave in a way we're not too happy about."

But Jerry Neverve, who co-owns the Red Lyon Tavern downtown, is impatient with such talk. Twenty years ago, he said, there weren't so many bars along Massachusetts - and not so much life.

Lawrence's downtown has a different character depending on the time of day. Patrons congregate Thursday night for the Neon Dance Party at the Granada, 1020 Mass.

Lawrence's downtown has a different character depending on the time of day. Patrons congregate Thursday night for the Neon Dance Party at the Granada, 1020 Mass.

"It was not too vibrant back then," Neverve said last week.

The city's nightlife, he said, aids the daytime economy.

"People can go to dine, or to a concert or even see a movie again," he said. "Those people walk by the windowfronts, and they see things - they see something they're interested in, they're back to get it later."

The question remains: Are three downtowns too many?

'Mix is fine'

City Hall estimates that a third of all business space downtown is devoted to retail - boutique merchants, mostly, such as antique stores or specialty toy shops. "Non-retail" businesses such as banks occupy another 45 percent.

Just 14.7 percent of downtown, officials say, is occupied by bars and restaurants.

"I think the overall mix is fine," said James Mayo, an architecture professor at Kansas University familiar with urban planning issues.

The daytime and nighttime crowds aren't completely segregated. Lindsay Frentrop, a 25-year-old Lawrencian, ventures to Massachusetts both for shopping and socializing.

"I like the clothes stores, the toy store and shoes," Frentrop said of her daytime exploits. "I'd say during the day, it's more family-oriented, the older people, sightseeing. At night, it's just fun."

Eileen Strong, who owns Strong's Antiques and Aimee's Coffee Shop downtown, has another description for the night crowds.

"The nighttime group," she said, "can be rowdier at all times."

Mayo said a recent study of Minneapolis-St. Paul showed that the city's daytime economy and nightlife hubbub had little effect on each other.

Mohammed Iskandrani, owner of Aladdin Cafe, agrees. He closes his restaurant at 10 p.m. and mostly avoids the alcohol-fueled late-night crowds.

"If anything crazy happens," he said, "it happens after 10."

But Strong isn't so sure.

"I think the nighttime may have an effect on the daytime," she said. "If people perceive this to be a rowdy or unruly or unsafe area, then they also do not come during the day."

Time stands still around store owner Gary Strong as he repairs a clock at Strong's Antiques, 1025 Mass.

Time stands still around store owner Gary Strong as he repairs a clock at Strong's Antiques, 1025 Mass.

Changes coming?

Mayo said one incident, like last week's shooting, shouldn't have that negative effect.

But "it only takes a few times for an area to be stigmatized that it has economic consequences," he said.

City Hall doesn't want that to happen. On Tuesday, the commission will consider an ordinance toughening rules against carrying weapons in and around the city's bars. City Commissioner David Schauner has also suggested discussions about limiting "the number of places that serve alcohol downtown."

At the Red Lyon, Neverve noted that the city had long required new businesses to make more of their money from food than alcohol.

Scott Workman, left, and Steve Dahlberg enjoy a meal at the Aladdin Cafe, 1021 Mass.

Scott Workman, left, and Steve Dahlberg enjoy a meal at the Aladdin Cafe, 1021 Mass.

Despite her concerns about the nightlife, Eileen Strong said she was less worried about violence than about how rising property values were affecting the "mom-and-pop" atmosphere among Massachusetts Street retailers.

"That has made a bigger change in downtown than any single event, good or bad," Strong said.

And Hack, who made the original "three downtowns" observation, said that, overall, downtown was still a vital part of Lawrence.

"I think downtown is the cultural, civic, business and retail center of this community," she said. "We don't go very many places outside of Lawrence where people don't envy what we have."

Comments

one_more_bob 8 years, 2 months ago

Swedish chef marion:Und veet a beet ooff zee sloo hund zee Peckerd is es seelent es it ves deseegned tu be-a! A rued test refeeled cumplete-a leck ooff felfe-a nueese-a ifee veet a 2mph tu 60 mph roon in thurd geer beffure-a un unnuteeceeble-a sheefft intu fuoort. A cumplete-a sooccess! Eles! Zee F-16 Cedeellec eveeets! Zee rece-a cer thet nefer run becoose-a ooff zee deet ooff zee oovner. Furtooelly nu budy und oon zee 143" vheelbese-a; a trooe-a thuruooghbred! Tvu tuns ooff furgeenel meeght suun tu be-a zee festest F-16 in zee lund; a strung chellenge-a tu uny Dooesenberg oon zee streeeght und a certeeen veenner oon zee coorfes! Shuoold zee vheels hefe-a chrume-a spukes oor nut? Shuoold zee tures be-a ooff zee vheetooell fereeety? I theenk nut.

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janniebullinlawrence 8 years, 2 months ago

Great Movie! Marion

oh Bob missed the mark. I am me and a real live girl, Happy Valinines Day.

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warcraft1975 8 years, 2 months ago

i sure miss the little town lawrence used to be.it was so nice and quiet

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gaynproud 8 years, 2 months ago

Keywords: "Coo Coo"

must

get

prescription

refilled

thanks

gnp

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

And with a bit of the slow hand the Packard is as silent as it was designed to be!

A road test revealed complete lack of valve noise even with a 2mph to 60 mph run in third gear before an unnoticeable shift into fourth.

A complete success!

Alas!

The V-16 Cadillac awaits!

The race car that never ran because of the death of the owner.

Virtually no body and on the 143" wheelbase; a true thoroughbred!

Two tons of virginal might soon to be the fastest V-16 in the land; a strong challenge to any Duesenberg on the straight and a certain winner on the curves!

Should the wheels have chrome spokes or not?

Should the tires be of the whitewall variety?

I think not.

At any rate:

Song: So Long, Farewell

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall And the bells in the steeple too And up in the nursery an absurd little bird Is popping out to say "cuckoo"

Cuckoo, cuckoo

Regretfully they tell us Cuckoo, cuckoo But firmly they compel us Cuckoo, cuckoo To say goodbye . . .

Cuckoo!

. . . to you

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night

And now the reason why:

I simply no longer have the time.

"Money"

"Cabaret"

Money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around, Money makes the world go around, it makes the world go round.

A mark, a yen, a buck or a pound, a buck or a pound, a buck or a pound, Is all that makes the world go around, that clinking clanking sound, Can make the world go round.

If you happen to be rich, and you feel like a night's entertainment, You can pay for a gay escapade. If you happen to be rich, and alone and you need a companion, You can ring ting-a-ling for the maid. If you happen to be rich and you find you are left by your lover, Tho you moan and you groan quite a lot, You can take it on the chin, call a cab and begin to recover on your fourteen carat yacht.

Money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around, Money makes the world go around, of that we both are sure. (Raspberry) On being poor.

When you haven't any coal in the stove and you freeze in the winter And you curse to the wind at your fate. When you haven't any shoes on your feet and your coat's thin as paper And you look thirty pounds underweight, When you go to get a word of advice from the fat little pastor, he will tell you to love evermore. But when hunger comes to rap, rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat, at the window See how love flies out the door.

For money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around. Money makes the world go around, the clinking, clanking sound of Money, money, money, money, Money, money, money, money, Get a little, get a little, Money, money, money, money, Mark, a yen, a buck or a pound, That clinking, clanking clunking sound is all that makes the world go round, It makes the world go round.

Wiedersehen!

Marion.

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swpetersksusa 8 years, 2 months ago

I was back in Lawrence in December/January, and I was a) never hassled by panhandlers (and it was warm, too); b) impressed with the free parking; c) amazed at the variety of businesses thriving on Mass. when so many places have succumbed to the dead downtown/ big suburban supermall disease.

I'm planning on moving back, having seen a LOT of other places. Example: Pittsburgh, "America's Most Livable City" of a few years back, with a population half of what it used to be and a downtown that is scarily empty at night, despite an expensive "cultural district". Yeah, you have problems, but in the overall scheme of things, they're negligible. From what I can see, the city government has some intelligent people, and is responsive to the citizens' concerns. That in itself is a big positive.

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Purell 8 years, 2 months ago

Holy Cow, I think that's the fourth posting ID he's used.

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pity2bu 8 years, 2 months ago

Do away with the downtown area! Get rid of KU! Send the liberals somewhere far away so they can sit in a circle and sing KUM-BAH-YAH. If you weren't born here get out and stay out, the problems were created by outsiders.

Thats the way I think it ought to be and I don't care what you people think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

Wow. I watch the KU game (go Hawks!) come back and Marion Sidney Lynn goes completely unglued. But... to give him credit, he does not enter THE SHOEMAKER INCIDENT type range. And, isn't it funny how janniebullinlawrence only posts when Marion is spouting?

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion, What qualifications do you have to spout such nonsense about the Farmer's Market? jg and Badger have it correct. Downtown wants the FM because it actually brings people into the area who stay and spend money in the businesses. Even the vendors at the FM spend $ at the downtown businesses.

Hundreds of spaces? There are approx. 75 parking spaces in the lot you are referring to. Most of the FM shoppers either walk to the market, ride their bicycles, or park in the Church lot across the street. (A private and not a "downtown" lot.) You make a weak arguement.

As for the LPD. I personally know someone on the LPD. I have seen him in plain clothes walking along Mass Street many times. I think this is a great way for the LPD to keep an eye out w/out an "in-your-face" approach to keeping order. I would actually feel less safe if I constantly saw police officers strolling in uniform downtown. It would make me wonder why we needed such security.

Thanks,

s_s

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ben_ness 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion - My nerves are about as likely to get jangled by your rants as I am likely to take a trip to the moon. It certainly wasn't me that suggested removal; however, I do agree with you that the ljworld site staff should excercise more discretion in their control of this blog. Have fun working on your lifters.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

And on that note, I must depart.

I must attend to a late Seventh Series Packard (1930 to you.) ; the operation of whose valve lifters requires attention.

Although one may indeed and in fact balance a nickel on the cylinder head while the engine is running, the lifters are making an absolutely intolerable ticking which may be discerned above the noise of the distributor rotor as it spins; a sound which would otherwise be ignored by the unwashed but which is to the aficionado intolerable.

The noise might be heard in the passenger compartement even with the divider window closed.

If you doubt me just ask the man who owns one.

Thanks.

Marion.

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nudist 8 years, 2 months ago

My personal observation is perhaps someone has the worst case of ADD that I've ever seen.

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janniebullinlawrence 8 years, 2 months ago

Well I say those who speak of the bend have spent more time there then those to which they point their tiny little fingers, and everyone knows what they say about the size of fingers.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

There is a place on the net where Free Speech is not only allowed but encouraged.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Purell wrote:

"Posted by Purell (anonymous) on February 13, 2006 at 9:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Reminds me of the Muhammed Cartoons...the reaction proves out the cartoons"

Marion writes:

As my old CB buddies would have said, "That's a BIG 10-4!"

Thanks.

Marion.

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Purell 8 years, 2 months ago

Reminds me of the Muhammed Cartoons...the reaction proves out the cartoons.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

My, my, the ADMIN is certainly active tonight!

I suspect that the jangled nerves of which I spoke earlier are excericising their index finger on the "Suggest Removal" button!

Thanks.

Marion.

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janniebullinlawrence 8 years, 2 months ago

ok whats the problem with bran muffins and Chuck Norris?

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ben_ness 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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ben_ness 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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beatrice 8 years, 2 months ago

I just think it is cool that I have a cloak!

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janniebullinlawrence 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

born1980 wrote:

"Posted by born1980 (anonymous) on February 13, 2006 at 8:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually I'm a 3rd generation Alumnus, so back off. I do not support most of what the current City Government does. However, unlike you, I do not believe in eminent domain unless it is a truly dire situation."

WOO, HOO!

A THIRD GENERATION ALUMNUS!

Do we have CONFIRMATION of vested but anonymous interest in the outcome of Downtown?

For someone who "does not support most of what the current City Government does" you have little to say about it and a LOT to say about ME!

A bit unheathily fixed are you?

Should I be concerned for my safety?

BAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

At eleven grand a month the old grocery store is not likely to find a tenant and if the downtown situation is not "dire" please thell me whattheheck it is!

What about dealing with the question I asked earlier?

Thanks.

Marion.

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

Actually I'm a 3rd generation Alumnus, so back off. I do not support most of what the current City Government does. However, unlike you, I do not believe in eminent domain unless it is a truly dire situation.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

born1980 wrote:

"Posted by born1980 (anonymous) on February 13, 2006 at 8:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for clearing that up Marion. I had no idea all those businesses that declared Bankruptcy were really doing so because they made a huge profit."

Again, dear boy or girl, you have demonstrated your total lack of understanding of the system.

By the way, what about a reply to my earlier post in which I asked you a question or was the time when you "went to KU" only a grade-school field trip?

Thanks.

Marion.

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for clearing that up Marion. I had no idea all those businesses that declared Bankruptcy were really doing so because they made a huge profit.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Now OMB, I tried my darndest to be nice to you and this is what I get!

NI!

Thanks.

Marion.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 2 months ago

get

the

net

&

the

dart

gun

,

he's

gone

plumb

around

the

bend.

T h a n k s ,

o m b

,

not

TOB

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janniebullinlawrence 8 years, 2 months ago

Posted by Amandak (anonymous) on February 13, 2006 at 12:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Marion-- You are so profoundly ignorant!! The LPD's response to crime is among the best I have seen in a city this size.

If you think the LPD is fine then you need to click your heals suger so as you can get out more. The Law enforcement of which you speak are the saddest examples of crime fighters in existence..

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

The deluded "Napoleon_Dynomite" wrote:

"Posted by Napoleon_Dynomite (anonymous) on February 13, 2006 at 6:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Marion,

Your store didn't go out of business..."just moved to more favorable digs"?

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/sep/11...

Yeah, we believe you."

The very fact that you have gone through all this "twaddle" very clearly underscores your lack of understanging of what we in the real world refer to as "the system".

As you who are my detractors have so few original ideas of your own concerning how to deal with the very pressing and important issues of Downtown it is fair to conclude that you have no ideas but prefer to engage only in endless games of personal attack.

I suspect that my allegations are jangling the nerves of some of the more "Progressive" supporters of the socialists on the Kommisariat at City Hall.

I notce that His Tutuness Rundle has been muzzled, that The Booger has attempted an failed to divert attention from real issues by promoting his own brand of "Dadaism", that Kommisar Emeritus Dunfield is still out there actively drumming up work for his firm GLPMA so that its incestuous realtionship with the Kommissars might continue without interferenfce and that the angry Lord Shauner is clothing himself in the guise of the peacemaker, struggling to cover up the cluelessness of the the Kommissariat as a whole.

I do not hide behind the cloak of anonymity as do my detractors and have nothing for which to be ashamed.

I sold the little coporation and its name to another group and at a tidy profit. thank you and have moved on (A prhase of which "liberals" are sooooo fond!) to other ventures which involve things of which most of my detractors could not comprehend anyway.

I wonder what stake the Anonymous Ones have in the planned developements downtown and just how concerned with its future outside of how that futre might affect thier own pocketbooks.

Whenever someone begins to hit too close to home the anonymous jackals come out of their holes and begin nibbling at the heels.

It would seem that I have made just such a hit and have jangled some nerves in that portion of the private sector which controls the "Progressive" Kommissariat!

I am amuse by those who persist in naming me as a "suspect" in the infamous "Postcard Scandal" when even the perp has said that I had nothing to do with it, the postal authorities had no interest in speaking with me even though they were specifically given the opportunity and His Tutuness has only accused me of "outing" him and if he accuses me of running the postacrds I will sue him for his last tutu!

Like I would need to do postcards when I have the entire Internet?

BAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

To paraphrase:

"Look on my works ye midgets and despair!"

Thanks.

Marion.

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beatrice 8 years, 2 months ago

Pawn-shop philosophy. Now it all makes sense.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

He keeps threatening a TOB website but it keeps sending me to search engine lala land.

Nappy - It's a wonder what one can find on the ljworld.com search function isn't it? I got bored one day and here we are now. Pretentious Cow. What a perfect name.

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beatrice 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm picturing Howard Dean's famous election rant -- multiplied by ten! Marion, take a breath already. It isn't worth the headache. Besides, most of us out here are just laughing at your posts. Try switching to your alter ego -- he seems calmer and less combative by far.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 2 months ago

Nappy, watch out. There could be a N_Dynomite dot com out there in the vast wasteland that is marion's mind.

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Napoleon_Dynomite 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion,

Your store didn't go out of business..."just moved to more favorable digs"?

Yeah, we believe you.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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observer 8 years, 2 months ago

dlhj , do you really believe this or were you paid off? She fits her last name, she's a hack.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

born1980, you have indicated that you "went to KU" so we wil give you a bit of a test of your politcal perspective via a few quotations by a well know politial pundit.

I'm wondering whith which of these quotations you might agree:

"This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief"

Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism has ever invented for its own destruction."

"How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think"

"It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge."

"Words build bridges into unexplored regions."

"The higher you aspire the more you grow"

"Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future."

Thanks.

Marion.

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dlhj 8 years, 2 months ago

Topside- Ms. Hack is actually a very intelligent and logical person and I think she has done a great job as a commissioner. I'm guessing that you don't know her personally from what you have said. I know that she is not against bars and nightlife in downtown Lawrence she is just trying to work for solutions to certain problems.

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Confrontation 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion-Thanks for that song link. That's hilarious!

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, Badger. Back feels much better.

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badger 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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gradstudent_phd 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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badger 8 years, 2 months ago

I wonder why we haven't seen badger.com.

Oh, wait, someone already owns that site, so I'm free from Marion's personal 'Naughty' list.

Hee hee!

unbends all the bobs and gives them fruitcake

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

Don't project your life on me pal. I went to KU and have a good job for someone my age and actually have friends. Your comments make absolutely no sense. What exactly is a cntimeter? You are a grown man and you can't even spell correctly.

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gontek 8 years, 2 months ago

Hey City PD - I want to see a crime mapper. Almost any city has this - the city has the capability, we need to demand this from the police department. What they have now stinks, I want interactive web mapping, the city has this capability and need. There is no perspective here, and the news is blowing this one event way out of porportion I think. Lets add some perspective here.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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hurlehey 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion, the two buildings you asked for the city to claim both have tenents. Allen press boasts the largest catering business in town and the old grocery was recently rented by a restaurant.

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

PS Marion, if you are going pretend to lecture me about picking up crayons and going back to the classroom, you might want to spell classroom right. Just a thought.

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

Actually I did post comments earlier. I am responding to you hogging the entire board with nonsense about cops wearing Spandex and you saving two of them from dying. And last I checked 25 isn't a small child.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Born1980:

You are the perfect example of the small child given access to the net.

You refuse to engage in reasonable and rational discussion, preferring instead ad hominem attacks with your only intent being that to disrupt what could be a round table that could actually benefit Downtown.

Why don't you go back to your claslsrrom, pick up the crayons and leave the real world to adults?

Thanks.

Marion.

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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Topside 8 years, 2 months ago

Ms. Hack is dumb. Her argument is the perfect reason why downtown Lawrence, WORKS! If downtown Larence didn't cater to so many different tastes it would have folded up a long time ago. Hack is retarded, let me guess she voted for roundabouts.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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badger 8 years, 2 months ago

When I went to the Farmers Market, I invariably stopped at Wheatfield's for the week's bread as well. Then, I'd head over to Henry's for a cuppa, or perhaps Milton's for something more substantial.

In addition to the money I spent at the FM, I usually dropped between 20 and 30 bucks downtown in my aftermarket wanderings each Saturday.

Marion, I have no idea where you're getting your information, because I repeatedly saw others wandering around downtown with their 'okra and tomatoes', getting some breakfast or coffee or windowshopping while they waited for the stores to open.

Given that the market ended by 11ish, and most of the retail stores downtown don't open until 9 or 10 on Saturdays, I fail to see how that parking lot and the parking for the patrons could be so desperately needed for customers for those shops. Even if I arrived at 10, I could find plenty of parking along Vermont - which makes me think that perhaps there wasn't really much of a shortage at all.

And, myself, I've generally been against the use of eminent domain to confiscate private property for parking lots. It's not like lots in those locations would benefit Allen Press, for example - a local business that does a great deal for local charities. And those locations, in particular, wouldn't ease the parking woes for the most congested parts of downtown that much anyway, being several blocks away from the busiest areas.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

born 1980 - No. He's Super Marion Sidney Lynn. He's done everything. Including running businesses into the ground. He's so smug and wonderful. I could hug him.

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jfgibson 8 years, 2 months ago

I can tell you that I have had my car broken into twice and have been afraid of an escalated situation a hand ful of times when going to a bar in Westport, Kansas City, or Topeka. I have gone to several bars in Lawrence and have NEVER had my car broken into. When a situation gets out of control the bouncers and/or police officers in the area are quick to interfere. I have never felt scared when me and my other chick friends are walking by our selves downtown at night. I have gone to the Ranch on 6th street quite often and can tell you that there are always several officers waiting outside the bar when it closes. If you don't like downtown bars or shopping then don't go there. I can think of several other bars and shopping areas in Lawrence that are no where close to downtown. As for the "homeless problem" it is so much better here than in other cities. I have been to KC and Nashville before where there are homeless people absolutely everywhere. And they aren't shy in those cities they will get up in your face and try to open your car door to get money.

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bookoff 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

You have saved two police officers lifes huh? Is there anything you haven't done?

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Well, what the LPD dies is set up a couple of cars at the siede of the roadway near the Granada and stop cars for such "reasons" as loud pipes, a headlight or tal light problem, neon lights in the wrong place, etc.

The time-worn "stopped for defective safety equipment", etc.

I have also SEEN the LPD run age and ID checks on folks waiting in line at the Granada.

The bike officers look sexy in their Glocks and Spandex anda should remain if for no other reason than the comic relief as they violate as many traffic laws as do ordinary bicycllists.

Foot patrols art the answer and I suggest ten two-person teams from 12:00 pm 'til 4 am with traffic cars to handle things in the moring as there is so little activity that foot patrols sould be reduced druing those yours with at least some foot presence maintained.

Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas was a safe place 24-7 in the 60s and 70s until the foot patrols were withdrawn or minimised and it then went straight to Hades.

There was little crime o the avenue.

I would also suggest that the foot patrols downtown extend to Vermont and New Hampshire streets of course and that they cover from 6th to 14th with special attention given to 6th to 12th.

I advocate for increases in the number of personnell on the LPD, better salaries and ongoing training.

We have a good PD and it can be a great PD which actually PREVENTS crime in an unobtrusive het visible manner.

Do not think for one moment that I dislike cops in general , as I do not.

I owe my life to police officers on two occasions and on two occasions I have returned the favour but that does not by any means pay the debt of gratitude.

Downtown can thrive and become an international example of how to revive and maintain an ongoing success story.

Thanks.

Marion.

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J Good Good 8 years, 2 months ago

I disagree that the farmer's market does not benefit downtown. Many people hit the farmers market first, but stay downtown for the rest of the morning. See it firsthand many Saturdays....

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

formerlyKS: Well said as well, I like your style. Does this Marion person have brain damage or is this a good day?

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badger 8 years, 2 months ago

pats Amandak on its pointy little head

Oh, look at it froth!

They're so cute when they're all full of self-righteous whatever.

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Amandak 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion, Good point about the "Dadaism". But, your still wrong about the ID checks!
P.S. "bookoff"="jerkoff"

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Amandak 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Godot:

Yeah, that accusation of me bing a liberal was kinda cute!

Been called a lot of things lately but not a liberal until now!

;)

Thanks.

Marion.

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April Fleming 8 years, 2 months ago

Can't really say I've ever had any real problems parking, either. Absolute worst case scenario: having to walk 4 blocks.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Further, I suggest that the city acquire through eminent domain the old office supply/grocery store on Vermont and the Allen Press building on Massa, demolish those buldings and expand downotown parking.

I do NOT suggest the construction of a new parking garge of any kind as the city cannot seem to build one without the cost being 130-150% over the national per space average cost; perhaps due to the architectural firm chosen?

Now this is going to make the Weeds and SEeds people nuts but the impostion of the Farmer's Market on downtown is unconscionable.

Several days each week what usable parking there is is squandered away on the Farmer's Market by occupying one entire city lot and using up hundereds of other public parking spaces which could be used by regular downtown clientile.

The Framer's Market needs to be moved elsewhere if it is to continue and should be operated privately in a lot far from downtown.

The FM clientle simply uses a space, buys some okra or some tomatotes, gets into the car and leaves.

The Farmer's Market benefits the rest of downtown very little but affects it greatly and is indirectly subsidised by the downtown merchants without thier consent.

Consideration should be give to the expansion of parking into a few areas currently occupied by dilapidated commercial buildings and private housing.

Thanks.

Marion.

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April Fleming 8 years, 2 months ago

I've lived in Lawrence for nearly 7 years, going downtown during the day, evening and night. I have never felt threatened in any way. I also work in downtown Kansas City and while the two cities aren't comparable, the experience puts sad but ISOLATED incidents like this into perspective.

Lawrence IS very safe, even when compared to towns of similar size and makeup - look at Syracuse, NY as an example. A ban on weapons wouldn't have prevented what happened, especially considering that a lot of people that come in for concerts, etc. are from out of town. And regulating who comes into town is such nonsense it's not even worth addressing. They spend money in your town, supporting our economy. You plan on banning people from coming in for KU basketball games? I don't care for the traffic.

Terrible things just happen. And homeless people? That's life. They're everywhere. If those odds aren't good enough, there's always Eudora or Tonganoxie.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

Sorry Marion. I was thinking of that other business. The Pretentious Dog? Cow? or AAA Pawn. I can't keep them all straight.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Amandak, you should slow down a bit and not make unwarranted and unfounded ASSumptions.

And I need to be more clear and specific!

I have never had an "unfavourable" experience with the LPD.

What I am suggesting is that live foot patrols, ON THE SIDEWALKS will decrease the liklihood of trouble downtown.

My suggestion is supported by the experiences of other cities.

The LPD frequently sets up a patrol car or two in front of the granada and arbitrarily stops vehicles to check IDs.

I have seen this repeatedly so so not tell me that I must ignore the evidence of my eyes.

I advocate for MORE police officers in Lawrence, higher wages and improved training; that we get rid of the few thigs that we have on the department now(And there are some!).

Granted the response time is fast but it is my suggestion that an increased presence will improve the response time even more as many crimes will be deterred by the presence of more officers.

This is one of the few areas in which the police can actually PREVENT crime instead of SOLVING a crime.

I understand that to an extenet, the LPD is limited by funding or lack of it, so the Great White Fathers on the comission might have to build fewer roundabouts and discuss Dadaism less in order to fund the program and protect downtown.

Visible police presence will help minimise crime downtown and offer a feeling of security to tourists and visitors to downtown.

Look at the example of Monaco.

Thanks.

Marion.

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badger 8 years, 2 months ago

snerk

That wacky Liberal Marion.

I used to live about a block from the America's Pub in Westport in KC. I had my car broken into enough times that I took out all the valuables and left it unlocked, and my apartment broken into while I was home. One of my neigbors was assaulted in the parking lot with a hammer, and another of my neighbors had her door kicked in by the KCPD after no fewer than 14 people called 911 because we were worried about her two kids when she and her live-in boyfriend started throwing things that sounded like breaking glass at each other.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and every KC gameday Sunday, drunks trying to retrieve their illegally parked cars dented up the ones in my parking lot, more drunks deposited various bodily fluids in the flowerbeds, in the shrubberies, in the swimming pool, and on my doorstep, drunken guys tried to 'convince' their drunken ladyfriends that a parking lot is a perfectly romantic place, and random groups of screaming (literally) people walked down the street until 3 or 4 am. All this happened with Westport Security and KCPD officers standing two and three deep on every single corner.

In Austin, from what I've seen, 6th Street is about the same as Westport. Lawrence has it pretty easy, frankly. The downtown is relatively tame, even at midnight. Last Call seems to be a problem (though I never had any trouble walking by it on the way to Henry's or the Bottleneck from the Borders lot), but really it seems like there are some decently-sized molehills being mountainized here.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

OMB:

My store did not go out of business.

I moved to more favourable digs.

Thanks.

Marion.

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holygrailale 8 years, 2 months ago

Lots of cities would LOVE to have an area that sustained business through one time period, let alone three.

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Godot 8 years, 2 months ago

Ha, someone called Marion a liberal! What is the world coming to?

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bookoff 8 years, 2 months ago

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

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Amandak 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry, I didn't make it past his LPD reference. It made the rest of his comments irrelevant. Its all in the presentation. Marion had some good points, but they were preceeded by crap! Sorry for accusing you of being a worthless liberal Marion!!! Just stay focused and lay off the police; we have a great police presence in Lawrence!!

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

He's just making excuses for why his store went out of business. He's not a liberal, either. Just confused.

Buskers = Street musicians. Bozo - Thanks.

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Amandak 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion-- You are so profoundly ignorant!! The LPD's response to crime is among the best I have seen in a city this size. Give me facts that support your contention that the LPD gives "poor" police protection. As is typical of many critics of the police, I'm sure you have had a prior experience with an officer; an experience where you, in fact, broke the law but are too irrational to accept responsibility. Facts Marion--I want facts! Police do not do arbitrarily conduct ID checks, you idiot! They do so out of "reasonable suspicion" that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be commited. These ID checks that you refer to often serve as a great measure to reduce crime, by allowing the police to either apprehend wanted persons, or simply reminding "suspicious" persons they are present. Let me get this straight Marion, you propose less routine/productive police work and, at the same time, more crime prevention/protection downtown. One seems to counter the other you ignorant fool. Its the liberal "BSer's" like you in this city that propagate the crime. Do your homework next time!

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

Right on BunE. Except for buskers. No clue what that is.

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BunE 8 years, 2 months ago

Downtown Lawrence is: Easy to negotiate; Has plenty of parking (never had to look for more than 10 minutes for a max 5 minute walk); Has great people watching; Has great stores; Has great restaraunts; Is safe; Has great bars; Has great places to live DT; Has a great vibe of welcome; Has some great architecture as well as some bombs; Has buskers and access to great live music; Has minimal police interference; Has people there from 12p - 2a Has funny 16-18 y/olds with trucks hangin' out and trying to be "growed up"

What is the deal with the hysterical abortion references? Heck, Dick Cheney just failed to have a 228th trimester abortion on his old friend! (He was a lawyer though...)

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dream 8 years, 2 months ago

What difference dows it really make now? Downtown late night is almost a ghost town. There is a HUGE difference in the number of people going out now and three years ago. Back then, late night traffic on Thursday, Friday and Saturday was incredible. Now it resembles a ghost town on those same nights. There was more traffic on Tuesday or Wednesday night than any night now. Downtown is dying a slow death. Too make matters worse are the outrageous rent and taxes that forces out many of the smaller retailers. The turnover is higher than ever. Many people are shopping elsewhere. Sure, there is traffic during the day, but how many people are actually ncarrying packages as they leave the stores downtown? Downtown Lawrence is not the fun place it used to be. A combination of factors have contributed to this and now downtown is rather a pathetic shell of what once was a mecca for all adults regardless of age.

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formerlyKS 8 years, 2 months ago

Well said, born1980.

Lawrence has worked real hard the last ten years to increase its retail "pull factor" by recruiting big box stores, along with the usual complement of local shops and eateries. It is fairly obvious that Lawrence's population and demographics could never support the prices and variety of such if it weren't for the importing of money from nearby KC and Topeka. Equally obvious, most of the population growth Lawrence has been experiencing the last decade is nothing more than people from Topeka moving to the west side of town, maintaining their jobs in Topeka, and bringing the $$ back to town. You can't have the money that is provided by neighboring communities without expecting some of their problems, and it seems the complaining as of late is unfounded...the vast majority of Lawrence residents wanted population growth and the amenities that follow it. The downside, of course, is increased crime, traffic, pollution, etc.

If you want to keep out the "trashy" component from the larger cities, perhaps frequenting them less for jobs will help---the hypocrites don't realize that their "buy local, shop local" mentality is pointless given that the money was never generated in Lawrence to begin with...it was an economic shot in the arm from other places.

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Jamesaust 8 years, 2 months ago

Create an entertainment district bounded geographically and by time (say 10pm-5am) and require establishments operating during those hours within the district to take on the responsibility of ensuring measurable standards of outcomes (crime, disturbances, trash) set by the City and with the power to self-police themselves - regulation and funding assessment via an entertainment district Authority.

The City shouldn't need to expend excessive monies and efforts to police problems created by a few specialized businesses. The City need only (a) set the standards for the entertainment district, and (b) evaluate the Authority's effectiveness in achieving those standards.

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Marion Lynn 8 years, 2 months ago

Folks stay away from donwtown because :

(1)of lousy parking

(2) panhandling

(3)high prices necessitated by high rents and property taxes

(4) poor law enforcement; the LPD acts like the cavalry in the old movies; it comes charging in AFTER the event and does little besides occasionally harrass folks with ID checks even less to PREVENT crime in the downtown

(5) the Salvation Army and the "Open" shelter; havens for drug addicts, sex criminals and drunks must BOTH be moved from the Downtown area

(6) the smoking ban must be repealed or modified to allow business to CHOOSE(Works for ABORTION so it SHOULD WORK FOR BUSINESS! You can CHOOSE to kil a baby but cannot CHOOSE to allow smoking! How's that for logic?)

(7) Expanded use of sidewalk facilities must be allowed

(8) The arbitrary and unequallly enforced food restriction on drinking establishments must be removed

(7) A zero tolerance policy regarding violence must be put into place and enforced

(8) Improved security in the form of video surveilliance should be implemented and monitored

(9) Outdoor lighting downtown must be improved

(10) The dangerously incestuous relationship between the City Of Lawrence and entrenched local architectural firms MUST BE BROKEN!

(11) Since the Downtown is designated an Historic Area LOCAL tax CREDITS MUST be given to owners who restore the facades of those buildings in the proper character

There are a few more things that could be done but I've got to get back to pulling the wings off of flies, evicting poor widows, warmongering and liberal bashin; you know, all those things that libertarians are accused of!

Thanks.

Marion.

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 2 months ago

Have any of you seen the movie "Footloose"? This reminds me of that. Except in the movie the preacher controlled everything. They outlawed dancing because it was "sinful". They didn't want the kids to have a prom or homecoming because it invited sin. At one point the townsfolk started burning books if they thought there was sin in them.

Our city commission reminds me of that. If one little incident happens then it's time to ban everything associated with that. Homeless people begging for money? Ban the homeless. Too many bars downtown? Ban bars that don't make more money from food. A couple of incidents occur where violence and weapons are involved? Let's ban the bar's after 10:30pm.

Perhaps it's time they look into figuring out how to keep Lawrencians from being afraid of their own shadows.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

I would bet that every one of those licenses will be renewed, Godot.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Here's an idea. If a situation becomes a consistent trouble spot then citizens should take matters in their own hands by sending many many letters requesting that the owner take whatever steps necessary to quell the unruly or violent activity or be subject to a petition requesting the business be shut down. This type of action would require a good deal of discretion.

More often than not legal steps cannot be taken against an owner when the activity occurs outside of an establishment. Citizen pressure may be best. LPD cannot do a lot until a crime has been committed.

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Confrontation 8 years, 2 months ago

"I think the nighttime may have an effect on the daytime," she said. "If people perceive this to be a rowdy or unruly or unsafe area, then they also do not come during the day."

That makes absolutely no sense!!! Eileen Strong needs to focus on her boring collection of antiques and poor quality of coffee, since she obviously has no grasp on anything else. I wonder how many nights she's out walking Mass Street? I bet she's in bed by 7pm.

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Godot 8 years, 2 months ago

This is just part of the "drip-drip-drip" of news stories intended to shape public perception and smooth the way for ridding the downtown of bars, and bringing in more upscale shopping, housing and dining. I see that several bars go before the city for liquor license renewal tomorrow night. I look forward to seeing the commentary that comes out of that.

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dlhj 8 years, 2 months ago

If I had to guess, I would say that more people stay away from downtown during the day because they don't want to be harassed by panhandlers, not because of the "unruly" behavior of some people at night who aren't even present during the day.

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Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 2 months ago

Can we get over this already? Downtown Lawrence is NOT a dangerous place at any hour of the day or night! Are we all supposed to be home and in bed by 10PM? A lot of folks go to coffee shops at late hours, or go to bars/clubs specifically to see bands perform, not to get drunk and cause trouble.

Oh wait it's the bands that are making us violent. A 10:30 curfew and bed checks must be the way to go. rolling eyes

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daddax98 8 years, 2 months ago

how many people who are not going to the bars are downtown at 10:30? My guess would be not many so which "other" customers are being driven out?

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Amandak 8 years, 2 months ago

Let's see, if you walk along 9th and Mass., 9th and New Hampshire, 10th and Mass., and 10th and Vermont, or any T-bus stop near downtown, you are innundated with visions of laziness, I mean homelessness. Quite a visual treat, especially for out of towners! If you are brave enough, maybe you can catch a hip-hop show at the Granada (wearing body-armour of course) or meander on down to visit Dennis Steffes and his neanderthal "bouncers" at the Last Call, where $40.00 can by a 15 year-olds way into the "violence free" club. Remember, its those gangbangers drinking at the Bottleneck who are really responsible for all the guns being recovered by police directly across the street from Steffes club. Let's start strictly enforcing the begging, urinating, and yes "crapping" ordinances downtown and put some much needed pressure on Steffes craphole club. I'm sure there are no underage drinkers in there. Let's get with it Lawrence----Pressure those commissioners an let's clean-up our city. Let's distract Boog's attention from the "BS" marijuana ordinance he so badly wants to pioneer and discuss the real issues that we all care about and benefit from. The way things are going now, I envision a Lawrence where, unfortunately, we will be able to walk down Mass Street smoking a blunt and waving ours guns in the air!!

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RonBurgandy 8 years, 2 months ago

ksmattfish, mcoan, & TOB are correct.

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ben_ness 8 years, 2 months ago

Downtown Lawrence has always had its bit of excitement, at least as far back as I can remember. Two shootings on Mass Street in so many years really isn't that bad. It is a sign of growth, yes, but not a reason to throw our arms up in the air and act as if the world is coming to an end. The crazy nightlife in Downtown Lawrence is not going to affect business during the day, or vice versa. Last I checked, most people don't window shop at 10:30 at night and the bars aren't hopping at 10:30 in the morning. Additionally, the ban on smoking has nothing to do with this problem. NYC and Washington DC have smoking bans and have seen very few problems as a result.

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conservativepunker 8 years, 2 months ago

If they would look at other "vibrant" nightlife areas, such as Sixth St in Austin, they would see a very visible police and security presence. Not just a patrol car rolling by every 20-30 minutes, but actual foot beats. Continuously. If things get out of hand, there is an officer of some sort on the situation fast.

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moveforward 8 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence has a great blend of retail, professional offices, restaurants and nightlife. I've traveled recently to quite a few cities, large and small, and what we have is great. With diversity and action comes some degree of mischief. The city police do a pretty fine job. No amount of policing would likely have avoided the most recent incident.

The only things that I would to improve downtown at present are: 1) eliminate vehicle traffic through Mass from 11th to 7th, 2) to allow restaurants to have a dedicated smoking room. Many cities have just such accommodations - even in California. I would love to sit in a Lawrence bar, enjoy a cigar, a drink and fine some live music - without subjecting unwilling people to second hand smoke. and 3) better educate the homeless about limiting the panhandling. Go to Unioin Square in San Fransisco - way more homeless folks per block, much less in your face panhandling. Some of it even adds to the livelyness of the area. They have been tought the reasoable limits.

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HighScore 8 years, 2 months ago

With that said, I am looking for a sublease of my apartment. A large one bedroom apartment above the Phoenix Gallery at 919 Massachusetts St. Great views of Massachusetts St. and Miltons. Call me at 331-8380 if you are interested. No worries, I am not moving out due to any other reason than I just finally grew up and bought a house.

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HighScore 8 years, 2 months ago

I have lived downtown for five years and there has always been a certain amount of activity after the bars let out. Every Friday and Saturday night I hear the occassional comment errupt into a near (and sometimes actual) fight. It happens at house parties, it happens at other bars around town. It really has nothing to do with being downtown and I doubt that it in any way effects people's thoughts about visiting downtown during the daytime or evening hours. My non-scientific proof; over the five years that I have lived downtown, it has been more and more difficult to find parking spots, even with the addition of a parking garage.

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born1980 8 years, 2 months ago

This is ridiculous. Lawrence residents want all of the benefits of living in a college town without any of the drawbacks. It makes me sick how some Lawrence residents believe this utopia will exist if only all of the "outsiders" would leave. We want your money during the day when you shop and eat, but then we want you to go back where you came from. The big plus to come out of Abe and Jake's owner saying Topeka residents aren't welcome is that maybe our downtown will come back since a lot of us will be boycotting Lawrence.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 2 months ago

3 downtowns? Boooo! Lame. It's one downtown.

KSMattFish and Mcoan are correct.

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mcoan 8 years, 2 months ago

ksmattfish is correct: A vibrant downtown requires night life. Time and time again, it's been shown that a vibrant downtown needs 1.) Daytime employers, 2.) Daytime shopping 3.) People who actually LIVE there, and 4.) Night life. Pull out one of these, and the whole thing crumbles. Don't fight success...the alternative is death.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

When the city does nothing about rowdy night spots such as the Last Call and the Club 504 for too long perhaps that sends a wrong message. Unfortuntately this type of activity comes with growth so Lawrence citizens need to lay out priorities. If anyone thinks a growing city will not produce more crime and violence then the question becomes what planet are you on?

Do we want more bar/grill/nightclubs or not? Frankly only so many can survive.

How much more is Lawrence willing to spend on law enforcement which may well be the largest item in the budget as we speak?

Lawrence has had a successful eating,drinking and dancing late night verly early morning scene forever without the latest street fights and a Mass Street shooting. Obviously we don't need that activity. Stop it early on. Otherwise it impacts the "safe" image Lawrence once had. Nightlife is a fun part of living. So I say shut down the trouble spots and prosecute the troublemakers.

Write a stiffer nightlife nuisance ordinance with some teeth in it that will be effective and enforced. Trouble spots close at 10 PM as part of a 6 month probation? Shut down for violating probation?

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Ragingbear 8 years, 2 months ago

Let's sacrifice them to our GOD!!!!!

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ksmattfish 8 years, 2 months ago

Anyone who thinks downtown Lawrence is "rowdy or unruly or unsafe" at night hasn't visited any other American cities downtown at night. Most are either completely dead or truely scary.

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neopolss 8 years, 2 months ago

They already limited the bars years ago when they passed ordinances prohibiting new bars from entering.

Why not ban out-of-towners and bars completely and be done with it? Then you can have your precious downtown all to yourselves!

In fact, let's just close down all of the large businesses and go back to be a cute little college town. Everyone can go back to KC and Topeka, and we will all forget Lawrence even existed!

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Rhoen 8 years, 2 months ago

What insanity. Make that inanity.

First the very lame "three downtowns" metaphor and then all of the responses link recent happenings to one of the few sane things that the City has done in the recent past, which is to ban smoking in public buildings.

Scratch any of these problems and you'll find the profit motive lurking not far below the surface as the basic cause of all of these ills.

Profits before people ... why not take a look at that?

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ljreader 8 years, 2 months ago

Saving lives through smoking. Downtown Lawrence: A place your gun may smoke, but you may not.

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ljreader 8 years, 2 months ago

Nicotine fit + alcohol+ concealed weapons=YIKES

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bmwjhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Before ban=not a lot of murders!

After ban=at least one murder!

Bring back the smokes. Give them away for free as part of a crime-reduction measure.

Slogan-- "The cigarette you smoke today could be the life you save tomorrow."

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redbird 8 years, 2 months ago

You may have something there lunacydetector!!!! What are the crime/violence rates compared to the before and after smoking bans were introduced ???

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lunacydetector 8 years, 2 months ago

nicotine withdrawl mixed with alcohol makes people angry. perhaps smokers are substituting their lack of nicotine with greater amounts of booze trying to curtail the effects.

that would make a great study.

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