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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City hears ideas for downtown safety

February 15, 2006

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Maybe metal detectors at downtown bars would have saved the life of Robert Earl Williams, the man shot and killed last week outside a downtown nightclub.

Or maybe they wouldn't have, but the man's widow told city commissioners Tuesday night that city leaders must figure out what will make the community's nightlife scene safer.

"It has to change. Something has to be done," LaTonia Coleman, Williams' widow, told commissioners. "I returned to a town that I looked at as a place I wanted to raise my family : and now that is all gone."

City commissioners didn't endorse any ideas - including earlier closing times for bars and increased staffing levels for the police department - that came out of a short discussion at their weekly meeting. But they promised Coleman that the issue had their full attention.

"What I'm looking for from the police department and from city management is a specific plan of action," City Commissioner David Schauner said. "Whether it is changing patrols or having a greater police presence in the downtown at closing time, I don't have the answers, but I'm looking for a pretty specific plan."

Commissioners did approve a change in an existing city ordinance that prohibits people from possessing a firearm near a drinking establishment. The change makes it illegal to possess a firearm within 200 feet of any place that serves liquor. The current ordinance didn't specify an exact distance but rather prohibited weapons within "close proximity" to bars.

That ambiguity has been creating enforcement problems for the police department. Scott Miller, a city attorney, confirmed that police officers have seized six guns in the downtown area since Jan. 1. But he also said police officers have spotted several other guns - fewer than 10, he estimated - in the downtown area but did not seize them because they were uncertain that the guns were in "close proximity" to a bar. In those cases, officers would ask the owner to remove the gun from the area or to properly secure it.

State law makes it illegal for most people to carry a concealed weapon. But without the city ordinance it would be legal, for example, for a person to have a loaded pistol on the seat of a car parked outside a bar because the gun would not be concealed.

Commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance change but said they didn't think it addressed all the concerns related to guns in the downtown area.

"It is going to take a combination of things," City Commissioner Mike Amyx said. "I can tell you I don't have all the answers, but we have to make people feel safe in our downtown and any other part of the community."

Some specific ideas on how to improve safety were mentioned Tuesday. Coleman said she would like the city to explore a program that would place metal detectors in bars.

"That way if a gun or knife is present, attention would be called to it immediately," Coleman said.

Linda Day, a Lawrence resident, told commissioners that they needed to investigate whether specific bars were attracting violence. She also suggested they at least consider an earlier closing time for bars because many of the violent acts have happened in the early-morning hours.

"I'm sure most bars wouldn't want to close at midnight, but it is a viable option," Day said.

Commissioners to send letter to Topeka

Topeka visitors are welcome in Lawrence. Lawrence city commissioners want to make that perfectly clear.

City commissioners at their Tuesday meeting agreed to send a letter to the Topeka City Council assuring all Topeka residents that published comments made by a Lawrence bar owner insinuating that Topeka residents were troublemakers were not the general opinion of Lawrence residents. The comments were made in a Journal-World article following the shooting death of a Topeka man last week outside a downtown nightclub.

"Our intent shouldn't be to alienate any of the visitors to downtown," City Commissioner Sue Hack said. "I don't think it is right at all to single out individual groups as people we don't want in downtown."

The comments were made by Lawrence bar owner Mike Elwell, who operates Abe & Jake's Landing at Sixth and New Hampshire streets. In a Feb. 7 Journal-World article, Elwell said that on Friday nights he often requires customers have two forms of ID to get in to his bar: one establishing age, and another establishing enrollment at Kansas University or Haskell Indian Nations University. Elwell also said in the article that he thought many of the problems that come to Lawrence drinking establishments "center on Topeka."

"I just want people to understand that is not the community's sentiment," Mayor Boog Highberger said about why he proposed to write a letter to Topeka leaders.

Salvation Army site rezoning delayed

City commissioners Tuesday night delayed for two weeks a rezoning action that could reopen the debate about whether an East Lawrence site is appropriate for a new Salvation Army homeless shelter and service center.

Commissioners unanimously approved the Burroughs Creek Corridor Plan, which recommended several rezonings and the creation of a trail along an abandoned railroad line in the area.

But commissioners delayed the rezoning issue for the Salvation Army site after planning staff members confirmed that changing the zoning from industrial to office uses would require the project to receive a special-use permit, which would require a new vote from city commissioners. The project was controversial when it was approved in 2004 because many neighbors expressed concern that the facility wouldn't mesh well with surrounding homes.

City planners said the Salvation Army wouldn't need a special-use permit if it begins construction on the site - which is near 19th Street and Haskell Avenue - before its site plan expires in May. Salvation Army leaders have said that is unlikely because they are still seeking $2 million in funding for the $3.5 million center.

City to help pay for sports facility study

On a 3-2 vote, commissioners agreed to fund 40 percent of a report that will study the feasibility of a new multisport recreation complex.

City commissioners Mike Amyx and David Schauner voted against the proposal brought forward by the citizens' group Partners for Lawrence Athletics and Youth because they said the city had many other infrastructure projects that needed to be addressed.

The study is expected to cost $50,000 to $70,000. The county, school district and chamber of commerce also have expressed an interest in funding a portion of the study.

Consultant to assist with southeast plan

Commissioners agreed to seek the services of a consultant to help the city and county commissions come to a consensus on the Southeast Area Plan.

The two groups have disagreed on how the area south and east of Kansas Highway 10 and O'Connell Road should develop. The county has advocated for a plan that is more residential in nature, while the city has pushed for a plan that has more of an industrial and office component.

Area plan launched west of trafficway

Commissioners directed staff members to begin working on a new area plan to guide development west of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

The plan is being spurred by the desire of some owners of large amounts of property west of the trafficway to develop within the next decade. City staff members said an area plan would spell out what type of infrastructure and city services would need to be in place before development could occur.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

It seems that the SE area plan would be a no brainer. Lawrence,Kansas needs jobs and light industrial high pay.

I am astounded at the lack of ability of our city and county leaders to realize the economic impact this space could provide this community. The proximity to K10 is a huge asset for what the community needs to accomplish. It is no less frustrating of the fact that a consultant/mediator is required to settle what appeared to be once again a no brainer. More housing only means more money from existing homeowners throughout the city.

Unlike the old fertilizer plant which apparently will require a chunk of change to enable the property to be functional due to toxic contamination.

West of trafficway plan is as someone recently described as reacting not planning. This did not come about through some long term planning session. What's to stop the property owner from beginning platting in May? The floodgates are now open. Taxpayers grab your wallets. The property owner can now sell to developers.

Sandman 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm so glad we apologized to Topeka!

Now that we've done that, do you think our City Commission could address the problem of murderers with guns in our downtown area?

bmwjhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Knee-Jerk. What if the murder had happened outside of a grocery store or a church?

neopolss 8 years, 10 months ago

Nothing should be done. Chalk it up to a random act of needless violence and move on.

my2cents 8 years, 10 months ago

Closing the bars earlier:

If you take all the bars and close them at midnight instead of 2am all you have is the problem at midnight.

Closing the bars earlier is not going to change nothing.

Just because you have ONE murder/shooting downtown doesn't mean it is going to happen again. You can't revolve the city's nightlife around this one incident. It is not an everynight thing.

Metal detectors in the bars? Who is going to split the bill for that one.

lunacydetector 8 years, 10 months ago

...but the bar owner who stated topekans bring trouble is correct.....let's see...like 10 years ago, some topeka teenagers shot and killed a guy down by the river for his sport utility; there was shooting at the u.s. armory during a party and someone was killed-wasn't the shooter from topeka?; aren't most armed robbers of banks from topeka?.....please correct me if i'm wrong.

i'm glad the city commission sent a letter to topeka...like topekans keep up on lawrence's news.

dear topeka, we apologize that some bar owner made statements against the trash of topeka who come to lawrence to cause trouble. please forgive us and we encourage more of your trash to come party in our fine downtown (as long as they don't smoke), and tell them that they must keep their guns 200 feet away from our bars. sincerely....

....sounds co-dependant to me.

Rhoen 8 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence should do what Topeka did - Make the town so boring that all the "fun" will happen in someone else's neighborhood.

Perhaps it's time to liven up Tonganoxie, Eudora and DeSoto with some clubs and live music venues - AND you can smoke there!

Entrepreneurs ... and YOU know who you are ... take note.

lunacydetector 8 years, 10 months ago

there you go rhoen. lawrence can start by installing noise devices for after the bars close. it is a device that puts out an annoying sound only 12-22 year olds can hear. they're using them in briitain and they seem to be doing the job.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/02/15/060215133756.3rq2yx5p.html

washburn 8 years, 10 months ago

Lunacydetector, so are you saying that only Topekans come and start trouble? So when you want more people to shop and keep downtown running, are these people not going to help out in that area also? Why does nobody talk about the frat boys fights that happen every weekend after the bars close, is that because most of those are not from Topeka?

KsTwister 8 years, 10 months ago

Take automobiles away from people too---look how many lives that will save. (Chad do you read this stuff you write?)

moveforward 8 years, 10 months ago

I can't remember the last time I saw foot patrol or bicycle officers downtown at night. Maybe the expansion of business to New Hampshire and Vermont streets has stretched them thin. It would not take a lot to step up their precense. That may be all it takes. I certainly don't think this random incident is typical or indicative of the downtown scene. But I suppose we must respond to the bad PR.

lunacydetector 8 years, 10 months ago

washburn, i'm saying it seems that a lot of the violent crimes are committed by topekans and history seems to back that up, but i agree with you about the frat boys, that's why i suggested the noise makers for after the bars close -that would clear out the downtown after the bars shut down.

Gabe Hoffman 8 years, 10 months ago

You know. I lived in Lawrence for the majority of my life and have many a great things to say about it. But one thing that always rubs me is this city, and it's commision have a band wagon record. When one problem arises, it's already happened 200 times in their book.

They need to step back and look at the situation for what it is. A random act of violence that happened downtown. Nothing more, nothing less.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

The government initiated a rule that passengers flying in and out of Washington DC are not allowed to stand up on the plane within 30 minutes of takeoff/landing. That has got to be really frustrating for terrorists who want to take the plane over.

We really need more rules and laws. That will fix everything!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

Let's wait and see what if any new specific ideas surface.

If a bar can be absolutely identified as a trouble spot put them on probation for six months with a temporary closing time of 10PM and or pull the liquor license. It is not necessary to impose an earlier closing time on all night spots. Not even practical or fair.

Get extremely tough with the individual troublemakers by imposing high fines, 5 days in the slammer with additional 2 years probation.

If certain acts whatever or whomever are consistently attracting a "trouble" element the night spot owner could do the community a favor by not bringing in certain acts.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

Well, duh, gl0ck0wner!

Because lawmakers don't get any credit when the laws are enforced! They don't get to have press conferences, and sign things, and put their names on things, and see the newspapers talk about them! To keep up the flow of attention necessary to feed their addiction to media coverage, they have to keep 'doing things'. To feed the Reelection Beast, they have to present their constituents with a 'What I Did This Congressional Term' essay in the form of a political campaign.

You see, if they ever stopped the flow of marginally enforceable and dubiously useful new laws streaming constantly into existence, we might notice that we don't actually need them as much as they'd like us to, and they all might have to get real jobs to fill up the extra time.

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 10 months ago

If bars close at midnight, the violence is going to spread out into the neighborhoods as people have more house- and/or after-parties. Then the commission will have go get back to work on the whole evicting noisy people issue.

I wonder, if you asked a random sampling of 100 Lawrence residents, how many of them would actually say they don't feel safe downtown? I suspect the percentage would be pretty low compared to the big to-do being made about ONE incident.

Confrontation 8 years, 10 months ago

"Linda Day, a Lawrence resident, told commissioners that they needed to investigate whether specific bars were attracting violence. She also suggested they at least consider an earlier closing time for bars because many of the violent acts have happened in the early-morning hours."

I wonder when this woman last visited the downtown area at night? Sounds like she's been reading too many stupid posts on the LJWorld site. She's most likely old enough to be in bed by 9pm, with no clue about the nightlife of downtown. She should get back to her gardening and stereotyping, and voice her ignorant views to her cats.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

Well, PorkRibs, if you're saying that you will shoot someone in self-defense with a weapon you're carrying (perhaps legally, perhaps not) into a public place, and that it's your intent to kill that person, I don't think it will be up to any of us to defend you.

You'll need a lawyer for that, especially if you're carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Most likely, I'd think that you wouldn't do much time, if any, but you'd still be a criminal just the same for violating the gun laws.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

If you knowingly choose to break the law, you are also an 'actual criminal'. You don't just get to follow the laws you like because the other ones came from liberals. The difference between you and the guy who wants to hurt your family is a matter of the degree of disrespect you afford the law. In fact, if there's a guy out there who's going to snap and shoot up a restaurant you're in, right now you're more of a criminal than he is because you've already broken the law and he hasn't.

What do you suppose it will do for the cause of responsible owners who want the legal right to carry guns if you're caught with that gun (outside the remarkably unlikely Rambo situation in which you happen to be johnny-on-the-spot to save everyone in the Applebee's from the gun-wielding ex-employee driven mad by the incessant pressures of fifteen pieces of flair) and prosecuted for illegally carrying a concealed weapon? All that will say is that no matter what laws they make regarding guns, some gun owners will always put themselves above the law and justify it however they choose. You have to protect your family. Someone else decides he doesn't need to obey the gun laws because he takes the night deposit to the bank, and so he carries a gun. Someone else decides she doesn't have to because she's traveling alone, so she puts a gun under her seat.

What all those people have in common with you and the hypothetical restaurant assailant is that you all break the law for what you feel are perfectly acceptable reasons, but those reasons don't make you any less of a criminal, no matter how reasonable they might be.

bankboy119 8 years, 10 months ago

So you would rather the woman travelling alone gets raped because she has no defense?

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

By the way, PorkRibs, how does this particular stance you're taking, that it's OK for you to break the law if you don't like it, mesh with your position yesterday on traffic limits, which I believe you expressed by saying that even the stupidest of liberals could grasp the notion that if the speed is posted at 40, one should drive 40?

Are you saying that, maybe, there might be some laws (like gun laws for you or speed limits for others) that people might feel are overly restrictive and be disinclined to obey?

If you are in fact charged for carrying an illegally concealed weapon, will you 'shut up' and just take the consequences without 'Bitch, bitch, bitch'-ing about how the law is wrong?

Or does it get to have a double standard because one is a thing you want to do, and the other is something you don't care about being able to do?

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

Strawman, bankboy, and not a very good one.

Here is my position:

I think that responsible gun owners should be able to determine how and when they are armed. However, if the state disagrees with me, and sets laws that say responsible gun-owners may not decide that, then I believe that people should not decide to break the law just because the law prevents them from being able to do something they want to do.

There is legislative recourse for those who disagree with the current gun laws. No one has the right to wilfully break laws just because they disagree with them.

So, that hypothetical woman? I think she should be legally allowed to carry her gun. But if she's not, she needs to get some mace, choose different travel plans, find a traveling companion, or take one of MANY other options (besides arming oneself with a gun) available to increase her likelihood of safe travel. Change the law if you don't like it, but don't just go around breaking it.

justthefacts 8 years, 10 months ago

For a decent overview of the arguments for and against gun control, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_poli...

What we have here is a classic dispute between those who think the government (which is supposed to represent and promote the wishes of the majority of the public) can and should pass as many laws as possible to protect, regulate, and otherwise make sure that people act responsibly and wisely.....versus...those who do not have as much faith in the power or wisdom of government officials (elected or appointed) and who instead prefer to be left alone to come up with ways to help and protect themselves and their loved ones.

I must admit that early exposure to Robert Heinline's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" has me leaning towards the 2nd, for the following reasons (and more):

Citizens have a need to own guns to protect themselves against crime because although government is tasked with an obligation in the whole to protect citizens collectively, government is not tasked to protect any particular citizen unless there is a special relationship established with the particular individual prior to the commencement of falling victim to a crime

An armed populace decreases the overall risk of violent crime; widespread ownership by the law-abiding is a deterrent to criminal intent

Gun control laws do not stop criminals from getting guns, because criminals are willing to break the law to get them.

Law-abiding citizens have a responsibility to provide their own protection because governments cannot be held civilly or criminally responsible for failing to provide such protection

Carrying a firearm makes one more safe, not less safe; for the same reason that police forces carry firearms, criminals do not expect an armed victim.

An armed populace is a deterrent to excesses of government; the threat of violent revolution by the people keeps government's power in check

Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 10 months ago

Washburn - nobody talks about the "frat boy fights" because their fights are a joke. They usually just bump chests, yell in each others faces, and occasionally shove each other. They don't shoot each other.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 10 months ago

If any of the city commissioners are reading these posts, hopefully they will realize that they are WAY overreacting.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

So, the answer to my question, then, appears to be "Yes, badger, I do have a double standard about obeying laws when I can justify breaking the ones I don't like according to my own philosophies, and you're a nancy liberal poo-head for pointing that out."

Got that, check.

Law is law. Follow it, change it, or take the consequences for breaking it.

No amount of hyperbolic rationalization and ALL CAPS OBFUSCATION will change that.

BTW, just another reminder because you seem to have forgotten, not a liberal. Not a conservative. Mod-er-ate. I lean right sometimes, I lean left sometimes, it's like riding a motorcycle on a curvy road. You always lean the same way, you either end up back where you started or go off the road.

Mod-er-ate.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 10 months ago

Badger stupid? He's one of the better posters here. He knows his stuff and writes at a 6th grad level so even I can understand.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 10 months ago

grade! I meant grade!!!

I don't want that pesky grad student all over my back.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

Thank you Gootsie!

That's very nice of you to say!

momof4 8 years, 10 months ago

Badger, I have to agree with you. When the city commision in their infinite wisdom, banned fireworks, my husband and I had a difficult decision to make. Do we allow our children to shoot off fireworks, because 1) we probably won't get caught and 2) we don't agree with the ban, or, do we follow the laws and ordinances of the city. We finally decided we had to follow the law, in good conscience we couldn't teach our children that it's okay to break the law just because you don't agree with it. Instead we encouraged them to write to the commisioners and explain their position.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

PorkRibs, the notion that 'moderation' as a concept is beyond your ken comes as a remarkably unsurprising piece of information to me.

I'm not trying to 'win' a debate. I just want you (and anyone else reading your words) to be aware of the double standard created by, "You just shut up and obey the law, it's not so hard to do, but I don't have to because I think it's OK for me to do what I want to." It's not about the specific issue, it's about the notion that some people seem to be adherents of the law for everyone else, and not for themselves, and that they often cloak it in a bunch of BS about 'the public good' being served by their decision to ignore the laws of the land.

It's not an academic position at all to say "The law is the law. Follow it, change it, or accept the consequences for breaking it." It's a pragmatic one. We live by the rule of law, and if we start considering the rule of law as optional, we are all screwed. That means that people shouldn't consider laws as guidelines for other people, they should consider them the laws of the land, and if they don't like those laws, we have countless examples of the use of legal, legislative means to change those laws.

If you're carrying your gun as a personal private protest of the gun laws, then be prepared to accept the consequences if you get caught. I'm not even telling you not to do it; I'm saying that if you do it and get busted, I don't want to hear a bunch of garbage about how you got arrested for breaking a 'stupid' law. As you're such a devoted opponent of gun control, I imagine you've communicated your thoughts and feelings clearly to each and every one of your elected representatives (and signed your name to those thoughts)? If not, do so. Even nancy poo-head liberals will vote conservatively if a majority of their constituency tells them clearly that's what they want, because they want that constituency to reelect them, so they do what the majority of vocal folks tell them. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that the people who write their reps are likely to be the ones who vote and donate, so politicians do listen to the people who take ten minutes to write a letter.

momof4 - What a great lesson for your kids about how laws and government work! That's a really cool way to handle it.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

PorkRibs said:

"I'm a criminal. And I will continue to break the law."

Actually, that's all I wanted to hear you say. You admit that you're breaking the law. Your reasons are immaterial, as long as you admit that you are a criminal.

Thank you.

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh, Porky, you're always a source of entertainment.

At least you've stopped calling me a liberal. I wonder if now, you'll add 'and moderates' to your traditional response of liberal-bashing anything you don't like. Popcorn didn't pop? It's those darn liberals and their corn-hatin' ways. They've entered into a conspiracy with moderate soda opposition fascists so no one will ever enjoy an action movie again!

justthefacts 8 years, 10 months ago

Civil disobedience has a long and proud history. It was used rather effectively by Ghandi and MLK. Using it requires that the person(s) who object to a specific law not only break that law, but pay the price for breaking it; under the theory that a bad law is likely to be elminated if enough otherwise "upstanding" citizens go to jail (or worse) as a result of ignoring the law in question.

In recent memory, most people seem to want to break the laws they don't like, but when they get caught or prosecuted, they argue they should not face the penalties because the law is unjust or wrong. The point being that facing the penalties for violating a law is part of the "civil disobedience" way of getting laws changed.

If you think any law is stupid, or ill-advised, you can (1) break it and face the music; (2) lobby lawmakers for a change; (3) Follow it and just grumble privately; or (4) run for office yourself and see if you (a) win and if so (b) can get the majority of your fellow council/commission/legislative body members to join with you in changing the law(s) to which you object.

Anarchy appears to be an option for more and more people - they want the laws to apply to EVERYONE else but themselves..... And more and more, the lawmakers are busy keeping their jobs by passing laws that apply to EVERYONE else but themselves.....

KsTwister 8 years, 10 months ago

You would think that a more pronounced police department presence would help as a deterent but then that is hard to do when it takes three or four patrol cars running speed traps instead of cruising where they are more noticeable. Especially when they are on the outskirts of the city.

Topeka911 8 years, 10 months ago

The Associated Press

LAWRENCE -- The daughter of a Lawrence police captain has pleaded guilty to helping launder money her boyfriend made as a drug dealer.

Erin Harmon, 25, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., to one count of money laundering, admitting she let Darren D. Wilburn use her checking account, as well as to hiding $11,000 in cash in a drawer at her office.

Wilburn, 30, of Lawrence pleaded guilty earlier to money laundering and conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. He will be sentenced March 20.

Harmon faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced May 15. Her father, Kevin Harmon, testified at a hearing seeking to suppress evidence in the case against his daughter.

He questioned whether it was proper for detectives to conduct a warrantless search of his daughter's workplace at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. A judge found that evidence found in the search could be used in court

born1980 8 years, 10 months ago

If it makes you feel good to blame others for your problems then go ahead. A lot of Lawrence residents seem to think that their town will be some sort of utopia if only all the "outsiders" would leave. We want your money during the day, but then we want you to leave. For being such an progressive city there sure are a lot of individuals who love to stereotype entire communities.

voidoids26 8 years, 10 months ago

Honestly, having bars close earlier is not going to change the amount of violence downtown, people will either go out earlier in the evening OR drink faster (if drunkenness is the goal). Also, the "crime problem" in this town is really not a huge problem. This is not to say that people do not need to be concerned or address the problems that do exist, but I think people are overreacting a bit. Give it a few weeks and it's going to be forgotten. The reason this shooting has come as such a shock to so many is because it doesn't happen here. As for those who have suggested shutting down certain clubs or "banning" certain shows, that is just insane. Rap music seems to have been the target in this instance, but I have seen so many violent acts happen at hardcore shows, and I've seen fights break out at the Replay, Red Lyon, Tap Room, The Bourgeois Pig, AND Tellers. This is not a genre thing, or a color thing. Sure, alcohol is going to perpetuate violence if violent tendencies are already there, so what are we going to do? Make Lawrence a dry city? Downtown wouldn't survive. I've never been in a bar with metal detectors and I've been in several bars in large cities with much bigger violence problems worldwide. This is just ludicris.

born1980 8 years, 10 months ago

Why doesn't someone just start throwing out some ridiculous stats like the idiot who owns Abe and Jake's did. In his "scientific" opinion 65 percent of all serious crime in the last 10 years has been committed by Topeka residents. That is just amazing. You have to believe him too, since he did a lot of research to come up with that number.

voidoids26 8 years, 10 months ago

I have an idea! Why don't we put a ban on Topekans! Yeah! When we card people coming into our establishments we look at the address on their DL and if it's a Topeka address, we reject them! Better yet, we could assign everyone papers that they have to cary on the streets and if they are Topeka residents or grew up in Topeka, we arrest them. It would be like Nazi Germany, or present day Russia! That's perfect!

I'm kidding by the way.

Rhoen 8 years, 10 months ago

I have a better idea: Why not REQUIRE everyone who comes to Lawrence to wear a side-arm? And keep it loaded. And be ready to use it.

You know what happened to our Lawrencians back when Quantrill rode through and all of their guns were up on the hill in the armory ...

That will also eventually help take care of the over-population problem. It WOULD involve some smoking though ...

BTW, Badger, a moderate anywhere else is a red-faced, google-eyed liberal in these parts.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

I am astounded at the lack of ability of our city and county leaders to realize the economic impact this space could provide this community. The proximity to K10 is a huge asset for what the community needs to accomplish.

It is no less frustrating that a consultant/mediator is required to settle what appeared to be once again a no brainer. More housing only means more money from existing homeowners throughout the city.

Perhaps we've reached the point where one governing body would be best.

Liberty 8 years, 10 months ago

It is interesting to see the "pecking order". How Lawrence 'authorities' bow to Topeka 'authorities'. Looks like they have now appropriately kissed the boot of Topeka.

born1980 8 years, 10 months ago

It's amazing it took this long for Lawrence to issue my town an apology. It is a no brainer that you don't alienate a metro area with a population of 160,000 people that's less than 20 minutes away.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

The need to apologize is a liberal thing. How Boog can apologize for Elwell is a mystery to me.

Scuze me, sorry, sorry, oops, sorry, scuze me. All the while barrelling your way to the front of the line....

nytemayr 8 years, 10 months ago

You'd think the police department being within a block of downtown would mean a safe downtown. Foot patrols during the evening but by 2am the drunks are driving and police are sleeping in Lawrence. These juvenile gangs come to Lawrence for a reason, its easy pickings.

Drinking age or bar hours don't make much difference when you have all the drugs and booze you want. It doesn't matter when downtown is an open street party with lots of people standing around outside smoking!

We've made downtown a wonderful place to hang out. It don't make any difference if you're inside or outside after 10pm. We need the same rules and controls from 10pm until 4am. If there are 50 people outside then the police need to be there. If there are 50 people inside then security needs to be there. The police and security will stay until the people leave and not before.

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