Archive for Thursday, June 1, 2006

Back SLT-32b

June 1, 2006


To the editor:

Opponents of South Lawrence Trafficway-32b want you to believe that it will "destroy the wetlands." Construction of SLT-32b will destroy about 12 percent of the wetlands. The mitigation will add 60 percent. The truly valuable portion of the wetlands, the 45 acres of virgin wet-meadow, will be more than 600 meters from the trafficway. With 12-foot noise barriers, the Baker Wetlands will be quieter than before. With a visitors center, the area will be more readily accessible to the public. If you still like solitude, the river bank will still be there, intact and undisturbed.

Opponents want you to believe they are trying to "protect this public treasure." For 38 years it has been privately owned and managed by Baker University; it is not public, but we have chosen to allow public access. It is not SLT-32b that threatens the wetlands, it is development and an SLT south of the river. Without SLT-32b, existing 31st Street, Louisiana and Haskell will all eventually be four lanes. Large traffic volumes on three sides are the real threat to the Baker Wetlands. The SLT-32b mitigation will provide a large buffer east and west and a noise wall to the north. KDOT knows what they're doing, let them.

Roger Boyd,



kcwarpony 12 years ago

"Roger Boyd, a biology professor who oversees the Baker Wetlands on behalf of Baker University, welcomed the improved prospects of the trafficway not being routed through the wetlands.

"Thirty-second Street is still in the wetlands and I have a problem with that, but it's better than the 35th or 38th Street alignments," Boyd said. "I'd prefer to see it go south of the river."

Boyd, who was interviewed for the study, said he wasn't surprised by KDOT and Rees' poor showing.

"There's a very strong feeling out there that (Rees) is willing to tell each group whatever it wants to hear and then, after we get too far down the road to turn back, he'll say 'Oh, no, we can't do that.'"

Richard Heckler 12 years ago

Yes saving the wetlands is very very important. The trafficway idea is over 20 years old and the original plan was going south of the river. So far as I know there was not any protest associated with a south of the river plan. At this point in time we need a real bypass not a trafficway and as a taxpayer I say we need to spend our KDOT dollars more wisely.

Why did the real estate industry decide to run it through an environmentally sensitive area?

31st street will likely become at least a 3 lane roadway no matter what along side the wetlands then become 4 lanes east of Haskell. Unfortunately Prairie Park Nature Center will like be affected to some degree. Using a wetlands route would also have some bearing on the Prairie Park Nature Center in which taxpayers spent over $1 million developing. Creating a bypass going south of the river should not impact Prairie Park Nature Center.

Baker University has been offered several million dollars for the wetlands and until such time Baker U was not a huge supporter of a wetlands route. From what I've read recreating a new wetlands can take several decades.

This was written before the multi million dollar offer was made to a Mr. Lambert then Presdient of Baker Univ.

Friday, November 2, 1990

To the Editor:

There have been many claims that have recently been proposed about the benefits of the South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT).

1) ``The Wetlands will be enhanced by the SLT.'' This is a ridiculous statement derived by selective reasoning. Whether or not any mitigation is every completed and whether that mitigation has any positive impact on even the 2 percent of the wetlands it will relate to, is questionable. The long-term impacts of increased pollution, noise, congestion and development around the Baker University Wetlands will be negative and will in no way enhance this natural area.

2) ``Outside funding has been secured and should not be lost.'' This is like my giving you $1,000 but requiring you to spend it on drugs. The drug in this case is petroleum. The statistics show that this new road will do very little to reduce traffic on 23rd Street, but it will certainly increase our dependence upon the car and a non-renewable resource, gasoline.

3) ``. . . the trafficway would bolster the economic link between Lawrence and the rest of the county.'' Unless you own a business or land on the south or west side of Lawrence it is unlikely that people outside of Lawrence will benefit economically from the SLT. This should be a Lawrence project instead of a Douglas County/Lawrence project.

I would ask that the residents of Douglas county vote ``NO'' for the county road proposal.

Roger L. Boyd,

Baldwin City.

Richard Heckler 12 years ago

Why should we be spending millions of dollars on 12ft walls/ noise barriers when that money could be applied to a south of the river plan for bridges? Or to make the YSI intersection safe? Or to build a cloverleaf at the 15th and K10 intersection?

Wetlands logic Saturday, July 16, 2005

To the editor:

The Journal-World recently printed several articles and letters on the subject of the destruction of the Baker Wetlands as a result of the planned completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway on a route that includes 31st and/or 32nd streets. What some of these letters and stories mentioned is the possibility that the destruction of the wetlands might be accompanied by the creation of a new nature center. There are a number of problems with this possibility.

  1. No nature center can take the place of the "real thing," the natural world. Doesn't it make more sense for children (and others) to have the opportunity to study nature in the great outdoors rather than to destroy the great outdoors and try to "replace" it with stuffed or caged animals and videotaped presentations?

  2. We already have at least two other places in Lawrence where we can study nature. There is the Prairie Park Nature Center at 27th and Harper streets, close to the wetlands, and the Natural History Museum on the Kansas University campus, just a bit further away.

  3. The planned construction of a large number of homes south of the Wakarusa River further demonstrates the folly of insisting on building a highway through the present wetlands rather than south of the Wakarusa River.

Let's build the highway in a more sensible location and save the wetlands.

Jane Frydman,

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

"And here I thought it was supposed to be a sign of a mature, intelligent individual who can take new information and use it to change one's opinion/stance on a particular issue."

Boyd has about $8 million worth of new information in his oh-so-mature change of opinion.

lunacydetector 12 years ago

it looks like mr. boyd is truly open minded.

since the 32b route is privately owned, what would happen if someone took a bulldozer and just plowed down the 32nd street route?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Why don't you get a bulldozer and give it a try, luny? And while you're at it, there's plenty of other "private property" you could destroy, if you're of a mind to.

Richie Kennedy 12 years ago

merrill, your cut and paste hack job doesn't help your cause. I'm already at the point where I'm considering it to be spam.

What I'm not seeing here is a response to Mr. Boyd's core thesis of today's letter: that development south of the river is a greater threat to the wetlands than building the trafficway on 32nd Street. I want to know what you think about that -- and no cut-and-paste please.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Development south of the river is going to happen regardless of the route for the SLT, so it's really moot, richie.

craigers 12 years ago

Those comments from Boyd were taken before any negotiations occurred. They worked together and Boyd got more land for the wetlands. His true priority is the wetlands and still is. Didn't you see the point? It is private property and they should be able to do with it what they want and that is to maintain it and leave it open to the public. This is win-win. Don't be so absorbed in being against the SLT that you don't see the benefits for the users and the people that enjoy the wetlands. You would get a visitor center and even more opportunities to enjoy the wetlands. I don't see what the problem is.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

"I don't see what the problem is."

That's because you only see it from your point of view. You want a highway no matter what it costs Haskell.

conservative 12 years ago


What is it costing Haskell? It's not their land, and the myth of the buried bodies has been shown to be just that a myth.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

The land is and has been an integral part of Haskell for decades. The fact that it was "surplussed" right into someone else's hands who have taken a bribe from the highway slush fund doesn't change that fact.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

BTW, the presence of graves in the Haskell wetlands are not a myth to those who have been at Haskell, and whose relatives are in those graves.

conservative 12 years ago

Bozo, surveys were completed, no graves were found. Only undocumented rumors that bodies were dumped there years ago. If in fact bodies are found to be there, then they should be relocated and buried properly. Find one person who can point to one grave and maybe you'll have an argument.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

"then they should be relocated and buried properly"

The Indians believe they are already buried properly, and any attempt to move them or build a highway over them would be a desecration.

conservative 12 years ago


According to Warpony there aren't any official graves there, just the belief that haskell students were dumped there during the intial years of the institution. If true they deserve to be located and given proper burial. Same as any other body dumped in a swamp would be. But the fact still remains that nobody can prove this happened and a survey of the area found no evidence of bodies.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

"According to Warpony there aren't any official graves there, just the belief that haskell students were dumped there during the intial years of the institution."

I'm not sure if you're misquoting Warpony, or if he and I have just heard different information.

While some may have been "dumped," others were quite intentionally interred there.

And even the experts who conducted the study said that it was easily possible that any bodies there could escape detection.

conservative 12 years ago

Bozo, I'm confused, I thought this land supposedly had always been wetlands. Why would anyone intentionally bury people in a swamp? If the burials occured during the period when it was drained and farmed, then why wouldn't there be a record of the burials and some sort of marker? Plus why wouldn't the relatives have complained when the area was turned into a wetland?

conservative 12 years ago

Bozo, what's the matter? Can't handle the rational application of logic that shows your reason for wanting to oppose the trafficway doesn't hold up?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

It's not rationality-- it's just fishing for a rationale to cram a highway through there.

conservative 12 years ago

Bozo, so what is your rationale now for not putting it through there? The legal owner of the land is willing to let it go through, and the myth of the sacred burial ground has been debunked again.

Richie Kennedy 12 years ago

Bozo, the certainty of development south of the river does not make a 32nd v. 42nd argument moot just yet.

Mr. Boyd's is saying that increased traffic on the section line arterials (Lousiana and Haskell) will cause increased traffic noise. Mr. Boyd's mitigation is to move the roadways away from the center.

Let's assume that the relocation of 31st, Haskell, and Lousiana, as well as the proposed wetlands restoration project, will occur regardless of the SLT alignment chosen. I would assume all factors would be equal except for cost vs. impact on the wetlands. I would argure that the reduced impact on the wetlands by 42nd Street would not be worth the cost. However, since this particular combination has not be throughly analyzed, I will welcome a professional opinion.

As for the presence of graves along the 32nd Street alignment, I believe that if there were any, between the farming of the area and the resotration by Baker, any trace of burials are long gone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Quite simple-- after many centuries of screwing the Indians as official policy, there is chance here to treat them with respect, for a change.

Unfortunately, many posters here, yourself included, obviously care more about 2 minutes of convenience than respecting the fact that those wetlands are important to the Haskell community.

Sorry for interrupting your argument by assertion. Carry on.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

If there is a desire by the state/KDOT, et al to preserve the wetlands, they can certainly do so. Making such preservation dependent on a 32nd St. route is purely arbitrary.

bankboy119 12 years ago

"Quite simple-- after many centuries of screwing the Indians as official policy..."

It was a war, they lost, over two centuries ago, get over it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

No, they're still losing it, and you're one of the sore winners.

kcwarpony 12 years ago


"According to Warpony there aren't any official graves there, just the belief that haskell students were dumped there during the intial years of the institution."

Define "official graves". Many students died of tuberculosis or pneumonia from living in Haskell's cold, damp buildings and from poor, or lack of, medical care. Not to mention malnutrition, injuries, abuse and other diseases. Some are said to have died with gunshot wounds. Those who have taken the time to research the National Archives says that as many as 700 students are missing from the official records. Our oral history tells us what the government records do not.

"If true they deserve to be located and given proper burial."

Who is to say what is proper? You are talking about another culture. I am assuming you are not a Native. Many students were buried, in secret, by other students, ones who were friends and fellow tribe members. Some of these were students who did not want a Christian burial, ones who knew they were dying from sickness or ones who decided to commit suicide as a form of escape. It would seem unlikely that the bodies were just unceremoniously "dumped". I imagine some kind of ritual was done by their friends, at least whatever they could do. Even the mass grave at Wounded Knee have been left alone. Bozo is correct, any disturbance would be a desecration.

"Find one person who can point to one grave and maybe you'll have an argument."

If we started to point out where the graves are then the artifact hunters (grave robbers) would be out there digging everything up, just like they do in the National Parks.

Face it, this is a difference of culture and most do not want to take the time to understand the history invovled, much less show respect. I get that. So I could care less whether you or anyone else believes in the graves "myth".

conservative 12 years ago


First, If my information is incorrect you'll have to speak to yourself about that. Here is your quote:

Posted by kcwarpony (anonymous) on May 17, 2006 at 3:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Where does it say that the hired consultant Brockington studied/researched Haskell's records?

"Haines said Haskell's early history was loaded with documented reports of student deaths and runaways. But, he said, records show many of those students' bodies were neither returned to their families nor buried at the Haskell cemetery. Haines does not doubt that many of those students were unceremoniously buried in the wetlands."

Second, while you are correct that I am not Native American, you are grossly wrong in your assumption that I don't know or care about your culture and beliefs.

Mike Ford 12 years ago

To Mr. Boyd, our history is not yours to play scientist with. It's not yours to exploit by stealing land for $1 in 1968 and getting $8.5 million for it now. The science community like to dig up our people for science purposes, how perverse is that? 125 years ago, this was done to prove? that our skulls were smaller than caucasians and that this scientific assertion was cause and effect to wipe out Native people. Our religions are denied by purchased researchers and government officials. Why do you think we fight the EIS and SEIS assertions? because they aren't correct. I have no intention of giving up this fight.

kcwarpony 12 years ago

conservative, I respectfully ask that you please read the whole article if you have not done so.

If I remember correctly, I was asking someone to tell me where it said Brockington had researched Haskell's records. I have not been able to find out if he did or not. Others have researched the National Archives but I have found no information that says this hired consultant did, too. As for Chuck Haines' opinion of "unceremoniously buried in the wetlands", that is his opinion, not mine. Even a small prayer would have been enough under the circumstances.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

"Unceremoniously buried in the wetlands" is really very different from "unceremoniously dumped."

The former could easily describe what happened to kids who had literally been ripped from their homes, families, and culture. They didn't know any ceremonies, but at least felt that it was important to bury their dead classmates (for lack of a better word) in an area they saw as a refuge from the institution that was literally holding them prisoner.

conservative 12 years ago


Ok, I've now read the article, couldn't have before because you didn't provide a link the first time.

I do read where there is a belief among some members of Haskell that bodies may have been buried there. However without any type of proof it seems little different to me than some of the things that KU freshman are told (and some believe) when they come to KU. Just because it is repeated for years doesn't make it fact.

As far as the idea that if you point out graves it will make people go dig them up, I do hope that wouldn't happen, but am willing to understand that some may be worried about that. But let's apply some logic to this proposition. If they are buried where the trafficway is going to go, they will be uncovered by the machinery, and if they aren't then the trafficway must not be going where the bodies are located.

I would point out that in the rest of the article you had me read it also states the following:

"Brockington said he did not doubt reports of Haskell students dying or running away. But he does not think they were buried in the wetlands because, if they were, their remains would have been uncovered long before now.

"We're talking about an area -- the wetlands -- that throughout much of Haskell's history was active farmland," Brockington said. "It was plowed, it was disked, it was hoed over and it had cattle on it. There's been major canal, ditch and pipeline work done there, and there's been a highway (31st Street) put in -- and yet there are no documented reports of remains being found."

Brockington said it was unlikely Haskell officials or confidants of the deceased had buried the students in an area that, at the time, was routinely plowed or grazed. Haskell stopped farming the area in 1936."

I do have respect for your culture, and frankly I don't really care if the SLT goes through 32nd street or South of the river as long as it gets built. My recommendation to you would be if there is validity to graves being in the area they should be disclosed and quickly, before it is too late. If not I think the SLT will be approved for the 32nd street route.

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