Archive for Wednesday, May 17, 2006

City opposes 32nd Street route

May 17, 2006


It's now official: The Lawrence City Commission does not want the South Lawrence Trafficway to go through the Baker Wetlands.

Commissioners on a 3-2 vote agreed to send an official comment letter to federal regulators who are reviewing plans to complete the controversial bypass project along a 32nd Street route, which would run the road through the wetlands adjacent to Haskell Indian Nations University.

"My fear is if this road is built on the 32nd Street route it will open wounds in this community that will take a generation to heal," City Commissioner Boog Highberger said.

Highberger was joined by commissioners Mike Rundle and David Schauner in supporting the letter that will be sent to the Federal Highway Administration, which is accepting written public comments on the road through the end of this month. The agency must give approval to a trafficway route if the project hopes to spend federal funding it has received.

All three of those commissioners, though, said they were open to the idea of the trafficway being built south of the Wakarusa River.

"We want to solve transportation problems, but we want to do so in a way that does not tear this community apart," Rundle said.

Mayor Mike Amyx and Commissioner Sue Hack voted against sending the letter. But Amyx said he would do his mayoral duty and sign the letter, which does not mention the City Commission is split on the issue. Amyx, though, urged his fellow commissioners to begin seriously considering how they want to deal with traffic in the southern part of Lawrence.

"Our traffic concerns are not going to go away," Amyx said. "We're going to have pressures from outside this county that are going to add tremendous amounts of traffic. Folks, I'm telling you, it is coming and we don't have anything in the works to handle it."

Amyx said he wanted the City Commission to seriously consider extending 31st Street from Haskell Avenue to County Route 1057, which already has an interchange with Kansas Highway 10.

Commissioners heard from several audience members who strongly supported the city taking a stand against a wetlands route for the trafficway. About 10 members of the public urged commissioners to oppose the wetlands route; only one person spoke in favor of it.

"You guys are setting an example statewide, nationwide by saying 'Let's recognize the value these people place on this land,'" said Michael Contreras Jr., a former Haskell student and leader of a local wetland preservation group who believes the wetlands have major environmental, historical and cultural significance.

Tuesday's action marked the first time the City Commission has made official comments opposing the 32nd Street route. When the route was up for review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2001, city commissioners decided not to submit official comments about the proposed 32nd Street route.

The corps ultimately approved the 32nd Street route, which includes money to enlarge the Baker Wetlands, by adding up to 400 acres of manmade wetlands in the area, and would provide funding for the city and county to improve 31st Street, Louisiana Street and Haskell Avenue.

The Federal Highway Administration has said it would like to adopt the 2001 study conducted by the corps but is accepting comments on whether the entire process should begin anew.

Both Amyx and Hack said they planned to write individual letters to the Federal Highway Administration supporting the 32nd Street route.

Consultant hired for city manager search

A Massachusetts-based firm will help the city in its search for a new city manager.

Commissioners on Tuesday night unanimously agreed to hire Bennett Yarger Associates to serve as a consultant in the search process. The $17,500 contract will help the city advertise and recruit candidates for the city manager's position.

The company's president, Dick Bennett, will serve as the main consultant for the project. Commissioners cited his experience as a public administrator in Ohio, Michigan and Massachusetts. In Kansas, he's served as an executive search consultant for Olathe and Wichita.

Commissioners are seeking a replacement for Mike Wildgen, who resigned under pressure in March after serving 16 years as the city's top executive. Mayor Mike Amyx has said he wants the position filled by the end of August.

Lane closures to start for Kasold Drive project

Beginning today, drivers should get ready for delays on a section of Kasold Drive.

Construction crews are scheduled to start closing one lane in each direction on Kasold between Bob Billings Parkway and 22nd Street.

Construction crews will be rebuilding the stretch of road. Chuck Soules, the city's director of public works, said traffic likely would be reduced to one lane in each direction for most of the project. The work is expected to be done in September 2007.


cowboy 11 years, 10 months ago

I though Mayor Mike was going to choke out Rundle towards the end of that meeting. Any body know what it takes to recall a commission memeber ?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

It'd take more than a few pavement zealots who care more about cramming a stretch of road down Haskell's throat than anything else in the entire known universe.

jayhawk166 11 years, 10 months ago

Why does it matter whether we build over the wetlands? It really has no importance. 100 years ago it was a farm. You cant say it wasnt so whats the big deal if we build over it? Also building next to the Wakie is a terrible idea. lots of people like me live over there and i dont want to hear cars zooming past my house at all hours of the day. Quite being idiots and build the dang thing over the wetfarm.

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

This fight will never end. The Baker Wetlands can be moved. The growth of this city can't. The wetlands were built there by us, we can move them. Going too far south will make the bypass useless. It's meant to be a shortcut around the traffic, not an extra trek to save the sacred frogs.

Just build the thing and get it over with. Quit being political and trying to make everyone happy. It's not possible. Be practical.

roadrunner 11 years, 10 months ago

I think 32nd is the best choice, hell-keep it at 31st and then not much really changes, except the road gets a little wider and our millon dollar highway to nowhere will go somewhere! 31st is already the defacto bypass anyway. Has anyone seen the west bound traffic at 5pm, especially on a Friday? The traffic problem is already here and though I'm in favor of the least liked proproposal.....JUST BUILD THE &@%$! HIGHWAY. At this point, farther south only adds a few minutes especially at 65+ mph, so just build it for gods sake and get this dumb debate and waste of tax payers money over with!

Katie Van Blaricum 11 years, 10 months ago

The wetlands can't just be moved. You can't call all the little mice and beavers that live in the ground and say "okay everybody, can you move it over 3 miles this way?" No, instead they're going to run their backhoes right over them. It would take years for a new man-made wetland to equal the current wetlands. And besides, aren't the wetlands Indian Burial Ground?

cowboy 11 years, 10 months ago

The road will never be built in my lifetime and if you think it will be built just south of the river it could take another 10 years to get it approved as the property owners can use the same arguments that the others have used. Sounded like 31st street will finally get some attention which would ease a lot of the traffic anyway.

Oh and consumer1 I think the correct terminology is " Birkenstock wearin , tree huggin , hemp smokin , T- lovin , library building , fireworks banning , cigarette hatin liberals"

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago


It's sacred salamanders.

I'd like to point out that I came back to Lawrence last night, and ended up arriving at about 4:45. There were a ton of commuters back already and the traffic is worse in Lawrence than it is in KC. That's really sad for a town less than 10% of the size. The SLT needs to be built how it was originally planned, on 32nd St. and people will get over it. Instead of more fighting and wasting money why not just do it.

gr 11 years, 10 months ago

So, I'm confused.

We want to build a $75 Billion library to attract people to drink drugs and become fat.

We don't want to attract people by having a circus come to town.

We don't want to make the town easily navigated by visitors. We want to destroy original riparian areas but preserve man-made flooded farmground. We want our roads to look like the designers don't know where they are trying to connect up with.

Do these positions somehow remove this negative image Lawrence has?

znsh18 11 years, 10 months ago

Man, I love this town, but its about time to move out. Im tired of the traffic & all the stop light every 2 minutes or less.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

Let me summarize the basis for the arguments for building it on 32nd street:

  1. (willful?) ignorance of both recent and natural history of the Haskell Wetlands

  2. petty animosity towards city commissioners based on their percieved choice of footwear.

  3. "nimby" concerns by a handful of people who live south of the waky, who believe that they are morally (racially, culturally?) superior to Haskell in their own "nimby" concerns.

If I left any out, please feel free to amend my list.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

"The SLT needs to be built how it was originally planned,"

I guess that depends on your defintion of original. The real original route was south of the river.

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

Bozo- It's not the "Haskell Wetlands"'s the baker wetlands. Get your story straight. Also, the wetlands were MAN MADE. They are not natural. We are not protecting the world by protected them, any more than protecting downtown (also man made). The "wetlands" were given to Haskell to use for farming. After they said they didn't want to do that, they were given back to Baker. The land doesn't belong to them. AND...Baker has approved the route. JUST BUILD IT

Oh yeah, and the mice and the sacred salamanders will move...just like they moved for all of you to have your houses built...Animals are amazingly resilient.

People on here argue for their own agenda. This is for the good of this growing city, not for the sacred frogs. I won't even use the bypass, but I know our town needs it.

cowboy 11 years, 10 months ago

Well Stated GR !

Well the fights over and 31st street shall now be improved. It would be nice if Haskell south of 31st could be widened to allow a shoulder. It is mean in the winter and that big ditch on the wetlands side is a drowning waiting to happen if you slide off that icy road. Think they would allow moving the ditch about 12 feet so we can have a safe route home ?

It was interesting last night after the vote when two new cap projects were put on the list including 31st street improvements and extensions to O'connell that Rundle piped in about the timing and the need for the planning and traffic commission to get involved and Mayor mike said the timing was yesterday and moved right over him.

High drama on the commission to come.

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago


I said original because of the partially completely roadway that has sat there for....5, 7 years now? It was the first design that was started.

delta77 11 years, 10 months ago

Who cares what the City Commission thinks? The plans for this have already been in the works for "generations." Every possible viewpoint has ben considered. Let's get this think built already.

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago

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

armyguy 11 years, 10 months ago

salamanders, toads, mice and beavers are all banned in Lawrence. So what if we lose a few, they have been splated on the roads every now and then.

Wondering if the commissioners have considered that a large addtition is being added to the school in that area, about 30th and La. That means a lot more little kids on foot with a lot more cars jamming up the those very busy streets. I hope to the kids are better at avoiding the cars than salamanders, toads etc.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

bankboy: Probably just as educated as those who think Jesus's mother was a virgin.

chzypoof1: Thanks for reposting another exposition of your (willful?) ignorance.

galfromku 11 years, 10 months ago

All I know is that I work at KU and live in High Chapperal and it is less than a mile. When I get off work, it takes 45 minutes to get home. If the people leaving town could take an alternate route instead of clogging up the roads in town. Sure, there might be some wild life, there, but it is an ugly stinky swamp also. Our city is growing whether we like it or not. The people of Lawrence think they are so progressive, but need to decide if they are willing to accomodate the PEOPLE that live here.... more than the "wild life".... I say let's build the stinking road!

Rhoen 11 years, 10 months ago

<<<"You guys are setting an example statewide, nationwide by saying 'Let's recognize the value these people place on this land,'" said Michael Contreras Jr., a former Haskell student and leader of a local wetland preservation group who believes the wetlands have major environmental, historical and cultural significance.>>>

This is a good signal that people are able to recognize that land itself can carry "value" above and beyond the number of dollars it will bring on the open market. Ties in with the idea of a "value system" that you don't necessarily take to the bank.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago


" but it is an ugly stinky swamp also."

"I say let's build the stinking road!"

I guess we're condemned to olfactory hell either way.

Rhoen 11 years, 10 months ago

Cowboy, some conservatives would also prefer not to breathe second-hand smoke when they go out.

It is not only liberals who are unwilling to sacrifice their health and well-being on the altar of other peoples' addictions.

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

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

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Boog's "wounds" comment is laughable. We are already a divided community, and much of that is because the road is NOT completed. We are a very blue community in the midst of a very red state. We all need to stock up on more Band-Aids, Boog.

No, this overall plan has not been well executed,and the road was not well planned; but we need to finish the road. We need leaders who will acknowledge that regardless of what we all feel about the swamp, there needs to be bi-partisan support of one principle: the taxpayers need this road finished, regardless. If the Boog/Rundle crowd thinks that simply opposing the road is the same as "getting things done", then they are bad leaders. You don't have to be a non-tree-hugger to agree with that statement. Leaders who know where NOT to put the road are worthless to us unless they can also suggest where TO put the road. To simply oppose the SLT in any form is to oppose the concept of transportation, which is plain stupid.

What about the environmental impact of all those semis driving up and down 23rd street? What is that doing to the PEOPLE of our city? The environmental impact argument is lame in that it is slanted toward the hot-button of protecting the animals of the wetlands, but it is slanted away from what should be a higher moral concern: the health of people.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Gal from KU: You spend 45 mintues in your car during your evening commute? I work in Clay Co. MO (the biggest cultural wasteland this side of Wichita), and I spend under an hour in my car. What are you driving, a Cozy Coupe? A riding mower?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

To boil down Dad's post:

"I don't care about anything but getting the road built-- screw the Indians and environmentalists and anyone else who disagrees."

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

Bozo - nice response. The only ignorance I have is to your own agenda, not the FACTS.

-The land belongs to Baker (who approved the route) -The wetlands were built where they currently are, and could be moved -Everyone has approved this road, except for our ignorant city commision, and the protectors of the frogs.

Sigmund 11 years, 10 months ago

Put it on the ballot, let's settle this once and for all! Hopefully it will be the same time we can choose a new City Commissioners. Let's find out what the majority of Lawrence voters feels is the highest and best use for this land really is. We can have wetlands there or we can have a road.

If we choose road we can find another parcel of land (doesn't appear to be a lack of land around here) and build another swamp. It's not a perfect world and it might not be as good of a swamp, but we can flood it and stock with toads. If we value it more as swamp find another bit of land without toads for a road and pray to god there isn't an endangered chigger or house fly living near by.

Honestly I am so fed up with the zealots on both sides. Put it and the PLC to a vote and then abide by the results, that way we all can move on and force the City to file an environMENTAL impact statement on the plans for the new library. There has got a be some special paper eating fungus that would be endangered if we expand the library.

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago

Sigmund, if they did that then they would be building it through the Baker wetlands. Commies don't like democracy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

"The land belongs to Baker (who approved the route)"

The land was illegally taken from Baker, and given to Haskell.

"-The wetlands were built where they currently are, and could be moved"

This is small part of what once were thousands of acres of wetland along the Wakarusa that had been there for thousands of years. They were drained for a failed attempt to farm it in the early part of last century, and restored towards the end of the century.

"-Everyone has approved this road, except for our ignorant city commision, and the protectors of the frogs."

The only entities that have approved it are KDOT, and the Corps of Engineers, whose interest is strictly building roads, not deciding what is best for the community as a whole. And one part of that community is Haskell, who has recieved little more than insult and disrespect for its entire history. It's time to give them their due.

Put the road south of the river, or don't build it at all. At worst it adds a few minutes to someone's commute-- big deal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

Correction to my post above:

The land was illegally taken from Haskell, and given to Baker.

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

Can you give us all a link to proof that "the land was illegally taken from Haskell"

My understanding was that after Baker gave part of the "wetlands" to the Native Americans at Haskell to farm it, they refused to use it to learn farming, and it was given back to Baker.

If you are talking about the pioneers taking land hundreds of years ago, That is not the argument here.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Bozo, it's not that I don't care, it's that I have priorities, and this road is a priority. I'd like someone to put forward a plan that allows us to complete the road with the least impact. But, yes, I think it really matters that the road be made "most" important. Not the "only" important.

You said that I said "screw... the environmentalists". Actually: YES. The fact that you posted that points to one of the biggest problems here: this is about the environmentalists, NOT about the environment. Too much of the log-jam is due to those who really only want to prove that they have the political muscle to prevent the road. THIS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS, it's supposed to be about the GREATER GOOD. Like I said, 23rd Street ALSO has a legitimate environmental impact on HUMANS. But, that's not part of the accepted mantra of the "evironmentalist establishment", so it's not part of the argument. This isn't even about the animals anymore, it's about human pride.

girly 11 years, 10 months ago

Oh boy, 10 people came to voice disapproval, that's certainly a majority.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Bozo, you are working overtime on understatement when you post "At worst it adds a few minutes to someone's commute-- big deal." In the 24 years I've been in Lawrence we've grown from under 60K to over 80K (depending on who's figures you are using). But 23rd St. and Iowa St. haven't changed. They are handling way more traffic than they should, and too much big truck traffic.

This road is not a mere luxury. This city is still growing, faster than ever before. We NEED this road.

Confrontation 11 years, 10 months ago

"Also building next to the Wakie is a terrible idea. lots of people like me live over there and i dont want to hear cars zooming past my house at all hours of the day."

That's the NIMBY quote of the day. Maybe those who live at Haskell don't want to hear the noise either.

cowboy 11 years, 10 months ago

look at the bright side , 31st street will finally be enlarged and run closer to HINU than the SLT would have. BWWAAHHAAAAAAAAAA to quote a local poster.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

"It was an intuitive decision"

Translation: He had no choice. He should work for Bush.

bluerose 11 years, 10 months ago

obviously few (if any) of you have taken the time to walk quietly through the wetlands on a spring evening with a sense of awareness and appreciation. the place is teeming with life, a huge population of amazing creatures, larger than the population of suburbanites and commuters who wish to drive through it.

but of course, to most of the general population, it seems little matters beyond punching the clock, driving (excessively), TV and other mindless entertainments and acquiring material goods as cheaply as possible. so by all means, build a bigger and faster road so you can Get There, to that "sweet life", faster and more efficiently.

the wetland does not stink. to the contrary, natural waters, wildflowers and wild grasses smell GOOD.

big fast roads, excessive subdivisions, 75 million dollar libraries and Walmarts do not make a fine city. this is not the progress that will serve the people in the long run. too bad so few of us are aware of that, and do not speak up.

GOPConservative 11 years, 10 months ago

What a disappointment Mike Amyx has been this time around. He was such a good commissioner during his first term. Now, he has become nothing more than a ignorant mouth piece for the same folks who have worked so hard to create division in our community over the past two decades.

South of the River was the original plan and remains the best solution. Yet, Amyx ignores that reality and acts as if the only solution is the 32nd Street route, which is really no different than the 31st Street Route that the power-crazy idiots have been trying to push off on us ever since they threw away the original South of the River plan in their backroom deals two decades ago.

It is obvious to those who have been following this issue that the solution is to not give into these self-centered people. The solution is not to listen to those who have played the hateful 400-year-old game of blaming the Indians for "slowing down progress."

Amyx and the hate mongers he represents are not good for this community and never have been.

The majority on the Commission are absolutely correct. We need to get back the original plan of South of the River and quit letting people like Mike Amyx stir up more turmoil and polarization.

Let's heal the community and tell Dolph Simons and the other money-crazy fools to quit playing politics and build bypass where it was originally intended. After all, a bypass is supposed to go around commercial development, not right through the middle of it!

Let's make Lawrence an enlightened community like Manhattan, Kansas, or Shawnee Mission, where they built their major roads around large green spaces not right through the middle of them.

It is time to tell the inbred, backwards, unenlightened fools who have been conning the people all these years to quit polarizing our people.

We need to return to the original South of the River plan and build the bypass. That bypass would have been completed 20 years ago except for the selfish greed of those who Mike Amyx now represents.

All we hear from these self-centered folks is "it must be our way or no highway." Amyx and those who put him in office are like a bunch of spoiled brats who have prevented completion of the bypass for nearly two decades.

I agree with those who say that Amxy should be impeached for failure to represent the best interest of the entire community. Instead, he is choosing to represent only the special interests in their effort to blame everyone but themselves.

Those who who have been trying to change the original South of the River route who have caused the delay in the bypass. Those who have been trying to shove first the 31st Street and now 32nd Street route down our throats have not only stopped the bypass but have also planted seeds of hatred and division in our community. Shame on all of them.

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

I love how everyone keeps bringing the "natives" into this battle. IT'S NOT THEIR LAND. It belongs to baker university.

If you call that stench I smell when I just drive by the "wetlands" beautiful, you need to bathe.

I agree the entire commission has been a wash. PLEASE put this to a vote, so we can show that the majority of lawrence wants to push for advancing the city, not underdeveloping it because of a few hippies.

Those who have been trying to build it on the 32nd street route are practical, and realize that a road that goes way out of anyone's way is worthless.

Be practical, and quit trying to protect sacred frogs, mice, and swamps

hipper_than_hip 11 years, 10 months ago

Bozo: You should read the Brockington Report before making statements regarding who the land belonged to.

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

It's nice to know for all of the laws that have been cited and the proof of theft and examples of racism that Native people deal with, that I can be censored. Repeating what I said in a friendlier tone, There is European history in the wetlands with the Oregon Trail. Do European people want to preserve their history? it doesn't look like it.

The wetlands have been there since the last ice age. The drainage from the glaciers created the Kansas and Wakarusa River valleys. When Clinton lake was opened in 1980, over 90% of the wetlands on this river were inundated. Haskell Institute was started with tribal money. The wetlands were purchased with tribal money. The wetlands were illegally taken by Baker in violation of the Federal Indian School Surplus Lands Act of 1962. Before 1968, the majority of the BIA bureaucracy was white. Indian preference was enacted after this date. These non-native people thought it was in the best interest of ehtnocentricism to destroy the wetlands by putting tile down to drain them. Even Mr. Richie Kennedy admitted in a letter to the editor that the wetlands weren't manmade. This isn't the arguement though. Federal laws and Civil Rights laws will be violated if the 32nd street route ever goes through. All people deserve respect. Building this road along 32nd street is no sign of respect.

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

I won't even go down the "racism" road. If this was going to violate Federal laws, it wouldn't have been approved, and money wouldn't have been appropriated for the project.

You may have personal issues with what happened in the past, but the land belongs to Baker. And they have approved the road.

There is no reperations for what happened. My ancestors had nothing to do with it (cuba). Build the road......

cowboy 11 years, 10 months ago

so the dikes have been there since the ice age , what are you smoking ? The entire area is drainage on both sides of the river. The only thing that makes the Baker wetlands unique is the dams and its history related to Haskell. If not intervened upon by man the wetlands would be wet until about July and then would dry out til the next spring melt and rains. The rear portion of the Wetlands is always dry , why , because theres a dam.

Take a nice walk now because in about a month the mosquitoes will carry you away. Quit your whining , you have won , the wetlands are forever.

grimpeur 11 years, 10 months ago

Gal from KU wrote:

"All I know is that I work at KU and live in High Chapperal and it is less than a mile. When I get off work, it takes 45 minutes to get home. If the people leaving town could take an alternate route instead of clogging up the roads in town."

Am I misreading this? You live less than a mile from KU and you drive? Surely, you have some physical challenge that requires a car, in which case forgive me for asking. If not, this is a bigger problem than no bypass.

Either way, the number of people driving less than a mile to work every day, when they could and should be walking, is a huge part of the problem.

lunacydetector 11 years, 10 months ago

a 4-lane road is safer than a 2-lane road. originally, the SLT was to be a 4-lane road, but because of delay after delay due to frivolous lawsuits lawrence lost out on funding opportunities to complete it as planned. is it safe to say the people who have held up the SLT are responsible for making a road more susceptible to head on collissions and the deaths that have occurred on the roadway?

perhaps when our sitting progressives get voted out of office, the new commissioners should send out a formal letter of apology.

GOPConservative 11 years, 10 months ago

As further proof that the only way Amyx and the others can justify changing the alignment from South of the River to their 32nd Street is to sew seeds of hate, just look at all the hateful messages above!

Dolph Simons' lackies cannot debate this issue without resorting to hateful comments about the opposition and racist comments about HINU. They are too self-absorbed to realize that their hate-filled rhetoric has proved Boog right about "wounds in this community that will take a generation to heal."

One need look no further than this thread to see the polarizing effect that Amyx and others like him have had on our community.

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

Actually, chzypoof, this project violated the Clean Water Act, Section 106 of the NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION REGISTER, involving traditional cultural properties and sacred sites, and it has the potential to violate the Kansas Unmarked Burials Act of 1989, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. Monied interests make it posible to try avoiding obeying the law. In spite of the fact that they were already beat once at this issue in 1997. It's also Indian Country, under title 18, section 1151, parts a,b, and c, of the federal laws governing Indian Country. And yes, tribes are paid damages and awarded land by this crooked government from time to time. To the religious issue, in 1886, a law was passed prohibiting the practice of Native Religions at boarding schools, which Haskell wqs. This law was not repealed until 1993. Native People didn't have the free practice of religion until passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. Maybe the public needs to know the law, because two elected officials don't, and the three that do are being mobbed on.

spammer89 11 years, 10 months ago

Ducks can fly over and or swim under a bridge. Build the road.

conservative 11 years, 10 months ago

Several points.

1st, Build it somewhere. With it ending at Iowa it isn't serving much of a purpose. Would be really nice to see the second stage completed before major repairs are necessary on the existing portion.

2nd, High Chapparel is really closer to 3 miles from KU. Some people would be comfortable walking it but not all. Plus weather has to be considered and on bad weather days you can bet the commute is even longer. And yes I believe the 45 minutes is an exageration. I go completely across town in the evenings (using 23rd) and it usually only takes 20 to 25 minutes.

3rd, Why is the city commission even involved? Is city money being spent on a trafficway that isn't on city property? I don't know the answer to this, I'm truly asking.

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago

I have a question.

How is a man made swamp sacred? Also, who cares about what Haskell wants since they do not own it? It's up to Baker and my understanding is that they said yes to building it. The swamp does smell and I have taken time to go through it on more than one occasion. We used to bike or jog the trail for a good workout when we wanted to vary our routine routes. There are other places to do the same workout so I don't care about that aspect.

Build the road.

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

You can quote all of the laws of the past that you want. Quit making this a political/racial issue. The real issue here is: THE LAND DOESN'T BELONG TO HASKELL OR THE NATIVE AMERICANS. It belongs to Baker. And THEY APPROVED THE ROUTE. Build the road.

conservative 11 years, 10 months ago

Tony, of course land belongs to people. That is the way it is set up in this country. Bad things happened in the past, I don't think anyone is denying this. However you have to live in the present, and in the present the land legally belongs to Baker, and they don't have a problem with the road. I have several friends who are native americans and they do not have any problems with the road either. From their perspective most of the objections come from young college kids looking for a platform for self expression. No different that the multitude of causes taken up by students at KU or any other University. Doesn't make them right (or wrong) just in this case there is the additional aspect of the cultural heritage.

Question time again (and again I have no idea I'm just trying to get information). Several people have indicated this was once a burial ground. Was it? Is there proof? If it was a swamp before being drained and then reinvented seems like a strange place for a burial gound. Was it in fact a swamp before it was farmland?

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

Solomon, There is tribal objections. "35 tribes said they were concerned about unmarked American Indian graves in the wetlands. 34 said no construction should occur on property owned by Haskell Indian Nations University or Baker University. 32 support listing Haskell and the wetlands as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. 32 signed a form letter objecting to completion of the trafficway. 10 said they found there would be no impact apparent."

"The National Congress of American Indians, representing more than 500 tribes in North America, last week passed a resolution calling for "halting and termination" of the trafficway project."

armyguy 11 years, 10 months ago

I am glad I came back to this post. If my memory is correct, didn't some of those " Birkenstock wearin , tree huggin , hemp smokin , T- lovin , library building , fireworks banning , cigarette hatin liberals" chain themselfs to some trees when the first outlet mall was built downtown to save the eagles? I think that was about 15 years ago, and that mall was going to ruin downtown.

eagles are still there and downtown is as well.

Cowboy, great quote.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

chzypoof1, Baker University obtain that land illegally with the help of white BIA officials back in the 1960's and against the wishes of the Haskell community.

With Larryville site down, I will have to cut and paste but the article was at this page

1883-1902 Starting with 280 acres in 1883, the Haskell campus grows to 1,011 acres by 1902. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), once an arm of the U.S. Army, acquires the Haskell Farm (Haskell-Baker Wetlands) to be used for agricultural training of Indian students.

1884-1934 Haskell Institute is a virtual concentration camp as Indian children as young as four years of age face systematic brutalization and are subject to unsanitary and harsh conditions. According to extensive research conducted by HINU students in the National Archives, up to 700 children die from disease and even gunshot wounds and many are secretly buried in unmarked graves in wetlands.

1935 Beginning in 1935 farming operations on the Haskell Farm are scaled back and the land is leased in the late 1940s to area farmers for haying.

1950s Several 20-acre tracts of "surplus" Federal Indian School Property (primarily wetlands) are transferred to various public agencies, including KU and the State Forestry, Fish and Game Commission (now Dept. of Wildlife and Parks). In just a few years, Haskell loses more than 70 percent of its campus with the BIA signing on the bottom line every time.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago


1958 The BIA, in collusion with KU Professor Dr. E. Raymond Hall, assigns 573 acres of land (Baker Wetlands) to the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. The State Biological Survey is given management authority. The transfer is clearly illegal, (if not in 1958 then in 1968 when it is ultimately transferred to Baker Uni.) and in violation of the 1953 Public Law because the total amount of acreage transferred is greater than 20 acres.

1958 A July 14, 1958, letter from the Muskogee Area Office of the BIA to KU Chancellor Murphy, points out that 21.71 acres of land had been proposed for transfer to KU but the maximum amount that can be granted under law is 20 acres.

1966 Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife officials offer to return the wetlands to Haskell, but the Area Director of the BIA in Anadarko, OK in an August 11, 1966, letter states that there is no interest in re-acquiring the land. This is the final BIA word on the matter and the BIA therefore forever forfeits any right to hold title to the land.

1967 Senator Frank Carlson announces April 13, 1967, that 573 acres of the Haskell Wetlands have been assigned to KU for research and educational purposes. However, the actual transfer is mysteriously aborted at the last minute and no deed materializes.

1968 After the mysterious aborted attempt to transfer the 573 acres to KU the previous year, the wetlands are granted to Baker University on September 21 with a deed restriction requiring the land be used only for educational purposes and granting the U.S. Dept. of Education oversight until August 30, 1998.

1971 The State Highway Commission recommends in its Lawrence Area Transportation Study a South of the Wakarusa River route for a bypass around Lawrence. Later this route is recommended in Plan 95, the comprehensive land-use plan for the city. The officially-recommended route would avoid the wetlands altogether.

1971 The BIA grants Douglas County a right-of-way for 31st Street on May 5, 1971, across the Haskell Wetlands. The road bisects the wetlands and fragments wildlife habitat. Interestingly, Haskell receives no money for granting a perpetual easement of 24 acres of wetlands.

conservative 11 years, 10 months ago

So is Haskell suing to try and regain the land? How credible is the information from Larryville?

chzypoof1 11 years, 10 months ago

warpony, this article sounds a little slanted...I don't see a whole lot of "objective" comments in there.

Bottom line is that the land belongs to Baker. We're not in the past, we're in the future, where we need a road.

I'm done. Have a nice day!!!

Cantbeleiveit 11 years, 10 months ago

I agree the Morans in City Hall all need to go. They need to clean house of those idiots and start over again!

My next guess is once it is built where ever that might be the Morans will want to Lace the Bypass with Round Abouts!

While thier at it take all the County Commisionners out to and get new ones in. Mercy can't have a Circus with Circus animals. Their makin the area look like Idiots!

Rationalanimal 11 years, 10 months ago

"City Opposes"...boy, has this headline ever been beaten into the ground. The only thing this commission is good for is spending 50-75 million at a time on extravagant pet projects that smack of kickbacks to chronies, and denying the results of expensive and timely case studies. I propose we take five of the monkeys that can't be on display at the circus (due to a ridiculous ordinance) and put them in the City Commission chairs. Heck, there is no way a monkey could do any worse.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

chzypoof1, I showed you mine, you show me yours.

The article was wrttien by Clark H. Coan, "a free-lance researcher and environmental activist living in Lawrence, Kansas. He co-founded several organizations including Save the Baker Wetlands, the Wakarusa River Greens, Hermes Peace & Justice Library, and the Rails-to-Trails Coalition of Kansas. He received a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Kansas in 1979." Sorry, I forgot to mention that.

conservative, I think it's too late now. Indian Country has to pick and choose which land claims to go after, lacks of funds... As to your other question, it depends on which side of Brockington's mouth you listen to.

"Paul Brockington, a consultant hired by KDOT to assess the historical significance of the wetlands, told Haskell officials there was a "good possibility" of finding Indian burial sites within the wetlands."

"Brockington said he initially doubted there were graves in the wetlands, but he changed his mind after interviews with tribal elders. He said he now believes there are graves near the north side of the river."

In April of 2002 the state archeologist confirms what KDOT wants to hear.

"After turning 472 shovelfuls of soil in the Baker Wetlands, a state archeologist couldn't uncover any evidence of humans buried beneath the soggy earth in the path of the proposed final leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway."

And so does the hired consultant,

"Paul Brockington, an archeologist and president of Atlanta-based consulting firm Brockington & Associates, spent several weeks in 2001 using ground-penetrating radar and other means to search for human remains in the wetlands. None were found."

From what I understand, ground penetrating radar is not all that accurate in saturated soils. That's what wetlands are, saturated soil, and it was wet when the testing was done, as you can see in this report.

grimpeur 11 years, 10 months ago

off to the right and tony88:

The sort of person who would tell other they should walk if they live within a mile and are able to do so is not the same as the sort who would claim you have to pay for my road so that my senseless commuting is even easier.

Rather, it's the sort of person who has seen vast resources 1) wasted to encourage exactly this behavior; 2) wasted trying to figure out why traffic is so bad; 3) wasted accomodating more of the same wasteful behavior (and creating more congestion), in the guise of relieving congestion or parking demand, instead of considering alternatives; 4) wasted by people driving, alone, every day, from 20th and Mass, 7th and Missisippi, 17th and Ohio, or 18th and Illinois to KU campus, and from 20th and Barker to 20th and Ohio or to LHS campus if they can find a spot, which they usually can't, so they park in front of someone's driveway, leaving Wendy's garbage as thanks;

and who has listened to far too many people who complain that "I'm being slowed down during my commute by all these people in their cars and by a city which won't build roads wherever and as fast as I want," but who won't stop complaining long enough to even try thinking about their own needless, wasteful contributions to the very traffic they claim to detest.

"Doc, it hurts when I do this."

If you can't see the irony of an able-bodied person complaining that traffic is tying up their 1-mile commute, then I can do nuthin fer ya.

But then, as I already inquired, gal from KU might not be able, which is really about the only reason I can imagine for driving less than a mile, every day, into the center of town, other than that it's simply been made embarrasingly easy and convenient to do so.

Doesn't stop WAY too many people from doing it, though.

Fine, anyone want to drive when you could easily walk? OK by me, but I don't want to hear your complaints about traffic. If you don't like it, don't contribute to it.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

Baker obtained the land by illegal means. A crime was committed and Baker is in possession of stolen property. If you support Baker in building the SLT on 32nd street, you are supporting a crime and the money being made from that crime. I would advise you all not to tout yourselves as law-abiding citizens at this point.

hipper_than_hip 11 years, 10 months ago

Brockington says in his report that there are no graves in the wetlands.

One person came forward to tell him that she knows about graves, but she wouldn't disclose where those graves are.

Summary: local legend says there are graves in the wetland, but after researching the Haskell records and physically searching for the graves, the archaeologist of record didn't find any, and he states in his report that he does not believe any graves exist in the wetlands.

What more do you need to know?

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago

I support Baker, Haskell can rot for all I care. Why would anyone want to make a national historical site out of a school that was used as a concentration camp? That's disgraceful.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

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."

conservative 11 years, 10 months ago

Forgive me if this isn't very PC.

When I hear burial ground I have visions of places of honor where native americans buried thier ancestors with dignity and compassion. If the source of calling this a burial ground is dumped bodies then it should be treated just like any other set of remains that are found. They should be reclaimed and given a decent burial.

Sharon Nottingham 11 years, 10 months ago

In support of blue73harley's claim that wetlands belong to Baker;

Read the paragraph before the bolded heading "Policy Highlights" at the bottom of the page. It states that Baker is the current owner of the wetlands.

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

Bankboy, chzypoof, these laws are still in effect, they are federal laws, and federal laws supercede state or local laws. Research much? I don't think so. It's a racial issue when a minority group with standing as the only minority group specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution seeks to avoid being railroaded by people who don't research issues and vote for dumb politicians.

If these wetlands have been in existence for since the last ice age, then they're not man-made. If the Pawnee, Kaw, Osage, and other people Native to this area used these wetlands for plants to cure people with, then they're not man-made.

In Genoa, Nebraska, there is an Indian boarding school historic site. In the early twentieth century, it was the Genoa Indian School. I know elderly Native people who went to school there. On the sign erected by the Nebraska State Historical Society, this sign states that "There were students buried all over the former campus site". Following the opening of Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania in 1879, hundreds of these institutions of cultural reprogramming were opened. Haskell opened in 1883-84. If students passed away from no vaccinations, malnurishment, or abuse, their passings were ommitted. Just like these statements were ommitted from the Brockington Report. People are just as enlightened now as they were 120 years ago? I don't think so.

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago

Isn't there a statute of limitations for bringing suit?

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

For tribal land claims involving the Indian Claims Commission, yes. For an issue like this one, no

bankboy119 11 years, 10 months ago

If the land was taken illegally as tusch and warpony have posted, and if there is no statute of limitations, and if the gov't is unwilling/unable to use eminent domain to seize the land, then case closed build it somewhere else.

Sharon Nottingham 11 years, 10 months ago

tony 88 or warpony "Baker obtained the land by illegal means". I'm not real familiar with the history of this. Do you have any information on what the illegal means were? I'd truly like to read more information on why the wetlands were at one time called "Baker-Haskell" wetlands. Can anyone provide dates as to the land deed transfers?

grimpeur 11 years, 10 months ago

No worries, tony88, I got your drift. I was just pointing out that, as someone who's more interested in reducing congestion than creating it, I'm rather not like those who cry, "I want my SLT!"

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

hipgal, I refer you to my 2:40 post.

title 25, chapter 7, section 293a. "That no more than fifty acres of land shall be transferred under the terms of this section in connection with any single school property conveyed to State or local governmental agencies or to local school authorities..."

Baker received 573 acres.

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

Posted on February 27 at 5:26 p.m.

U.S. Code as of: 01/22/02 Section 293a. Conveyance of school properties to local school districts or public agencies

The Secretary of the Interior, or his authorized representative, is authorized to convey to State or local governmental agencies or to local school authorities all the right, title, and interest of the United States in any land and improvements thereon and personal property used in connection therewith heretofore or hereafter used for Federal Indian school purposes and no longer needed for such purposes: Provided, That the consent of the beneficial owner shall be obtained before the conveyance of title to land held by the United States in trust for an individual Indian or Indian tribe: Provided further, That no more than fifty acres of land shall be transferred under the terms of this section in connection with any single school property conveyed to State or local governmental agencies or to local school authorities. Any conveyance under this section shall reserve all mineral deposits in the land and the right to prospect for and remove such deposits under rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior, shall require the property to be used for school or other public purposes, and shall require the property to be available to Indians and non-Indians on the same terms unless otherwise approved by the Secretary of the Interior. If at any time the Secretary of the Interior determines that the grantee of any such lands, improvements, and personal property has failed to observe the provisions of the transfer agreement and that the failure has continued for at least one year, he may declare a forfeiture of the conveyance and the title conveyed shall thereupon revert to the United States. Such determination by the Secretary of the Interior shall be final. If the grantee of such land fails for a period of one year to observe the provisions of the transfer agreement and the Secretary of the Interior fails to declare a forfeiture of the conveyance, the former beneficial owner, if an individual Indian or an Indian tribe, may petition the United States District Court for the district where the land is located to declare a forfeiture of the conveyance and to vest the title in the United States, in the same trust status as previously existed.

On SLT rebuttal

Posted on February 17 at 6:50 p.m.

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

all readers and posters; there is an illegal difference between the 50 acres allowed to be transferred, and the 572.68 acres that Baker acquired that comprises the wetlands area. This law was specifically perscribed by congress with it's plenary powers and was disobeyed in the transfer to Baker University. Ergo, the title isn't clear, due to a violation of federal law. This act combined with the white-washing of compliance guidelines dealing with Historical and cultural sites puts this whole road project at a justifed standstill. Breaking the law doesn't allow you to go forward. Might and ignorance doesn't make right.

On SLT rebuttal

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Man, you guys are really going at it! I guess Boog's predicted "wounding" came sooner than expected!

Who are you people? I can't even decifer a speeding ticket, let alone cite US legal code.

Is there a message board for fans of "Barney"? That's where I belong, I think.


I love you.

You love me.

Let's all go and kill Barney.

With a four-by-four, hit the floor.

No more purple dinosaur.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

Shhhh, Pilgrim, please keep quiet about our next legal move. We prefer the element of surprise, shhhh....

Mike Ford 11 years, 10 months ago

it's amazing what one digests to protect what they identify with. This isn't going at it, in all honesty, it's the same message repeated over and over until people get it. I've been at this eight years.

bangaranggerg 11 years, 10 months ago

I wish wal mart and doug compton had an interest in the wetlands issue so they could sue and the city board would fold in a second. Maybe Wal- Mart could build a 3rd and 4th store in the wetlands.

galfromku 11 years, 10 months ago

You know... I drive to work because I WANT to. Who are is anyone to say bad things about me because I do. Not everyone has the time to leisurely walk places. Some of us try REAL hard to make our own way and a better life for us and our kids. I worked two jobs for a long time, one at KU and one at a at a place off west 6th street. I had to go straight go straight from work at KU to my second job and be there within a half hour, then got off work at 10:30 pm at night clear out by HyVee.... if you think I am walking home after that... you are an idiot.

Now I no longer have two jobs, but go straight from work to school in the evening and have to drive from Lawrence to Topeka and Lawrence to Kansas City for classes.I think that is a good enough reason to drive without needing anyone else's approval to drive.

Additionally.. when it takes just as long to get from KU to hiway 10 by the old FARMLAND plant , as it does to go from there to Kansas City at I-35 & 75th street.... something needs to give somewhere.. I have been out "IN" the wetlands... took a group of cubscouts out there in fact... they were bored. I enjoyed it and got some good pictures, but when the comparison is made between the two... I still say... LET"S BUILD THAT ROAD !

Sigmund 11 years, 10 months ago

The headline should read "City Commission Narrowly Opposes 32nd Street Route." No one knows what the majority of the "city" (if by the city you mean the citizens) think on the this issue, because we have not been allowed to express our feelings at the ballot box on this issue.

The same "wounding" surrounds other issues (ie smoking ban, Walmart ban, pot ordinance) which were also contentious and controversial but the Kommission simply couldn't be bothered to put them on the ballot. They merely imposed their will without allowing a vote.

For this reason many Lawrence residents feel these decisions are illegitimate simply because the Kommission refused or refuses to allow the citizens to express their will specifically on these issues. You want to heal wounds, put them to a vote! Then everyone can see whether the "city" supports or opposes these controversial decisions.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

conservative, It would be inappropriate to go in-depth on a web site forum about Native spirituality but here are a couple of back articles that touch on the subject.

"Michael Caron, of Lawrence, spoke up to defend Ross' position, based on his study of American Indian schools around the United States in the 19th century. He contended that unhappy students who committed suicide and others who died were surreptitiously buried by their classmates by Indian customs in the wetlands. "There are people buried all over those wetlands in various circumstances. There are no records," Caron said. "Even if no remains are left, that does not mean that land is not hallowed ground to Haskell alumni. Those things are why Native Americans still look at this whole area as their land, consecrated with their own bodies.""

"Martha Houle, a member of the Haskell Board of Regents, told Rees that concerns over potential burial sites in the wetlands should halt construction of the road. "Let the dead rest," she said. "You don't understand how the Indians feel about their burial grounds. It's something you need to learn.""

All we are asking is to leave the historical impact that the land has had on generations of Haskell students intact, to leave the students who died there in their resting place and to leave us a peaceful environment from which to practice our spirituality.

Built the SLT south of the river.

GOPConservative 11 years, 10 months ago

In the typical ignorance of many newcomers to Lawrence, blue73harley wrote:

"The polarizing of this community has been caused by the PLC on many issues, not just the SLT."

The polarization of this community regarding the SLT started at least 20 years BEFORE the PLC. As has been documented in this thread, the original route was to be South of the River. A handful of developers worked up a plan to change the route about 25 years ago.

When HINU and others began to protest the change from the original plan, people began to object.

Instead of dealing with the objections in a mature and reasonable manner, the group that was pushing for putting the SLT through the wetlands began a smear campaign filled with racism, lies and name-calling.

They have created the illusion that to be for the original route South of the River makes one against the SLT. They have fooled all the bedroomers who moved here from Johnson County into the false belief that the people who want to the SLT to return its original route are the ones who have stopped the project, when it was the people who secretly changed the plan who have prevented the completion of the SLT.

Further, they have spread many other lies along with all their racism and name calling.

More of their lies continue into this thread with the oft-mentioned claim that the Wetlands used to be farmland.

The clear fact is that the entire valley was wetlands for tens of thousands of years before the white settlers came. The settlers drained 99% of the wetlands for farming.

In an experiment about 100 years ago, Haskell also drained a portion of their wetlands to teach farming to the students. The idea didn't last long, and the canals that were used to drain the wetlands were removed allowing the wetlands to return.

In fact, not all the Haskell-Baker wetlands were drained, and a ssignificant portion has always been wetlands.

It is too bad that so many newcomers have moved to Lawrence and have no respect for our city and who have no understanding of the importance of wetlands to the health of the planet and as a natural laboratory that has made Lawrence an destination for scientists from all over the world.

All these newcomers care about is saving five minutes on their daily commute. They are are willing to let a handful of people do their thinking for them and dictate the route of the SLT. They blindly go along with the lie that those who want the route to remain as originally planned are the ones who are stopping the SLT from being finished, when it is just the opposite of that.

The sad reality is that the SLT on either side of the river may soon be irrelevant. As the price of fuel increases, the bedroomers may have to start settling for working here in Lawrence or moving back to Johnson County. The number of commuters is already decreasing as more people work at home or find employment closer to where they live.

cowboy 11 years, 10 months ago

GOP , you dont have a clue about what that ground was or is. If you are just going to babble bs state it as such. you display your ignorance of this ground in your first statements. For you to call others ignorant is pathetic. valley The land adjacent to the river is wetlands about 5 months out of the year , from snow melt thru spring rains. It is dry from late June thru the next spring. You dont have to drain them for them to be farm ground. Think of it like Burcham Park , you know next to a river , wet.

I steward over 120 acres of "wetland ground " on the other side of the river so I might know what the heck I.m taking about . Have you ever been to the other side of the river ? Ride your frigging bike out there and I'll show you what the wetlands would be without the dams.

Cantbeleiveit 11 years, 10 months ago

Looks like whoever is against it in being on 32nd street has spent thier Whole Day saying Suggest Removal to every one else's comments!

GOPConservative 11 years, 10 months ago


Since you "steward" wetlands ground, you owe it to yourself to learn more about them.

Being ignorant simply means that one lacks knowledge in a specific area. My pointing out the ignorance of some of those posting above was not intended as an insult.

It is clear from several of the posts above that some people are very ignorant about wetlands and the SLT controversy.

Greedy people with hidden agendas depend on such ignorance to push nefarious plans. Instead of spreading the truth, they spread the kind of lies and ignorance we see in the some of the posts above.

Contrary to your mistaken belief, wetlands are not defined as being wet year round. In fact, most wetlands are covered with water for a limited period each year.

You don't seem to want to believe it, but it is a fact that much of this valley used to be wetlands.

The Kansas and Wakarusa River flooded most springs and covered large areas with a slow moving, shallow, miles-wide river. Manmade ditches now quickly drain the water. Further the levees have focused the water. That has lowered the riverbed and now prevents even large floods from reaching the drained wetlands.

The once broad wetlands of the Kaw and Wakarusa Valleys have been reduced to a few isolated tracks far removed from the rivers. They are too small and too fragmented to support the wetlands ecosystem that once dominated.

The only place left with anywhere close to timeless diversity that used to be here is the Haskell-Baker Wetlands and a few narrow strips of privately owned and public owned land right next to the rivers.

The Haskell-Baker Wetland is a ecological treasure of equal importance to the Kansa Prairie and the Flint Hills reserves. These prairie reserves and this last remaining large wetland need to be preserved and protected as examples for future generations of what used to be here.

Finally, the disrespect toward Native Americans in this thread makes me ashamed to be from this community. I feel like I am in Mississippi in the 1960s.

It is unfortunate that those like Mike Amyx and Dolph Simons, who are opposed to the logical route for the SLT, have to depend on the racism and misinformation that we see above.

Clearly, when one is proposing something as iniquitous as changing the South of the River alignment to a 32nd Street alignment through the heart of our largest green space, depending on lies and racism is the only way to get support.

Cantbeleiveit 11 years, 10 months ago

YOu all know one way to get City Halls attention is to stop doing Business in Lawrence!

I'm a Smoker and yes sure many of you will bash that! But if you all stop supporting Lawrence's Business's it will hit all thier pocket books! And when it does someone will wake up and say Hey whats going on here!

Business's will raise Cain till City Hall listens! Thats how they all get paid is thru taxes!

Personally I haven't had a beer or dinner in Lawrence since they passed the No Smoking Ban!

I have taken my business out of town!

Screw the Idiots at City Hall and the County Commissioners!

Richard Heckler 11 years, 10 months ago

This was a practical and prudent decision. It does require backbone to step up and move forward. 31st to 1057 could be a good idea so long as Prairie Park Nature Preserve is not damaged. It could take a curve around it. Taxpayers laid out over $1,000,000 for that local jewel.

Or the SOR route could also connect to 1057 thereby exercising extraordinary use of an existing resource. Both roads could connect to 1057 and why not. 1100 rd also connects to 1057/1900 rd. 1100 and 1900 intersect

Either 1000Rd or 1100 rd makes a direct connection to JOCO so there is an additional alternative.

As I have said before the wetlands route was obsolete from day one and will not deal with future traffic demands. So the most prudent decision is to build a bypass not a trafficway that could divert unnecessary traffic out around Lawrence. A bypass makes good dollars and sense.


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.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

"Cook up some hare-brained scheme and see if you can find a judge stupid enough to buy it."

"Stupid"="disagrees with Pilgrim" in this context. But that's about the only kind of post he/she/it makes.

If this ever does get the ruling Pilgrim seeks, if it affirms what Pilgrim wants, the ruling will essentially be, "Too late to overturn past actions even though they were illegal at the time they were taken. While it's unfortunate that this travesty of justice will be allowed to stand, at that point in time it was not only acceptable but obligatory to screw Indians at any opportunity. We are therefore obliged to screw them once again."

getserious 11 years, 10 months ago

How can anyone named "Boog" be taken serious. Just build the dang road.

gr 11 years, 10 months ago


Sounds like a winning idea. We could call it a library casino, give the indians a few cents, give "education" a few cents with all the "it's for our children" talk, and then give the white-man's private casino business the bulk of it.

Still need a road, but we could put that through downtown.

"We are therefore obliged to screw them once again." Who's screwing whom? If you're worried about invading and taking land from someone, what about world history. The "conquerors" don't owe the conquered anything. At least that's what history says. Besides, with the new emminent domain ruling, government can take land away for helping private business. How much more so for the "public good". People want roads. Much more of public good than private shopping areas.

gr 11 years, 10 months ago

Digging in a protected mosquito-infested, body dumping, flooded-farmground area probably would be illegal.

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

"The "conquerors" don't owe the conquered anything."

Unless the so called "conquerors" made treaties with the so called "conquered" and the so called "conquerors" happen to have a constitution that states:

"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

gr 11 years, 10 months ago


Well, I suppose you are correct about the constitution. However, white man has broken treaty after treaty. Is there some constitutional reason to only honor the last treaties rather than the first? Or is this some sort of appeasement to make white man feel better about his guilty feelings?

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

gr, Oh my gosh, now your getting into Federal Indian law which is perhaps the most complex area of United States law there is! I have friends going for that law degree who told me! Okay, as I can explain and I, as always, can stand to be corrected... Until 1871 treaties were the accepted method by which the United States conducted its relations with Indian tribes. The purpose of an Indian treaty was not to give rights to the Indians but to remove rights they had, usually in exchange for land and the promise of federally protected reservations (lands) for Indians and specific goods or services, such as food and clothing, medical care, education and so forth.
In 1871, Congress passed a law that prohibited the making of treaties with Indians. This law (Title 25, United States Code, Section 71 ?) declared that Indian tribes were not sovereign nations with whom the United States could make treaties. Since then Congress has regulated Indian affairs through legislation, greatly preferring this approach because laws, unlike Indian treaties, do not need the consent of the Indians. The passage of this law meant Congress no longer had to negotiate with Indians or obtain their consent in Indian matters. If Congress, for example, wanted to take land from the Indians, all it had to do was pass a law to that effect. But Section 71 states that "no obligation of any treaty. . . shall be hereby invalidated or impaired."
In 1903 the Supreme Court held in Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock that Indian treaties have the same dignity as federal statutes, but no greater dignity. Therefore, a federal law can amend or even repeal an Indian treaty in the same way that it can amend or repeal a prior law. The Lone Wolf decision has been severely criticized because it permits Congress to break its treaty promises whenever it wants. You would think that a government such as ours that touts itself as being the country of equal opportunity and "justice for all" would not act this way. That is way we put up what seems like a fight to the death for our rights. I think thats why Indian law was made to be so complicated, so no one could tell what they are doing. We have managed to retain some of those treaty rights but it was been a hard battle. Okay, now my head hurts...

Sharon Nottingham 11 years, 10 months ago

Why can't they just replace 31st street for the SLT?

kcwarpony 11 years, 10 months ago

In 1971 the Bureau of Indian Affairs granted Douglas County a 24-acre easement on Haskell Indian Nations University land for construction of 31st Street. 31st Street runs through Haskell Indian Nations University property.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.