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Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Self sees need for more rec facilities

April 17, 2007

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Many Lawrence residents think community needs to improve recreational facilities

Count KU men's coach Bill Self among the Lawrence residents who think the community needs to improve its recreational facilities. Enlarge video

Supporters of an effort to build new recreational facilities in Lawrence got a high-profile endorsement from Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self on Monday evening.

Self - one of about 25 people who attended a meeting of Partners for Lawrence Athletics and Youth - said Lawrence was trailing several communities in terms of the recreational facilities it had to offer.

"I don't get the impression that people in our community realize how poor some of our facilities are," said Self, who said that he knows some people make decisions about where to live based on recreational facilities. "I think it definitely stunts our growth by not being able to say we have facilities that stack up with anyone.

"We don't have to be the best, but we have to be in the game."

Self, though, stopped short of saying that he supported a proposed sales tax to pay for new recreational facilities and said he hadn't decided whether he would become actively involved in promoting the project to the community if it were placed on a ballot.

Self did say, however, that he thought the community would be more likely to support new recreation projects if they were tied in with school district functions and educational programs.

The meeting at Southwest Junior High School seemed to largely attract supporters of new recreational facilities. The PLAY committee, which includes residents and representatives from the city, county, school district and chamber of commerce, presented the results of a recent public survey on recreation needs.

Consultants are expected to use the survey results and other input to create a feasibility study that will examine whether new facilities should be built, existing facilities should be renovated and how the community should pay for it. The feasibility study should be done by late May.

Pat O'Toole, one of the consultants on the study and a Lawrence resident, said he thought one issue to explore was how the often the school district allowed its recreational facilities to be open to community use.

But Rick Gammill, director of special operations for the school district, said community members are sometimes misinformed about how often school district buildings are in use.

"I think the school district certainly has been a good neighbor to all parties involved," Gammill said. "Our buildings really are in use all the time. If we had more space, we certainly could be an even better neighbor."

Comments

HoosierPride 7 years, 8 months ago

Another excellent endorsment for new rec facilities.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 8 months ago

Right, let's spend more money on consultants. Do these people not get it? Of course it'd be great to have more/better rec facilities, but how are we supposed to pay for them? Self can surely afford a tax increase but it would put a burden on some of us who aren't even interested in using the rec facilities to begin wtih.

sweetiepie 7 years, 8 months ago

I know a bunch of people have complained about having to pay for new recreation facilities, but the point they seem to miss in their complaints is that they are going to have to pay one way or another if we don't provide the "preventive medicine" of opportunities for people of all ages to be physically active.
Letting children run and jump and climb can make all the difference in the world to their mental and physical health and to how they approach physical activity (or fail to do so)as adults. Then if they want to continue the habit of exercise (or play) as adults, they are less likely to end up experiencing all the diseases associated with inactivity. All of this is not even worth discussing, though, if people (of all ages) don't have anywhere to go.

I always thought we ought to go into the old Food 4 Less building, build a walking track around the perimeter and build an indoor playground in the center. That way when it was too hot or too cold or too wet to play outside, kids could play there and parents could walk the track at the same time. (Play McDonalds can only hold so many children on a rainy day!) I'm all in favor of indoor recreation centers in Lawrence. But if building one is too expensive, maybe we could look at facilities we already have and see how we can retrofit them to serve the various populations.

Whatever we do, we need to do something. There just aren't any indoor facilities that are consistently available for private citizens who really are trying to stay healthy.

sourpuss 7 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand... isn't this why people joing athletic clubs? I'm not a user of such clubs, but if the existing clubs are so poor, why doesn't the free market take care of this problem? Someone should open a really good gym. Not the demand, you say? Then why should we front good tax money for something that isn't in demand? I'm sure we could revamp the East Lawrence Center, the Community Center, and others, to improve existing facilities without spending gobs on a new building.

justthefacts 7 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Self makes a lot of money. If he believes that a rec facility is such a great idea, why doesn't he (and other similarly rich people) invest in some new facilities. Win -win for them.

Stop taking tax dollars away from those who cannot afford one more dime out of their pockets, in order to pay for the wants of those people who could pay their own ways!

JSDAD 7 years, 8 months ago

when the new rec center is built way out on the outskirts of town where all the devlopment is how are we to deal with the delima of paying for bus passes so the unfortunates have a new place to hang out and shower.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

The need for new facilities is yet another cost of growth. Mr. Self has invested rather heavily in growth and development in this town, (and contributed heavily to the growth and development industries' city commission candidates) so it should be no surprise that he would want taxpayer-financed amenities to make his investments more attractive to potential buyers.

justthefacts 7 years, 8 months ago

"cost of growth"?

Does that cost mean that we have to impose a tax burden so great that only people making the income of Mr. Self can afford to live in Lawrence?

I sure hope not!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

"Does that cost mean that we have to impose a tax burden so great that only people making the income of Mr. Self can afford to live in Lawrence?"

What it means is that the facilities we have now were built to accommodate many thousands fewer than currently live in Lawrence. Those facilities were paid for primarily by people who have lived here for many years.

Now they are going to be asked to build still more facilities, but these will be primarily for the use of newer residents, who have yet to pay for any facilities of any kind. They want some now, and they want you to pay for them.

Eric Neuteboom 7 years, 8 months ago

Behold the ignorance...

The skeptical will react as many have above, equating someone's intentions with greed. Well...who the heck honestly thinks that creating baseball fields is an investment goldmine? What an unbelievable leap of faith!

Having adequate (which Lawrence is far from being) recreational facilities is a civic responsibility. Ask yourself this: If this is such a financial goldmine, why haven't we heard anything from the Comptons of the Fritzels? We have not because there is no financial viability in it. This is not a matter of a pro-development commission! This is the single most visable individual in the community putting his neck out and saying what we all, somewhere down deep, know: That Lawrence's commitment to its youth is lacking, is embarassing and needs drastic improvement.

This needs community support, and I only wish that those of you who automatically equate this proposal to increased taxes etc. would consider the unseen benefits, namely more youth engaged in organized sports, more youth getting exercise and more youth developing a sense of self-esteem and self-worth that sports can provide. Trust me, I can tell you first hand that competitive sports teach valuable life lessons, and we have a community-wide responsibility to ensure that the future leaders of Lawrence are provided with every opportunity to better themselves in every way possible. Are new facilities the only way to do this? Of course not. But it is a start.

HoosierPride 7 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand how people can be so against something that is good for the community. It's not like people are asking you to build crack houses.

People who think the facilities are adequate have probably never bothered to check one out. Try going to a Rec Center in this town on a Saturday and look at all the kids who have to just stand around because there aren't enough basketball courts for them to play on. Eventually these kids will get tired of just standing around in the Rec Centers and will look for new ways to occupy their time. Maybe they will hang out in the streets and start picking up smoking, drinking, and drugs. Or maybe they will just take up graffiti art, or property destruction, perhaps even a little shoplifting. Guess what? When they take up these hobbies you WILL be using your tax dollars to clean up after them.

Raider 7 years, 8 months ago

I'd be willing to bet that these same people who are bitching about building these facilities will be the first ones to show up with their kids in tow once their opened.

HoosierPride 7 years, 8 months ago

No Raider they won't. They probably think that physical fitness is for dummies.

justthefacts 7 years, 8 months ago

"Now they are going to be asked to build still more facilities, but these will be primarily for the use of newer residents, who have yet to pay for any facilities of any kind. They want some now, and they want you to pay for them."

Ah, I have paid for them. Having lived here for over 20 years, I have paid and paid for them. And never used them. As for my kid playing at them, he was involved in CHURCH activities, that I also paid for out of my own pocket. If you want the new people to pay for facilities for their kids, then have the private sector build them, and pay membership fees. End of problem.

No one is against helping the youth have better lives. But how about helping them out with things that do not cost much money? Are the kids who played sand lot baseball with their neighborhood gang really worse off then the brats being hauled around in shiney new uniforms and big gas guzzling SUV's??

Surely someone out there must realize that raising taxes (and yes, that is what has in fact been suggested as the way to pay for new rec facilities- - it has been the ONLY suggestion for paying for them, so far proposed) cannot continue.

Families have to live within their means, or go bankrupt. But apparently some people thing that the government can keep going back to the money tree (private pocket books) over and over again. Why should the government ask citizens to tighten their belts, and then not do the same?

The poor and the elderly are being taxed and priced right out of being able to afford to live in Lawrence. Is that the goal?

The poor and elderly can barely afford homes and food. But the kids of the rich get new uniforms, ball parks, soccer fields, etc.

Note: Johnson county citizens said "NO" to the million dollars park bond vote. Even a county that size, with that much money, knows that there must be more fiscal responsibility on the part of public officials.

People who want MORE AND MORE from the government are welcome to pay for it themselves. But I and others like me cannot afford to pay one more dime to anyone but our own creditors. If I have to pay an increased sales tax on a loaf of bread in order to pay for your kid's new field, I may just have to give up eating. Is that what Lawrence wants for its citizens? Oh wait, we only want Bill Self type citizens to live here; why else keep raising taxes over and over again??

Raider 7 years, 8 months ago

I am so completely amazed at how this has become a rich vs. poor issue. I guess that there will be someone at the gates of all of these facilities checking the parents net worth, and if it's under a certain level then that kid won't be let in. Sheesh people! Can't you realize that everyone benefits from these types of facilities? Not just the people in West Lawrence.

Eric Neuteboom 7 years, 8 months ago

Wow Ripper, maybe if you set aside your obviously misguided ideas on how youth sports are conducted you would see the value in them. Are all coaches good? No. But the majority are.

And lest you forget that the most effective, successful and (of critical importance) tolerant leaders forged their identities and cultivated their morals on the ballfield.

I could go on pointing out the benefits but I'm sure the finer points would be lost on you. It's people like you that scare me, the individuals whose ideas are borne of fear and failure. Step outside yourself and dare to achieve. And remember, you always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Raider 7 years, 8 months ago

Ripper, you sound like one of these bitter loonie liberals who thinks that anything that is organized is nothing but a training ground for " the stablishment".

Hawk, you're right. Where is just as important as what. Improvements to the existing facilities to bgin them up to date with modern standards. Edgewood Park, the ballfield at 11th and Deleware, Lyons Park. These facilties can be overhauled and retrofitted.

The question is, with the older neighborhoods, how many children are left? How many of these neighborhoods havt he children all grown up and moved away? That could be a reason for new facilities out west

Eric Neuteboom 7 years, 8 months ago

Hi HawkPerch -

For starters, there are two practice fields at Holcom park that I'd like to see converted to under-13 ballfields. The current fields are only usable as practice fields. Minimal effort could turn those two around.

I'd also like to see some development at the Sport-2-Sport ballfield. I've never seen anyone play there, or even practice. Adding that field (though I've heard the owner is asking for a King's ransom) would be of immediate impact.

I think there's also some room for improvement at the County Fair grounds. I haven't been there for a few years, but I think there's definite potential to add a field or two or three.

As far as a complex goes, I don't have a good suggestion. Perhaps something could be incorporated with the new development proposed at 6th and Wakarusa? Or the old Haskell Stadium could be torn down, and a new complex built there? Just a few random thoughts...

bugmenot 7 years, 8 months ago

Wow, some people in this community are stupid. "Don't make me pay for community-enhancing facilities."

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps Million-Dollar Bill will provide the money? I'd be willing to even name the place after him.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

"I don't understand how people can be so against something that is good for the community."

Perhaps because its not "good for" the community? Did that occur to you? That's p/r ... or is it b/s? I can't keep them straight.

"Having adequate (which Lawrence is far from being) recreational facilities is a civic responsibility."

Uh...no, its not. Providing schools, courts, and roads is a "civic responsibility." We don't do that job adequately already. (Here's a thought: assess every $50 per year for such a facility and then rebate it to each person who exercises their "civil responsibility" when they show up to vote.)

Strange how Lawrence Athletic Club is continually desperate for members despite the avid public interest in recreational opportunities. My, oh my, such mysteries! How was it that Sport-2-Sport even managed to go out of business? Weird, huh?

HoosierPride 7 years, 8 months ago

The Lawrence Athletic Club is a dump and has no place for youth. I didn't think this was about organized sports as much as it is about giving kids a place to excercise in group environments. I can't believe some even want kids to go back to playing baseball in the streets like "the good ol days". The way people drive in this town I would have to vote against that idea. I guess the video game culture has crept into the way adults think. Just give them an Xbox and stick them in their rooms. Never mind the fact that the kids who would benefit most from this are the ones who are from low income, single-parent homes.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

So Lawrence is going to challenge Topeka commercial opportunities in Lawrence,Kansas.

Why do developers and new city commissioners THINK this will work?

WWoftheW 7 years, 8 months ago

Is that the same soccer field that Wal-Marts needs in order to get access to a highway becuase they are lowest grossing Wal-Mart in the country. So they drummed up the soccer field expecting that Johnson county people are stupid?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

Larry Brown and his dollars works with Doug Compton/developers Roy Williams and his dollars worked with developers Bill Self and his dollars are working with developers.

All of the above commercial expansions and Rec Center will cost taxpayers money as have all unplanned growth projects of the past which is why Lawrence is becoming the most expensive place to live in Kansas surpassing JOCO. New infrastructure increases the cost of community services which of course commissioners do not talk about.

average 7 years, 8 months ago

Raider,

Thinking about spending that much on an ice rink would be very much a rich versus poor story, no matter how far west they build it. The equipment is comparatively expensive and much of the time will be reserved for leagues who have to charge high fees to cover multi-million dollar insurance policies. Besides, for the working poor 30% of this city, it's too risky to have the kids involved in something like hockey. Either you can't afford health insurance at all, or know that medical costs will bankrupt you anyway because your insurance sucks. I know my parents discouraged risky activities for that reason.

betti81 7 years, 8 months ago

sheesh people. Some reporter asks Bill Self his opinion on Rec facilities in Lawrence and suddenly he is the villian. Remember folks...he has kids here too. And while he is a public figure, he is still a private citizen who can support what he chooses.

Organized sports are not the devil. Get over yourselves.

And to whoever said they used to play on the same fields they practiced on...great. But it is awfully hard for kids/adults/joe citizen to all play and practice on the few fields that are available.

justthefacts 7 years, 8 months ago

And let's not forget Topeka's beautiful "Hummer Park" - which they have had to BEG people to use it in order to keep up the appearances that the money spent was not wasted!

Despite the hype (see http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/nov/20/it_time_pay_play/?city_local) and http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/web_based_agendas_2006/01-10-06/01-10-06h/as_cc_minutes_12-20-05.html the $25 million facility in Topeka is NOT paying for itself.

If/when Lawrence has a tax base large enough to support such a facility, without a tax increase, there won't be nearly the out-cry against it.

BUT raising taxes to pay for something that is NOT an actual necessity is going to be a bitter pill for those who are already on budgets so tight that they have to routinely choose which bills they let get delinquent each month!! Come on people - just because that does not describe you, doesn't mean that all the elderly or under-employed are lazy or unwilling to shoulder their share of the communal burdens. They simply do not have any way to make more income - so why should they have to pay for a big sports facility, or anything else the city inhabitants do not really NEED!???

Are those of you who are eager to pay extra $$ to build a sports arena going to be equally willing to pick up the tab for these people to be taken care of, when they can no longer afford to support themselves because of higher and higher tax burdens?

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

Why wouldn't Self and Mangino use the KU athletic facilities for their programs? Honestly now c'mon and think a little before speaking. Self said that these were the worst facilities he's ever seen this doesn't mean that he wants to put up the support himself to help out the community, he's done more than his part helping out around Lawrence. Self just reitterated what people who use and are actually involved with the rec centers and play have said that Lawrence is not as on the ball as other surrounding communities are on providing for our youth. Bill has lived in many places and for him to say that we have the worst is embarrassing to say the least. I hope you all get well informed on everything this rec center is wanted for.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

And why wait until the necessity has passed instead of planning for the future of this city? That makes absolutely no sense also a hummer park type fields in Lawrence would be a lot better off as an investment than in Topeka, it would open us up to hold tournaments that would bring more money into lawrence. We can't do that now because none of the surrounding communities want to bring their kids here to play on our fields because they are THAT BAD. As for a football field, yes the two high schools are covered for the time being with haskell(which has bathrooms on ONE side of the stadium and consessions on ONE side of the building with extremely limited parking) but what happens if/when down the road a third high school is needed??? This would take care of that problem now before there was even a problem.

mom_of_three 7 years, 8 months ago

I am in favor of what PLAY Is trying to do, but I am not a wealthy woman, nor a soccer mom. Just a mom that has seen the facilities in different towns and ours is lacking.
Low turnout could be because some of us were not aware, too upset about the VT tragedy, or just not available.

mom_of_three 7 years, 8 months ago

And there are free band instruments available to students...

mom_of_three 7 years, 8 months ago

My hopes is that a new rec facility could be built in the YSI/Clinton sports complex area. Most everything would be in one spot. You can have a multi purpose building for basketball, indoor soccer, etc. Fix up YSI and the soccer fields. It would be a great thing.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

So everyone should go to KC where there aren't Free rec centers, there are people in this city that want to stay active and healthy who don't have kids and can't afford to pay to use a private club like LAC. Just because you don't care about the youth of this city or about fitness for yourself doesn't mean that you should have the greed to stop something cold for other or decide the "common sense" of the entire city especially when you dont' seem to have any at all. There are a great number or kids and adults alike that use all 3 of the rec centers already available and there lies the problem TOO MANY PEOPLE USE THEM. The ones already existing weren't built to fit the quantity of people who want to use them. Our fair city has grown quite a bit in the last 20 years and we haven't had a facility in about 20 years. We need a new one to help the overflow of use the 3 FREE REC CENTERS already generate between public use and through city programs. If you want to boycott something from the city and say to not take money from you for it than that's taking away a lot of things the city offers that you could possibly be interested in.

lunacydetector 7 years, 8 months ago

I hate to cut and paste, BUT!

let's not forget the sales tax hike in the early 1990's that was supposed to disappear after 10 years that didn't - it paid for a slew of recreational items. lawrence's population only increased by roughly 15,000 people between 1990 and 2000.

look at lawrence's population decrease trend and compare it to the downturn in younger children. from 1990 to 2000 there was an increase of only 2378 kids between 0 - 17 years of age. does this justify a "yes" vote? hell no.

when i was younger, i put my career first instead of my children, and i feel guilty. does my guilt justify an ice rink now that they're more on my level? hell no.

i would like to see the economic development areas this sales tax is supposed to cover. i would hope it doesn't cater to the co-called do-gooder by providing off the tax rolls land for green space while promising thousands of "pulled out of thin air" jobs like ECO2 promised in the past. should i be suspect about any future eco-devo proposals? hell yes. based on recent history, and the local chamber of commerce's love of tax increases, should i be suspect? hell yes.

i'd vote no, and i don't care if the mayor thinks detractors need to go to bert nash if they disagree, multi-millionaire b-ball coach supports some sort of new rec facilities, or the smoking ban guy is against the sales tax increase even though the smoking ban decreased sales tax revenues.

my vote will be "no."

....LET THE FREE MARKET DECIDE

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

EGADS! Just how did I ever survive growing up without all these high fallutin' fancy facilities!? Oh yeah, our soccer fields were an open grassy area marked with cones, we went up to the school yard or to a neighbor with an backboard above the garage to shoot some hoops, and ran around the neighborhood playing whatever variation of dodgeball, hide and seek or whatever other game we made up. Nowadays, if you're not being hearded to the latest state of the art facilities for a little adult organized competitive activity, you're somehow deprived of your God given right to grow up to be a well rounded, normal human being. WTF? Heck, maybe if we weren't so busy trying to buy the latest, fanciest crappola, we could get away with working a few less hours and spending some of that time out on that worn out, cone marked soccer field with the kids. For some odd reason, I think that'd probably be a lot better for all involved than a friggin' new gym.

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

BTW, I've decided to become a consultant, so I'll be expecting my check from the city soon for posting my expert advice above. I think 100 G's should suffice. :-)

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

Leprechaunking, I would say the the increase in the use of the rec centers is the result of the increase in the number of programs offered, and the success of the very expensive advertising campaigns.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

None of the rec facilities are the lastest state of the art anything and when you were a kid there was probably a lot more open land for you to play soccer in. However for organized soccer that happens now you need somewhat of a decent field to play your games on and practice on. Our youth cant get any teams to come here to play because our soccer fields are CRAP. The gym is more than just about the kids people of all ages use these facilities. None of them are fancy or high fallutin in any way. The thing is that with all the people who use the free rec centers I bet there are still thousands who don't know or realize that they are free. If a new center is built it will also be FREE to the public and it probably couldn't hurt any of you to get excersize of some kind instead of sitting at your computer reading LJWORLD.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

"The Lawrence Athletic Club is a dump and has no place for youth."

And never will if (a) the City's subsidized operation preempts private ones, and (b) the people vote their pocketbook, saying this "need" is no need for them.

The sole initiative her is a small group of people trying to leverage the power of government to force everyone to pay for their private, minority interests.

Personally, I'd love a whitewater kayaking course. But I guess I haven't the gall to demand everyone else in town to pay for my personal interest.

So, let's review the now disproven claims: 1. This is a "need" - one wonders how humans ever survived before (or the bizarre prioritization over 'core' city responsibilities). 2. This will bring in revenue - one wonders why someone hasn't realized the moneymaking opportunity and borrowed money from a bank so to keep all the overflowing 'profit' for themselves. 3. This is critical to youth health - one wonders how many millions the taxpayer is to pay beyond the millions already spent via the public school system, sidewalks, running/bicycle paths, ballfields, etc. 4. This is really a bottom-up community demand - what was the figure? 50 households out of 2,000? And with a carefully worded query avoiding discussion of how much each household is to pay.

I move that we forget this boondoggle and just start paving the streets with gold. That will bring in tourists!

justthefacts 7 years, 8 months ago

If a new center is built it will also be FREE to the public

Unless of course you count the increase in everyone's tax debt/liablity???

When will people learn - NOTHING IS FREE!!!!???

If you don't pay for it out of your pocket directly, you will pay for it some other way.

And this is my main issue. I really don't care one way or the other if people do or don't have better, newer, larger etc. ways of organizing their kids or their own selves into herds to watch/play/do things.

What I object to VEHEMENTLY are the hands that keep going into my pockets - without my permission!!! Atlas Shrugged is not mandatory reading these days - maybe it should be! Together with a simple class on budgeting. We cannot keep spending money that we do not have!!! There is not an endless supply of money waiting to pay for all our wants. We are going to go bankrupt, as individuals, families, cities, counties, states and nations continue to spend money that is not there!! Come on people, figure it out. Maybe we WANT a nice new bunch of things - for lots of good reasons. But can we AFFORD them with our current flow of income (no smoke and mirror economics please!!)??? I know I can't!

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

There is nothing private whatsoever with the facilities already going why would a new one be different?

justthefacts 7 years, 8 months ago

Nothing new - except NEW COSTS (To build and operate anything that's new/additional)!

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

Actually, L-King, you more or less made my point. No the facilities here aren't considered that fancy anymore, but compared to what I grew up with, they're a decent upgrade. The areas we played soccer are similar to the open fields I see kids playing soccer on at the schools here. No less open area than we had. Also you said "organized soccer". OK, I admit, I have two boys playing with KVSA right now, and I enjoy going to the games out at YSI. Some may say that YSI is woefully inadequate, yet I just enjoy watching them play. Again, YSI is a vast improvement over what I had. The boys are having fun, and want to try other sports, but neither has ever asked why Lawrence's facilities are so crummy or asked when a better rec center will be built here. This seems to be more of an adult hang-up called "keeping up with the Joneses". I guess the point I'm trying to make is that things that just a few years ago were a great luxury, suddenly seem to be a necessity. Of course, this doesn't just include recreational facilities. Look at all the Jr. High and even grad school kids carrying cell phones now. Look at all the SUV's on the road with only the driver inside, even with gas costing what it does. How many TV's do we really need in our house? Of course, if they're not Hi Definition, wide-screen, they don't count anymore, right? (And, hey, I'm as bad as anyone else when it comes to this.) Anyway, I think your heart is in the right place, but there comes a time to separate "needs" from "wants" and think long and hard about which is which, or as another poster said above, we are going to bankrupt ourselves. And the long term ramifications of this are going to be a lot more painful than not having the best soccerfields available. BTW, I get my exercise throwing the LJWorld, on foot mostly. You should come along sometime. We start running about 3am. :-D

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

Oops, uh... should be "grade school kids".

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

How many posters here have read the summer catalog for the Parks & Rec Department? If you have, doesn't it make you wonder how much it costs to put on all those classes and activities?

The city pays a "living wage", so everyone working to lead or instruct or monitor or set up for, or tear down and clean up after, those programs makes at least $10 per hour. And how much was spent on those catalogs?

If private clubs could afford to spend that kind of money, they'd have lots more customers, and they would be able to offer more "amenities," too.

The difference between the private clubs and the City is that the banks keep the private clubs honest with their budgets, while there is absolutely nothing keeping the city honest about its Parks and Rec expenditures.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

An upgrade from what you had what 30 years ago? Yeah I'm sure they are, just like EVERYTHING has been upgraded since then! YSI is a great location for youth soccer and baseball I agree with you but they need to be fixed up badly! That's great that your kids are having fun but I'm positive that at some point they will see what other cities are offering their youth to play on and they WILL ask why Lawrence has such horrible fields and facilities. Our fields and facilities should invite more and more people to join and want to be used. Settling for mediocrity is not a good thing, and do you realize how much those fields are torn up season in and season out at YSI? they have to be repaired every once in a while and they haven't been upgraded since being built. The fact that you have kids using those fields and you want them to continue to use crummy fields with huge chunks missing from the middle of the fields from repeated use and limited repair, where ankles and knees are at risk is just unresponsible to be honest with you. You should want your kids to continue to have fun with an activity they enjoy instead of tiring with it from inadequate equipment or being injured and taken out of the activity that way.
Also for those of you bashing Self for speaking up about this, think of just how many states and cities he's lived in, how many rec centers and places for youth activity he has seen in all those places. For him to tell this city we have the worst facilities he's seen is rediculous and yes embarrassing.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

Get serious godot! You really think that the people behind the desk are making 10 an hour? Maybe the daytime people who are Full time or have benefits but there are plenty on staff that are just part time workers and a business isn't going to pay their working 10 an hour for such menial labor. Also do you realize that the city only promotes from it's own stuff, a magazine tells you about it really not all that expensive compared to a television ad like private gyms run. Also private gyms are spending their money on new and better top quality equipment unlike the citys facilities that has less than new things all through out every center.

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

The fields my kids have been on have been in pretty good shape actually. And you are right on the time line, between 20 and 30 years. I guess, upgrade was the wrong term. We never had this type of stuff period, and we turned out just fine. Trust me, I'd really like to have the facilities you're talking about, but some people are talking like competitive sports are the only avenue to not becoming a total miscreant. Not all kids thrive in this environment. Some find their way in music, drama, and other arts, some of this is even competitive such as forensics and debate. I'd like to see all this funded as well, but some of it just is not feasible. I am, by no means saying that Lawrence should not have excellent recreational facilities, I just have different ideas as to where they should fall in a long list of priorities. Got your alarm clock set yet???

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

Music, drama, and other arts programs are offered through the city as well and it just happens that we don't need the upgrades for these like we do with the sporting events for adults and kids. JackRipper I know your kind, only out for yourself and things that you are interested in now. Why should our kids be shafted because you feel like you are being ripped off. If you don't like how our city chooses to spend it's money to better our community than maybe you should find a community more suitable to your greedy needs. that it may fund only what you want in the community. Part of paying into a community is paying into something that you may not use but is necessary for the good of that community. Plus I'm sure that people who live here and aren't as well off as you would be happy to have another rec center where their kids can go and play and be supervised(instead of on the streets, which is where most of the kids who go to East Lawrence Center would be if it weren't there) while they are trying to bring in the little amount of money that they can. I garuntee you they aren't sitting at a computer online talking about the money they don't have like you JackRipper.

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

Au Contraire, my little green friend. Have you seen the Lawrence Community Theater building? Little dingy thing over off 15th and New Hampshire... Now there's something that could really use an upgrade, or better yet, a replacement. Again, which is a higher priority? Depends on who you talk to and where their passions lie. In my case, I'd just like to get to either YSI or LCT without parts bouncing off my car on the way there, but that's a whole other can of worms. Be nice if we could all get what we want.

pelliott 7 years, 8 months ago

thats wonderful that Self is volunteering to donate so much of his own money for the recreational needs of some of the kids and many adult softball players in town. I would like to see recycling bins for the softball teams to throw their cans in after a game. Sick of picking up their litter.

JayCat_67 7 years, 8 months ago

If a new community theater surfaces, of course it should be downtown, but yes, infrastructure should be priority number one.

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

"Posted by Leprechaunking13 (anonymous) on April 17, 2007 at 5:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Get serious godot! You really think that the people behind the desk are making 10 an hour? "

Yes, they do. It is a policy proposed by Rundle, and passed by the City Commission.

and Leprechaun king13 also wrote: "and a business isn't going to pay their working 10 an hour for such menial labor. '

Of course not. But the city does.

That is why the city has successfully run several fitness businesses out of business, and has more on the ropes. The city can pay more, advertise more, and run the programs at a deficit. The city does not have to go to the bank; it only has to raid our bank accounts.

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

There is no way the Community Theatre is going to be downtown.

The City trumped the Community Theatre when it built the theater in the Arts Center. The city did this in direct competition to LCT.

The Arts Center got matching funds from the city for its new building.

LCT is raising 100% of its money from private sources, just as it did for its current building.

PLAY went straight to the city for its desires and wants; did not even make an effort to raise private money.

PLAY sucks.

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

And it will be in West/Best Lawrence!

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

sorry, could not resist the rhyme. I am only a fan, not a representative of, LCT. My remarks are not approved, nor endorsed, by LCT. I am improvising.

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

Some citizens value theatre, and they build it and pay for it themselves, and support it through volunteer work and donations, because they treasure the experience.

Others think organized sports are important to their chosen lifestyle, and, rather than raise the money among their peers to create the outlet for their hobby, they organize to get the city to require everyone else to pay for their fun, because they think they deserve it.

NO.

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

Or Fritzel.

Or Harris.

Or Mullaly.

Or Perkins.

Or Self.

Or Mangino.

Or their serfs.

You get my drift.

ksjhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

FYI - Godot, the city does not pay it's part timers that sit behind the desk more than $10 an hour....just trust me on this.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

Godot call city hall and ask how much the people behind the desks at the rec centers make I garuntee you that they make between 6 and 7 an hour I would bet you money on it. However you are such the smart guy here so maybe we'll just go with your uninformed thinking.

Leprechaunking13 7 years, 8 months ago

Get city records and see how much money LPRD brings in for the city compared to LCT, I would be willing to bet that it's 10s of thousands more a year. Which would explain why LPRD has the higher priority. If you thespians want higher priorties within the city then bring in more money for the city it's really very simple.

mku 7 years, 8 months ago

Godot, I work at a rec center and have been for awhile now, and not one person besides the full time staff that I work with makes ten dollars an hour. Not one. It is really ridiculous that you can say these things so matter of factly when you really don't know the truth.

I just wanted to clear that up because I don't want people to have false information.

The only people that make more than ten dollars an hour at our rec centers that work behind the desks are the full time staff. To which there is a handfull compared to all the part time staff that doesn't get paid that much at all.

If you guys don't want to pay the money for a new rec center, it would be a lot cheaper to just "spruce up" the existing ones, because heaven knows that they need it.

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