Letters to the Editor

Ignoring issues

August 14, 2007


To the editor:

I thought the Planning Commission hearing on a second Lawrence Wal-Mart was a travesty, but the City Commission topped it. The general sentiment expressed by the public was 7 to 1 against the proposal, yet it passed.

All those who spoke against the project did a good job of addressing the range of reasons not to proceed. One resident presented specific citations from Horizon 2020 and other official city planning documents, pointing out where the Wal-Mart plan does not comply. There was a detailed set of concerns about traffic problems left out of the city/Kansas Department of Transportation analysis, or misrepresented by it.

Expert testimony illustrated the overdevelopment of retail space compared with growth of retail demand (as measured four different ways), and the resultant negative impact of such an imbalance on the well-being of the community. References to the generally low-quality jobs Wal-Mart typically provides were made, along with information about public costs created because the giant retailer's employee health plan is so inadequate. Grassroots Action presented a scientifically conducted survey showing that residents of Lawrence oppose a second Wal-Mart for the city by a margin of 2 to 1, and calling for a public referendum to settle the issue.

Out of all this material, with the exception of Commissioner Boog Highberger, our governing body apparently ignored all but the traffic issues. They didn't even ask a question, despite the very grave implications presented for the future of our community!

Lawrence should demand better of its leadership.

Dennis Constance,



gabbo 10 years, 10 months ago


If you are two drunk to overruse commas and not understandstiate the meening of words in context, please refrain from posting until morning.



kansas778 10 years, 10 months ago

Well, if it's true that nobody in Lawrence wants a second Wal-Mart, then where are these traffic problems supposed to come from?

monkeyhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Bowhunter- I took a scientific poll last night. I called a random number of people and asked if they wanted to continue to stall the SLT completion. Not only did I not get the 7-1 ratio, it was a resounding and unanimous NO. That should absolutely be the next item for consideration by our newly elected commission.

spywell: "The left had their shot at it, and blew it, showing their stupidity in every aspect of their endevers. Now, the left in Lawrence is finished. They don't have enough voters to scurmish a majority because their too enthalled in spiting green puke and substainability BS, that nobody else understands them accept for the left."

Very profound, spywell. But, maybe there were a lot of voters who really did get it and felt there were a lot more important issues than light bulbs and dada.

It still disturbs me that a person who ran our city for so long was not capable of balancing his own personal budget.

monkeywrench1969 10 years, 10 months ago

The statistics always sound really nice but the secret is out, statistics can be manipulated, plus how can anyone in this town take any of these protestors seriously they are against everything progressive except the "T" which puts out a steady flow of pollution and has the least amount of accountability of any program in Lawrence (isn't this what they all want for everyone but their pet projects).

I worked at Walmart while going through KU at one point. They treated me well even though I was part time. You need to know they are not skilled jobs, meaning you can't get CEO wages out of the shoot. I was offered stock options if I wanted though. There were others who had worked their since their freshman year and were doing very well and worked up to management positions, paying their way.

packrat 10 years, 10 months ago

spywell -- shh! You are giving away the secret plan.

imastinker 10 years, 10 months ago

The drivers of the T drive everywhere by themselves. Even if they have three or four riders, those big buses probably put out 3-4 times the pollution of a small car.

monkeywrench1969 10 years, 10 months ago


Well lets get to statistics again, statistically the "T" form of public transportation puts out more pollution per person on it than my one vehicle going from home to work then work to home every day. My vehicle is parked for 9+ hours and may have between one and four occupants per trip to work, store or school(about the average for the larger "T" bus". The difference is they are constantly running all day long (at least until 8pm). Bus running all day+ more polution than my vehicle driving 60 (added to and from work and some errands-THought I would put that out there to be accountable). Also a bus puts out more volume of exhaust and how many of these buses are cruisinge around town.

Now lets visit the Handicap and elderly issue your brought up. THose people are typically transported by the mini buses and are in some cases specialized personal trips for one person to one place and then a return trip. How many of those trips are one person rides. They do a great service for this catagory of people in Lawrence, but it is a personal, city run taxi service.

How could we be more effective with the "T" service...use the same routes, but use the mini buses much like the system you see in Vegas. They might fill them up and it would be more cost effective. You might even be able to expand the hours to late night and reduce the number of drunk drivers around town at bar close.

As far as accountability, you don't understand city government. Inorder for a city government to run the social and public transportation systems they have to make more money than estimated to continue the programs otherwise they get cut or serives are reduced. In a corperation it is considered a profit but usually the CEOs get the cash here it equates to services and infrastructure to make the city run. The other problem with the city gov is the profits are needed to take care of the unbudgeted needs of the city in times of crisis like road repairs and other needs required to deliver the basis services.

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 10 months ago

Hello, hello...did anyone notice this is an LTE about Wal-Mart? Not the T....

monkeywrench1969 10 years, 10 months ago


Sorry, both subjects were discussed that night and the lines have been blurred. Yeah same goes for Walmart they rock

thusspokezarathustra 10 years, 10 months ago

Why does everyone keep referencing this "scientific survey" from Grassroots Action when no margin of error was ever listed (& probably never calculated). Regardless of the flaws inherent in random phone surveys, this one involved a very low percentage of the population. The more people polled the lower the margin of error & with only a few hundred polled the margin of error could easily be 10% or more which of course calls the "overwhelming majority" conclusion into question.
The petition presented by Grassroots Action only had 300-400 signatures, you'd think they'd have been able to get far more signatures if an "overwhelming majority" actually existed.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

I forgot that Constance was once a commissioner. Now I am painfully aware that during his tenure he had no idea of how representative government works.

thusspokezarathustra 10 years, 10 months ago


The vitriol you've spewed doesn't smell like roses, nothing like complaining about it before heaping on more of the same.

Yabut 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't like Walmart, and I certainly don't think Lawrence needs a second one. But what most of you fail to understand is that the city commission was not asked to evaluate whether or not Lawrence needed another Walmart (and they have a word for that -- COMMUNISM), but rather whether the applicant met the zoning and site requirements. If they do, then the city must approve them. To say Walmart can't build but Lowes can simply because of the name of the business is illegal.

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