Letters to the Editor

Livable cities

March 25, 2007


To the editor:

In this election we should be paying more attention to Bill Gates.

I want a Lawrence that attracts the clean, green, high-tech businesses that savvy investors are increasingly deciding will shape economic growth over the balance of this century. When those businesses decide where they are going to locate, a bottom-line consideration is the quality of the available work force.

This point was emphasized by Gates. When asked by Washington state legislators how states can attract more jobs he said, "The (high tech) industries that I think about most ... are far more sensitive to the quality of talent in the area than they are to tax policies."

Here's the rub: The high-skilled "quality talent" Gates refers to are people who have options about where to live. They want livable cities with good schools, parks and green spaces, and cultural and recreational choices. They want cities with character. They want Lawrence, not Olathe.

This City Commission election provides us with a clear choice. On the one hand, candidates whose shortsighted vision will take Lawrence further down a path that leads to urban sprawl and decreased quality of life. On the other hand, candidates who want to continue the progress the current City Commission majority has made in the past few years toward an increasingly livable city, one where high-tech businesses want to come because the talent also wants to live here.

Gary Brunk, Lawrence


Michael Capra 10 years, 8 months ago

Well Gary thats nice but name one high tech company the three amigos have brought to lawrence in 4 years.Oh I forgot Qwik Trip high tech pumps

VOTE Dever,Chestnut,Bush

KsTwister 10 years, 8 months ago

Sorry Gary, I am not happy with the "green" ideology. To me it just means golf course-paid with our tax dollars. We've had enough,don't tell me what the future will bring after years of not much. Anything will be an improvement.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 8 months ago

Boog,Rundle and Schauner have been trying to fix a few things in order that someday our property taxes may see only a consistent 3%-4% increase which will take a little more time. Trying to unravel what preceded them with 20 years of rule by the "unwise growth at any expense team" aka real estate,banking and building executives cannot take place over night. Readers please think about this at the polls. Since so much special interest money is being pumped into this campaign it leaves me no choice but to vote for Carey,Boog and Schauner. Washington D.C. is a perfect example of what Lawrence politics should not become.

There has never been an economic no growth commissioner ever however there have been many over the years who favored the real estate home building industry over a slower moderate balanced approach. The result was higher taxes/fees across the board and high dollar real estate in general. No one could make up in 3-4years the damage created by 15 years of run amok government. Considering the conflicts of interest already established by high dollar campaign dollars from the real estate/development industry Dever,Chestnut and Bush WOULD NOT be the best choices. Their green thinking comes by way of special interest dollars.

VOTE VOTE VOTE for NO conflicts of interest: Carey Maynard Moody Dennis "Boog" Highberger David Schauner


Why do we not like sprawl? It's expensive Increases the Cost of Community Services tremendously thus brings on tax increases It's not necessary for supporting a community Organic Farming is a booming business *Over built residential takes up space for green collar employment centers. New Jobs = NEW economic growth

Green Collar industry = white and blue collar employment. Thus Lawrence carpenters,painters,plumbers and electricians will still be in demand for this big money and booming new industry.

Green Collar employment should address several issues than are of concern locally.




Lawrence could use jobs that will sustain our community and take us into the future. Dever has stated many times that Lawrence cannot afford to say NO to anyone. I disgaree as polluting industries cost taxpayers money as the polluter walks away and/or files bankruptcy. Local tax dollars pick up the tab.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

We should let Bill Gates, the richest and possibly the most corrupt businessman on planet earth, tell the common people of Lawrence how to live? Now that is funny.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 8 months ago

Olathe may have more jobs, but have you driven through there lately? There is no town center, just sprawl. I work with people who live there. They don't speak to their neighbors or have a real connection to the community. Lawrence is not the small city it once was, but there are community events that you can go to and see people you know. You can easily get involved with city government. Neighborhood associations allow you to get to know your neighbors, not dictate what trees you can plant in your yard, like they do in Olathe and other places. (Although, I don't know if the housing deveopments out west have these weird covenants.) I feel more a part of the community than I did, even in the small town I originally came from. And don't get me started on the diversity of cultural events that one can attend. Lawrence has more interesting things to do than watch TV.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

I work with people who live in Olathe and they love it. They have no interest in sticking their noses into everyone else's business. They have full lives with their kids and their friends and think that I am crazy for living in Lawrence among the pot heads, hippies, tweakers who put their foot in a bucket on their front porch, a guy who wastes decades of his life with a Honk For Hemp sign, and the homeless panhandlers.

Can we get real for just a second? They have better schools, better libraries, better parks, a higher tax base, and better jobs. Believe me they have no envy of Lawrencians. Most of their houses were built recently and as a result don't have near the lead paint, radon gas, mold, outdated electrical, and asbestos problems we have here, not to mention the cost per square foot is less there.

I stayed in Lawrence because I am comfortable here and most of my friends are here. But I am unwilling to self delude myself into ignoring Lawrence shortcoming or discounting Olathe's advantages.

bisky1 10 years, 8 months ago

sigmund bill gates is corrupt- he must not have shared enough of his money with you. ya got any evidence? bitterness is so disappointing. some people should just shutup.

Jamesaust 10 years, 8 months ago

"I work with people who live in Olathe and they love it. They have no interest in sticking their noses into everyone else's business."

Really? This Kinzer creep REPRESENTS Olathe. He seems to have a boundless interest in other's business. Domestic registry. Gun regulation. Immigration. Abortion. Kindergarten "obscenity."


Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Microsoft's legal and ethical difficulties during and after Bill Gates reign are not really a secret, and given the Gates Foundations recent snubbing of ethical investing, it is hard to imagine the local left wing loonies would cite Bill Gates as their moral compass.

"In a statement on its website, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic body with $35bn in assets, ruled out screening companies in which it invested based on factors such as their environmental record or lending policies."

"The comments followed a series of articles in the Los Angeles Times highlighting potential contradictions between the Foundation's philanthropic giving and the practices of some of the companies in which it invests, including environmental pollution, usurious lending and the sale of medicines at high prices." http://www.ft.com/cms/s/c546eaf6-a26a-11db-a187-0000779e2340.html

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

I don't know or work with Mr. Kinzer and as such my comments reflect my experiences. It seems to me to base one opinion Olathe based solely on someone neither of us knows.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps Lawrence should do as Bill Gates does, rule out screening companies in which it invested based on factors such as their environmental record or lending policies? It was an idiotic letter to the editor and someone needed to point it out the inherent contradiction of its logic and hypocrisy of the authors position.

imastinker 10 years, 8 months ago

Companies like that don't pay the bills.

Companies like that are very easy to move from one location to another - and Indian an Chinese workers are much mreo grateful for the job than their american couterparts. Get some manufacturing jobs - those pay the bills.

Michael Capra 10 years, 8 months ago

MERRILL your post look like your crying always the same thing over and over.They have got meds for that.What are you going to do after the election,, suicide

budwhysir 10 years, 8 months ago

What I like is the fact that this has gone from a debate on towns to a debate on companies. Once again overlooking the overall debate that free enterprise is attracted to towns with a free flowing imagination.

However, if we create toll roads leading from lawrence to the towns outside our city limits, we can monoplize and collect revenues from other towns.

This will shift the focus from having to support companies to being able to make money from the tax payers and individuals that live on town

person184 10 years, 8 months ago

Would love to know why, RT, a Lawrence-basher...comes to Lawrence so much and reads this fricking paper so much.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps we should allow free entrance to Lawrence but have to pay to leave?

bisky1 10 years, 8 months ago

that makes em ethically challenged? still sounds like your mad because you didn't get your check

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

I don't get checks from Microsoft because they electronically credit my brokerage accounts.

While I mentioned Olathe's better schools, better libraries, better parks, higher tax base, and better jobs, I forgot to mention Olathe has a higher standard of living, higher incomes, and more choices when it comes to shopping for "Whole Foods" and organic free-range, fair trade, Brussels sprouts.

And while I mentioned most of their houses were built recently and as a result don't have near the lead paint, radon gas, mold, outdated electrical, and asbestos problems as Lawrence, and that the cost per square foot is less than Lawrence, I neglected to add they have no envy or jealousy about Lawrence.

Ok, well I did mention that last one but thought it worth repeating. But perhaps the one thing they have that Merrill will envy is they have better roads and more roundabouts which they can afford because they haven't wasted their budget on consultants.

sourpuss 10 years, 8 months ago

I think it is funny that people fight about who is better, Lawrence or Olathe. It doesn't matter at all. People live "full lives" everywhere. Some people like more homogeneity, others like lots of diversity, but ultimately, you live where you are comfortable and that is that. Personally, I don't like new architecture and I think Olathe is horribly ugly. Lawrence, on the other hand, is contentious and poorly managed.

I mean, neither is a world-class place to live. No subways, no theatres, no nightlife, no culture. Everywhere has its fun points, but this discussion is like two kids on a playground arguing about who is better when there are professional athletes out there that are actually good at what they do.

A piece of advice though, if you like Olathe, perhaps you should move there because Lawrencians will always fight you and they have a right to keep their town the way they want it. I wouldn't move to Olathe and ask them to put up with a Honk for Hemp guy. Geez, back into your corners already.

warthog 10 years, 8 months ago

Maybe everyone should move out... burn Lawrence down, and start over. Look what a slam bang job they did the first time.

I can't seriously believe there's a Bill Gates/Lawrence connection or that anyone would find offense because Bill Gates doesn't give away his money to appropriate causes. I just wish he's give away free software... that would be philanthropic.

altarego 10 years, 8 months ago

Listen to Bill Gates!!! Brilliant idea!!!

Bill Gates is the most successful organized crime boss in the history of the world. Althoughg etting free software from Microsoft is akin to getting the clap at a frat party rather than a whorehouse. But thats a whole nother topic.

But I may be given to hyperbole.

altarego 10 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if the "talent" would put up with a downtown without a Hooters.

jafs 10 years, 8 months ago

I think it's quite important to know where vast amounts of money are going/not going in our society. If Mr. Gates is choosing not to screen recipients of his foundation, that means something to me.

It certainly indicates that any discussion of "green" by Mr. Gates is rhetorical at best, and hypocritical at worst.

Meatwad 10 years, 8 months ago

Please move to your beloved Olathe, Sigmund. There is nothing wrong with Olathe (for those who like it) but Olathe is NOT Lawrence and Lawrence doesn't want to be Olathe, so instead of trying to change Lawrence, just move. Please.

I could definitely do without the multitude of bums begging for money, helping to ruin downtown, but to make Lawrence into a sprawling ugly boring metropolis like Olathe WOULD ruin the whole city.

Good letter Gary!

We know Boog, Schauner, CMM are anti-sprawl (not anti-growth). I'm not so sure Dever isn't though. He seems in favor of a lot of the same things the others stand for and seems to favor 'fill in' growth and traditional neighborhood design. Anyone know?

Michael Capra 10 years, 8 months ago

Mad Mike tell all the good people how smart growth works there

blackwalnut 10 years, 8 months ago

In the area west of Harvard & Wakarusa, signs are disappearing that support Highberger, Schauner and Maynard-Moody.

Real great people, those supporters of the developers' candidates.


altarego 10 years, 8 months ago

The Sign Wars.

Democracy in its true form.

Or maybe kids messing around? Nah.

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