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Job growth picture hazy

Candidates spin numbers in employment debate

March 28, 2007


Kinedyne Corp. employee Bourvanh Phommasane, Lawrence, sews military cargo nets Tuesday afternoon at the plant in the East Hills Business Park. Terry Albin, operations manager at Kinedyne, says the company has hired 42 new employees since the beginning of the year for its Lawrence plant. Attracting jobs to Lawrence is a major issue in the City Commission campaign.

Kinedyne Corp. employee Bourvanh Phommasane, Lawrence, sews military cargo nets Tuesday afternoon at the plant in the East Hills Business Park. Terry Albin, operations manager at Kinedyne, says the company has hired 42 new employees since the beginning of the year for its Lawrence plant. Attracting jobs to Lawrence is a major issue in the City Commission campaign.

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When it comes to whether Lawrence is doing a good job of adding jobs, City Commission campaigns have produced more numbers than a roulette.

And, at times, they've been as dizzying as a spinning wheel.

For example, there's one set of numbers that incumbents are campaigning on that show the city has gained about 1,900 jobs during the past five years. But there's another set of numbers that several challengers cite that show Lawrence has lost about 900 jobs during the past five years.

So, what gives?

At least one candidate says the incumbents have been ignoring the most important job numbers: the ones from the Kansas Department of Labor that show during the past five years a loss of 900 jobs based in Lawrence/Douglas County.

"I think a 900 net loss of jobs in this community is pretty astounding," said James Bush, one of six candidates in the race. "That data is pretty significant. I don't know how people can say during their tenure that they've added jobs to this community."

Incumbent Commissioner David Schauner counters that those numbers are flawed because they look at Douglas County as a whole, not just Lawrence.

He points to Lawrence Chamber of Commerce statistics that show about 1,900 manufacturing and prime jobs have been added to the community during the past five years. He said those numbers show the recruitment efforts the community is making. But he also said all the focus on job statistics is misguided.

"All of those numbers are generated by looking backwards," Schauner said. "In my mind, we ought to spend our time looking forward at what we can do. I can tell you that this City Commission has made a commitment to become a more meaningful participant in the marketing of this community to employers."

So, what do all the job numbers mean? Here's a quick look at the different job numbers candidates have been talking about on the campaign trail.

Chamber numbers

Schauner, Commissioner Boog Highberger and candidate Carey Maynard-Moody have been quoting a Lawrence Chamber of Commerce report from March.

The chamber stated the community's economic development work has produced almost 1,900 new jobs in the past five years.

But the chamber also said those are gross numbers, not net numbers. That means that the chamber did not account for the number of jobs that have left the community during the same five-year period.

A second part of the chamber report uses numbers from the Kansas Department of Labor that show 1,680 Lawrence/Douglas County residents - numbers for just Lawrence aren't available - gained a job from December 2005 to December 2006.

That's a growth rate of 2.68 percent, which is better than the 0.5 percent rate for the state as a whole, and is higher than Shawnee and Johnson county numbers.

Those statistics measure how many people live in Lawrence and have a job. It does not matter where the job is located. In other words, all Lawrence residents who commute to Kansas City and Topeka are included in those numbers.

For those looking for how many people in Lawrence have a job, those are good numbers. But for people who want to know how many people have jobs in Lawrence, the numbers are lacking.

Jobs in Lawrence

But the state's Department of Labor has numbers that get to that issue. A separate report measures how many people work in Lawrence and Douglas County, regardless of where they live. Bush, Rob Chestnut and Mike Dever have been pointing to these numbers in their campaigns.

Those numbers show that, from 2002 to 2006, the average number of jobs in Douglas County has decreased from 51,900 to 51,000. That's a decline of about 1.7 percent. On a year-by-year basis, the city lost jobs in three of the five years: 2002, 2005 and 2006.

During the 2002-2006 period, the number of jobs in Kansas grew by 0.4 percent. The Topeka metro area - which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, Shawnee and Wabaunsee counties - dropped by 5.4 percent. The Kansas City metro area - which includes Franklin, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami and Wyandotte counties - grew by 4.3 percent.

CNN/Money numbers

The other set of numbers that have emerged in the campaign have come from the 2005 CNN/Money Best Places to Live survey. Chestnut used data from that study in a campaign mailing that listed Lawrence's job growth at 1.56 percent, which was significantly below the rates in several other communities.

Those numbers are taken from a combination of sources, according to the CNN/Money Web site. The study used data from the Census Bureau, but also relied on a private data company to make projections for 2005 because the Census Bureau had not released 2005 data at the time of the study.

Since then, the Census has released 2005 numbers that show the Lawrence/Douglas County job growth rate was slower than CNN/Money projected. It actually ended up at 0.8 percent for the 2000 to 2005 period.


Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

LIES LIES LIES Schauner,Moody,Boog if we listen to you you lie as always.Thanks for getting this right Chad.Welcome to lawrence the answer is no does now get put on there foreheads.Stifel growth at any cost and let the tax payer foot the bill.Can you say job loss Boog,Moody,SchaunerandRundle you have done a great job in 4 years wasted millions and gained nothing YOU LOST NOT GAINED

VOTE Chestnut,Dever,Bush if you want to go foward not backwards lets keep the money in lawrence

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

Schauner,Boog and Moody all stood behind those numbers lieing to the public,the new slogan for them should be ,,,GOT JOBS,,,,lets send the three a caculator that works

VOTE Chestnut,Dever,Bush and then we can work towards getting back to a positive number in job growth,GREEN GREEN IS LOSE LOSE

dadaism 11 years, 1 month ago

The two incumbent commuters Boog and Schauner's new campaign slogan "Sleep Sound and Drive Carefully".

Looks like we could use some jobs here, 900 would get us back to zero lost. Maybe Boog and Schauner would approve of a new business locating in Lawrence if they manufactured pillows and K-tags.

roundaboutster 11 years, 1 month ago

"All of those numbers are generated by looking backwards," Schauner said. "In my mind, we ought to spend our time looking forward at what we can do.

Of course Schauner, you don't want us to look at what you've done. The numbers don't lie. During the last five years Lawrence has lost 900 job opportunities we had before you where elected. "Looking backwards", you are responsible for the poor decisions you've made as a city commissioner. You need to be voted out before you "spend our time looking forward" and cause more damage to Lawrence and it residence.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

LOGRITHMIC if I said turd they would remove my post as they should remove yours and is that all you know how to do is copy and paste like your sister merrill.Look at the facts 900 LOST JOBS

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

HAZY its crystal clear now NO GROWTH LAWRENCE

finally some one prints the truth about these yahoos

Meatwad 11 years, 1 month ago

If the election goes to those who think Lawrence needs MORE retail and MORE houses built.... watch for good companies with high wages to NOT move here because we'll have a dead ugly downtown (like Topeka and millions of other poorly planned cities), no charm, no character.

I'm voting for candidates who want to grow the right way: filling in downtown, walkable neighborhoods, bringing hi-paying jobs, not another Walgreens (it's called CVS), not another WalMart.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey Merrill can you say smart growth is no growth heres the proof 900 lost not gain lets here some more lies from your camp we will all be waiting the numbers dont lie only your group does

cognizant 11 years, 1 month ago

Merrill is MIA today.

Normally you are lead apologist for Schauner and Highberger. Has your group of handlers not told you what to write today about jobs we lost, registry of every rental in Lawrence, blocking the ability to move traffic on Iowa, and of course crime downtown.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

BLUE you are correct they being the chamber were told to by Schauner and boog now they have been caught in there lies and its back fired 900 lost jobs not 1680 as Schauner,Boog,and Moody were standing behind,SMART GROWTH IS NO GROWTH heres your sign

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

LOGRITHMIC took my meds dosnt change the fact that your camp lied about jobs 900 LOST JOBS will not VOTE for people that lie and deceive the good people of lawrence

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

LOOK WHO IS LIARS print what you wish 900 lost JOBS is crystal clear of who is a liar and who is trying to bully there smart growth no growth crapola down our throats

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

just the facts jack hope you have a great day backing up liars ,,you must be a salesmen

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Plenty of entry level jobs at $6/hr,plenty of fast foods and retailers,few which advance employees to fine careers. Lawrence advanced alright---to mediocre, with the loss of some major employers(E&E,Davol,Honeywell...).Just those three total over 900 but there were more companies. And the 'living wage ' they tout threw out Eagle with entry level jobs which started at less than $9.00 but quickly ramped up to $14-$16; which should have been a consideration. No wonder our kids graduate and leave,who wants to work as customer service with a BA degree. It is not about wanting Lawrence to become an industrial giant but it is about Balance.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

fizzle fizzell logrithmic you have issues please take meds before plane ride,,,900 LOST JOBS,, CHANT THAT ON YOUR PLANE RIDE

blessed3x 11 years, 1 month ago

Even if the correct answer is 1900 jobs gained, that is STILL pathetic over a 5-year period for a town the size of Lawrence. Better change things fast.

Unix_Admin 11 years, 1 month ago

It seems ridiculous to me that this is what you are all fighting about. Am I missing something, or do the commissioners REALLY have that much effect on job loss/growth in this city? Some of these companies that have failed like E&E, did so because of an inability to compete with overseas companies prices. This is the problem we are facing not only in Lawrence, but around the entire country. To blame the job losses on the commissioners seems a bit silly.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

While some of you who do not live in Lawrence are busy slamming people you must think your Chamber lady Comm. Hack is doing a terrible job yet vote her back. Hack has been around longer than Boog and Schauner and was brought in with a majority of Chambercrats such as Marty Kennedy,Erv Hodges and Jim Henry who began saying Lawrence is unfriendly to business under a Chamber majority. American Eagle left town under their watch for a better real estate deal and an existing warehouse in Ottawa. Yep left town under the watch of Hack,Kennedy,Henry and Hodges a controlling chamber majority. Lawrence was to expensive to do business under their watch.


The postcard Chestnut put out is a great source of misinformation it has been concluded which means he is not being as honest as he could be. Three of the cities he compares Lawrence with such as Norman,Ok, Shawnee,Ks and Olathe are nothing like Lawrence. They have become part of bigger cities such as Kansas City,and Oklahoma,City no longer cities standing on their own. Some of those job growth numbers taken from CNN Money Magazine, it has been analyzed, were not that good for those communities.

When you think of the data presented by the LJW, the Real Estate/development industry from 1987 to 2001 concentrated on building a Lawrence bedroom community for those working elsewhere instead of balancing out our growth with more light industrial thus providing job sources. If I remember correctly E&E closed down due to tax abatement expiration. Honeywell was bought out by Allied perhaps and buyouts typically produce lay offs or relocating the business elsewhere.

The housing industry went into a nationwide slump so that began to slow things down considerably in 2006 for Lawrence....too many eggs in the housing basket. The fact is 4 years cannot make up for 16 years of focusing on housing instead of jobs for the existing population. As a result 12,000-15,000 commuters spend retail dollars elsewhere and Lawrence Retail and Housing are now overbulit. ===============================

bluerose 11 years, 1 month ago

as if three people are going to make a difference in the "economy".

ha ha ha ha

lunacydetector 11 years, 1 month ago

i wonder if the chamber report was done by the policy research institute since some of their hierchy were 'progressive' supporters during the past election?

perhaps our 'progressive' dictatorship can name some recent bigtime employers that came about during the past 5 years. they need to name some names and be open about it.

cowboy 11 years, 1 month ago

time to face facts , those labeled right wingers here are in fact liberals , those slinging the label are in fact socialists. Time to get the loons out of office. The are in major denial of the results of thier programs , policies , and leadership.

not to mention not a one of them can be honest about anything financial , i.e. cost of growth , job numbers.

Drain the wash water and quickly !

Meatwad 11 years, 1 month ago

Everyone needs to think about this. WHO benefits from unbridled sprawling growth and ever more new building of houses and retail stores? Real estate industry and construction workers (notice who the Pipefitters Union are endorsing? Of course they are. If I were a installer of plumbing into new buildings, I'd want unbridled growth myself. It wouldn't be my problem if downtown dies, heck I'd be right there there to get rich building new malls and minimalls all over the place. I could care less if our downtown was a ghost town like most other cities.) People who move here and want to turn us into Olathe make me sick. You moved here because you liked Lawrence and now you want to ruin it. Go live in Olathe if that's what you want and leave us alone please.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago


Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

The LJW did not conclude that Dever,Bush, and Chestnut were in any way correct in their assertions. The Chamber has put out some rosy numbers for Lawrence progress over the last years in question. Are they lying to sell Lawrence? Don't think so.

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago

I don't believe in low job growth, because people clearly still have jobs. How can there be none if people have them?

Thats_messed_up 11 years, 1 month ago

Oh my God Merrill's back. Save yourself some brain cells and time--don't read any of his comments. Get'em 458casul!


jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

The statistics in the article are unclear, as there is no specific information about Lawrence's job losses.

We have had some gross gains which don't include losses.

Douglas County as a whole has lost an "average" of 900 jobs, whatever that may mean.

At least read the article correctly - I'd say it's hard to know what it means. We may have had an overall loss, or may have had a gain. It's certainly not clear from this article.

And, of course, it's important to consider what kinds of jobs are being gained or lost.

cowboy 11 years, 1 month ago

reality , how do you make your living ? The only thing that generates dollars for your time spent is businesses that make a profit. They either pay your wages , buy your services , or pay taxes to pay your government salary. If you take a number pulled out of the air like , 30% of Lawrence residents are highly educated and capable of holding a better job than they possess today as accurate , then I would think we should want a city approach that can make the environment conducive to that. We are a long ways away from conducive !

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

Why exactly aren't there clear numbers about Lawrence's losses from the Chamber?

Those who are anti the current commission should remember that the Chamber is typically pro-business growth, and would be happier with the BCD candidates than the incumbents.

If they can provide clear numbers about gains, they should be able to provide the same about losses.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 1 month ago

More service jobs. Woo Hoo. That's all we'll get. "hi, can I help you".

Jamesaust 11 years, 1 month ago

logrithmic - oh to be young and developmentally challenged.

If only somone would "build more houses that won't sell." Then, the law of supply and demand would kick in and drive down prices. If this went on for several years, prices might fall to around THE STATE AVERAGE, thus solving a key problem for Lawrence: no one, especially young families, can afford to buy a house here (but can drive 30 minutes away and buy for 50% less - even if they have one, or two!, of these fabled jobs outside of the community).

You're just like George Bush - where he confuses what's good for him with what's good for the country, you confuse what's good for you with what's good for Lawrence.

Porter 11 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, jafs, for being the only person on this forum who even bothered to read the article.

I ask the rest of you to read the article again (slowly) and remember that our city commission should get credit for the job growth in the city that the chamber mentions. The article also clearly states that the job loss is for the entire COUNTY.

Please. Work on your reading comprehension and let me know if you need help sounding out any of the big words.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence can support jobs that will sustain our community and take us into the future which is how Green Collar Industries make a perfect fit. Polluting industries cost taxpayers money when the polluter walks away and/or files bankruptcy which no community can afford.

Other important Issues: Streets and Sidewalks New or Improved Library Cost of Community Services High Property Taxes *Light Industrial Employment

*Cost of doing business in Lawrence is up to those few real estate families who control Lawrence that set the pace for rent,buildable lots and inflationary buying practices thus high property taxes. All of which is certainly not friendly or attractive to new business. This situation is contributing to existing small business struggles.

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 16 years of rule by the "unwise growth at any expense team" aka real estate,banking and building executives aka "Growth Machine" 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.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

More new jobs is but one yet gigantly important source of new economic growth. In order that new jobs produce the desired effect they must be accompanied with great salary packages.

Over built residential takes up space for the new and high demand employment of the green collar industry. 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.

Green Collar Industry: *



Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

Livable cities Sunday, 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

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, read this:

"Three commissioners -- Highberger, Mike Rundle and David Schauner -- indicated they favored some form of the "but for" clause. Commissioners asked city staffers to research how other cities have handled the issue.

"If we're forgoing that much public money, I want to make sure we're doing it for a good reason," Commissioner Boog Highberger said at a Wednesday morning study session."

American Eagle Outfitters then added on: American Eagle Outfitters is preparing to double the size of its distribution center in Ottawa and add 300 jobs in five years. The company confirmed in late March that it would spend at least $55 million to add 540,000 square feet to the existing center at 1301 Davis Ave., bringing the complex's total size to about 1 million square feet. American Eagle plans to have the project completed in about a year."

That is not just jobs but money to the city.

FreetoBe47 11 years, 1 month ago

To Jonas, Logrithmic, Merrill, and Porter,

Repeat after me: step away from the bong, step away from the bong! This is what happens when you are not living in reality and understand what is really happening around you. Just the fact that we lost an employer like Eagle to a town the size of Ottawa lets me know the three amigos are not the right people that we need on our city commission! It is time for a shake up and quick!!!!

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

Boog and Schauner were not in office when the American Eagle deal was messed up by the Chamber controlled City and Planning Commissions.

Commissioner Hack may have been a sitting commissioner at that time. I'll need to research that when I have time.

================================== Job growth Thursday, March 22, 2007

To the editor:

Misinformation blossoms like spring dandelions during election season. Unfortunately, once erroneous ideas take hold, they become very hard to uproot. Let me try.

In recent letters, Deb Passig and Dwayne Peaslee have both suggested that the current City Commission has stymied job growth, among other alleged failings. Some commission candidates have been making the same assertion.

The fact is exactly the opposite. According to the city's partner in economic development efforts, jobs in Lawrence have grown steadily over the last four years when compared to the years immediately preceding them. Let me quote from an article in the most recent (March 2007) Chamber Newsletter, titled, "And the Progress Continues": "The Kansas Department of Labor indicates even stronger economic development performance for the community during 2006. Civilian job growth in Douglas County/ Lawrence has outstripped Topeka, Kansas City, Johnson County and the state's employment growth rate."

Let's review: According to the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, under the current City Commission, job growth has shown steady and strong progress and produced a better performance in 2006 than even our famously pro-growth Johnson County neighbors.

Can we agree to pluck this "unfriendly-to-employers" weed and decide the election on the basis of real issues?

David Dunfield,



Response from a KU prof. regarding Chestnut post card:

The implication is that Lawrence's job growth rate is below that of a few other cities, thus we are performing poorly.

What a simple analysis of that type leaves out is the pace of growth of the population and the workforce. A 1.7% growth rate in jobs is bad if your population is growing significantly faster. It is good if your population is growing at or below this rate. I checked the numbers on the cities listed in Chestnut's card. Some enjoy job growth in excess of population growth, and some do not. Thus, the comparison is meaningless.

The hard part is getting the word out that Chestnut's card is the truth but well short of the full truth. Only the full truth leads to good policy; half-truths lead to bad policy.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

MERRILL 900 JOBS LOST FROM THE LIARS YOU SUPPORT.So that makes you as bad as them.GREEN THAT UP AND SMOKE IT.SCHAUNER,BOOG,MOODY ALL LIARS in the same camp and you and your buddies sit around doing the secret hand shake.The facts are simple 900 JOBS LOST and your people lied lied lied and lied

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago

FreeToBe47: C'mon, if I put the bong down, my posts wouldn't be anywhere near as entertaining for myself!

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

glad to see you like the fact that they lost 900 jobs to other towns.And you wont benefit with clowns like this in office

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

Schauner and Boog sleep all the way to topeka and sleep all the way home from work. There part of the 902 jobs that left lawrence and schauners the biggest SPRAWLER in his FoxFire subdivison.902 JOBS LOST

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

We need a new "but clause" for Lawrence of our own.

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago



mkdavis 11 years, 1 month ago

I was born in Lawrence 24 years ago, the son of a commuter. I was blessed with a solid Lawrence public education, graduated college, and have joined the population of Lawrence commuters myself. Unfortunately the city I love has doubled in size but not opportunity. I currently work for a company that loves to call KC home because of the resources here, we are surrounded by great college institutions that feed business with bright young minds at a lower than national market rate. So Lawrence being so close to, and even housing terrific higher learning institutions cannot attract firms even with cheap real estate? I recently moved back to Lawrence from Seattle and by cheap real estate I am comparing to other markets, Seattle specifically. I think it is time for the dinosaurs that have turned their noses up to companies like AE, and stunted positive growth for Lawrence to step aside. We need new, creative leadership, they may not be right but at least they will be fresh. At this point they can't really do any worse than we currently are doing.

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

458, please read the article.

There is NO specific information about net gains/losses in Lawrence.

The 900 number you mention is an "average in Douglas County" figure.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 1 month ago

Dever and Chestnut don't have a leg to stand on. The SLC has been great on creating jobs in Lawrence. Spangles and Quick Trip opened under SLC leadership. Those are the future industries we want for our grandchildren.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

ITS 902 889 WHO CARES ITS NOT POSITIVE ITS NEGITIVE and who lied Schauner,Boog,Moody that a fact. jafs can you say liars three times real fast

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago


The current commission is an anomaly - almost all previous commissions were pro-development and growth.

The candidates favored by the real estate groups wouldn't be "new, creative" leadership, but a return to the same policies of the previous commissions.

Comparing real estate prices to Seattle and calling them cheap is a staggeringly odd statement. Seattle is one of the highest priced markets in the country.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

jafs once again your group lied for political gain and all involved should be FIRED and set aside with the trash 902 JOBS LOST FACT

rhd99 11 years, 1 month ago

jafs, there is no proof suggesting strong job growth either. Some say "read the article". It's time people, especially those who have lived in Lawrence at least 10 years, get beyond paper articles & do some rational thinking about patterns that have developed & hold politicians accountable. I have lived here almost 18 years, & so far prices out paced wages. Boog & Schauner have been a burden on this community, without providing good policies to attract new & HIGHER paying jobs. Have there been jobs created in Lawrence in 2005 & '06? Yes. High paying jobs? Are you kidding me? Under Schauner & BOOG there has been no proof that their PLC smart growth policy has helped Lawrence, unless you talk about developmental neighborhoods with so called traffic calming devices, which are a load of >>>>. Has it hurt Lawrence? I'll bet you it has, while housing & rental prices & rates are off the charts. For this reason, these two ambulance chasers have got to go.

opinion 11 years, 1 month ago

Job reports can sometimes (most of the time?) be misleading. Job growth/loss within a particular company can occur without any community influence. I.E. XYZ Inc may decide to expand it's existing Lawrence operation and it may not have a thing to do with the policy of the city. Conversely, the opposite may occur. Politicians will always use the numbers to their advantage whether or not they had a thing to do with them.

I would like to see if there is anyway we can determine what NEW organizations/companies chose Lawrence BECAUSE of the efforts of the city and on the flip side, how many companies left or did not choose Lawrence because of the city. Obviously, we can't determine those that never considered Lawrence because of our real or perceived reputation but were we on a short list for a company and then they chose elsewhere because of city policies.

I think that would be a better indicator of how effective the city commissioners and chamber has been.

Janet Lowther 11 years, 1 month ago

Declining jobs in Lawrence doesn't surprise me at all.

Since the '70s the City has been pretty uniformly opposed to industrial development. Yes, there have been a few industrial jobs created since the '70s, but not enough to compensate for the jobs lost.

Lawrence has been plagued by an attitude which might be expressed as: "We're a college town. We don't get our hands dirty."

The various so-called "pro-development" commissions have mostly been "pro-bedroom community builder" commissions.

You know, I don't think we really need much in the way of incentives to create jobs.

What we need to do is remove the powerful DIS-incentives for creating jobs.

Back when Kansas City was a "wide open town" in the Pendergast era, it was a world class city, fully competitive with Chicago and was growing and creating jobs at an astounding pace even while the rest of the country was having a depression. The Depression just did not happen in Kansas City. Since the advent of "good government" the disincentives have pushed KC down into the second or even third tier of cities.

With all the things Lawrence has going for it, think of what might happen if even a few of the disincentives to job creation were streamlined or eliminated: Consider the Zoning and Planning process. It is of such a Byzantine complexity, few can navigate it without lawyers, and any change to the status quo is fought tooth and nail.

rhd99 11 years, 1 month ago

Then, opinion, why are prices higher than wages? It's the economy, & the market that determine such issues, but politicians whether you like or not have a hand in it. These two ambulance chaser like any other politician will be held to account! They did nothing to help Lawrence grow.

Unix_Admin 11 years, 1 month ago

458casul - please take your Zoloft today.

Porter 11 years, 1 month ago

For the 1000th time, 458casul, it's 900 jobs lost in the COUNTY. Not the city.

With the reading comprehension skills on display today, it's no wonder people are having a hard time finding a good job.

Can someone here please explain how Highberger, Schauner, and Rundle had anything to do with American Eagle, Sprint, or E&E? I've yet to hear HOW they pushed these companies away.

opinion 11 years, 1 month ago


"I've yet to hear HOW they pushed these companies away."

I guesss they used the opposite methods they used to "help bring in 1800 jobs in 2005 and 2006" that Mr. Schauner is trying to claim credit for in his ads. Can you explain how he helped bring in those jobs?

rhd99 11 years, 1 month ago

Folks, the jobs came here, alright. You know what my problem is? My problem is that people worship the grounds these two guys walk because they say jobs have been created. Big Whoop! You know what they say? It's all in the numbers. Numbers as in what kind, you ask? Salaries & wages, prices for housing & monthly rental unit rates. You know what, under these two ambulance chasers, prices have outpaced wages & salaries, DESPITE the fact that jobs were created under their tenures. You don't like that fact, then I suggest you read the fine print that goes beyond what LJW prints in stories like this. I know I have. The fine print is ugly! So is the prospect of these two lawyers winning yet again, because people believe EVERYTHING local city government leaders tell them. That blind faith is unhealthy if Lawrence wants to move ahead.

Porter 11 years, 1 month ago

opinion- I'm of the opinion that they have little to do with job attraction/deflection. I'm just sick and tired of hearing how they pushed away a bunch of companies that left before the PLC even took office.

opinion 11 years, 1 month ago


I agree somewhat. Their (any commish) impact is not as great as they try to lead us to believe when things go good and not as damaging as opponents try to point out when things go bad. I do believe they can sometimes "tip" companies one way or another.

hawklet21 11 years, 1 month ago

I was interested in these comments until 458's horrific grammar and spelling turned me away. Thanks.

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Who's screaming? I'm ROTFLOL!

The LJW (Jan.22,2004) issue finds LCC is inaccurate a lot not just here. The jobs they tout, number 300 -far fewer than the ones lost. Note, " The chamber doesn't report on the net gain or loss of basic jobs. " Honeywell in 2003 had 500(actual) employees but they lumped it with E&E who had 175(actual) employees and the box factory(?). There are 700 jobs lost in these two alone. High paying jobs and real entry level pay (not $6 fast food and retail).

Serological Corp keeps getting an optimistic view from Highberger and Shauner but in the April 26,2006 issue of LJW you can see why that won't happen. Must be the higher salaries were more desirable ($40hr & up for bio majors).

Addition of companies helps to put money in the General Fund so property owners don't have to make up for losses in higher taxes. You can only let streets and infrastructure go so long before they must have repairs. Perhaps you've noticed.

People are smart enough to change the backing of people they put their faith in. Just watch. Chestnut, Dever and Bush may well be the next commission.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

Let us be reminded that real estate is high dollar for this part of the country and Seattle is a very large city for which living expenses do cost an arm and a leg however salaries there are for the most part adjusted accordingly. Lawrence is a low wage community which is not attractive to many. Lawrence does not have large waterways,snow packed mountains and rainforest parks so we must keep apples with apples.

One more thing it is the real estate community that raises the cost of living in Lawrence,Kansas not city commissioners. They control cost of ground,downtown rents and housing all at a comfortable margin of profit. It is the commissioners that must budget for the additional cost of community services created by the housing that which the real estate community built.

Probaly IF Lawrence offered higher wages across the board there would be fewer commuters who then would spend more money in Lawrence. If gas prices keep going up Lawrence will likely lose more folks as some will decide to move closer to employment. Since when were college towns ever an inexpensive place to live not that they have to be.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago


The deptment of labor say that in the past two years one thousand jobs left douglas county

lawrence makes up 86.2 percent of that population. in simple terms 862 JOBS LEFT LAWRENCE The rest were in douglas county

1800 jobs were not created a thousand were lost thats the DEPARTMENT OF LABOR stats

So Schauner,Boog,Moody I will bet your going to call them liars.As you have lied to the people of lawrence and played shuffle the cards and we will cheat

So there it is not from me but THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

WHAT ELSE will they lie about ,well read MERRILLS AND LOGRITHMICS POST talk about more lies they are being told what to say by there camp leaders as you can see they have nothing to say about the ISSUE at hand,Schauner,Boog,Moody have lied about jobs in lawrence you have my proof prove otherwise.Schauners big add in the paper today says they created 1800 new jobs and as you can see that is a LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE

mkdavis 11 years, 1 month ago

I think that it would be safe to say that comparing Seattle to Lawrence is comparing apples vs. oranges. The idea behind the statement is that real estate prices in Seattle are far higher than here in the Midwest and as Merrill stated wages are higher, so would it not make sense for a business to operate here? Lower real estate prices, lower wages, and great resources close by. I don't think anyone would complain about real estate prices if there were places for people to earn a good living wage. I own a house here and don't mind paying to live in a wonderful college town I would never expect anyone to make it cheap, just help foster opportunity. Again I think that we have a lot of leaders who are very complacent and not interested in progressive thinking to attract business. These leaders are who I refer to as dinosaurs; instead of addressing an issue head on they dance around hoping they can just hang on until retirement and leave the whole mess behind.

Logarithmic, you are exactly right we do not have a homegrown multi billion dollar corporation anywhere near here. If it were me I would not hold my breath as long as we stay anti growth and send our best and brightest to Kansas City, Chicago, Seattle, and beyond. It is called a brain drain and most 3rd world countries deal with the same issue they expend their resources educating their best and brightest only to have them leave for America.

Jace 11 years, 1 month ago

Well, now, there's always a big box store opening open somewhere....right?

Thank God for them 8 and 9 dollar an hour part-time (with no benefits) jobs!!!

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

Jace maybe you can get one of those hemp jobs Moody is going to bring not much pay but alot of high times

cognizant 11 years, 1 month ago

Schauner and Highberger have for weeks campaigned stating they helped bring 1800 jobs to Lawrence in 2005 and 2006. See Schauner's display ad in today's paper, page 4B.

The Kansas Department of Labor statistic's show an average decrease of 700 jobs in 2005 and an average decrease of 300 jobs in 2006 for a total of 1000 non-farm jobs lost.

Lawrence provides the overwhelming majority of jobs in Douglas County. Can you Highberger and Schauner's apologist explain this discrepancy of 2800 jobs and where outside of Lawrence in Douglas County these jobs where lost.

Get your best political spinners on this.

Vote these two bunglers out April 3rd

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

yes I can they doubled the chambers numbers instead of taking one number on the report they took two bigger for more political gain as you can see no gain at all just loss as all involved are losers.Maybe at the forum tonight they will have ugly tatoos that have a big L ON THERE FORE HEADS that stands for loser

News_to_me 11 years, 1 month ago

All of this talk makes my head spin. I think there are enough accusations of lying to go around. It's called politics and it usually doesn't involve much in the way of truth. Usually just spin and spend.

I've never had such a difficult time deciding how to vote. On the one hand you have the new folks who can make charges and promises with relative impunity and, on the other, the incumbents who have the target of their record on their backs for all to take potshots at.

Big time politics comes to Lawrence and it's not a pretty sight. Guess I'll vote my gut because, as far as the issues go, they've muddied the water pretty good.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

hawk they must be in the 86.2 percet and mk works in lawrence and kc

lakings1 11 years, 1 month ago

The job market around Lawrence for entry-level and early career workers is terrible. As an out of work twenty-something with two degrees and over a year of good experience I was hoping to find a job that would make staying in Lawrence worthwhile. I love the town and stayed on after I graduated because of that. However, the best starting wage that I've found has been $11.50 an hour. That's a 40 percent cut from what I've made previously (in Lawrence, I'll admit). (Del Monte is an exception, but why bother with an education if the best paying job is manual labor).

Take a look at the classifieds on any given day and you'll find that the majority of job ads are for positions that require more than two years of experience or start at $8.50 or $9.50 an hour.

I managed to save only $100 a month when I was making $8.50 an hour and living very cost-consciously. That's with no car and a studio apartment that is very inexpensive by Lawrence standards. I don't know how people with families would make ends meet on wages like that.

Many of the people I've met that are my age are either in heavy debt, working two jobs, or looking elsewhere for employment. The largest number have simply left town for better jobs or commute to KC or Topeka.

I haven't lost all hope yet, but the end of my apartment lease is coming up and the grass looks a lot greener in KC or Chicago because I don't see things getting any better in Lawrence.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

THEY SAY 1800 IN 2 YEARS if that wernt a lie it is pathetic to say the least it should be a thousand a month for our size and the KU people pushing jobs but with there record say no to all smart growth no growth idiots

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

LAKING1 your right these no ball people have ruined lawrence to the point of no longer maybe you can get a job with schauner making his cocktails or making sure boogs bong is full or work in moodys hemp factory

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

still not the issue a thousnd jobs LOST these people you support are liars liars so dont give them anything

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Sorry to disagree logrithmic, but some like lakings have several degrees [grin], are not contractors and are not in debt. Try,Try again.

But I might add that as the housing slowdown has started there are going to be some unemployment numbers going up------just not in my entire family,cousins,seniors, aunts and uncles.

Some people just don't understand the reasons for the issues. I do this for my city,born,raised,buried generations and like before - Lawrence will rise again,she needs help to do it. Let's keep it off the personnel ---you'll have a better chance that way.

zimmerman 11 years, 1 month ago

I wonder why the article failed to point out that the entire country has been going through an economic recession? If the job growth has slowed at all, there's a good chance it has more to do with that than anything else.

As far as the numbers being inconsistent I think what we really need to be looking at is the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (which is still pretty low), and the AVERAGE INCOME (which is not that great). The fact that these numbers have been left out of the article seems pretty silly.
If most people who live here have a job then what we should really be working on is bringing in more high paying jobs, right??? I don't see how anyone could argue against trying to bring in jobs that pay more (this is what smart growth means). If we bring in jobs that pay less, and then the businesses with the lower paying jobs actually put current businesses into bankruptcy then we end up with the same amount of jobs with lower wages.
This is what happens when we have a city commission that says "yes" to every business that wants to develop here. I realize that saying "no" every once and a while hurts the small but rich development crowd and that's why they're pushing so hard for Dever, Bush, and Chestnut, but come on guys, you're really hurting the town with all the overdevelopment. I know you probably don't think you are, but you are. All of this muddying up of very simple concepts is really getting annoying to me. Thanks again to the Journal World for confusing people instead of informing them.

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Over developed in houses ---a couple (that's 2) of good companies to balance would help. I think most of those homes will probably sit empty for another year.

Who do you think issued the permits for all that construction? Answer: The City of Lawrence.

zimmerman 11 years, 1 month ago

Actually we're overdeveloped in business too. If you look at the census data, you'll see that the amount of retail development is growing faster than the amount of actual retail dollars generated. This means that the same amount of shopping happens while the money generated by that shopping is spread out among more businesses. So the local businesses that don't go bankrupt have to either pay their employees less or take a pay cut themselve just to make ends meet.

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Retail equates to low wage jobs too unlike the manufacturing sector. So why so many? Show me one retail besides Home Depot that starts above $6. Then if they raise the sales tax people lose even more of those kinds of wages unless they commute or worse move.

lunacydetector 11 years, 1 month ago

i've lived here over 40 years and i support and encourage lawrence to grow.

why can't lawrence offer tax abatements to industry to locate here without some weirdo living wage requirement?

look at it this way: vacant land in industrial parks are property taxed as agricultural - except for government owned land which generates zero property taxes, agricultural land is the lowest property tax generating classification possible. if some big outfit wants to put in a plant on some vacant farmland and wants a tax abatement, the jobs created and the employees' spending on goods will far exceed any taxes generated on the original vacant agricultural land.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

What is the growth rate of jobs in Lawrence?

The Kansas Department of Labor provides several estimates of the size of labor force and the number of jobs. These numbers are not reported at the city level. They are reported for metropolitan areas; Douglas County is the Lawrence Metropolitan Area.

The number of jobs in Douglas County is growing at 0.7 percent per year from 2000 through 2005. This figure counts only non-farm jobs but excludes the self-employed,

The claim is made that jobs have been lost. This is correct if one picks a peak year in the past (e.g.: 2001) and compares it to a recent trough year (e.g.: 2006, which is only partially reported to date). However, the trend over time is for the number of jobs to grow.

How does the growth in jobs compare to the growth in population?

The job growth rate at 0.7 percent per year is equal to or greater than the population growth rate (0.4 to 0.6 percent).

While the job growth rate is low, it compares favorably with the population growth rate. If jobs grow faster than population, then the community must import labor.

A note of caution must be taken as the population growth rates are subject to some error and the count of jobs is subject of definitional problems.  For example, the count of jobs does not include self-employed persons, federal employees, and a list of other occupations.

How do wages in Lawrence compare to wages elsewhere?

Wages in Lawrence are low, $28,450 in 2005.

Average annual wages in Lawrence are 84 percent of the statewide average ($33,844).

Average annual wages in Lawrence are 70 percent of the average for the Kansas part of the Kansas City metropolitan area ($40,698).

After inflation, Lawrence wages are growing at 0.4 percent per year, but this is below the 0.6 percent per year statewide.

Is Lawrence becoming a commuter city?

The percentage of workers in Lawrence who commute out-of-county to work is 22 percent, well below the national average of 27 percent and on a par with the state at 23 percent.

This percentage is rising over time indicating that Lawrence is losing its advantage as workers increasingly choose to commute.


The job growth rate is adequate as it meets, even exceeds, the population growth rate.

Wages are low.  While workers are enjoying real growth in wages (wages are rising faster than inflation), their wages are far below those of other areas.

This wage penalty reduces the attractiveness of Lawrence as workers can get a raise by living elsewhere or by commuting outside of the area.

Economic development should focus on the real problem, low wages, not job growth rates.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

THEY SAY 1800 JOBS were created doesnt matter how you spin it ITS A LIE. 1000 jobs were lost in the past two years they created nothing and they lie for political gain

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

But the burning question, 458, is whether their pants are on fire.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

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

JohnBrown 11 years, 1 month ago

It's obvious that the current commissioners are not only to blame for the crash in the sub-prime mortgage market, and the resultant decline in new housing construction- nationwide, but they are also to blame for the 5-year drought the mid-west has suffered and the low water levels of the Missouri River at KC --- not to mention global warming.

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

458's obvious reading and arithmetic deficiencies are frightening, as well as his/her tendency to scream the same idiotic statements over and over again.

1800 jobs created is a figure from the Chamber of Commerce that doesn't include losses.

If candidates refer to that figure, they are not lying.

A certain number of jobs has been lost in Douglas County - how many have been lost in Lawrence? Until we have that number, we cannot know what we're talking about here.

To assume that the jobs lost reflect the percentage of the population in Lawrence - ie. 86.2 percent population=86.2 percent job loss - is by no means accurate.

Why would anyone want to form a strong opinion without knowing the facts??

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago


Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

JAFS your kidding and he smoked pot but didnt inhale they said it printed it and put it on the air ways 1800 JOBS CREATED AND ALL THE SMART PEOPLE THEY HAVE ON THERE SIDE ,,,,,,,SO IT STILL STICKS 1000 JOBS LOST REPEAT AFTER ME 1000 JOOOOOOOOOBS LOOOOOST

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago


This is a very serious question, and deserves your very special insight to clear up.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

heck yes and dont put the fire out 2 less in the run for office

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

JAFS back away from the pipe,here it is one more time for the people that ride the short bus

1.1000 jobs lost douglas county

3.86.2 percent of the population in douglas county is in lawrence

4.thats 862 jobs just in lawrence gone

5.Schaunner says 1800 created

6.Boog says 1800 created gain at all just loss

8.that means someone has to pay

  1. Make Boog,Schauner,and Rundle pay they screwed it up and lied

10.Smart growth,retard growth,doent pay so make them pay for the millions wasted do you get it or do you need translator for the blind and deaf

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

That's all well and good, 458, but what about their PANTS?

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

fire dept kept them for a study that they say could cost 5 million to find out what the deposits are that were left behind

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

You could do that a lot cheaper, 458-- after all, you're clearly an expert on "deposits" judging by the endless trail you've left on this forum.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago


Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

The real estate development industry is giving heavily to Chestnut, Dever and Bush and not giving to Schauner, Highberger and Maynard-Moody.

The real estate contributors include:

Parties suing the City over the Wal-Mart development at 6th and Wakarusa.

Parties who have development plans that will go before the City Commission in the near future.

Political Action Committees for the realtors and varous building contractors.

The contributions have pushed Chestnut and Dever to the top in terms of most dollars raised. Their contributions tend to be large thus, the percentage of contributions from the real estate industry is larger than the percent of contributions.

The UNPLANNED growth machine is working hard to buy this election. Let's get enough votes to protect our city from excessive development. We want planned growth, not developer driven growth.

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

458, I will try once again to educate you.

The number mentioned by the candidates you hate were numbers given by the Chamber of Commerce as jobs created that didn't include jobs lost.

Assuming that because Lawrence has a certain percentage of the population in Douglas County that the jobs lost here are the same percentage is simply an assumption.

I'd like to see a clear accounting of the net job gain/loss in Lawrence, and your repeated SHOUTING of nonsense doesn't count.

For the record, I don't smoke pot, drink a glass of wine very occassionally, and do no other recreational drugs. Can you say the same?

I fear we are seeing the results of the decline in public education in your posts.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

jafs you are not seeing the truth. the numbers used by boog and schauner are showing employed people in douglas county. they are NOT working in douglas county. the dept of labors factual numbers show a average for the last 5yrs of 900 jobs in dougals county have diappeared. in just the last 2yrs 1000 jobs are gone. LOST JOBS are not the same as employed people.

boog and schauner have taken credit for a job increase in Lawrence of 1800 jobs during the last 5yrs, not true not ture at all. just more commuters with jobs working in topeka and kansa city. LIERS LIERS LIERS

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

The 1800 figure you mention is one given by the Chamber of Commerce as representing jobs added in Lawrence - it does not include jobs lost (I wonder why not).

If candidates refer to that number, they are not lying. It is, of course, an incomplete statement.

One more time on the mathematics of the situation:

If there have been 1000 jobs lost in Douglas County, we don't know how many have been lost in Lawrence. To assume that since Lawrence has 86.2% of the population that the job losses are equivalent may or may not be true.

To use another example, if there have been 1000 new houses sold in Douglas County, does that mean that Lawrence has sold 86.2% of them?

Or, if there have been 1000 rapes in DC, Lawrence has had 86.2% of them?

Why do we not have access to a clear net job gain/loss number? That would be the only solid information on which to build an opinion.

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

As for averages, they also do not give clear information.

For example, if the average salary of my wife and I is $50,000, that gives little information as to each of our salaries.

0 + 100,000 10,000 + 90,000 20,000 + 80,000 30,000 + 70,000

etc. will all average to $50,000.

I suppose one could say that the lowest salary would have to be zero, and the highest $100,000. Unless one of us had debt that was brought into the equation.

That's why we need a clear net figure for Lawrence.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

jafs the dept of labor numbers are for douglas county, lawrence is in douglas county. the chambers numbers show people who have jobs and live in douglas county it is not poeple with jobs who work in douglas county.

FACT: since highberger and schauner have been in office 900 jobs in lawrence/douglas county are gone, fanished, now more people are commuting to other places to work. thats not the way its supposed to be. lawrence/dg co should be arracting jobs not losing jobs.....

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

highberger and schauner have been city commissioners for years, they should they have known the facts about jobs before opening their mouths. This a good example of incompetents mixing and matching facts and figures to fill their own agenda:: Stopping all growth at no expense.

VOTE THEM OUT so they can spend more time in Topeka at their jobs.

Let's have it their way and make it 902 jobs lost during the last 5yrs.

Godot 11 years, 1 month ago

"Posted by logrithmic (anonymous) on March 28, 2007 at 5:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

lakings 1:

First, it's clear you like it here: "I love the town."

Second, you realize that in Lawrence, the only high wage jobs are associated with the University (I wonder if Bill Self worries about our city's low wage market?), entrepreneurial (Brian Kubota anyone?), or related to real estate and construction (Bo Harris, Doug Compton etc., etc.)."

Poor logrithmic does not even have the basic knowledge of how business is done to realize that Bo Harris and Doug Compton do not even earn a "salary." They make money. They pay other peoples' salaries.

What the entrepreneurs actually earn does not even register on the "average salary" scale, the same way that what the university profs and athletics people earn does not. Sure they earn a salary from KU; their big money comes from consulting, outside business interests, endorsements, fellowships, you name it.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago




KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Go ahead vote for them Cool. Some of us remember our 10 percent property increases in July of 2003.

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