Archive for Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Athletic outrage

December 10, 2008


To the editor:

I am writing to express my outrage at USD 497’s plan to build competitive athletic facilities at Lawrence High School. The area around LHS will simply not support any more usage than it already has. There is not enough parking for LHS and Kansas University students during the day. There is not enough parking for KU basketball at night.

And there certainly will not be enough parking for LHS football games. Why should the neighborhood become a parking lot for LHS fans and families who don’t live in the neighborhood?

The money from the 2005 bond issue was slated to be used for educational purposes, not practice fields or competitive sports venues. Unfortunately, some people want something for nothing. They want a first-class football field for the kids to play on but are unwilling to float the bonds to pay for it.

They are happy to cram a football stadium and baseball field with 90-foot lights down someone else’s throat. They don’t seem to care that money marked specifically for education is being used to pay for an outgoing bureaucrat’s monument to himself. No one seems to care that laws are being broken in order to do an end run around a proper public discussion and referendum. This is not just one neighborhood’s problem; it is a citywide problem. Where is the outrage?

Roger Ricondo,


jmadison 9 years, 6 months ago

Sadly our school board is deceptive in any bond issue it presents to the electorate for a vote. Expect them to come back to the voters for more bond issues for "education" as defined by them.

jayhawkbarrister 9 years, 6 months ago

If they built a 90 foot high building with the same footprint with classrooms, bio and chemical labs, a film/video/tv studio, a computer center, a theater and art studio instead of athletic fields, would you still be outraged?

frank mcguinness 9 years, 6 months ago

jayhawkbarrister... That 90 foot building would only be in use during normal school hours and would actually offer an educational benefit. As a former LHS football player I firmly believe the stadium will be horrible for the surrounding neighborhood. Poor plan.

BigAl 9 years, 6 months ago

Something should have been done years ago. The lack of facilities for these 6A high schools is the outrage.

LTownBaby 9 years, 6 months ago

Roger, look on the bright side, you won't have to worry about the horrible parking at Haskell now if you want to go to a Lawrence High Football game. You can just walk your unhappy a$$ on over!

skinny 9 years, 6 months ago

You should have considered all this before you moved into the area of LHS and KU!!They both will continue to expand whether you like it or not.

mom_of_three 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't see the negative impact on the area if when the facilities are built, anymore than the high school is already negatively impacting the neighborhood with parking problems. God forbid anyone in the neighborhood actually enjoys high school athletics.

dagger 9 years, 6 months ago

Your right I dont care. I am so excited that LHS will finally have football and baseball fields on site like every other school. Not to mention all the other fantastic upgrades to what has already been there. Students deserve to have the fields and not have to be shipped to haskell to play or go to holcolm to practice on a field. I hope they get them all done before your whineing stops them somehow.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

A three story Vo-Tech building would be a nice neighbor on the virtual school property. Think about providing tools to those who cannot or do not want to do college without the expensive hassle of driving. $14-$20 million could have provided a nice facility....Providing students with knowledge on other ways to make money without a college degree.And teaching positions as icing on the cake.Bring this idea up and there is never money. Yet suddenly there is money available for this project.

maxcrabb 9 years, 6 months ago

Can we just do something to LHS to make it resemble the sports complex of FSH? @Jayhawkbarrister: If they did that, I would find some loophole to go back to high school just to work in that building. That sounds awesome! Why aren't you on the school board?

The_riot_is 9 years, 6 months ago

Will the restroom building be built adjacent to Sven's back yard?Everything does run down hill.

CNA_Resident 9 years, 6 months ago

Just so everyone knows - there will be a public meeting of the Centennial Neighborhood Association ~tonight~ in the Lawrence High School Library at 6:45 p.m. We hope a lot of folks show up to this meeting.Our questions aren't over the issue, but with the process. 1. Why weren't all Centennial Neighborhood residents given the opportunity to vote on this issue ~before~ the CNA Steering Committee took action on behalf of the entire neighborhood? There wasn't even a quorum, let alone a majority of votes by the households described in the lawsuit.2. Why were there no printed, distributed flyers or newsletters in the months and/or weeks leading up to the decision to involve the Association in a lawsuit explaining what the issues were, and what the CNA was being asked to do?3. Was there a conflict of interest in having a CNA steering committee member attend whatever discussions were held about this issue ... and did she benefit directly from having the Association declare itself a litigant?4. Who authorized the spending of Association dues - dues that have been collected ostensibly for many years, and for the specific use of printing costs - to allocate to a lawsuit??5. Why were meetings held in the last few months of the CNA Steering Committee - with caveats to keep these meetings from being publicized?6. Why did the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods indicate they were not made aware that the Centennial Neighborhood Association was going to ~be~ a litigant in this lawsuit?These and more questions should be posed tonight to this committee. Please consider attending the meeting, regardless of whatever view you may have of the manner in which the CNA has behaved regarding due process.

thanksforcoming 9 years, 6 months ago

Parking. Your reason to not benefit kids is parking. Nice.

The_riot_is 9 years, 6 months ago

If I was LHS I wouldn't let the CNA use the building for their meetings anymore.But I guess that this just means that LHS is the better neighbor.

d_prowess 9 years, 6 months ago

The thing that leaves a bad taste in my mouth about this whole thing is the claims of misused funds are coming from a neighborhood association. The inclusion of these few(?) CNA members makes is seem like they just don't want the fields by their homes and are looking for anything they can find to prevent them. The funding issue ended up being their best shot. And I don't mean to indicate that they are wrong about the funding (I don't know about that), but just their use of the issue seems inappropriate since that is probably not the REAL reason they are fighting it (e.g. parking, crowds, you know the normal stuff that come with living blocks from a high school and Big 12 university).

d_prowess 9 years, 6 months ago

For some perspective, can someone tell us how many homes are in the Centenial Neighborhood (not the association) and how many of those homes are dues paying members of the CNA? I guess I am just trying to get some perspective on the CNA and their scope.

TacoBob 9 years, 6 months ago

So is the LTE writer's gripe about spending funds supposedly earmarked for education on the LHS site only? Or for the Freestate site as well?Only LHS is mentioned, so the real point is about the lights, traffic, etc., not the why mention it.....

CNA_Resident 9 years, 6 months ago

Wow. For everyone's information, the CNA is a ~neighborhood~ association, not a homeowner's association. The neighborhood encompasses 630-some odd households, not including the apartment buildings bookending its borders along 19th Street. It's charter specifically states that membership is not restricted by whether anyone pays dues - but whether your property resides within the boundaries described by the charter laid out before the City, the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, and the minutes and meetings of the CNA itself.It also includes businesses along 23rd Street, between Massachusetts and Naismith. And ~all~ of its meetings are open to the public.Wow, Ariadne. You have frosted my cookies on your latest stunts to interpret what the C.N.A. is, bucko.

CNA_Resident 9 years, 6 months ago

Ariadne. Try (sigh) to read before you start running off with the keyboard. The Centennial Neighborhood Association is ~obligated~ to notify, to inform, and to obtain the consent of at least a quorum of its constituents - the more than 600 households comprising the Neighborhood Association - prior to filing a ~lawsuit~ in which it claims to geographically encompass (and represent!!) all of those households.What part of that do you not understand?

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 6 months ago

Roger Ricondo says..."The money from the 2005 bond issue was slated to be used for educational purposes, not practice fields or competitive sports venues."The LTE writer and some others in this thread do not know the legitimate uses of bond monies. Being used in this manner means that they are part of the capital outlay, so there are a number of expense items that you might consider "educational purposes" that these funds could not be used for. seem to have an agenda and are willing to exploit any angle to get the desired results. They also seem to care little of the rest of the public interest in the matter. NIMBYs. Fortunately, they really do not have any recourse and the plan will continue despite their protests.

Lawrenceisverycrooked 9 years, 6 months ago

OMG!! The city commisioners do things every day that makes no sense except to the few that pad their pocket. Nobody writes in about that but god forbid they do something right for a change, the whiners come out of the woodwork. This has been needed for 30 years and its about time. It doesnt matter where they build it. There will always be a small liberal tree hugging group that doesnt like it. You know what. If you dont like it in your neighborhood then freaking move.

WWoftheW 9 years, 6 months ago

crooked;The neighborhood has been working for years to protect the neighborhood from rental blight and you tell them to leave if they don't like the school building far to much in far to small an area.Just answer this - what if someone did something similar in your neighborhood? Would you fight to protect your home and probably your largest investment?

WWoftheW 9 years, 6 months ago

If the owners leave then renters move in. The improvements need to help the neighborhood not hurt it. Would you buy a house on Alabama if the owner moved?

WWoftheW 9 years, 6 months ago

Not so greek;Would you buy a house 75 feet from a football stadium?

d_prowess 9 years, 6 months ago

So given the info from CNA resident, you don't need to pay to be part of the CNA, just live in the designated area. Given that, what is the homeowners association that Ariadne is talking about and saying that dues have been collected? Where did that money go and under what pretense was it collected?Also, if it is true that the CNA needs "consent of at least a quorum of its constituents... to file a lawsuit," did they do that? And if not, what legal recourse does a member of the neighborhood against the people that filed the lawsuit?I guess what I am getting at here is that there seems to be a lot of information that is being debated. Therefore it would be nice if the LJW ran a story on these aspects of the case to clear it up once and for all!

WWoftheW 9 years, 6 months ago

You didn't answer the questions. I don't live in Centennial.Try answering and not just name calling.Would you buy a house 75 feet from a football stadium wall?

Shelley Bock 9 years, 6 months ago

At this time, I'm extremely tired of hearing complaints, accusations, personal attacks and proverbial "verbal hand grenade" that I've previously referred to in other comments.Here's what I'd like commentators to do:1. Assume the necessity of immediately building new fields for high school sports. (I suppose you may not believe that is warranted. If that is the case then tell us all why. Don't just say, "it sucks", but tell us why.)2. Given that such had to be done quickly, what would you build and where would you build it. I won't rule out existing fields, but realistically deal with the ownership issues, access issues, infrastructure issues and ability to take action quickly. If your plan is for a "sports complex" then where? 3. Given that your plan costs more than 2 cents, explain how it would be funded. This is a topic far more complex than I could imagine, so I'm not wanting a "book", but realistic information. If you indicate private donors, let us all know who they are. 4. Finally, knowing that Lawrence is a community where divergence of opinion is the thing that unites us, how would you propose that your plan be accepted by the community? What would be your campaign, publicity plan? Of course, this all assumes that you've even got to this stage by having a willingness to support a building project. If you're "not one cent more for athletics", then please tell us why you think that way.I'm not interested in attacking anyone, I would just like to hear ideas and determine what people would and would not support. Single lined invectives, pro or con, will not be appreciated. But, I guess it is all anonymous anyway, so fire away, Gridley!

WWoftheW 9 years, 6 months ago

One problem is the way the school board has sold this.Instead of looking at the land near Free State as school land which it is, they sold the idea it as Free State land, which it isn't. There by making it look as if Free State got all this stuff then LHS would become a second rate school because they did not have the same stuff.Topeka and Johnson County several school share fields. Why not here especially when the economy is so down.

TacoBob 9 years, 6 months ago

So what happened at the CNA meeting last night???I want my drama fix - now!

mom_of_three 9 years, 6 months ago

The Topeka schools share the field at Hummer, but I believe also have smaller fields at their own schools, because not everyone can play at hummer at the same time. Olathe shares a nice athletic facility, but the schools have their own facilities to practice, and to probably play games if needed. Wouldn't necessarily be the same scheduling conflicts in Lawrence as only two schools, but there isn't too many places to put it. Even if that were to happen, LHS would still need a practice football field and track, with bleachers, for track meets. There still would be some lights, and some noise, and oh yes, the band would practice there in the late summer and fall. Did any of the neighbors complain when the LHS band was marching outside in September after 8:00 at night, using car headlights to light up the the field? (and that was two nights a week for several weeks.)

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 6 months ago

Because school district administrators are idiots. They whine that they never have enough money, and look at this. It is your tax dollars that are being wasted constantly. One facility is enough and it should be built st Free State. I am not sure that the time is right to do it either. We are in a deep recession you know. Thank you, Lynn

TacoBob 9 years, 6 months ago

Sooo......why has then been no report from last night's meeting? Everything else gets trumpted here so how about some facts? Cool had to be there, right?Seriously, can someone provide some detail?

justtired 9 years, 6 months ago

pretty convenient--since Weseman is retiring and won't have to deal with the issue

TopJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

You're all welcome to come play your games at the Sports Facility in Topeka. A "well thought out" facility that has a footballl stadium, a soccer stadium, and a baseball and two softball diamonds. Also a natitorium. It's beutiful it is waiting for you, and it is HERE.We've already taken your sunflower games, many of your state tournament games, and championship games. Might as well just play your regular season games here too. Even KU's soccer team has played games in Topeka when your fields with all the poor drainage were unplayable, our composite fields were just fine.

BigAl 9 years, 6 months ago

Topjayhawk is making an excellent point. Build these things NOW. There will always be people standing in the way of progress.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 6 months ago

ariadne, stop emailing your drivel to me.

TacoBob 9 years, 6 months ago

Why is no one providing details from the CNA meeting......there had to be poster here that attended.....

TacoBob 9 years, 6 months ago

NSG, that's what I'm thinking. Information and 'commentary' was flowing freely for a while. And CNA_Resident invited any and all to the meeting. So what happened, or is it a secret? Maybe there is going to a surge.....

TacoBob 9 years, 6 months ago

Hmmmn, how does that concrete structure stay warm? Been many years since I have been inside. There was the funky addtion at the south end later on, never saw it finished. At least the pool is long gone. The first step should be fixing the retaining wall...

mom_of_three 9 years, 6 months ago

So ariadne is being a pest to many people - maybe that would be enough to get his access revoked....

ihatelv 9 years, 6 months ago

Welcome to Lawrence, Roger.... That's why I no longer live there......

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 6 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle Be cool now. Have a popsicle & relax. I'm so old I can't eat them anymore. They freeze up my denture glue. Good for me I am just naturally cool. I'm sorry but this is the most boring forum I have ever tried to read though, well this and the Mormon Bible. Lawrence is growing in population. Try to stay in the present. The old high school is so dingy, yuck. Sports is very important and I am aware of the old saw that says you can't be smart and athletic. Well, you can. Kids who have sports are focused, have self-discipline, do better all around. Do I have proof of this? You betcha! My granddaughter who is graduating KU in four years, in economics, has been accepted in the masters program in Urban Planning at UMKC and will be going to London in the spring. militant (Anonymous) says…What these kids need is a gun range. We don't want them to end up like Topeka, just shooting wildly and wasting ammo.I love this! LOL. Remember the Simpson episode where the kids go to the military school and the instructors says he assumes they are already proficient in small arms.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 6 months ago

It's kind of fun to watch Sven box himself in and blow a valve.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 6 months ago

Ariadne: "26 plaintiffs and that's a fact"No, that's once again a lie. Show me a pleading with those 26 names as parties to the action. You can't. You won't. It doesn't exist. It will never exist. Please stop your continual lie-telling on this forum.I am not a client of Schneider or Collister, so they have no reason to tell me anything. Or don't you know how attorney-client privledge works? Oh, I guess you have learned a little.You learned that you are not their client either. Being neither a 'real' plaintiff, or a 'real' member of the C N A.

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 5 months ago

Donnuts, what you need with ice milk bars is rum. Seriously, you get bars and you get some rum. Then you throw away the bars and drink the rum.Two men were in a bar drinking whiskey. One, looking sad, said to his companion, "the bottle is half empty". The other smiled and said, "no, my friend, it is half full." So you can choose to see your Jack as half empty or half full. It's up to you.

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