Letters to the Editor

SLT smog

July 16, 2008


To the editor:

Mike Hoeflich's plea for civility (Journal-World, July 10) is timely. Commissioner Jere McElhaney, with whom I often disagree, recently mentioned an ancestor of his had been the first Native American accepted into the Texas Rangers. "There's a good reason so many Indians are offended by Tonto," I responded sarcastically. Those Rangers illegally "cleansed" the Lone Star State of treaty-protected tribes.

Jere shrugged off that insult. Soon we discovered common ground in his Cherokee relatives' wartime service and my own combat experience. The space dividing us has shrunk. Our presumptions about the other's motives mellow with knowledge of how we each perceive things vital to our visions of this community's future.

Hoeflich is "quite troubled by one local radio host who : seems incapable of even basic civility" when talking local politics. The commentator claims environmental attorneys are "getting rich" off Indians he insinuates are too stupid (his favorite insult) to realize they're being exploited. He tells listeners the wetlands are just abandoned farmland Baker University flooded with water. Too many believe him.

As oil skyrockets, so does the SLT bottom line. Both Obama and McCain pledge to end earmarks and reverse the Bush administration's abysmal environmental record. Ozone ("smog") restrictions will stiffen no matter who wins the White House. Douglas County would already exceed EPA ozone limits, impacting our local economy, if Bush hadn't politicized the science. Hoeflich would rightly seek details from any commission candidate who wants to "finish" the SLT. How would they have us pay for this environmentally indefensible truck-filled smogway?

Mike Caron,


Confrontation 9 years, 9 months ago

Smog is one thing, but I suggest that we discuss reducing Smug in Lawrence. That's the bigger concern.

jafs 9 years, 9 months ago

If Lawrence timed the lights on major streets, I think that would help reduce the pollution from stalled and stop-and-go traffic quite a bit.

Confrontation 9 years, 9 months ago

Stan: Kyle, what's going on? Kyle Broflovski: My dad says he can't live here anymore. Stan: Mr. Broflovski, please! Kyle's my best friend! Gerald Broflovski: I'm sorry, Stan, but unfortunately you live in a small-minded town filled with ignorant boobs.

Trobs 9 years, 9 months ago

Oh god! The smug clouds are combining with George Clooney's acceptence speech!

fu7il3 9 years, 9 months ago

Most of the traffic that would be on the SLT is currently sitting on 23rd street at a stoplight idling, getting far worse gas mileage, giving of far more emissions for far greater a length of time than it would be at the SLT.Thus, the SLT is good for the air, and good for saving oil. Save a tree. Built the SLT.

HW 9 years, 9 months ago

northtown (Anonymous) says: Land is owned by Baker University,was a successful farmland,They Baker built the mudhole.Ruined good farmland,something you complain about for other things??It is alright for the trucks and cars,etc to drive thru town??Build the SLT,move traffic out of town.This town has a problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!Town,not a city!!!!!!!!Could you define "city" and "town" for us. After looking at the dictionary definitions, I would still call Lawrence a city.

jonas 9 years, 9 months ago

This LTE read about the same as the story I wrote about getting caught shoplifting, in which I used a metaphor of a deer falling off a cliff. Thing is, I wrote that story in Middle School. What's the excuse here?

not_dolph 9 years, 9 months ago

spidersvencool - yesterday, you said you were removing yourself from the LJW blogs...did you lie to us...again?

Trobs 9 years, 9 months ago

The lights are on a timer, does that count? Nothing worse then getting stuck at a light on 23rd during rush hour with no cross traffic coming through the light.

fu7il3 9 years, 9 months ago

The problem is exactly what you stated. People are so concerned about having their own car. An empty bus is a waste of money, whether it is going on K10 or in the city.As soon as people rode the bus enough to cut down on traffic, some will start driving again because of the light traffic. We are too impatient in this area to wait on a bus or to schedule our lives around its schedule.

yankeelady 9 years, 9 months ago

Considering how much traffic has increased and the fact that the city streets can't handle it all anymore, something needs to happen soon. The stop and go traffic and backups on 31st street now during peak times are far worse than traffic moving through would generate. It's past time, build it.

yankeelady 9 years, 9 months ago

If it goes south of the Wakarusa (which would be fine with me) then you would lose the wetlands. the developers would figure out a way to buy them up and pave them over in no time. With a 31st street route, there is already a plan for remediation that could end up with more wetlands than we have now. It is obvious something needs to be done. Soon

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

The local commentator should research history. The effort to create farmland out of the Wakarusa wetlands was a failed experiment many times over. Why? Because that is a lowest point in our area which is why water runs to that point perpetually. That is why it is a natural wetlands.How much is a wetlands worth to taxpayers?http://www.sierraclub.org/wetlands/factsheets/value.asp

Phil Minkin 9 years, 9 months ago

Building a road like this to reduce traffic is like building a bar to cut down on public drinking. You just attract more drunks. I have heard former KC Mayor Cleaver say that 435 was one of the worst things to happen to KC.by encouraging sprawl and damaging the city's core.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 9 months ago

Worth repeating:"15 July 2008 at 9:09 a.m.spiderman (Anonymous) says: ...i am withdrawing from the forum and have sent an email to LJW regarding the same kind of complaints about certan forum members often referred to as 'wingnuts' or the 'witches haven' or other names."Guess we know how long that lasted. ;)

kmat 9 years, 9 months ago

fu7il3 - I commented about mass transit between Lawrence and KC. So many of the posters on here are bitchin' because they get caught up in the commuter traffic. You want to reduce the amount of commuters heading towards K-10, then we need more mass transit into KC. Simple solutions, but everyone is more concerned about having their own danged car all the time. How high will gas have to get before people wise up and realize mass transit is the only solution. People in the USA are so greedy when it comes to their cars.Yankeelady - the wetlands can only be turned into commercial property if the zoning allows it. And someone commented they've driven past other wetlands by highways that are doing ok. Did ya see a lot of wildlife in them? Some plants can handle the water and air polution that having a highway nearby will bring, but the wildlife is what's lacking. And you can check out the EPA website for "factual" information regarding this subject. The fact that you've seen what you think are healthy wetlands means nothing. http://www.epa.gov/wetlands/

Terry Jacobsen 9 years, 9 months ago

I see bumper stickers that say "save the wetlands." I understand that if they build the SLT along 31st Street that they are taking 30 acres of land and converting 300 acres of land to wetlands, by removing Louisiana Street south from 31st by nearly a mile and a half. How come we don't have bumper stickers that say "Build the SLT - EXPAND THE WETLANDS!!"?

gr 9 years, 9 months ago

"How would they have us pay for this environmentally indefensible truck-filled smogway?"Seems like an emotional appeal.As opposed to environmentally indefensible truck-filled stop-and-go traffic?Finishing the trafficway in the shortest distance is both environmentally responsible and global warming responsible (for those who believe in that religion).I know of people who farmed that land, so I can only conclude Caron doesn't have all the facts.

fyrfighter1955 9 years, 9 months ago

All you crybaby green earth whiners get out of the way while we build the slt that we the people voted on and approved more years ago than most of you are old. What happened to majority rule? Just when it is what you babies want. Build the stupid road and get it over with. It is my tax dollars that you idiots are spending on legal holdups doing nothing. Build it. Or refund my tax dollars. Your choice.

OnlyTheOne 9 years, 9 months ago

Build the SLT in the correct location. 31st St isn't. It's the developers location.

fu7il3 9 years, 9 months ago

"We need more and better mass transit."People in Lawrence are obviously not that interested in mass transit. I saw two T's in a line yesterday only a few cars behind one another. One was empty. One had one passenger way in the back.This was on Iowa St. where all the non-downtown shopping is, so you can't tell me people don't go down there.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 9 months ago

What a meandering LTE! Who isn't confused?We start with comments about Mike Hoeflich to disgreements with Jere McElhaney to Native Americans back to Mike Hoeflichto an unnamed radio personalityto the unfinished SLTto Obama, McCain and Bushand back to Mike Hoeflich

Trobs 9 years, 9 months ago

Kansas city has better designed parkways. 23rd is a mess to drive through and is unfortunately the only way through town from K-10. They could always redo 23rd street, but I doubt you will be able to convince the businesses and homeowners to give up 15+ feet on each side of the road. Your comparison is poor. Traffic will reduce in town by diverting drivers, like myself, who have to cross town everyday off of 23rd and onto the SLT.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 9 months ago

Building the SLT south of the Wakarusa is a rediculous solution. I have seen many wetlands around this nation with multi-lane trafficways which look like they are thriving just fine. Nature always finds a way.

van999 9 years, 9 months ago

MAYBE less semis would travel on 23rd streets and this would reduce fatalities...

kmat 9 years, 9 months ago

"Build the SLT,move traffic out of town" What???? You're asking for a new highway to be built through town (do you actually use 31st St? That's in Lawrence you know). If you want to divert traffic from the city, you need to build this south of the Waka.Fight all you want to about bulding the SLT, but it isn't the solution. We need more and better mass transit. Get more commuter busses going to KC on K-10 and even better would be some light rail system. I would love to take a bus or rail into my work in Shawnee, but we have one darned bus line that only goes to JCCC. Makes no sense to take a bus farther from my work and extend my day by 2.5 hours because of the limited times it runs.Those that are complaining about sitting on 23rd st to get to K-10 should be bitchin' for better public transportation, not building more roads.http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/16/mass.transit/index.html

Trobs 9 years, 9 months ago

I bet if we finished the SLT and it opened the traffic in town up pollution in town would drop. As more traffic moves to the SLT the plant life which processes and converts the CO2 would be surrounding this "Smogway". As opposed to the current debacle that is 23rd street, surrounded by cement and bad fast food joints.

Fort_Aubrey 9 years, 9 months ago

Merrill: "The effort to create farmland out of the Wakarusa wetlands was a failed experiment many times over."Why do people say this? Failed many times over? Not hardly.1)This area was virtually all farmed, by real farmers long before the federal government purchased the land from the farmers for use by Haskell. The "virgin" land still remaining is tiny.2)The land was then farmed, by Haskell, as an agricultural school for many years, until the feds consolidated Native American agricultural training of the day to another school. Some of the land sat idle during this lapse.3)After being transferred into trust to the Federal Wildlife and Parks, it remained in active agricultural status, continued in federal agricultural farming programs.Did drainage help parts of the acreage. Yes. Did the lower parts still occasionally flood with Wakarusa cycles. Yes. Was it still great farm bottomland producing crops. You bet.This current permanent swimming pool of a wetland which we have artificially created is the abnormal state of this land.

BigPrune 9 years, 9 months ago

Just wait when Highway 59 expanded to four lanes from I-35 (south of Ottawa) to Lawrence opens up.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 9 months ago

"How come we don't have bumper stickers that say "Build the slt - expand the wetlands!!"?"Because most people are smart enough to see through such a sham. "People are more important than frogs.Build the SLT.People are dying."Really? Sounds serious. We'd better build that lifesaving highway!!

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