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Archive for Saturday, November 1, 2008

Biased process

November 1, 2008

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To the editor:

Recently a lawsuit was publicly announced to oppose the record of decision on the 32nd Street route of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Ten years ago, I began writing letters to the editor in this newspaper opposing this trafficway. I've heard every uneducated and uninformed comment about Native peoples, treaty rights, land title and the like over the years.

The proponents of the 32nd route use terms like a fair process and a win-win in their public comments. They act as if the EIS, SEIS and Brockington Reports were accurate in their explanations of this roadway project.

The accuracy of these documents is questioned because large amounts of tribal and environmental comments were ignored or omitted. I say this because I've witnessed the pressure exerted by the Bush U.S. Department of the Interior appointees to relax the guidelines on enforcement of environmental and historical laws so that industry and municipalities could run roughshod on roadway projects. A legal travesty has happened as the proponents of destruction chose to look away as legal safeguards were ignored to attain their goals.

Lawsuits are filed and court investigations occur when municipalities and other entities try to run roughshod as they are encouraged by regulation-relaxing Republicans to do. However, the real question is this: How can Baker University have such a party line concerning the SLT that one of its own professors can fight the environmental damage of coal plants but not the destruction of environmentally and culturally significant wetlands politically?

Mike Ford,
Baldwin City

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

"I'm sure they'll be yelling and screaming and stating it's their property now and they could not care less what happened 300 years ago on this very same place:"We're not talking about what happened 300 years ago. This has all happened within the last few decades.How about a freeway through Arlington National Cemetery? Or maybe a landfill at the site of the Twin Towers?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 1 month ago

:"the destruction of environmentally and culturally significant wetlands politically?"Really? In what possible stretch of your imagination????This area is an illegal swamp, according to Lawrence City Ordnances regarding standing water and public nuisances.How do you defend even the existance of such an area??Give it a rest, this area is a mosquito producing haven as anyone living in the south part of Lawrence knows and if public officials would ever do their duty to the citizens, this area would be drained and filled in.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

The mosquitos come from the old tires you have stashed in your backyard, frwent.

ASBESTOS 6 years, 1 month ago

"They act as if the EIS, SEIS and Brockington Reports were accurate in their explanations of this roadway project."They are and were conducted according to the same standard on projects doen throughout the United States in even more environmentally and culturally sensitive areas.Now, just because you don't like the findings does not make the Statments "wrong" or "inaccurate". They are both. I have worked on EIS and SEIS, and you cannot miss a thing. It they are wrong or inaccurate as you state, then sue the firm on grounds of negligence, corruption, incompetence, or some other breach of professional execution of capability, but do not make an opinion you have as fact, and throw out an accusation without any evidence."I say this because I've witnessed the pressure exerted by the Bush U.S. Department of the Interior appointees to relax the guidelines on enforcement of environmental and historical laws so that industry and municipalities could run roughshod on roadway projects."INcoherent. First off the very first EIS and the first SEIS was completed under the Clinton administration first term. So your Anti Bush Derangement syndrome will not help you on this one. Besides, it is the local politicians that have the capability on power, and last I checked the majority of mayors and City Commissioner in the country were Democratic Party members, wo again you have a flawed preceptin that does not reflect either the political, legal, or physical realities.Go smoke another fat one and got back to sleep.

akuna 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow frwent. You are very ignorant. To claim that a naturally occurring wetland is illegal according to the Lawrence City Ordinance is absolute bullocks. This is the problem with people that want what they want and don't care about nature. Your statement is equivalent to saying that Mt. Oread is illegal because the city has zoning laws limiting the height of structures. Pure ignorance.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Asbestos for your rebuttal of Akuna. I did not get back to this board until late this afternoon, and read that ignorant rant. It is well known that this land used to be productive (?) farm land and that mismanagement of drainage factors has resulted in this mosquito haven that the friends of Agnes the frog have chosen to make a political issue to block a needed infrastructure improvement. What is more amazing is that this absolutely outrageous assertion has taken hold for so long and obtained so much traction from the ignorant and indifferent opposition to community needs no-growth crowd. Only in Lawrence, Kansas.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

Freeway: Something that costs moneyDriveway: Where you ParkParkway: Nice place to driveSouth Lawrence Trafficway: Something to argue about, but never to be driven on.

ASBESTOS 6 years, 1 month ago

"To claim that a naturally occurring wetland is illegal according to the Lawrence City Ordinance is absolute bullocks."To claim that this "wetland" is naturally occurring is also insane. The road building, and the other infrastructures and drainage changes helped to create and expand it are all mand influenced. Again, this is in the EIS and SEIS.To "care about nature" you have to know what it is first. M ost of you that oppose this are just automatons and koolaide drinkers. Some of your "heros" make absurd claims and you lap them up like it is the gospel.Have anyone posting here actually read any of the EIS/SEIS reports in full?NO that requires science and a reading skill, and analytical capabilities, which is completely lost on the "greenies" of today. the "Greenies" today are uneducated toadies that do not understand basic science and are falling for a mix of magic/mysticism/psuedo-natural-spirtiualism and superimposing that belief on the rest of society. You are intelectually deficient outliers claiming the morla high ground on the fact the ground is wet and you believe a garden fairy lives in that set ground.It is emotional, it is an abomination and it is your worldview and opinion and you are entitled to it. BUt the rest of society does not have to be penalized for you lack of intellect or your warped world view.

Joe Hyde 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Mr. Caron's view and would like to expand on it by adding:A.) Whether the SLT does, or does not, get built through the Wetlands, that area could be modified to make it a wetlands that more accurately duplicates the structure of natural marshy, swampy areas that the early European settlers found all along the Wakarusa River floodplain (wetlands that remained natural until the first part of the twentieth century).B.) The initial feasibility planning for the SLT project, meetings that took place years ago, did not involve officials of Haskell University or representatives of any American Indian tribes. For whatever reason, local and state authorities felt there was no need to seek input and, more important, project approval from Haskell University. Perhaps it was overconfidence -- they assumed there'd be no objection by a school that has, bit by bit over the years, either sold at low cost or donated away the legal rights to hundreds of acres of their original property.Would Haskell's Regents have approved the SLT if they'd been involved and consulted in the very beginning (before the project was funded and construction began out west)? Who knows. But I suspect they'd have seriously considered approving the SLT had they been shown common respect for being a rightful participant in the process.C.) President George W. Bush's administration is only the second one to cause problems for the SLT. The first did the worst -- and that would be Kansas Gov. Bill Graves. Before Graves took office as governor, KDOT did numerous traffic studies in Lawrence and concluded that building the SLT would never solve traffic congestion problems on 23rd St., but would instead aggravate congestion there and in many other areas of Lawrence. Then very shortly after Graves took office, KDOT officials drank the Head Roadbuilder's koolaid and, presto!, the SLT is suddenly of great potential benefit to Lawrence in all respects. After which, funding for the project gets approved.D.) The SLT that we see partially built today sprang from a very modest seed concept: Build a third Kansas Turnpike exchange for Lawrence, locate it west of town and build a connector road from the new exchange south to US-40. Turnpike to US-40; that's it.Local real estate developers are ones who took this basic idea, expanded it to suit their ambitions, then used their influence and political connections to get us where are today. Problem was, they all took Haskell's aquiescence for granted.They took other things for granted, too, such as our ability to provide water long term for an ever-growing population -- numbers that are still increasing due to the development boom they helped trigger.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

tuschkahouma (Anonymous): Did you know that the sun may burn itself out in 300,000,000 years... We really should decide something before we end up building this thing in the dark.

imright 6 years, 1 month ago

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

Professor_Marvel 6 years, 1 month ago

"Ten years ago, I began writing letters to the editor in this newspaper opposing this trafficway."And Mr. Ford's logic, facts, and letters remain just as impaired as they were ten years ago. To paraphrase Bozo: Just because you have written it over and over and over doesn't make it true.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

hawkperchedatriverfront (Anonymous) says: "Depression 2010."Man, you know you've got problems when you're bitter enough to be a cheerleader for another Depression.

somebodynew 6 years, 1 month ago

Amen, Asbestos. Very well said. And of course we have all read the other letters and posts by the author of this letter, who is not happy about anything any form of government does.

Joe Hyde 6 years, 1 month ago

Excuse me, please. I meant to say, "Mr. Ford's" comment.Forgive me, Mr. Ford. And I do agree with your letter.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

"It is well known that this land used to be productive (?) farm land"The use of the passive voice is a popular grammatical tool when making unsupported assertions.

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

asbestos, I also worked on the EIS and SEIS. I lookedat all kinds of tribal comments that were requiredunder the scoping or commenting process on theEIS as required by the NEPA act. The majority ofthe comments were against the trafficway. Therewere tribal communities who had students herewho showed no opposition to the road but they werefew in number and from places like Montana, California,and Alaska, far away from Lawrence.Actually, people like Dennis "Boog" Highberger andCharles Jones are against this trafficway as currentand former city politicans. Who usually promotesgrowth without common sense?, Republicans. Who gutsand destroys the guidelines for legal enforcementof environmental laws?, Republicans. Who tries to sway the uneducated masses with stupid mantraslike "Drill, baby, Drill" and works with thoughtlessjingoisms? Republicans.Furthermore, what couldn't be done during the ClintonAdministration because they obeyed federal guidelineswas done during the Bush Administration becausethey gutted or overlooked federal guidelines. OrU.S. Senators like Republican Frank Wolf of Virginiathreatened Gale Norton with the loss of her jobas then Head of the U.S. Dept. of Interior if she didn'tgo along with the anti-environment Republican mantra.The same can be said of Christine Whitman being forcedout of the EPA because she questioned the guttingof EPA enfocement laws. You simply sound likeanother name-calling Republican anti-environmentalbully. So sad........

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

By the way, I'm Mike Ford, I wrote the letter

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

I WORK IN LAWRENCE DRIVING 450 MILES A WEEKON MY JOB AS I'VE DONE SINCE 1997. I'VE DRIVENTHOUSANDS OF MILES JUST IN LAWRENCE IN THIS TIME. LAWRENCE DOESN'T HAVE A TRAFFIC PROBLEM,IT HAS A YOUTH ON A CELL PHONE DRIVING PROBLEM,A SOCCER MOM IN A TAHOE ON A CELL PHONE PROBLEM, AND PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TOSTAY OUT OF THE PASSING LANE IF THEY'RE DRIVINGSLOW PROBLEM. IT ALSO HAS SOME DEVELOPERS(NOT ALL) WHO WANT MANIFEST STRIP MALLDESTINY IN SPITE OF A BAD ECONOMY PROBLEM.BTW, THE DENIAL AND IGNORANCE OF THE INVOLVEMENT OF CHURCHES AND THEIR MISSIONSIN 19TH CENTURY INDIAN KANSAS HAS IT'S BEGINNINGS HERE IN BALDWIN CITY. THIS IS MY BUSINESS.

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

My comments carry on ten years later because peoplenow are just as ignorant if not more than they were ten years ago, or even one hundred years ago. One hundred and fifty years ago, land speculators who act like thetraffciway supporters now pushed for the cessionof millions of acres that now make up eastern Kansas.Ask the Peoria, the Miami, the Ottawa, the Shawnee, the Delaware, the Kickapoo, both Sac and Fox groups thathad lands in Kansas, not to forget the Wyandotte andthe Otoe-Missouria peoples. Eastern Kansas was builton their lands. Baker was built on Shawnee lands.Ottawa U. was built on Odawa lands that weren'tpaid for from 1867 to 1969 by the federal govenrmentwhen the ICC claims were settled. How many white peoplecan get away with not paying for 20,000 acres of land for 102 years? talk about criminal behavior. The town of Ottawa was built on these lands and I commend them fordealing with the sins of omission in the past. Why can'tBaker do the same?

Michael Caron 6 years, 1 month ago

First, someone please show frwent how to read a map. The wetlands are not inside the city limits of Lawrence. Second, Asbestos can insult and rave all he wants about the reading skills and scientific knowledge of those of us who oppose paving the wetlands. He asks "Have (sic) anyone posting here actually read any of the eis/seis reports in full?". Yes, I own a copy, which I have studied in great detail and reread numerous times. "NO that requires science and a reading skill, and analytical capabilities, which is completely lost on the "greenies" of today. the "Greenies" today are uneducated toadies that do not understand basic science and are falling for a mix of magic/mysticism/psuedo-natural-spirtiualism and superimposing that belief on the rest of society. You are intelectually deficient outliers ..." I guess "outliers" must be some sort of cross breeding of liars and outlaws, at least in the sadly narrow worldview of Asbestos. Had to believe this fact-retardant flamer really has the scientific background or intellectual prowess that he boldly credits to himself. We are not "claiming the morla (sic) high ground on the fact the ground is wet" as Asbestos asserts. The wetlands are in fact the lowest ground around. If Asbestos had dragged his butt out of bed early this morning and gone down to the wetlands, the first thing he would have noticed is that he could not see the hand in front of his face. That thickest of the fog was in that place for a good scientific reason. In this case the moral of the story has everything to do with protecting the lowest and wettest ground, not the high ground. Does Asbestos know as much about science, and about riparian bottomlands in particular, as he pretends? He should to be aware that the natural flooding in this area over thousands of years naturally dumped sediment loads close to the banks of the river. This raised the area near the banks, while the water drained north settling much closer to 31st Street. That is why the canal parallelling the road on the south was dug in that area in 1920, more than half a century before 31st Street was built. Asbestos also childishly asserts " you believe a garden fairy lives in that set ground." I presume this is his way of disparaging our certainly that there are remains of native children resting in that place. There are, indeed, some among us who still believe the souls of children are carried to the next world by butterflies. They are not the only ones who feel a connection to those who are buried here every time a beautiful butterfly crosses their path in the wetlands, and particularly when the monarchs pass through in the fall. But one doesn't have to see spirits in the dragonflies, otters, or toadies to appreciate that this place is an extraordinary gift that this community would be foolish to destroy for the sake of accomodating Asbestos or any of his frog stomping "swamp" phobic vanity truck driving trafficway lovers.

manus_flexibilis 6 years, 1 month ago

SW2Nice! Couldn't have wrote it any better.

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