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Archive for Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stimulus talk spurs SLT hope

Vehicles travel on U.S. Highway 59 just south of Lawrence. A lawsuit filed Friday in federal court is the latest litigation intended to block completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway's eastern leg through the Baker Wetlands. The western segment of the trafficway ends at U.S. 59.

Vehicles travel on U.S. Highway 59 just south of Lawrence. A lawsuit filed Friday in federal court is the latest litigation intended to block completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway's eastern leg through the Baker Wetlands. The western segment of the trafficway ends at U.S. 59.

January 11, 2009

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Wetlands addition underway

About 150 acres of wetlands are being added near the site of the South Lawrence Trafficway. Enlarge video

Baker professor works to create new wetlands

Roger Boyd, director of natural resources for Baker University, discusses the progress of work to create new wetlands adjacent to the existing Baker Wetlands at the southern edge of Lawrence. "The Kansas Department of Transportation pretty well assumed that it would be a safe gamble to go ahead and do this mitigation," Boyd says, despite still facing a lawsuit that could block the highway's construction. Boyd also gauges public reaction to the dirt-moving work, which has raised eyebrows among some folks in the area. Enlarge video

Mitigation moves ahead

No, that tractor moving dirt adjacent to the Baker Wetlands isn’t clearing a path for completing the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Instead, the movement is part of early work in a $975,000 effort to add 142 acres of wetlands west of the extension of Louisiana Street, north of the Wakarusa River.

A crew overseen by Roger Boyd, director of natural resources for Baker University, is busy creating swales and other water-holding features that will accommodate the spreading of seeds taken from plants in the adjacent Baker Wetlands.

Expanding the wetlands is part of a mitigation agreement designed to make up for the planned construction of the trafficway, which would cut through the northern end of the Baker Wetlands. The trafficway would connect Iowa Street with Kansas Highway 10 at the southeastern edge of town near Noria Road.

For a look at the work, and to hear Boyd discuss the project, visit LJWorld.com and watch 6News at 10 p.m. today on Sunflower Broadband’s Channel 6.

— Mark Fagan

Barack Obama’s imminent presidential inauguration — and, in particular, his plans for billions of dollars in infrastructure investment — is stimulating hope for completing the South Lawrence Trafficway in Lawrence.

No matter which way the limited-access highway would go.

Opponents of the project’s current path say Obama’s economic-stimulus plan easily could bankroll finishing the highway, provided it would run south of the Wakarusa River. They say work could be started within two years.

“I can find a whole lot of people who would stand in line to help,” said Bob Eye, an attorney for a coalition of environmental and other groups suing stop the trafficway from being extended through the Baker Wetlands. “Certainly, there are some opportunities here for some creative thinking.”

Supporters of the existing plan, which would run through the wetlands on what is known as a 32nd Street alignment, dismiss the south-of-the-river talk as little more than a dream. Such a rerouting would take at least 10 years to accomplish, said Roger Boyd, who already is moving dirt to help mitigate the trafficway extension’s planned construction, whenever that time comes.

Following the 32nd Street alignment, as approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, likely wouldn’t be ready within two years, Boyd said, given the pending lawsuit. But the stimulus money could finance other state highway projects, freeing up future money — an estimated $148 million — for the trafficway itself.

“That’ll make it more likely the trafficway will be funded through normal channels,” said Boyd, director of natural areas for Baker University. “I think there’s going to be less concern about where in the world that money’s going to come from.”

All the money talk comes as the trafficway saga approaches several key mileposts:

• Monday morning, two new Douglas County commissioners will be sworn in, shifting the governing body’s ideological majority as it pertains to the trafficway. Gone will be Commissioners Bob Johnson and Jere McElhaney, two proponents for building the trafficway through the wetlands. Now, incoming Commissioner Nancy Thellman will join incumbent Commissioner Charles Jones as being on record as not favoring a 32nd Street alignment, leaving incoming Commissioner Jim Flory in the minority. Just how the shift in thinking will affect the project, if at all, is unclear.

• Members of the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization soon will meet to discuss the county’s priorities for transportation projects. The trafficway long has been on the organization’s list, but now that the organization’s formal membership is changing — planning commissioners no longer will carry such responsibilities, instead turning them over to members including local elected officials and a representative from the Kansas Department of Transportation — the community’s formal priorities could shift. “The position of the county, as a position from the Metropolitan Planning Organization, likely will be changing in the very near future,” said Craig Weinaug, county administrator.

• KDOT has a list of $1.28 billion in projects ready to go, should Obama follow through with plans to pump billions of dollars into infrastructure, including roads, highways and bridges. On the state’s list is $10 million for a new trafficway interchange at Bob Billings Parkway.

• The lawsuit seeking to stop the trafficway’s planned extension through the wetlands remains pending in federal court in Kansas City, Kan. Eye, the attorney for opponents of the 32nd Street alignment, expects briefs in the case to be prepared this summer.

Comments

kcwarpony 5 years, 3 months ago

“warpony, what the headlines you list mask is that when the vote was held, it was certainly a 32nd street alignment in the mind of the public.”The 31st street alignment is what was in the plan in 1985, the vote was in 1990. The 32nd street alignment was not considered until 2001. August 2001“Support for a south-of-the-river route isn't new. The State Highway Commission recommended such an alignment for a "southern bypass" in a 1972 study of Lawrence area traffic. The city incorporated that proposal in Plan 95, a comprehensive planning guide adopted in 1977.”“The 1972 report recommended building south of the river to "avoid crossing Baker University Wetlands Research Area or Haskell American Indian Junior College.Those recommendations were discarded in 1985 in favor of a 31st Street alignment to alleviate 23rd Street congestion.”http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2001/aug...

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

Merrill,are you serious? ljworld polls are not scientific and do not represent a valid sample. warpony, what the headlines you list mask is that when the vote was held, it was certainly a 32nd street alignment in the mind of the public. for the same reasons I support the SLT, build-now, I also support the Plum Creek reservoir: communities need to make such choices and control their infrastructure themselves.

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kcwarpony 5 years, 3 months ago

“Lawrence residents voted in favor of the SLT, 32nd route over 20-years ago. if a vote were held again, it would pass again.”November 1990, County residents vote 13,679 to 10,815, supporting $4 million in bonds for the trafficway. April 2001, KDOT Chief Counsel Mike Rees makes public his efforts to win support for a 32nd Street route for the trafficway that would move the project off Haskell property.October 2001, the Lawrence Douglas County Planning Commission agrees to recommend a 32nd Street route for the project.SLT Timelinehttp://www2.ljworld.com/news/2004/sep...

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

crying "racism" doesn't make your claim more popular, or more effective. and, again Boozo, I'll tell you I'm no racist. Assimilation was a deeply flawed policy and we now know it was entirely wrong. Lawrence residents voted in favor of the SLT, 32nd route over 20-years ago. if a vote were held again, it would pass again. Nothing exists in the flooded farmland that does not also exist elsewhere in Douglas County.what is there? mosquito breeding grounds. we really want more swamp next to Lawrence, with meningitis and West Nile Virus in mosquitos now? we're supposed to be draining swamps these days! I love it, vapid Ariadne/cool/spiderman/coaltrain/spammerman/environ-mental-architect is cheering some posts and then reposting their material right after the current post! somebody, please take away Ariadne's chocolate covered coffee beans! quick, he's really manicking out on caffeine. on the thread I linked for education on him, he caught me in one spelling error, yet, one can find dozens of them by him on the same thread!

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notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "The difference, nota, and this will be a really, really hard concept, so brace yourself, is that most of the land on which Lawrence sits was transferred out of Indian hands long before most peoples' grandparents, or even great grandparents, were born."How did I know boohoozo would come back with his usual hopelessly weak retort, the rallying cry of his ilk: "But... but... but... that's different. (Seems everything is a really, really hard concept to boohoozo.)As usual, clown_rants_from_bus speak with forked rectum. clownie cares nothing for the native Americans who were robbed, cheated, killed, or driven off to secure the land his worthless carcass sits on, because that was a long time ago. So, what are you saying, bus-buffoon? That if Baker retained ownership of the land for another 100 years, then it would be kosher? What is the statute of limitations to your self-righteous indignation?"...and perhaps even racism of people like you."Comig from one of the most outspoken bigots ever to post to the LJW message boards, herr Klowne, that's an interesting (if, as usual, laughable) statement."The treatment of Haskell by the city of Lawrence over its entire existence has been textbook racism."So, I ask again, clownie, and try to come up with something better than "that's different" this time: When are you giving your home back to the native Americans?

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

smosit (Anonymous) says…1960's—the Haskell “farm” is sold to Baker under the condition that they return it to a wetland. the land transfer is illegalish. Laws stipulate how much Indian Trust Land in a particular area can be sold off at one time. in an attempt to get around this, the BIA declares that Baker won't hold full title until the late 90's (just about the same time Baker and Boyd changed their tune and began to support mitigation). of course, Baker gets the land for pennies on the dollar. I've had a brief conversation with Bob Eye about this land transfer. it's a card in his litigation deck; but it would be a difficult fight, as there is little legal precedence on this issue.******BS. If he thought he had that card to play, he would have played it already. He's blowing smoke up your skirt.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

BRAVO smosit!smosit (Anonymous) says…i'm surprised that no-one has suggested one simple thing: the likelihood that an Obama administration will likely increase the protection status of wetlands, thus decreasing the likelihood of the SLT being completed, regardless of available funds.

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justfornow 5 years, 3 months ago

I can't wait fot the SLT to be built, way overdue. Kmat don't you have some underlings to supervise? Get back to work!

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kmat 5 years, 3 months ago

I will post again, as I have before, that you whiners that complain about the terrible traffic on 23rd street are just WHINERS!!!! When I drive it, in rush hour, it is not that bad. about 10 minutes is all it ever takes me to get from Harper to Iowa. Go to a big city and see how long you'll sit in traffic. You all want Lawrence to be like a big city (tons of box stores, everything convenient for you), then get used to traffic. You want very little traffic, then live in a small town. Lawrence is no longer a small town (it's just a suburb of KC) and it's going to have more traffic than it used to.Grow up, get over it. Don't you have better things to do with your lives?You might enjoy Lawrence a little more if you'd go spend some time in the wetlands. Take a stroll, enjoy the fact that you can have this little bit of nature in town.And DGCTYSUCKS - you hate it here, so why troll the site? And, you are a moron. What you have posted on this article is completely wrong.

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smosit 5 years, 3 months ago

i'm surprised that no-one has suggested one simple thing: the likelihood that an Obama administration will likely increase the protection status of wetlands, thus decreasing the likelihood of the SLT being completed, regardless of available funds.and for those who don't know (or don't seem to know), here's an extremely brief history of the wetlands:post-civil war 1800's--Native tribe relocation and assimilation is government policy. the decided-on plan is to ("legally") declare relocated natives as unfit to raise their own children; boarding schools will be set up to assimilate the children taken from their parents. the schools--surprise, surprise--will be built on the cheapest land available (like floodplain land). Predictably, connected men bought said land for pennies on the dollar and then resold the land to the government for grossly inflated profits. Haskell, like many Native boarding schools, started this way.1880's--Haskell is established. it's pretty small. it takes the government ten years to build a hospital for the kids, even though they're not allowed to go to the "white" hospital in Lawrence. many die of various diseases; some are murdered and disposed of in the wetlands south of the school (documents in the Federal Archives in KC prove this; i have personally read one). typical punishments include being whipped by a person of one's own tribe.1920's--the wetlands is drained and turned into farmland (continued assimilation policy). regardless, it floods...A LOT. duh, it's a floodplain. not only that, it's a floodplain that takes on floodwater from the Kansas river when it floods. the later building of the Clinton reservoir brings the flooding under relative control.1960's--the Haskell "farm" is sold to Baker under the condition that they return it to a wetland. the land transfer is illegalish. Laws stipulate how much Indian Trust Land in a particular area can be sold off at one time. in an attempt to get around this, the BIA declares that Baker won't hold full title until the late 90's (just about the same time Baker and Boyd changed their tune and began to support mitigation). of course, Baker gets the land for pennies on the dollar. I've had a brief conversation with Bob Eye about this land transfer. it's a card in his litigation deck; but it would be a difficult fight, as there is little legal precedence on this issue.1970's to present--Nixon (of all people) declares assimilation a failed policy. Haskell begins its transition from vocational training to higher education.I personally see the wetlands as a symbol of the tragedy of the past 100 years (or more) and as a memorial to the perseverance of Native culture in spite of the assimilation policy. To me, building the SLT through the wetlands would be like building a highway through Ground Zero in Manhattan, or through a concentration camp like Buchenwald. it's amazingly disrespectful.take care everyone.

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gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

"Richard "give me all your money" Heckler (Anonymous) says… Lawrence needs to spend the money on eastside streets and sidewalks."Hilariously myopic. The LJW seriously needs to institute some sort of post count/size combination rule to keep the cut and paste crew at bay.

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gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

Richard, we get it. You don't have to pollute every thread with your Asperger's Syndrome related cut-and-paste funfest. The bottom line is that your vocal minority doesn't want an SLT regardless of where it is located. The location issue is simply a tactical argument that conceals your real position. It is time to finish the SLT and get on with life in Lawrence.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Breaking News:SLT will be paved with artificial turf, will pass less than 75 feet from ariadne's house.Exclusive exploding head footage tonight at 10:00.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Worth repeating:“15 July 2008 at 9:09 a.m.spiderman (Anonymous) says……i am withdrawing from the forum…”

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

BRAVO!11 January 2009at 11:07 p.m.Suggest removalPermalink lounger (Anonymous) says…SO many times people will post-“Man made wetlands”. Well, not all of it! About 55 acres (40 on the SW side 15 on the NE side) are Native, Natural Prairie wetlands. Never been touched (ruined) by Man. It all is a treasure and should be left alone. TOo many people are all about convenience at all cost -with no thought to what it does to the environment, future generations and wildlife habitat. Don't be so bloody selfish! The world outside your door doesn't care if you get to work 5 minutes faster! Preserve what we have here!!!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

The theft of Indian lands has quite commonly been legitimized by a veneer of "legality." A convenient smokescreen for the thieves who are also the ones defining and interpreting what is "legal," and not surprisingly, those definitions and interpretations have invariably favored the thieves themselves.

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…“Supported by the racism charge; the last refuge of someone without a legal leg to stand on.”The treatment of Haskell by the city of Lawrence over its entire existence has been textbook racism. Your failure or inability to recognize that means that you carry the affliction. Heal thyself, Pilgrim (even your name derives from colonists whose behavior towards Indians was extremely racist.)******Thanks for the additional evidence, but I don't need any help proving my point.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"Supported by the racism charge; the last refuge of someone without a legal leg to stand on."The treatment of Haskell by the city of Lawrence over its entire existence has been textbook racism. Your failure or inability to recognize that means that you carry the affliction. Heal thyself, Pilgrim (even your name derives from colonists whose behavior towards Indians was extremely racist.)

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

lounger (Anonymous) says…TOo many people are all about convenience at all cost -with no thought to what it does to the environment, future generations and wildlife habitat.******Nothing exists in the flooded farmland that does not also exist elsewhere in Douglas County.

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…“Just as interesting as the fact you always conveniently forget to include the fact that Baker University is the owner of the property.”And you never mention how they came to “own” it, other than to say it doesn't matter,*******Because it doesn't, since it was all entirely legal.

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…The Haskell wetlands were transferred in a very flawed, and likely illegal, process within the lifetime of a very large percentage of people alive today.********Then why hasn't that ownership issue been raised in court? Maybe, no, probably because it exists only in your mind. Supported by the racism charge; the last refuge of someone without a legal leg to stand on.

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Poon 5 years, 3 months ago

Obama and his new highways...geez what an anti environment, global warming, beaver killing, anti-green, pro pollution president Obama is turning out to be :-)Poor Agnes the frog...

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gccs14r 5 years, 3 months ago

it was a wetland for thousands of years before it was drained for farming. If it were up to me, I'd take out Clinton dam and 31st St, letting the wetlands return to its natural state as much as possible.

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DouglasCountySucks 5 years, 3 months ago

I hate to burst anyones do gooder bubble But i used to live out close to the now Haskell wetlands. They were privatly owned farm ground until the early 70s and farmed every year. Corn, milo and wheat grew on the plowed good farmland. Water was not an issue and the ditches ran off the water just fine. Not until some knukelhead decided to build locks and dikes did it become a wetland area.I do have to say it is cool to see the ducks and beavers living in the area, but a raised roadway over it wouldnt bother a thing.Its not the 8th wonder of the world or anything natural and historical, just a cool manmade wetland area.As for ownership ? we stole all the land from the indians, so i bet they still have some ownership rights in it. Just build it and move on.Quit the stupid bickering and do it.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

ah, yes. the good ol' racism charge being trotted out once again. Boobo bringing it out sure is acting like this one is getting away from him, again. sitting around, making claims, it doesn't make the claims legit. and, Boobo, your previous reply implies you know he is right, Baker holds the land, and challenges to it have no legal basis. thanks. for those unfamiliar with ariadne:http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/dec/29/natural-buffer/#c784217read the comments. he is the author of that letter to the editor. he has violated the ljworld terms of services a lot. people talking about pilgrim being disappeareded? let's see, ariadne now, was: cool, spiderman, coletrane(coaltrain), and apparently one or two other screen names! about as valid as his clinging, hoping for, "peak oil." he is indeed an environMENTAL architect, environ-mental-architect. and anything he has posted really is suspect.
finally, I note that merrill is so out to lunch he double-posted the same spam drivel on this thread! once, one poster seriously asked: "is merrill just liberal software that spams the boards?" not a bad perception.

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78jhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Overthemoon has the solution. The 32nd street alignment can work with some adjustments for the environment. This has been done in Colorado. Has anybody ever driven I-70 through Glenwood Canyon? There was a lot of cooperation from all parties to complete a very successful environmentally friendly design. Has anyone ever really discussed the issues with other alignment? You can bet there are some real issues there too besides the cost.It sure would be nice to get rid of that horrible 31st street eyesore. So lets quick bickering over who's alignment is better and solve the problems as responsible citizens.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

The difference, nota, and this will be a really, really hard concept, so brace yourself, is that most of the land on which Lawrence sits was transferred out of Indian hands long before most peoples' grandparents, or even great grandparents, were born. And there are no Indians making any ownership claims on this land.The Haskell wetlands were transferred in a very flawed, and likely illegal, process within the lifetime of a very large percentage of people alive today. It's a wrong that could be made right, if not for the selfishness, spitefulness greed, pettiness, and perhaps even racism of people like you.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… "BLM stole the land from Haskell and illegally gave it to Baker. Baker may hold a deed, but the land is not theirs."When are you giving your land back to the native Americans, gccs? You and boohoozo must realize the land your homes sit on belonged to the same folks you claim still own the wetlands, don't you?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"Just as interesting as the fact you always conveniently forget to include the fact that Baker University is the owner of the property."And you never mention how they came to "own" it, other than to say it doesn't matter, as long as they are willing to sell it the highest bidder to satisfy your need for convenience.

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lounger 5 years, 3 months ago

SO many times people will post-"Man made wetlands". Well, not all of it! About 55 acres (40 on the SW side 15 on the NE side) are Native, Natural Prairie wetlands. Never been touched (ruined) by Man. It all is a treasure and should be left alone. TOo many people are all about convenience at all cost -with no thought to what it does to the environment, future generations and wildlife habitat. Don't be so bloody selfish! The world outside your door doesn't care if you get to work 5 minutes faster! Preserve what we have here!!!

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says…BLM stole the land from Haskell and illegally gave it to Baker. Baker may hold a deed, but the land is not theirs.*****That fairy tale is repeated over and over and over again. But if it were true, and the ownership were truly in question or could be proved to be other than Baker, the obstructionists who have spent the last 20 years getting in the way of progress would have played that legal card and brought the whole thing to a halt long ago. The fact the ownership issue hasn't even been raised in court tells us it has no legal leg to stand on. Either that or Bob Eye is an idiot.Either way, the fact is the property is owned by Baker University, and Baker has signed off on the 32nd Street alignment. That's all anyone needs to know.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

the clinton lake & upper wakarusa watershed.we need the water.http://www.wakarusawatershed.org/about.html

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

the natural Wakarusa watershed area.the wetlands should remain as much as possible.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakarusa...

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barrypenders 5 years, 3 months ago

Liberals pissed and moaned when Clinton lake was created. It destroyed valuable land that could feed the starving.One would think that the moisture that Clinton lake offers, would make up for the loss of the small bit of land that a road through the man made slough would displace.

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gccs14r 5 years, 3 months ago

BLM stole the land from Haskell and illegally gave it to Baker. Baker may hold a deed, but the land is not theirs.

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DouglasCountySucks 5 years, 3 months ago

We will never see the road to noplace done in our lifetime.The republic of lawrence wont allow you to pass by the great city and not drop a few dollars in a business. I avoid it by 25 miles to stay out of it.lawrence streets are on the top ten list of the most screwed up in the nation.NO city has such a population with no route out of town or to bypass it easily like lawrence does, it is a joke.Us way off to the east head north to get around it and those west go way south to avoid the clusterf--k streets.

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9070811 5 years, 3 months ago

Because Baker owns the Wetlands, why is the govt trying to steal the property, are the Wetlands for sale? I am confused. I don't care that are man made, but maybe Baker can built the SLT and recieve any monetary or other benefits from it. Oh Doulgas County, you're such a load of bs.

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XD40 5 years, 3 months ago

ariadne: a 'smart growth' study is, at best, an oxymoron in most contexts involving Lawrence. At best, its another term for 'slow death'.

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…This plan is obsolete so does not meet todays demands. Why put forth a plan that is more than 20 years old…********Just like your I-70 connectors idea, Richard. You're still pushing that one.

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…Of course I would rather the route be off K-10 between Eudora and Desoto thus having traffic diverted to the turnpike thus users pay instead of Douglas county taxpayers. Yes taxpayers will be asked for more tax dollars.According to a phone conversation HNTB did study an SOR route that would connect to an existing K-10 interchange 1057/E1900 rd. This option completely avoided the wetlands.This design was never presented to the public. Why did the proponents not want this design?I-70 connectors east of Eudora were also among the potential choices. This concept accomplishes many things.******Of course you would rather, Richard, because it wouldn't make you look so stupid. Your precious I-70 connectors are a failed idea. Have been for a long, long, long time now. They are NOT going to happen.But I suppose if you really want to continue to play the role of the three-year-old blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, who am I to tell you to not waste your time? It just bothers me that you frequently waste the time of the rest of us in the process.

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Pilgrim2 5 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…“Roger Boyd, who already is moving dirt to help mitigate the trafficway extension’s planned construction, whenever that time comes.”Interesting that the article neglected to mention that Boyd and Baker are getting $8 million for the 32nd St. route.*********Just as interesting as the fact you always conveniently forget to include the fact that Baker University is the owner of the property.Lies of ommission, bozo?

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Pilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

mike_blur (Mike Blur) says…gccs14r, you're onto something. XD40 established his account shortly after Pilgrim got disappeardeded. He's/it's probably one and the same.******Who disappeared?

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Pilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…This plan is obsolete so does not meet todays demands. Why put forth a plan that is more than 20 years old...********Just like your I-70 connectors idea, Richard. You're still pushing that one.

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9070811 5 years, 3 months ago

It's not like the wetlands were natural.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

final excerpt copy:Spratt, however, said his conversations with other key Democratic lawmakers indicated it will likely increase previously appropriated money for projects already under way."There will be legislation written, but it will in many respects simply add funds to existing programs," he said.Spratt said there's discussion of requiring an even narrower timeframe than Obama's 180-day limit for using the new money - possibly as small as half.Such a limit, Spratt said, would favor work such as resurfacing roads, upgrading water-treatment plants and sewer pipes, and making federal buildings more energy-efficient - over more ambitious, long-term projects.The president-elect and his congressional allies want "to get (a stimulus bill) passed and on Obama's desk so he can sign it on Inauguration Day," said a Democratic aide, who asked not to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the plan.However, the measure won't be the result of "Obama dictating to Congress and getting whatever he wants rubber-stamped," the aide said.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

continued excerpt:James Baker, who served as President Ronald Reagan's treasury secretary and chief of staff, went so far as to suggest last month that Bush and Obama work together on a large stimulus plan.Congress passed and Bush signed a $700 billion bailout for the financial-services industry in October, and the federal government has bought stakes in failing banks since then.Those moves prompted criticism from labor unions and community advocates that Congress and Bush were favoring "Wall Street over Main Street."Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said Friday that the Kentucky Republican had no position on Obama's promised stimulus plan because a concrete bill or proposal hadn't been advanced yet."I've heard between $500 billion and a trillion (dollars)," Stewart said. "The numbers have been all over the map. I don't know what (figure) they're actually going to go with, but it would be all deficit spending."Obama has said his stimulus plan will fund projects that can begin within six months and be completed within two years.Obama also vowed that the infrastructure projects would be based on national priorities, not on the parochial interests that have led to congressional pork in the past.Rep. John Spratt, a South Carolina Democrat who chairs the House Budget Committee, said he didn't know the specific dollar amount of Obama's stimulus plan.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

Published on Saturday, December 13, 2008 by McClatchy NewspapersObama, Democrats Agree to $500 Billion Stimulus Packageby James RosenWASHINGTON - While an auto bailout is on life support, President-elect Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders have agreed to a $500 billion economic-stimulus package that they want to move next month even before Obama takes office.Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who'll be Obama's White House chief of staff, met Wednesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders in a strategy session aimed at fast-tracking stimulus legislation.The meeting ended with a tentative deal to seek a half-trillion dollars to create jobs and spur economic recovery, with more than one-third of it funding "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects, senior Democratic aides said Friday.Aides to Obama and Pelosi confirmed the meeting but declined to comment on a specific amount for the stimulus plan."What I can confirm is that Congressman Emanuel did meet with (congressional) leadership on Wednesday," said Amy Brundage, an Obama spokeswoman.Obama on Saturday urged the creation of "millions of jobs" through the largest public investment in the country's roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs since the interstate freeway system was built in the 1950s under President Dwight Eisenhower.Obama advisers previously said the stimulus plan could cost as much as $700 billion, but this is the first time a specific price tag has been placed on it.Democratic lawmakers said much of the $165 billion or more in infrastructure spending likely would go to projects already approved in earlier sessions, with building permits, approved environmental impact statements and other steps in place.The meaning of "infrastructure" probably will be broadened to include expanding broadband Internet access and creating "digital highways" for the 21st century economy, Democratic lawmakers and aides said.Senate Republicans late Thursday derailed a $14 billion bailout for the Big Three automakers in a rebuke to President George W. Bush and congressional Democrats who'd negotiated it and pushed it through the House of Representatives.It likely will be harder, however, for Republican lawmakers to block the much larger stimulus package because there will be fewer of them in the next session of Congress, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 6, two weeks before Obama's inauguration.Democrats expanded their House and Senate margins in the Nov. 4 elections that made Obama the nation's first African-American president, but they will fall just shy of veto-proof majorities in both chambers.Some Republican members of Congress have been at least guardedly receptive to Obama's plan to move quickly to stem the rising unemployment rate and jolt the economy by pumping tens of billions of dollars into public works.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

the $250,000 'smart growth study' recommended the bouldevardization of 23rd street into a median divided boulevard.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 3 months ago

One thing will happen, guaranteed! Build the SLT and no one will notice a change on 23rd street. Any change will be so slight that a blink of the eye won't catch it. UNLESS KU is moved south of the river.

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manus_flexibilis 5 years, 3 months ago

The Baker dockder choking up after the word gamble concludes the ignorance on his/Baker's behalf.

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XD40 5 years, 3 months ago

gccs, mike_blur: I'm not familar with Pilgrim. Was he an anti-fascist, freedom lover, too?

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

Someone a few miles back made the comment that commissioners are elected on what they oppose, not what they support. I disagree to an extent, this is fairly true but mostly they are elected by a few activist voters (who do you know who even knows who the commissioners are much less what they stand for???) and who can buy and distribute the most yard storms. Most of them are not worth a fart in a windstorm.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 3 months ago

Sadly, the completion or even beginning of construction of the SLT will really not help the local community. Some of our current candidates propose the creation of jobs through small business. How will the SLT help make that possible? The SLT will only create construction for the already established contractors in the road building industry and they already have employees. Oh, our local concrete factory might get work, but if they don't, they will just meet with our local leaders and they will figure out ways to finance our local concrete company. After all, Lawrence is notorious for building streets that last for a short time, thus keeping the local in business.I wish the name would be changed to BLT instead of SLT.BLT sounds very much more appetizing.

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blue73harley 5 years, 3 months ago

No massive copy and paste from me. Just build it.Bob, The Sleaze, Eye is so off base when he states that an SOR route could be started in two years. The BS meter just went off the chart. The Feds just don't move that fast and I am sure there are legal challenges to that route as well thanks to the litigeous nature of our society.

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Mike Blur 5 years, 3 months ago

gccs14r, you're onto something. XD40 established his account shortly after Pilgrim got disappeardeded. He's/it's probably one and the same.

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gccs14r 5 years, 3 months ago

XD40 sounds a lot like Pilgrim. He isn't happy if someone isn't getting shafted or the environment isn't being pillaged.

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not_so_greek 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh, how hypocritical. Here is Ariadne once again.Adriane, in his one-person house, next to a public greenspace for which he sues Lawrence citizens to have not tampered.It's about budget's he says. BS.He does not offer his much oversized per-capita house to any of those in Lawrence, or the world needing housing space.He should have been prohibited by purchasing a home, which he treats like a rural Shangri La, next to a public high school.Has he insulated his own house? Nope. Lets check its per capita energy consumption against other housing stock, in Lawrence or the rest of the state.Hypocricy? Self-interest? That is Ariadne personified! He's got his. To hell with the rest of the world. But, yes, lets post something otherwise on these boards.Ecological architect my foot.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

XD40 - the problem is not simply the finite oil supply.peak oil is also here because of increased consumption:Jun 19 2008The world population has grown tremendously over the past two thousand years. In 1999, the world population passed the six billion mark.Latest official world population estimate, for mid-year 2007, is estimated at 6,602,224,175.The chart below shows past world population data back to the year one and future world population projections through the year 2050.World Population GrowthYearPopulation1200 million1000275 million1500450 million1650500 million1750700 million18041 billion18501.2 billion19001.6 billion19272 billion19502.55 billion19552.8 billion19603 billion19653.3 billion19703.7 billion19754 billion19804.5 billion19854.85 billion19905.3 billion19955.7 billion19996 billion20066.5 billion20106.8 billion20127 billion20207.6 billion20308.2 billion20408.8 billion20509.2 billion

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

thanks again merrill - 'exactly' - This plan is obsolete so does not meet todays demands. Why put forth a plan that is more than 20 years old not to mention that the original concept was SOR?

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somebodynew 5 years, 3 months ago

OK, Merrill, you have just proven to me you don't read anything you just post."On this ballot should be other options as well as no bypass. Let the voting taxpayers decide for a change. They are not a stupid lot."What part of - there already was a vote didn't you get??? And I agree they weren't a stupid lot, they approved it years ago. Before there were invisible frogs, moved sweat lodges, and all the other bogus arguments.Now, Since I do read at least some of your posts, I will agree this is an old plan and there are merits about thinking of something else. BUT as long as there are going to be bogus arguments used, that idea is not going to fly.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

This plan is obsolete so does not meet todays demands. Why put forth a plan that is more than 20 years old not to mention that the original concept was SOR?Who are the cheerleaders of going through a environmentally sensitive area? Early into this lawsuit affair, before large hearings were even considered, there were hearings with only small numbersof people showing maybe 20-30.The faces pushing this destruction of valuable wetlands that I recognized were executives of local real estate agencies. Some happened to be city and county commissioners as well = major conflict of interest. Bob Johnson is a founding member of Douglas County Development Inc and was a board member when he was elected to the county commission.Face it had the real estate industry left well enough alone it is my guess the SOR route would have been completed long ago. Considering a SOR plan is not a new plan what could move this plan along rather quickly is for the local real estate industry to withdraw their request for a wetlands route and return to the original SOR route.I would say Douglas County citizens are not married to this plan only the local developers. This is reason enough for a new vote not to mention the new cost of developing a bypass.... taxpaying voters should not be cast aside as uninterested parties. On this ballot should be other options as well as no bypass. Let the voting taxpayers decide for a change. They are not a stupid lot.

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somebodynew 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill - while I routinely choose not to address you (or your cut and paste), you did make one statement I have to respond to.:merrill (Anonymous) says… Perhaps it is time to put this issue before voters this spring. The ballot is there. All that is necessary is to put the questions on the existing ballot at no extra cost to taxpayers.My question is how many times do the voters have to vote on this. Do the results go away after a few years. We did have one (if not more) votes on this and it PASSED. That was years ago and lawsuits were filed afterward and all that.Do you really think anything will change with a new vote?? I suggest the only way it would change is if the obstructionists win the vote - then they would be happy and go away. Otherwise there will just be more lawsuits and delays.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"There is a national list of priority projects that exceeds $60B…potholes on the east side aren't going to make the cut."No bill has been passed through Congress and signed by the president, so it's too early to say what sort of projects may be funded from whatever stimulus package does get passed.There has been some talk of giving direct grants to state and local governments, with some strings attached. But as I said, nothing has been passed yet, so we'll just have to wait and see whether any such funds might cover potholes in city streets. I have my doubts that such funding will come about.

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Hoots 5 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence will never get this built. I've lost track of how long its been since we voted for this road.

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Pilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…How many citizen tax dollars are we talking about at todays cost? How many Douglas County tax dollars will be consumed by this project?******No different than you being always eager to spend our tax dollars on whatever project of the moment strikes your fancy, Richard. Tax dollars are tax dollars, after all. There's no more nor less smoke and mirrors involved in the hare-brained ideas you espouse than what you allege about developers. None.

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Pilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…Of course I would rather the route be off K-10 between Eudora and Desoto thus having traffic diverted to the turnpike thus users pay instead of Douglas county taxpayers. Yes taxpayers will be asked for more tax dollars.According to a phone conversation HNTB did study an SOR route that would connect to an existing K-10 interchange 1057/E1900 rd. This option completely avoided the wetlands.This design was never presented to the public. Why did the proponents not want this design?I-70 connectors east of Eudora were also among the potential choices. This concept accomplishes many things.******Of course you would rather, Richard, because it wouldn't make you look so stupid. Your precious I-70 connectors are a failed idea. Have been for a long, long, long time now. They are NOT going to happen.But I suppose if you really want to continue to play the role of the three-year-old blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, who am I to tell you to not waste your time? It just bothers me that you frequently waste the time of the rest of us in the process.

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Eric Beightel 5 years, 3 months ago

There is a national list of priority projects that exceeds $60B...potholes on the east side aren't going to make the cut.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Value of Wetlands:Considerable attention has recently been paid to wetlands values both in this country and elsewhere. Once regarded as useless, disease-ridden environments, wetlands in fact provide values that no other ecosystem can provide, including: natural and waste-water quality improvement, flood protection, shoreline erosion control, opportunities for recreation and aesthetic appreciation, and natural products for our use at little or no cost. Wetlands provide one or more of these values and are worth protecting.More:http://www.coe.ou.edu/ebel/natural.htmWetlands OverviewThe Value of WetlandsWetlands protect our communities from flooding, filter pollutants from our drinking water, and provide life-sustaining habitat to fish and wildlife.Wetlands Protect Us AllWetlands filter pollutants from our drinking water, protect our homes by storing floodwater, and provide homes for fish, shellfish, and wildlife.Real Life Stories About WetlandsReal life stories include homeowners that are protected by wetlands and gulf shrimpers that are threatened by polluted runoff.Sierra Club Policy on Mitigation BankingMitigation banking is the process for replacing and restoring wetlands in one location, after wetlands in another location are destroyed.http://www.sierraclub.org/wetlands/factsheets/Flood protectionWetlands help protect adjacent and downstream properties from potential flood damage. The value of flood control by wetlands increases with: (1) wetland area, (2) proximity of the wetland to flood waters, (3) location of the wetland (along a river, lake, or stream), (4) amount of flooding that would occur without the presence of the wetlands, and, (5) lack of other upstream storage areas such as ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.Wetlands within and upstream of urban areas are particularly valuable for flood protection. The impervious surface in urban areas greatly increases the rate and volume of runoff, thereby increasing the risk of flood damage. The drainage of wetlands, the diversion of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers from their original floodplains, and the development allowed in the floodplains over the past 100 years were partly responsible for the billions of dollars in damage to businesses, homes, crops, and property that occurred as a result of the Midwest flood of 1993.

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Eric Beightel 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill- Lawrence will get $0 from the stimulus. KDOT will get the money and then distribute according to their priority list. This will go to Interstates and seriously deficient state routes with some maintenance for old bridges, etc. thrown in. Don't fool yourself into thinking this is going to fix potholes on Tennessee Street.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

It must be wonderful to be able to create your own reality from whole cloth, XD.

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Pilgrim 5 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…“Roger Boyd, who already is moving dirt to help mitigate the trafficway extension’s planned construction, whenever that time comes.”Interesting that the article neglected to mention that Boyd and Baker are getting $8 million for the 32nd St. route.*********Just as interesting as the fact you always conveniently forget to include the fact that Baker University is the owner of the property.Lies of ommission, bozo?

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XD40 5 years, 3 months ago

bozo: Haskell does not own the wetlands. They're not called the 'Baker' wetlands for nothing. Baker University in Baldwin owns thems. And, they are willing to drain the present wetlands so the SLT can be built. Baker will rebuild the wetlands elsewhere. They are, after all, an artificial, man-made construct.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence needs to spend the money on eastside streets and sidewalks. These projects are ready and waiting. Use bricks on the eastside streets as they have an estimated 50 year life span.

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Eric Beightel 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't think anyone needs to worry about the stimulus funding the SLT...the administration wants projects that are ready to start construction within 90 - 180 days of passage.The SLT will not be ready to go within that timeframe. Fret not.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps it is time to put this issue before voters this spring. The ballot is there. All that is necessary is to put the questions on the existing ballot at no extra cost to taxpayers.Give the taxpayers an opportunity to decide on whether or not they would rather have the route choice moved, thus moving the project along far more quickly. Isn't it time to show taxpayers some respect? How many citizen tax dollars are we talking about at todays cost? How many Douglas County tax dollars will be consumed by this project?How many local tax dollars is the 31st project going to consume?How many local tax dollars will the new sewage treatment plan consume?Should eastside taxpayers be expected to fund south and west side growth? NO not at this spending rate.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

LJW spin spin spin - this is a local generated story.Obama i am sure hasn't even heard of the SLT.this 'bypass' is extinct before even being built, period.peak oil is only 4 to 5 years away now.Sprawling over Lawrence Terrain would be a betterdescription of the SLT. sprawl is not the answer folks.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"Note also that the first leg costs aren't over."And once the expansion of US 59 is complete, making it an alternative to I35 for truckers, the increased traffic will mean that the western leg will need to be expanded to 4 lanes, at a cost of at least $100 million.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Louie McElhaney,father to Jere, is a former county commissioner suggested a south of the river route is on another table somewhere one day at the courthouse. A south of the river plan was the original approved route. So attorney Bob Eye is not off base with his remarks. Who are the cheerleaders of going through a environmentally sensitive area? Early into this lawsuit affair, before large hearings were even considered, there were hearings with only small numbersof people showing maybe 20-30. The faces pushing this destruction of valuable wetlands that I recognized were executives of local real estate agencies. Some happened to be city and county commissioners as well = major conflict of interest. Bob Johnson is a founding member of Douglas County Development Inc and was a board member when he was elected to the county commission. Face it had the real estate industry left well enough alone it is my guess the SOR route would have been completed long ago. Considering a SOR plan is not a new plan what could move this plan along rather quickly is for the local real estate industry to withdraw their request for a wetlands route and return to the original SOR route.Of course I would rather the route be off K-10 between Eudora and Desoto thus having traffic diverted to the turnpike thus users pay instead of Douglas county taxpayers. Yes taxpayers will be asked for more tax dollars.According to a phone conversation HNTB did study an SOR route that would connect to an existing K-10 interchange 1057/E1900 rd. This option completely avoided the wetlands.This design was never presented to the public. Why did the proponents not want this design? I-70 connectors east of Eudora were also among the potential choices. This concept accomplishes many things. It services:• Johnson and Douglas county traffic going to northwest Lawrence or Topeka. Or Topeka going to JOCO.• the Eudora Business Park east of 1057.• East Hills Business Park and the southeast Lawrence industrial park.• the Lawrence airport.And it:• diverts traffic around the city.• keeps the SLT out of the wetlands.• reduces congestion for morning and afternoon commuters.• might save Douglas County taxpayers millions of dollars.• Eliminates use of tax dollars.• Eliminates the need for an eastern bypass* Would not dump fast moving traffic off uncomfortably close to the congested city limits• allows KTA fees to pay for the highway and maintenance.Again this could be a toll road thereby users, to include 18 wheelers, become a defacto benefit district = paying its' own way.This is by far and away the best plan for Douglas County taxpayers no question about it. It has been difficult for me to understand why the real estate community is always eager to spend our tax dollars thus increasing taxes. Why do voters continue to vote this industry into public office?

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logrithmic 5 years, 3 months ago

It's interesting that rightwingers like to moan and complain about the chump change for a host of improvements but when it comes to spending the big bucks on needless highways through environmentally sensitive areas, they're all for it. Don't be fooled for a minute by the estimated $148 million completion cost. You can count on double that. The first leg was supposed to cost only $100 million and ended up costing $250 million. Note also that the first leg costs aren't over. They are planning a $10 million interchange at 15th Street. Rightwingers are such tools....

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"We're just going to have to give up the (artficial, man-made) wetlands on the 32nd Street route."We? No, you mean that Haskell will have to give up its wetlands so that you don't have to sacrifice a few minutes of convenience.

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edjayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

"Commissioners get elected based on what they oppose, not what they support."I couldn't have said it better toe....

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toe 5 years, 3 months ago

Who cares. This has been going on for so long that the road to nowhere is simply a testament to Lawrence's inability to get anything of importance done. Commissioners get elected based on what they oppose, not what they support.

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XD40 5 years, 3 months ago

C'mon folks. Obama says we all have to sacrifice to make changey hope work. We're just going to have to give up the (artficial, man-made) wetlands on the 32nd Street route. Maybe Dennis Moore can get us an 'earmark' for new and improved wetlands.

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overthemoon 5 years, 3 months ago

I have never heard anyone discuss a win-win situation for the SLT. Meaning a good route designed in such a manner as to not destroy wetlands (raised?) or impose upon the Haskel campus (screened)...this can be done with clever and thoughtful design instead of forcing a route that doesn't make sense. There is a lot of trafficway design being done (mainly in Europe) that incorporates good design principles with environmental and functional effectiveness. The results are attractive, unobtrusive and safe.The existing leg of the SLT is poorly designed (the spaghetti at the clinton lake junction and the barely beyond country road quality of the eastern half of it.

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Andrew Stahmer 5 years, 3 months ago

If obama himself had anything to say about it--forget it!He'd never approve 'destroying' even an artifically created wetlands.

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repaste 5 years, 3 months ago

what jobs will Lawrence get from this?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"Roger Boyd, who already is moving dirt to help mitigate the trafficway extension’s planned construction, whenever that time comes."Interesting that the article neglected to mention that Boyd and Baker are getting $8 million for the 32nd St. route.

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macon47 5 years, 3 months ago

Have I got this right?The IRS is eliminating deductions, and wants to step of efforts to insure proper reporting of wages for income taxes, so they can give that money to those who are not working and paying income taxes?> > As I reflect on 2008, I can say we had a great year:> > Blacks are happy; Obama was elected.> > Whites are happy, OJ is in jail.> > Democrats are happy; George Bush is leaving office.> > Republicans are happy: Democrats will finally quit> saying George Bush stole the election.> > And all of us are so happy; The election is finally over!> > > I think 2009 will be even better: Immediately after his> inauguration, Obama will balance the budget, revive the> economy, solve the real estate problem, solve the auto> industry problem, solve our gas/alternative energy problem,> stop the fires and mudslides in California, ban hurricanes> and tornadoes, stop identity theft, reverse global warming,> find Osama, solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, get rid> of corruption in government and achieve world peace . Then> on the 7th day, He will rest.> > > > > My best wishes for 2009.............and remember:> > "The government cannot give to anyone anything that> it does not first take from someone else

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Liberty_One 5 years, 3 months ago

Government spending is not the way to go about creating jobs.

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David Albertson 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't care where they put it, but they need to do something. 23rd street is getting BAD during rush hour. It's only going to get worse.

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XD40 5 years, 3 months ago

32nd Street is the way to go with this. Obambi supporters should get behind this in a hurry. Its a great infrastructure project! Jobs, jobs, jobs! All much needed and need quickly! In addition, it will probably spur more business development on Lawrence's east side -- a propect for long term jobs.

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macon47 5 years, 3 months ago

is this ironic, bho is responsible for completing the slt.? is that a hoot or what?kinda like al gore inventing the internet!

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