Archive for Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Iniades, Greece, likely to become Lawrence’s third sister city

Lawrence could add another sibling. City leaders are looking at Iniades, Greece as a new sister city.

January 13, 2009


The city of Lawrence is expecting to partner soon with its third sister city: Iniades, Greece.

The five-village city hasn’t yet become an official sister, but it’s on its way, said Bill Keel, chairman of the Lawrence Sister Cities Advisory Board.

A sister city arrangement is a formal agreement between two cities to foster exchange programs and sponsor partnerships.

“Sister cities is a way to make the world a little bit smaller, friendly place to live,” said Dennis Christilles, co-chair of Lawrence’s Friends of Iniades. “The bridges we are building now are bridges that can be traveled on for years to come by many people.”

Kansas University students have been traveling to Iniades for the past 22 years, though it wasn’t until this summer that the mayor of the city expressed interest in being a sister city of Lawrence.

Each summer, KU and area high school students travel to Iniades to perform a play, immerse themselves in Greek culture and take study-abroad courses.

Katrina Bondari, doctoral candidate from Lenox, Ga., accompanied the troupe last summer as a graduate assistant. She said the main similarity between Iniades’ villages and Lawrence is an area where people go to “drink coffee and visit the local bar.” She compared the streets to Lawrence’s Massachusetts Street.

Keel pointed to Lawrence’s other sister cities — Eutin, Germany, and Hiratsuka, Japan — as evidence of the program’s ability to foster peace among nations that were once at war.

Christilles, however, emphasized another positive of the program.

“I’ve seen the benefits through students who are being raised in an atmosphere where these places aren’t just places in a geography book, but places where they have friends and relationships,” he said.

People interested in more information about the Iniades Sister City appointment can contact Christilles at


hipper_than_hip 9 years, 2 months ago

How much money will this cost the taxpayers? If it's not free, then this should be postponed until we can fully fund our capital improvement projects.

KansasVoter 9 years, 2 months ago

Greece? I understand having sister cities in Germany and Japan, but why Greece?

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 2 months ago

The program currently gets about $12,000, or about 15% of its funding, from the city. I can't think of a better way to spend the money.

loki8025 9 years, 2 months ago

Another sister city? How many does one town need? What a waste of time and money.

Dale Stringer 9 years, 2 months ago

Well my daughter has gone to bother Germany and Japan for the exchanges. I am out $4500 for both trip. So it isn't free by any means.

fearsadness14 9 years, 2 months ago

$12,000 in the city's budget is a minuscule price to pay for all of the learning potential that lies in a sister city. I have traveled to Eutin, and to this day it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. If this sister city does indeed come through, Iniades will definitely become one of my must see destinations.

SMe 9 years, 2 months ago

So the commissioners plus a few other lackies get to go to Greece at citizen's expense!Not the mention the extra little things that'll have to be bought and shipped in by the citizen's. Oops, sorry, I mentioned it.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 2 months ago

Breaking..."Sebelius budget plan would slash millions from higher education" See this at top of page.What other evidence is needed??? This stupid and expensive "sister city? crap is a lot of horse dropings! Who the hell is dreaming up this stuff? The above posts say it all, this is just another "warm and fuzzy feel-good sop" from the same old sop slingers. With all the current financial distress in the city budget, with all the undone city work, and with commissioners with their heads up their collective asses, what in heaven's name is anyone thinking about this absolutely ridiculous plan. Someone needs to have their clock cleaned, this is the most dysfunctional plan I have ever seen from this city yet.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 2 months ago

Totally insane. Just how many sister cities does one city need? Liberals gone wild again! Thank you, Lynn

Tom McCune 9 years, 2 months ago

Why can't we have a "kissing cousins" city program, or maybe a "funny uncle" cities program? How many sisters can one city stand?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 2 months ago

'Each summer, KU and area high school students travel to Iniades to perform a play, immerse themselves in Greek culture and take study-abroad courses."Oooohhhhh, "Greek Culture". All of you military vets know what THAT is............. Unh huh????Has to do with this business of study a-broad, don't it????

JHawker 9 years, 2 months ago

I think having another sister city is a wonderful idea. The opportunities presented provide amazing experiences for not only the youth in Lawrence and that of our sister city, but for the rest of us open-minded Lawrencians that have a genuine gratitude for culture and global opportunities. I would love to visit Greece and plan on doing so one day.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm not against the Sister City program, but we already have two first world cities as sisters! I think a third is unwarranted waste. instead, I think Lawrence should adopt a city in the developing world, or the third world so to say. Tibet comes to mind as they're facing oppression. our sisterhood might lead to a city in Tibet experiencing greater freedom because of our involvement? or, Iraq, recovering from Saddam's genocide and the war and terrorism. again, our involvement could make a huge difference for their populus right now. Pakistan, facing radical islam in their borders, our sisterhood might help encourage their moderation and democracy. or, a deeply impoverished american indian Res [reservation] community?just to name a few countries. instead of Greece, let's break the mold and make this one count for more.

hipper_than_hip 9 years, 2 months ago

I have no problem with funding things like sister city programs, but now isn't the right time to be adding another city to the list. There's a article on the front page that talks about a $1M shortfall from the state, and the possible withholding of liquor taxes; we should be cutting back on extras.

cowboy 9 years, 2 months ago

Just a guess that the 12,000 pays for a city and a school district employee to go on the trip as sponsors. My daughter went to hiratsuka years ago and as any overseas trip , it was a great experience for her. But , this seems a a folly that benefits very few in the community. a dozen or more kids pay for their own trips and a couple staff folks get to take a working vacation. Seems a waste of dollars as the return is very simply an individual one , no benefit for the city whatsoever.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 2 months ago

Why is this story buried under Van Dyke's corner? Why isn't this available on the "More stories" heading on the web site. Too many grenades in your court for this little getm???????

Commenting has been disabled for this item.