Letters to the Editor

North vs. South

July 21, 2009


I’m referring to the North Lawrence Second Street and Locust intersection upgrade.

The city of Lawrence gladly takes taxes from North Lawrence residents, but hems and haws around when it comes to getting fire protection to them. Since when is paying firemen overtime pay to be stationed in North Lawrence more important than being prepared to save human lives of North Lawrence people?

I wholeheartedly disagree with the fire chief’s analysis of the “study” of fire protection between North Lawrence and South Lawrence.

This upgrade and surrounding situations certainly justify fire protection to be closer to North Lawrence from now through next April. That is 10 months, people.

If the city commissioners can’t justify overtime for firemen, then we should not have put in so many bike paths, so many ungodly looking roundabouts or brick streets for Old West Lawrence. Seems to me that the city of Lawrence “powers that be” have their priorities all messed up!

On July 14, the Journal-World, on page 6A, had a story saying the city manager proposes budgeting $50,000 per year for 10 years to renovate the old Carnegie Library. Wow!

What is wrong with this picture?


John Hamm 8 years, 9 months ago

Considering you're referring to "the City of Lawrence." Not much. Inequality and excessive spending seems to be the norm here.

"You may not come back from a nuclear attack." Greg Lake

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

Talk about dumb planning.

How about this one. The westside developers decided 4 grocery stores in northwest would be a good idea in spite of the over stocked retail market in that area = economic displacement aka negative economic growth. This is not good for tax revenues considering the city taxpayers must maintain all of the NEW infrastructure which in essence is a tax increase.

The vendors complain about too many grocery stores in that area based on negative sales impacts. Why did this happen?

Where are the retail economic impact statements that would justify not smart or fiscally irresponsible decisions by city government. Not smart economic decisions do not pay back the taxpayers but instead demand even more of the tax the taxpayer aka calls for increased taxes of sorts and user fees aka taxes.

Meanwhile North Lawrence has no grocery store. The logic must be North Lawrence cannot support one grocery store.

Then considering between 31st and Iowa, 6th and Wakarusa plus 6th and Lawrence there are 6 grocery stores all grabbing for the same available grocery store dollars.

Who in the heck submitted an economic impact study verifying this small grocery region could support six grocery stores? These consultants should be sued and taxpayers should get their money back!

The grocery stores and local taxpayers are ALL losing money. This cannot be blamed on Washington D.C. This is simply anti economic growth bad business decisions.

The bottom line based on the illogic of the above North Lawrence could easily support ONE grocery store and could easily justify one permanent fire truck and one EMS vehicle. North Lawrence has a ton of new housing.

As a means to create the image that Lawrence is not over built in retail Tanger Mall retail center has now been declared light industrial which could be a fine space for a fire truck and an ambulance permanently.

North Lawrence has legitimate concerns. When the street rehab begins traffic will be backed up.

7texdude 8 years, 9 months ago

Folks, If there aren't enough customers for those 4 stores, then one of them will go under. That is business, yes? It looks like they are planning for an explosion of growth on the west side even though it isn't going to be there for quite a while (although they are building plenty of houses). It will be curious to see what happens. As for North Lawrence, if there is such a market for a grocery store, then why doesn't someone build one or rent one? Money is money and profit is profit. Why would the city gov't turn away any extra tax dollars. They can't be that stupid, can they?

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 9 months ago

Remember kids, Richard Heckler hates North Lawrence.

Matthew Herbert 8 years, 9 months ago

North Lawrence had a grocery store. It went out of business and is now a Harley Davidson dealership. It's not a conspiracy folks, it's capitalism. In parts of town where people have extra income, we find extra stores. WOW! Imagine that !! Conspiracy!!

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 9 months ago

Renaissance FTW. You can't run Lawrence like you run SimCity. This is not a Hecklerian planned economy.

oliveoyl 8 years, 9 months ago

It has been years since that grocery store in North Lawrence closed...years. North Lawrence has grown considerably since then with new housing developments. I live in North Lawrence and even though it's not that big of a deal to drive to 6th street Dillions, I would most definitely support a grocery store closer to home. I sometimes go to The Casbah Market for items but obviously I can't buy everything there. Starting a business is a gamble of course and I'm curious to see if anyone would support a grocery store across the river...Reinessance is right to an extent. It's never worked before but that doesn't mean we should never try again. More and more people are choosing to live in North Lawrence. It is good access to downtown and I-70, fairly quiet (there is the train) and the neighnborhoods, while spotty, are decent.

kmat 8 years, 9 months ago

Thank you oliveoyl! It was about 15+ years ago I think that the grocery store closed. People didn't want to go there because it was disgusting. A clean store with fresh food will attrack people. You can't call what was their before a grocery store.

I've lived in N. Lawrence for 8 years. Prior to that, I had lived in every other part of town. My neighborhood is great. No student rentals. Lots of young families and retired people make up most of the residents. And there has been so much houseing built since I moved in.

Most people have never been into the residential part of N. Lawrence and have no clue. They will talk down to us, but have never bothered to visit to see that there are really nice houses and mostly middle class folks living in a nice community.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 9 months ago

"oliveoyl (Anonymous) says. It's never worked before but that doesn't mean we should never try again. More and more people are choosing to live in North Lawrence."

So if you think there is an opportunity, open one. Get a lone, find a building and go for it. The city is not going to wave a magic wand and create a grocery store for you.

Matthew Herbert 8 years, 9 months ago

oliveoyl, for what it's worth, I DID live in North Lawrence for several years (3'ish??) I thought it was a wonderful part of town with very affordable housing options (we bought a wonderful home for a very low price). It wasn't the trains that ultimately drove me away, but the drunk drivers barreling through our yard on the way home from the strip club and the fact that a friend of ours who does environmental remediation for a living gave me some interesting information regarding the chemical plant at the end of Walnut/Locust streets.....real Erin Brockovich type stuff if you know what I mean.....

oliveoyl 8 years, 9 months ago

glock-Did I say I expect the city to give us a grocery store? Was I even complaining? I thought I was pretty honest and realistic. I agreed with Renaissance for a reason. All I was saying that just because something didn't work in the past doesn't mean that it won't work in the future. There are a lot of factors to starting a business and the most important is supply and demand...case and point when I said that I was CURIOUS to see if the masses in North Lawrence would cater to it...that doesn't mean I want to own and operate it or that it would even work. Comprehension level what?

Renaissance-I don't live by the strip bar and I can't say that I blame you for moving.

workinghard 8 years, 9 months ago

I would be curious to know how much of the sales at the gas stations in NL are for things other than gas. Also, went to the Burger King the other day for a kid's meal for a girl I was taking care of. It was 12:30 lunch time. We had to get bottled water because they were out of chocolate milk and didn't want pop. We ordered chicken nuggets, which were stone cold, at lunch time, and apple fries which were frozen and mushy. I even had to pay extra for the apple fries. Since I got it to go, I wasn't about to drive back. Tried to call at 2:30 and nobody would answer the phone. It won't last either if this is the best they can do at lunch time. Had I known, I would have driven to McDonalds on 6th, just as I did for Dillons because the grocery store in NL was disgusting as well as what they had for sale.

Matthew Herbert 8 years, 9 months ago

that BK has been there for as long as I can remember and has been terrible for just as long.....hard to imagine a BK going out of business, no matter how terrible though. Since it's right off the turnpike, I'd imagine most of their business are customers who will never return to that BK anyway.

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