Archive for Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dead end for name change?

March 10, 2009


As Sue Hack’s days as a city commissioner dwindle down to a precious few, she has established one notable lame-duck priority.

Hack wants to rename Missouri Street between Ninth and 12th streets — the portion near Kansas University’s Memorial Stadium — in honor of Don Fambrough.

Fambrough is, of course, a living legend, a Lawrence icon not so much because of his two four-year stints as KU’s football coach (overall record 36-49-5), but as a symbol of anti-Missouri sentiment.

What Lawrence school child hasn’t read Fambrough’s Tiger-bashing book based on the three little pigs? Who doesn’t know that Fambrough, now 86, delivers a fiery speech to KU players before the annual KU-MU game?

Many no doubt have also seen the Border War video produced last fall by Metro Sports that features a 15-minute segment — hilarious at times — with Fambrough spewing anti-Mizzou venom that makes you wonder if Will Rogers ever met anybody from the Show-Me State.

Thus it was a few years ago that a KU student suggested that Lawrence having a Missouri Street located so close to Memorial Stadium bordered on blasphemy. After all, would MU stand for a Kansas Street near its football stadium? Of course not.

The notion died out, however, until Hack picked up the banner.

One of the reasons the renaming of Missouri Street went on the back burner is because of the difficulty of slipping a street name change past the city’s Historic Resources Commission.

The HRC does not believe in changing street names in Old West Lawrence. If a street has a black sign with white lettering, then it is located in a historic part of the city, and if you check Missouri Street near the stadium, you’ll see one of those signs.

I have some experience trying to change a street name in Old West Lawrence.

A couple of months ago, I went in front of the HRC to try to convince the group to recommend the city rename North Park Street in honor of Ralph Houk, a Lawrence native who was a highly decorated soldier during World War II and who compiled a memorable career as a manager and executive in major-league baseball.

North Park Street is adjacent to the old baseball diamonds in South Park where Houk played as a youth. It’s also one of the shortest streets in Lawrence, lasting only the block between Massachusetts and Vermont streets.

Also, there are no postal addresses on North Park, which further minimizes the impact. What about Yummy’s, you say? That yogurt confectionery facing the park uses a Massachusetts address.

In essence, the HRC members told me they thought something should be done to honor Houk — a plaque in South Park, for example — but that they did not consider changing the name of a street as an option.

Thus my suggestion was not placed on the city commission agenda because it was not approved by the HRC. However, as a city commissioner, Hack doesn’t have to secure HRC approval.

So all I have to say about renaming Missouri Street in honor of Don Fambrough is: Go for it, Sue. Do it now, because when you become an ordinary Lawrence citizen again you won’t have a chance.


Hoots 8 years, 11 months ago

I like Don Fambrough a great deal..I can't think of anyone I have ever seen that gives a better speech. On the other hand changing street names is confusing especially when it changes for a few blocks here and there.

jonas_opines 8 years, 11 months ago

God, this makes us look so childish.

"After all, would MU stand for a Kansas Street near its football stadium? Of course not."

Imagine having more class than MU.

gr 8 years, 11 months ago

"Hack wants to rename Missouri Street between Ninth and 12th streets"

Hack - a symbol of disorder.

Hey, how about putting street names up for the highest bidder. Maybe 15th can change names at every block. Increase tax revenue. Support the empT.
Why stop at a whole block of the street. Each person can bid on changing the name in front of their house. Problems solved. Disorder increased. Yea Suey.

cato_the_elder 8 years, 11 months ago

Our football field at Memorial Stadium should have been named Fambrough Field long ago. With all due respect to Tom Kivisto and any financial support that he has provided, our football field should not have been named after a basketball player, and Tom should not have accepted it.

HermioneElliott 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree. This is just going to be confusing. Between 9th and 12th? Are there not people who live in that area? Would they not have to change the address on their drivers licence and other ID? Mail delivery? Fed Ex delivery? No such number, no such street, sorry, its going back!

Lynn Wilson-Bruce 8 years, 11 months ago

I like the idea! I never understood WHY we had a street named MIssouri anyways.

justaverage 8 years, 11 months ago

How about naming the street along the west side of the stadium after Don Fambrough?

missouri_street 8 years, 11 months ago

stupid, stupid, stupid.

Aren't we just a little better than this as a City?

pace 8 years, 11 months ago

I would call the street anything, if Sue would resign and get her little self out of the public office she has disgraced. She sure knows how to keep her mouth shut when asked even the easy questions. She could of, but decided not to.

missouri_street 8 years, 11 months ago

This thing is being advocated by Athletic Department employees and those associated with the K-Club.

It is a group of people totally involved and associated with KU athletics. Many do not even live in Lawrence.

My point is that these people are WELL connected at the Athletic Department and KU. They have ample opportunities to do something appropriate to honor the coach ON campus or AT the stadium, and find a way not lower the city to the level of locker-room bravado.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 11 months ago

I salute the effort to honor coach in this manner, but with all future games against MU to be played in MO no MU alum or student would ever drive down Fambrough lane here in Lawrence. I think it would have more effect if we could get the City of Raytown to change one of it's streets to Fambrough through way.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 11 months ago

Surprised Comm Hack does not want a street named after Dicephera in honor of corruption. Imagine having 5 city commissioners being honored for claiming NOT to have the capacity to realize that conflicts of interest were smacking them in the face. Two of them with many years as commissioners under their belts.

Forget renaming streets because the entire population does not need it. Go design a T -Shirt and wear it everyday.

missouri_street 8 years, 11 months ago

Maybe KU and the K-Club advocacy group can better use their money and time and find the right way to honor him on campus. A statue perhaps. Either at the stadium or the athletic offices. These advocates are well known in the Athletic Department. They have influence there.

And after all. It is a former KU coach. It is a KU issue.

Woodling's previous attempt to rename another street just reinforces the dilemma of where you would stop this street re-naming business. Why not honor Wilt or Danny or Jim Ryun? Maybe Carolina, Kentucky or Oklahoma need taught a lesson. And Al Oerter is probably more deserving than any of them. Where does Al get his street?

Or is that what streets are for?

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

hey, while we're at it, can we get 15th restored to *15th, make 23rd all the way?
why don't we declare a retroactive historic preservation issue on them two streets?

gr 8 years, 11 months ago

How about "honoring" certain people by naming a round-a-bout after them?

Chris Ogle 8 years, 11 months ago

Gr- great idea... our commission does that ..... go round about.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

How about “honoring” certain people by naming a round-a-bout after them?

okay, this then begs the question: which one becomes the Dickie Heckler Roundabout?

we obviously need a: "just another boozo on the bus roundabout.

djgratt59 8 years, 10 months ago

Do it.

There are legal city street signs written in sand script (in Chinatown for example).

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