Archive for Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Town Talk: Site near Wal-Mart being pitched to Lowe’s; The Mail Box to close; Census to release data today

December 21, 2010, 8:41 a.m. Updated December 21, 2010, 1:48 p.m.


News and notes from around town:

• In the more than two months since Lawrence city commissioners rejected a plan by Lowe’s to build near Sixth Street and Folks Road, the rumor mill has been pretty quiet about whether the company still has any interest in Lawrence. There’s still nothing definitive, but the speculation has started to churn again. Several sources said a site immediately west of the Wal-Mart at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive has been strongly presented to the company in recent weeks. The property has been planned for a retirement community, but that project hasn't been developed. No word yet on how interested Lowe’s may be in the location. It will be interesting to see if a new development plan is filed for the site, and it will be particularly interesting if it is filed before the April City Commission elections. It surely would be a major issue in campaigns.

• Soon the last stamp will be licked at The Mail Box, a longtime Lawrence shipping business at 3115 W. Sixth St. Owner Joel Wagler said he plans to close the business on Dec. 30 after 25 years of operations.

Wagler has owned the business for the last 19 years, and said profit margins have shrunk dramatically since UPS and FedEx both adopted corporate strategies of owning their own shipping stores.

“They went from being our vendors to now being our competitors, too,” Wagler said.

Plus, don’t tell Wagler that inflation is under control. When it comes to lots of items that are little expenses for most of us — but big expenses to a shipping company — inflation has been higher than Wagler could stand. Tape prices, for example, have tripled in recent years, and box prices are up 17 percent, he said.

The store, which employs a mix of five full- and part-time employees, plans to start marking down merchandise and empty the shelves on Wednesday.

“We had a great, loyal customer base for a long, long time,” Wagler said. “But with the economy people are shipping less, and it is time to move on.”

UPDATE: The Census numbers are now out. We released the numbers in several of the posts below as they were being announced this morning. But for a one paragraph summary, here we go: Kansas' population grew by 6.1 percent from 2000. That's less than the national growth rate of 9.7 percent. That national growth rate, by the way, was the second slowest of the last century. The decade of the 1930s is the only one to produce slower growth. Kansas' total population is 2,853,118 up from 2,688,418 in 2000. Population totals for Lawrence and Douglas County and other places weren't released today. The Census Bureau will start releasing local population totals — broken down to the block level — in February. The data will be released state-by-state. All state data should be released by the end of March.

Data geeks will get their first taste of 2010 Census results today. The Census Bureau will release its national population total, its state population totals and Congressional district population totals at 10 a.m. today. It will be the first of many data releases to come, but this one is big because these numbers will be used to determine the new lines for Congressional districts for the next 10 years. We’ll provide you the numbers when they are released.

Interactive map

2010 Census Data


Brad Barker 7 years, 2 months ago

Quick thanks to Chad. Town Talk is my favorite column. Keep up the great work.

parrothead8 7 years, 2 months ago

I am not shocked that you had nothing nice to say. Happy holidays, man.

parrothead8 7 years, 2 months ago

Lol...I've never collected government assistance in my life, but thanks for the uninformed personal attack. I can tell you always treat people right...don't know how I could have made that mistake based on your comments around here. My bad.

ronwell_dobbs 7 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for confirming your teabaggery. Most of us can tell from a distance, but it's helpful for some who are slower on the uptake.

pace 7 years, 2 months ago

I had very good service there for about 10 years, but then had too many "problems" poor service, incorrect information. . The store was always clean.

Ralph Gage 7 years, 2 months ago

My experience is quite different. I'm sorry the Mail Box is going out of business. The folks I dealt with there always were polite and helpful.

gccs14r 7 years, 2 months ago

That has been my experience, too. I'll miss those guys. Now where am I supposed to go? Kinkos? Talk about a total lack of customer service.

Katherine Greene 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry they are going out of business as well. They made shipping packages very easy for me. I'm not sending as many, since my parents died.

hedgehog007 7 years, 2 months ago

I had a great experience with them as well. My mother sent me dozens of large care packages (boxes) when I was in Iraq, and The Mailbox always gave a huge discount to care packages to APO addresses. I always got them fast and in excellent condition after their long journey. I continued to use them to send packages to friends over there when I got back. They did a great job.

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 2 months ago

Hi folks: I'm listening to the Census Bureau results being released. The national population has grown from 281,421,906 in 2000 to 308,745,538 in 2010. More to come. Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 2 months ago

As expected Kansas will not lose a seat in Congress as a result of the 2010 Census, the bureau has confirmed in its release today. Missouri, however, did lose a seat. Texas will gain the most seats - 4. Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

jgier 7 years, 2 months ago

Also, thank you for the Census updates. I wish you had a live updated column running on your home page featuring this information.

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 2 months ago

Here are the five states that had the highest growth rates over the last 10 years: 1. Nevada 2. Arizona 3. Utah 4. Idaho 5. Texas

The five states with the slowest growth over the last 10 years. 1. Michigan 2. Rhode Island 3. Louisiana 4. Ohio 5. New York

Will get you Kansas numbers shortly.

Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 2 months ago

Kansas grew by 6.1 percent. That's less than the national average of 9.7 percent. Other states in the area and their growth rates: Missouri: 7.0 percent Oklahoma: 8.7 percent Nebraska: 6.7 percent Colorado: 16.9 percent Iowa: 4.1 percent Texas: 20.6 percent

The 9.7 percent growth rate for the entire country was the second lowest in the past century.

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 2 months ago

Here are the states that lost and gained seats in Congress as a result of these Census numbers.

Gainers Arizona +1 Florida + 2 Georgia + 1 Nevada +1 South Carolina +1 Texas +4 Utah +1 Washington +1

Losers Illinois -1 Iowa -1 Louisiana -1 Mass. -1 Michigan -1 Missouri -1 New Jersey -1 New York -2 Ohio -2 Penn. -1

gccs14r 7 years, 2 months ago

Any states lose population in real terms?

gccs14r 7 years, 2 months ago

The Constitution stipulates that there be a representative for no fewer than 30,000 people, but does not specify a maximum. I don't think the Founders anticipated 50 states or 300 million people. It's time we added a maximum number of citizens that can be represented by one member of Congress. One person cannot reasonably represent 600,000 people. The maximum should be 60,000. That would make our representatives more responsive to their constituents and it would permit minor parties to gain traction in government. It would also make it nearly impossible for Congressional leadership to strong-arm the members into voting against their principles.

MyName 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree that there should be more representation than there is, 255 seats seems a bit low, but at 1 rep per 60k we'd need 5100+ representatives in the house, and we'd still only have 100 in the Senate. It seems likely that once you reach a certain number then you can't get anything done at all.

gccs14r 7 years, 2 months ago

435 in the House currently, not 255. I don't know about not getting anything done. It would be more difficult to get back-room deals done, since it would be more difficult to round up co-sponsors for dubious legislation and the members would be more inclined to read what they were voting on. This wouldn't be a bad thing. As for accommodating 5100+ members, it could all be done via teleconference and remote voting, meaning the members could stay home near their constituents and far away from K street. The House chamber could be turned into a museum.

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 2 months ago

One last update from the numbers just released. Kansas' total population is 2,853,118, up from 2,688,418 in 2000. The state's population density is 34.9 people per square mile. That's up from 32.9 people per square mile in 2000. Kansas' ranking in terms of density was unchanged. Our population density is the 42nd highest in the country. In other words, we're not very dense.

Also, for those of you wondering about Lawrence and Douglas County numbers, those weren't released today. The Census Bureau will start releasing local population numbers - broken down to individual blocks - in February. They'll release them state by state. By the end of March, data for all states should be released.

I'll be looking through this data today, and will put together a more complete story later. Thanks, Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

alfie 7 years, 2 months ago

kansas gained 164,700 people 2000- 2,688,418 2010- 2,853,118

deec 7 years, 2 months ago

I'll bet nearly all those people gained are hispanic immigrants who work in the food industry.

deec 7 years, 2 months ago

How is that racist? I have no problem with Hispanics or anyone else, legal or illegal, coming here to make a better life for their families. My ancestors did it. Your ancestors probably did it. I was merely speculating that when the demographic breakdown occurs, the increase in population will be almost entirely Hispanic. Most Hispanics who immigrate settle near meat factories (Garden City, Crete Ne. etc) or in areas with stoop labor jobs (California, etc.). That's why racists like Kobach are able to make money preying on the local populations' fear of immigrants.

jgier 7 years, 2 months ago


If you don't mind me asking, and I know how things can go with the news when you want to get info out, but who are the sources you refer to in the Lowe's part of this story? Are your sources "off the record?"

LogicMan 7 years, 2 months ago

Lowe's at the "site immediately west of the Wal-Mart":

Excellent news! Where it should have been, all along. The City should promise to fast-track their end of things.

Build it there, build it big, build it without an extra tax, and build it now!

whatupdown 7 years, 2 months ago

Bummer about the mailbox there, I just took three gifts to the Topeka store, so cheap and too easy, fast, I had never been there before but now I know they are great. I just thought they would be high dollar like fed/ups. My box was only 3 dollars more than the USPS postage, thats for a box, packing, labor, and label.

cozy 7 years, 2 months ago

was anything ever mentioned about Old Chicago closing?

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