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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.

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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

Comments

thebcman 3 years, 3 months ago

I realize it's outside of your beat, but does anybody know what happened to Simple Simon's Pizza in Eudora? As per usual, the Eudora News has no info on it.

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cozy 3 years, 3 months ago

was anything ever mentioned about Old Chicago closing?

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whatupdown 3 years, 3 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.

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LogicMan 3 years, 3 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!

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jgier 3 years, 3 months ago

clawhorn,

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?"

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Chad Lawhorn 3 years, 3 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

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Chad Lawhorn 3 years, 3 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

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macon47 3 years, 3 months ago

NEVER BEEN TO THE MAIL BOX BUT I AGREE TO MANY PLACES I TRY TO SPEND MY MONEY THE EMPLOYEES ARE TOO BUSY WITH PERSONAL ACTIVITES LIKE TEXTING OR CHATTING TO TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS. I GUESS THATS THE BEST HELP THE OWNERS CAN HIRE BUT NO WONDER SOME ARE GOING BROKE TOO BAD IT ONLY LEAVES FED EX WITH ONE DROP OFF LOCATATION DOWNTOWN, THEY MIGHT AS WELL PACK IT IN IF THEY DONT CARE ABOUT TAKING CARE OF BUSIESS EITHER

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Ralph Gage 3 years, 3 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.

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Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 3 months ago

I am not shocked this place is going out. Customer service was terrible. Employees were to busy texting and eating to answer questions. I quit going there over 2 years ago.

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obamarocks 3 years, 3 months ago

Agreed! build it large or don't bother.

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consumer1 3 years, 3 months ago

If you the city is going to try and force them to build a small market store, please don't waste the energy. Just like the puny wal mart, the small market store has NOTHING to offer. SO, allow them to go large or let them leave!

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consumer1 3 years, 3 months ago

If you the city is going to try and force them to build a small market store, please don't waste the energy. Just like the puny wal mart, the small market store has NOTHING to offer. SO, allow them to go large or let them leave!

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laidbak_bb 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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