News and notes from around town.
• The owner of a local auto repair shop is behind several Vote No on the Library signs that are popping up around the city. Micah Garber, owner of Garber Automotive, confirmed that he had a handful of the signs printed recently.
“I’ve seen a lot of the Vote Yes for the Library signs and I hadn’t seen any vote no signs,” Garber said. “I just wanted to make sure people knew it was OK to think differently than everybody else.”
Garber has printed about 20 of the signs and has given them to people who have inquired at his automotive shop. He said he wasn’t planning a major effort to print hundreds of the signs because they are costly — about $11 apiece.
“But I’m sure I could hand out another hundred if I printed them,” Garber said.
Voters will go to the polls on Nov. 2 to decide an $18 million bond issue to expand the library and its parking.
• A proposed mural for the north wall of the Lawrence Arts Center has created some controversy in the local arts community. City commissioners have indefinitely deferred a request to approve the mural. That comes after a group of local art supporters wrote a letter saying the mural was nothing more than a version of the Art Center’s logo.
John Reeves, a former chair of the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, wrote a letter to city commissioners asking that the mural be denied to “set a precedent that makes a clear distinction between advertising and public art.” Noted Lawrence muralist Dave Loewenstein also has asked that the mural be denied.
• September was a tough month for the Lawrence real estate industry. Home sales fell by 27 percent in September compared to September 2009, according to a new report from the Lawrence Board of Realtors. Area real estate agents made 70 sales in September 2010, down from 97 in September 2009.
For the entire year, home sales are above the 2009 totals by about 5 percent with 1,008 sales. The median sale price also is up 2.9 percent to $158,000.
A leader with the board said the slow September was expected because many homebuyers bought earlier in the year to take advantage of a federal tax credit.
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