Archive for Friday, October 29, 2010

Town Talk: Mass. Street pedicab changes; frozen yogurt at Sixth and Wakarusa; basketball parking warning; new homeless stats

October 29, 2010


News and notes from around town:

• Prepare to see a new sight traveling down Massachusetts Street. City commissioners are set to partially lift a ban on a large, 16-person pedal-powered trolley car-like device from traveling on Mass. When commissioners originally approved the large pedicab, they said it would not be allowed to travel on Massachusetts Street because its top speed likely would be 5 to 6 miles per hour. But now, upon further testing, it has been determined that the big pedicab can travel about 15 miles per hour downhill. The new proposal would allow the pedicab to go on Massachusetts Street in a downhill direction, but uphill travel still would be restricted to side streets such as New Hampshire and Vermont. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the change at their Tuesday evening meeting.

• Free State High students and other northwest Lawrence shoppers soon will have access to as much frozen yogurt as they care to eat. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is set to open a new store at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive in early November. The store, 4801 Bauer Farm Drive, will be a self-serve operation. That means customers decide how full to fill their cups, and can mix and match 16 different flavors. The business also will have about 40 toppings to choose from. Your creation is then weighed and you are charged by the ounce.

“We think it will really work well in that area of town,” said Kevin Atwood, who is the owner of the local franchise. “It works real well where there are lots of families, and the kids from the high school will be a big market.”

• New exercise equipment soon may be coming to the Lawrence Community Building at 11th and Vermont streets. Leaders with Parks and Recreation are seeking to spend up to $25,000 to replace the fitness and weight equipment in the community center. Most of the current equipment is more than 25 years old, and crews are having problems finding replacement parts.

• As Kansas University basketball season approaches, city leaders are reminding area residents that the rules for gameday parking are different for football and basketball. The city has a specific ordinance that allows people to legally park in yards in certain areas near the football stadium. But no such ordinance exists for people wanting to park in yards near Allen Fieldhouse. The city sent out a postcard to residents near the fieldhouse reminding them that illegal parking can result in a fine between $30 to $100.

• A recent report from the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center provides new statistics on the number of homeless people receiving services from Bert Nash’s outreach team. Among the statistics:

• 153 people were served from July to September, with 77 of the individuals being new to the service.

• 11 families with children were among those served.

• 75 of the individuals presented with a mental illness.

• 51 of the people helped were staying at an emergency shelter, 16 were living on the streets, and 70 were living in an apartment that was not their own.

• 82 of the people were listed as chronically homeless, meaning they have been continuously homeless for a year or more, or have had at least four episodes of homelessness during the past three years.

• 89 of the people served were in 35-50 year old age group. The next highest age group served was 18-34 with 41 people in that category.

• 14 children between birth and six years were served. Other age groups included three children between 7-10; 7 between 11-15; 1 between 15-17.

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David Holroyd 7 years, 7 months ago

Of the 153, how many of those were served last year and the year before? What about the period from January 2010 to July 2010? How many of the 153 were served in that period. Again, another non informational story from the Journal World, but rather some numbers to justify the existence of the Bert Nash staff for more money. Numbers game, it is.!

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 7 months ago

As the story notes, 77 of the people were new to the service. Thus, the balance were people who had been served before. Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

Cindy Wallace 7 years, 7 months ago

The article explicitly states: "82 of the people were listed as chronically homeless, meaning they have been continuously homeless for a year or more, or have had at least four episodes of homelessness during the past three years."

parrothead8 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the extra tax DOES go into the developer's pockets. According to Tom Kern, the president/CEO of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, "up to an additional 2 percent sales tax can be charged on sales to cover public, semi-public and private development costs."

somedude20 7 years, 7 months ago

yeah well you hipsters are not so hip without an oxygen bar. open an oxygen bar/wheatgrass yogurt bar (might calm ole one eye down)

kernal 7 years, 7 months ago

So, over 50% of the people helped by Bert Nash in the third quarter are chronically homeless. Pretty sad stats, but I'm not surprised. There are probably more who did not seek help from Bert Nash who need help. Wonder how many chronically homeless people are treated by them on an annual basis?

ivalueamerica 7 years, 7 months ago

50% of the people who are homeless that they served were chronically homeless, not 50% of ALL the people they served.

kernal 7 years, 7 months ago

I was referring to this story which was about the homeless, not all the people in town they serve.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

No, over half of the HOMELESS served by them were CHRONICALLY homeless. Which is a very telling statistic. Those numbers represent the people that you can help all you want, and they'll never get better. This is our "homeless problem". Those are the ones who tax our resources and cause trouble and just HANG AROUND forever. They give the rest of the homeless a bad name and make taxpayers like me say "no more programs for the homeless", even though there are some people just like me who need assistance.

We need to get RID of the chronically homeless so we can focus our resources on helping the rest of the homeless, and facilitate actual change in the lives of those who want change.

ralphralph 7 years, 7 months ago

We've made the decision, apparently, that it is better to have people living on the street instead of in mental institutions. Perhaps we should have just made the institutions less harsh and more homelike. Many of the people you think have "chosen" to be on the streets are just sick and couldn't "choose" much of anything properly. By our kindness, we have abandoned them.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

That is true. I forgot to consider those populations.

pizzapete 7 years, 7 months ago

The pedicab can go up to 15 mph downhill? Which has me thinking how fast does it travel uphill? And what does how fast it travels downhill have to do with the speed at which it would be moving on Mass St.?

Shane Powers 7 years, 7 months ago

Mass Street is a bowl with the low point at 9th street. Therefore the "pedicab" (I use the quotes because the PedalHopper is not a pedicab at all, but the city calls it that to avoid extra legislation) will be able to travel north on Mass from 11th to 9th, but at 9th it will have to go over to VT or NH. Conversely, it will be able to travel south on Mass from 6th to 9th.

notajayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I have a couple of questions about this:

1) Why is it that less than half the people served in the homeless outreach program by the community mental health agency for this area had a mental illness?

2) Why is it that almost half the people served in the homeless outreach program by the community mental health agency for this area do not meet the definition of "homeless" for federally-funded homeless programs?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

Keep in mind that substance dependence is a mental disorder.

Bursting 7 years, 7 months ago


Cheers to the new exercise equipment at the community center! Unbelievable how overdue upgrades have been there.

oldvet 7 years, 7 months ago

But why do they have to pay for it??? Why not just pull a "Lew" and get it for free...

TopJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Bert Nash is all smoke and mirrors. And most of your homeless problems end up in Topeka, thanks primarily to Bert Nash.
Bert's MO. 1) Give 'em a pill 2) pat em on the head, 3) send them to Topeka, make it our problem.

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