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• Representatives from KU’s Collegiate Veterans Association brought me up to date recently on the effort to spruce up KU’s war memorials.
As I reported earlier, the group approached KU with a list of needs for the memorials, including the Campanile, Vietnam War memorial and Korean War memorial.
The work is now mostly complete, said Jake Robinson, the student veterans group’s vice president. Though the veterans offered to help raise funds and contribute labor, KU officials decided that the work was stuff they ought to have been doing.
The black lettering at the Vietnam memorial was repainted, some concrete pylons at the Korean War memorial were repaired after being knocked over, and the Campanile got an external powerwashing. Crews also removed graffiti on the inside of the memorial.
Robinson said the veterans group has plans to establish an endowed fund for memorial maintenance.
“We are hoping to raise enough money that the interest can at least provide funds for any maintenance items that need to be done in the future so that things don't go 20 years without work again and cost $60,000 to fix,” Robinson said.
UPDATE: I got a call from Jack Martin, a university spokesman, who told me about a few more items dealing with the memorials. In all, KU spent about $130,000 on the projects (not $60,000, as I reported earlier), which also included masonry work on the Campanile, and cleaning and tuckpointing work on markers at each end of Memorial Drive.
• With Sunday’s 10th anniversary of 9/11, it’s worth reminding folks that you can actually see parts of the World Trade Center towers here in Lawrence.
The Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive, is the home to two steel support beams from World Trade Center’s Tower One.
I’m at the Dole Institute occasionally, and even I sometimes forget about the beams, which can be found flanking the large flag stained glass window.
Awhile back, the Dole Institute had an engineer come out and read the markings to determine that the beams came from floors 58 and 61 in Tower One.
An interesting tidbit from an old KU release on the beams — they’re kept exactly as they were recovered from ground zero, with their coating of flame retardant foam, jet fuel and debris.
Here’s a complete list of Sept. 11 events at KU this weekend.
• As it turns out, KU is home not just to the daughter of former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, but also to the nephew of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
The University Daily Kansan has an interesting Q-and-A with Tyler Amble, a sophomore from Shawnee. He’s the son of KCTV weather guy Gary Amble, who is Bachmann’s brother.
How did he know his aunt had hit the big time, the student newspaper wanted to know?
When comedian Jon Stewart made fun of her on “The Daily Show,” he said.
Here’s the complete interview.
• I don’t have any presidential relatives, but I hope that won’t keep you from sending me any tips for Heard on the Hill to firstname.lastname@example.org.