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Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2012

South Lawrence Trafficway legal fight ends with passing of deadline

Jason Hering, of Lawrence, with the Wetlands Preservation Organization and KU Eco Justice, works Tuesday morning at the Haskell Eco Walk area, just north of 31st Street and across from the Baker Wetlands. Hering and various organizations and volunteers are creating ramps, walkways and trails through the wetlands areas on the north side of 31st Street. The Wetlands Preservation Organization was an unsuccessful plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Jason Hering, of Lawrence, with the Wetlands Preservation Organization and KU Eco Justice, works Tuesday morning at the Haskell Eco Walk area, just north of 31st Street and across from the Baker Wetlands. Hering and various organizations and volunteers are creating ramps, walkways and trails through the wetlands areas on the north side of 31st Street. The Wetlands Preservation Organization was an unsuccessful plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway.

October 9, 2012

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Timeline

Click here to see a timeline of events about the South Lawrence Trafficway.

The more than 20-year legal battle to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway from running through the Baker Wetlands is now officially over.

The deadline for opponents of the roadway to seek a Supreme Court review of a federal appellate court decision clearing the way for the road came and went on Tuesday. Representatives for plaintiffs in the case confirmed they did not file the paperwork seeking a Supreme Court review of the decision, which means the appellate court victory for the roadway is final.

“We weren’t able to do anything with the Supreme Court,” said Cleta La Brie, president of the Wetlands Preservation Organization, which was a plaintiff in the suit. “Once again, it will be a story of land being stolen from the Indians.”

While the legal battle may be done, all signs point to continued opposition efforts to stop the bypass project from traveling through the Baker Wetlands, which are considered a sacred area to many students and staff at adjacent Haskell Indian Nations University.

But trafficway opponents acknowledged that with the project’s defining lawsuit now closed, the effort to stop the road from being built will become more difficult.

“I think there is kind of a resignation, but there is also an enduring hope through public consciousness and public education that there could be some rethinking about this idea to pave over wetlands,” said Bob Eye, an attorney who represented the plaintiffs. “But it will have to come at the elected level. I don’t think the decision-makers at KDOT or Federal Highway suddenly will see the value in saving wetlands.”

It also will have to come relatively quickly. Kansas Department of Transportation officials have said construction on the final leg of the road — which will connect Interstate 70 west of Lawrence with Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence — could begin in the fall of 2013. The road could be open by the fall of 2016.

A Supreme Court review of the case was not widely expected by attorneys. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in July unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that said all the necessary permits for the wetlands portion of the project had been properly obtained. Even if plaintiffs had filed for a review from the Supreme Court, the court rejects most requests for appeal.

La Brie said her group was advised it would cost “several thousand” dollars just to file the appeal.

But La Brie said her group does believe the trafficway project may still face some funding problems that could prevent its construction.

The state has included funding for the approximately $190 million project in its comprehensive transportation program. But La Brie said wetland supporters will be watching to see if approved state tax cuts will erode the amount of money available to fund the highway project.

“Construction of the road seems like a real possibility now,” La Brie said. “But they thought it was a done deal 20 years ago too. With the way government is going in Kansas, they may not have the money to do it.”

Comments

IdahoWinds 1 year, 6 months ago

Oh, I thought you were referring to yourself?!?

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Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

the same dumb uninformed non indian comments for twenty years.......

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chiefsman1966 1 year, 6 months ago

How can it be sacred land when there are photos of the land on the south side of 31 street, that clearly show the land as farmland for years!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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chiefsman1966 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, thats right took more than 20 years. Though over 20 years ago it was put to a vote by the city and the community of Lawrence and the folk surronding lawrence passed it when it was put to a vote way back then. So much for your votes count!!!!!!!!!!!

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 6 months ago

Does your father know how to use a comma, tuschie?

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Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

my father thinks people like you are ignorant snap....it's very cowardly to feebly attempt to flip the anger you deserve onto the people you offend....but that's what people like you do......troll and act cowardly....

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 6 months ago

Are we going to get to see somebody flop down in front of the first bulldozer?

1

George Lippencott 1 year, 6 months ago

Huh? First of all Native Americans are Caucasian so an act against them is not racist. Otherwise where is the racism?

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AzMdeezy 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm glad to see racism is alive and well in Lawrence. I'm pretty sure more than a few wish we could go back to the old days when the Indians got arrested and/or killed when they left the Haskell campus.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 6 months ago

twenty years is a long time for an allegedly oppressive society to tolerantly allow dissent.

  1. I wonder what it cost?
  2. I wonder how many of the Kansas electorate participated (they pay the bills)
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Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

yes because your side brainwashed these people to begin with..... americans know little of history nor do they care....idaho... you sound as flippant as the rest.....oh wait......let's see what are science people always attacked for being like... cold....calculated......dismissive......heartless..... digging up native people out of the ground as specimans and not people.....gee.....someone must have the bedside manner of joseph mengele.....I found a Wakarusa Valley archaeological study from 1978 recently mentioning archaic, ceramic, and pomona phase cultures all up and down the Wakarusa. Meaning people were in the wetlands 800 to 2000 years ago. It's nice to know that we have to hide sites so that you and heartless nature don't dig them up and put them in museums. If you want to have a hooray lap for ignorance go ahead.....a scientist promoting ignorance to bully a race and get a road built....how boy scout and methodist of them......

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IdahoWinds 1 year, 6 months ago

I guess I have finally reached the point where I feel sorry for the SLT opponents. They don't lose gracefully! There are only 4 bloggers on here that are opposed to the SLT. That's compared to over 50 people that want it completed. Sturgeon, Keifferam and Tuschie really don't have much to say that is relevant to the topic of the SLT. But then there is Bozo. Basically, he is still claiming that Baker stole the land and that if you don't agree with him you are a racist. Socrates said "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." I feel sorry for Bozo that he doesn't realize he no longer has anything relevant to add to the conversation. I think I can hear the fat lady warming up, what about you Mike, er I mean Bozo?

1

brit_a_shick 1 year, 6 months ago

Lawrence is drowning in a traffic sewer back-up. With several federal and state highways squeezing traffic into Lawrence from all directions, it just piles up and overflows into residential neighborhoods. I live on one of those streets that provide a by-pass for crap too thick to get past 23rd and Iowa, and the jecks that come through have to make up time with speed. This built up for a long time, but our traffic engineers aren't up to the job this big dump put on us. If they can't fix it with a traffic circle, it don't get fixed. And control speed? Never. Convenience trumps safety. I am elated with the final decision to build the SLT. I am beyond tired of being part of the South Lawrence Sewer-way.

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Robert Kiefer 1 year, 6 months ago

Finally, Thankfully, A rediculous 20 years of eco studies, endangered species studies, alternate route studies, millions spent on legal fees, court costs, I could go on forever. There is nothing sacred, or natively natural other than water, & grasses anywhere on the property. It is nothing more than a man made swamp! Give me the dozer keys, can't wait till it's done. PAVE THE WETLANDS!!!!!!!!1

0

rckchlk2131 1 year, 6 months ago

Build the SLT ASAP and get the heavy semi-truck traffic off of 6th, 19th, 23rd, and 31st when they are trying to pass through town. What are numbers about how much the City has to pay for internal road repairs with the heavy trucks on the aforementioned streets and side streets that have been uses the past 20 years? How can not getting SLT Project not be good for Lawrence?

1

tennesseerader 1 year, 6 months ago

The Baker Wetlands were artificial and so will the new ones to replace them. All you fools did was make the Lawyers rich and cause misery to the people of Lawrence and Douglas County. This should have been over thirty years ago.

2

Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

make up american bull why you're at it and ignore the first amendment rights of others how american of you....

0

Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

better yet white people ran the bureau of indian affairs until the 1960's and gave away land to their white friends like baker until Indians in the 1970's once the white people let them have a say in court objected to this....white amnesia......

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Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

it was your White people's us supreme court doctrine of discovery from the 1823 Mcintosh V. Johnson case that promoted that nonsense about not owning the land. How many uninformed white people have spoken on this issue incorrectly over the years?

0

Stacy Napier 1 year, 6 months ago

I thought Native Indians belived that they belonged to the land and was to be used in common by all of the society for survival and sustenance

Not that the land belonged to them.

One can't steal what you don't claim to own.

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Alex Keiffer 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm not particularly fond of the South Lawrence Trafficway being built through the wetlands either, but it had to connected up somehow. Perhaps a better effort to save the Baker wetlands would've come in the long run had the western half of the SLT never been built. In my opinion, Highway 10 was probably just fine the way it was before, coming straight into Lawrence from the east as 23rd Street, and stopping at Highway 59 (Iowa Street). You may disagree with me, but that's just what I think.

0

Alex Keiffer 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm not particularly fond of the South Lawrence Trafficway being built through the wetlands either, but it had to connected up somehow. Perhaps a better effort to save the Baker wetlands would have come in the long run had the western half of the SLT never been built. In my opinion, Highway 10 was probably just fine the way it was before, coming straight into Lawrence from the east as 23rd Street, and stopping at Highway 59 (Iowa Street). You may disagree with me, but that's just what I think.

0

blue73harley 1 year, 6 months ago

Careful Bozo - you might get carpal tunnel responding to every post. Why not just accept defeat?

To Bob Eye - if you ever run for public office again, I will devote as much time in your defeat as you made me spend sitting in traffic and will spend as much money as you made me lose on gasoline. Nothing is a bigger pain-in-the butt than a pi$$ed off soon-to-be-retired person.

1

Bucksilver 1 year, 6 months ago

So, let's go with the facts: - Add many many acres of wetlands to the existing man-made wetlands - Add substantially more acres of forested/treed area to the wetland fringe - Add more elevated walkways to the wetlands - Add concrete recreation paths to the SLT/wetland zone - Construct a 10,000 sf public environmental appreciation facility for the area - Commence a perpetual federally-funded escrow account for maintenance of all improvements - Resolve the age-old and persistent flooding problems which characterize the 31st & Louisiana Sts area - Reunite HINU with land that was taken in the 20s and 30s for construction of 31st St. - Open an unprecedented, speedy through way from east of JoCo to west of Topeka, reducing travel time of pass-by motorists and taking this pass-through traffic out of Lawrence's urban core - DRASTICALLY reduce the toxic gases/carbon footprint of the massive traffic that's for generations been forced to negotiate the highly signalized stop-and-go traffic along the 23rd St and 6th St corridors, adding unnecessary wear-and-tear to our streets and exascerbating the dangers of local street traffic - Implement the plan for the betterment of the community, its local motorists, visitors businesses, industry and commerce; the plan which has been altered many times at the behest of local amd outside agencies in the spirit of environmental sensitivity and responsiveness to public input

The time has come to sing one final "kum bay yah", wave the wheat, go somewhere and sulk about the whole thing BUT BUILD THIS ROADWAY for the benefit of Lawrence and the Eastern Kansas region.

After 25 years, peace! Build it!

1

Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

white people steal Indian lands....white churches forgive them.......white politicians and courts ignore the Native American Religious Freedom Act of 1978... a federal law.......Executive Order #13007 protecting Native religious freedom.... white scotus judges like William Rehnquist practice and preach racism against Native Americans from the bench and tutor judges antonin scalia, john roberts, and clarence thomas on states rights Indian hating. What a country....now if all the immigrants could go back to the mayflower.... american eyes....american eyes.....see the world through american eyes...steal the past....rob us blind.....and leave nothing behind.... zach de la rocca rage against the machine.....

0

RETICENT_IRREVERENT 1 year, 6 months ago

Now it is time to get the East Lawrence Bypass rolling.

0

nytemayr 1 year, 6 months ago

After 25 years I feel like my dog on this issue!

"Don't look at me! You threw it! You fetch it!"

0

Richard Payton 1 year, 6 months ago

Shovel ready jobs - started 20 years ago.

0

Steve Miller 1 year, 6 months ago

WGARA , get it built and be done with it .

0

justfornow 1 year, 6 months ago

I lived here in the late 80's early 90's when the misguided youth were trying to destroy all the heavy equipment used to build the first half of the SLT. I hope the builders hire plenty of security. Is that better bozo? Good grief!

0

FlintlockRifle 1 year, 6 months ago

I thought Haskell Nation didn't want this land several years ago and gave it away

1

Flap Doodle 1 year, 6 months ago

Somebody's thin skin is showing this morning.

0

whats_going_on 1 year, 6 months ago

*cue dead horse arguments over whether the wetlands are sacred or not, manmade or not.

1

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

"I think there is kind of a resignation, but there is also an enduring hope through public consciousness and public education that there could be some rethinking about this idea to pave over wetlands,” said Bob Eye, an attorney"

You lost in court. Your role is played out Mr Eye. Don't hold your breath waiting for the public to give two cents about unused farmland.

0

chzypoof1 1 year, 6 months ago

@Bozo...gotta">p>@Bozo...gotta luv ya. Thanks for providing today's fun...

FINALLY we are completing the road that runs through a Rebuilt wetland that we tried to give to the Native Americans, that they didn't want to farm, so Baker University took it back and reflooded the area (man-made). This land is no more "stolen" than any other land in Lawrence. The land belongs to Baker University, who has sponsored DOUBLING the size of the original wetlands to mitigate the small area taken away by the project.

Bozo, I appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm, but your "facts" are weak. I "stole" my land as much as Baker did I guess. What happened a long time ago was bad, but delaying progress in the name of a Man Made wetland that the Natives didn't want to use is not the way to go IMHO.

Anyway, everyone have a great day. Viva La Bypass!

4

brutus 1 year, 6 months ago

The really sad thing here is that a very vocal and determined minority can cause delays that push the cost to double or even triple the original estimates. This was voted on and passed a long time ago.

1

Doug Harvey 1 year, 6 months ago

The battle, in many ways, was lost when the initial route around SW Lawrence was approved. I was struck by the dead-end on Hwy. 59 when I first moved here 12 years ago. They knew they'd get their way in the end. Kind of like Wall Street making loans to people who can't pay them back -- they know the government will bail them out.

0

The_Original_Bob 1 year, 6 months ago

"Racism, greed, environmental destruction. And you come down in support all of them."

You are a local treasure, Bozo.

0

atiopatioo 1 year, 6 months ago

Kansas? Flying over Kansas from time to time, I do not notice the wet spot they call a ...wetland?

It is funny how some types of people make the biggest things out of stuff like a wet spot....or a cartoon character of a Big fake Bird.

It is too bad these types of people do this odd behaviour because it is expensive to others.

0

The_Original_Bob 1 year, 6 months ago

"It's clear that many people here have no idea what "heathens" means"

It's clear that you have lost on this issue and picking at red herrings.

0

sturgen 1 year, 6 months ago

Oh yea..."victory" sheesh. A "rebuilt" wetland has on average 300 species. A "natural" wetland has on average over 3,500, no comparison. So the victory here is to hire an out of state company to build a road through one of Lawrence's treasures that saves people from Topeka 10 minutes on their drive to KC, all this for the marginal price of 190mil. Yet we take away the arts, stopped funding to keep the main streets in our small towns alive. How is this victory?

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 6 months ago

It's clear that many people here have no idea what "heathen" means.

0

50YearResident 1 year, 6 months ago

I think if Bob Eye had won his bid for elective office this story would be far from over. The new objective seemed to be to attack the road from inside the Kansas Legislature as hinted about in this story..

Correction: Bob Eye was running for U.S. Congress where he would more authority to hold up or stop the Trafficway.

0

Starlight 1 year, 6 months ago

Lawrence considered 20th street for the bypass alignment once upon a time.

It is Time for a bypass to be built.

0

cheeseburger 1 year, 6 months ago

The heathens referred to previously encompass all obstructionists, not just the few vocal Native Americans. To portray it as racism is a red herring.

I wonder what certain posters on this site are going to do when they shut the library computers down for a while.

0

The_Original_Bob 1 year, 6 months ago

"Hmm, I'd think that that the theft of Indian (heathen) land would please you."

"So are you saying that this is a "Christian" roadway, or is this just very thinly veiled racism?

(I vote for the latter.)"

Watching Bozo become unhinged has been a favorite past time for me.

2

Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 6 months ago

Praise baby Jesus! We are finally going to have a highway that's not a dead end filled with out of towers at the side of the road scratching their heads.

0

tbaker 1 year, 6 months ago

It will be good to see people at work builing somthing Lawrence needs.

1

newmedia 1 year, 6 months ago

Mother always said good things come to those who wait!

0

justforfun 1 year, 6 months ago

“Once again, it will be a story of land being stolen from the Indians.”

OHHHH Please you make me want to puke!!!!

5

Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

“Once again, it will be a story of land being stolen from the Indians.”

I thought Baker U owned the land.

6

Kerry Putthoff 1 year, 6 months ago

I would think the amount of money spent on the legal battles could have been spent more wisely on other avenues of conservation. How many other acres could have been bought and made into wetlands, or trees planted, etc, etc. Three years is a long time to build a road, but because of the "low impact" methods that the State is forced to use, it takes longer. Many, many extra bridges with spread footings instead of piers.

3

David Albertson 1 year, 6 months ago

3 years seems like a really long time to build a road.

0

traveler12 1 year, 6 months ago

This is a victory for Lawrence. Glad to see the legal proceedings are completed and correct outcome was obtained. Now build the darned thing.

5

Bill Lee 1 year, 6 months ago

Finally! More wetlands can be built, just like the current ones.

1

Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 6 months ago

"The more than 20-year legal battle to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway from running through the Baker Wetlands is now officially over."

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