Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Lawrence mayor signs letter objecting to Trump’s environmental policies

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, third from left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, is applauded as he hold up the signed Energy Independence Executive Order, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at EPA headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, third from left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, is applauded as he hold up the signed Energy Independence Executive Order, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at EPA headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

April 20, 2017


The signature of Lawrence Mayor Leslie Soden will be added to a growing list of U.S. mayors objecting to President Donald Trump’s environmental policies.

As part of its meeting this week, the Lawrence City Commission authorized the mayor to sign a letter written by the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda to Trump. The letter objects to Trump’s rollback of climate policies and proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Climate change is both the greatest single threat we face, and our greatest economic opportunity for our nation,” the letter states. “That is why we affirm our cities’ commitments to taking every action possible to achieve the principles and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and to engage states, businesses and other sectors to join us.”

On March 28, Trump signed an executive order to reverse course on climate policies enacted during the Obama administration, including the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to replace coal-fired power plants with wind and solar energy. Trump touted the order as bringing back coal mining jobs, and signed it alongside several miners.

The letter to Trump concludes by urging him to change course by addressing climate change and promoting a "21st century economy."

Soden’s signature joins more than 50 others from across the country, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.


David Holroyd 11 months ago

And Mr. Trump will read her letter, signed Mayor of Lawrence, a welcoming city. Maybe she could get her photo with former Mayor Farmer did when the delegation went from Lawrence to DC and the chamber officials had their photo with Mr. Farmer..where is that picture now? Worth a thousand words for sure..OR maybe it was at the Governor's office where Mr. Farmer sat in the chair at the desk with the gavel.

Which has more clout with the President of the United states: A letter signed by a Mayor Amyx, a Mayor Larsen, a Mayor Herbert, a Mayor Boley or a Mayor Soden..OR none of the above.

This city commission may as well write a letter to the high school kids in Pittsburg, KS congratulating them on their Journalism....but just curious...who drafted the letter that Mayor Soden signed?

Who actually wrote the letter?

Ken Lassman 11 months ago

Who wrote the letter? Look at the link to the letter the JW provides above. If the MNCAA doesn't have its own staff, I suspect the LA Mayor Garcetti's staff wrote a draft that was approved by the MNCAA members. Bottom line: mayors of our nation's cities do a much better job of building coalitions and getting projects accomplished than our states and in many arenas the feds as well. Potholes will get you kicked out whether you're a democrat or a republican.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

Hey, guys. I've got some Republican branded bottled water for you. Bottled in sunny Flint, Michigan. That's how much Republicans care about your water.

David Holroyd 11 months ago

Dorothy,,,would you be willing to help a needy city like Lawrence that has $5,000 for Buskers,,,but no money to repair a Mausoleum...? They could use a couple nice stained glass windows in the front of the condo's for the deceased...

How's about it?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

First of all, you posted this in the wrong article. Second, the city was stuck with this mausoleum, because the "private sector" does not like taking responsibility, just the money. Kind of like when they had to take away Memorial Park from the rip off "private sector" company.

"When the deal was negotiated, city commissioners were at first hesitant to be left with the responsibility, according to the Journal-World’s archives. But Ohio Mausoleum representatives argued that the city, because it was guaranteed to be around in perpetuity, was the best entity for the job. Eventually, the ordinance was passed that outlined how the mausoleum would be managed."

David Holroyd 11 months ago

Soden's signature joins 50 others...that's the whole United States?

Bonnie Uffman 11 months ago

A positive step. Thank you, Mayor Soden.

Richard Aronoff 11 months ago

I know that Dorothy, who knows more about the Bible than anyone else (just ask her) doesn’t like to let facts to get in her way. But…………

Flint decided to stop getting water from Detroit and switch to a regional supplier in an effort to save money. In the interim, the local authorities thought it would be a good idea to get the town’s water out of the Flint River. And who was running the town before, during (and since) the crisis? Democrats.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

Wrong, wrong. It wasn't local authorities, it was state authorities, and who runs the state of Michigan? Oh yeah, Republicans. Or was it really Obama's fault?
"Six current and former state employees, including the woman in charge of drinking water quality, were charged Friday in a widening criminal investigation into the crisis. The allegations show a concerted effort to cover up warning signs of lead poisoning, according to prosecutors."

Ken Lassman 11 months ago

Soden and the rest of the City Commission who voted for this is a better reflection of our city's sentiment on the need for action to mitigate climate change than Mr. Trump's vested interest support for defunding the EPA and the science that monitors our climate's indicators and giving lip service to supporting the dying coal industry that has become uneconomical due to cheap natural gas and less expensive wind and solar alternatives.

Our city commission should be congratulated for signalling their support for the economies of the future instead of trying to replicate the disaster of our hanging onto the past like the Detroit auto industry chose to do in spite of clear writing on the wall.

Jeff Mitchell 11 months ago

Liberals like Dorothy suffer from a sickness that perplexes most normal human beings. She's probably celebrating and feeling good about Bill O'Reilly without actually thinking of how Bill Clinton and his trashy wife did far worse. She calls everyone names but doesn't realize the following facts: 1. The water in Flint has nothing to do with either the 2% Republican nor 98% demoncrat local, state Michigan administrations. 2. She feels completely comfortable with blaming George Bush for Hurricane Katrina. Despite the demoncrat mayor of New Orleans. In that case, blame the the republican president..not the democrat the case of Flint, ignore Obama...blame the republican. These people are blind, Stalinist fools. Best to ignore them. They truly don't matter.

Jeff Mitchell 11 months ago

Should Bill O'Reilly seek harassment treatment from the same guru that Bill Clinton went to? Oh, Bill Clinton never sought nor completed any sensitivity counseling. What a joke. Liberal, semi-wanna be Leninists are so full of hate for Justice Thomas and Bill O'Reilly but they never bring up the rapist scumbag Bill Clinton nor his bar failing moron wife who trashed women for forty years. Where's the real misogyny?

Richard Heckler 11 months ago

Thank you Mayor Soden .... and commissioners.

RJ Johnson 11 months ago

Evidently the Mayor has forgotten she represents the whole City of Lawrence and should not be writing letters voicing her personnel opinion and signing it the City of Lawrence Mayor!!!

Cille King 11 months ago

The Mayor acts on the decisions of the city commission: "As part of its meeting this week, the Lawrence City Commission authorized the mayor to sign a letter written by the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda to Trump."

Ken Lassman 11 months ago

Totally agree, and I bet if you polled Lawrencians whether they agree with the letter that supports the Energy Star appliance program, energy efficiency and renewables and opposes rolling back vehicle efficiency standards, the Paris Accord and cutbacks to the EPA, the vast majority would support such signing such a letter. So the Mayor and the City Commission is representing the citizens of Lawrence.

Unless, of course you mean that by "whole City of Lawrence" you mean unanimity, in which case the Mayor could NEVER act on ANYTHING because I'm sure that you could find someone who would disagree with any resolution imaginable.

Richard Aronoff 11 months ago

One of O'Reilly's unnamed accusers -- a black female -- said he called her "hot chocolate." Remember the outrage over the Rolling Stone's song "Brown Sugar"? Neither do I. Personally, I think O'Reilly got AnitaHill-ed.

Now do you all understand why Mike Pence would never dine alone with a woman who was not his wife?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

You are comparing a crazy rock and roll song to a workplace where you don't feel comfortable, which is suppose to be serious? Really? Comparing a rock and roll song that you can skip, if you wish, or you can turn off to a rude, dirty old man who you have to keep your mouth shut around, so you can pay your bills? Wrong.

David Holroyd 11 months ago

So how many Mayors are there in the United States...50 states last I heard.

And Dorothy...I posted exactly where I wanted to because you would read it and failed to answer the question. With your stained glass skills would you help a town in need?

Look, Dot, Jeff Mitchell talks about Bill O" I can talk about the Mausoleum.

A disgrace to the city and a disgrace to the City Commisson for taking NO responsibility to move forward. What are they doing with the monies from the lots sold to the North of the Mausoleum? How much money did the city take in for those along with the opening of the graves?

And to think the former Monte Belot of the LMH is buried there with his wife Martha. all the while his gravesite sits with dirt washing away around it.

Lawrence will spend $5,000 on Buskers..but nothing to keep up a historical structure at Oak much the very unattentive Historical Society of Lawrence.

Jeff Mitchell 11 months ago

Former state-appointed emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose and former city employees Howard Croft, a public works superintendent, and Daugherty Johnson, a utilities manager, were the latest to be charged in the case, Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

Read it and weep Dorothy...that's straight from Michigan. You're wrong as usual..all demon rats . Every single one. You'd make me puke..but you're not worth it. What say you now? Probably that they're Russian agents undeterred by Trump? You and your ilk are done...finished. You missed your calling...Maos Red Guards👍👍😀😀

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

The National Review and Britefart ignore details. And Snyder should have been charged, there is plenty of evidence. But again people with the right connections get off scot free.

Jeff Mitchell 11 months ago

Although, come to think of it, North Korea is still looking for a few of your persuasion...go over there and see if they'd take you😂

Scott Burkhart 11 months ago

“Climate change is both the greatest single threat we face, and our greatest economic opportunity for our nation,”

This is opinion and not fact. Leslie Soden is filled with her own importance.

Ken Lassman 11 months ago

"This is opinion and not fact." Yes, I suppose so. The fact is that human activity-induced climate change is occurring, a fact established beyond a reasonable doubt by the scientific community. Whether or not this is the single greatest threat/economic economic opportunity our nation faces is a matter of opinion; however the opinion that it constitutes a serious threat to our nation is an opinion shared by the military:

and the Center for Disease Control:

and the Department of Commerce:

to say nothing of a bunch of national and international corporations:

so Leslie Soden has chosen to support an opinion that is shared by very good company indeed. Thanks Leslie, thanks City Commission, for aligning yourselves with the reasonable, evidenced driven conclusions of the forward-thinking, patriotic majority of Americans, indeed with the majority of humanity across the planet. Declaring such alignment at this crucial time in our civilization is critical if we are to succeed in mitigating the worst of the effects of climate change in the coming years and decades.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

Well, the people in Alaska whose town is sinking into the ocean, might not be an opinion. And the people of Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, and Nigeria might disagree with you. And their plight even affects us and Europe. Where do you think all these refugees are coming from? Why do you think their governments are in disarray. When there was plenty of rain and food, no problems. Then crops fail, and ignorant, greedy governments fail to do anything to feed their people, so rebellion breaks out. People leave, because their is no food and crazies are shooting at them, instead of looking for solutions. And is it opinion that Florida, as close as you can get to tropical in mainland US, is fighting wild fires? And the ranchers in Kansas who lost all their cattle is an "opinion"?

Go back to school and learn the difference, please.

Richard Heckler 11 months ago

Netflix presents Emmy winning host Bill Nye who brings experts to his lab for a talk show exploring scientific issues that touch our lives . Among them global warming which is moving climate change into our backyards all over the world.

Bill Nye presents this information in such a fashion that all can understand.

Koch Oil and Exxon Mobil spend millions on misinformation which no doubt is billed to we consumers at the gas pump.

Richard Heckler 11 months ago

=== April 20: Criminal Charges Filed Against 3 Officials Michigan's attorney general, Bill Schuette, announces that three people will face charges — the first criminal charges leveled against officials over the lead crisis.

Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby are state officials at the MDEQ. City employee Michael Glasgow is Flint's water quality supervisor. As the Two-Way reported, the three "face felony charges including misconduct, neglect of duty and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. They've also been charged with violating Michigan's Safe Drinking Water Act."

=== June 22: Lawsuit Filed Against 2 Corporations Schuette announced that his office is suing two companies involved in Flint's crisis, and he says the damages could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

Veolia, a French company, was hired by the city as a water-quality consultant in 2015. Texas-based firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam was originally hired in 2011 and helped to operate the water treatment plant using the Flint River. The civil lawsuit accuses both firms of negligence and public nuisance, and also accused Veolia of fraud.

"In Flint, Veolia and LAN were hired to do a job and failed miserably," Schuette told reporters at a news conference. "They failed miserably in their job — basically botched it, didn't stop the water in Flint from being poisoned. They made it worse, that's what they did."

=== July 29: Criminal Charges Filed Against 6 Officials Schuette announced criminal charges against six more current and former state employees, bringing the total number of people charged to nine.

Liane Shekter-Smith is the former director of the drinking water and municipal assistance office within the MDEQ. She and two subordinates, Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook, allegedly misled officials about Flint's water treatment plant, which was not in compliance with lead and copper rules.

The other three people charged are current or former employees of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The director of the child health unit, Nancy Peeler, her subordinate, Robert Scott, and a state epidemiologist Corinne Miller allegedly failed to release a report that showed unsafe lead levels in the blood of Flint children.

All six are charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy, and willful neglect of duty. Rosenthal is also charged with tampering with evidence, for allegedly requesting water tests that did not show elevated lead.

Richard Heckler 11 months ago

DETROIT — The emergency manager for Flint, Michigan, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2012, rejected using the city’s river as drinking water after consulting with the state’s environmental protection agency.

Snyder appointed Ed Kurtz to be Flint’s second emergency manager and Kurtz selected Jerry Ambrose to be the city’s chief financial officer. Both men were tasked by the Republican governor’s administration with restructuring the city’s government to save money after it was in danger of becoming insolvent. One cost-saving measure considered was to quit buying municipal water from Detroit.

In a civil deposition not reported until now, Ambrose testified under oath that emergency manager Kurtz considered a proposal to use the Flint River, discussed the option with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and then rejected it.

In 2014, Ambrose was deposed in a civil lawsuit brought by retired Flint municipal workers against the state over severe cuts to their health care benefits. Attorney Alec Gibbs questioned Ambrose about the water decision (a year before Flint learned it was being poisoned).

“There was brief evaluation of whether the city would be better off to simply use the Flint River as its primary source of water over the long term,” Ambrose said.

“That was determined not to be feasible.”

“Who determined it wasn’t feasible?” Gibbs asked.

“It was a collective decision of the emergency management team based on conversations with the MDEQ that indicated they would not be supportive of the use of the Flint River on a long-term basis as a primary source of water,”

Ambrose answered. “What was the reason they gave?” Gibbs asked.

“You’ll have to ask them,” Ambrose said.

How could the river that was rejected as Flint’s permanent water source in December 2012 suddenly become suitable for consumption a mere 16 months later?

Rick Snyder is an ALEC governor such that Kansas has in Sam Brownback.

And who actually made the disastrous choice to start using the previously rejected river as the city’s temporary water source?

Richard Heckler 11 months ago

Thanks again Mayor Soden and city commissioners.

Meanwhile the US Navy is moving ahead accordingly over their concern of Global Warming and Climate change. US Navy officials see Climate Change as a very real threat to USA security. If USA security is threatened so is the USA economy.

Richard Heckler 11 months ago

Netflix presents Emmy winning host Bill Nye who brings experts to his lab for a talk show exploring scientific issues that touch our lives . Among them global warming which is moving climate change into our backyards all over the world.

Bill Nye presents this information in such a fashion that all can understand. Quite an interesting approach to education = hats off to Bill Nye.

Koch Oil and Exxon Mobil spend millions on misinformation which no doubt is billed to we consumers at the gas pump.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

I'm not sure if people understand. It's not really the earth we are trying to save. It's life on earth, including ours. The planet is going to be here no matter what. It may not support life, but it will be here. We will be dead. No there is no other planet, no plan B. This is it. No rich people are not going to build a big space ship and get away. No rich people are not going to build a dome and let the rest of us die. No they aren't going to live in the sky above the pollution. They are going to die too. Their billions of dollars will not help them. Some think that, hey, I'll be dead by then, so who cares. These people either don't have children and grandchildren or they could care less about them. If we continue to fight change we have no chance. Yes, we used coal for a lot of things in the past, but that can change. Yes, we had cool gas guzzling cars in the past, but that can change. A farmer once told me that he uses all the nasty chemicals, because that's they way it's always been done, and even if that were true which it isn't, then why not try and change it. The US has become the backward nation fighting modernization. We were great once, not because we used lots of coal and fossil fuels. We were great, because we had innovation. We didn't just train our kids to perform well on standardized tests. We taught them to think and be creative. We didn't have business leaders who were assembled in some MBA program. We had innovators who maybe never went to business school at all.

We have "leaders" now who want to take us back to the "good old days". But they don't seem to want to pay the same rate of taxes as they paid in the "good old days". They don't want to compensate their workers like they did in the "good old days". But the people who are getting the short end of the stick are buying into their ruse.

David Holroyd 11 months ago

Dorothy you are in the private sector...wouldn't you donate a couple of nice windows to respect the deceased? After all, the city had a donor over 30 years ago and turned her down.

come on Dorothy, it's only a couple of windows...surely you have some extra pieces of glass around the shop?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

So why are you harassing me, David? Since the monitor won't confront you, I will. You are totally off topic. Back off.

Kevin Kelly 11 months ago

I am impressed she took action and didn't defer the matter to different City employees that never takes the time to respond.

Bob Smith 11 months ago

Do you think Trump will let the EPA get away with polluting a river like the last resident of 1600 Penn. Ave did?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 months ago

Oh, you mean the crud that the "efficient private sector" mine company left behind which the EPA was forced to try and clean up and made a mistake. That company should never have been allowed to leave all the crud behind in the first place. But I'll bet the owners are living high on the hog with the money they saved from not cleaning up their mess in the first place. Probably didn't pay and taxes on it either.

At least the EPA admitted to their mistake, unlike Massey Energy. Of course, they had Mitch McConnell's wife to protect them then. And we all know how good Duke Energy is.

Bob Smith 11 months ago

Nobody at the EPA has been fired or sent to jail for polluting that river. In other words, they got away with it.

Ken Lassman 11 months ago

Not only was the EPA (read: taxpayer) left holding the bag from this abandoned mine long after it was abandoned, but local officials had refused Superfund monies to clean it up, fearing that the adverse publicity would affect local tourism, the main source of income for the area after the mining companies pulled out. So private mines created the situation and pulled out, followed by locals refusing to clean it up because it would interfere with tourism. And yet it is the EPA's fault, right? Privatize the profits, socialize the costs. Isn't that called "free market capitalism?"

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