Threat of furloughs looms large as Kansas tax debate continues

Published June 2, 2015

The Kansas Senate on Monday shot down another tax proposal aimed at closing the state’s $400 million budget gap as the threat of having to furlough thousands of state employees looms on the horizon.

Outdoor sculpture exhibition invites public to engage with art

Published May 31, 2015

When John Merigian accompanied his teenage son on a college visit to Kansas University last year, he rounded out the trip — as many parents of prospective Jayhawks do — with a walk down Massachusetts Street. It was there that the recent Kansas transplant noticed “all these cool sculptures” dotting the downtown landscape and thought to himself, “I’d like to do this.” Now, his sculpture “Homage to L’Homme Qui Marche” adorns the sidewalk outside The Eldridge Hotel on the southwest corner of Seventh and Massachusetts streets. Merigian is one of five artists contributing work to this year’s Downtown Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, featuring eight sculptures total. Founded by local sculptor James Patti in 1988 and sponsored by the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, the exhibition attracts artists from all over the country.

Kansas City Connection: A bakery to satisfy your cookie addiction

Published May 30, 2015

For years, people have been telling me to visit McLain’s Bakery, which has been operating in the Waldo neighborhood since 1945. I finally paid a visit last week and immediately realized why I’d been putting it off for so long: my goal to reduce my sugar intake has now gone from unlikely to a complete impossibility.

Seven KU buildings still have ‘naming opportunities'

Published May 29, 2015

So you don't have a building at Kansas University named after you yet? (Welcome to the club.) Don't give up hope. At least seven still have “naming opportunities,” according to KU spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson. By Sara Shepherd

Town Talk: News of a Mexican restaurant for 31st Street; city commissioners struggle with idea of ad hoc committee for police headquarters issue

Published May 29, 2015

I know you felt it. Lawrence’s world was a little bit out of balance, especially near the 31st and Iowa area. A Mexican restaurant —El Potro — had moved from its location along 31st Street to a new location near 33rd Street. And get this, no Mexican restaurant had taken its place. Fear not, the world is set to be right again. I’ve got news of a new Mexican restaurant going into the spot that used to house El Potro. Town Talk by Chad Lawrhorn

Busker Festival, Art Tougeau keeping Lawrence weird this weekend

Published May 29, 2015

Things got a little weird at Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting. Citing “a car shaped like a phone,” a “street legal U.F.O.” and Lawrence’s general proclivity toward the odd, mayor Jeremy Farmer proclaimed May 29-31 as “The Official Weird Weekend.” This weekend will host both the Lawrence Busker Festival and the Art Tougeau parade, a new partnership orchestrated by longtime Busker Fest director Richard Renner. By Joanna Hlavacek

Town Talk: Lawrence construction totals on pace for record year; more details on costs of large apartment project; eco devo leaders confirm details of new manufacturer

Published May 28, 2015

It is time to keep our eyes open for a possible Lawrence record in 2015, and it involves the use of hammers and saws, which is usually the type of record that causes my insurance agent to lose his job. But no worries here because the record in question is whether Lawrence will have its best building year in history. Town Talk by Chad Lawhorn

Town Talk: Lawrence home sales surge in April; new report finds local housing value growth lagging region; new sights coming to downtown sidewalks

Published May 27, 2015

Perhaps I need to fire my Leavenworth-based tax preparer (his motto: I wish I had an open door policy) because it sure looks like a lot of people’s tax refunds in April were bigger than mine. Or at least something spurred a surge in home buying in Lawrence, according to the latest figures from the Lawrence Board of Realtors. Town Talk by Chad Lawhorn

Town Talk: Plans filed for meat-smoking business in rural Douglas County; large apartment complex near KU tweaks plans; long list of appointments to city boards

Published May 26, 2015

Perhaps your barbecue experiments this long, rainy, holiday weekend have left you looking for a new place to buy smoked meats. (As I’ve said multiple times, I didn’t know we used the laundry room that much, and in my defense, I did fully open the window.) Well, plans are in the works for a new Douglas County business to become a regional supplier of smoked meats. Town Talk by Chad Lawhorn

Seeing double: Artists team up for show at Cider Gallery

Published May 24, 2015

“More Than Meets The Eye.” Those who grew up in the 1980s might remember the phrase from the old “Transformers” cartoons, in which giant robots waged battle by converting into vehicles and other machinery. It’s also the name of an upcoming collaborative exhibition at the Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., featuring the work of Lawrence artists John Sebelius and Jeromy Morris.

The Storyteller from Stax: Booker T. Jones kicks off library’s 780s Series

Published May 23, 2015

It was back in the ’70s that legendary blues musician Booker T. Jones discovered the importance of storytelling. He was living in Santa Barbara, Calif., and found himself in the company of an African storyteller. “He was telling stories about stuff at the time that didn’t really relate to me, stuff that had been passed down through the ancestors,” he says. “It’s important because those things weren’t written down on paper. I think it’s a good thing for society to know what went before the history of music.”

Library's Lawrence Music Project aims to archive, share local music

Published May 23, 2015

During his days in the Lawrence music scene of the mid-'90s, Brad Allen heard and saw some pretty interesting stuff. “I love the stories behind music,” says Allen, whom readers of a certain age may remember from Vitreous Humor and The Regrets. Now, as Lawrence Public Library director, Allen is helping to archive local bands past and present in a new library initiative called the Lawrence Music Project.

Videos: Class of 2015 reflects on graduation

Published May 22, 2015

Watch as the Lawrence high school and university classes of 2015 share their thoughts about graduation. Click here for more photos from local commencement ceremonies

Town Talk: Iowa firm likely to create about 20 jobs at Lawrence foam manufacturing plant; Breezedale markers getting restored; Housing Authority seeks to buy apartment building

Published May 22, 2015

It sure looks like Lawrence is going to be in the foam insulation business and will get perhaps 20 new manufacturing jobs as a result. Des Moines-based Iowa EPS Products has filed paperwork at Lawrence City Hall to renovate about 60,000 square feet of space for manufacturing purposes at 910 E. 29th St. Town Talk by Chad Lawhorn

Movie review: 'Tomorrowland' too much of a good thing

Published May 22, 2015

The first time the Disney live-action fantasy “Tomorrowland” announces a message of hope and optimism, it feels fairly natural to the story. But writers Brad Bird (who also directed) and Damon Lindelof telegraph their intentions ad nauseam, and “Tomorrowland,” a film otherwise filled with plenty of movie magic, starts to lose a bit of its luster. By Eric Melin