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Town Talk: City to make switch to electric carts at Eagle Bend; new Sears store close to opening; developers and neighbors both urging new retail zoning for NW Lawrence

Golf carts? I am OK with my tax dollars paying to let people go outside and play golf. But golf carts? Really? All they do is make fat people fatter (the one thing they don't need help with). Why don't we make the city-owned golf course walk only? You say that makes it take to long? I thought it was supposed to be fun. Why are you in a hurry? Instead of spending tax money to ruin the health of the citizenry, why don't we save money and set an example of how to help people be healthier.

September 19, 2012 at 5:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Pool complaint

Its fascinating to read the comments to such an inocuous letter. They pretty much reiterate what I refer to as the Kansas motto: "Yeah, we've always sucked at that". The first comment is why its OK to not have the pool open. Obviously, its not open, so there is a reason. It just may not be a particularly valid one. The second through whatever commenters seem more focused on the quality of the discourse rather than issue.
Lawrence, the great bastion of liberalism in Kansas, is, at this point, at best a mediocre example of a college town. Anyone who has been to Madison, Iowa City, Columbia or Manhattan will see towns with bike trails, recycling, sidewalks, more and better schools (not fewer), and, yes, open swimming pools. Argue for your liimitations and they win. Why can't Lawrence build a sidewalk, a bike trail that actually goes somewhere (other than out of town) , open more schools or keep a swimming pool open? There are plentyof reasons for each of these (including some egregous error in my use of language), but with each passing year, Lawrence accelerates its march towards being leading the college town of the twentieth centruy.

August 29, 2012 at 9:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Police image

I'm not sure that a majority of the community is distrustful of the police, but it is not a small minority either. I guess being the police chief had nothing to do with the response from the police, but I would feel better if somebody else that doesn't own a barbershop ,bad bar-b-que restaurant, or was ex-police got anyhting like decent treatment. Everytime I've been burgled (that's a lot, for those who want to know), I have been frankly apalled at the lack of an attempt to care by the responding officers. The earlier commenter seems to think that any criticism of the police lies in a distaste for authority, mine lies in poor job performance. Instead of armored cars and cameras downtown (the only place in Lawrence that already has a decent police presence), maybe we could get a few police to investigate actual crimes? What a concept. I can't afford basketball tickets, but I'll get them a football ticket or two for catching the meth-head who is robbing me. Maybe a camera on my block?

August 20, 2012 at 3:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regents Retreat Live: Regents trying to deal with new political landscape

It is going to be an interesting time to live in Kansas. Despite his fundamentalist roots, the Gov is actually engaged in science. He (and we) are doing an experiment. Most economists would argue that budget cuts during a recession are equivalent to tax increases, both of which stall growth. This is the so-called "austerity" approach to fiscal responsibility: you cut the budget and spend less resulting in a smaller economy so you have to cut again, etc. It is a reasonable plan, but it is currently failing in several European countries, noteably Greece. They now have 25% unemployment, a much smaller government with few services and many pension programs that have gone bust. It is not a good time to be Greek. It could be though, that at the state level, where budget balancing is required, it will work out. I doubt it, but I applaud the Gov for risking his entire state's economy to answer this question. I am damn glad I don't have state job though. All of you with fixed incomes, on KPERS or who work for the state and voted for Brownback just bet it all on black. Good Luck.

August 16, 2012 at 5:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office denies request for information about alleged assault

While we should all appreciate that publishing unproven allegations against law enforcement would have deleterious effects on our community, the idea that an internal review mechanism is adequate to ensure justice for victims of police corruption is ludicrous. While Lawrence hasn't dealt with real corruption yet, you never know. Police in New Orleans were dealing drugs out of their cars and murdering people that competed with them. Despite multiple complaints, it was years until the federal authorities took over control of the department and caught some of the perpetrators and brought them to justice. The corruption had become endemic.
External review is essential to both the reality and perception of honesty in a branch of government that has the power to take away a person's freedom. The LPD, as another writer has pointed out, has already demonstrated enough lack of basic morality (accepting bribes, fixing tickets) that a significant proportion of the population it serves doubts its honesty. The Sherrif's department, until now, has managed to avoid playing loose with its power. For that very reason, it would behoove them to stand tall on this case as well (and set an example for the LPD). A third party review, with total anonimity for both the victim and the officer would suffice. Alternatively, releasing details of the investigation would help althoughtis may compromise the identites of thos involved.
Trust, once lost, is almost impossible to regain, but its easy to keep.

August 16, 2012 at 1:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Man struck by car cited for jaywalking

Rock chalk Jay walk. Those pesky pedestrians. We need only hit a few more to discourage walking altogether. Kansas, the only state to fully adopt driving as the only transportation option.

August 3, 2012 at 4:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Guns among items stolen in latest home burglaries

I am not surprised at the current crime spree. It was inevitable. The Police (if you care to call them that) priorities are to buy armoured cars, hand out traffic tickets and protect the downtown barber shops and bad BBQ restaurants at all costs. In the time I've lived here every neighbor in my block has been burgled at some point. The police have been called over a dozen times and nothing has ever been done. The responding officers freely admit that property crime is not and has never been a priority for LPD. If we could elect a city commision who cared about anything other their own crappy little downtown businesses so that they could replace our incompetant city manager who could in turn try and find somebody less like Barny Fife than Chief Khatib, maybe we could get one detective to handle property crimes (there are currently none). Yet, despite the fact that citizens of Lawrence get robbed everyday, the police think we should be more worried about terrorists than criminals. Before we throw good money after bad, lets defund the armored car, the new building and the assault rifles and get a few bicycles and some actual police to ride them. We need new management. Fire Khatib and Corliss!

July 31, 2012 at 1:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Registration kinks

Really? I pay a ton of taxes and now I am forced to take time off of work to pay them. The JW now apparently wants me to thank the bureaucrats for only making me wait two hours for the honors of paying taxes!? This is what causes reactionary politics like the Tea party. Other states realize that the government should try, as much as possible, to be appreciative, efficient and solicitous in their tax collection. Kansas, in its special 1950's redneck way, uses the Russian government approach: Make the peasants wait in line for hours for the honor of giving the fruits of their labor to the government. I have waited through these lines to deal with rude and uncaring staff at the Douglas county tax offices. I am not appreciative. I'm not sure what the state is doing with my money, but at least some of it should be spent on making sure that taxation is kept as painless as possible. That way we can avoid the irony of living in a right-wing anti-big government state that has the worst bureaucracy in the country.

June 29, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Air ambulances save time — and lives as result

Sorry I miissed this earlier. The helicopters take longer than the ambulance. Too much filling out of forms and pilots standing around looking cool. Air ambulances are for air ambulance companies, not for emergencies. The fastest way to get to the hospital is have your 16 year old drive you, 2nd have your spouse take you, 3rd the neighbor, 4th city ambulance and 5th air ambulance. If you actually want to get to the hospital in a hurry with EMS, let private ambualnces with published rates work in the city. Both our county EMS and the air ambulances would be broke in a week.

June 25, 2012 at 2:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Evolution returns

I'm pretty sure this is the most inacurate statement of the day. In KANSAS, the Bible rules. World-wide, the most popular and fervently adhered to religion is, without a doubt, Islam. Lets teach the Quoran in science class, because its the most popular and has the most adherents. Additionally, given our preoccupation with two wars in the Middle East and our ongoing complex relationship with Israel, Islam probably affects american lives right now more than the Bible. I vote for Mohammed as the prophet of the 21st century. If you disagree, then lets let my science be science and I promise to stay away from your religous beliefs.

June 15, 2012 at 11:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )