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Olive Garden’s future cloudy after board rejects financial incentives

So Olive Garden may not open a location in Lawrence just because the incentives proposal was voted down? Glad to hear it!!! The last thing we need is yet another morally bankrupt national chain knocking down profits from giving our friends and neighbors kidney disease and diabetes by serving the all-carb toxic waste that consitututes Olive Garden's specific specialty. Speculation about potential sales of some $5 million per annum and a presumed tax bonanza are nothing more than wishful thinking that does not take into account the economic and social cost of a diet that many doctors warn will give our youth shorter lives than their own parents and grandparents. Lawrence is supposed to be a progressive community. Tax policies related to restaurants should be geared not toward making money but toward discouraging such businesses from opening in such appallingly large numbers in the first place.

July 1, 2011 at 4:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Mental heath care takes turn for worse

The author touches on the unfortunate link between mental illness and violence in both the press as well as the public's perception, but does not provide any stats, so I will. The mentally ill are only about one-quarter to one-third as violent as the general population. Some mentally ill persons are violent, of course, but it isn't the huge social problem that some might imagine. What IS a big problem is how often these people become VICTIMS of truly hideous violent crimes. One only need to take a stroll down Massachussetts at any hour of night or day to see for oneself how this vulnerable population is being almost universally ignored. In addition to the disservice to those who need help that they aren't receiving, letting situations like this go adds to the general chaos in an area. Real criminals love to blend in with this chaos in the not-so-mistaken belief that they will likely be ignored too. Everybody from Jack Kennedy to the Supreme Court has worked hard to make sure that citizens cannot be taken in for treatment by force unless certain conditions are met and certain safeguards are respected, but we still could reach a lot more people than we are currently. These safeguards are important, and we can do much better for the mentally ill without breaking any of these laws. One condition that makes it legal to compel treatment is if the person is a threat to himself and/or others, so in the case of the homeless, in principle they could be "invited" to come in for an evaluation every time the temperature drops to seven below, as it did a week or so ago. That this isn't being done each and every time it's legally permissable can only be attributable to the appalling lack of funding of which Mr. Simons complains, and the stigma that these folks carry. For shame!

February 20, 2011 at 4:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A new chief in town: Tarik Khatib outlines priorities for Lawrence police department

So you're saying that decent people should be unemployed rather than "put themselves in a position to be victimized" by a violent armed robbery and hostage situation? Or maybe refuse to attend or teach school for fear of suicide shooters? Or just stay home, period, and let the crims rule the whole damn town? Yes, liberalintrovert, I agree with you that Lawrence is pretty tame compared to Detroit or Johannesburg, but does that mean that we have to blame the victim for every last thing that goes wrong?

February 20, 2011 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A new chief in town: Tarik Khatib outlines priorities for Lawrence police department

I'm not sure what the references to jackboots and being under the heel of Mr. Olin's LPD are about. All of the vagrancy and public drunkeness I see every time I visit Lawrence make it pretty clear that there is no social will to help or even allow the cops to do their jobs. Yes, I get the area's liberal traditions. The powers that be need to get that homeless and drunks increase a neighborhood's crime rates, not only because these people occasionally commit crimes themselves, but mosty because they make ideal victims, and because their mere presence sends a strong message that no one is in charge and that bad conduct will be ignored and/or tolerated. I feel bad for Mr. Khatib, because he has to utter all of these pretty words carefully tailored to offend no one, and he cannot say anything about what he would like to do about these and other trouble spots and problemmatic situations in his community that are contributing to the crime rates, unless he is willing to be branded everything from a brownshirt to a sharia jockey. Wake up, Lawrence, plenty of communities a lot farther to the left than you are have managed to reduce social chaos on their streets without resorting to gestapo stuff. New York got rid of its squeegee guys and was roundly criticized for it, taking the attitude that the Supreme Court can rule against us later if it has a problem with what we're doing here and now, and sure enough rates of crimes a lot more serious than vagrancy, panhandling, and blocking traffic also fell. By contrast, somebody at Lawrence City Hall must have the attitude that a strung-out skeleton's right to let his mental health disorders worsen in full public view and get frostbite every time the weather hits seven below is more important that a young woman's right to walk around downtown without getting raped at curbside as happened a few months back.

February 20, 2011 at 12:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )