Comment history

Be prepared

...and my cousin is a ninth-grade teacher in Jay, Maine. I still don't know what teacher salaries in Maine are, nor what the state curriculum is.

I'm sorry, but you are wrong to call me a liar. Auto-insurance deregulation has been a failure in Massachusetts. It's driven up prices (aside from the most perfect of perfect drivers, that is), reduced consumer protection, and - most importantly, and the reason the industry was deregulated to begin with - increased insurer profit.

See, once the state no longer sets rates and insurers are free to charge what they want it became a race to profit. While before the state rates mandated that they top out their profit at 25% (it's a made up number to illustrate the point), they decided to try 30%. Still got business, let's see if we can make a 35% profit, etc. etc. From 2007 to 2008 there were drivers in Massachusetts who saw as much as a 150% hike in their premium.

Profit over people, it's the libertarian way.

July 11, 2012 at 5:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Be prepared

An apples to oranges comparison, but...

It's the same argument (nearly word for word) that was used when they de-regulated auto insurance in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. People bought it hook, line, and sinker and the auto insurance market opened up after a state-wide voter referendum. People were no longer limited to the two, or was it three, state licensed carriers and could now buy insurance from Flo (though she wasn't around yet) and the little green lizard who promised to save you 15%, but what really happened? The average auto-insurance premium skyrocketed.

Sorry if I don't buy the libertarian "de-regulation is the answer to everything" party line.

July 10, 2012 at 12:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sound Off: On streets with marked bike lanes (e.g. 15th, 19th) is it legal for two bicyclists to rid

Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not vehicles.

Be they four-wheeled or two-wheeled, motorized or human powered.

That said, I don't follow my own advice...I'm not a "biker", I don't wear spandex bike suits and my bike cost $79 at WalMart, but I don't own a car, never learned to drive and rely on foot and bike for most of my getting around town. The city I lived in before Lawrence could (and would, they had pretty well-publicized bicycle enforcement days) ticket cyclists for riding on sidewalks, ignoring stop signs/lights, not signaling turns, etc. I never would have dreamed of putting my bike on the sidewalk until I moved to Lawrence, but it only took me a few weeks to realize that's really the only safe place in this town.

June 17, 2012 at 6:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Capitol Briefing: Removal of food sales tax debated

You know, I'm curious, just where does the state's tax revenue go?

When I announced I was moving to Kansas about five years ago I was sarcastically congratulated by one of my co-workers for moving to a state where "you'll actually be able to keep your money". I guess he figured a red state = no/low taxes. I spent the last 30 years hearing stories about how "Taxachusetts" was losing residents to New Hampshire because our tax burden was so high. I guess I never realized how good I had it.

We had no, ZERO, tax on groceries or clothing (ie, the essentials). Flat 5% state sales tax with no such thing as county or local sales tax. A 5.3% rate on income tax, compared to my 6.45% rate in Kansas. Rent, student loan, and many other tax deductions that don't exist in Kansas....and a state that, while not in the best financial shape, is not nearly in the dire straits that Kansas seems to be in.

My point here, is that I moved from a state with what was perceived as a very high tax burden to Kansas where the tax burden (at least for someone in my bracket) is actually much worse, yet when I compare the services offered by each state Kansas has MUCH less (I mean we had "free" trash, water, and sewer...a state-wide healthcare system that is very popular and successful despite what some would try and tell you...social services that actually has an office near you...state parks that don't charge for use...etc).

So what are they doing with the money? I realize that there are HUGE differences between the states, but it seems that I pay a lot more here and the state offers a lot less.

March 19, 2012 at 9:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: Committee approves new voter registration requirements

Mea culpa...

My mind conflated "certified" with "long-form" for a moment.

It's still silly though.

February 8, 2012 at 2 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: Committee approves new voter registration requirements

Define "certified".

What state was it where a member of the legislature put forth a bill requiring all running for office to provide a "state-certified, raised-seal copy of their birth certificate" and when asked to provide a copy of her own was told that her state issued no such thing?

I believe it was Tennessee.

February 8, 2012 at 1:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

In State of State, Brownback outlines plan to cut Kansas personal income tax

I'm not going to google a source for you, but 5 years living in Maine with no sales tax on food. 26 years in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with no sales tax on food (that is not served to you) or clothing. The idea is you don't tax people on life's NECESSITIES.

I know that Mass. has since added a "snack tax" on things like soda and junk food which I see no problem with. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but I had honestly never even heard of a sales tax on groceries until I moved here.

January 12, 2012 at 11:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence 16-year-old ticketed for texting while driving before rollover accident

Thanks for the info guys!

Sort of similar to being issued a speeding ticket in New York State, then receiving a letter in the mail nearly nine months later explaining how "The State of New York requires all drivers accumulating six or more points in one calendar year to pay a $300 state surcharge". And of course, your one citation was worth exactly six points.

Just another way to accumulate/allocate money.

September 12, 2011 at 1:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence 16-year-old ticketed for texting while driving before rollover accident

I don't want to take away from the content of the article, but can someone clarify the whole "court costs" thing for me?

I don't claim to have a perfect driving record. I don't and have received moving violations in two different states in the past. The citations I received contained a fine, which I paid and that was the end of it (except for the insurance stuff), but whenever I see the fine schedule referenced here in Kansas there is always a fine of $XX plus court costs.

If I don't challenge the citation and just pay the fine then I never go to court, correct? What are the court costs and how are they determined?

September 12, 2011 at 11:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence studies university relations in other cities

Of course the students are paying more than a family would. The majority of them (not all, but most) fall into one of two categories:
1)Mommy and Daddy are footing the bill, if rent goes up the student doesn't complain, just asks his parents for more. Or,
2)Footing the bill will loan money. If the rent goes up, he doesn't complain, just asks for more money next semester.

Student renters are always going to be there, you're not going to price them out of the market. At least not in the same way that you would price families out of a neighborhood.

It's not exactly an analogous situation, but I've seen my father walk by the building where he (and his father) grew up and just shake his head. Not because what used to be a five-unit brownstone now houses twenty-five separate units. Not because he couldn't afford to live there if he wanted because one-bedroom units are being rented at $1800/month or more. But because what used to be a working class community has now lost all semblance of "community" in favor of a transient population that just recycles itself year after year.

I'm not saying we need to kick all the students back onto campus where they belong, because I don't necessarily believe that. However, as enrollments continue to increase year after year, the same thing is happening in university towns all over the country...Their communities are losing their identity as rooted residents get priced out and transient residents move in. I don't necessarily think it's right or wrong, just a little bit sad.

June 27, 2011 at 1:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )