citizen1 (David Reynolds)

Follow

Comment history

Letter to the editor: Public responsibility

Vincent I agree with you.

This city (really a minor few in this town) has many "wants" it can't afford so it passes ordinances and then expects others to pay to maintain and/or replace them. Specifically related to sidewalks & bicycle lanes, they have grown like mushrooms.

Bicycle lanes used to be nonexistent now they cause streets to be wider & or car lanes to be narrower, and in some areas we have lost a car lane to accommodate bicycles.

Sidewalks used to be 3 ft wide and on one side of the street. Now they are anywhere from 5ft to 8ft. wide and on both sides of the streets...all very expensive.

All of this is done in the name of a "livable city". Well if it is for a livable city then "The city" should pay for their installation & maintenance. Now individual home owners pay for these sidewalks & expanded bicycle lanes associated with a subdivision, thus increasing the cost of new homes and hurting affordability.

So inspite of our new city managers proclamation, if the infrastructure is for public use the public should pay to install new & maintain/replace. if it is for private use the homeowner should pay for the install & maintain it.

This town has a goal of increasing its senior citizens. This sidewalk policy negatively impacts senior citizens.

May 17, 2016 at 8:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Faith in ‘facts’

It’s really funny watching the believers in GW attempt to persuade non-believers & doubters that the GW case is unquestioning and they have the truth. They keep hauling out the data, which has been questioned and thus say: “here is the truth”, it has to be true, just believe it. The reader is then supposed to say, it has been repeatedly claimed to be true therefore it must be true, it must be true…I believe!...Let’s here a great big Amen…AMEN!

As I mentioned in my previous blog: “Even the MMGW proponents admit their case does not hold up to scrutiny via their actions. GW proponents are calling for prosecution & jail time for GW deniers. All that just to shut up a contrary voice. Funny...”.

The GW folks want to claim the high ground and try to denigrate any one denying their claims by calling them a “denier”…GW proponents have the only truth. Maybe & maybe not! A recent example is poor old professor Zakarova from England who studies solar activity and has forecast that in the period 2030-2040 another major cooling event is going to occur, maybe on a par with the “Little Ice Age”. Immediately after he presented his study & findings at a conference in Wales the GW promoting community came out and started denying the professor’s study and his report.

I wonder why that would be…could it be another truth destroys the credibility of MMGW? Oh my…we can’t have that now can we.

This back & forth is pointless. I’m out!

May 12, 2016 at 10:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Faith in ‘facts’

There is no denying the data used to justify MMGW is damaged. Additionally it is proven that NOA & NASA have used bad data, & even they dropped 600 sites in USA due to heat sink problems, & then they created/massaged the data to estimate the temps at those deleted sites to "fill in the deleted data". This combined with the history of falsehoods & manipulation has destroyed the credibility of the whole MMGW argument. And what can we say about all of the catastrophic predictions? Where are they?

Additionally scientists have admitted that they don't have a grasp of the whole picture & interactions that control earth's climate, by admitting their equations do not account for all of the climate interactions. Thus the argument about testing the equations is a ridiculous argument. If the equations don't fully account for the whole picture & are thus flawed, testing the results of those equations is a waste of time. If the results aren't accurate to begin with how can the tests prove they are correct?

And what about all of the GW reports that were "peer reviewed" by cherry picked authorities to guarantee "authenticity"?

Between Al Gore & all of the manipulations, bad data, and falsehoods there is no credibility left in the GW movement.

Even the MMGW proponents admit their case does not hold up to scrutiny via their actions. GW proponents are calling for prosecution & jail time for GW deniers. All that just to shut up a contrary voice. Funny...

This whole situation is so political & religious at the same time, as the GW proponents are going on "faith" that somewhere GW exists, it has to for them, or their world crumbles.

May 11, 2016 at 9:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Incentivizing affordability: Debates begin on direction for affordable housing

Based on this article and the table of percentage requirements of affordable units required that an important concept is missing from City Manager Tom Markus's proposal...equitability.

If the incentives provided to gain affordable housing do not balance the cost to provide & maintain those unites then there is no balance or fairness. If there is no balance or fairness than those promoting affordable housing are, in reality, imposing a TAX on those tenants/owners in the "non-affordable" units whose rents must make up the costs of the affordable units.. Those rents would be out of market, thus making the project non-competitive in the market place.

There is much more to be said but for now we should all keep in mind that if we are to provide affordable housing, then we must realize the costs must be born by all not just one side of the equation, or they may be only minimal, if any, gains in this area.

May 9, 2016 at 10:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas House OKs bill prohibiting local 'inclusionary zoning' laws, nutrition labeling

Dorothy if there are substandard rental units, there are plenty of ordinances & laws governing life, safety & health that can be enforced to protect renters. So that is a non-starter in this discussion.

With regard to empty rental units, so what?

If you are implying that the owners should just arbitrarily lower the rents so they can rent the empty units, that is a business decision.

If you are asking how do we get more affordable housing/rental units. please reread my comment above.

May 2, 2016 at 11:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas House OKs bill prohibiting local 'inclusionary zoning' laws, nutrition labeling

There are positives to the law just passed in spite of the negativity above.

First, restricting "Inclusionary Zoning" protects property rights. There is a mixed history regarding Inclusionary Zoning, especially in how it is enacted, mostly thru "Mandating" IZ. I will acknowledge there can be positives depending on how it is implemented & paid for.

Second, the real benefit to the law just passed is, if those in Lawrence promoting affordable housing, are really serious, then Lawrence will evaluate the impact of all of those ordinances passed over the last 20 years which have significantly raised all housing costs. Some examples: For a home I recently priced the costs to be paid to the city including building permit fee, system development fees, & master street tree plan fee, totals $7,093.82 versus several hundred dollars 20 years ago. With these costs plus the energy code requirements, various studies, planning fees, etc have added roughly $30k to the price of a home. The price of land in Johnson County, depending on sub-division, is roughly half of Lawrence & that is due to the way they handle the development financing costs. If you think the sub-contractors & builders are raising their fees you will find that is not true. The market dictates selling price. Government significantly impacts costs & those costs are passed on. Arithmetic tells the tale of profit.

Third, the other significant piece of solving the Affordable Housing issue is job creation, skills & education development, & raising incomes of people/families living in Lawrence. All of us in Lawrence, citizens, chamber, city hall, business should be working on the same plan to see that Lawrence has the best paying jobs in the region & a growing employment base. I am not being critical of the chamber, but unanimous support for their work would go a long way to solving affordable housing and the many other needs of the city. Additionally, the sub-contractors in the building industry in Lawrence have a significant shortage of skilled labor. Many skilled labor jobs in the construction industry are lost to non-citizens.

So, if Lawrence wants affordable housing maybe Lawrence needs to rethink Inclusive Zoning; the totality of affordability, which includes costs, jobs, job skills, & incomes, and rethink their want list and how it gets paid for. The development community is not the only player when it comes to having affordable housing…it’s everyone of us!

With regard to the provision of the law which would prohibit local governments from enacting or enforcing rental property licensing programs that require periodic interior inspections of housing units without the occupant's consent.

To me this provision in the new law protects the US Constitutional rights granted under the 4th amendment of the individual renters. There can be no justification for invasion of privacy.

May 1, 2016 at 4:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Future of home building in North Lawrence gets a hard look

I really do appreciate the drainage issue in North Lawrence and managing that is critical.

The issue of affordability is also a critical topic.

1) Drainage.
Proper siting and creation of adequate swales will help control drainage onto neighbors lots.

2) Affordability.
If a 7k sq ft lot retails for $60-$70k then cutting it in half goes a long way to reducing costs for affordable housing.

The idea Ted Boyle has regarding allowable building area has merit. The cities own codes can also help with the footprint (Impervious surface area versus lot size) issue. Example the cities code has restrictions on minimum home size, 850 sq ft, minimum room size & minimum ceiling heights. The problem is no one has invested any design effort in this size home except the mobile home folks. These standards exclude new and novel housing alternatives which could be used in Lawrence and address the North Lawrence concerns. The existing standards are all well and good except it eliminates one of the most novel ideas in home construction in decades...the so called "Tiny House" concept. Why shouldn't we have criteria that allows such projects? I have attached a web site with some background to help understanding. Perhaps we can work this concept into planning for small lots.

http://thetinylife.com/tiny-house-inf...

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/201408...

As far as more studies...it's just cost and reduces affordability. To me this is a city planning issue and the city should address it when the city does its Master Planning. One of the hidden issues raising housing costs is what I call the scramble for incremental solutions as each development is proposed. It is easier to determine how a development fits into an existing plan. We can keep throwing incremental costs at builders, it just gets reflected in land & home prices & reduces affordability. Overtime all these incremental costs just keep adding up and hurting affordability. Example: System Development fees, ever widening sidewalks on both sides of the street, all kinds of impact studies, Master Street tree Plan, exactions, etc. I am not saying they aren't worthy, but they are the hidden costs which contribute to a lack of affordable housing.

April 16, 2016 at 10:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Judge considers ACLU challenge to Kansas voting documentation rule

The Federal government demands identification for US citizenship.

https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote

Voter Eligibility, Basic Requirements

To vote in a federal election in the United States, potential voters must meet certain requirements. No matter which state you live in, you are eligible to vote if:

You are a U.S. citizen.

You meet your state’s residency requirements.

You are 18 years old. Some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and/or register to vote if they will be 18 before the general election.

Check your state’s Voter Registration Age Requirements.

We have had these requirements for a very long time. Where exactly is the problem?

April 14, 2016 at 4:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Race should be 'fundamental' issue of new criminal justice council, author of suggested bylaw says

Interesting point Randolf, but it is a distinction without a difference.

If they don't think there is a problem then why form the council? Why mention the disparity in black incarceration rates? Why did Rev. Guffey say: “I think the issue of race is paramount.”? Additionally the article states: "Guffey, meanwhile, said she agreed with the NAACP’s position that racial disparities was a key issue." Why the need for a member of the NAACP? Also stated was: "The Coordinating Council would reach out to the community for people to serve on subcommittees charged with investigating and reporting on specific issues,..."…why?

There is an agenda, and a Criminal Justice Council with subcommittees is looking for problems, otherwise there is no reason to form it. Why do we need so much bureaucracy with a council? What reason do they give for the purpose of the council than the disparity with incarceration rates?

I didn't hear anything positive like lets help the system get better facilities, or better training, or better tools, or improved staffing, etc.

Randolf I appreciate your positive view, but the tone of the article and otherwise lack of mention of a positive purpose is an issue. Seems like a lot of bureaucracy to go looking for trouble...guess what, they will find something to justify their existence.

April 13, 2016 at 9:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Empowerment

And that is the point Greg, thank you for agreeing with me.

In 1988 Stanford did act to drop Western Civilization based on Jesse Jackson, the renowned scholar, demonstration.

The University of Missouri top administrators resigned.

KU now has a dual committee just to serve blacks versus integrate the committee to handle black issues.

Banning confederate flags doesn't do anything. The way the game is played today anyone can complain about anything and it is considered a disruption.

We have too much sensitivity. There is no rational analysis by a mature person as to what is a real disruption and what is not.

Bottom line is we will get more disruption because we respond to it poorly. Where is the adult in the room?

It seems we can not delineate between aggression and things we just don't like.

April 13, 2016 at 4:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )