citizen1 (David Reynolds)

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Letter: Premier facility

Mike you are correct regarding the shrinkage cracks.

So far only the floor cracks have gotten the attention of the public due to the lj World article.

Next time you go out to SPL walk around the exterior of the building a look serious at all the exterior wall cracks. Unless the city holds the contractor to the responsibility for properly fixing those cracks all of our tax dollars will be paying for the repairs. The contractor has tried to smear some joint sealer on some of the cracks, which both looks awful and is not a long term solution to the cracking.

Just saying lets just move on is no protection for the tax payers of Douglas County.

January 20, 2015 at 10:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence found to lag behind Manhattan in college community ranking; City Hall and the land of meetings; butcher shop expanding

Regarding Community Rankings, the one that should concern all of us is the category of "Opportunities". The category states: Opportunities: This looks at earning potential for people with a bachelor’s degree; unemployment rate; business startup rate; job growth rate; and the universities’ rankings in publications such as U.S. News & World Report. Lawrence was No. 46.

In April, 2013 Chad Lawhorn wrote an article which stated: “A new national study has ranked Lawrence as the second-worst-performing small metropolitan area in the nation, based on a variety of economic measures. The Milken Institute ranked Lawrence 178 out of 179 metro areas in its most recent Best Performing Cities index.”

Lawrence’s Final Economic Report-2013 shows dramatic needs for skilled jobs in the technology, information, manufacturing areas. The largest contributors to changes in Real GDP from 2011-2012 were #1 is Travel & Leisure, #2 Trade & #3 is Government. By the way Education was in 7th place & Information was in 9th place with negative growth. Travel & Leisure is primarily low skill & wage jobs & government is a tax consumer. Growth in government itself does not make a community wealthier.

So Chad your current report is not surprising. Lawrence is rapidly being left behind by most other cities in terms of real GDP growth categories. Lawrence needs to be a lot more competitive & supportive when recruiting companies if we are going to turn this situation around.

December 19, 2014 at 9:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

Lane, your response is very politicalesque. If it is not anyones responsibility to hold anyones feet to the fire than why hold the Koch Brothers & Art Hall Feet to the fire? The SSF must be holding their feet to the fire just because of the politics of the Koch Brothers...Low hanging fruit...Pretty weak excuse to not try to find out about others.

You have to give the Koch Brothers credit they are up front and everyone knows about what they are doing. Shouldn't the SSF be concerned by those using a lower profile so they fly under the radar?

I have been curious about who supports the SSF & what initiated this query? It looks like the SSF is being politically one sided.

December 18, 2014 at 10:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

Mike please, don't start with the idea that conservatives are the only ones attacking, stifling, name calling, etc. you can just as well replace the names you use with liberal names & the words conservative with liberal. Because there are people doing those things on all sides of the political spectrum this is not a comment line that goes anywhere productive.

If you want to argue economic policies start with Washington.

If you want to discuss Higher Education Funding please consider the following. One point that is never discussed is "what are universities doing to reduce their overhead costs to match the real world economy"?

In a Dec 28, 2012 Wall Street Journal article titled: “Deans List: Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy—And Tuition” the author quotes the US Dept. of Education: “Across U.S. higher education, non-classroom costs have ballooned, administrative payrolls being a prime example. The number of employees hired by colleges and universities to manage or administer people, programs and regulations increased 50% faster than the number of instructors between 2001 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Education says. It's part of the reason that tuition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has risen even faster than health-care costs.”

A newsletter titled: “Inside Higher Education” makes the following comment:
“Almost no amount of state funding is going to make public higher education sustainable unless public colleges and universities get more serious about controlling their spending, ...and this increasingly means student tuition revenues may have to go to pay for employee benefits, rather than increased capacity or quality."
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/03/27/state-state-funding-higher- education

The issue of reductions in government funding of higher education is thoughtfully presented in a 2013 report & video from “The National Association of State Budget Officers, March 2013. The issue of public education funding is not a Kansas only problem. The report was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In part it says existing funding mechanisms are unsustainable, and funding must be flipped, and instead focus on student outcomes & research versus traditional fixed costs as the primary budget items. (To view the video you may have to copy the link and paste in your browser). http://www.nasbo.org/higher-education...

You can blame Brownback & whomever you wish. Blame isn't going to solve any problems.

December 17, 2014 at 10:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

Because the records request is for Art Hall's records, by definition the records request is about Art Hall. You can't cop out by stating it is just to get to Koch Brothers influence, because the records request is to determine the extent of any influence the Koch Brothers may have on Art Hall.

The comment "...It's an attempt to bring to light the nature and the extent of influence in research and/or curriculum that the Koch brothers have tied to their donations to KU", is the closest to the truth I have heard. Thank you Lane.

I repeat: So, let's say you get what you want out of the request for Art Hall's records...who is next on the list to be requested?

If you are seeking "academic freedom", than how do you ensure it exists everywhere? Are you going to solicit records from everyone at KU? Does academic freedom begin & end with the Koch Brothers activities? Are you going to go fishing in all areas of the political spectrum at KU? If you do not then the SSF is just as guilty of the bias you attribute to Art Hall & the Koch Brothers & anyone else who associates or benefits from them.

These questions remain unanswered. Lane maybe you are willing to shed light on these questions.

December 17, 2014 at 5:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

William I get the fact that an open records request can be sought for no reason. But generally open records are not just sought casually. Usually there is a reason that precipitates the request. People/organizations do not generally arbitrarily request open records.

All I am asking is why is this open records request happening of Art Hall & why not someone else or someone else as well?

Pretty simple to answer, but all I get is "well we can do it because we want to", which says we are just curious. Really? Sorry but that answer denies the real cause. Makes me wonder why the SSF doesn't answer these simple questions.

December 17, 2014 at 3:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

Greg please see my post below.

My point is it seems the SSF does not want the debate with ideas from Art. Ask yourself this, in the debate of ideas does it matter who is promoting what? Does it matter that Koch is promoting Libertarian ideas? Does everyone just sit in class and act like a sponge? Isn't there any critical thinking & engagement regarding what is being communicated? Justify why Art's ideas are wrong for everyone. The result of the debate is both sides get better.

If all the SSF is trying to do is prove that Art is promoting the Libertarian ideas of the Koch Brothers so what? Do you want those ideas ripped from the campus @ KU? I hope many would agree that debate is better for everyone.

December 17, 2014 at 2:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

So, let's say you get what you want out of the request for Art Hall's records...who is next on the list to be requested?

If you are seeking "academic freedom", than how do you ensure it exists everywhere? Are you going to solicit records from everyone at KU? Does academic freedom begin & end with the Koch Brothers activities? Are you going to go fishing in all areas of the political spectrum at KU? If you do not then the SSF is just as guilty of the bias you attribute to Art Hall & the Koch Brothers & anyone else who associates or benefits from them.

Like I said before, so far all you have demonstrated is guilt by association. The question being ignored is has Art Hall done anything to warrant scrutiny & why isn't the SSF seeking records of folks in other areas of the political spectrum?

December 17, 2014 at 2:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

Greg let's see you have accused me of being prejudiced, accusing the SSF of repugnant motives, trying to stifle an investigation & I have a beef with so-called liberal donations. Whew...That's a lot. I didn't know all of that about myself. :)

I think your comments really play into what I am saying. I am just trying to understand the justification for the records request. My original question remains the same and it is still unanswered: "What has Art Hall done, in an official capacity, at the University of Kansas to justify this records request"? I believe the SSF is trying to do a "witch hunt" to drum up "a charge/accusation against Art Hall". There is no foundation for this request, only guilt by association. I sincerely hope some day you & the SSF members are never accused of such.

I also wonder if any members of the SSF or their supporters have ever had any official interaction with Art Hall? Do they really know the man? If so what has Mr. Hall done, in his or her presence that would tell anyone his performance should be questioned?

Greg you speak of “freedom”. Where, in your view, does freedom start & end? In the court of law a person is entitled to specific accusations against them & then allowed to respond to those accusations. In a court of law the accuser has to prove their case without the cooperation of the accused. So, in my humble view, you are asking Art to cooperate with a group who does not have Art’s best interests at heart. I don’t see how he has any responsibility to cooperate with you. Put yourself in Art's place and see how ridiculous this request is from the SSF and why he responded the way he did.

Further, it seems to me the SSF is somehow threatened by the “freedom of ideas”. Why is there so much concern about support for conservative ideas? I thought universities were supposed to be places where competing ideas are freely exchanged; debated & new lines of thought are developed. To me the pursuit of Art’s records at KU is an attempt to stifle academic freedom.

With regard to “liberal” donations, I have no concern. I was commenting regarding the very public antipathy of the liberals against the Koch Brothers, and how the only charge against Art Hall appears to be “guilt by association”. Thus suggesting, if this query into Art Hall’s work life is so “innocent & virtuous” regarding freedom in education, there has to be similar opportunities for requests for information of donations from those in the rest of the political spectrum.

Jim Slade you are stating a “presumption of guilt” regarding charges of doing something illegal or unethical, both are serious charges. I hope you understand that this falls into the area of slander. Unless you have specific proof to warrant your comment I think I would reconsider future comments.

December 17, 2014 at 11:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

The above "Your Turn" comments go to great lengths to explain why the SSF made the records request, yet the base reasoning/rationale to justify such a request remains unanswered. If I take anything from the above commentary it is that The Students for a Sustainable Future believe Art Hall is "guilty by association".

My original question remains the same and still unanswered: "What has Art Hall done, while working on campus, at the University of Kansas to justify this records request"?

The reference in the above Your Turn commentary references another university. This reference to another university & persons other than Art Hall is pure innuendo. How is that relevant here? The issue is KU, and what is happening here on campus. This is where the records request was made. The fact that the SSF have gone to such lengths to explain away their records request without anything specific to Art Hall tells me there is nothing specific, & that this request is nothing more than a "witch hunt".

Anyone, in the English-speaking world who has been paying attention, recognizes the antipathy the left has for the Koch Brothers. Since the genesis of this request is based on some relevance to the Koch Brothers it is fair to state that donations to universities come from the full spectrum of politics. Yet SSF finds no reason to question any other professor, or the university itself, for these other contributors & their political association.

What has anyone at The University of Kansas done to justify the actions of the SSF?

December 17, 2014 at 8:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )