clawhorn (Chad Lawhorn)


Comment history

State's STAR bonds legislation needs thorough 'vetting,' state senator says

Huh? Did I misstate something, Joe?

December 28, 2016 at 11:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Arrest affidavit: Carlton Bragg Jr. stood with hands in pockets as girlfriend allegedly hit, pushed him

Hi Bob. I obviously disagree with your assessment. A few points: 1. We frequently run details from arrest affidavits. This isn’t that unusual for us. 2. Mr. Bragg’s notoriety has played a role in our coverage, but not an improper one. The public has a genuine interest in whether people of notoriety are treated by the justice system with the same standards as everyone else. 3. We publish details from arrest affidavits not to satisfy the curiosity of people, but rather because doing so provides an important check in a system of checks and balances. Ultimately, the justice system is run by elected officials. It is the job of the public to determine if those elected officials are properly discharging their duties. If the public never has any details about the cases those officials decide, it becomes difficult for the public to judge their performance. Thanks, Chad Lawhorn, editor.

December 28, 2016 at 9:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

State's STAR bonds legislation needs thorough 'vetting,' state senator says

Hi Jonathan:
The sales taxes “from an associated mixed use development on the west side of Lawrence,” wouldn’t be a new sales tax. It would just be a new shopping area (or maybe entertainment district would be a better description. Its location and specific uses are undefined currently.) You would pay the normal sales tax that you pay at shopping areas. The difference with this shopping area is that it would be part of a STAR Bond district, which means the sales taxes collected at the shopping center would eventually be rebated back to the outdoor park instead of going into state and local coffers. But it is not like the creation of the STAR bond district causes the sales tax rate to be 12 percent instead of 9 percent or something like that.

Now, if the developments also seek a Transportation Development District, that could result in a higher sales tax rate. That is the type of special taxing district that exists at The Oread, Ninth and New Hampshire and Bauer Farm that adds 1 percent onto the normal sales tax rate. But that is different than a STAR Bond district.

Hope that helps. Thanks, Chad

December 27, 2016 at 5:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU Hospital working to open facility in west Lawrence

It is one of those high-tech tunnel car washes. Here's what we have written about it:

December 6, 2016 at 5:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: School board failing public

Hi Ken:
First, let me say I appreciate having this conversation with you. There is no question that we printed the name of a teacher who the South community speculates is the teacher who resigned. The point of my last post was to say that reporting on who people think has resigned is different than definitively saying this is the teacher who has resigned and is under investigation. If readers want to take the speculation as fact, that is a poor choice on the part of readers. We make it clear that it is not fact. A saying I sometimes use is that information is rarely the problem. Misuse of information sometimes is. Your question may be: Why would we report on speculation? It is uncomfortable to do so, but we did in this case for several reasons. Among them are: 1. The district identified that the person under investigation was a South Middle School social studies teacher. It is unfair for all South Middle School social studies teachers to have that cloud hanging over their heads. Once the district threw all South social studies teachers into the kettle, there had to be some action to remove those who have nothing to do with the incident. That action should have come from the school board. 2. Part of the article is about the policy decision of how the board chose to not release the name. An argument the board has made is it was trying to protect the confidentiality of the teacher. That policy has failed, evidenced by the widespread speculation in the South community. That speculation has either named the party that the board was trying to protect or has unfairly cast aspersions upon an innocent party, or both. Whatever the case, the board’s policy decision has failed. That is part of our coverage. Perhaps you think the board had no choice in how to handle this matter, and thus you think what we have done is unfair. I would disagree. The board would have broken no law in identifying the person under investigation. The board does not want to do that. Even so, it seems this option was readily available to the board: 1.List the name of the person resigning as part of the November personnel report that is delivered to the board. Make no mention of the resignation being tied to the investigation. 2. At some point, whether it be at the same meeting or days later, the board announces that the investigation related to the South incident has been completed, and the subject of the investigation has resigned. End of statement. Yes, it would be possible for people to connect the dots and speculate just as they are today. But that is the point. This approach would put the district in the same spot it is in today, with one important difference: The board would not have abandoned the common sense principle that the public has a right to know who is working on its behalf, and the public has a right to know when one of those people choose to no longer work on its behalf. Thanks, Chad Lawhorn, editor.

December 3, 2016 at 9:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: School board failing public

Hi Ken:
I believe you have some facts confused upon what we have previously reported. We have not written an article that identifies the teacher who resigned. We have written an article that reports on the speculation that is widespread in the South community about who that teacher is. That is far different than what you claim has been reported. I also don’t follow your claim that the district has been put in an intractable position. It is unclear to me why the district could not have simply accepted this particular resignation just like it accepts every other resignation. It would have been one of several names on a list of resignations for the month. The district would not have been obliged to link that name to the investigation. Instead, the district did the opposite. It chose to link the resignation to the investigation and then withheld the name. We are still trying to determine why the district made that choice. Our position on the matter is very simple: The public has a right to know who is working on its behalf, and the public has a right to know when one of those people decides to no longer work on its behalf. It is a common sense principle that has been in place for generations. Thanks, Chad Lawhorn, editor.

December 2, 2016 at 12:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Presidential vote totals serve as a reminder of how much Lawrence differs from the rest of Douglas County; see how each precinct voted and turnout rates

Stein received 3 percent of the vote in Douglas County, or 1,485 votes. Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, received 4.8 percent of the vote, or 2,349 votes. Thanks.

November 17, 2016 at 7:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Measuring how much time the new South Lawrence Trafficway really will save you

Sorry. I did not keep track of the miles, but I believe my experience was the same as yours. I drove more miles, I believe. Thanks.

November 11, 2016 at 12:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New fabric and craft retailer opens in south Lawrence; sales taxes continue to surge, while questions persist about SLT shopping center

Hi Brett. As usual, you have a thought-provoking comment. What should that very, very special thing be? Do city leaders know what that special thing should be, and if not, why not? It has been easy to predict for several years now that there would be development pressure on that property when the SLT opens. A good way to combat development pressure is to have a plan for what the community wants to see there.

October 28, 2016 at 7:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )