hawkbuilder (Mike George)

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Taxpayers footing the bill for hundreds of flights that KU defends as essential

Let's see a comparison of the total costs to the University last year versus the financial benefits, broken down. At least you don't have any good old boy contractors to muddy up the water with their accounting on this issue.

March 1, 2015 at 11:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Taxpayers footing the bill for hundreds of flights that KU defends as essential

I can absolutely guarantee you that someone is passing these articles to their friends and associates in the Kansas Legislature as we speak, and it will be on the legislative "bulletin board" tomorrow. It is an excellent set of articles that are well-researched and written. Kudos to the JW and the writer, and I don't see anything inconsistent about presenting different situations that don't necessarily coincide within the paper each week - even though the amount of high-quality content seems to have slipped. If the officials involved in the decisions to operate the University, or Endowment, or Athletics don't see the ethical standards that they are violating as contributing to the perceptions of state legislators, they are more determined to throw the taxpayers under the bus than I had imagined. Shame on all of them.

March 1, 2015 at 10:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Taxpayers footing the bill for hundreds of flights that KU defends as essential

I'm trying to figure out - what do you think is important?

March 1, 2015 at 10:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Construction bids for Lawrence sewer plant come in higher than expected

I'm not certain if this answer will help any or where it puts my opinions versus those of either of you. I know from current market knowledge that most large GC's/CM's are making anywhere from 1.5% to 3.0% profit, plus the actual cost of their job staff and auditable soft costs. And because Crossland's group of companies uses many non-union subcontractors, competing with them would not allow any company to ask for and receive exhorbitant profit levels. The biggest problem here is probably the fact that most engineering and architecture firms do not do a very good job of estimating construction costs simply because they are really not in that market. So the engineer's estimate in this case may well have misled everyone to think that it would come in lower.

February 25, 2015 at 11:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

As audit begins, questions about Rock Chalk Park accounting grow

I wonder why the City entered into the development agreement including the payment of construction loan origination fees and interest to the various Fritzel companies, and then the interest paid apparently went up from the amount stated in the agreement. Does the City have anyone, including legal assistance, capable of having read the development agreement and question whether those costs should have been allowed as part of the "soft costs". I know exactly why KUEA allowed the Fritzel companies to include those costs, but why didn't the City and legal staff disagree and refuse to pay those up front? As I have mentioned in a previous thread, if a substantial and financially sound construction manager had been awarded the project on a competitive basis, those costs ($500K or more) would not even have been included in the approved agreement. If you want to look at hourly costs for staking, please do that - I prefer to object to large amounts that were allowed as a gift to the Fritzel companies. And the CM fee that was allowed is not competitive with other substantial, experienced CM companies. Another gift.

February 2, 2015 at 10:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: ‘Pot’ success

I would agree with nearly everything you have pointed out. One of the few difficulties with Colorado's new industry is that because the Feds will not allow banks to be involved in transactions with the pot industry, it is entirely a cash transaction business. Plus many banks have incorrectly closed personal bank accounts of persons who are involved in management or operations of pot production and sales, believing that they are laundering money through their personal accounts. And their children's accounts, etc. There needs to be a considerable legislative effort made to create a "pot industry credit union" or similar institution(s) to allow the money side of the business to run smoothly. Right now, there is a growing concern about security of cash management - such as worries that there will be an increase in robberies, etc. So far, there are very few serious crimes that have been traced to pot cash, but that is one area where law enforcement officials are justifiably holding their collective breaths. I am a property owner in Colorado as well as Lawrence and have watched the revolution there within the previous year.

January 27, 2015 at 9:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Premier facility

In fact, they are concrete shrinkage (not expansion) cracks, which could have been prevented by proper curing techniques and timely control joints. Perhaps we should have more persons familiar with actual construction techniques and shortcomings writing letters, rather than folks who are willing to accept it no matter how sloppily the work was done. The fact is, Leslie, there should still be contractual means to make certain the shortcomings are corrected completely at the contractor's expense. After all, this is a business deal, not an experience where you shrug your shoulders and accept a half-a$$ed job. Let's get what we paid for, and then it will be a good facility.

January 19, 2015 at 4:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas quakes likely caused by disposal of saltwater that results from oil and gas fracking process

Please explain why you refer to SD banks. Because there are purportedly lots of big banks there, or because they are taking care of area business?

January 19, 2015 at 2:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence commission reverses Rock Chalk Park stance after serious accounting questions emerge

A great deal of the blame for the speed and direction this has taken lies with KU Endowment, who also pushed the City into these deals. I am in agreement with all of you who have complained about the City's incompetence along with the commission's questionable understandings, but while you are getting correctly upset with the City, let's not forget that what has happened between the Fritzels and KU Endowment is an unethical business deal. Of course, they are a private entity, but that doesn't relieve them of the need to keep all deals ethical. Plus, what other companies would be paid in the construction world for their loans and closing costs? From 45 years of construction management experience, I can tell you - NO OTHERS. This project just got $500K too expensive when they billed for those incorrect loan costs.

January 14, 2015 at 1:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission set to decide whether it wants audit of Rock Chalk Park work

In this case, Mr. Holroyd is 100% correct, and I can't quite figure out where you stand on the issues. Did you happen to make money on the project, or is this just one of your million opinions?

January 6, 2015 at 11:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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