merrill (Richard Heckler)


Comment history

Kansas unveils new 'Real ID' driver's licenses, 3 years early

This no doubt is tied somehow to voter suppression.

How many voters know where their birth certificates are? Replacing birth certificates takes money and requires a bit of information. And will take perhaps two weeks. This household has experienced this endeavor.

How many voters know where their Social Security cards are? A replacement takes about two to three weeks. Don't wait too long.

Where is your Passport? Is it current? Passports also require money and appointments.

Where is your military discharge?

This household decided to take a look around.

August 12, 2017 at 5:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Appeals court upholds Nebraska funeral picketing law

"Shirley Phelps-Roper, a prominent member of the Topeka-based church, sued in 2009. She argued, among other things, that the Nebraska law is selectively enforced."

Says a voice that appears to be involved in selective harassment.

August 12, 2017 at 5:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission to review incentives request for downtown grocery store

Will a Price Chopper produce a negative impact on existing grocery stores? Absolutely.

Can Price Chopper steal enough customers away from Dillons at 6th and Lawrence, Mass Street Dillons and Checkers in order to survive on the long term?

My speculation says no.

There are 3 grocery locations at 6th and Wakarusa. Not a good scenario. Think reduced staffing.

Convenience is a costly endeavor. And not necessarily healthy for economic growth.

A neighborhood medical clinic would probably be successful.

August 12, 2017 at 4:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission to review incentives request for downtown grocery store

The carnage in retail hasn't been this bad since an anarchist bombed Chicago's Haymarket Square in 1886.

In January, Liz Claiborne said it would shutter 54 Sigrid Olsen stores. Ann Taylor announced that 117 of its 921 stores would be closed.

Talbots axed the Talbots Men's and Talbots Kids concepts and 22 Talbots stores.

Even Starbucks has scaled back its yearlong saturation-bombing campaign.


Judith Levine suggests that superannuated Sears and Kmarts could be turned into municipal swimming pools or community buildings.

Some empty strip malls could be repurposed into warehouses for online retailers.

I'll bet a few rogue Freegans are already planning to monetize all the junk their colleagues collect by opening secondhand stores.


August 12, 2017 at 4:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission to review incentives request for downtown grocery store

"I have said this before, but America is still over-stored," Macy's long-time Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren told TheStreet in an interview Wednesday evening. "My guess is that some rationalization of retail space needs to occur, and I think we were at the forefront of acknowledging that," Lundgren continued, adding that while the online business for Macy's is "booming" it hasn't been enough to offset weak traffic to physical stores.

The numbers support Lundgren's claims of the U.S. continuing to be over-stored.

There is 23.5 square feet of retail space per person in the U.S., drastically higher compared with the 16.4 square feet in Canada and 11.1 square feet in Australia, the next two highest -- according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. The abundance of stores has retailers battling each other with rampant discounts to try and drive business but with little to show for it.

Green Street Advisers recently estimated that the nation's department stores averaged a paltry $165 in sales per square foot last year, a 24% decline since 2006. For department stores to boost sales per square foot, which is vital in driving profits due to the high rents an anchor store such as Macy's pays,

Green Street proposed a mind-blowing measure: The department store sector needs to slash about 800 locations in the U.S, or one-fifth of all anchor space in U.S. malls, in order to reach the productivity levels they had a decade ago.

Real estate information firm CoStar gives a more drastic assessment, noting that about 1 billion square feet of retail space will be "rationalized" in the coming years through store closures and conversions to other uses.

August 12, 2017 at 4 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Racial disparities, transparency among issues discussed at school board candidate forum

Politicians need to bring back to the taxpayers their plans for we the taxpayers so we the taxpayers can approve or not. After all taxpayers are the largest group of stakeholders in any city, county or state.

August 12, 2017 at 9:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KBI report: Violent crime, including murder, increased in Kansas in 2016

Conservative policies are available nationwide as is UNEMPLOYMENT created by outsourcing millions upon millions of USA jobs to other nations complete with protective tax codes on profits generated by former USA companies that have moved their employment base abroad.

Gov Brownback was a conservative Washington DC senator who supported all the reckless economic chaos generated by nationwide unemployment as a result of outsourcing millions of USA jobs.

Families affected by the above need money to feed and clothe their children in addition to paying rent and buying groceries. Crummy paying jobs don't meet the demand.

August 12, 2017 at 8:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission to review incentives request for downtown grocery store

Very interesting. Increasing taxes, rates and fees while at the same time handing out tax dollars to developers who can't seem to make money without tax dollar handouts from taxpayers who cannot afford the handouts.

August 12, 2017 at 8:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Racial disparities, transparency among issues discussed at school board candidate forum

Any change in public education funding should be approved by the voting taxpayers aka the largest group of public education stakeholders.

Our school funding dollars and the mechanism by which the money is raised should NEVER be left solely to a group of politicians.

The tax dollars are OURS TO SPEND and the public schools are OURS TO OWN AND MAINTAIN.

Schools Underfunded 657 million $$$$$$

August 11, 2017 at 4:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Racial disparities, transparency among issues discussed at school board candidate forum

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
“Mission Statement

President Donald J. Trump will nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as ambassador at large for international religious freedom.

This is yet another ill-considered appointment from Trump. The position, run under the auspices of the U.S. State Department, is charged with the task of promoting religious freedom worldwide. It will be difficult for Brownback to do this since his track record shows he doesn’t believe in religious freedom for all.

At Americans United, we believe there can be no true religious freedom without separation of church and state.

A high and firm church-state wall protects religious freedom by ensuring that every citizen has the right to support only the religion of his or her choice – or support none at all. When the government has a preferred religion and takes it upon itself to impose that faith on people, fundamental rights are violated.

Brownback, an unabashed opponent of separation of church and state, doesn’t grasp this. As governor of Kansas and before that as a member of the U.S. Senate, he worked to undermine the church-state wall and has fought to adopt particular religious viewpoints as law that applies to us all.

As governor of Kansas, Brownback’s record was in this area has been alarming. He openly vowed to use religion (read: fundamentalist forms of Christianity) as a tool to achieve government goals and backed various “faith-based” programs.

Angry over the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, Brownback lashed out in July 2015 by signing an executive order designed to undermine the decision in his state. Brownback’s Executive Order 15-05 was described as an effort to protect groups that hold “the belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

As AU noted at the time, the order’s real purpose was to allow religious organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens and others – even when those groups were receiving taxpayer funding.

The following year, Brownback signed legislation allowing religious clubs on college campuses that receive funding from student fees to discriminate against students who fail to meet the doctrinal beliefs of the club.

Under Brownback, extreme fundamentalist groups were given free rein at the state capitol, and some critics charged that the state was getting too close to a fundamentalist ministry run by a self-appointed statehouse chaplain named Dave DePue. DePue celebrated his access to legislators but blithely asserted that Muslims wouldn’t have the same rights.

August 11, 2017 at 3:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )