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KDOT eager to complete trafficway

Mike: No, I have no connection to anything or anyone related to the SLT. But I've lived all my life here, and I'm interested in anything related to our local history. And I don't know that Bob Billings would be proud of me, as I've disagreed over the years with some of his development plans.

Bozo: an afternoon spent at the register of deeds office and/or the public works office would certainly clear up who has held title to those lands for the past 150 years or so. I've seen old maps and talked to old timer's who refer to that area as belonging to Baker.

Here's some people who would know or who could shed some info on this area: Bobbi Rader at Haskell, Dan and Tollie Wildcat, or Judi Sweets. All are local historians, very personable, and very knowledgable.

If anyone comes up with anything contrary to what I've written, let me know and I'll post an admission of my error(s). For those that know me (and for those who don't), I'm usually the first to laugh at myself and my mistakes.

March 30, 2006 at 1:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

KDOT eager to complete trafficway

Bozo: I wrote that Baker provided Haskell with the land, not transfered, deeded, or sold the land to Haskell. The land was, for the lack of a better word, "loaned" to Haskell for the express purpose of teaching agriculture.

You will recall that the Methodists were big into helping Native Americans, and Baker has always had a connection with Haskell. This is witnessed today by Baker allowing Haskell to use the wetlands as a biology classroom.

Baker made it clear that the land would only be used for agriculture, and that if Haskell dropped the agriculture program, Haskell would have to "give it back" to Baker. Once again, there was no offical transfer of property.

I have no doubt that there are the bodies of Native Americans buried in the wetlands, as this area has been populated by native peoples for thousands of years. Several Native American bodies were found during the construction of Clinton Lake, but this did not stop the Corps of Engineers from building the lake. I am personally unaware that any burials have been located, or bodies exhumed, from the wetlands. There is no certainty that the construction will or will not disturb any bodies that lie in that area. Is the fact that unmarked graves lie within the wetlands enough to prohibit road constuction there? Perhaps the plowing of the wetlands by Haskell itself during it's agricultural phase destroyed any traces of the bodies.

Tribal cemetaries are not necessarily sacred, as the Wyandotte tribe in KCK wanted to build a casino atop a Federally designated and very well documented Native American graveyard. It would seem that sacred places are only sacred when it's to someone's advantage, and not necessarily for the right reasons. Has anyone been to Cahokia Mounds near East St. Louis? That was sacred native ground from hundreds of years, then it's residents abandoned it, never to return.

March 30, 2006 at 11:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KDOT eager to complete trafficway

Bozo: check out the aerial photograph collection at the Douglas County Public Works office (13th & Mass) for evidence of the prayer wheel. They have aerials of our fair county that date from the mid 1930's until now. The aerials have been re-flown every four years or so, so they are a very nice reference to the changes in our area over the past 70 years or so.

March 30, 2006 at 10:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KDOT eager to complete trafficway

Talk to some old-timers Bozo, and they'll set you straight on the Baker/Haskell relationship. Call Bobbi Rader (the historian at Haskell), and she can enlighten you about the agriculture program at Haskell.

The prayer wheel didn't exist before the 31st St alignment was announced.

March 30, 2006 at 10:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KDOT eager to complete trafficway

If you want to save the wetlands, go back to the original 31st St alignment using the existing right of way.

Once upon a time, Haskell wanted to train it's students in modern agricultural practices. Baker provided Haskell with the wetlands, it was transformed into farmland, and a US Dept of Agriculture model farm was built to teach the students, and to showcase modern agricultural practices to the area farmers. At some later time, Haskell decided that the farming program would be dropped, and Baker took the land back, and it's slowly reverted into it's current state of swamp.

Does anyone remember that after the 31st St alignment was announced, the Haskell student body rapidly constructed the prayer circle within sight of 31st street, and then claimed that construction of the SLT would desecrate their holy site?

March 30, 2006 at 10:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

State highway officials still favor 32nd Street route for SLT

How is Haskell getting screwed? They gave up their rights to the wetlands when they decided that they didn't want to teach Native Americans to be farmers.

March 29, 2006 at 12:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Shelter's mission worries residents

I vote to place the homeless in a work camp out near the Haskell Bottoms. The county can build barracks and provide food and shelter in exchange for manual labor. They can work on getting clean and sober (get DCCA involved), build up a work ethic, and return to society.

The homeless would be identified and approached by the sheriff and given a choice: relocate to the work camp, or move on. Those refusing to do either would be forceable removed from the county. Lawrence would become known as both a place where the homeless can get help getting a fresh start, AND be known as a place where hobos just looking for a place to flop are not welcome.

March 28, 2006 at 9:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Westar's coal supply reduced; disruptions in railroad service raise concerns

"Heaven forbid they'd have to start using something clean-burning to generate electricity in Kansas!"

PRB is the cleanest burning coal in the world, and natural gas is being phased out as an electricity source, as it's better used to heat houses. Nuclear power is the cleanest and cheapest way to produce electricity, but no one wants a nuc plant in their community.

Coal is here to stay. Be thankfull that we've got access to hard black clean burning coal, as opposed to the soft brown coal that is burned east of the Mississippi River.

March 27, 2006 at 10:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lone Star Lake sewage issue looms

Does anyone remember when the lagoon at the hog farm spilled over it's berm and dumped poop into the lake?

It's true that those houses are THE hottest property in Douglas County.

March 27, 2006 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Westar's coal supply reduced; disruptions in railroad service raise concerns

The Westar plants in Lawrence and St Marys can't burn anything except PRB coal without extensive modification to the controls systems. Each plant keeps 45 days worth of coal on site, so there's no shortage.

March 27, 2006 at 9:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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