Comment history

Lawrence wants property to house multimillion dollar police headquarters

Our law enforcement facilities growth rate has far exceeded our population a crime statistics growth rate already. Before the 'new' (not so new anymore) jail was built the jail was inside the law enforcement building at 11th and Rhode Island. The new jail not only houses the jail that was in there but all the jail staffing as well. Additionally the facility at Bob Billings and Wakarusa is quite large.
Realistically if they build a larger station within the next decade they'll be looking to have other precinct buildings to show presence in other parts of the city anyway.

September 10, 2013 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School district wrestling with network outages

Outages are to be expected when migrating technologies.
They're also to be expected when migrating to Juniper products - NOT a fan.
The real question is this - where's the other $6 million going?

July 31, 2013 at 11:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Banking fiasco

Unfortunately the banks have found that it's highly lucrative to deal with repossesed homes. When a home loan is defaulted on the banks continue to acrue intrest, penalties, attorney and collections fees until the property is 'auctioned' and the bank buys it from itself at the total amount owed and our government picks up the tab for the difference as a 'loss'. As the economy stabilizes and there are fewer foreclosures they need another method to keep the cash flowing. Enter the government guaranteed student loan program. Private loans that will be defaulted on, fees asessed and interest acrued - and the banks will get every penny - even after the loan goes bad.

July 24, 2013 at 7:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

One person killed in accident on South Lawrence Trafficway

That intersection should never have existed. Originally there was just a stop sign for traffic going across the traffic way. A traffic way should have exits, not intersections. They should have either extended the road from the playing fields to E900 to utilize the Clinton Parkway exit or engineered an overpass where the current intersection is (which would be the better although much more expensive option). You just don't put something targeted at kids and/or physical activities (ie: running, biking, hiking) where the only practical access is by crossing a 65+ mph highway.
We've been lucky so far - once the highway is complete the danger will be exponential.

July 22, 2013 at 6:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Business leaders developing plans for larger career and technical education center

I think the Chamber should get an adult technical school to open a branch here. If they can get them to buy Hiper to do it so be it. I'd be happy to support tax breaks for an educational institution - as long as that's what it really is anyway. Such an institution I'm sure would be happy to partner with the school district on some things. I'd propose sharing instructors between facilities - making startup costs lower for the vo-tech school and improving the programs in the USD497 facilities. For example - the Auto Shop teacher would be someone that only teaches auto shop full time everyday instead of also teaching wood shop or whatever. They wouldn't need to be a jack of many trades in order to be a full time teacher. Auto Shop at 8:00AM at Free State, 10:00 AM at Lawrence High then off to the vo-tech school for the rest of the day. Seniors that have decided they want to go down that path could get in a full semester toward certification with a full afternoon class at the vo-tech school.
How many of us have bought a cookie because the free sample was delicious? It's marketing - steer the high school kids toward a technical career and they're yours after they graduate - some before. We need something like this here - this proposal just isn't it.

July 16, 2013 at 4:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Business leaders developing plans for larger career and technical education center

Agreed - and this bond didn't have anywhere near enough money to accommodate a full-fledged technical school of any kind - unless we're just saying "Well, technically speaking it is a school - it just doesn't have any hands on labs"

July 16, 2013 at 4:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Business leaders developing plans for larger career and technical education center

Absolutely - but it would also retain tax dollars even if it doesn't ultimately mean more jobs. KU Students that can't make it at KU would have the option to stay in Lawrence and develop a trade instead, and High School grads that choose to follow the technical path could stay in Lawrence instead of their parents $ going out of town - both in tuition and living expenses.

July 16, 2013 at 4:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Business leaders developing plans for larger career and technical education center

I completely agree that convenience and availability is key for kids in high school. The more practical electives they can take on the campus they're already attending the better. I do strongly believe that our community would gain from a technical school - but that falls out of USD 497's jurisdiction. I don't think we're going to get enough high school kids to attend more high school at another location to justify the cost. Additionally the money set aside in the bond isn't anywhere near enough. We'd likely be better off improving and augmenting the existing high schools with additional class options and the technologies and curriculum materials needed. I'm not so sure any bond money goes toward instructors - which is a 'hidden' expense we'll likely be asked to pay AFTER a facility (which requires a LOT more additional staff than just adding/sharing classroom spaces (ie:wood shop workbenches could also be the electrician's training classroom - I know, I know - argue about how inefficient blah blah blah - having an classroom that's empty and unused half the time is WAY more inefficient)
The whole Hiper thing is a big red flag on this deal. Conflict of interests. I don't want space to be vacant, but taxpayers shouldn't pay the bill - and especially when it means picking up the property for a price nobody else wants it for.
Now if Hiper wanted to donate the building in exchange for a $1 annual lease locked in for 15 years for the proposed space Hiper needs I'd say - heck yes! That ain't happening. The chamber shouldn't be a real estate agent.

July 16, 2013 at 4:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kobach proposes rule change on proof-of-citizenship requirement to register to vote

More than half of our population are retired, self-employed or just graduated high school? Did you look that up or make that up? Show me the numbers you've derived that notion please.
As I stated it's my vote and only my vote and I want to make sure of that. I'm not suggesting it should cost anything to be able to vote.
As citizens we are expected to know and abide by the laws - and I'm sure our schools can educate our High School students about what they need to be able to vote.
Also - as I said I do disagree with the deployment method - it could have been rolled out better.
As for the 'minimally employed' - the rules are still the same - proper documentation for ALL workers. This protects businesses and citizen workers that follow the rules from being bankrupted or put out of a job by those businesses that exploit illegal immigrant workers.

July 14, 2013 at 10:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kobach proposes rule change on proof-of-citizenship requirement to register to vote

I write 'SEE ID' on the backs of my credit cards (which is usually ignored by the cashier anyway). My hope is that if someone else gets my card they can't use it. If I choose not to vote I don't want someone else to be able to use my vote and if I do choose to vote I want to know someone else can't take it from me by getting to the polls first and saying they're me. The stuff they're requiring is required for employment - if your employer hasn't asked for copies of that stuff they're putting themselves at risk - which in turn puts your job at risk too. This means that it really shouldn't be a hardship unless you're retired (and have been for a while to have lost track of that info), completely disabled or have been subjected to an unexpected hardship - a fire or theft or just plain lost your ID. A provisional ballot is perfectly reasonable in these situations.

That being said there was no imminent disaster that required immediate full enforcement of this policy - they should have done a trial run the first year or two. If someone showed up without what they needed they'd be told next election they'll have to bring it and if they didn't it'd be provisional pending proper documentation.

This law should be to protect your vote - and you should want your vote protected. I don't really believe voter fraud has been rampant, but we'd never really know if it was without something like this in place. Ultimately voting needs to be more convenient for a truer representation. More convenience requires greater security to prevent abuse/fraud.

July 13, 2013 at 8:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )