Town Talk column

Sales tax collections show signs of rebounding in Lawrence; online tax still soaring

Lawrence is on a winning streak. The city has posted back-to-back months of positive sales tax growth, and that hasn’t happened since January and February. (Yes, as the HR person explained, that is probably a lame excuse to blow a vuvuzela noisemaker in the office, but when you are a Royals ...

A guitar shop with a ‘400-pound iPod shuffle’ coming to downtown Lawrence

Whether your dream is to be a rock star or simply to imitate The Fonz, there soon will be a downtown shop designed to appeal to you. A lifelong Lawrence resident has struck a deal to open a Massachusetts Street guitar shop that also will have lots of other music memorabilia. “This shop has ...

Home sales continue to slump in Lawrence, although home prices not yet going down

We’ve heated up, evidenced by the fact that I expect to be doused with a Gatorade bath even for minor victories like getting out of my chair without pulling a muscle. But with half of the year in the books, Lawrence’s real estate market still hasn’t even warmed. We’ve been reporting ...

New development plans filed for long-vacant corner in west Lawrence

I can certainly picture living above a doughnut shop or a neighborhood diner. (In my picture, the doors are very wide and the floor is reinforced.) But traditionally you only think of those types of scenarios in a downtown setting. A local developer, though, is betting such a concept might ...

Lawrence private school begins $5.4 million expansion along Clinton Parkway

When I was in school, I always was nervous to have class in one of those portable trailers. Too many of my teachers had a pickup truck with a hitch. The students at Bishop Seabury may not have the same anxiety, but, regardless, they soon won’t have to deal with those portable classrooms. The ...

Tamales of all types to be focus of new restaurant slated for Ninth Street

You probably have heard of breakfast burritos. But a breakfast tamale? (Caution: Getting the Froot Loops and the milk into the corn husk can be messy.) Actually, look for a new shop that will serve a better version than that. A local restaurant owner has signed a deal to open Mama’s Tamale ...

Latest sales tax numbers indicate online shopping still soaring in Lawrence

I have heard that people sometimes have one identity in the real world and another online. Maybe that is happening in Lawrence. In the real world, we’ve been a bunch of spendthrifts thus far in 2019. But online, our purchases are melting credit cards across the city. The city recently ...

An exit interview with departing City Manager Tom Markus

We are really nice but not that rich. That is one takeaway I had from my final interview with Lawrence City Manager Tom Markus as he ended his tenure at City Hall last week. Markus noticed the Lawrence friendliness in the grocery store and other places where he was out and about around the ...