Thursday, September 27, 2007


Here are a few questions. I would like to know our readers' attitudes on a couple things.

Of course, in a perfect world, we would have a big paper full of really interesting, compelling and useful news, and it would be at your door the precise moment you want it there.

But we don't live in a perfect world. Some days are better than others.

So if you had to choose, which would you choose?

More in depth local stories and a little late, or ... not as in depth but on time.

Perfectly edited but not as many stories, or more stories with a comma out of place here and there.

Some stories from Winfield and surrounding areas, or state and national news.

More stories or more photos ?

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

different things

Greetings everyone.

Today, Sept. 26, would have been Jodi Sanderholm's birthday. She would have been 20 today. As you know, she was murdered Jan. 5 of this year.

It would be good to pause today and think of her family today. Maybe say a prayer for them too.

Her murder did shock us, and we need to keep her memory alive so that we know that this sort of thing can indeed happen here in Arkansas City.

There is a stalking law in the works - called Jodi's Law - which might help. There are still some legal issues with it, such as defining stalking and so forth, but on the whole it is a good thing.

Apparently it is gaining some momentun, not only in Kansas, but in other states as well.


I noticed a comment on my beer garden post. Go read it if you haven't. Its from one of those people who say "i know this wont get in but ... "
That is a tad manipulative, but I dont censor the comments that people leave, not even when they attack me peronally. Especially not when they attack me personally :).
I probably would remove one with obscene language ... but even then, I can't define obscenity. I know it when i see it though.

Its like politicians say, any attention is good attention.

It is ineresting that the poster jumped on me for being religious and accused me and other religious fanatics of trying to control everyone ... when in the post about the beer garden, I really didn't give an opinion one way or the other.

Im undecided on the beer garden. Let's see how it goes. Being a populist, Im for the people deciding.

One good source for information i wanted to mention. The city's web site has a lot of information on it. They have a "document center" which has most of the papers the city commissioners have.
A lof of rumors and oher nonsense could be put to rest if people spent some time there.
The site is
from there go to city Government .. and then document center.


I need some help at the paper. I need a copy editor, which could develop into being the news editor, which is pretty much like being assistant editor. It does require a definite set of skills and a very strong work ethic.
But, if anyone out there is interseted, get in touch with me.

The person needs strong English and grammar skills, and talent for proofreading. Also strong computer skills.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

beer gardens and commissions

The beer garden at Arkalalah was barely mentioned at Tuesday night's meeting, but apparently it is a topic that is concerning city commissioners here in Arkansas City.

At least two commissioners told me that they have received several messages and comments from citizens. I have heard it talked about some, but we have gotten only a couple of letters at the Traveler.

We did explain the situation in the paper when the commission gave the OK to the chamber to have the beer garden. Here is the link:

(if clicking the link doesn't work, just copy and paste it into your browser. )

The commissioners feel that they made the best choice. They do not have the legal authority to stop the use of alcohol.
If you want to complain, you need to complain to the Chamber of Commerce, which is the group that is putting this on.

Also, if you will recall, they had beer at last year's Arkalalah, with a "beer and brats" event. It was held indoors and hardly anyone noticed. There was also a wine and cheese event not too long ago, but I don't recall what it was attached to. Might have been a different festival.

What makes it a "beer garden" is that it is outside. They could get their alcohol license from the state, hold it indoors, and they would not even have had to tell the commission about it. They could also serve stronger drinks as well.

The chamber could also have held the event outdoors on private property without commission approval. The commission didn't really have a say in "whether" there would be a beer garden. Their only question was whether it could be on city property or someplace else.

They felt that they will have more control over the situation by having where they are having it.

There is also a bar that is open across the street.

That's the real situation.

Also, the mayor, Dotty Smith, did ask if anyone from the public wanted to comment on the beer garden at the meeting Tuesday. She thought there might be someone who wanted to comment on the matter but no one did.

If you watched the tape on TV, you might have been misled.

At every meeting the public is invited to speak. This is something rarely taken advantage of, but lately there have been a few.

First she asked for public comment on matters NOT relating to the beer garden. Then she asked for comment on the beer garden. On the tape shown on TV, the request for comment on the beer garden was inadvertently cut out.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Walnut Valley Music Festival

Did you go to the Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield? I have been kinda surprised at how many people I have run into in the area who either don't go or have never been.

It is like when I lived on the beach in South Carolina I knew people who lived there that never went to the beach. Familiarity breeds contempt as they say.

Some say the price is too high, and it isn't cheap, I'll grant you that. However, seeing just one band would cost $10-15, and you can easily see 10 performances in a day at the festival. Do the math and you'll see that a $40 day pass isn't that bad, or even the cost of the entire festival.

They have dropped the word "bluegrass" from the name, and to some extent, have moved away from being a bluegrass festival.

There is what is called "progressive bluegrass" which is much more like blues.
There are many styles of music, which is what makes it interesting to me.

Another festival has come and gone. I did not get to attend as much of this one as I have in recent years because I was sick. Still, it is a highlight of the year for me. I gave up going to a college football game to go to this years festival. It was a bit chilly Saturday, which was kinda nice. Sunday was hot and I was totally miserable, but I went anyway.

The festival is in Winfield, but when it comes to things like this, we really shouldn't let a rivalry or provincialism get in the way. We could have a festival like this in Arkansas City someday.

Posting again

Ive not blogged much lately, and I have several good excuses.
One being that I am not getting very many comments. If I got more comments I would feel more inspired - or obligated - to write.

Of course I know, some will say I need to write about something worth commenting on.
If you feel that way, let me know what subjects you would like comments on.

I could go a bit more in depth on the city commission than I can in the paper?
I could just talk about living in Arkansas City. What's interesting to one isn't necessarily so to someone else.

Other excuses include:
* having heavy duty allergies leading to a sinus infection.
* being busy attending the Walnut Valley Music Festival.
* being distracted by computer games.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The Heritage Days festival is coming up Sunday at the Land Rush Museum.
It is a nice little festival that has only been going on for a few years.

It is doing much better. We went to the first one. They have come a long way since then.

Along with the chamber, they are releasing clues each day in the paper. If you can find the picture that is described in the paper, you may call the chamber and that will get you entered in a drawing for a nice prize.

That is a nice idea. I do want to tweak with them on one point. The first clue pointed to the "oldest continuous operating business in Arkansas City."
Well, the Traveler is the oldest business in town, dating back to even before Arkansas City was incorporated. The Traveler is almost a year older than Arkansas City itself.

They were counting Bryants Hardware as the oldest. They did change the wording to the oldest "retail" business.

Even though they were not exactly right in their history, I still think its a good idea what they are doing.

They are trying to do something and that is what we need.

Their timing is not the best with the Walnut Valley Festival going on this weekend, but still, the heritage days festival is a worthwhile venture.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

beer gardens

City commissioners had mixed feelings about approving a beer garden during the Arkalalah festivities.

I did too, but I don't have any problem with it. Mostly because there is a bar open across the street from the chamber during the festival anyway. Secondly, it was only an issue because they wanted to have it outside - which makes it a beer garden. Had they held it indoors, it would have been a state issue and would not have even come before the city commission.

It is true we don't want Arkalalah to become a drunken party. One might argue that this is the first step toward that, but still, its a long way to that point.

It could set a precedent, and clear the way for every other group that exists to have an outdoor beer party at a city park.
They were careful to word the ordinance so that it only applies to arkalalah.

So it will probably be fine.

If it gets to be a problem, they can pass an ordinance to fix it easily enough.

At least they are trying something, and the city is allowing them to try something.

I don't know how the public will react. I have one letter already against it, so it will be interesting.

But remember, this is the Chamber of Commerce. it isn't the gay hell's angel dope smoker's annual reunion. So we need to keep it in context.

They had a beer and brats thing last year, where they served beer indoors. And at sometime recently there was a wine and cheese event at the Burford i believe. Neither of which caused any problems.

Im just glad someone is trying something.