Monday, December 29, 2008

Who is running for commission

From a poster ....

Progress for next year. Who would you like to see run for city commissioner. I'ts just around the corner, lets throw some names out there, maybe even a little encouragement. Might even offer some hope for change or would be satisfied with the status quo..
The deadline is not far away.
Scott and Joel have not said publicly if they are running.
I know Patrick is really undecided.

Who are some people who would be good but whose names have never surfaced in such talk?

years top stories

In tomorrow's paper we will have our top-10 stories of the year. Below is the list from which we made our choices. Which stories would be in your top-10, and which would be the top story?

Justin Thurber ruled competent to stand trial for the murder of Jodi Sanderholm. Along with year's developments on the case.
Voters pass half-cent sales tax to improve streets
Voters pass half-cent sales tax to help fund a new hospital. Along with controversy over the location.
Voters pass bond issue for school improvement, raising property taxes.
City passes standards for windows in the city, in an effort to clean up the city. Also rezones downtown area to get better enforcement.
City passes dog tethering ordinance, also limits on number of animals.
Union State Bank named small business of the year
Safety issues at the high school
Passage of Jodis law . anti stalking law
43 people victim of tire slashing spree
Walgreens opens
New meat market opens downtown, first new building downtown in many years.
City manager Doug Russell resigns, replaced by Steve Archer
City avoids tax increase with big budget cuts, including large cuts to the museum and big brothers big sisters.
Ark City hospital gets a surgeon
Schools increase taxes, increase property taxes on a $100,000 home by $71.30.
Six businesses hit in burglary spree Aug. 21
Home National Bank robbed, north branch
Country Mart robbed
Mayor Kuhn apologizes after performance
Arkansas City schools win 32 standards of excellence banners from the state.
Ark City High School wins national award
Record turnout for the election.
Gary Wilson wins reelection to county commission by 12 votes
City turns over historic site to local church
City turns over city ballpark to cowley
Mattress company closes after 85 years
100 pit bulls found near newkirk

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Former mayor, city commissioner Janet English passed away Saturday

Just heard that Janet English, former mayor and city commissioner, died Saturday.

Janet Lynn (Ross) English, 62, of Arkansas City, died Saturday, December 27, 2008, at her residence. Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 31, 2008, at the First Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow at Parker Cemetery. The Reverend Danny Daniel and the Reverend Joyce Daniel will officiate.
The family will greet friends at the funeral home 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Was just wondering what everyone will be doing for Christmas.
Some people are more into Christmas Eve than Christmas Day, and vice versa.
We like to go to a church service on Christmas Eve. Then maybe driving around and looking at the lights. Living in a small town has made that not as easy.
We might go to OKC tonight.
We dont even have a christmas tree up, but we do have lights up.
So what will you all be doing?
What traditions do you have?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

politically correct

Merry Christmas everybody.
Also, happy solstice, happy hannakuh, happy kwanzai.
and good buddha to you all.

I had the politically correct debate again yesterday. Sheesh. the thought police are everywhere.
Just because I want to celebrate Christmas, and because it has meaning, that does not make me intolerant.
If we say Christmas we are being intolerant of others, yet it is not intolerant to say the other holidays. Hmmmmm.
I think the real deal is that people are offended by the word "Christ."
But Christmas is about love and giving.
I see no reason to not have all the holidays.Mention them all. Celebrate them all.
I appreciate all the other holidays as well.

I dont really object to the word "holidays", but you need to realize that even that word comes from "HOLY" days and has a definite religious connotation.
Some say its more inclusive, I say it just homogenizes everything and takes away the character of all of the holidays, and all the different religions.

Christmas has been a religious celebration for a long time. It has become secularized. But, to say we should not even use the word in public is intolerant.
There is such a thing as tyranny of the minority.

Id rather celebrate all holidays. Give everyone their moment. I don't celebrate solstice, but why should it offend me if my pagan friends want to celebrate it? And if they want to say the word solstice?
Wouldnt it be more tolerant to try to learn why the celebrate it?
And to just enjoy the fact that they are enjoying it?
Why should I object if pagans wanted to put up some sign or something?
Why should I be offended?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Just got it confirmed from County Attorney Chris Smith.
Thurber is competent to stand trial.
Further motions will continue today and the trial could start very soon.
keep an eye on the web site for details.

small fire at high school

Before the rumor mill gets out of hand.
There was a small fire in a dryer at the high school this morning.
The fire was put out by the fire dept., Kids were evacuated to another building until the smoke was removed from the building.
It was mostly smoke, not sure if there were ever any actual flames.
Parents were notified via an email from the school.
Details in todays paper

city commission

Here is what is on the city agenda tonight
meeting is 7 p.m. at city hall
open to public

PrairieFest could move downtown if it gets approval from the City Commission at its meeting tonight.
The festival has been held at Wilson Park for many years. Organizers say they want to help revitalize the downtown area as well as give the arts festival a boost.
The move would require that Summit Street be closed between Central and Chestnut Avenue June 4-7.

• Consider an ordinance amending Neighborhood Revitalization District and authorizing interlocal agreement.
• Consider an ordinance modifying municipal code to clarify that property maintenance violations go to the City Commission.
• Consider an ordinance amending the budgeted pay plan for 2009.
• Consider a resolution authorizing a change order on the Chestnut Avenue underpass project.
* Consider authorization of the equipment reserve fund use for multi-year purchase of budgeted mini-excavator for the environmental department.
• Consider a resolution authorizing agreement with KDOT for construction work on intersection improvements at US 77 and US 166.
• Consider mayor’s appointments to city boards.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

police stats

Did you all see the story about police stats and the new web site in the paper this week?
There is a new web site that shows where crimes are committed. Its a new site that the local police have subscribed to.
Here is a link to the story.

Its not up to the minute by any means, but the point is to show trends more so than breaking news.
It is an interesting visual, so see at a glance where crimes are in the city - as well as traffic accidents. You may also see stats from other cities, but its a fairly new program so there are not all that many cities on board. Ark City is the first in Kansas.

here is the link

The cops also have a newsletter now.
here is that link

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas lights

A cool tradition of ours is to drive around and look at Christmas lights.
thats been kind of a culture shock living in a small town, theres just not as much area to explore.
we are compiling a list and checking it twice.
of where the nice lights are. mostly we are sticking to arkansas city, but .. we might include some other towns.
so let me know where they are
ill probably start running the list monday or so.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The school debate

The stats on the number of "violent acts" were interesting. I guess they raise more questions than they answer though, as posters have pointed out.
The schools had many more violent acts reported in the years 2003-2005 than they had last year. This year will not likely get to the level of 03-05, but may be higher than last year.
School officials say this is because of the way they reported. If two kids were in a fight, they counted it as two violent acts, when the state said it could be counted as one.
There is also the matter of in school, or out of school suspensions.
It just shows how the numbers can be manipulated. Statistics often mean what you want them to mean. They should not be the final arbiter of truth.

Here is a breakdown of violent acts per year at the high school.
Doesnt exactly sound like a war zone, but not heavenly either i guess.

2007 : 26
2006 : 21
2005 : 56
2004 : 73
2003 : 56
2002: 13
2001 : 37

Here are two more links to a lot of stats


It was an interesting debate, but I still think the debate is not focused properly. It is not so black and white. Some people want it to be awful, so they turn everything in that direction, and they accuse anyone who doesn't agree with covering it up. On the other side, people want to say there are no problems .
It isnt either or. The reality is, we are all imperfect human beings, and there are going to be issues and problems. Saying it doesnt exist wont help, but crying the sky is falling won't either.

The better debate would be - first, what needs to be done, and second, what can one person as an individual do about it. People need to be more involved in helping. Parents need to be more involved. But even if you are not a parent, you can still be involved.
There are a list of kids waiting for a big brother of big sister. That is a good program and it works.

As the old saying goes, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Monday, December 8, 2008

monday morning

I've not posted much lately because I have been sick. Sinus infection. Yuck. Nuff said.
Im not one of those to go on and on about medical conditions.
Ill try to think of something worthwhile to write later on today.
THought you all might like this picture.
Check out the web site too, its fun.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pit Bulls in Newkirk

NEWKIRK, Okla. (AP) _ A Kansas man has been arrested on animal abuse complaints after authorities in Kay County say they discovered nearly 100 neglected pit bulls at a rented farm near Newkirk.

Kay County Undersheriff Steve Kelley says 32-year-old Jerry Southern of Wichita, Kan., was arrested Tuesday and is being held in the Kay County Jail.

Kelley says his office received an anonymous tip that led to the discovery of 96 pit bulls. He says most of the dogs were chained to logs while about 10 were found locked in a barn with no food or water.

Southern told authorities he shows and sells the dogs but no one was buying them.

Kelley says his office is looking for organizations to help rescue the dogs and make food donations.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ringing bells

Thursday people from the Traveler will be ringing salvation arm bells from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Country Mart.
We are going against KSOK to see who can raise the most money. They will probably beat us again, but thats ok.
So come on out and drop some coins in our red kettles.
We are also offering a grand prize for those that make a contribution of folding money. I think its $50 but not sure. Those folks will get to enter a special drawing for a night on the town that includes a limo ride to the movies and to a restaurant.

The money given to the Salvation Army stays here and helps people in Cowley County.
Anyways, some of us will be in costumes.
Someone will be wearing a Santa outfit.
Not sure what I will have on.
But come on out.

We might even have a drawing to let someone throw a pie in the editor's face

City meeting update

The city meeting was not real interesting last night. They put off the dog ordinance as expected.
There will be no dog license. They can accomplish the same thing by requiring that animals wear their rabies vaccination tags. Its easy enough to contact the veterinarian who issued the tag and track down the dog or cat's owner that way.
But they are adding some teeth to their animal ordinance.
If your dog bites someone your fine will be much higher, and on second offense the animal might be euthanized.
Ive always heard that a dog gets one bite. I think in most cities a repeat offender biting dog would be put down.
They are also going to try to close the loophole for pit bull owners.
It does depend on how dogs are raised, but only one or two bad ones in the city spoils it for everyone else.
At one time German Shepherds had a really bad reputation. Now not so much.

People do need to keep their animals up and secured. Citizens should have the right to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by a dog.
If everyone took care of their animals responsibly, there would not be a problem.
But everyone wont, so ... that's why you have laws.

They also talked about a new employee handbook they have crafted.
It will streamline the operation for employees. There's a good side and a bad side to that.
It does streamline things so that everyone is treated equally. It addresses many issues.
It does take things out of the hands of department heads somewhat.

One philosophical issue I have is that I do no believe all workers should be treated equally.
Those that do a great job should be treated better than those that do a lousy job.
It is really bad for morale if a person does a great job and gets no better treatment than a person who does not work as hard.

The rest was just stuff we talked about yesterday.
Though there were some good neighbor awards given out. This is a good thing. Maybe the city should do more to recognize the efforts of volunteers and those that are involved in the community.

Monday, December 1, 2008

City commission agenda

Here is the latest city commission agenda.
Worksession is at 5:30 p.m. today.
Regular meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
All meetings are at city hall and are open to the public.
* Something new. I have attached a link to the packet for the meetings, which includes background on each item. Just click on the title of this blog entry. It is a lot of pages,so may take some time to download.

Comments from the audience on items not on the agenda.

1. Presentation of Beautification Advisory Board’s Good Neighbor Awards.
2. Consider ordinance adopting dog and cat licensing in the City. (Roll call vote).
3. Consider resolution authorizing renewal of the agreement with Reaching Out Consultation
Services, Inc. (Voice vote).
4. Consider renewal of cereal malt beverage licenses for 2009. (Voice vote).
December 2, 2008 Commission Meeting Agenda - Page 2 of 2
5. Consider revised Boundary Resolution for 2008. (Voice vote).
6. Consider ordinance adopting new storm water regulations. (Roll call vote).
7. Consider ordinance authorizing special one-half percent citywide retailers’ Hospital sales
tax. (Roll call vote).
8. Consider ordinance authorizing special one-half percent citywide retailers’ Street sales tax.
(Roll call vote).
9. Consider resolution adopting revised Personnel Policy Handbook. (Voice vote)
10. Consider Mayor’s appointments to City Boards. (Voice vote).
Miscellaneous Matters from the City Manager/City Commission.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

ou osu football

Went to the OSU - OU football game last night. Great experience. I took a lot of pictures, and there is a link to them with this post.
Click on the title and it will take you to the page with the pictures.
Thats a new thing, so let me know how it works.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Remembering fights

Way back in the dark ages when I was in school, we had bullies too. We had fights. They were not usually in the school. They were usually in alleys or vacant lots after school.
Most often there was just talk. People would say "yea ill meet you there and beat the s**t out of you," but usually no one ever showed up.
There was not the gang fear going around, and there was only a little bit of drugs. But we did have a motorcycle gang that actually rode their bikes to high school. They thought they were really mean and tough, but basically everyone ignored them and there weren't any problems.
(I was in high school in the late 70's. It was east tennessee, so it was really like the 60's. )

The thing I remember though, was you had to develop survival skills.
Most of us walked to school. Even in the second grade, bigger kids would hang out and stop you before you got to school and "ask" for your money. So you had 15 cents for a snack, they wanted it. Or they would take your lunch money. And of course threaten to beat you up if you told.
(Telling on someone was the ultimate sin and you would never be forgiven by your fellow students. So it was something you just did not do. Even teachers badmouthed tattle tales.)

I would just say i didnt have any money and keep walking. One day one grabbed me and tried to search me. I escaped. The next day i brought a knife and held it in my hand as i walked to school.
They laughed at me over that, but they never tried to shake me down for change anymore.
I learned there that making people laugh could also get you out of jams too.
I started bringing toy guns and shooting at them, and they did too. It was pretend violence i guess. We had some great snowball fights. Sometimes people got hurt doing that, but ... it was not considered a major incident.
I was never one of them, but they decided i was a crazy kid and therefore cool. So I didn't get messed with much.

You can't always avoid a fight though. I had two in school. Both cases it was people picking on me to the point that I felt I had no other option.
One was actually in a classroom. This bigger guy kept messing with me. Sat behind me and pulling my hair etc., i had long hair back then. one day I just turned around and started throwing punches. He of course fought back. We both had bloody noses and black eyes.
I got a paddling and suspended 3 days for fighting. When I got home I got a real hard whipping and lost all privileges for a couple weeks, AND my mom made me apologize to the teacher.

My parents didn't even want to hear about why I was fighting. They had raised me better than that and it was my fault for doing it and I had let them down. They expected better of ME, and didn't for a second blame the school or even the other kid.
I took my punishment proudly. It was worth it.
Another time was in an alley after school. No one else knew about it, and we both made up stories as to why we had scrapes and bruises.
In both cases I became sort of friends with the person I fought with.
Often you win a bully's respect by fighting back.
It doesn't matter if you lose either. Id say the alley fight, id have to admit I lost, but the fact that i was willing to fight made an impression.

I wasn't some tough kid. I was smaller than most and not all that athletic or strong. I just had a reputation of not taking much crap off people, so it wasn't worth the hassle for them to mess with me. I would fight, even if i lost.

Just a different time I guess. We were just not as sensitive.
If my fight in the classroom happened today, would the police be called ?
Would it make the papers?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day after Thanksgiving

I took the day off yesterday, even from the computer. So I never got around to asking what people are thankful for.
Someone posted something nice about that on another post.
So anways, if you want to talk about what you are thankful for, please do.
We went out to some of Joyce's relatives and had a Thanksgiving meal that couldn't be beat.
(Does anyone remember Alice's Restaurant?)

They are fun people. They like games and such.
Im not sure if people are into games as much as they once were. I never can remember the names of games, but something like sharades, pictionary, trivial pursuit etc.
They had two Wii games set up. One for the kids and one for the adults.
I had never played Wii before, or been around one for that matter.
If you don't know what it is, ask a middle-schooler.
Its a great game but is hard to describe. You can bowl, box, play baseball, tennis and the like with a hand-held controller. You go through the motion of bowling, and the ball goes toward the pins and looks and feels and sounds just like bowling. Odly enough, when I tried it, i got about the same score I get when bowling in "real life."
If you were playing tennis you would swing the controller like a raquet.
Games just keep getting more interactive.
and more amazing.

So, what did you all do yesterday?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Here is something cool that is happening in Arkansas City. 
We have a story about it in Thursday's paper, which is Thanksgiving Day. 
Your paper will be delivered tomorrow - Thursday - morning as though it were a Saturday paper.
Anyways, three churches have banded to together to offer meals three nights a week, and they hope more churches will get involved.
Right now, New Life Fellowship (Monday), First Presbyterian (Tuesday) and St. Paul's Methodist Church (Wednesday) are offering the meals. They are from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.
They are getting around 100 people a day. It is geared toward people in need, but anyone can come. They accept donations, but if you cant afford it, you are welcome to eat for free.
They don't ask for a donation.
This is the kind of thing I like to see happening. Someone saw a need and figured out a way to meet it. Others have become involved and it is growing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

school board meeting

Here is our story today

Staff Writer

School district officials and administrators of Arkansas City High
School addressed the issues of fighting and rumors of violence Monday
night at a meeting of the Arkansas City Board of Education held at the
high school.
The issue of school safety was not originally on the agenda, but was
taken up after several fighting incidents and the spreading of a rumor
of a shooting have occurred in recent weeks.
"I expected that when we had the floor (for Monday's meeting) we would
be celebrating and talking about our (Breakthrough Schools) award,"
said ACHS Principal Marci Shearon.
She told the board that although school safety is a priority and a
small number of students had recently been involved in fighting
incidents, the student body had achieved great things in art, music
and academics.
"The kids bring you joy every day," Shearon said.
Arkansas City Public Schools Superintendent Ron Ballard told the board
and about 25 people attending the meeting that the school was planning
to put more staff members around the school and its parking lot before
and after school to prevent further incidents.
Ballard said video surveillance equipment that had been planned for
the school in a recently adopted $35.8 million bond issue would go to
the top of the list of projects to be completed.
One of the parents attending the meeting was Arkansas City Police
Chief Sean Wallace
"If I were to give a status of how the school is, I'd say it's
completely safe," Wallace said today.
Those who attended the meeting included high school teachers and
parents of students involved in several fighting and bullying
incidents that have occurred recently and in years past.
Parents were given an opportunity to address the board, but nobody did
Wallace said he attended the meeting to show support to the school
The chief said he has put four sons through ACHS and none have been
involved in a physical fight. "I think (reports of violent incidents)
have been blown out of proportion."
School officials told the board that they acted appropriately — and a
board member and police officials agreed — to ensure no violent
incident would occur after a rumor spread by text messaging among
students that a shooting would occur on a recent Friday.
But the rumor kept about 50 percent of the student body from attending
classes that day, according to the high school principal, Marci Shearon.
"Technology has bypassed the capacity of schools to respond with
fact," said Arkansas City Public Schools Superintendent Ron Ballard.
Wallace noted today that any communication such as texting done with
the intent to terrorize or evacuate a building is a felony.
"We need to take serious the text messaging," Wallace said.
Asked by a board member what she might have done differently after
rumors of the shooting spread on a recent Thursday, Shearon said she
would take a look at how the school communicates with parents.
"The cell-phone usage and the rate with which the rumor spread
surprised me," she said. "How fast or how horribly the rumor mill
spread would be something we should re-evaluate. Communication is
something that has to be essential."
Shearon said dealing with rumors was a discussion point among the 16
members of the high school site council. They include parents and
members of the community as well as teachers.
"At the site council Thursday we talked about rumors," she said. "We
knew about (the shooting rumor) but didn't know about it until 9:30
that night."
Another parent at the meeting, Kechia Reese — whose husband Daren is a
school board member — said her kids knew about the rumor much earlier
that day, at about 3:30 p.m.
Ballard addressed the communication issue:
"Why did the school district not put out a message to parents that
these were false rumors?" Ballard asked rhetorically. "Because we did
not know they were false at that point."
The Monday after the rumors spread, students were back in school, but
another fight occurred after school. It resulted in school board
member Daren Reese taking his children out of school.
Despite the recent fighting, police and school officials say that
overall fighting incidents have decreased over the past few years.
Wallace said over the past four years, fighting at the high school has
decreased more than 50 percent.
Assistant Principal Will Pfannenstiel presented discipline statistics:
Sixty-two students so far this year have received out-of-school
suspensions compared to 89 a year ago. Physical fights have involved
19 students, an increase of two compared to last spring. There were 18
such incidents last fall.
"The biggest issue is inappropriate items because of cell phones,"
Pfannenstiel said. "We have had 127 cell-phone infractions so far.
Those numbers are the fastest-growing category of discipline."


There was a bit of discussion on another post about posting anonymously - the pros and cons thereof.
I think it is both a very good thing and a very bad thing at the same time. It is part of the brave new world of the internet. You can be who you want to be and create your own reality on here. Even if we did require people put their names on here, there is no way of knowing if it is real or not.
(There is a way, but it is costly and time consuming, so we are not going to do it.)
It aggravates the power structure, which isnt always a bad thing.
It also allows false information - and hurtful comments - to be spread without repercussion.
There is no accountability, which isn't so good.
People are emboldened to say things they would not ordinarily say, and I am not so sure that is good. Its easy to launch nasty attacks on here and hide behind anonymity.
I have picked at anonymous posters on here. I am not really opposed to it, but I still think people should be brave enough to stand behind their comments.
Some have said nasty things about me. I dont take it very seriously though. If you came to me and said it to my face I might. I might also give it right back to you :)
But I allow those. This way no one can complain about nasty things that are posted about them.
Above all I try to be fair and allow as much as humanly possible on here.
Ill allow anonymous posts, and Ill still pick on you for that from time to time.
I believe Arkansas City would be a better place if people got more involved, and if people stood up and spoke and were not afraid to be identified.

Monday, November 24, 2008

School board meeting

School board meeting is at 7 p.m. today at the high school.
The location was set months ago, but it is a bit ironic. They will be talking about some safety issues.
It would be a good meeting to attend, if you are interested in the issue.
It will be interesting to see how the board reacts.
School officials may have realized they could have handled the situation better, and maybe they will be looking at some new ways of addressing issues.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Latest volleyball

This is just in, game just over

Cowley College (5th) defeated Columbus St (6th)
25-16, 24-26, 25-22, 25-22

Girls got fifth nationally

Ideas, opportunities

Someone posted an idea on the Ideas blog, which i created last January.
I thought it was an interesting idea.

It would be more interesting if people listed the things they can't get or services they need to help identify possible opportunites/businesses.

I think that's a great idea. People could do that here. We could also use the "paper" paper in this area. Send in what you need and cant get here. I ll keep a tally and post it.
One thing I need a lot is ink cartridges. I have an old printer, so its hard to find what i need. Walmart usually has it, but even their prices on ink is too high. Other stores in town have them - but not the one i need - but ... they want like $60 for the set and I get it for $20 on the net.

What are your needs

NFL and dogs

Here's a new topic. Read this news item on Yahoo Sports and thought, Finally ! someone has said what i have been thinking for awhile.


Porter on Vick: 'All it was was dogs'

Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter commented on the possible reinstatement of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and, as usual, Porter shot right from the lip, according to a report on Vick was convicted for his role in a dogfighting ring and is serving time in a Kansas federal prison. He's scheduled to be released next summer.
"He's already been punished enough," said Porter (referring to Vick's possible reinstatement after serving his sentence), who owns a pair of pit bulls and a Maltese. "They gave him his penalty. He paid his penalty. What else should they do to him now?
"All it was was dogs. They act like they don't even like pit bulls anyway. That's the funny thing about it if you want to get back on that topic. I got pit bulls, I got to put them under a different breed just to travel. So you can't even fly pit bulls nowhere.
"It's a breed they don't care about. It's not like he was fighting cocker spaniels or something that they like. They don't really care too much about pit bulls."

My comments
What Vick did was bad. But, it just seems to me that people are too outraged and the punishment too severe.
Cowboy's Pacman Jones has repeatedly violated NFL drug policies, has seriously hurt people in fights etc., and didnt even miss a whole season.
Rams' DE Leonard Little killed a woman while driving drunk. I think he missed maybe half a season. If even that.
Little and Jones received full pay through it all. The Falcons want money they paid Vick returned.
Isnt there something wrong with our priorities here?

I love animals. I hate dog fighting. But is our culture sending the message that its ok to kill people while driving drunk, or to do weird stuff while on drugs, but not ok to do bad things to animals?

Friday, November 21, 2008


The Cowley girls won friday.
You can see more about it on their blog.
They play again Saturday at 2:30 for fifth place.


The Cowley Volleyball team lost its second game yesterday, putting them out of the winner's bracket. The score was
19-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23, 15-8.
They can still finish 5th with a win today and tomorrow.
They posted some about it last night, check the blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

volleyball team wins opener

The second-seeded Cowley College volleyball team defeated No. 15-seed Community College of Rhode Island 25-12, 25-11, 25-14 in its opening match at the NJCAA Division II Volleyball National Tournament played Today in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
The Lady Tigers (28-6) will return to the court tonight at 5:30 as they will take on seventh-seeded Illinois Central Community College (27-9), which defeated 10th-seeded Iowa Lakes in its first match.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

what do you think

• An Arkansas City High School junior who had just finished the first night of basketball practice Monday returned to his parked car to find religious slurs written on the windshield and side windows.
You all probably noticed this on our site.
I was just curious as to how the public thinks we should cover this.
What do you think.
It is obviously a news item. But how big is it?
How big do you think we should make it?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

city commission

Here is the city commission agenda. Sorry i didnt get it posted yesterday.
The worksession was yesterday. The regular meeting is at 7 p.m. today at city hall. Meeting is open to the public and there are plenty of seats.

1. Consider resolution authorizing contract to transfer title of City Ballpark to Cowley College.
2. Consider five year plan for major street projects proposed for funding with KDOT grants and approve submission of application to KDOT.
3. Consider ordinance banning dog breed Presa Canario from City.
4. Consider charter ordinance to change ex officio member provisions for public library.
5. Consider Mayor’s appointments to City Boards.
Miscellaneous Matters from the City Manager/City Commission.

There will be a public forum at 7 p.m November 20 at the Senior Center.
This is a chance for the public to talk to the commission.
Last time it turned into a meeting about the hospital.

Monday, November 17, 2008

AP reporting

Does this story seem biased to you all?

Former president faces hecklers in Kan.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush faced a few hecklers Sunday at the University of Kansas as he reminisced about his career and reflected on the economic and international issues dominating the end of his son’s presidency.
The elder Bush said it’s too early to know how history will judge his son’s two terms. He defended his son’s recent oversight of the current war in Iraq after discussing the decision in the first Gulf War not to attempt to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The former Republican president also dismissed the idea, advanced by many Democrats, that deregulation of the nation’s financial markets led to the economic meltdown this fall. He argued for continued U.S. involvement with China, saying that nation does not want to dominate its neighbors.
The crowd of about 2,000 people was mostly friendly, but security officers escorted a half-dozen hecklers from the auditorium while Bush answered questions from Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute of Politics, and submitted by e-mail. The hecklers appeared to be critics of the current president, and none was arrested.
“These guys yelling at me, that doesn’t bother me anymore,” Bush said. “It goes with the territory, and you have to get used to it.”
Bush, the nation’s 41st chief executive, came to the university to receive the 2008 Leadership Prize from the Dole Institute of Politics. He praised Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, and had kind words for other prominent figures — even President Nixon, forced to resign in 1974 because of the Watergate scandal.

something to think about

There is a Paul Simon song that has the lyric ...
"all lies and jest
still man hears what he wants to hear
and disregards the rest"

I think it is quiet profound and true in many cases, and guides many issues.
Here are some things to think about.
** If someone were going to take a gun to school, or were planning to have a shootout at school, would they really announce it via a text message to everyone at the school? I know the text message went out ... but think about that.
** People i know of who are spreading tales of woe and fear do not actually go to the school, or are not teachers etc., ALL students and teachers I have talked to - some off the record - have said the incident is being over blown. Let's see. Those that were not there say one thing, those that were say something else. Hmmmm which one to believe?
** Security was increased. People were booted out of school. Yet people say nothing was done. They have an officer in the school, the SRO program, . they have bullying policies in place. Nothing is being done though ....
** What if students realized all they had to do was say "gang" or "gun" to get the school shut down for a day? If you were the average high school kid ... would that give you any ideas?
** Why do we say there is a terrible problem with violence, much worse than anywhere else, yet there is not a single victim or eye witness coming forward?
** Why is spreading gossip and rumors - which you know to be untrue or could not prove in a court of law - not considered terrorism?
** What if spreading gossip and rumors was a crime?
Of the stories you believe, or have told, how many of them do you absolutely know to be fact?
** Why is it that, when I have said a lot of people tell me it is being overblown - a lot of students who are there every day, say there were some fights but they are not afraid .. some say i am lying.
Kids off school grounds are not afraid to talk. Ive talked to kids in church, kids hanging out in walmart, skateboarders, and one with his parents at dillons.. All say the same thing.
Im still waiting for one person who is actually at the school every day to come to me and tell me they are afraid. Ill even meet you at a secret location and wear a blindfold so i can't see you, and you can disguise your voice so i cant recognize it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thinking it through

I had a professor in seminary who used to say. "It's easier to go to a consistent extreme than to stay in the middle of Biblical tension."
I think this is true in the world at large as well.
People naturally want to go to extremes, especially if they don't understand what is going on, or sometimes even if they do.
There are issues where the bible is not clear, so people gravitate to the extremities of possibility. It's the same with the high school.
There are conflicting reports.
The two extremes here are that the high school is an inner city war zone or a place of tremendous peace. If you think about it, you have to admit neither is true.

You would think that if it was all that bad there, we would have people contacting us all the time. We have not. Not even last week. All the people we talked to, we called or contacted. Even though I asked people to contact us.

I do think something happened. Based on the evidence I have seen, I think it was something that was taken care of. That doesn't mean it will never happen again or that there will never be any violence.

School officials could have communicated better. They should have.
At the same time, there are kids who would do something like make a threat just to make the schools shut down for a day. You cannot shut down the schools every time someone makes a threat. Having more security seemed to work.

There are discipline problems at all schools. It is getting worse as our society deteriorates and gets away from its Godly roots (let the anti-religion attacks begin). School officials can't do anything about that.
The problem of increased violence is not unique to a school. It is more a societal problem.
I think we can make a difference, but being an alarmist is not the answer. Hiding your head in the sand isn't either.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

After the fact

I really think the problem is that we have some people trying to make the Ark City High School situation into a major incident and those trying to perhaps say nothing at all happened.
Neither extreme is right.

There was a fight, apparently more than just your average scuffle, because five kids are getting suspended. They claimed to be part of a gang,so security was beefed up while it was investigated. So far there is no proof of a direct link.
There have been kids claiming gang affiliation for some time, and they do paint gang-like graffiti on buildings. That does not make them gang members.
Im not even sure it matters.
Bad kids can do bad things and not be part of gangs. I really doubt national gangs are going to be teaching local kids how to be mean. They can come up with bad things on their own.

I think parents were right to be concerned. But parents also need to see that the administration of the school did do something. School officials could have given out more information more quickly.
We did not get much from the school administration.

But, they are doing something and the police are doing something.
Chief Wallace gave us information.
They have a cop in the schools full time. The school resource officer, he is called, was able to break up the fight and restore order.
Then when the rumor mill got cranked up, security was increased.
I know there was a text message going around saying there was going to be a gun or a shooting or something.
They did take that seriously and you have to.
But, do you really think a kid who was bent on shooting up a school would send a text message warning his friends?

There are alarmists among us. THeir warnings get to be routine and you stop listening because its the same thing over and over. Spreading fear does not help, actually it hinders keeping schools safe and the community safe.
We also dont need a police state.
You could have 20 officers in each school and have metal detectors at every door and do 3 drug tests a day on everyone. Would cost a fortune and some kid would still cause trouble.

I just want to encourage people to look for facts and not get stirred up by rumors.
Be a part of the solution.

Friday, November 14, 2008

school fights

There were some fights at school earlier this week. Five kids are under suspension and may face an even longer suspension.
They claim to be gang related, but police have not been able to confirm this.
Security is tightened, but school officials are saying things are calm and safe.
More in todays paper.

I would like to find some parents of high school students, and students, to talk to.
Contact me if you'd like to talk about it.
Call me at the paper 442-4200
or write,

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Do you guys read The Onio?,
here are a couple links to some of their stories

first president

the real obama

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

speaking of holidays

Speaking of holidays, here is something that might get you going.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A local activist's proposal for a national holiday to honor Barack Obama's election as president inspired enough Internet chatter to briefly overwhelm a newspaper's Web site.
Sonny Scroggins, who has been involved in various causes, including efforts to promote black history, says he wants to celebrate the election of the nation's first African-American president.
"I feel like Nov. 4, 2008, is a very important date," Scroggins said Tuesday. "It's when America grew up."
The Topeka Capital-Journal published a brief story on its Web site Sunday about Scroggins planning to have regular brainstorming sessions about pushing for the holiday.
The Drudge Report took note and soon, so did bloggers from as far away as the Netherlands. Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin mocked it on her Web site.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

residential explosion

According to the scanner, there was a residential explosion near Atlanta, near the intersection of 77th and 131st roads just before 12:30 today.
Apparently related to work on a propane tank. As of 12:30 the house was in flames and propane was still burning.
The female was laying in the yard with an apparent broken leg. A helicopter was being dispatched.
She also had severe burns to her face and hands.
The status of the male in the house was not known.

Monday, November 10, 2008

county election update

After a canvassing of the vote, County Commissioner Gary Wilson was declared the winner by a vote of 1,906­ – 1,894, Monday. The vote was so close election night, it was too close to call. Since commissioners are the ones who do the canvassing, Wilson excused himself and appointed Sheriff Bob Odel.
We will have an update on the regular web site later today.
Election night they were separated by 20 votes. By the next day, after counting provisionals, the margin went down to one.
No word on whether his opponent, Bob Voegele, will request a recount. He has to put up $1,000 bond to do that, and I think he forfeits the money if he loses.

Friday, November 7, 2008

FIre alarm at Frances Willard

Firemen answered a call early this morning at Frances Willard Elementary School.
The fire turned out to be very small, coming from the teacher's lounge area. We heard someone say it was a problem with the microwave.
The school was evacuated, but children returned to their classes after being outside only a few minutes.
The fire was reported about 8:10 and firemen were headed back to headquarters by 8:25.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Ive had several calls late yesterday and today about our front page the day after the election. There was no picture of Obama and some people are upset over that.
I didnt mean any disrespect to Mr. Obama.
I picked local photos, I was thinking local. That is what we are, a local paper.
I checked, 4 years ago and 8 years ago, we did not have a bush picture on the front.
That was my motivation though. Just the local thing.
And it costs more and there is more involved in getting a picture from the associated press, so its not something you automatically think of.
What do you all think?
I guess we should have had an obama picture on the front. I guess every other newspaper did.
Oh well.
Just wanted to rant about that for a few minutes.

The day after

Its been just over a day since the election. The sun came up again.
I heard several republicans whining yesterday. It was the same thing the democrats did when Bush won twice, and the republicans again when Clinton won twice.
I really think it is time to break the cycle.
Which is why I favor other parties developing and getting stronger.
I really did vote for Chuck Baldwin. Its a start :)

Now both sides need to forget about the election. It is over with, time to move on. Now we need to work on making the world a better place, and even making Arkansas City a better place. We can try to work with the people who are elected, regardless of party.
Someone posted that it really isnt up to them, its up to us. I think that is right. Political parties are just ideologies. In my opinion both are too extreme. The truth is somewhere between the two. The thing is, we need to get along now and work together.

Here is a bible verse on the subject.
Romans 13:
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

election observations

Its just after midnight. It was an exciting and interesting evening.
I went back and forth between where the dems and pubs were hanging out in Winfield.
There were also some private parties and such. Also made a few trips to the courthouse. All of this was in a four block area, so I did a lot of walking.
I also set up shop a the Courier and was able to type in my updates from there.
The munchies were a bit better with the republicans.

And then there was the voting.
Both of the city taxes passed, which was a bit of a surprise.
The hospital won by a nice margin, 2190 - 1532. The street tax was much closer, at 1952-1754.
I guess the people of Arkansas City do want to be forward thinking.
This could be a continuation of good things happening in and for Arkansas City.

The county commission race for Gary Wilson and Bob Voegele was very close, with Wilson winning 1864 - 1844. They still have to count the provisionals, write ins and do the canvasing. Usually it doesnt change that much, but there may be a recount.
Wilson was cautiously optimisic Tuesday night at the courthouse.

In the other commission race, Alan Groom upset the incumbent Carmaleta Clarkson 2799-1801.

One big surprise was Steve Abrams win over Greta Goodwin in the State Senate race. Goodwin won Cowley County, 6786-6399, but the Sumner County vote pushed Abrams over the top at about 12000 to 10000. The folks over in Wellington are still smarting over losing out on the casino, and they blamed Goodwin.

The statehouse races went about as expected. Trimmer won easily 4484 - 2313, with 65.9 percent of the vote. No surprise there.
Kasha Kelley was a surprise only by the margin. She had 64 percent of the vote, winning 4,118 - 2291.

Everything else was about as expected.
I did notice, during the speeches by presidential candidates. When McCain congratulated Obama, people in the crowd booed - which McCain quietened.
When Obama gave his speech, he praised McCain and no one booed.
Just thought that was interesting. No comment needed eh.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

11 p.m.

Results 60 of 60 precincts
provisionals and write ins yet to count

State SEnate District 32
Greta Goodwin 6399
Steve Abrams 6786
entire district
abrams 12000
goodwin 10000

State REp. District 78
Ed Trimmer 4484
John Whittington 2313

State Rep. District 79
]Kasha Kelley 4118
Gene Burr 2291

State Board of Ed
Dennis 6764
Casanova 5037

County Commission 2
Wilson 1864
Voegele 1844

County Commission 3
Groom 2799
Clarkson 1801

AC Questions
half cent sales tax

Yes 2190
No 1532

Yes 1952
No 1754

10 p.m.

State SEnate District 32
Greta Goodwin 5000
Steve Abrams 4705
entire district
abrams 7628
goodwin 7154

State REp. District 78
Ed Trimmer 3351
John Whittington1879

State Rep. District 79
]Kasha Kelley 2818
Gene Burr 1660

State Board of Ed
Dennis 4930
Casanova 3732

County Commission 2
Wilson 1642
Voegele 1626

County Commission 3
Groom 1982
Clarkson 1248

AC Questions
half cent sales tax

Yes 1439
No 1030

Yes 1299
No 1160

9 p.m.

Here are some results, these are the results with only a 7 precincts

for the county
obama 1398
mccain 1866

State SEnate District 32
Greta Goodwin 1817
Steve Abrams 1456

State REp. District 78
Ed Trimmer 1375
John Whittington 705

State Rep. District 79
]Kasha Kelley 643
Gene Burr 552

State Board of Ed
Dennis 1,581
Casanova 1,328

County Commission 2
Wilson 339
Voegele 258

County Commission 3
Groom 820
Clarkson 570

AC Questions
half cent sales tax

Yes 408
No 272

Yes 345
No 332

early returns

Here are some results, these are the results of advanced voting
for the county
obama 1211
mccain 1307

State SEnate District 32
Greta Goodwin 1484
Steve Abrams 1047

State REp. District 78
Ed Trimmer 967
John Whittington 427

State Rep. District 79
]Kasha Kelley 605
Gene Burr 536

State Board of Ed
Dennis 1,140
Casanova 1,100

County Commission 2
Wilson 339
Voegele 258

County Commission 3
Groom 487
Clarkson 365

AC Questions
half cent sales tax

Yes 408
No 272

Yes 345
No 332

almost 6 p.m.

Here is a cool link, its a "dashboard" type thing, where you can follow the presidential election

Im not really a political junkie at all, but this is kinda interesting. We will see if all the experts are right.
Ill head for Winfield around 8 and send in what i find out about every hour.

3 p.m.

I just went and voted at the agri-business building. It wasnt too bad, but they had been busy all day. I only had to wait about five minutes.
Looks like there's still a steady stream at the rec building.
Polls are open till 7
With this turnout, the results may come in late.

I almost forgot to add.
One thing I noticed was, that there was no one handing out brochures or holding signs near the polling places. In past elections they are there. and i think they have to stay 100 yards away or something like that.
Just seemed odd to me that they weren't there.
Oh well, It was a pleasant surprise. If anyone doesn't know what they need to know by now, im not sure a brochure would help.

voter turnout

Voter turnout is really heavy. Dont put off voting.
This morning there is a line out the door at the rec center. People are having to wait in line 45-minutes to an hour.

Ill be blogging on the election as it develops tonight;

Monday, November 3, 2008

work session

City work session went fairly quickly tonight.
The dog and cat licensing ordinance may not get passed. They are saying they want to do it to control stray - or ferrel - animals. And to make sure the animals have had their rabies shots.
Couple of the commissioners - Margolius and McDonald - feel you could get to the same goal without the ordinance.
What this would mean would be that your animal that gets out is more likely to be taken to the animal shelter.
There is the thought that they could just be taken to the shelter and if not picked up pretty fast - with the fines paid - the animal could be put down.

People shouldnt be letting their animals run loose in the city should they?

city agenda

Here is what is on the city agenda this week.
they are meeting on election night.
today is 5:30 p.m.
tuesday is at 7 p.m.
all meetings are open to the public .

1. Consider ordinance adopting dog and cat licensing in the City.
2. Hold hearing on amended 2008 budget for Water, Sewer, and Tourism Funds.
3. Consider ordinance amending 2008 budget for Water, Sewer, and Tourism Funds.
4. Consider resolution amending City’s Open Public Records policy.
5. Consider resolution authorizing contract to transfer title of City Ballpark to Cowley
6. Consider resolution authorizing contract to transfer title of structure at 101 N. 3rd to
Vinelife Family Church.
7. Consider resolution setting public meeting for November 13, 2008 at 7 PM at the Senior
8. Consider Mayor’s appointments to City Boards.
Miscellaneous Matters from the City Manager/City Commission.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I am not too into endorsing candidates, but I will make a few predictions just for fun. These may or may not be my preferences, it’s just who I think will win.
Obama wins in a blowout. Too many people just want change.
Roberts will win for the Senate. This race just never caught my interest.
Tiahrt will win the race for Congress, but I think it will be much closer than most people think. It could even be a November surprise, especially if the people in Wichita get out and vote. His opponent, Betts, is a very good speaker and had made a lot of points out of the fact that Tiahrt won’t debate.

At the state level, I think Ed Trimmer will win reelection by a comfortable margin. He speaks very well and his opponent does not.
On the other two I have some mixed feelings. I think Kasha Kelley will win, but it will be close. Gene Burr has worked very hard and an upset is not totally out of the question for that reason. Burr is a very good candidate and I hope he will run for something else down the road.
I’m not even going to touch the Goodwin – Abrams race for State Senate. That one is just too close to call and there’s too much emotion involved. I doubt the issues, or what they say, even matters to most people. I do think it is a shame that they are running against each other. We need both of them in office of some kind just to have balance.

At the county level I will pick Alan Groom in an upset over Carmelita Clarkson, and Gary Wilson to win re-election over Bob Voegele.
On the sales tax, Ill predict a win for the hospital and a loss for the streets.
There you have it. \\

Friday, October 31, 2008


Just in case you missed it.
I typed in most of the comments from the forum on tuesday night. Here are the links.

I didn't go to the one yesterday. From what I heard it was much of the same.
Trimmer did get rather defensive about some of the accusations floating his way. Cant blame him, but I guess his opponent is just desperate. Im not sure Trimmer could lose this one if he tried.
There have been a lot of negative mailers going out. Many of them are sent by private organizations that don't have to disclose who is paying for them. Not sure it matters that much, but it does allow for people to be really negative.
Its just dirty politics.
If I was undecided, that dirty politics would affect my vote .... against the one throwing mud.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Abortion debate

This issue gets people stirred up, and that's why politicians use it at times. Both sides also use it during political campaigns to help or hurt candidates.
There are some fundamental issues though.
Pro choice has a nice sound to it. Of course as an adult you want the right to choose what is best for you. Only problem is, at some point, it is another life.
Pro-life also has a nice sound to it. But how much is propaganda?

If you kill a pregnant woman you can be charged with two counts of murder, but if you help her dispose of her unborn baby, you can charge her a couple hundred bucks and say it is a choice.
That is the real issue I think. When does life begin?
Neither side seems willing to deal with that issue, because it would essentially solve the issue.

The scriptures really don't say when life begins. Some point to the verse that says God knew you when you were in your mothers womb. That is poetry. Poetry is meant to convey images, not give detailed instruction. Also, God knows all things, so he knew you at creation, even before that.
Another place talks about the penalty for someone causing a woman to lose her unborn baby. The penalty is not death, which is the normal penalty for killing. Also, at creation, God formed man and then "breathed" life into him and he became a living being. It doesn't say, and that is why it is controversial even in christian circles.
We can go with biblical principles, and that gets into interpretation, but it should be part of the equation. But there is no clear-cut statement you can point to one way or the other.

Here is my solution.
Get the two sides together, and some doctors and scientists and theologians who are hopefully unbiased, or have them from both sides. Stick them in a room with only bread and water and keep them there until they hammer out a deal. That's too easy but it would work. Money is the reason neither side is interested in actually solving the problem.
Solving the problem would entail defining when life begins, defining exceptions, and regulating the industry.

Just from a common sense perspective, there should be some exceptions. Rape being the major one, but, if that crime is reported and you go to the emergency room immediately, that can "fix" the problem before it starts.
Still, it should be an exception. It could be abused, but so can anything else.
But there should be a limit on it. A person 8 months pregnant shouldn't be able to say, "oh yea, i got raped ... "

What if it were totally legal the first trimester. legal only under certain conditions in the second, and not legal in the third? Wouldn't that be a reasonable compromise? If you have a legitimate reason, you will know about that before the third trimester. You have to admit that third trimester abortions are just murder. Babies can live at that point.
Also if the mother's life is at stake should also be considered. That is very rare though.

I just think it could be solved. There are some complicated issues. Why is it that neither side is interested in any sort of compromise?
Saying life begins at conception creates problems, practical and philosophical. The other extreme, of no restrictions at all, creates the same thing.

An aside, I no longer buy it that the republican party is pro-life. They said they were, but they had the power and didn't do anything, so their claiming to be pro-life is just a lie. They need to at least explain why they made no effort when they controlled the government - the presidency, the house and the senate. Im not going to let people forget that.

So .... what do we do now? Maybe we refuse to buy into either extreme and advocate a solution that we can all live with?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

forum winners and losers

The Forum for the candidates at Cowley College lasted about 3 hours lats night.
It was a good "debate."
It was sponsored and held by KSOK and newscow. Nearly all the candidates were there.
Ill have a report in the paper today about what they said. They didn't say anything different than what they normally say.

It was interesting that Greta Goodwin thinks the state economy will be good when the reports come in, and that there may not be a great deficit. All the other state candidates, rep and dem, all say they think there will be a shortfall and there will be some slashing of budgets or more taxes.

Anyways, I thought I would just comment briefly on the presentations themselves.
Here are my winners of the debate: This is based solely on performance, not on the issues themselves.

Sheriff Don Reed and Prosecutor Chris Smith are unopposed. Both gave good, short, presentations.

County Commission
District 2, Carmelita Clarkson vs. Alan Groom.
I would give the edge to Groom. He is just a bit smoother in his delivery. He also was willing to say "i don't know." He seemed more relaxed than the incumbent.

District 3, Gary Wilson vs. Bob Vogele.
Both handled themselves very well. Wilson is a bit more knowledgeable on the issues and seems to have confidence in himself and his views. Both did well. Slight edge to Wilson because of experience. There also appeared to be a mutual respect between them that was not apparent in most other candidates.

Statehouse, State Rep. District 78.
Ed Trimmer vs. John Whittington.

Trimmer in a blowout. Trimmer was a debate coach for many years and it shows. He is smooth, articulate, knows the issues. Thinks on his feet well, has definite opinions but is not abrasive. Whittington was nervous, did not articulate himself well, and did not seem as well-prepared. When questions were read Trimmer was ready with an answer. Whittington had to think, and had trouble giving answers.

State Rep District 79
Kasha Kelley vs. Gene Burr.
Its a shame someone has to lose this one. Both were articulate, personable, connected with the audience. Kelley is just a little smoother and just a little more experienced at public speaking.
Id give her the edge because of that.
Burr is a good candidate though. If he loses hopefully he will run for something else. He would be good in public office.

State Senate District 32. Greta Goodwin vs. Steve Abrams.
Goodwin has served many years and does very well at public speaking. Abrams has years on the state board of ed and is also a very good speaker.
Abrams defended himself well against the mail-smear campaign that claims he is anti-science, anti-education and for book banning. As he said, if you tell a big enough lie long enough, people will believe it.
Goodwin seemed more political of the two. She is a scrapper.
Slight edge to Abrams as he was able to turn even pointed questions to the direction he wanted to go in.

State board of ed.
Paul Casanova vs. David Dennis.

They are vying for the spot Steve Abrams is leaving to run for the senate.
Edge to Casanova. He was more personable, connected better with the audience. He was just talking to the audience, while Dennis was giving answers. Dennis' military background showed, but it came off as just a bit too "official."

U.S. Congress
Don Betts
also showed up near the end and gave a presentation. He made must of the fact that incumbent Todd Tiahrt was not there and has refused to debate.
Betts makes a very good presentation. Speaks very well and has passion.
Tiahrt wasn't there, so Betts probably made some points with people who are undecided.

That's my take on the long evening.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pro-life con game

I really wasn't expecting a debate on abortion. I should have seen in coming though.
It is an important issue, but my problem is, the Republicans claim to be pro-life, but they don't do anything.
Which is worse? A candidate who says he is pro-choice? Or one that says he is pro-life but does nothing once in office?
Bush had the golden opportunity. He had the presidency, control of the house and senate, and control of the supreme court. Soooooo can anyone explain to me why abortion is still legal? Or at least why there was not even any kind of effort?
Far as I know it wasn't even brought up before the house or the senate, and certainly not before the supreme court. At the very least he could have brought it up for debate. Eight years, ... nothing.

It's like sending someone to Wichita to buy something that cost's $100. They come back without your item (they lost your money at the casino) and want another $100 to go get it the next time they go. Sorry, Not buying it.
The "vote pro-life" mantra has a hollow ring to it.
Are we going to be taken again?

Don't take that to mean I support the Dems. Neither party is "christian" as far as i can tell. Both use religion when it is convenient to get elected. Im really tired of the republicans though.
Some people argue that the republicans are "more" biblically oriented. Maybe, but ... isn't that like saying rape isn't as bad as murder so lets support the rapist instead of the killer? Where's the sense in that?

Remember the Who song?
"won't get fooled again."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not toting the party note

A week from tomorrow is the election.
Have you decided who you will vote for?
Does all the political advertising influence you?
Do you vote along party lines?

I guess you know by now, i am not loyal to either party. Generally i distrust both parties and would like to see other parties emerge. I know, we've always had a two-party system, but its time to change it.
Just because something has always been done doesnt mean its best.
For centuries people went outside to go to the bathroom. That doesn't mean I need to go without indoor plumbing.

I dont even understand being loyal to a political party.
We need to think for ourselves about every issue and not just tote the party note.
It comes down to conservative or liberal. And lets be honest. "Moderate" republicans are just democrats disguising themselves. Its just a "kansas" thing.

We are very polarized along conservative and liberal lines in our country.
A lot of people on both sides will label you the other side if you dont toe the line of their side.
I get called both because I don't go along with either side.
But the thing is, neither side is "right."
Both have strengths and weaknesses. Both are right in some areas and wrong in others.

Isn't it better to think about issues themselves than to just drink red or blue koolaid? :)
The answer is not for one side or the other to win, the answer is for some other parties to emerge. That can only happen if viable candidates emerge and people are brave enough to say "NO" to both the dems and the pubs.

If you had 4-5-6 parties, it would force all the parties to work together.
Liberals and Conservatives would have to work together and neither would be able to gain ultimate power. They would have to come to compromises on issues. They would have to hammer out agreements.
We might even see progress.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Most important election"

Ive heard people on both sides say this election is the most important election ever, or that a lot of things are riding on this election, so it is crucial that (their candidate) wins. I guess its to stave off global warming, save the economy, and make football the national religion , er sport.

Im glad to see im not the only one who has not purchased the koolaid. I found this link that gives a top-10 list of things that are more important than the outcome of ths election. For president at least.

Here is the link

I thought maybe the readers of this blog could also come up with some ideas.
What are some things that are more important than the outcome of the presidential election?
We can make our own top-10 list

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Evolution, creation and floods.

Someone asked what I thought about what effect the great flood would have had on evolution.
Thought id type a bit about that.
This post isnt about religion. Its about thinking. History, theology, philosophy and that kind of thing.

One thing about the ancient bible stories. Creation, floods, the exodus, and all ... they all have spiritual meanings, or spiritual lessons. I really think those are more important. To me, to argue over whether they are literally true, misses the point.

I do think "something" happened to result in these stories. They are all "true" to some degree. However, the bible is not a history book, nor is it a biology book.
In this way of thinking you do have to draw the line somewhere though.
Because as Paul writes, if Jesus Christ is not risen, then our religion is in vain and you are still in your sins.

So I believe the stories are true. They are events that happened. But whether specific details are accurate doesn't matter to me.
The stories were written by people with a limited amount of information.
The creation was told as 6-day events, and the 7th day as a day of rest.
Was that a literal thing? or was that just a way of telling the story and communicating the spiritual nature of God and man? What if it had told the story without the days ... just this happened, then that happened ... would it matter?

I say it doesn't matter.
Most people would not agree with that, and that's ok.
But they were not telling the story as if it were an eye witness account of creation. The point of the writing was not to make a historical record.

There is no real conflict between evolution and creation, except when evolution tries to explain the origin. There is no conflict in the development.
The order of the creation story is the same as the order of the evolution story.
The only real difference that matters is ...
In the beginning God created .. versus some random spark set in motion a meaningless series of events that have resulted in the world we see today. The rest is commentary, as they say.
The spiritual implications of that are incredible. I could write many pages on that issue alone.

On the flood.
Again, huge spiritual truth there. Don't miss the message :)
But, nearly every ancient culture has a flood story.
To me that backs up the bible story. Its not possible to say who had the story first.
Many possibilities and theories.
One being that all of the land was in one place, no continents yet - both science and the bible agree on that. continental drift theory ?
And if only a few survived the flood, they eventually spread out as the continents drifted. So all would have that story.
(This could have been 5,000 years ago, or 500,000 years ago ... i say it doesnt matter.)

Its not that far fetched to think all the animals could be on the boat. All the canines with many variations - could have all been in one canine. All the felines - in one feline...
From there the canines and felines developed into the many species of them that we have today. Same with any other group. So thousands of species could have "been in" only a couple hundred animals.
The boat described in the bible would have been huge.
The flood could have caused some animals to become extinct . dinasaurs .. but isn't tha alligator a type of dinosaur ? Maybe they are not extinct, but have just developed differently?

Evolution does happen, things do change. We even "create" new species of dogs and cats and such.
The only problem is when you try to extrapolate that into explaining the origin of life. That isnt even good science really.

So the great flood might have knocked out some species, but in general, it would not have had that great of an impact. This was very early in the development of the world..

An interesting aside. Mt St. Helens is a volcano that erupted in washington state in the early 80's . It caused incredible devastation and changed to the environment. Ash from it was seen and felt all around the world, literally.
Imagine if there were 100 of these, or 1000 of these going on at the same time, would cause many great changes. That could cause a world wide flood. and continental drift.
But another intersting thing is ...
that just 20 years later, or 30 i guess now, there have been changes in the lava and rock in the area. There has been immediate fossilization, petrification and so forth.
The thing is, these are the same things that scientist say are millions of years old in other places. The same type changes to material happens. It really screws up carbon dating.

So these are just some random thoughts on the question.
Ive taken a lot of words to say that the flood would not have changed evolution very much, and vice versa.

There is also the theory out there that the ancient greek mythology is not mythology at all. But it is instead an account of the world that existed before the flood.
Its an interesting theory and not many people believe it, but ... i found the web site and i think the guy makes an interesting case.
The Genesis account does mention that spiritual beings took the form of flesh and took women of the earth, and mated with them, and the result was great spirit-flesh beings. It is just mentioned once and not explained at all.
But .. this guy takes that into greek mythology.

Ok, off to arkalalah

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Abrams and politics

Steve Abrams was at the Americans for Prosperity meeting tonight at Sirloin Stockade.
I guess AFP doesnt have an Arkansas City chapter as such, but there was a representative here.
They are a group that wants to keep taxes low and government small. Pretty much a good idea, but I don't think just cutting spending in itself is a worthy goal.
But groups like that do help keep taxes down, so im no totally down on them either

Abrams talked in detail about the technical education program that he supports. That is his big thing now and it makes sense. Create classes in high school that help train people for jobs when they graduate.
Everyone doesnt need to go to college.
And you can make a good wage with a tech certification.
Anyways, he is running for the state senate now after having spent several years on the state board of ed.
His "claim to fame" is the science standards thing. He has distanced himself from that and is not pushing that anymore.
But I will say, it was never honestly and fairly reported by the state or national media.
The standards he and his group supported did not require creationism to be taught and did not advocate it. They only said it was ok to question things like evolution.
You can still find those standards and actually read them.

He also wants to cut taxes. Most republicans, and conservatives, believe that cutting taxes is the best way to grow the economy. That if businesses are paying less taxes they will have more money to invest more in things like more employees and such.
He talked a good bit about the deficit at the state level.
Of course implying that the republicans could do a better job of managing the money.
I dont know about these economic things.
Anyway, it was an interesting experience.
Too cold to go to the arkalalah stuff anyways.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The windows ordinance for downtown Arkansas City was passed after months of discussion at the city commission meeting Tuesday.
The windows ordinance for the entire city was passed a few months ago, and that requires that any windows replaced must be made of glass or a transparent material. The commission decided to do a separate ordinance for downtown that used zoning to require window replacement.
The ordinance requiring glass from this point forward includes entire city as well as the downtown area. The ordinance approved last night will require that all windows be replaced with glass or a an approved transparent substance.
The ordinance passed last night requires more replacement of windows than the other one that applied to the entire city did.
The ordinance requires 10 windows be replaced the first year, 10 more the second year and all windows in three years.
The ordinance has gone to the planning commission a few times, and received final approval from that group about a week ago at a public hearing.
Building, Planning and Codes director Matt Rowland said no one spoke at the public hearing. He said the ordinance applies to street-sides of buildings and not to alleyways.
Jim Sybrant, who has opposed the ordinance from the beginning, spoke against the ordinance at the meeting.
He said the ordinance would end up devaluing property in the city.
He said if his building is worth $60,00, and it costs him $45,000 to put in new windows, he would not be able to sell his building for those two amounts combined.
He also said the city does selective enforcement of ordinances, and suggested that would also happen with this one.
The comments raised the ire of Mayor Mell Kuhn and Rowland.
“When you accuse me of being arbitrary, I totally disagree with that,” Rowland said.
Kuhn said there are a lot of variables, and he said people could make their case to the planning commission for unusual situations.
Commissioner Scott Margolius said there is always the possibility of amending the ordinance, and that happens when changes are needed.
Another building owner, Bill Segudo of Mulvane, also objected, saying the cost of fixing up the building was too great. He has owned a building in town for about two years
“From an economical standpoint, I have no intention of investing further in the town,” he said.
He said he would go from making a little profit on the building to losing a lot on the building if he had to replace windows.
“I have talked to the tennants, and they don’t seem to have a problem with it,” he said.
Commissioner Dotty Smith, who owns several properties in the city, said there is a responsibility to maintain buildings that comes with ownership.
“A building is more than ownership, they come with liablity,” Kuhn said.

Just a political comment

I saw where McCain and Obama are trying to get undecided voters.
It's not that I'm undecided. I just don't like either one of them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Paper's Late

Were having technical difficulties. The paper is going to be late.
Probably very late.
Its 3 and they have not even started thinking about printing yet.
So I would guess a couple hours late at least.


You can debate where property lines are and federal versus state water until the cows come home. What difference will it make?
Who is willing to do something about river access?

Monday, October 20, 2008

River access

Now that someone has described the place, I know where avocado beach is. I had just never heard it called that before.
A person does have a right to their own property.
And we do need more river access.
Ive said for a long time, two rivers in town and them not being used is a horrible waste of resources.
Ive heard the excuses.
They don't wash.
A real simple solution is down there where we had the concert.
Additional river access was in the back of my mind when we started the concert.
It would be very easy to build a small bridge across the levee - with Corp of Engineers approval of course - and build a small park on the other side of the levee.
It does flood there some, so you wouildn't want to put stuff that would be damaged there.
But it would be easy enough to clear out some of the trees, put in a few paths. Maybe a couple metal or cement tables that wont hurt if it floods.
That would be good enough.

At Bricks there are pictures of a river front park in Arkansas City. About 100 years ago, there was a boat dock as well as canoes for rent. Its all there in the pictures.
I dont see why it cant happen again.
The bike path will help, but more is needed.

We need to get some people interested in making something happen there.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I have updated the idea blog so that anyone can post there.
So I hope the person with the flea market - auction idea will go there and start posting.
It will be a place to exchange ideas.
and to help each other.
I think a flea market thing is a workable idea. You also have the casino traffic, and you might catch some of them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

City agenda

Heres the city agenda for this week.
Worksession monday at 5:30
regular meeting Tuesday at 7
all at city hall, all open to public.

1. Consider ordinance amending City code with regard to age of security guards.
2. Consider ordinance amending City code 9.04 regarding library materials.
3. Consider ordinance amending City code with regard to horses in the City limits.
4. Consider ordinance amending City code with regard to window replacement in the
5. Consider resolution adopting Red Flag policy statement regarding privacy protection for ity records. (Voice vote).
6. Consider resolution in support of Resolution No. 2008-07-2474 regarding property
maintenance violations by David Frazee.
7. Consider resolution authorizing a contract with USD#470 regarding SRO. \
8. Consider resolution endorsing transportation improvements for the City of Arkansas City, Kansas concerning the enactment by the Kansas Legislature of a new state-wide comprehensive transportation program.
9. Consider application for CMB license – Pizza Hut.
10. Consider ordinance authorizing interlocal agreement with Cowley County and City of winfield to implement US77corridor management plan.
11. Consider resolution setting hearing for amending the 2008 water, sewer and cvb budgets.

12. Consider Mayor’s appointments to City Boards. (Voice vote).

Friday, October 17, 2008

more on involvement

Some good comments on yesterdays post.
I do think we could make Ark City great. But it is us that has to make it happen.
I think people have a lot of good ideas. It is just hard to get started.
There is the IDEA BLOG, that hasn't gotten much attention. You can see it over to the right on my list of blogs. You could talk about your ideas there, and keep us posted as you seek to find your passion and your project.

Take my challenge, I dare you. :)
Find yourself a project and just do it.

I wanted to also tell you all how the music festival came about. It didn't start out as a music festival at all.
It started out when I was at a coffeehouse in another city in another state. I just thought about how cool it would be to have something like that here. Tables and chairs in front of a stage.. great coffee, cookies, desserts and such .. good music every night.

Sort of like Browns Cafe Acoustic, but not just once a month.
From there I was talking with Patrick McDonald about old buildings downtown.
I was thinking about creating an arts center - different than the ark city arts center in that this would be for more folksy arts, and for performing arts.
Music and small plays, or performers of various kinds. It wouldn't be fine arts at all.
Basically a place where anyone could perform. And every now and then bring in a big-name area performer .
I talked with a lot of people about that.
Got a lot of positive feedback.
But the cost seemed really out of reach. You would have to pay rent, and then fix up a building. Pay utilities. Where would the money come from?
Probably not from paying customes... 100 people at $5 a shot would only be $500..

It was along these lines I was thinking when one day I was just curious about that field south of town.
Realized I had never really looked there before. There was no gate so I drove in - easier to apologize than get permission I always say.
It was there that I saw the possibilities for an outdoor concert.
So I started talking with people about that.
Again I got positive encouragement. I wanted to get something done by the end of the summer. thought about trying to get just one guy to play on a sunday afternoon ... real simple.

My goal at that point was to develop the area, using music. But also to develop that area as river access and a river front park...
Then other people got involved and it developed from there.
I found out it was pretty easy to get musicians.
I started asking businesses for support. The first day I got a $500 donation and promises of more.
About a week after that I met Telisa Rohr.... and the rest is history, as they say.

So you see, your idea may not be what you think it is :) :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Getting involved

Someone asked a day or two ago about how to get involved in improving the city.
It is both simple and complex. Here are some guidelines to think about.
Its more philosophical than practical, but I think this is a better place to start.

Find a need, or find an area of interest.
What captures your attention? What would you like to see changed? This is a very vague place to start, but it's a good place. If you get this figured out, then start getting specific. You need to find your passion and work within that passion.

You can't do everything, and some people don't do anything because they cant do everything and can't decide which one. Ultimately it doesn't matter. If you find yourself in that situation, just arbitrarily pick one.

Find one thing you would like to change and make that your project. It needs to be realistic though. And specific. It may be something you can do as an individual, or you may need a group. Go from general idea to specific idea.

Talk about your passion with everyone. Ideas will come from that, and help will come from that. My music festival didn't start out as a music festival. It started out as a very different idea. It "evolved" from talking with people.

Once you figure out your passion, look around and see who is doing it. If there is a group doing that, then you can join them. Or maybe there is a group or club that does similar things.
You may need to start your own group. That goes back to talking with people about your passion.

Be open minded. There may be things you have not thought of. The more you think about your passion, and the more you talk about it, the more ideas will come. Some will work, some will not.
Its hard to know when to leave an idea behind and when to push ahead. Its a balance you have to find. Patience figures in there, as well as just being open to things you may not have thought of.
Like in sports, sometimes you have to let the play develop, let the game come to you, but at other times you have to be aggressive and make the play happen. Finding that balance is the key.

Be eager to fail.
Finding the balance between letting it go and pushing ahead is real important. Be willing to fail. The only way to know if it will work is to try it. Maybe it wont. If it doesn't, don't be discouraged. Ultimately over the long haul, you don't know what the result will be. The key is to see what you can learn from the failure.
Failure is a good thing. It could be that you just need to adjust your approach, or maybe its because your idea needs adjusting.
View failure as a learning experience. How will it help you with your passion?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


People are posting quotes on yesterday's.
So I thought maybe we could share some quotes we like today.
Feel free to post any quote you like ... only ask that it be a real quote and that you name the author.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
Bob Dylan

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

thought for today

Did yall notice the verse of the day at the bottom of this blog?

With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
Proverbs 11:9


There were some good posts yesterday about getting along, looking for what is best for the community, and that kind of thing. I thought it was great. Must have been something in the water.
We do need to work toward the betterment of the community. We should also be concerned about what is best for the community rather than just ourselves.
No one wants to pay more taxes. But, if it will get us where we want to go, and is for the good of the community, then it might be worth it.

I do think this is the first step in making progress. We need to have a goal, a bigger picture, to keep our attention.
The bickering back and forth doesnt accomplish anything. The finger pointing doesnt either.
But where do we want to go?
What do we want to be?
These are the questions that need answers.

I think disagreeing on these questions is fine, its probably even good. Maybe we need to learn how to disagree in a more agreeable way.
There's no need to agree on everything.
A little respect for others goes a long way.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

number crunching the hospital

I tend to be a bit mathematically challenged, so I used a calculator to figure out some things regarding the half cent sales tax.
i chose $3.50 per gallon as a price to use for calculations. Its about $3 now and was $4 recently, and no telling what it will be ... so thats why i picked that number.

One huge issue is the distance of the new hospital. Now two miles is mythical because it depends on where you start. But, if your car gets 20 miles per gallon and gas costs $3.50 a gallon, a four-mile round trip would cost about 70 cents in gas alone. That doesn't account for other fluids and wear on your vehicle.

If you drove to the Ponca City Medical Center, gas would cost about $9.80. Thats figuring 56 miles - 28 miles each way.
A trip to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita would cost $22.05 in gas.

If there are two people in the car, and you stop somewhere to eat, that will be another $12 or so. So just a trip to Wichita to the hospital would cost at least $36.
If you have to spend the night, costs go way up.

Here 's an interesting thing.
The per capita income in Arkansas City is $15,933. Which means that would be the average per person regardless of age.
If that mythical median income person spends half his income in Arkansas City and pays sales tax on that in town .. that would be about $40 per year. Roughly the cost of one trip to Wichita to Wesley Medical Center.

Now add to that the fact that a lot of non-residents will be paying the tax too.
The cost just is not that great.

Friday, October 10, 2008


The candidates debate was interesting Thursday at the high school. It was a chance to see most of them, but none said anything too terribly radical.
Actually, there was not a whole lot of difference between any of them.
One interesting thing that came up was the hospital. The county commission candidates all support it. They were not asked, so I asked later, the statehouse candidates what they thought, and they favor it too.
Gene Burr made an interesting comment, saying that he thought the location should not defeat it, that this was not a good enough reason to defeat it.
Just the opposite of what many are saying. Many are saying they are for the hospital but not the location.
I tend to agree with Gene on this one.
They have studied this thing for 12 years. They have reasons for the site.
No matter where it is, you can pick that choice to death and find reasons for a different place.
Also, I just dont see the big deal about two miles north of town. If you are on the north side of town now, you will be closer than you are now.
People already drive to wichita and even kansas city ... so ... why is two miles a big deal.

Burr, as well as the others, said this is a chance to invest in the future of Arkansas City.
More businesses will come and more jobs will come as a result of a new hospital.
Hopefully we wont let this one slip away.
There is the rumor that the commission will raise property taxes to pay the bill if the sales tax is voted down. I can tell you that none of the commissioners have said that in any open meeting.

Another interesting thing about the forum was who was not there.
All of the incumbents for state office were missing. State Sen. Greta Goodwin and State Rep. Kasha Kelley were not there. Ed Trimmer was also not there but not really expected because his area is Winfield.
I sent an email to Kasha, who wrote back and said there was something going on at the statehouse that they had to be at. She had asked them to try to find a different date, but I guess it couldn't be worked out.
She did send another rep to speak in her place. That was a bit odd, but ... whatever works eh.