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.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Music Festival reflections

Finally rested a bit, and now I can write some about the festival.
There were some obstacles, as I guess you have heard. Faulty generators blew up some amps. Remedy Drive didn't want to hook back up and you couldn't blame them for not wanting to risk their equipment and their safety.
We were something like two hours late getting started, maybe more.
There was a mad rush to find an electrician - no easy task on a Saturday afternoon.
The guy from Graham's electric came through and got us rolling. The generators were rented from a place in ponca city. One was putting out twice as much power as it was supposed to, and that caused the problems.

Rex Riggs brought us a good generator. It was one he uses for welding.
We got it hooked up but didn't hook up the whole package. There was a long discussion about what to do. I considered trying to move it to a church. No one liked that idea.

Remedy Drive has a nice light show, but we didn't even try that.
We finally got rolling around 5:30.
Cut the acts down some. The musicians got 30 minutes instead of an hour, and we carried on.
We lost a lot of people when we were sitting around in the sun waiting.
I think the crowd would have been better if we had started on time, because a lot of people did leave.
There were people arriving around 6.
I was surprised that we did not have more people. It was on a saturday, and i thought i actually promoted it more this year than i did last year. We even spent more on radio advertising this year.
But there were lots of other things going on the same day, and that probably hurt some.

We did have a decent crowd. Id say there were 300 people there in the evening. Lots of kids really liked Remedy Drive. I liked them too. It was good rock and roll.
Not sure they will be back. Last year before they left, they told me they had a great time and wanted to come back. This year they said they had a good time, and didnt mention coming back.
Can hardly blame them after they lost two amps and had damage to a piano. Probably worth several thousand dollars.
Also a local church, Calvary Chapel, lost some equipment because of the generators.
Not sure how that will shake out.
But we probably wont use generators anymore. Maybe we can get electricity put in.
It shouldnt be as hard as it is to get electricity put in. There are just people who are stumbling blocks that keep it from getting done.
Its a long story. Everyone says do it, even the people who could make it happen, but then they dont do whatever it is they need to do.
The electric companies position is that if it is only used once a year, they wouldnt make anything off it, so they dont want to do it.
I believe that if we had electricity there, and a few events, other people would want to have events too.
KACY tried to have an event there.

Anyhoo. We had some good music.
As I wrote in the other post, someone called the cops on us.
I didnt believe the people who told me that there was a cop waiting at the highway.
But there was. He was nice. Just asked us to tone it down.
The generators started making a buzzing sound, and there was a minor power surge. That freaked the band out so they shut the sound down.
So we did quieten down, but not because of the complaint.

What happened next was very cool though.
Remedy Drive guys broke out their acoustic guitars and sat around the stage and played. People gathered at the stage and listened.
They showed what kind of musicians they are. They played hard and sang loud so everyone could hear even without amplification.
It was a very nice ending to a long day that had been full or trials.

There are lots of questions now. Im too tired to think about many of them
What direction will we go in from here?
Location is a concern. We could just do indoor shows. Would be a lot easier, but not as much fun.
We could do several shows through the year instead of one big one.
We could get more into local talent.
I like the idea of bringing in a band, but ... no matter how good they are, if no one has heard of them, they wont come.
Remedy Drive is a band that is taking off. Their cd is on the charts. They have tours booked across the nation. They are going to be touring with the Newsboys - which is one of the biggest christian rock bands there are anywhere.
So we were lucky to have them.
But would people rather come and see local bands.
Im sure if we put together something like .. .Revival, Butler Brothers, and Julie Sutton, we could get a decent crowd.

AND what is our goal? In one sense, my goal is to promote the levee and develop that area. But maybe the music should be the top priority. I think there are people who share my music vision. Thats an interesting choice that Ill have to think about.

There are many people who worked hard. I appreciate all their efforts. Several people also contributed money, about $5,000. Im pretty sure we will break even, unless we get sued to replace damaged equipment.

I suppose it was not the success it was a year ago, but several people have been encouraging me to press on.
I do want to press on. I just want to re-evaluate the direction.
We need to learn from the experience.
Lesson No. 1 is that small generators are probably not a good idea. I still dont understand why they worked so well last year and not this year. They were the same type of generators.

A bigger one might work.
Getting electricity would be a better option.
Moving is also a possibility. Carla Pike, who is one of the biggest supporters, wants to move it to Curry Field and develop that area.
Im not so sure. There are houses around there now.
Lots to think about.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The music is here

We're all set. Hope you all will come out to the music festival today.
This morning around 7 it was cloudy, and i even felt a very slight drizzle.
There is a chance of rain until 9 a.m., but the forecast for the day looks great.
The show is free. Donations are accepted at the festival's table.

The concert is by the levee of the Arkansas River. Its in that big field northeast of the bridge on Summit Street going south.
We are going to have some church groups sing from 2 until 3.
We start the official program at 3.

There will be food and drinks available. There may be some games such as horse shoes, badminton and so forth. I didn't confirm that with the person so I don't really know.
Lots of different styles of music. Should be something for just about anyone's taste.

Here is the schedule
2 area church groups ... praise music
3 Tim Durham............ folksy tunes with humor
4 rafa carmiri.......... classical guitarist, english and spanish
* Tim and Rafa may alternate 30 minute sets.
5 ashley reynolds....... contemporary christian praise tunes
6 geof kimber........... contemporary with an australian flavor
7 julie sutton.......... blues
8 remedy drive.......... indie rock

Come on out.
This isn't your grandmother's gospel music.

Friday, October 3, 2008

City commission, dog, cat license

City meetings, worksession is 5:30 p.m. Monday.. Regular meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday
The city is fixing to pass an ordinance requiring the licensing of dogs and cats. It will cost you $5 for every spayed animal you have, and $10 for those not "fixed."
* Agenda Items.
* Receive presentation from Winfield Mayor Mike Ledy and Assistant City Manager Gary
* Proclaim October 2008 as Spinal Health Month in Arkansas City.
* Review bids and award contract for Chestnut Avenue underpass paving project.
* Consider ordinance amending Chapter 5.08.070 of the Municipal Code clarifying definitions of Contractor and Business licenses.
* Consider ordinance adopting electric franchise with Westar Energy.
* Consider ordinance adopting dog and cat licensing in the City.
* Consider ordinances levying various special assessments for code enforcement activities including weed mowing, junk vehicles, debris removal, and replacement of sidewalks.
* Consider Mayor’s appointments to City Boards. (Voice vote).

the veep debates

I didn't watch the vp debate and from news reports ive read, looks like I didn't miss much.
Im still working on last minute details for the concert.
It does seem that the VP candidates are more important this time around. But the partisan bickering seems to reach to any issue now.
Politicians being politicians, tend to like to distort things, or spin things, in their own way. Here is a link to a story that shows the reality of some of their claims. Both candidates stretched things. Just a little reality check on both.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Music Festival

Less than two days away, Oh My Goodness.
THings are going well for the music festival. We are just tying up loose ends now.
The only thing I really need at this point is people to volunteer to help with parking, directing traffic basically.
THe concert will be from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m., so it isnt likely that people could do the whole thing.
But if you could do an hour or two, and want to, let me know.
Email me at

Come on out and see and hear the music
there will also be good food available.
and we have a tshirt

mayor apologizes

After meeting with the area NAACP president in Wichita last night, Arkansas City Mayor Mell Kuhn issued an apology for his Men In Tights performance on Sunday that some found vulgar and racially insensitive. Check back in the afternoon for a full story.
"It has been brought to my attention how offensive this was and I absolutely agree that it was shortsighted of me not to see that in the first place. I am sincerely sorry and I sincerely apologize for the offensive nature of my actions. This was not CASA, this was of my own volition, and I take full responsibility for my actions. The buck absolutely stops here". - Mayor Mell H. Kuhn

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What the mayor said

Here is the mayor's response.
This is part of the story from today's paper.

Kuhn, in a telephone interviw Wednesday, vigorously defended his actions. He said the name was meant to have the slang meaning. “The connotation was absolutely intentional,” he said.
Was it vulgar or sexist?
“It’s a judgement call people will have to make,” he said. “I don’t think so.”
He also said that he got the idea of the character from the movies, “Norbit” and “Big Mama.” Both are comedies featuring African-American men portraying over-the-top black women.
He said he ran everything he planned by CASA officials, and that the audience found it all hilarious.
“I didn’t spring this on anybody,” he said. “I don’t give a damn what people think. It’s a bunch of b...shit.”
Just the act of cross dressing can be offensive, so his act was within the bounds of the show, Kuhn said. He said he also did a fart joke and made a play on words with a tacit reference to the b-word.
Kuhn said he is not going to apologize for anything. Every decision he makes as mayor upsets somebody because that is the nature of the business.
“All this PC is b...shit,” Kuhn said. “We go around walking on eggshells all the time, we don’t get anything done.”
One of the judges, Marian Hedges, superintendent of Central School District. said she did not detect anything racial in Kuhn’s act. She also said a lot of the names and actions are over the top because of the nature of the event. “I certainly was not offended by any part of it,” Hedges said.
Some people in the audience were upset.
Mary and Phil Jarvis, of Winfield, said they understood the name and the racial element. Their son was with them and was offended, too. they said.
Phil Jarvis said he thought Kuhn was trying to talk like a black person in interviews during the contest. Mary Jarvis, the former CASA director, said she knew what the name meant, and would have not allowed it.
As some readers noted, there is a past tradition of white people appearing in “black face” make up and lampooning black and speaking in a derogatory manner.
Kuhn said it was not “black face,” and that he did not really carry out the character. It turned out to be more of an exotic, gypsy-like women, he said.
“I can’t do a black accent,” he said.
He followed that comment by saying that one of his jokes was to ask whether the contest judges were municipal or federal judges.
Asked whether that was meant to be a racial joke about black crime, he said it was not. He said CASA was part of the court system.