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.