Archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Letters to the editor

November 29, 2006

Change and progress differ

To the editor:

It's been two months since I moved to Lawrence and, lo and behold, the changes that have occurred in Tonganoxie.

The Phillips 66 closed, Mr. Lenahan closed his store (who would have believed), and the talk about widening County Road 1 and cutting through farmland became another issue in which people could take sides.

I lived north on County Road 31 -- now called 219th street -- and had my woods, and I fought to keep the road unpaved because now that I had my homestead I didn't want it crowded by other homesteads.

But in 25 years people moved in next to me and around me and sang the same song that I did, "Don't want anymore people moving in and ruining the woods and grass." But change came anyway, with lots of new houses. Can't stop change, but you shouldn't confuse change with progress.

And that is what the argument about the County Road 1 is all about. In the 1770s, our fellow citizens were enraged when their representative, the king in this case, wouldn't listen to their petition for redress. They might have been saying, "You think you're representing me, but you ain't." Lots of people signed a petition in Tonganoxie, and it seems that the representatives shouldn't be worrying about the legalities of voting.

Put the issue before the voters. They'll do the right thing.

Raoul Berman,


Support for skate, bike park

To the editor:

Some of you have heard about the recent interest in building a skate/bike park in Tonganoxie. I want everyone to know about it. A small group of parents, young adult bikers and skaters, and numerous kids are in the beginning stages of becoming organized to make this a reality. We have been meeting in the Tonganoxie City Library at 7 p.m. every Thursday, and will continue to do so until we get-er-done. We would like for everyone who has an interest in this to attend and help us make this happen.

An update of our progress and accomplishments so far are: The city of Tonganoxie and the Tonganoxie Recreation Commis-sion are teaming together to support the skate/bike park.

The city has a few proposed ideas and land sites. Plan A is to put the skate/bike park with the new pool plans, which will be put to a vote in the spring of 2007. If the new pool plan with the skate/bike park attached fails to pass, the skate/bike park will not die with the pool. Plan B for the skate/bike park is a different site, not yet determined. That plan will continue with the support of our group and the support of our community. Our part in this is to try to generate enough funds to complete the concrete floor of the park. As we get organized, you will see us out and about, trying to collect funding for this project by asking for donations or sponsoring a yard or more of concrete. We will need everyone who is interested -- skaters, bikers, parents, grandparents, businesses -- to become involved in some way. This will take some effort, so we need to pull together. We will also try to get grant funding that is available for these kinds of parks. Check out the Tony Hawk Foundation at

I strongly believe that this is a good thing for the youth of our community. This park can be used 365 days a year, weather permitting. It provides a safe place for those who enjoy this type of activity. Safety is an issue and every part of the building and construction of this park will be done by professionals.

I encourage the youth of this town, who want this skate/bike park, to write letters to the editor and let the community know how much you want this.

Jan Jones,


'Wake-up call' to council

To the editor:

Once again, our city government has failed to listen to the people. What started out to be a simple hearing, with a judge saying yes or now, on the people's petition, now the city has filed a lawsuit. They will use our city money. How much will it cost? They will need to pay for 354 summonses. Then there is a cost to have them served. Plus, there's the cost of going to court.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

If our petition is overturned, what is next? Will the city file a lawsuit every time a resident comes to them with one?

When will they stop and listen to those who have put them in office.

The residents have made it clear: No city money for County Road 1 and the turnpike interchange. The council members who do not have blinders on, we thank you.

The county commissioners, at their Nov. 17 meeting, said they could not count on the city of Tonganoxie for any money. Will the city government wake up? I doubt it.

The few who would benefit from the turnpike interchange is just that -- a few. Our council needs to stop, listen and work with the people, not against them. Those who were voted in can be recalled or voted out.

This is a wake-up call to the council.

Gene Heskett,


Serve the people

To the editor:

It is sad and very frightening that here, in Tonganoxie USA, citizens who petition their government are being sued by that government.

Have we allowed our democracy to erode that much? What will we lose next, the write of habeas corpus, trial by jury? It could happen. We can already lose our property to eminent domain.

I learned in my high school American history class that this nation was founded on a simple principle, government of the people, by the people, for the people. Rather than researching legal ways to stomp on citizens' rights, Mr. Yanez and company, you would do well to review your early American history. Give extra attention to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and in particular, the 14th Amendment.

Come back to reality. You are here to serve the majority of the people, not special interest.

Karen Kellogg,


Disappointed with city government

To the editor:

Is the city sending the citizens a message? We do not dare voice our opinions or sign a petition for fear of reprisal or a lawsuit?

What has happened to government of the people, by the people and for the people? Do we not have any say as to how our tax money is spent?

Are we becoming a dictatorship government?

Why do some of our council members fear a vote by the people?

I, for one, am disappointed with our city government that they think so little of the city residents and don't believe we should have any input into our city government.

Robert Nickle,


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