Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Letters to the editor

December 11, 2002

To the editor:

Five years ago I decided to locate my new store in Baldwin City rather than in Lawrence, Ottawa, or other towns in this area. Like other company owners who've moved or opened in recent years, I chose Baldwin City for a variety of reasons. We all looked at the same economic data about the town's size, location, demographics, business environment, and whether our business would "fill a niche" in Baldwin City's economic structure. The deciding factor for many of us, however, was not the business data; it was the people of Baldwin City.

Before moving here, I spent a few days visiting with different local people about opening a store here. Before risking the little savings I had, I needed to know whether a store such as I contemplated would be supported by the local community. I was assured that it would. My business has grown slowly, but steadily, and last week I sent in my largest sales tax check ever to the Department of Revenue gladly!

We small business owners all believe in "giving back" to the community. We respond almost daily to the many, many requests for donations to support Kindergarten through High School events, Baker activities, civic and social clubs, and by participating in community events. I am grateful to the Baldwin community for its support of Discoveries and cherish the many customers who have become good friends. Everyone benefits when the community supports its local businesses and vice versa!

However, I am very concerned about two national trends that also impact small business owners in Baldwin: 1) citizens in smaller towns are making purchases in nearby large cities rather than in hometown stores, and 2) persons everywhere are making purchases on-line via computer. As these two trends continue, small local businesses will be forced to quit and the economic and social structure of our town will suffer. There will always be certain items that can only be purchased at big city stores. However, I urge my friends in Baldwin City to be aware of and support the many fine locally owned businesses.

Sally Nixon, Discoveries

Baldwin City

To the editor:

Congratulations to the person responsible for the beautiful Christmas tree downtown. It was very pretty even without any decorations. It is definitely not a "Charlie Brown" tree.

I am sure there are farmers who would let the "city" cut a cedar tree for free if asked. They make a great Christmas tree. That's what we always had.

Henrietta Schoepflin

Baldwin City

To the editor:

We're writing to ask for help from friends and other taxpayers regarding the choice that was recently made regarding the new four-lane U.S. Highway 59-freeway location. The federal government and KDOT have announced their latest "preferred alignment" for this new four-lane freeway that will be 300 feet east of the existing 59-highway. The existing 59-highway will remain in its present form and in no way be a part of the new four-lane freeway.

Visually imagine, today, traveling from Lawrence to Ottawa on the existing 59-highway and seeing on the east side all the people's homes, their outbuilding, the watershed lakes and fields all bulldozed away and four more lanes of asphalt in their place. This latest freeway choice demolishes 33 plus homes and will cost us taxpayers, at least, 11 million dollars more than the other freeway alignment. We must act now by contacting KDOT, or any of our political representatives. Don't think this doesn't affect you! The taxes we pay for fuel tax, sales tax, property tax and state and federal income tax will be used to pay for this mistake. With our current state financial problems, how could anybody, including our legislatures and new governor, justify spending 11 million dollars more for this latest "preferred alignment" while we slash our education and social services budgets again and again.

As taxpayers we entrust with unspoken representation our government, including our highway officials, to protect us from excessive expenditures. The integrity of the highway department, both state and federal, stand in question to all those in the silent majority who expect their families security and their hard earned dollar to be protected. We personally stand in shock and absolute disappointment with this latest alignment choice and will attempt to reverse it. We hope, as taxpayers, many others will also contact them immediately or prepare to see our tax base increase and our state services decline.

Steve and Lori Krysztof

Baldwin City

To the editor:

Who says prayers aren't answered? Charlie Brown got to keep his tree and Baldwin got a real nice one. School children did a great job making the decorations. The decorations were made for birds to feed on. People who didn't come downtown for the parade and visit the different places, missed out on an enjoyable evening. The parade was bigger and so was the crowd. Who knows, maybe in a few years it will grow like the Maple Leaf. It was simply a great evening. Just remember that if you didn't ask for the impossible, prayer never hurts. All have a great Christmas and a very safe one.

Phyllis Hobson

Baldwin City

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