Archive for Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Letters to the editor

December 18, 2002

To the editor:

We want to thank the writers of the letters in last week's Signal for their kind comments about the Community Christmas tree. There really was no one person responsible. There were lots of people who made it happen and we thought it would be good to let everyone know who helped get the job done. Rural Baldwin resident Laura Morford donated the gorgeous tree to the Chamber of Commerce. The workers from the Baldwin City Public Works department cut it down, brought it to town and installed the tree under extremely stressful circumstances (two women trying to tell them what to do).

The Baldwin Community Arts Council volunteered to decorate the tree and asked the citizens of Baldwin to participate by making ornaments. We also asked all the schools in the district to participate in making "wildlife friendly" ornaments and everyone responded with enthusiasm. Under the supervision of the art teachers, Betty Pewtress, Sheryl Drew and Jill Wells, and social worker Laura McCall, we had orange cups with peanut butter & birdseed, apples in nets tied with bright ribbons, pine cones with birdseed, cranberry snowballs, strings of popcorn and cranberries, grapevine wreaths with bittersweet and much more. We were actually surprised at the number of decorations that were made by the students. Laura Morford and I, with the help of every passerby we could lasso, strung the lights & hung the decorations, with the exception those hung by the classes of Kathy Browne & Debbie Wallace from Baldwin Elementary. They hung their own and made a class project and learning experience of the activity.

We also want to thank the Baldwin State Bank, Mid-America Bank, Santa Fe Storage, Santa Fe Market, Baldwin City True Care Pharmacy, the Lodge and the Chamber for providing funds for purchase of the supplies for the children in all the schools for this project. There are many others who assisted in a number of ways and we apologize that we don't have the space here to list everyone. We feel that this is really a community tree and we hope everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoyed the process of getting it done. It was a beautiful sight on Sunday night when Santa and his helpers turned on all the lights!

We think every tree has its own beauty and we'd just like to note here that although last year's tree was a bit smaller than usual, it was quite elegant and quite beautiful. We want to publicly thank those who worked so hard on it last year. Having been poked by a good number of tree needles ourselves this year, we can attest that climbing up and down on a ladder, in the cold, without gloves, and attaching lights and ornaments can be a challenge, and the work done by any and all volunteers is appreciated.

We at the BCAC wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2003.

Sandy Cardens, President

Baldwin Community Arts Council

To the editor,

Thank you so much to Baker University, Susan and John Buehler, and other music department chairs who are responsible for the annual Vespers program. Also thank you to the BU students who participate to make this such a wonderful event.

Vespers is a beautiful program, both musically and visually, held at the Methodist church in Baldwin every year. This special event is available to any one who would like to attend at no cost whatsoever. I thank Baker University for giving the citizens of Baldwin and surrounding communities the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful Christmas program at no cost.

Thank you also for your Art and Lecture Series. Again, more great offerings provided by Baker U. at a very minimal cost. I greatly appreciate your efforts of providing quality events for the Baldwin community.

Peg Wessel

Baldwin City

To the editor:

In regards to the alignment that has been chosen for the new U.S. Highway 59 by KDOT: They have chosen the more expensive route to put in a new freeway 300 feet from the existing 59-highway. This will cost $11 million more than the alternative route which would be one mile east of the existing 59-highway. Also this will displace 33 families and eight businesses!

We would like to give you our comments on this decision. First of all, having to displace any families does not make any sense. But if we must displace families, why not 11 instead of 33. The price tag according to the paper is $11 million more than the alternative which is the alignment one mile east of the existing 59-highway. This $11 million figure to us will not be enough. The property value in Douglas County is quite high and in the year 2005 when KDOT plans to start buying property, they will be paying a lot more than anticipated. Since we are taxpayers, we do not want our taxes raised for this project when the cheaper route would have been more practical. The article in the Lawrence Journal-World stated that KDOT thought the new 59-highway a mile to the east would not be used. To this day, we have not seen a freeway that has been abandoned and not used. People will go to the new freeway to use it.

Also, we cannot believe the government, both state and federal, saying they are short of funds and need more money, that KDOT would even consider the route that is more expensive. With the shortage of funds that both state and federal governments are experiencing, wouldn't the $11 million be better utilized toward our public services and education?

We are asking that you please write your federal and state representatives to look into this matter and reconsider the decision that was made by KDOT and choose the 59-highway one mile east of the existing 59-highway.

Jerry and Diane Krysztof

Baldwin City

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