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Posted: 06 May 2014 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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“Deteriorate”?  They yanked the lights without fixing or replacing them.  That’s a pretty proactive form of deterioration.

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Posted: 07 May 2014 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Larry:  Clearly we have a number of competing interests.  Parks and Recreation encompass everything from Animal Control to the Zoo.  They even run a day care center at the Zoo.  The band, arts in the park all of it is under Parks and Recreation.  The idea is to get best value out of the funding and facilities.

We just had a citizens group make a huge effort to spend 50 million on a field house.  A significant number of citizens were involved in that process.  The want basketball courts, you folks have continued to state that the commission should listen to the public.  A number of folks in the public want basketball courts.  It is also true that a number of folks want to keep the stage.  Stage use is minimal.  The Parks and Recreation Board and our recent joint meeting all saw the stage as less useful than more basketball courts.  So we have two groups of citizens that have provided input on the projects at hand. 

The stage fell into disrepair because nobody cared about the stage until it was voted to remove it.  It is that simple.  The blame cannot be placed on Parks and Recreation.  They do not set the agenda for spending.  That is the responsibility of the City Manager and all of the City Commissions from 1955 on.  The citizens also are responsible, if they actually cared about the stage, they might have said something earlier.  The commission can spend 2 million to fix the stage.  I believe in the grand scheme of things that fixing a stage that nobody cared about for many years is not best value.  We have sufficient numbers of stages in the city.  We have two veterans’ memorials in front of the Court House.  We have Peace Memorial Auditorium dedicated to those patriotic citizens who sacrificed their lives so that American Democracy might be preserved.  We do not have a WWII memorial. 

Bottom line is what is the consensus of the population?  Hard to determine without putting the stage on the ballot, which I do not think will happen.  So that means the Commission will determine the outcome.  The options are narrow, build offices in front of City Hall and keep the stage as is – with maybe a plan for private donations.  Tear the stage out and build the basketball courts in support of the Fieldhouse plan for more sports facilities.  Third build the offices and devote some money to AC and the Roof so that the one basketball court can be better used and allow private donations to improve the thespian aspects of the stage.  The AC would also support the stage use in summer.  I think one of those three options will be the final plan depending upon the pleasure of the Commission.  I voted three times to remove the stage as I believe that is best value.  But will support any of the three options as they move us toward attainment of the City Commission Goals for 2014. 

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Posted: 07 May 2014 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Actually, Wynn, the only people who spoke, spoke in favor of keeping the stage.  Those are the majority.  YOU are the one spewing “propaganda and falsehoods”.  You see?

You’ve resorted to hiding behind the same postings you were promoting when you ignored the facts and the citizens for your own agenda, back during the “determination” process.  People have spoken volumes, it’s YOU who refuses to listen.

Who tore out the lighting, Wynn, in 2012, without replacements or repairs?  Who made that call?

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Posted: 07 May 2014 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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“We just had a citizens group make a huge effort to spend 50 million on a field house.  A significant number of citizens were involved in that process.  The want basketball courts, you folks have continued to state that the commission should listen to the public.  A number of folks in the public want basketball courts.  It is also true that a number of folks want to keep the stage.  Stage use is minimal.  The Parks and Recreation Board and our recent joint meeting all saw the stage as less useful than more basketball courts.  So we have two groups of citizens that have provided input on the projects at hand.”

Your “citizens group” spoke to the Commission, trying to get them to buy in on spending $250 million for new sports venues.  How many of those who spoke actually live in Manhattan.  Yes, the chairperson lives on the hill in the far NW corner of Manhattan.  You had folks from Wamego, the Tuttle Creek Area, etc. wanting us to spend money constructing and supporting the new facilities.  I understand that significant “money and social equity” is present in your Fieldhouse Group.  Should that money trump the wishes of what citizens buildt as a living memorial to those who fought for our Country?  You suggest the stage only had three uses, while the perception is that the basketball courts will see much more use.  Ummm… How many times would the auditorium have been utilized had it not been allowed to fall into disrepair?  How many times would the auditorium have been used had there been air conditioning, lighting, and seats that weren’t broken/removed?  You “guesstimates” as to there being more demand for basketball courts than the auditorium are just that!!!  And… I understand that athletics trumps everything, anymore.  Little Johnny MUST play on a traveling team so mom and pop can brag at the next Chamber After-Hours social event.  It’s not nearly as ego enhancing to brag about Johnny’s participation in a musical presentation, drama, or the such.

It almost sounds like a deal has been struck, behind closed doors.  It’s beginning to sound as if building these two basketball courts will placate the Fieldhouse Group and they will go away.  They won’t!!!  There is too much money and social status to accept defeat.  Here’s how it will play out.  You Commissioners will look at the political and social reward of working with the Fieldhouse Group and driving the basketball courts.  As soon as the first nail is bent in construction of those courts, your Fieldhouse cronies will be harping to put the $250 million they want on a ballot referendum.  Their idea will continue to erect a new structure at CiCo and include basketball courts there.  So… in the end… it WILL be all about athletics.  They will get their courts at City Hall and still get the chance to build more if their ballot referendum passes.  Their only fear right now is the fact that the votes would be cast by only those living in the City Limits.  We who do, understand the escalating cost of living here.  Those who live in Wamego, Timber Creek, Tuttle Creek Area, etC understand… but take it for granted that wi will grace them with what they want.

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Posted: 07 May 2014 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Randall Baughman - 07 May 2014 11:03 AM

Who tore out the lighting, Wynn, in 2012, without replacements or repairs?  Who made that call?

I’d like to know this, too. Were replacements just “delayed” knowing certain people wanted to get rid of the stage?

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Posted: 07 May 2014 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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I have no idea when and why the lights where torn out of the stage.  I doubt that anyone had a long range plan to systematically destroy the stage.  The fact that it deteriorated is because it was not used and apparently nobody cared about the thing.  Randal, you mention that the only folks that spoke at the Commission were in favor the stage, and that is correct on the evening that you mention.  The Parks and Recreation Board were at a different meeting.  But the fact that a few folks speak at a meeting about a topic does not make them the majority in the city, just the majority in the room.  I understand the issues as presented by the group that wishes to save the stage.  It is pretty simply they say it is a WWII memorial, that it is historic and that if we build it they will come.  The other side of the argument is that it was never a WWII memorial (read the plaque), that if you built it, they will not come - which is the track record and the historic value of a living memorial will be enhanced by giving the kids a second basketball court.  The arguments are simple.  I already posted the options available and the possible outcomes.  It remains to be seen how the Commission votes as it will take three votes to do anything.  One of the options will be adopted.  All of them achieve the goal of the P&R office space and staff reduction, so that is going to be a win no matter what happens.  The issue of expanded gym space for the kids will be a win if the stage is removed, indirectly supporting the field house effort.  If it stays, then the kids will have one less gym and maybe somebody can convince them to become thespians.  As for WWII memorials, whatever happens the plaque is the plaque - the building is the memorial and it is not dedicated to WWII veterans.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Thespians instead of basketball players?  Kids need convincing to be one of those, do they?  The stage is part of the memorial’s designed usage.  Try as you might, you can’t change that fact.  The destruction of the stage was begun when they yanked the lighting system without repairing or replacing it.  It would be nice to know who did that.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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All of you may want to check with Hutchinson. They had a similar building, the old convention hall which is much larger than the auditorium here. Hardly anyone used it, but some years ago, it was renovated and is now a very lively place. Of course, Hutchinson, as we all know, is a much more progressive city.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Would also be interesting to know who “ripped out” the lighting, what was removed, and where did it go.  Was copper wire removed with the lighting?  Was it sold for salvage?  Was all that was removed hauled to the landfill?  Was it reused in some other location owned by the City?  Inquiring minds….......

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Posted: 08 May 2014 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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No, Larry, there’s a lighting system that hangs on a central bar.  The lights are adjustable and movable, attached to the bar with bolt-clamps.  As I read the article, the “city” yanked those lights with no explanation and, apparently, for no reason other than to eliminate a basic level of function for the stage.  The better to claim “disrepair”.

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Posted: 08 May 2014 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Just to add to my previous message. The (now) Memorial Auditorium, formerly the Hutchinson Convention Hall, a little older than ours, seats over 4,000 and is now paying its own way. This, combined with the fact that Hutchinson has never been a magnet for the arts, makes me wonder what they did to turn this old relic into a viable venue for big acts.
It is booked for big concerts, art shows and the like. How did Hutchinson do this and we can’t…with a much smaller building to fix up?

By the way, according to the census, Hutchinson is smaller than Manhattan.

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Posted: 09 May 2014 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Yes, the Memorial Auditorium in Hutchinson was beautifully renovated and is a wonderful facility.  Hutchinson also has a well-funded and thriving public transit system and a wonderful permanent year-round space for it’s farmer’s market.

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Posted: 09 May 2014 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Damned hippies!  Now why would anyone go to a farmer’s market when Hyvee is the ANCHOR of our “downtown developement”?  Where’s the loyalty?  Where’s the PATRIOTISM?

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Posted: 09 May 2014 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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One does not usually think of hippies when thinking about Hutchinson…right, Michael?

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Posted: 09 May 2014 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Gotta be a commie hotbed.  The tea party needs an armed presence there to Take Hutch Back!

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