The Weed Museum
Posted: 12 December 2012 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Have seen a couple television commercials for the Weed Museum.  Wow!  It’s so impressive to see some kid read a script saying they learn so much from watching grass grow.  Man!  That commercial makes me want to drop what I’m doing and run right over there to make certain I can properly identify the weeds in our front yard!!!!

We’ve spent tens of millions of dollars on this facility.  A year into its operation, the manager… I know, there’s some more professionally correct title… is gone.  The State will make us keep this place open, no matter the cost.  The current City Commission will not subsidize the DC… rightfully so.  The next Commission may have a less fiscally responsible bent and begin dumping bunches of dollars into the DC. 

2013 will tell a lot.  The first year of operation saw the curious spend dollars to go there… once.  Will they return in 2013?  Will the lame television commercials entice folks to drive to Manhattan to watch grass grow?  Will the DC change marketing firms and attempt to develop a more exciting campaign to motiviate potential visitors?  Will the additional hotel facilities in the immediate area bring visitors to the DC?

What is the prognostication of the Mercury Board readers/posters as to the future of the Weed Museum????

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Posted: 12 December 2012 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My guess is that our local yokels will convince neighboring counties/cities to pony up for the multi-million dollar visitors building at the intersection of I-70 and 177. There we will find a new way finder on top of 50 yards of concrete that points to the weed museum and an ad that tells about the “remolded” train depot that looks similar to what used to be there years ago. You can access it all from a million dollar tunnel all of which is brought to you by “I can spend your money too”.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yep!  The “visitors center” has been a pipe dream of the Chamber airheads for years.  The location is not even in Riley County.  Therefore, not a single cent of sales tax from merchandise sales, etc. will be seen by Manhattanites.  The Chamber seems to be on a binge of hiring relatives of current staff, so would probably see someone’s cousin, uncle, or sister-in-law be hired to manage the Center.  The current Commission is joined at the hip with the Chamber.  Matta is the Mayor ProTem and is also a member of the Junction City Chamber.  With the Visitors Center being located in Geary County, he’ll side with the local Chamber and find a good reason to divert social service funds to the construction of the Center.

We’ll probably get a sermon, shortly, on why a Visitors Center located at I-70 and 177 if “vital” to Manhattan while social service programs are not.  We’ll cut professional journal subscriptions and staff travel to conferences from the City budget, but put in ten times the dollars for construction of a Visitors Center… because the Chamber wants it.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I can’t see an I-70 Visitors Center taking priority over the top five SSAB agencies.  I think that the only way a visitor’s center on I-70 would take hold is if some entrepreneur raises the capital (not tax dollars) and can figure out a way to make a profit.  We should however still cut fluff from the budget like excess travel.  And yes I am still getting magazines I do not want or read.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here is another magazine. . .
Well if getting priorities in order was really an issue then why not move the “way finder” monies over where it would do some good? That thing is nothing but a monument of Manhattan’s foolishness and abilities to waste money that would be better spent on, well let’s say SSAB. Anything would be better than a monstrosity located there. From what I read (skimmed through) the past couple of nights in the paper there is plenty of money heading to the tax bracket. I give you bike trails for instance. Who is paying for the signs? The city would not even help with signage for the ATA. Who pays for the road markings? Please do not tell me my tag taxes on my registrations of my vehicles. My understanding is that the money is supposed to be used for signage and roads for vehicle use and pedestrian safety, you know things for cars and trucks.

I as a tax payer and property owner paid for the sidewalk in my yard. I only use it to scoop snow, trim grass on the edges and fix so the city sidewalk guard does not paint it for repairs. If bicycles want to ride the wrong way on a street and have special treatment and traffic ways then register them and let the users pay for it just as registrations do for vehicles. One vehicle registration does not allow for the second to be free either so don’t tell me the registration allows for free bicycles use and signs, markings and so on.

While your busy with that let’s start writing tickets if they do not have proper lighting, helmets, seatbelts along with remote controlled seat ejectors controlled by motorists that drive by. You know like a garage opener, I honk and they are ejected off the road (that ejector part was just put in there as a funny). Nonetheless it’s time all entities pay their way when it comes to the use of tax dollars and when that use impacts the existing conditions let them pay for it.

As for the building out by I-70 then why are there already cost numbers going around? Mom says “Well Little Johnny that’s called planning”, something that is rarely done by government entities using tax payer’s money.

Once that is all done I want signage and markings on the run way at the airport so I can drive down it when I take a notion. Society seems to think a 200 lb bike needs on a 2000 lb vehicle road so let’s get apples and apples. Let’s all be dumb.

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Posted: 13 December 2012 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Wynn… you’ve certainly learned how to speak like a true politician!!  “... taking priority over the top five SSAB…”  There are at least 10 social service programs currently receiving money from the SSAB funds.  Depending on the growth of our community and the local economy, more could apply with a need.  But, I guess you are saying that only five “deserve” funding over a Chamber project.  Only five social programs are “vital” to the City… and the Chamber’s pipe dream out at I-70 is more vital than numbers 6 through 10!!??!!  We know, Wynn!  You, Loren, and Rich are all loyal Chamber disciples and will do you best to not aggravate nor deny them.  It is refreshing, however, to see you still think five social service programs take precedence over a visitors center that would not have benefit to a single one of the less fortuante in our community.

Dave… you are fighting a losing battle.  You make good sense, in that the bike lanes should be paid for by other than the taxpayer.  We will rile Director Schoen of RCPD, since he is an avid bicyleist/bicyclier/bicycler… Sheesh!... Whatever it is they like to be referred to as.  The City of Manhattan has dire traffic issues.  We have grown quickly and vehicular traffic has increased with that growth.  Becoming a regional shopping hub has seen increased traffic on Manhattan street.  I still firmly believe that if we take a section of already crowded roadways and designate a portion of that roadway for bicycle traffic, we will see injury after injury.  There are still many of those who ride bicycles that do NOT obey the same traffic rules as is required of autos.  I would have no problem with requiring a registration of bicycles in Manhattan with an annual cost.  That revenue stream would go towards the construction of bike trails, outside the curb areas of streets.  Widen sidewalks and designate a portion of those for bicycle traffic.  Keep them off the overcrowded City streets.

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Posted: 13 December 2012 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I am not sure what will be determined on the way finder issue.  It included many directional signs in several locations.  The concept was put in place a few years ago.  The traffic circle pedestal is just a part of it.  Nothing has been determined yet.  The City did put up nice purple bicycle friendly signs.  Those signs were not something the Commission voted on.  I have ask the City Manager to help with the Senior Center Signs, as the purple bike signs where put up under his authority the same could happen at the Senior Center.  We have a bike master plan and some funds will be allocated for that purpose.  The hype on the high sales tax receipts may be a bit over blown.  We do not have a trend yet.  What we do have is a 6 figure bill of the MPO for both 2014 and 2015, which will eat up much of the tax gain.  We do need to sort out what projects will be funded and supported by the recently passed ½ cent city sales tax.  We have more projects than money.  The Law Board can take up the issue of bicycle traffic law enforcement.  I am not sure we have fully discussed the ramification of a bike license, might be an interesting topic for one of the City work/brain storming sessions.  I wonder if the Bicycle Advisory Board would support bike tags?  Should they be City or is this a County Issue?

As for SSAB my position is that we can in fact maybe support 5 agencies, not ten or more.  I have been saying that we can support five and that should be the ceiling, the rest is private donations.  As for the Chamber/eco devo, the ½ cent sales tax vote included some funds for that purpose.  How much is still to be determined.  I did not say that the 1-70 visitors center was more important than 6-10 on the SSAB list. In fact the 1-70 project might be dead last on my priority list, just below funding more than 5 SSAB agencies.   

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