Leaked: The Internet must go!

Hey! Are you on the internet right now? Of course you are! Then you should definitely check out this amazing video about what the internet companies are planning. This move could hurt both consumers and content creators--but of course would be a huge windfall for internet providers.

How weathly are Americans?

The disparity in wealth between the richest one percent of Americans and the bottom 80 percent has grown exponentially over the last thirty years — but the video, posted by user politizane and relying on data from a popular Mother Jones post, focuses on the difference between the ideal disparity that Americans would like to see and the reality.

Tax the Rich

So long! It's been fun.

Dear listeners,

In July 2011 I started a new job teaching Italian at Kansas State University. In some ways this was a return to my roots, as I taught English as a Foreign Language for 17 years in Italy. Now I am teaching English speakers Italian. I've come full circle.

This coming full circle also means the end of an attempt on my part to start a new career in my 50s. Sadly, as much as I tried to bring community radio to Manhattan, I was not successful. So I have decided to dedicate my energy and time to my first love, being an educator.

The archive of my shows will remain active - there's a lot of great content in the shows. So I hope you continue to listen and enjoy them.

Once again thank you for your support and encouragement over the five years the show was on the air. I know many feel that my program needs to be on the air and I agree with you that a diversity of voices is sorely lacking in the local media. But alas, it is not I who will bring that diversity. It will have to be someone else.

Christopher E. Renner

16 October 2007

Downtown Redevelopment

Dial Corporation has requested major changes to the agreed upon plan for the Manhattan PUD. The following is an explanation from the Manhattan/Riley Country Preservation Alliance, who were represented by Michael Mecseri and Jane Hill on our 6 September show.

From the Manhattan/Riley County Preservation Alliance Emergency Board Meeting:

Explanation

Dial Corp announced On August 21 that it was going to request a major change to the Planned Unit Development at the north end of the downtown to accommodate a new 100,000 square foot HyVee grocery store with a liquor store and drive through coffee chain.

This change in the PUD would do the following:
1. Move or demolish the historic Strasser House
2. Eliminate nearly all of the planning housing units that would have been built on 4th street between Osage and Moro
3. Force the owners of the homes in the Ward 2 residential district to face a two block screening wall, behind which all of the trash receptacles, air conditioning units, loading docks, and temporary storage containers would be located.

The Process

Because this is such a major change in the PUD, Dial is obligated to go to the Planning board for permission to build this new store. The planning board will meet on October 1 to hear Dial’s arguments and to hear public imput into the request.
The City commission will hear the same arguments on October 16th at its regular legislative session. THE PLANNING BOARD IS THE KEY GATEWAY TO STOPPING THIS CHANGE IN THE PUD.

If the planning board votes NO, it will take 4 commissioners to overturn it.
If the planning board votes YES, it will take only 2 commissioners to sustain it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why has Dial been allowed to make all these changes anyway? What happened to the plan we were shown at the start??

Unfortunately, when the original development agreements were signed between the city and Dial, the city forfeited its interest in determining who the future designers and tenants would ultimately be. This was in exchange for not having to put any money up front for the development, thereby lowering the city’s financial ‘risk.’ This was done by an earlier commission and does not represent the work of the present one. A copy of the Development Agreement is available for you to look at.

2. What about the Design Guidelines created by the citizen steering committee?

The Final development agreement and PUD has design guidelines in it, but again, the city was not insistent on making these guidelines mandatory—so legally Dial is not bound to follow them—and they have chosen not to. Pointing out Dial’s failure to adhere to the guidelines however is a good tactic in discrediting this latest change to the PUD.

3. Isn’t the Strasser House protected by the National Register or an agreement?

Yes and no. The City of Manhattan and the State Historic Preservation Officer signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the conclusion of a review of the historic buildings in the north end redevelopment area. The MOU is the end result of a negotiation that allowed Dial to tear down several OTHER historic buildings, with the understanding that they would not touch the Strasser house and would integrate it into the design.That, unfortunately has not been honored. THE CITY CAN CHOOSE NOT TO HONOR THE MOU. BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY TELL THE COMMISSIONERS THAT YOU EXPECT THEM TO HONOR IT.

4. If Dial is turned down, won’t that affect the whole project and the South End Redevelopment?

Actually, what will happen is anyone’s guess. And speculation at this point is pretty wild. We simply don’t know what Dial will do. We know that there was plenty of interest by other retailers but Dial didn’t like their terms. Perhaps this will push them to find better tenants, perhaps they will choose to leave the development undone for a period of time. Perhaps they will sue the city, perhaps a meteor will hit their Omaha offices. The fact is, in spite of lots of opinions floating around, we don’t actually know what will happen. What we DO KNOW is what WILL happen if we allow this change to the PUD to take place. If Dial doesn’t make its tenant percentages, the city will likely have to put up some money to keep the project going, BUT that will also give the city more imput into the design and the tenants. LET YOUR COMMISSIONERS KNOW THAT THIS IS A MORE ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THIS PUD CHANGE. That will go a long way to helping them uphold the current plan.

For more information on the Alliance, visit their website at:
http://www.preservemanhattan.org/

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