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

03 December 2007

Flint Hills Regional Growth Plan

Our show on 29 November looked at the Flint Hills Regional Growth Plan (FHRGP). The purpose of the FHRGP is to look at the impact the expansion of Ft. Riley will have on the area as it adds over 9,000 active personnel and nearly 2,000 new civilian positions to the Fort's existing infrastructure

The report looks at a broad array of topics concerning the quality of life in the region: public safety, housing, environmental impact, transportation, child care, health care, the economy, social services, etc. You can download a copy of the Executive Summary or the Draft Report at City of Manhattan Website:


Click on the link entitled: Learn More About the Flint Hills Regional Growth Plan

Weekly Radio Spin

On this show we also heard "Weekly Radio Spin," by the Center for Media and Democracy. This program is an audio report on the stories behind the news. In addition to Media Minute by Free Press, I am considering it as a regular feature to the Spring line-up for the show. Your comments are most appreciated.

City should fire Dial and change direction
By Christopher E. Renner
An edited version of this opinion column appeared in the 2 December 2007 Manhattan Mercury.

Dear Editor:
Since work prevents me from being able to attend the Planning Board meeting Monday, I want to publicly express my opinion of the Dial Reality’s modified proposal for our downtown: it's wrong, wrong, wrong! It is time the City fired Dial; admit that we have gone in the wrong direction; and, start over before we have a suburban mall in a urban setting, totally destroying our downtown.

Since beginning in 2006 I have hosted numerous programs on downtown redevelopment on Community Bridge, the talk show I host each Thursday on KSDB 91.9 FM. In preparing for these shows I have done a fair share of research on the subject and what I keep finding is that we have made and continue to make mistakes in our redevelopment plan. Every other downtown redevelopment project I have studied for comparable communities in population size and economic base have begun their redevelopment by forming a not-for-profit corporation to carry out the redevelopment project. This entity has worked closely with the local stakeholders and has enjoyed broad community support. Those who gave their downtowns to a private corporation, as we have, encountered the same problems we are facing that ended in lawsuits, abandoned projects and deep community divisions. Is this the future we want for Manhattan?

Some years ago, when I attended public meetings in which we discussed what we wanted for our downtown redevelopment, common themes emerged: people friendly, diverse, interconnected to the existing grid of roads and neighborhoods, supportive of locally own businesses, and a “destination” where we could enjoy a broad array of restaurants (not just a bunch of fast food outlets), the arts, and venues for cultural events. Where in the current proposal from Dial are those themes? They are not present because we have the wrong people in charge of our downtown redevelopment. What we are getting is asphalt and sprawl, not a cohesive area that will provide a stimulus for economic development.

Research repeatedly shows: in order to have a viable downtown requires having people live in the downtown area which has a broad array of shops and services that are able to turn a profit. Apparently Dial doesn’t read the same research that I have, but why should they? They have consistently demonstrated they do not want the same downtown that most of us who were part of the planning process wanted and still want. Have their executives even been to downtown Lawrence, Lincoln, Austin or Iowa City? Or Wichita’s Old Town for that matter where new development fits with the existing structures? None of these communities have suburban malls in their downtowns and neither should we! Manhattanites deserves a place where we can walk along streets lined with shops, restaurants, and sidewalk cafes that gives our community a place to call “home.”

As a community, we cannot afford to allow the redevelopment of our downtown to end in failure. Moreover, we cannot afford to put locally owned businesses out of business. Their investment in our community far out-strips anything a big box store will contribute. So why aren’t local businesses being encouraged to relocate to this area instead of bringing in national chain stores? Because Dial doesn’t know our community.

It is time that we took back our community and its future from Dial before we get an unsustainable city center, which is full of empty buildings in ten years. My plea to the Planning Board is to reject Dial’s proposal and give them the following directions: either they return to our original concept of an interconnected block-grid structured area with lots of housing options and parking garages instead of acres of asphalt, or it is time they admit they cannot deliver what was promised and we as a community begin working on our future by starting with a not-for-profit corporate to take over and correct the mistakes Dial has made; take back the land and sell it to local businesses making our downtown redevelopment right before any more time is lost.

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