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Posts Tagged ‘David Lindstrom’

Suburban Kansas Dream: Museum of Suburbia

Plan for Exhibits on Bowling, Lawn Furniture Inspires Neighborhood Spat; Faux Fence  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443493304578038920747409686.html?KEYWORDS=kansas+museum

By JIM CARLTON   October 10, 2012  Wall Street Journal  (NY, NY)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.—More than half of America lives in the suburbs. The others, too, will be able to savor suburbia by coming to this Kansas City, Mo., suburb if local planners have their way.

Museum officials in Johnson County, Kan., propose spending $34 million to create the National Museum of Suburbia, a faux suburb where visitors could wander through a model ranch-style home, wonder at an exhibit of lawn furniture and topple pins on a re-created bowling lane.

Among envisioned exhibits, to be built inside a cavernous former bowling alley and skating rink: a backyard fence with peepholes that let museum visitors spy on fake suburban neighbors played by actors in period suburban clothing.

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The planned National Museum on Suburbia will feature artifacts of suburban life, including this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

“There’s a museum for barbed wire and a museum of light bulbs,” says Larry Meeker, president of the Johnson County Museum Foundation Board, which is pushing the suburb museum, so why not a national museum for suburbia?

“We thought, ‘Why hasn’t someone else thought of that?’ ” he says.

Some locals think they know why not. “I just don’t think it’s a big turn-on to see something you can see every day,” says Steve Rose, a Johnson County publisher of community newspapers and magazines who opposes the museum. “It’s not like you’re visiting ancient Rome.”

Indeed, there is plenty of real suburb in these parts already. Johnson County began turning farmland into subdivisions after World War II, and Overland Park gained national attention in 2009 as home to a suburban housewife on the Showtime series “United States of Tara.”

The suburbia museum’s backers cite a 2010 feasibility study that projects it could draw 60,000 annual visitors paying up to $6 each. The study didn’t assess where visitors would come from, but museum believers say they expect tourists and residents from the nearby metropolis.

[image] Jim Carlton/The Wall Street JournalEmily Finley and her children enjoy the fishing hole exhibit at a section on suburbia in the Johnson County Museum.

 

“We want to be one of the local places that Kansas Citians tell visitors: ‘This is a place you’ve got to see,’ ” says Mindi Love, executive director of the Johnson County Museum.

All there is to see just now of the National Museum of Suburbia is a 70,000-square-foot abandoned hulk of a building that once housed King Louie West, a 53-year-old bowling alley that later added a skating rink. Graffiti mars some windows and weeds grow up through the parking lot on the six-acre complex, which closed in 2009.

The Johnson County commissioners paid $2 million for the property in November 2011. After evicting a family of raccoons, they are committing another $1.6 million to clear asbestos and make it fit for humans. County engineers expect that work to begin by year’s end.

County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert says the county bought the property for half of what it was marketed for two years earlier. It plans to relocate its current county museum there and potentially other county offices, and maybe even use the parking lot as a transit yard.

Then the suburbia museum planners must raise another $30 million. The museum’s foundation board began a $19,000 study last month to determine how to raise funds. They expect to need to raise $10 million in private donations while persuading the county to pony up much of the rest.

Backers concede it may be 2018 before the suburbia museum opens its doors, but they do have a vision. The museum board’s wish list includes displays of accouterments of suburban life, including school lunchboxes, electric toasters and camping gear. One proposed exhibit: “A Field Guide to Sprawl.”

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Ms. Love, director of the Johnson County Museum, says she envisions restored bowling lanes and replicas of a drive-in movie theater. “We may bring in the smell of popcorn, the sound of kids playing on the [drive-in] playground and you can sit in the back of a car and watch television episodes on the movie screen about suburbia, all the way up to ‘Modern Family.’ “

At the faux backyard fence, visitors would be able to look through knotholes at skits by live actors. “Suburbia is much more complicated than houses on a road,” Ms. Love says. “We want to tell the story of suburbia, the good and the bad.”

The idea gained hold after a county museum in nearby Shawnee, Kan., suffered flood damage in 2009. Curators began looking for a new home for its suburban artifacts, including an exhibit of Tupperware TUP +1.22%and the “All-Electric House,” a model home from the 1950s outside the museum. The museum and the county arts council held a forum to consider the idea of a suburbia museum.

There have been other testimonials to suburbia. In 2009, Rich and Amy Wagner created an online history of their hometown of Levittown, Pa., which became a template for suburbia when it opened in 1952. Bill Owens’ “Suburbia,” a collection of photographs chronicling life in California, is regularly on exhibit nationwide.

At Long Island’s Hofstra University, the National Center for Suburban Studies is dedicated to “promoting objective, academically rigorous study of suburbia’s problems and promise.”

image

 

The museum will feature artifacts of suburban life, including this toaster.

Johnson County’s 2010 feasibility study, costing $170,000, projected the suburbia museum could also serve as a place for scholarly study on the subject.

There are naysayers. A suburbia museum “is the wrong museum at the wrong time for the wrong priorities,” says County Commissioner Michael Ashcraft, who cast the lone dissenting vote over the purchase on the five-member panel. He says the spending doesn’t make sense amid cutbacks to libraries and social services.

“I also don’t see people of a young generation darkening the doors of a museum like this,” says Dave Webb, a local auctioneer and former state senator. “You can just put it all online.”

Even some backers aren’t so sure: County Commission Chairman Mr. Eilert, while a proponent of the suburbia museum “as an asset for the county,” says he thinks it’s “problematic” whether the museum can raise enough private donations.

Mr. Meeker, the museum-board president, believes the idea is compelling enough to eventually convince skeptics. “Suburbia is a phenomenon that is unfolding in our own time,” he says. “I’m virtually 100% certain there will be a museum of suburbia.”

Write to Jim Carlton at jim.carlton@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared October 10, 2012, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Suburban Kansas Dream: Museum of Suburbia.

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In a lawful exercise we asked for details of Johnson County’s hidden agenda governed by a treacherous  treaty with The United Nations.  http://nolathe.net/2012/04/12/second-complaint-filed-with-kansas-attorney-generals-office/ 

In a Gorean like response that resonates Soros like ideologies, we learn that Kansas Open Records Act is worthless (read all 8 pages).  Much like those that depend on it’s darkened hole of transparency.

Last lose end done.

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April 12, 2012

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

General@ksag.org

Mr. Attorney General,

Please accept this as a signed complaint regarding Johnson County Board of County Commissioners refusal to supply documents as a result of a legal KORA request dated March 17, 2012 viewed here ICLEI Kansas Open Records Request and the response dated March 20, 2012 viewed here ICLEI-kora-response .

Following a similar complaint filed with your office Clarion KORA Request and the response provided by Johnson County Clarion KORA Response and with The AG’s involvement and intervention, The County acknowledged public access dated March 30, 2012 here JoCo Concedes Clarion .

This current complaint demands of The County the same public access to ICLEI members only information that is only accessible to few County Staff and elected officials.  This complaint remains that The County has access to tax paid ICLEI information that The County uses in a variety of means and methods yet remains inaccessible to the public.

I respectfully request that this complaint remain in control of your office and not forwarded to the Office of Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe. Sitting County Commissioners violated the County’s Home Rule Charter by endorsing Mr. Howe during the 2008 campaign Section 2.07. PROHIBITIONS. No Commission member shall directly interfere with the conduct of any agency or any department, or any part thereof, including the appointment or removal of employees, except at the express direction of the Commission or as otherwise provided by this Charter.

As the District Attorney, I have met with him personally or with immediate Staff on two occasions submitting two complaints on the conduct of one or more of the Commissioners. With multiple follow-ups on my part, now more than two years later there has been no decision rendered by the DA Office and consistent with this recent report on “Transparency” http://www.stateintegrity.org/

The County Cites KSA 45-217g “”Public record” means any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency including, but not limited to, an agreement in settlement of litigation involving the Kansas public employees retirement system and the investment of moneys of the fund. http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/statute/045_000_0000_chapter/045_002_0000_article/045_002_0017_section/045_002_0017_k/

Johnson County tax payers provide $3,500 annually which includes access to non-public information on and with ICLEI. Prior directions from the Kansas Attorney General’s Office http://ag.ks.gov/docs/publications/kansas-open-records-act-(kora)-guidelines.PDF?sfvrsn=2

  • Computer data is a “record.” State ex rel. Stephan v. Harder, 230 Kan. 573, 582 (1982) (considering prior records statute). A.G. Opins. No. 87-137, 88-152, 89-106, and 94-104

  • Albeit temporary (although printable and saved), when accessing “Member” information the County is in “possession” of material that should be Public.

The lawfully executed KORA request dated March 17, 2012 attempted to make public information that was paid for by The County with tax dollars but only accessible to a few.

Respectfully Submitted,

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                                      GOD
Henpecked Acres                                          One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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National Association of Counties
Washington, D.C.   www.NACo.org            

 

Valerie Brown reflects on her NACo presidency

Valerie Brown
Sonoma County, Calif.

Each year, County News asks the outgoing NACo president to reflect on the highlights of her or his term. Following are the thoughts of outgoing NACo President Valerie Brown, Sonoma County, Calif. supervisor.

How would you describe your year as NACo president?

Exhilarating, challenging, thought-provoking and rewarding. The opportunity to be in a leadership position of such an outstanding organization has broadened my understanding of our diverse country, the counties, parishes and boroughs responsibilities and the place of local government in the global economy. It has strengthened my resolve that the best form of government is county government and those that have chosen public service have made great sacrifices to place their constituencies first.

What was the most challenging part of your role as president?

TIME. Knowing my role as president was only for 365 days, I was committed to filling each day with new experiences, traveling to State Association conferences, frequent trips to our U.S. capital, and returning to my own district with a demanding schedule, plus being chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. The most frequently asked question was, “how do you do it all?”… I experienced a chronic case of fatigue, and felt blessed and rewarded every day because of the people I met and the places I visited.

What did you find most interesting or exciting?

Finding that although we wear the same hat (counties-parishes-boroughs) we are very different in meeting the demands of those we serve. I loved the exhilaration of talking to elected officials all over the world, being shown parts of the country I had only dreamed of visiting and learning new innovations, and best practices in dealing with fundamental problems of leadership during tough economic times.

What advice would you give your successor?

Make the most of every day; the time flies by! The federal agenda frequently omits the role we play in government. Bringing congressional members and the White House into an understanding is tedious, time consuming and at times frustrating — but essential if we are to receive the funds and policy development that works for the programs we provide and the people we serve.

What’s next for Valerie Brown?

I am passionate about healthy communities and as a board member of ICLEI USA will continue to advocate for energy efficiency and climate protection locally and globally. Making sure that health care reform is implemented with little cost to local government is another key focus of mine. I look forward to the presidency of Glen Whitley and furthering the positions that our members of NACo have developed through their work on steering and standing committees.

 

Any final thoughts?

Don’t spend a moment of time regretting what you could have done….Just do it…the rewards are so sweet….

 
 
 

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March 21, 2012

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

General@ksag.org

Mr. Attorney General,

Please accept this as a signed complaint regarding Johnson County Board of County Commissioners refusal to supply documents as a result of a legal KORA request dated March 18, 2012 viewed here Clarion KORA Request and the response dated March 20, 2012 viewed here Clarion KORA Response . 

I respectfully request that this complaint remain in control of your office and not forwarded to the Office of Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe.  Sitting County Commissioners violated the County’s Home Rule Charter by endorsing Mr. Howe during the 2008 campaign  Section 2.07. PROHIBITIONS. No Commission member shall directly interfere with the conduct of any agency or any department, or any part thereof, including the appointment or removal of employees, except at the express direction of the Commission or as otherwise provided by this Charter. 

As the District Attorney, I have met with him personally or with immediate Staff on two occasions submitting two complaints on the conduct of one or more of the Commissioners.  With multiple follow-ups on my part, now more than two years later there has been no decision rendered by the DA Office and consistent with this recent report on “Transparency” http://www.stateintegrity.org/

The County Cites KSA 45-217g “”Public record” means any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency including, but not limited to, an agreement in settlement of litigation involving the Kansas public employees retirement system and the investment of moneys of the fund. http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/statute/045_000_0000_chapter/045_002_0000_article/045_002_0017_section/045_002_0017_k/

Before dissecting the County’s response, allow me to provide some history:

Johnson County Board of County Commissioners selectfully formed a committee to create a 20 year plan and then hired a facilitator at $194,685 to direct the committee to a pre-determined conclusion (that’s what facilitators do).  That brings us to the basis of this submitted Complaint.

Johnson County tax payers provided $194,685 which included access to non-public information on and with Clarion. Prior directions from the Kansas Attorney General’s Office http://ag.ks.gov/docs/publications/kansas-open-records-act-(kora)-guidelines.PDF?sfvrsn=2

  • Computer data is a “record.”  State ex rel. Stephan v. Harder, 230  Kan. 573, 582 (1982) (considering prior records statute). A.G.  Opins. No. 87-137, 88-152, 89-106, and 94-104

  • Albeit temporary (although printable and saved), when accessing “Client” information the County is in “possession” of material that should be Public.

The lawfully executed KORA request dated March 18, 2012 attempted to make public information that was paid for by The County but only accessible to a few.

Respectfully Submitted,

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                           GOD
Henpecked Acres                                        
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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Individual liberty, limited government, and free markets in Wichita and Kansas

Kansas rates low in access to records

by Bob Weeks on March 19, 2012

The organization State Integrity Investigation has conducted an investigation of how states rank regarding integrity and protection against corruption. According to SII, “The State Integrity Investigation is an unprecedented, data-driven analysis of each state’s laws and practices that deter corruption and promote accountability and openness.”

Overall, on the “Corruption Risk Report Card,” Kansas received a letter grad of “C,” ranking it ninth among the states. Journalist Peter Hancock wrote the story for Kansas, opening with “Kansas has a history of enacting major reforms in the wake of scandals. But in the absence of any major uproar, the state is often inclined to leave things as they are, even though there may be significant weaknesses in laws meant to ensure transparency and accountability.”

One area in which Kansas rated low is in “Public Access to Information.” Kansas received a letter grade of “C” in this area. Hancock wrote: “On paper, Kansas has a fairly extensive law, known as the Kansas Open Records Act, or KORA, that is meant to ensure public access to official government records. But enforcement of the measure is left largely to the discretion of the state attorney general and local prosecutors who, according to interviews with researchers and media professionals, may be reluctant to take action. The only other option for citizens seeking records is to file civil lawsuits at their own expense.”

Drilling down to more detail illustrates the discrepancy between what Kansas law says, and what actually happens in practice. On the question “Do citizens have a legal right of access to information?” Kansas received a score of 100 percent.

But on the important question “Is the right of access to information effective?” investigators gave Kansas a grade of 47 percent. Averaging these two scores might produce a letter grade of “C.” But looking at more detail reveals why Kansas is often ranked very low in the more important measure of actual access to records.

Drilling down farther, Kansas rated very low on these measures: “In practice, citizens can resolve appeals to access to information requests within a reasonable time period,” “In practice, citizens can resolve appeals to information requests at a reasonable cost,” “In practice, when necessary, the agency that monitors the application of access to information laws and regulations independently initiates investigations,” and “In practice, when necessary, the agency that monitors the application of access to information laws and regulations imposes penalties on offenders.” The last measure received a score of zero percent.

Those who have followed the struggle to have Wichita quasi-public agencies follow the Kansas Open Records Act shouldn’t be surprised by Kansas’ low score on the actual application of this important law.

 

Related posts:

  1. Open records in Kansas
  2. For Wichita city government, open records are not valued
  3. Open Records are an issue in Kansas
  4. Open records in Kansas not always so
  5. Kansas open records law needs an overhaul
  6. Open Records Resource Site for Kansas
  7. When A Records Request Fails
  8. Wichita public schools: Open records requests are a burden
  9. Open records in Kansas follow-up
  10. In Wichita, disdain for open records and government transparency

Tagged as: Government transparency, Kansas legislature, Kansas Open Records Act, Kansas state government, Open records

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Because of my steadfast opposition to Agenda 21 and ICLEI, some folks might ask why I support recycling and conservation in general.  My initial response would be this is a personal decision and not one mandated. And second, the “greenies” have hijacked common sense ideas, magnified and distorted their impact for an agenda that has nothing to do with “protecting nature”.

What if I had a second residence, let’s say a cabin on a lake near Bubbaville, Kansas.  On week-ends my family travel the approximately 2 hours Friday evening to make sure we have a full day Saturday on the water for skiing and fishing.  Every afternoon while the grandkids are off road 4 wheeling I chainsaw and split enough wood for cooking and heating of the cabin.  Last year we had water and electric installed underground from the paved roadway 3 miles away to the cabin, but still no gas.  That’s fine, we rather enjoy the fireplace.  Sundays are special as we almost always have other friends or family drive down to spend the day with us.  Collectively we always “pack out what we packed in” and leave our little place cleaner than when we arrived.

The “greenies” would declare that:

  •  I am destroying the planet through my use of carbon fuels (cars, boat, chainsaw) not to mention the fireplace all contributing to my ‘carbon foot-print’.
  • As a “one percenter” I have no property rights.  The paved road 3 miles from my cabin was paid for with tax dollars thus the “ninety nine percenters” have equal access to my cabin.
  • To make their point more visible to the media, the “greeners” set up an illegal encampment where my drive meets the paved road.  The reporters will walk through trash and human excrement to ask why I am destroying the planet.

Oh but what if I was not describing my week ender?  What if this was owned by not only a “greenie” but a wealthy one percenter “greenie” that made his wealth setting up “occupy settlements”?  What say ye now?

“A couple of winters ago, being the quintessential zoning attorney, I was curled up in front of the fire at my mountain cabin reading a good development code.

It had all the latest bells and whistles that a progressive modern code should have: a form-based TND residential district, hillside protection performance standards, gateway design overlays tied to the city’s recently updatedcomprehensive plan, illustrative tables, flow charts, and pretty graphics. I was proud of it — one of the best my firm had produced. But I had a gnawing feeling inside thanks to environmental guru Lester Brown.”

We first introduced you to Chris Duerksen here saving-the-world-through-zoning the Managing Director of Clarion and Associates.  You might remember him as the one that blamed all of Mexico’s economic problems on American Capitalism.

Thanks to our good friend Charles W. in Virginia we have new information on Chris Duerksen and he has been BUSY making money.

Measure What Matters

“A sustainability initiative’s effectiveness hinges on the selection of a structure that clearly sets achievement goals and includes a system for verifying progress toward those goals. Choosing what to measure is simultaneously a reflection of priorities, a statement of worldview, and a political act. (Consider the implications of measuring Gross Domestic Product versus Gross National Happiness.) Decisions about what to measure should be made clear and transparent up front. For example, the Redefining Progress Genuine Progress Indicator expresses its philosophy up front:… we believe that progress is not measured by the quantity of goods we consume, how fast our economy is growing, or how much financial wealth is being amassed.

We believe progress is measured by how well we:

  1. Equitably distribute wealth, incomes and access to cultural amenities;
  2. Diversify and stabilize our economic base;
  3. Protect and restore native ecosystems; and
  4. Advance social, economic, and environmental sustainability”

When our elected lose their vision, they hire Duerksen to write one for them, the ICLEI way.  I wonder if ICLEI charges the same dues for a small village in Baswana as they do Overland Park?

My vision is restoring America to her GREATNESS that is in such peril and facing dangerous times ahead.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                        GOD
Henpecked Acres                                      
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_association

http://bocc.jocogov.org/webform/contact-us

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                                  GOD
Henpecked Acres                                                
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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