The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 4, 1997 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 4, 1997
Page 3
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL Great Plains SUNDAY. MAY 4, 1997 A3 SALINA CITY COMMISSION City commission faces one-way proposition Days are numbered for traffic lights on Fifth and Seventh streets in downtown Salina By CRISTINA JANNEY The SaUna Journal Fifth and Seventh streets should be opened to two-way traffic, according to an engineering report the Salina City Commission will review Monday. Under the plan developed by Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, 13 downtown traffic signals should be removed along Fifth and Seventh streets. The report will be presented during the commission's regular study session at 2:30 p.m. Monday in room 107B of the City-County Building. The recently completed engineering study included the downtown area bounded by Elm, South, Ninth and Fourth streets. The study expanded upon an earlier Kansas Department of Transportation study with similar results. If the stoplights are removed, they will be replaced with two- and four-way stops. The study also recommended opening one- way portions of Fifth and Seventh streets to two-way traffic, said Shawn O'Leary, assistant city engineer. The parking on these sections of Fifth and Seventh streets would be changed to parallel parking from diagonal parking. Got Involved The city is seeking citizen input on a plan to convert Fifth and Seventh streets to two-way streets. The issue will be discussed at the following times: • MONDAY: 2:30 p.m., Room 107B of the City-County Building. • THURSDAY: 5 p.m. at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce with Downtown-area residents and merchants. • THURSDAY: 7 p.m. in Room 101 of the City-County Building for the general public. The study also recommended downtown speed limits be changed from 20 mph to 30 mph on all streets except Santa Fe Avenue, O'Leary said. City officials will attempt to gain resident input through two forums Thursday evening. Officials will meet with downtown residents and merchants at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce building. A general resident forum will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 101 of the City-County Building. Officials will use engineering report information and residents' comments to form a final report to be presented May 19 to the commission. If the commission approves the plan, work on revamping downtown traffic will start in June and continue for most of the summer, O'Leary said. Changes in the traffic will be phased in. Stop signs will go up first, and then the lights put on a flashing rotation. The lights will then be disconnected and removed, O'Leary said. The traffic work should be little inconvenience to drivers as no streets will have to be closed to make the traffic-signal changes, he said. The city has budgeted $100,000 to make the changes and plans to do much of the work in- house. However, the final cost of the project may depend on what suggestion residents have on the project. Other items on city commission agenda During the commission's regular meeting, it will consider: • Phase 2 of vehicle and equipment bids of a total of $129,690 for a half-ton pickup for the fire department, two mid-size pickups for the Permits and Inspections Department, a 4-wheel drive utility vehicle for the police watch commander, a pickup for the Health Department, a mini-van for the Information Services Department and a wheelchair lift for the Bicentennial Center. • An application by Mowery Clinic requesting a change in zoning to allow an expansion of the facility. The clinic is planning to build onto its building at 671 Elmore Drive. The addition would extend south to occupy the site at 713 E. Crawford. • An application by Timberline Property of Assaria requesting a change in zoning to allow construction of apartment units at 1000 W. Republic. • An ordinance requesting rezoning of lots in the GICO Addition southeast of the intersection of Ohio and Crawford streets. • Removing city ordinances pertaining to public dances and the operating and licensing of dance halls. • Amending a fireworks ordinance to include the ban of possession of certain fireworks in the city. • • Vertical expansion of the Salina Landfill. • Plans and specifications for subdivision improvements in the Woodland Hills Estates Addition on North Seitz Drive. The property owners would pay the estimated $426,000 cost for the street and utility improvements. • Awarding a $217,826 contract to Shears Construction for the 1997 storm drainage improvements project • Award a $335,783 contract to Shears Construction for Magnolia Road improvements. BRIEFLY Topeka woman dies in northeast Kansas crash TOPEKA— A Topeka woman was killed Saturday when the vehicle she was riding in collided with another in northeast Kansas, authorities said. Janie Keeling, 50, died after the collision on U.S. 75 near Mayetta in Jackson County, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. The accident happened just after midnight about 15 miles north of Topeka. With some reservations, Senate confirms Mitchell TOPEKA — The Senate voted Saturday to confirm Gary Mitchell as Kansas secretary of health and environment in spite of reservations by some members about his qualifications and temperament. "This appointment is going to come back to haunt us," said Sen. • Paul Feleciano, D-Wichita. "He brings no qualifications to the (health) programs he is supposed ; to be regulating." '.. The department oversees nursing homes, nuclear waste, feedlots, water quality and wetlands. - Mitchell, 40, was on the staff of ; U.S- Sen. Pat Roberts when -Roberts served in the House of .t Representatives. Mitchell then I became chief of staff for the , House Agriculture Committee. > Gov. Bill Graves appointed him ty the $80,000-a year post last week. He replaced James J. O'Connell, who resigned to return to private law practice in Johnson County. Mitchell was confirmed on a 297 vote on the fourth day of the Legislature's wrapup session. All seven negative votes came from Democrats, including Feleciano, ,. who noted that he had "probably : supported the governor 100 per- cent" during the session. "• The vote followed more than 30 minutes of debate that focused on Mitchell's lack of experience in public health issues and on reports of a physical confrontation he had with a Democratic staff member of the agriculture committee. Democrat asks for FEC probe of Brownback '. OLATHE — An attorney has requested a formal investigation of U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback's 1996 "campaign, alleging the Republican's wealthy in-laws made large .and illegal contributions. . Olathe lawyer Micheline Burger, who also chairs the Johnson County Democratic Party, made the request in a four-page complaint mailed last week to the Fed- "eral Election Commission, The Wichita Eagle reported Saturday. Burger alleges that Brownback's in-laws, Topeka media millionaires John and Ruth Stauffer, violated the $l,000-a-person contribution limit by giving $37,500 to seven conservative political action committees which then sent $36,000 to the Brownback for Senate campaign. Under federal law, individuals could contribute only up to $1,000 to a candidate and up to $5,000 to an unrelated PAC. It is illegal for individuals to enhance their giving to a candidate by coordinating con• tributions with political groups. From Wire Service Reports Tomorrow's Headlines 825-6OOO Category 6006 (Call alter 7:30 p.m.) Hood napper DAVIS TURNER/The Salina Journal After cooling down the hood of his car with a garden hose, Dion Marshall, 18, naps and works on a tan at the same time outside of his home at 931 Osage. The high Saturday in Salina was 65 degrees. The nice weather should continue today, with highs in the upper 70s. V ENVIRONMENT T SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION County takes a look at vacation plans Cul-de-sac that was never finished is topic for discussion By The Journal Staff Discussion of vacation of an unbuilt cul-de-sac and updates with county department heads top the agenda this week for Saline County Commissioners. The commission's regular 11 a.m. Tuesday formal session has been cancelled. Commissioners will meet from 9 a.m. until business is concluded Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Room 211 of the City-County Building, 300 W. Ash. Discussion of the road vacation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday. County planning commissioners in March, 1995, voted to recommend vacation of six lots and an unbuilt cul-de- sac in Country Ridge Estates, in the area of Stimmel Road northwest of Salina. Jerry Fowler, county public works director, requested that the county ndt vacate the portion of Muir Road that was dedicated with the plat, but the planning commission recommended that the portion of Muir Road be vacated as well. County staff will recommend that commissioners override the planning commission and approve the vacation with the exception of the portion of Muir Road. Updates highlight light schedule Updates are scheduled at 11 a.m. Monday and 1:30 p.m. Monday with Fowler and Rita Deister, assistant county administrator and personnel director. Updates are scheduled beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday with the directors of extension, appraiser's office, emergency management and park and weed department and with the county counselor. Wednesday, updates are scheduled at 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. with community corrections and planning and zoning department heads. Compost program is a hit Salinans are not letting chance to recycle yard clippings go to waste By The Journal Staff The city of Salina is thrilled with the response a pilot composting program has gotten from citizens, but there are disadvantages. "It must be a huge success," said Frank Weinhold, director of general services. "My people are really getting into the overtime." The city started the program April 28 to reduce the amount of grass clippings dumped in the Salina Landfill. The city has picked up yard waste separately from other waste and sent it to the Kanza Composting Yard Waste Recycling Center, 4860 W. Crawford. More than 20 percent of Salina's residential landfill waste was yard waste, and the city hopes that the amount of waste going into the landfill could be reduced by 4,000 to 6,000 tons. The city has been concerned about reducing landfill waste because of the million-dollar costs of expanding it. "That was one of the highest percentages," Weinhold said. But there have been a couple of problems. Customers have groused about having to bag their grass clippings when they don't have to bag them for private trash haulers, Weinhold said. "It's a volunteer program," he said. "It's up to the citizens as to whether we take their grass clippings or not, and if they want us to take them, then that's what they need to do." Customers need only to bag yard waste separately from other trash and set the bags beside their trash carts. They also need to have the bags out by 7 a.m., Weinhold said. "We had a few times where some citizens have had the bags out, and the trucks have already left," he said. Even so, Weinhold said he's happy with the response. Now if only the summer could start a little sooner.; "We're sjtill a little short on our summer help," he said. THE JOURNALIST Goodbye, old house, you've served us long and well GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. Tlie Suliiui Journal * Years of memories are tucked away in home that is now someone's new home People are sentimental fools when it comes to their cars and their houses. We animate them, and the more sentimental of us sometimes give them names, and heave great sighs when we give them up. It is one of our many biological failings that makes us wonderfully human. We recently let go of a house that has sheltered a family of five, now three, for nearly 20 years. It was the house to which we brought our last baby home from the hospital. The boxes full of pictures and slides recording the occasion, and of other events over the years, document the varied and sometimes questionable taste we had in paint colors and wall- paper prints. If those painted and papered walls could talk, they would speak of countless birthday parties, the happy squeals of many Christmas mornings, and of the waxy touch of Crayons and the artists' sharp "critiques" of their work. And the floors would reminisce about the recent cautious, baby steps of another generation. Over the years, bedrooms and bedding underwent dramatic transformations as the occupants aged and outgrew cradles and cribs and motifs of teddy bears, ballerinas and gruesome action figures. Bunk beds divided like amoebae and moved to separate rooms. Household furniture came and went. So did the backyard grass, tortured by running feet, skidding bicycle tires, sandboxes, digging dogs and the eroding power of swing sets. Previous owners knew their trees and planted good ones. A pair of black walnuts in the front yard were properly spaced to provide cooling shade in summer. The one in back helps block a broiling, setting sun. They have withstood deluge, drought and wind gusts that turned weaker species into kindling and wood chips. Through strobelike lightning flashes during one of many severe summer storms, I watched from the bedroom window as the backyard tree bent nearly double, a signal that we'd better head to the basement. A pair of apple trees provided bushels of home-grown fruit, firm- fleshed and tart, the way apples were originally designed. A metal shed housed the requisite assortment of suburban hand tools, as well as a collection of rusting yellow toy trucks that were idled when the sandbox quarry went out of business and converted to lawn. The shed is nearing retirement age. Its doors haven't functioned no longer function, and haven't since the afternoon they became the backstop to a budding little league pitcher. Near the back fence, the new owners will be puzzled by a flat limestone rock. Beneath it lies a beloved house cat, who passed away quietly in a bedroom closet, her paws resting on the keys of an old manual typewriter, as if in the act of tapping out a deathbed message blaming her impending demise on one of the dogs. To us this place is now known, not ; pejoratively, as "the old house." To the present occupants, it is, as it once was to us, "the new house." Already it is filling with different furniture, different people, different voices. And a houseful of new memories. is^eis&iiSts^i^SiiAM^i^&i^i^iSi^cigiiM' SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-80Q-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjnews@saljournal.Eom

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