Week that was

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

LAWRENCE COLLECTIVELY COPES WITH EX-BOYFRIEND SYNDROME VIS-A-VIS ROY: At Downtown Barber Shop, 824 Mass., "Roy's room" is another name for the bathroom. The day former Kansas University basketball coach Roy Williams announced he was leaving KU and going to North Carolina, the barbers here pulled a picture of Williams off the wall and relegated it to the bathroom at the rear of the shop. It now hangs directly in front of the toilet. "This town's a bunch of haters," barber and recently converted KU fan Pete Fitzgerald said Sunday, summarizing the feelings he's heard customers and co-workers express about Williams. "They hate him because they loved him." Monday Williams got over the hump and won the national championship - just after having achieved another milestone: being the coach with the most NCAA tourney wins without a crown. For goodness sake Lawrence, be happy for the guy!

IF THEY DON'T LIKE DIRTY CAMPAIGNING, THEN WHY ARE THEY IN POLITICS? With signs that read "Keep your mud!" and "Say no to dirty politics," nearly 100 people gathered Sunday to denounce tactics used to attack a city commission candidate. The afternoon rally in front of city hall was organized by an ad-hoc group calling itself Citizens for Campaign Integrity. Speakers included all four candidates competing in the city commission race with incumbent David Schauner, who was the subject of a series of negative mailings last week. "If personal attacks become common," said group spokesman Chuck Epp, a Kansas University public administration professor. "good people will choose not to run. We will all suffer, and the fabric of our community in Lawrence will be torn."

HAD THEY JUST TAKEN THE 'T' OFF THE OLD SIGN, WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER THAN 'LION'S DEN': New charges have been filed against an adult novelty and video store, even as the business continues to press its case that the county's longtime push to shut it down is unconstitutional. The Lion's Den Adult Superstore has been the focus of controversy since it opened in September 2003 in a renovated former Stuckey's restaurant three miles northwest of Abilene. During a heated 100-day span, community activists camped out at the store around the clock, holding signs and warning truckers that they would notify their bosses if they stopped at the business.

PHELPS NOT EXPECTED TO PROTEST THIS FUNERAL: Pope John Paul II, who helped topple communism in Europe and left a deeply conservative stamp on the church that he led for 26 years, died Saturday night in his Vatican apartment, ending a long public struggle against debilitating illness. He was 84. In his later years, John Paul was the picture of frailty. In addition to Parkinson's, he survived a 1981 assassination attempt, when a Turkish gunman shot him in the abdomen, and had hip and knee ailments. Among possible successors are German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - one of the pope's closest aides and the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog. Others mentioned include Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Vatican-based Nigerian, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Austria and Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Italy.

PROBABLY QUITE A FEW PEOPLE OUT THERE WILLING TO 'ESCORT' THIS GUY FOR MUCH LESS MONEY: One of the state's most notorious child molesters is being released from a state prison hospital this week and coming to live in Lawrence. Hendricks has what the U.S. Supreme Court called a "chilling history" of repeated sexual abuse or molestation of children starting in 1955 - at least 10 children through three decades, including his stepchildren and two young boys he molested while working at a carnival. He was famously quoted saying the only sure way he'd stop molesting children was if he died. A Sedgwick County judge has said that 70-year-old Leroy Hendricks is ready to move on from a decade-long stay in a sex-predator treatment program at Larned State Hospital. Early next week, he'll move to a supervised home setting in Lawrence for an indefinite time. He will have an escort with him around the clock, seven days a week, at an estimated cost of $278,000 for the first 15 months.

ANN COULTER ALL THAT MATTERS IN LAWRENCE MIDWEEK: Conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter was greeted with a mixture of standing ovations and heckling during her Tuesday speech at the Lied Center. From the moment she stepped up to the microphone, Coulter fired off one zinger after another about liberalism while promising to answer questions from left-wing members in the audience who could "thrash their way to a coherent thought." Coulter stopped and called for assistance from students when hecklers started in again. "Could 10 of the largest College Republicans start walking up and down the aisles and start removing anyone shouting?" Coulter asked. "Otherwise, this lecture is over." Several people responded, leaving their seats to confront the hecklers, and verbal confrontations erupted in parts of the auditorium. Later, when heckling broke out again, a couple of uniformed KU Public Safety Department officers appeared and escorted about six people out of the auditorium. Coulter was paid $25,000 for her appearance, which was paid from the Vickers endowment fund.

THE ULTIMATE WEDDING WILL BE TELEVISED: The chance for a Lawrence couple to have the ultimate wedding rests in the hands of the nation. Aaron Landis and Lynette Stand are finalists in the Great American Country's Ultimate Country Wedding competition. The couple must receive the most online votes to win. "Votes count, and it would be nice if we could win," Landis said. The couple learned last week they are one of four couples in the running for the wedding. Check their status and vote at gactv.com.