Tuesday, May 24, 2005
RUMOR IS GIDDENS THREW A LOT OF PUNCHES, BUT ONLY CONNECTED ON 1-OF-11: KU officials questioned J.R. Giddens' judgment Friday, the same day the Jayhawk basketball star was released from the hospital for injuries suffered early Thursday in a fight at a Lawrence bar. "As individuals, we must accept responsibility for participation in an incident such as this, regardless of fault," KU men's basketball coach Bill Self said in a written statement. "This was a very unfortunate incident that could have been avoided with better judgment." Self declined to specify what discipline Giddens might face, saying he was still gathering information. Lawrence Police said Friday they also were still investigating the incident, but wouldn't give a timeline for completion.
BECAUSE TELLING TEEN-AGERS NOT TO HAVE SEX GUARANTEES THEY WON'T: The political war between moderates and conservatives on the state Board of Education over evolution may have just been a tune-up for the next battle - sex education. The draft standards for high school students say that students must know "the importance and benefits of abstinence behavior and risk-reducing strategies in the areas of substance use and sexuality." The battle line, one official said, is between those like herself who believe sex education should be "abstinence-based" and those who want it to be "abstinence-only." The issue will reappear at the June 14 meeting of the state Board of Education.
YES, BUT THE FOUR-YEAR STUDENTS HAD WAY MORE FUN: Attention, Kansas University students who are on the four-, five- or six-year plan for graduation. Mike Wilson is making you look like a bunch of slackers. It took Wilson just two years at KU to finish his bachelor's degree in business administration. He walked down Campanile Hill Sunday during KU's commencement ceremonies along with 4,000 graudates. The nearly 100 year-old tradition is quite non-traditional, with the procession symbolizing the journey from academia to the real world taking far longer than the speeches that followed. The unbridled boozing thereafter is much more traditional, however Mike Wilson, of course, will not partake - he doesn't turn 21 until next month. "I'll go out and have a Sprite to celebrate with everybody," he said.
IF WE KNEW THE FOOD WAS FREE, WE WOULDN'T HAVE PAID FOR IT: Rain or shine, warm weather or freezing cold, people appear every night 11 p.m. near the back entrance to Rudy's Pizzeria, 704 Mass. Employees bring out a stack of uneaten pizzas and set them on the brick wall that surrounds the alley trash bin. Then, the free feast begins. "There's no way you could starve in Lawrence," 20-year-old Summer Kellogg said as she chewed on a leftover slice of pizza. Setting out leftover food is a tradition for some Lawrence businesses but for others, the company prohibits doing so because of health and liability risk.
ACTUALLY WE THINK "FREDDY GOT FINGERED" MAKES FOR A BETTER METAPHOR: Southwind 12 movie theater on South Iowa Street sold out all 800 tickets opening day's midnight showings of "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." By early Tuesday afternoon, the first fan was already camping out in anticipation of the movie. In classic Lawrence fashion, Jack Musick was mixing politics with his fun, setting up a tent and making signs asserting that 9-11 was an "inside job" by the government. "I think 'Star Wars' is a good metaphor for America," Musick said. "A once-great republic marching into empire." Close runners-up for said metaphor were "Gigli," "Glitter," and "From Justin to Kelly."
MAYBE THEY'D LIKE US TO PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING KICKED IN THE GROIN, TOO: Here's an idea for finding out how popular roundabouts actually are in Lawrence -- start requiring the neighbors who ask for them to pay the bill for building them. That was the suggestion Tuesday from Chuck Soules, the city's director of public works, who pitched the idea to city commissioners during hearings for the 2006 budget. Soules said the idea should apply to both roundabouts and other traffic-calming devices like traffic circles and speed cushions. Currently, the city at-large pays 100 percent of the costs of traffic-calming devices requested by neighborhoods. In the case of roundabouts, those costs can easily run more than $200,000 each.
WELL GOSH, SIR, THE COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS SAYS THAT POISONING CHILDREN IS DEFINITELY CHEAPER THAN NOT POISONING THEM: There's not much free about pesticide-free parks. A new report by the city's Parks and Recreation Department estimates that by 2009, the city would spend an extra $200,000 per year to maintain Lawrence's 52 parks without pesticides or herbicides. City commissioners agreed last week that the Parks and Rec. Dept. should designate one of the city's signature parks as a pesticide-free location.
Commissioners did not endorse a plan to convert all the city's parks to pesticide-free zones by 2009, citing issues with cost and concerns about protecting the city's investment in landscaping.
WE'D PREFER FIERCE, ANGRY-LOOKING LETTERS: Kansas University on Monday unveiled four finalists to become the university's new official logo and began seeking comment to determine a winner, which is expected to become the official KU symbol for decades. The new logo is part of the integrated marketing campaign under way at the university, which aims to organize visual identity, recruiting, public outreach and state funding efforts. The university already announced it would use royal blue and crimson for its official colors, shying away from the navy blue used in some cases.