This or Anarchy

kenstephens

KEN STEPHENS, reporter

I cover city and county government, and sometimes some other things, for The Hutchinson News.  Basically I believe that like it or not, we’re going to have government. It’s this or anarchy. In my blog I’ll look (sometimes really hard) for bits of humor in the routine workings of government, reveal obscure but telling statistics and offer my own observations.

  • Tornado Alley: Kansas tornadoes 1950-2013 - Severe weather season is upon us, so take a look at our cool interactive tornado graphic. Using data from the National Weather Service, we mapped every tornado originating in Kansas from 1950 through 2013. Click on the image above to take you to the graphic. Place your cursor over any point or storm track to … Continue reading
  • Geography geeks! Here’s a bracket for you - Test your knowledge of the relative populations of different geographic areas by participating in the U.S. Census Bureau’s version of “March Madness.”  The Census Bureau’s Population Bracketology is an interactive data visualization allowing you to fill out your own bracket based on comparisons of state and metro area population. The objective is to pick the … Continue reading
  • The latest sign of the apocalypse - If you read the story I wrote last month about the preferences of local readers for real books or e-books, you might find this story interesting, or disheartening.   I hope Mary Graham, who comments “This is the future,” is wrong. Even if she’s not, I don’t see the E-library of the future as a … Continue reading
  • Nine-letter word for puzzle, starts with “c” - Across 1. Before you fold Saturday’s newspaper into a quarter and begin work on the crossword puzzle, faithful readers should pause for a moment to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first published crossword puzzle. 2. That puzzle, the creation of journalist Arthur Wynne of Liverpool, England, appeared in the New York World on Dec. … Continue reading
  • New mural greets City Hall visitors - Visitors entering HutchinsonCity Hall through the northeast entrance are now being greeted by a wall papered with an enlargement of a 1920s photo of Main Street. The photo shows street cars creeping along rails laid down the middle of the street, lots of vintage cars parked, crowded sidewalks and people crossing all up and down … Continue reading
  • Council chambers now a construction site - The seal of the City of Hutchinson has been taken down and leans against a glass partition.  The Council’s dais has been ripped out.  The audio/visual equipment has been removed, and things are nearly ready for construction workers to move in and begin work on the final stage of the renovation of City Hall. The … Continue reading
  • School taxes driving increase in overall mill levy - The City of Hutchinson, Reno County and the Hutchinson Public Library aren’t going to increase their property tax rates in their 2014 budget. Hutchinson Community College is actually lowering its levy by a fraction of a mill. If your property is in USD 308, you’ll see a decrease of about 25 percent in the mill … Continue reading
  • A cover-up by the Hutchinson City Council - Hutchinson, we have a problem. It seems it’s not illegal to run around naked in the Salt City. And we didn’t even know it. But if you’ve got the urge to do the Full Monty, you better do it soon, because the city’s about to throw a big ol’ blanket over it. An ordinance that … Continue reading
  • Eight houses, one large garage on new city demolition list - Here’s wondering whether Trent Maxwell has Queen’s song “Another One Bites the Dust” on his iPod. Maxwell, Hutchinson’s building official, will ask the City Council on Tuesday to schedule a public hearing for Sept. 17 on condemnation of eight more vacant and dilapidated houses and one large collapsing carriage house behind another home. On this … Continue reading
  • New analysis: Hutch housing continues to slide - In 2009, a consultant hired by the City of Hutchinson produced a report that found that the condition of more than 5,000 homes, about a third of the total in the city, had deteriorated since 2001. The city has relied heavily on those figures in things like grant applications since then. But after four years, … Continue reading

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