Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday September 6, 2011

Live music example of overcriminilization, regulation in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports on examples of problems establishments have faced for not complying with Wichita’s requirement for a live music license, which costs $400 per year. In the story No entertainment license in Wichita? Live music is illegal, it is reported that city officials are working with art gallery and coffeehouse owners to revise the ordinance. I agree with Adam Hartke, who wonders why there should be any fees. Like the recently passed regulations on haunted houses, these regulations appear to be regulating something that’s not a problem.

Tax reform in Kansas. In a nine-minute podcast from the Tax Foundation, Kansas Policy Institute president Dave Trabert discusses the prospects for substantive tax reform in the Sunflower State, including the possibility of both phasing out the individual income tax and cutting (or even abolishing) the corporate income tax. Trabert says: “We probably do right now have the 15th highest state and local tax burden in the country. … That is a serious problem, because we understand how the tax burden affects job creation.” In a recent editorial, Trabert noted lack of job growth in Kansas: “Kansas is the only state whose average annual private-sector employment is below its 2010 average. Part of the reason is that, unlike most states, Kansas chose to continue raising taxes last year. … We must reduce our tax burden to create jobs and economic growth. Gradually eliminating the state income tax will have the greatest impact.” … Click on Dave Trabert on the Fight for Tax Reform in Kansas.

Downtown Wichita site launched. As part of an effort to provide information about the Douglas Place project, a proposed renovation of a downtown Wichita office building into a hotel, Americans for Prosperity, Kansas has created a website. The site is named Our Downtown Wichita, and it’s located at dtwichita.com.

Juvenile justice system to be topic. This week’s meeting (September 9th) of the Wichita Pachyderm Club features Mark Masterson, Director, Sedgwick County Department of Corrections, on the topic “Juvenile Justice System in Sedgwick County.” Following, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Pachyderm Club members and guests are invited to tour the Sedgwick County Juvenile Detention Center located at 700 South Hydraulic, Wichita, Kansas. … Upcoming speakers: On September 16, Merrill Eisenhower Atwater, great grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, will present a program with the topic to be determined. … On September 23, Dave Trabert, President of Kansas Policy Institute, speaking on the topic “Why Not Kansas: Getting every student an effective education.” … On September 30, U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo of Wichita on “An update from Washington.” … On October 7, John Locke — reincarnated through the miracle of modern technology — speaking on “Life, Liberty, and Property.” … On October 14, Sedgwick County Commission Members Richard Ranzau and James Skelton, speaking on “What its like to be a new member of the Sedgwick County Board of County commissioners?” … On October 21, N. Trip Shawver, Attorney/Mediator, on “The magic of mediation, its uses and benefits.”

Campaign contributions flow to Wichita’s subsidy supporters. The Our Downtown Wichita website holds an article that details the campaign contributions made to Wichita’s mayor and several city council members by those who will be asking the city for money next week. The contributions by David Burk and Key Construction owners and affiliates are detailed in Wichita City Council campaign contributions and Douglas Place. … When the issue of campaign contributions was raised at a recent council meeting, several members became testy. Evidently, these contributions are not meant to be discussed in public.

Organ events. This Wednesday (September 7th) sees the first organ recital by Wichita State University’s Lynne Davis as part of the “Wednesdays in Wiedemann” series. These recitals, which have no admission charge, start at 5:30 pm and last about 30 minutes. … The location is Wiedemann Recital Hall (map) on the campus of Wichita State University. For more about Davis and WSU’s Great Marcussen Organ, see my story from last year. … Later this month Davis hosts Jehan Alain, 1911-1940 — The American Festival, a three-day event celebrating the music of the French organist and composer, who died at the age of 29 fighting for his country against Germany in World War II. There will be several recitals that the public may attend.

Urban planning in Wichita: an outside perspective. Randal O’Toole is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and author of The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future. He visited Wichita last year and toured some of Wichita’s landmarks of government planning and taxpayer subsidy.

O’Toole also appeared on the KPTS public affairs television program Kansas Week.


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