Daily Archives: Jan. 6, 2010

Sam Brownback? There’s an app for that

Brownback's iPhone application

Brownback's iPhone application

It’s unclear how many people will want Sam Brownback in their pocket, but his gubernatorial campaign announced an iPhone application today that will do just that.

In a press release, the campaign dubbed it “the first iPhone application in America for a gubernatorial candidate.”

SamForGov may be the first, but its functions aren’t quite geared for the rigors of campaign season just yet. We loaded the app up on a brand-spanking new iPhone: It updated slow and was a bit buggy at first (it said all but it’s “volunteer” feature was “not currently available.” A re-boot of the app showed events, but other features weren’t enabled.)

Nonetheless, the part that consistently works is probably the most important to his campaign at this early date. It provides a fill-in-the-blank way to volunteer for his campaign. The only problem with that, for the moment, is that there’s no significant competition for Brownback to campaign against. The Democrats have Herbert West 3rd to build an app around, but it doesn’t look like he’s being considered a major candidate for the party. Read More »

County allows pallet-recycling company to stay

WICHITA — Sedgwick County commissioners have approved a zoning change to allow a pallet-recycling company to continue operating on North  Broadway.

The commission removed a prohibition on outdoor storage at the site of Triple T Pallets, on the east side of Broadway about one-fourth of a mile south of 117th Street North.

The business has been operating at the site, which was originally developed as a swine testing facility, and outdoor storage has gone on there for more than 20 years, according to a county staff report.

Triple T is working with the county to bring the facility into compliance with county codes, the report said.

The zone change will require the business to screen its outdoor storage, which will be animprovement over the current practices there, the report said.

Commission Chairman Kelly Parks said the business provides a needed recycling service.

The zone change was approved unanimously.

Study: Northern Flyer train would benefit economy

train tracksThe proposed Amtrak Northern Flyer train line that would run through Wichita could generate $3.20 in regional economic impact for every $1 invested, according to a new study by Jayhawk Consulting, a group of specially selected School of Business Master of Business Administration students at the University of Kansas.

The train would also likely pay for itself within a year, the study found.

“Overall economic impact shows a break-even return after the first year with a continuing $43 million annual impact,” a summery of the study says.

Amtrak is currently studying the cost of installing a train line between Oklahoma City and Kansas City, with stops proposed in Wichita and Newton, where the Southwest Chief stops en route to places between Chicago and Los Angeles. But Amtrak’s study doesn’t quantify economic impact, said Deborah Fischer Stout, president of Northern Flyer Alliance, Inc.

The City of Wichita and many other cities in Kansas and Oklahoma have already given official endorsements of the route. But any action likely will hinge on Amtrak’s study. But advocates hope that support for the rail service in Kansas and Oklahoma will draw federal stimulus dollars to help pay for it.

A link to a PDF of the study is on this page.