You don’t say

“I’ve thought of you as a mother figure. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. I love my mother.”

—Outgoing interim City Council member Roger Smith’s comment to fellow council member Sue Schlapp, who also served her last day on Tuesday

“When I got around to my turn, I said, ‘Sue — and I truly mean this from my heart —you’ve truly been like a grandmother to me.’ ”

— City Council member Jeff Longwell’s joking response to Smith’s sincere comment

“I take it as a badge of honor. . . . I can think of a lot worse things to be remembered as.”

— Schlapp, a grandmother of 14, whose new job is senior constituent liaison for the state Department of Commerce

Cabela’s to open in 2012 at Regency Lakes shopping center at 21st and Greenwich

WICHITA — Cabela’s, the Nebraska-based giant national outdoor retailer, is coming to Wichita’s Regency Lakes shopping center at 21st and Greenwich in spring 2012.

“Cabela’s can go to any city in America, and they decided to come to Wichita, America,” says George Laham, president of Laham Development, the Regency Lakes developer.

“That says a lot about Wichita.”

Construction on the 80,000-square-foot store will start this summer.

“Competition is good for everybody,” says Todd Barker, manager of competing Gander Mountain at downtown’s WaterWalk development.

“We’ll keep doing what we’re doing,” Barker says of Gander Mountain, which is one of the chain’s highest-producing stores.

Gander Mountain opened at WaterWalk in 2005 after an effort to lure Bass Pro Shops fell apart over public financing of the project.

City Council member Sue Schlapp was involved in trying to lure Bass Pro.

“I am a person who believes downtown is your center,” she says.

Still, Regency Lakes is in her district, and she’s thrilled Cabela’s is going there.

“Cabela’s is a fabulous attraction,” Schlapp says. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

She doesn’t quibble with the chain’s selection of northeast Wichita over downtown.

“If they feel that that’s a better place for them . . . who am I to tell them something different?”

Cabela’s, which was represented by Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate, will locate along K-96 north of the 20,000-square-foot World Market at Regency Lakes. There will be room for a 50,000-square-foot retailer between the stores.

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You don’t say

“She said, ‘Well, don’t fix ’em because that’s where I get half my business.’ ”

City Council member Sue Schlapp, quoting her physical therapist, Pam Palmer, who jokingly said she didn’t want to see the seats at Century II renovated

Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce cancels issues forum after calls of complaint

WICHITA — The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce has canceled a federal issues forum it planned for April 19 in response to complaints from its members and U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s office.

“We’ve been well communicated with,” says Sam Williams, chamber chairman.

“It’s a political year, and we didn’t probably pay enough attention to the political ramifications.”

The chamber invited U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran to speak at the forum.

Moran and Tiahrt, both Republicans, are running against each other for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback’s seat.

Williams says the forum is meant to be a nonpolitical gathering to discuss issues in Washington that affect local businesses.

“We thought this was going to be pretty interesting just because of all the health care stuff going on,” Williams says.

With the pressure that everyone is under these days, though, he says, “Things that maybe in the past wouldn’t have been so important just get overblown.”

The forum will be rescheduled, but neither Moran nor Tiahrt will be at it.

“Bottom line?” says Todd Novascone, Moran’s chief of staff. “As of yesterday or the day before, we are disinvited.”

Regarding Tiahrt’s office, Novascone says, “I don’t want to use the word arrogant . . . but I’ve never seen pressure like that. It just kind of really shocked me.”

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