Sunday, October 11, 2009
Potemkin Village . . .
by Greg Walters . . . a pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition. Potemkin villages were purportedly fake settlements erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigory Potyomkin to fool Empress Catherine II on tours along the Volga River where she witnessed a happy and thriving bourgeoisie living in clean and prosperous villages. But this was all a show to cover disease, poverty, and misery that lay just behind the facade that had been erected for her benefit. This is the origin of the phrase Potemkin Village, a place where a politically generated appearance covers a less impressive underside. The term came to mind as I drove past the Raytown Road/Gregory Boulevard construction site of Raytown’s newest “Gateway Intersection”. Just south of that construction site is another at 350 Highway and Raytown Road where a new traffic island is slowly taking shape. No doubt the new intersection will be impressive. But does it hide a secret found on neighborhood streets off the main roads of Raytown. Drive through Southbrooke, Southwood or any number of local neighborhoods. More than likely you will be in for a bumpy ride with views of eroded curbs, crumbling intersections and freshly filled potholes on what should be pristine neighborhoods streets. Streets that our local leaders promised would be maintained regularly if the voters approved a Transportation Tax just a few years ago. I remember a City Council meeting not so long ago when the Public Works Director reported that a number of streets in Raytown were rated as “failed”. Of course they are! That is what happens to streets when you do not maintain them. The new intersection will look nice. Many out-of-towners will drive through Raytown and take note of how Raytown is moving forward. However, just as in Czarist Russia in the 19th Century, they will not see the lack of maintenance or the broken promise of regularly maintained streets just a few blocks from where the new obelisks will stand at Gregory and Raytown Road. Are the improvements at the intersection a bad thing? Certainly not. The mistake being made by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen is in breaking their promise to the voters for regular maintenance of residential streets as well. Empress Catherine II had Potemkin. He built false villages to impress her. In Raytown we have city leaders who, like Catherine’s minister, have placed style over substance. Sanders to Address RDA County Executive Mike Sanders will be the featured guest at the monthy Raytown Democratic Association meeting scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Las Chili’s Restaurant located at 6210 Raytown Trafficway. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. Guests are urged to come early at 6:00 p.m. to socialize before the meeting. Pancake Fundraiser The RDA is having its annual pancake fundraiser Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 7:30 am - 10:00 am at Applebee's located at 9330 E 350 Highway. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $6.00 per person. Meeting Notice Space Available The Raytown Report will make available space for local organization meeting notices. Send your notice to firstname.lastname@example.org We will post the meeting notice on our next regular publication date (Monday morning). The best part? The service is free! High School Football Standings O'Hara High School.....................6 wins / 1 loss Raytown High School...................1 win / 6 losses Raytown South High School............4 wins / 3 losses LAST WEEK’S RESULTS O’Hara 32 / Center 0 Raphael Spencer scored four touchdowns for O'Hara and T. J. White returned an interception for a TD as the Celtics shutout the Center Yellowjackets 32-0 on October 9. Julian Gidley kicked O'Hara's two first quarter extra points, but those were the only extra points scored in the game. At the very beginning of the game, O'Hara was unable to sustain a drive and punted. Center, after four short gains, lost the ball on a fumble on their own 26 yard line. Raphael Spencer ran the ball in with just one play. On Center's third play in the next series, T. J. White intercepted and returned the ball to the end zone with a 42 yard return. The Celtics moved the ball within the 20 yard line with their next possession, but gave up the ball on downs. The Yellowjackets took the ball from deep in their own territory to midfield when Ted Dujakovich recovered a fumble for the Celtics. It took O'Hara ten plays to gain their third touchdown; Raphael Spencer carried the ball for the final three yards in the drive. In the third quarter following a Yellowjacket punt, the Celtics took over on their 26 yard line. They mounted a nine-play drive ending with a 4 yard run by Raphael Spencer, boosting the score to 26-0. As the third quarter came to a close, the Yellowjackets gambled on a fourth down fake punt, but gave the ball over to the Celtics. Three plays later, T. J. White completed a 32 yard TD pass to Raphael Spencer. Center's last drive to get on the scoreboard was halted by an interception by Jimmy Clark. Raytown South 47 / Belton 21 Darrien Bruster scored three touchdowns and Eric Brantley added two to lead the Cardinals (4-3, 2-2) to a Suburban Middle Six win at Belton (2-5, 2-2). Bruster caught 40-, 47- and 5-yard scoring passes from Dennis Tanner and Eric Brantley scored on 8- and 3-yard runs. Tanner tallied a score on a 2-yard run. Marc-Allen Tucker made the other South score on a 1-yard burst. "We did a good job of getting the ball to our receivers," South coach David Allie said. "Our defense played well. Hopefully, this win will help us with momentum going into district. "Our players did a good job of focusing in practice this week and we had a good way of practice." Raytown 0 / Fort Osage 49 NO REPORT