Sunday, March 14, 2010

In This Week's Raytown Report

Billboards, a Blight on our Landscape Sci-Tech Crazy Art Contest High School Sports/News Last Week's Poll Results Billboards, a Blight on our Landscape By Greg Walters A couple of years ago my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting British Columbia, Canada. It was our second trip to the Vancouver area – the other was in 1986 when my wife and I attended the World’s Fair (aptly named Expo 86). But this trip was significant because it exposed us to Victoria, British Columbia. Victoria is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It has a population of 370,000, give or take a few souls. But what I found most interesting in Victoria was what they did not have – billboards. The highways, boulevards and major thoroughfares are attractive. The signs are not there because the city fathers banned them within the city limits. Which causes one to wonder – if it work in there, why would it not work here? Why not restrict such signage throughout the city? In the long run, the removal of the ugly signs that blight our landscape would be a plus for Raytown. Raytown, like most American cities, has its fair share of billboards. In the past year the Raytown City Council has taken steps to remove some of the signs that blight our suburban landscape. Most notable was a decision to regulate the posting of signage along the area the city is hoping to commercially develop on 350 Highway. Years ago the city had a billboard removed along Raytown Road near the Crescent Creek development. It was just last summer that the City Council paid to have a large billboard removed from 350 Highway. City Administrator Mahesh Sharma says another sign is slated for removal in scheduled to be removed within two years. The original plans for the 63rd Bridge replacement called for removal of the rusty old hulk of a sign located at 63rd and Raytown Street and Raytown Trafficway. The City Council should continue the progress by having these blights on our landscape removed every time the opportunity presents itself. SCI-TECH Crazy Art Contest The Fourth Annual Sci-Tech Automotive Crazy Car Art Contest is in full swing! The entries are in and are being voted on as you read this. This is the first year that the public gets to decide the winner. Just go to, register, and vote for your choice every day is you'd like. Sci-Tech Automotive has invited all the area's art students to dream up and draw a “Crazy Car” for the Fourth Annual Crazy Car Art Contest! Their entry can be anything that can be imagined. This year, The Crazy Car Art Contest has been expanded to include every high school in the KC Metro area. More schools have participated than ever before! The first place winner receives $250! Second place gets $100 and third place gets $ 50. The best entries will be displayed at local grocery stores and on a billboard at one of the busy intersections in the city. Remember, EVERYONE gets to vote for the winner! Go to to register your votes. Vote for the drawing you think should win first place. You can vote as many times as you'd like - limited to one vote per day. High School News Congrats to Raytown South Band Students By Michelle Dake of Saturday, March 6, the RSHS instrumental students participated in All District Solos and Ensemble Contest. Students receiving Superior Ratings will advance to State music Contest in Columbia in April. Congrats to all. SUPERIOR RATINGS: Sean O'Rear - Tuba Solo, Kiana Lovelace - Clarinet solo, Brooke Boulware - Tenor Saxophone Solo, Bridget Ruark - Baritone Saxophone Solo, Maisha Mitchell - Clarinet Solo, Maisha Mitchell, Kiana Lovelace, and Olivia Bennett - Clarinet Trio EXCELLENT RATING: Nick Ubben - snare drum solo GOOD RATING: Joslyn Lee - Flute solo, Rebecca Anderson - Flute solo For other Raytown South Sports News use this link Raytown South High School O’Hara Celtics Players Named to All Conference Teams It was quite expected that the two undefeated teams in the West Central Conference would have multiple All-Conference Team positions. For the Archbishop O'Hara High School Celtics in the girls competition, Ashley Clark, Hailey Houser and Alex Smith made the First Team while Cameron Randle and Tori Hurtt made the Second Team. The girls' squad went on to the State final four. Only Josh Rupprecht made the boys First Team even though the balanced team defeated each of their Conference teams twice during the season. D. J. Jackson and Ronnie Miller made the Second Team, and JeVon Lyle landed an Honorable Mention. The boys team got as far as the quarterfinals of District. Lady Celtics Win Third Place in State by Brother Richard Geimer After giving the top ranked Webb City Cardinals a competitive game in the Class 4 State semifinals, the O'Hara Celtics lost 55-42 on March 13 to play the Saint Dominic Crusaders for third place the following day. In a close game, the Lady Celtics won 40-37. The Celtics surprised the Cardinals by jumping off to a five point advantage early in the semifinal game at 11-6, but by halftime, two points separated the two talented squads 21-19 with the Cardinals ahead. The Cardinals were held to five second quarter points when O'Hara scored four baskets to Webb City's two. For the rest of this story and other stories about O’Hara sports use this link: O'Hara High School Sports Last Week's Poll Results Should the city take a more proactive roll in property code enforcement? YES . . . 72% NO . . . 28%


Anonymous said...

To the person who was concerned about the house in his/her neighborhood. It will do you NO good to call the codes dept. Our mayor does not want them to do there jobs and enforce our ordinances. If I were you I would call these 2 numbers 737-6000 or 679-3023. Those are the mayors numbers. If we don't start calling him directly and letting him know how we feel about the job he is or is not doing to be more specific, things will never change. But you need to know that he is out of town a lot. One other thing I understand he has already met with Jeff Roe to see if there is anything that could keep him from winning again in 2012. Boy, is that really what Raytown needs again.

He is a nice man if he doesn't get mad but he is not a great or even good mayor. Our city is getting worse and worse and no one at city hall gives a darn.

Randy Battagler was a distraster for Raytown when he owned the paper before. His paper was one sided and he never looked at both sides of a story. And who would want to lend him any money? He left a hell of a lot of people hanging when he bailed the last time.

I am so angery at the mayor and those at city who just want to draw $450.00 as our alderman and the mayor's $1,000.00 or so and we get nothing for it.

What happened to elected officals who worked for the people who elected them.

Bob said...

Hey Dennis. Check this out

Or, just jump in your four wheel drive urban assault vehicle and use up a couple of gallons of gas on those treacherous back country roads over to Westwood, Kansas and take a look at what their police department is driving.

It's okay, Dennis. You can come out of the eighties. It is now the 21st century. A lot of changes have been happening while you were asleep.

Andy Whiteman said...

I think hybrid police vehicles are a good idea only to replace vehicles that are removed from service as they age/wear out. There would be a fuel savings and less pollution.

I happen to like billboards and was annoyed when Lady Bird Johnson removed them. Not only are they advertising but provide important information such as where are motels, restraurants, or gas stations. In Raytown they may provide exhibition and show dates as the one on 63rd and Raytown Rd did.

My objection is that Raytown looks like a ghetto with small billboards on the city easement. There is one on 63rd and Ash and many starting at 67th & Raytown Rd going south. These are the billboards are a blight.

If Department Heads were required to live in Raytown, the might notice this blight. Acttually since these are primary streets one would think Codes people would drive by them daily.

Andy Whiteman

Richard Tush said...

St Bernadette’s Catholic Church, 9020 E 51st Ter KCMO, will be having a pancake breakfast on Sunday, March 21. Chris Cakes will be serving their delicious pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee in the cafeteria from 9:00 am ‘till 12:00 noon.

Adults $6.00 and children $3.50

Robbie Tubbs said...

I agree with you that billboards serve a good purpose with the information about future exhibits and shows. I just wish the billboard companies would take them down or cover them up when the signs start to fall apart. That looks really bad.

Several bloggers have stated that the Raytown police don't become involved in car chases. I'm not sure if that's true, or if the blogger was being facetious.

I don't know a lot about the new hybrid cars, but aren't the standard police vehicles equipped with special eight-cylinder engines? If so, can the hybrids come with the larger engines? If they can, wouldn't that allow the police to travel at the same speeds they do now?

Andy Whiteman said...


I don't know if Raytown Police are involved in chases or not, but I remember one about 10 years ago after I moved to town. Chases are dangerous not only to those involved but to all traffic and bystanders. There have been issues in Independence and KCMO over chases.

I don't know the standards for a police car or the speed restrictions of hybrids. If a chase becomes high speed in the city limits, it should be terminated for safety reasons. Is a chase necessary? KCMO has a helicopter that follows the runner in TV broadcast chases. With the helicopter following, I really wonder why there is a chase at all? There have been times when the TV helicopter followed the vehicle and advised police where it was.

Chases should be avoided as unsafe.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I agree with Andy. Raytown is only two miles wide. The best thing good cops can do in apprehending a vehicle is identifying it and radioing a head to stop it.

High speed chases are glorified in hollywood films but in reality they are very dangerous in crowded cities.

As for billboards. Take them down! At least regulate them to keep liquor ads off of them. If they are not used in a six month period, make the owners remove them.

Pat Casady said...

I'm not fond of big billboard signs either but, I think
Raytown should clean up it's neighborhoods and
streets first.
Besides if our codes people can't do the job now
how can we expect them to do anything about the
I had some friends come in from out of town.
They asked what the heck has happened to Raytown?
It used to cleaner with some great little stores.
I told them they had been away too long.
Since the first W-M opened this town has been going
downhill and the new one just finished us off. Along with
our city leaders giving away income and not caring, the
town probably can't recover.

Anonymous said...

I drove by a former schoolboard members house yesterday and what did I see? A sign for Bobbie Saulsberry for school board in his yard. I hope this man never runs again I would never vote for him. He is short on common sense.

Andy Whiteman said...

1:59PM, I think the same may be said for many on the school board.
Andy Whiteman

Robbie Tubbs said...

I had an opportunity to talk with a guy in my bowling league who is a policeman in Kansas City. He said KCMO looked at hybrid cars to replace patrol cars and decided against it. He said that their cars, and I assume Raytown is the same, run pretty much 24/7. Hybrid cars aren’t made to run like that. During their investigation, they found from other cities, that the hybrid cars need much more maintenance than gasoline or diesel engines because of the increased usage.

I asked about the pursuits. He said that really wasn’t an issue. Raytown has a few pursuits because we have the same policy as KCMO. They will only pursue if it is a violent crime like assault or rape. If it’s only a stolen car or property damage, department policy deems it too unsafe to pursue. The risk to innocent motorist or bystanders is too high.

He did say, however, that the hybrids don’t have the power the gasoline or diesel engines have. The problem would be in bad weather. The hybrid vehicles wouldn’t have the power to take the officers onto a steep median or get back up a hill if they had to help someone after an accident.

All in all, he said, KCMO decided that hybrids weren’t efficient enough for patrol cars. Hybrids have worked well for other department personnel, and the city has been happy with those.

Pat Casady said...

Some of the downtown businesses received a notice that
the city would have a meeting on April 1, 2010 about rezoning
the area where the old church stood. Watch out downtown businesses
condemnation and eminent domain may be in the wind.
I wonder if having the meeting on April Fool's Day has any significance

Anonymous said...

Your argument sounds convincing but it paints with a very broad brush.

The police cars that go home at night with the command staff are not run 24/7. Neither is most of the fleet. Go look in the parking lot behind city hall any time day or night. You will see quite a few marked police cars that are not being used. I don't think the detective cars are in use 24/7 either.

The new hybrids are not the weak sister cars you paint them to be. Go test drive one. You will be surprised. The "higher maintenance" argument is the stuff fairy tales are made of.

Little matter. The combustible engine we knew in the 80's and 90's is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

It really comes down to if you want to be on the cutting edge or 20 years behind the times.

Which way will Raytown go?

Anonymous said...

there you go dont belive the officer who took part in the testing of hybrids.....thanks al gore for your fairy tale story....wal mart employs 400 people in this store i know this for a fact as i am one of them..we wook in 4 shifts...thats alot of mortgage payments that are made because this store is here....grow up and look around this town has problems and you wont even talk about the "REAL" problems....

Mayor's Prayer Breakfast said...

Well I understand the mayor is having a prayer breakfast, which for me leaves many questions:

1.) If this is the “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast” then why are tickets being sold at Hy-Vee and not city hall?

A further indication of corporate influence at city hall and explanation of why the taxpayers of Raytown are picking up the cost for the Hy-Vee in Raytown and watching tax dollars be stolen from our schools.

2.) If this is the “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast” then why is being held in Kansas City and not Raytown?

A further indication that our mayor really doesn’t believe in supporting our local business. I know we don’t have a lot of businesses in Raytown that offer a set down breakfast, but couldn’t we have gone with one of them and if not have it at their location have it within the Board of Alderman chamber at city hall.

3.) If this is the “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast” then does this mean he has decided pray for repentance for lack of leadership and direction he has provided to the city.

A further indication that he has no intention of changing Raytown for the better is that fact that this very prayer breakfast is not promoting Raytown. (See point 1 and 2 above).

It is clear when you elect a self centered individual like we have in Raytown failure will be the result. It now is the duty of those of us who still believe in Raytown to take a stand and elect someone in 2011 that has leadership skills and will do what is right for the citizens and not the corporations.

We must get the word out that when individuals like our mayor socialize with people like Jeff Roe who have built a life time reputation on misrepresentation. This seems to hit home on why we still don’t have the transparency we had been promised by the mayor.

Jeff Roe from Wikipedia “is a Republican political consultant and CEO of Axiom Strategies, a political consulting firm located in Kansas City, Missouri. He was formerly a chief of staff, and longtime aide for U.S. Rep Sam Graves. According to a Kansas City Star profile of Roe, he is known as a rising national political strategist who primarily uses negative campaigning to competitive races. Throughout this decade, he is credited for electing Rep. Sam Graves while also setting the groundwork for numerous Republican victories in Northwest Missouri. On the other hand, many Democrats, Republicans and some members of the media are highly critical of Roe, claiming that his style of campaigning is too negative.”

This relationship with Mr. Roe clarifies that we should all be concerned at what hidden agenda our mayor has and ask him why he complains about the views on this blog being negative when he is publicly socializing with Mr. Roe.

Anonymous said...


I would suggest that you do some research intend of taking the normal position being taught to our community by the mayor and several alderman that there is no fact to the poster on this blog unless they blow the fruit loop horn that all is well in Raytown.


If you will take the time to engage our police chief in a conversation and ask the right questions you will soon learn that one of the biggest reasons we face many of the criminal activity or teenage mischief is from his fear the city (police department) will be sued.

Now based on the world we live in and the behavior of other departments within the Greater Kansas City Area it is reasonable to have these concerns. However, an active leader who has the backbone to address any problem officers could in fact enact and enforce a great range of violations as well as adopt a zero tolerance on other violations.

Example: Our officers do a good job of spot checking questionable license plates, but we do not have a zero tolerance policy on any expired plate.

Impact: Those not renewing their license plates tend to pay their personal property taxes or carry insurance.

Note: The greatest portion of the personal property taxes goes to help fund the school districts.

Note: We pay higher auto insurance in Missouri because of the number of individuals who decide they are not required to carry insurance.

Clearly individuals like these have no respect for the rest of us, which is why there are laws on the books to address this type of behavior.

Now back to the issue at hand, which is high speed chases in Raytown. As I have indicated in the fact section above our chief is trying to avoid lawsuits and therefore is your answer to why our officers don’t engage in them.

All though I disagree with Chief Lynch’s over all cowardly lion position, I do agree for the safety of the general population our police department does not need to engage in high speed chases.

Anonymous said...

Could not help but notice that the guy who thinks hybrids are evil.

Do you really think that a senior officer nearing retirement needs to have a high speed vehicle? For crying out loud! Those guys use the cars to drive to and from work.

The gasoline saved by driving hybrids would be enough to by a tank so that you could reach the zenith of your Rambo fantasies.

Anonymous said...

march 18th 11:15am what are you smoking in that pipe, dude? Get real. The sixtys are over....

Anonymous said...

Yes, the sixties are over. The gas guzzling dinosaurs are gone too.

Wake up and learn that new technologies are not to be feared. They are to be embraced.

There is a better world to be built. Fearing change is not the way to build it.

Anonymous said...

I may be an old dinosaur but I still think the police
should use internal combustion cars. They are more reliable
and won't rely on battery power.
Unlike some, I choose not to believe in the Tooth Fairy,
The Easter Bunny and the biggest fairy tale, global warming.
I believe the people were misinformed, that's another way of saying
lied to, by people that will make a fortune off of people that truly
want to make things better. People that will spend more for light bulbs.
People that want the best for us by "buying Green, going Green" and
so on. We are proving every day that there is "one born every day!"

Anonymous said...

Thank you “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast”

I was able to verify that your statement one and two are correct as well as looked up Jeff Roe and found the information you provided.

Based on the mayor’s out breaks within Board of Alderman meetings, I would say that the mayor not only has a lot of built of hostility, but a lot of negativity within him. He should also be reminded these are public events and that those in attendance view his childless outburst as additional fuel to the already negative image of Raytown.

Although I as many would like to see the transparency he promised while campaigning. Do we really need him to demonstrate his comment to transparency by these shows that display how negative he really is?

It seems someone needs to suggest that he and his friend, Jeff Roe, attend anger management class where they might learn to not be so negative towards others.

Andy Whiteman said...

Are insurance rates really higher in MO because of uninsured motorists? I was told the same about NM and NM also claims the rates are high because of too many uninsured drunk drivers. I came here from Colorado and rates in CO are much higher because CO is a PIP state, in othere words, YOUR insurance pays your medical and wage loss regardless of which driver is at fault. If the other driver is at fault and your insurance still has to pay your medical!

Hybrid vehicles save gas, but I question if the gas savings will justify the extra cost of the vehicle? These vehicles seem very expensive.

There are also safety issues. EMS, Fire, and other first responders require extra training because these vehicles electrocute, explode, or both when EMS attempts to extracate victims from a crash. I also heard that it costs something like $6000 to replace a battery. Outrageous! Who can afford to replace a $6000 battery?

Another safety issue is these vehicles have electronic rather than mechinical controls as in the Toyotas going out of control. I don't trust electronic controls. I have felt this way since the time an electronic eject on a cassette player failed to eject a tape while a mechinical eject was dependable.

Pat, could the April 1 date indicate a meeting of fools?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:19am: Are you a car salesman? Is that why you keep touting the benefits of hybrids? Even though lots of people have tested and investigated them and found the unsuitable? Or maybe your a used car salesman?

Andy Whiteman said...

I think there are good sides to hybrids as well as bad sides. People will be for or against hybrids the same as people argue politics.

As for me hybrids are too expensive and after the Toyota issue, I don't trust their safety.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I have read this blog for the past year or so and have heard people bash Bower. Don't know if they are right; don't know if they are wrong.I voted for Bower in the last election. Here is the deal. Are Raytown citizens better off today than before Bower took over? That is the question. Forget Jeff Roe. He will always find a way to make money.

Andy Whiteman said...

Our city crews did a really great job of snow removal. They are to be commended. When I go up the streets were completely clear and looked as if it hadn't snowed in the street. I wonder how they did it?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


Who says it has to be a Prius? The Ford Fusion is one of hell of a car. The price of the Fusion is very competitive (for that matter, so is the Prius) with the cruisers our p.d. drives around in. They both have a lot of room as well.

Hybrids have two engines. One is gas powered. One is electric. The gas powered engine constantly recharges the electric engine.

You ought to go drive one. It is very clear to me that the guy who has been trashing hybrid cars has never been in one.

Andy Whiteman said...

1:01 PM, I am not trashing hybrids. They are too expensive for me as is any new car on the market.

I think there are good sides to hybrids but I question if the savings in gas is enough to justify the higher price? I also hear that a new battery cost $6000. Who can afford $6000 for a new battery?

My last question is where do you plug them in? I rarely travel, but obviously you can't plug them in at a motel and you will be using gasoline which makes the hybrid function useless. They may be fine for people who don't go anywhere. Of course the police could run numerous extension cords across the lot. What about the cost of electricity? Our rates have just gone up to over $0.10KWH. I assume commercial (City Hall) would have a higher rate.

I don't know if the Fords are mechanically controlled or electronically controlled. If they are electronically controlled, I don't trust their safety.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I have seen the condition of properties as the rest of the citizen decline in our city so to answer 3/19 @ 7:57 our city is in worse shape!

Anonymous said...

I understand from talking to several Republican friends of mine that Jeff Roe was out raising funds for Bower when ran for mayor in 2007. It appears this negative influence in Raytown has been around for some time. It sure explains a lot about the ghetto we all now call home.

The one thing the mayor has done is made it clear that if we want to clean up Raytown we first need to start with the mayor’s office!

Anonymous said...


Go out tonight!

The streets have not been touched and are very slick.

I believe if the department head would live in the city we wouldn't have this issues.

It is sad that our city commandor and chief "Daved Do Nothing Bower" cannot provide for the publics safty and make sure at least our main streets are safe.

All this stuff I keep reading on hear sure seems to be turn based on more and more issues I see.

What a poor example of an individual our mayor has turned out to be. Raytown needs someone who cares about Raytown and not about trying to see how many times he can clam all is well.

A true leader would come clean and indcate we have issues then present a plan to address them. The plan of keep praising the head of codes for doing nothing gets nothing done and is a major waste of our tax dollars.

Andy Whiteman said...

3/19 7:57PM
Since Bower was elected Raytown has:
1) Demolished the Olde Baptist Church
2) 63rd St Bridge being replaced
3) Taken down 2 billboards on 350 HWY.
Brought in or moved/enlarged
4) New Hy-Vee
5) Mid America Coach
6) An auction house
7) A tattoo parlor
8) Walmart
9) New detailing shop on 63rd St
10) Benetti's Coffee Experience
12) another new business (I believe lighting) off or near Raytown Rd.

I don't view all of these as positive but the above are the events that I can recall from BOA meetings. Other things didn't bring attention such as the Computer Repair on 67th ST.

I don't attribute all of this to Bower. It was a team effort. One man didn't do it all.

I would say the generally Raytown citizens are better off as far as bringing in new business and fixing 2 nuisances. I have constantly faulted the city's wrongdoings of unmaintained streets, etc. at BOA meetings. But I would say Raytown is a better place to live.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


You don't plug in a hybrid. The gasoline powered engine charges th batter engine.

The gasoline powered engine shuts down whenever the brake is engaged. At that point the electric engine kicks in to power the vehicle.

When you accelerate the gasoline powered engine starts up and drives the vehicle.

Go up to Dick Smith Ford and check it out it.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:47 PM, I go out very little. Normally all the streets I see are near my house. I was planning on going to Hy-Vee last night to get some strawberries on sale, but I washed my car last week and figuring the city had treated the streets, I stayed home not wanting to get salt on my car since it cost $8 to wash the car.

I have always agreed that Department Heads should be required to live in the city, but what if they are like me and don't go out?

10:17PM, I didn't know what type hybrid you were referring to. There is the type that plugs in to charge up. I thought that is what you were referring to. I don't see any sense in looking at them because I would be wasting Dick Smith's time and mine since I don't have the money to buy one. BTW do they make 4WD hybrids? That is all I will drive and I won't buy a miniature car.

Andy Whiteman