I bought the picture at right from a photographer at the Brookside Art Fair. The deer was swimming across a lake in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. The photographer told me she took the picture early in the morning while canoeing across the lake. She was about 40 yards away when she spotted the deer.
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Welcome to the New Look . . . As you have undoubtedly noticed, there have been a few changes made to the “look” of the Raytown Report. As you scroll down this page you will see that a new writer has been added as well. Her name is Jenn Walters. She is co-owner/editor of a website named Fit Bottomed Girls, a website focusing on good nutrition and healthful tips for women and men. So, guys, don’t be put off by the website name. It has good advice for everyone. The High School Sports section of the Raytown Report will take a brief vacation while school is out – but will return next fall. Anyone with information about local youth activities, sports, etc., is welcome to submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will find room for your stories. Now, for a word about the Raytown Report. This past week I received an email from a reader who was displeased with the comments that are posted from readers. The letter went on to make some untrue allegations about yours truly, and, in general, condemned anyone who did not agree with the status quo up at City Hall. I thought it would be a good time to reiterate how this post is managed. First, the comments received are reviewed before they are posted. At one time, profanity was a problem. I am pleased to say that particular problem has vanished. Comments are reviewed before they are posted. If they is any profanity or the comment is judged “below the belt” in its content, it is not posted. Readers should remember that what is written on the comments section of this blog are not necessarily the viewpoint of the editors of the Raytown Report. Most contributors to the “comments” portion of this site are concerned Raytowners who want the best for their community. Some are frustrated by what they view as an unsympathetic attitude from City Hall. It is hoped that these communications may alert our city office holders to the desires of those they are elected to represent. Pet Peeves #1 - Unsubstantiated stories out of City Hall: A number of years ago then Mayor Sue Frank announced that the Raytown Round-Up Days could not be held in Downtown Raytown because of construction planned for redevelopment. Let's just say the Mayor was less than honest. There were no plans for any construction. The truth was that the Chamber of Commerce wanted to quit holding Round Up Days in favor of another event which is the summer festival barbeque cook-off. So, rather than be forthcoming about their intentions, a story was conjured out of thin air. There are now rumors of imminent plans coming from City Hall in the area of economic development. But the plans are soooooo secret that the possible development projects are referred to only in code. Not really part of the “transparency” that was promised a couple of years back, is it? Let’s be brutally honest. If there was a development package that was a reality, the powers at City Hall would light up a billboard on top of the building announcing it. Everyone wants successful development in Raytown. But unsubstantiated rumors are not a good development strategy. Be honest and factual with the people. In the long run they will appreciate you for it. #2 – Finish Projects in a Timely Manner: Last fall the City of Raytown did some construction on a traffic island located at 350 Highway and Raytown Road. The project was built at about the same time the new gateway was under construction at Gregory and Raytown Road. I was impressed, the old island was crumbling apart and in bad shape. The new curbs looked as if they could withstand a pounding by a Sherman tank. The gateway at Gregory and Raytown Road was completed with plantings of trees and shrubs. With the greening of Spring, it is blossoming into an attractive feature of the city. The traffic island at 350 Highway and Raytown Road was completed – and then, nothing happened. No trees, no shrubs, the ground within the traffic island was not even leveled for future planting. As a result, motorists at the intersection are greeted by disheveled piles of dirt eroded by the weather with weeds sprouting in irregular bunches. Take a look around our town at other traffic islands. Some of them definitely need some tender loving care. The Parks and Recreation Department handles the maintenance, planting and grooming of the islands. They took on this responsibility when the city helped create the 1/8 cent sales tax (which is up for renewal next August). A good number of the islands have large signs announcing that the maintenance of the island is the work of the Raytown Parks Department. Somebody has definitely dropped the ball either at City Hall or the Parks Department. But in fairness to those same folks at City Hall and the Parks Department, planting season is here. Hopefully the work will be done soon. One other note. The park department signs are somewhat of a blight themselves. How many homeowners would post on their private property signage saying who maintained the yards? My bet is not many. City departments need not waste money on signage saying who planted the flowers. If it is public property the people will figure it out. #3: Long time readers will remember the Raytown Report used to publish pictures of problem areas needing the city’s attention. Our efforts met with some success. Then, one of our regular contributors, Andy Whiteman, was told by personnel at City Hall that complaints from the Raytown Report would not be followed up on by city code enforcement officers because they were placed anonymously. Though the Raytown Report is not a person, it most certainly is not anonymous! Besides that, what difference should it make where a complaint comes from? Our code enforcement people should welcome private citizens reaching out to help clean up our city. One current Alderman is so upset with the lack of code enforcement that he has been seen removing illegal signage from the city’s right of way. He should be applauded for his public spirited action. But his time would be better spent convincing Mayor Bower’s administration the need to be more stringent in code enforcement. TO YOUR HEALTH . . . By Jenn Walters Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut! Nuts are misunderstood. Because of their high calorie and fat count, they’re oftentimes shunned when, in fact, they are little nutritional powerhouses brimming with deliciousness. No, it’s not a good idea to eat a pound of salted cashews in one sitting, but, in moderation, these puppies provide healthy fat, vitamins and minerals, making tummies everywhere happy. Not to mention that while eating nuts, you always have an army of immature jokes just waiting to be made. I’m a peanut butter fan, but I recently added almond and cashew products to my nut repertoire. Turns out all kinds of nuts are being used to create milk, cheese and butter for those who have gluten or milk allergies, or for those who are avoiding animal products or are obsessed with eating nuts in new ways. I’m no vegetarian and I have no food allergies, but I love trying new foods, so on a nut adventure I went. To read the rest of this story use this link Fit Bottomed Girls Last Weeks’ Poll Results Should the Raytown Park Sales Tax have a Sunset Clause ending the tax in seven years? Yes . . . . . . . . 72% No . . . . . . . . . 26% Undecided . . . . 2%