Monday, July 5, 2010

In This Week's Raytown Report

by Greg Walters

A Belated 4th of July Greeting to my Readers.

I am late in publishing this week because for the past seven days I have managing the running of fireworks tent for my church. To make a long story short . . . all of the effort, labor and interaction with others culminates on the 4th of July. Let's just say it was a very, very busy day.

Because of that, I have not had time to write anything for this week's Raytown Report. But I have kept up with what folks are saying on the blog. Two topics come to mind. One (this part is easy) is the 4th of July and fireworks. Though the law has changed and the shooting and sale of fireworks have been allowed in Raytown for  two years, it is still a topic of strong debate.

So, I ask you to take a look at this week's poll questions (yes, there are two) and take the time to vote on whether or not the sale and shooting of fireworks should be continued in Raytown.

To those who say I am biased on this question -- after all, I did sell fireworks for an entire week -- I can only remind you that I, like anyone else who participates in the poll is allowed only one vote per question.

Personally, I view the shooting and viewing of fireworks as a small piece of Americana that is actually brings people closer together to enjoy good times. It only happens once a year. So, lighten up and enjoy the ride. 

As for me, I am going to go outside and shoot off some colored smoke bombs for my dog, Wickett, who seems to enjoy barking at the smoke as it fills the air.

Question #2:

The second question deals with an issue that it is inching its way to the one year mark. More specifically, when do you think the 63rd Street Bridge will be completed? 

I dug out an old copy of the now defunct Raytown Post in which a certain city official told the reporter that the completion date was June 1, 2010.

That was over a month ago. So, I've given you some dates to make your best guess . . . be it educated or otherwise. 

Like they are fond of saying in Chicago, "vote early and often". 

See you next week!

by Jenn Walters
It seems like the rage these days in food is fitting more “good stuff” into products we already know and love. Take plant sterol fortified OJ or the official FBG pumpkin muffins or even toaster pastries with extra fiber as recent examples. It bothers me that many times these types of food get labeled as healthy, even though they’re loaded with sugar and preservatives. But in moderation, I’m cool with it. Especially those pumpkin muffins. Yum.
Another food-plus product that I’m cool with is Zap Peanut Butter. This stuff has what’s usually in peanut butter—peanuts—plus beet, carrot, spinach, sweet potato, banana, tomato, blueberry, orange peel, strawberry and tart cherry. Whew. That’s a lot of good stuff. PLUS, it tastes good. You can barely taste the added ingredients, and it’s especially delicious on toasted wheat bread with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar. Warm and melty, yum.
The founder of Zap, Dr. Z, sent Erin and me a couple of jars of the natural creamy and creamy PB, along with a sampling of Zap’s energy bars. Dr. Z has recently been working with different school districts to get the peanut butter in school lunches, as it’s a sneaky way to get more nutrients into our kiddos. In fact, the products contain more antioxidants per serving than nutritional powerhouses spinach or kale. Score!
While the peanut butter was by far my fave of the Zap products, the energy bars weren’t bad. They come in two sizes: 1.5 oz. or 2.5 oz. The smaller size has about 170 calories each, and the larger ones come in at 290 cals. While the 2.5 oz. bars had too many calories for me to really be a snack, I did eat the large strawberry-vanilla yogurt bar as an emergency meal replacement, and it kept me full for four-plus hours. According to Dr. Z, the bars are made with all-natural dehydrated fruits, veggies and peanut butter that actually expand in your stomach. Food science is so cool.
Overall, all of the bars kind of tasted like a grown-up fruit roll-up, were pretty chewy and surprisingly weren’t overly sweet like I find many bars to be. My favorite flavors were apple and banana. The super-fillingstrawberry-vanilla yogurt was pretty good with an almost sweet potato and strawberry flavor, plus it had some yogurt in it which tasted kind of like icing. My least favorite was the cola flavor, which was more spice cake with a cola aftertaste than anything. But, if you love washing spice cake down with Diet Coke, this could be your winner. 
The bars and peanut butter are a little pricey at $15.95 for four 12-oz. peanut butter jars or upwards of $12 for a box of six energy bars, but tell me, are you willing to pay a bit more for foods that are fortified with fruits, veggies, antioxidants and more? What about for your chillins? Do you like this food-fortified stuff? —Jenn
If you’d like to see more about these products or order them online, check out the Zap website. For more foodie fun, check out the FBG fast-food salad guide or tips to lighten any Rachael Ray recipe


Andy Whiteman said...

I don't see the polls.

First the bridge will be done when they are good and ready, not before. I thought there was a penalty for missing the deadline. How much discount does the city get for a late job?

I enjoy fireworks, but the noisy ones should be banned! They sure annoy Red Dogg and I assume every other dog.

I thought the ordinance has a height limit of 10 feet or around there. Many people have shake shingle roofs and I am afraid that a house will be set on fire by the high fireworks.

I am happy to hear of no more fireworks injuries in Raytown. One girl in another town was badly injured by the caps that explode when you throw them down. This type should be illegal due to the hazard.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Good for you Greg, I must agree that fireworks are as an american as apple pie and baseball. I for one feel that our police have much better things to do then chase down familes shooting legal fireworks.

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and use your fire works. Your neighbors might care, but the city doesn't. The web site is very specific. Fireworks only the 4th and not after 11:00pm. At 12:35am on the 5th, I called the police to ask them to tell my neighbors it was time to put the fireworks away. The dispatcher (not 911) said she'd send someone as soon as possible. My neighbors finally quit shooting their fireworks at 1:30 in the morning. My point is - your safe. The city won't do anything about you breaking the law.

Robbie Tubbs said...

Greg, you might want to check out your polls. I voted and it didn't record my vote. I think there's a glitch somewhere.

Anonymous said...

We owe the former Mayor Frank, the current Mayor Bower and Curt Wenson for the current situation at Wal Mart and all the trash that comes with it. Today there are SIX people in the hospital in serious condition. They all thought Wal Mart would save Raytown instead it has brought nothing but disgrace to our city. We need to get rid of ths mayor and find someone who really caes abut out city.

KMCCLA said...

As for the sale of fireworks I am divided. While I really do not like the noise, the smell, and tend to think that it is a waste of money (I am 41 and have never shot any fireworks off), I am not going to stand in the way of others if they wish to do so. My father's church sold them as well, and that money went to the Dream Center, so there is a benefit. Also, even if they are banned -- which they had been for years -- does not prevent them from being used. People still shoot them off, so might as well let them buy them here in Raytown in the first place.

As for the bridge. It is obvious the most of you do not understand the nature of the construction business. We have had a wet spring, and summer, and that type of weather causes delays. You cannot hang steel in the rain, nor you cannot pour concrete in the rain. So if you want to complain about the bridge, blame God. In some cases, the contractor makes a fixed bid, if they go over the completion date -- it costs them money. Also, in some construction contracts there is a fine for every day over the completion date (and rain delays do not count). So if they have so many rain days, it is sometimes difficult to make it up. My father worked for MoDot for 40 years, 20 of which where in construction, it is simply the nature of the beast, and the way things are. From what we saw a few weeks ago, it should be finished by the middle or end of the month.

Greg Walters said...

I just voted on the two poll questions. So, it is not a big secret how I voted . . . Please try again, it appears to be working now.

Andy Whiteman said...

It was stated at the BOA tonight that we had a terrible winter and a very wet Spring. That explains the bridge delay. I think it was complete stupidity to start the project in December.

Yes the ballots are working now. I didn't realize that mine wasn't counted

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

BTW Greg, The indicator under your article shows 1 comment, but there were actually 7 when I opened it.

I know you have no control of Google. So people might want to double check for new comments each time.


Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7:12,
You are correct. The people of Raytown were told a bunch of lies to make the Wal-Mart
deal go down easier.
The first WM on 67th caused the closing of many stores in this
town and the new one on 350hwy caused the closing
of at least thirty more.
I must disagree with you about "they all thought
WM would save Raytown." They were the people that gave
away millions in tax income. They knew all the problems the
WM at 67th was having and knew it would only get worse
with a bigger store. They also knew that property values would go
down after it opened. They didn't care! They still don't!
We do need a sweeping change at City Hall. The problem is, who
will run against these bad officials?

Robbie Tubbs said...

While I personally don’t care for the noise of the fireworks, my neighbors are very responsible. Several families gather together and watch the displays and supervise their children. If a car happens to come down the street, the kids remove all the fireworks so no one gets hurt. When finished, the mess is cleaned up. No one would know there had been fireworks shot off in the area. It’s hard to criticize them when they try to enjoy the holiday and be responsible at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I saw in the Star today that the police are listing the fireworks accident at 7200 Ash as arson. Someone needs to go to jail, if for no other reason than sheer stupidity.

Andy Whiteman said...

Obviously making an illegal IUD that causes a fire is arson. I think the charge should have been Federal and made by the ATF. I thought making an IUD was a terrorist act.

Obviously those involved at that address acted stupidly. Too bad it isn't against the law to be stupid.

Robbie, I am glad to hear you have responsible neighbors. That is they way the fireworks ordinance was intended to work. Glad it worked in your neighborhood.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

As I look back to the time of my childhood, ( I'm 62) I remember
bigger firecrackers, M80's and Cheery Bombs.
There was always someone around the city that would do
something stupid with fireworks but as now a very small
percentage ever got hurt. As time passed more and more
people decided what was best for us. More interference in
our lives. Other people telling us how to live our lives.
It hasn't changed much. There are still people telling us how to
live, what we can and can't do, and where to do it.
I now live out in the country where very few people will try
to interfere in a persons life. I have to tell you it is great.
This Forth of July I had the pleasure of watching my grandson
shoot his fire works. Some of which he could not do where he lives.
Bottle rockets, big rockets, bigger firecrackers and more.
Nobody got hurt and he had the time of his life.
I just wonder about the people that make the rules and try to run our lives.
What happened to their fond childhood memories? What turned them into the watcher of other people? Why do they think they know what is best for
us. After all they can't even run a city correctly what makes them think they are so all knowing?

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, I totally agree. I enjoy fireworks too.

An ordinance must be both reasonable and enforceable. Obviously a fireworks ban was neither so it was changed.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, while I must agree with your premise I think you are confused; an IUD or rather an intrauterine contraceptive device is form of female birth control. I think your referring to an IED which is an improvised explosive device.

Anonymous said...

Fireworks only belong in the hands of trained professionals. I have no problem with regulated, professional displays. But putting fireworks in the hands of every kid in town is DANGEROUS. NO ONE is supervising these kids that are out there terrorizing our community. The parents just buy this crap and then turn their kids loose with it and then wonder why they get hurt or set something on fire. Until PARENTS start taking responsibility for their kids, then the selling and shooting of fireworks to the general public should be banned. I also would never patronize any of these " so called" charitable organizations that are selling fireworks in Raytown.

Robbie Tubbs said...

Pat, I’m glad your grandson was able to enjoy the holiday. Shooting off bottle rockets and big rockets in the country is great. There’s very little chance of catching a house on fire.
When I was a kid, my dad bought bottle rockets, big rockets, fountains, etc. We all went down to what is now Riverside Park and he shot them off. We got to shoot off the smaller fireworks. He wouldn’t shoot fireworks at home because it was too dangerous. Most of the neighbors felt the same way.

Somewhere along the way, folks have either forgotten how dangerous fireworks are, or they just don’t care. A few years ago, my neighbors bought their teenage kids bottle rockets and let the boys shoot the fireworks off without any supervision. One of the bottle rockets went into a neighbor’s bushes and started a fire. Instead of alerting the neighbor to the fire, the boys ran away and did nothing. Another neighbor saw the fire and alerted the home owner.

We have laws against fireworks now because of a few irresponsible people. That’s the way it works. Some idiot refuses to be responsible with his fireworks and now everyone has restrictions.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:18 AM, Thank you for setting the the terminology straight. I was wondreing about that. I am hearing impaired and keep hearing mention of "IUDs" on the news. I was wondering how IUD could be improvised explosive device.

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

Weather is not an excuse for the bridge being behind schedule. In construction, weather is figured into the schedule.

What is happening is that the city picked a low bidder that isn't experienced enough to keep the schedule. They took a 3 month project, doubled the schedule to 6 months, started it in the middle of winter and are nearly a month and a half late completing it.

Maybe if they would work afternoons they could make a little progress. And if they are the same clowns that hung the temporary lights for 63rd street, I'd be afraid to cross it when it's done.

I've mentioned in the past that I cross a bridge over I-29 that was torn out the first weekend of April. They had a three month schedule and completed it a week early. That bridge was only two lanes but is more than twice as long as Raytown's. And only cost the state $1 million.

Also, in two hours they will be closing I-435 to take down the 40 hwy bridge. It is 4 lane, 290 feet long and also has a replacement schedule of 3 months.

Andy Whiteman said...

The present Fireworks ordinance requires a permit which I think is totally useless and a waste of paper. A class on how to properly discharge fireworks should be required to obtain the permit and the permit should be issued only to the person attending the class.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...


Going to Walmart tonight I witnessed another driver exit the wrong way onto eastbound 350 HWY. I attempted to attract his attention, but I think he realized the error when he saw opposing traffic.

I think the normal reaction is to return the same way you came from so that may be the issue here.

The highway signs seem adequate but something needs to be done to really attract attention such as maybe painting the exit and highway with directional arrows and large signs posted posted inside the Walmart property leading to the highway. The present signs are located at the turning point. Signs may bet more attention if posted inside the Walmart property to get attention before the driver gets to the point of making a wrong turn.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

From Spot Crime:

Shooting 07/10/10 01:14 PM. 74XX SYCAMORE KANSAS CITY, MO

Very close to Raytown!

Pat Casady said...

To Robbie Tubbs,
You are right fireworks are dangerous and when used
by children should be supervised. I also agree that bottle rockets
if not used in the country should be banned. There are too many
wood roofs in the city's.
My point although vague was that I am tired
of people telling us what we can and can't do.
Like "Anonymous" 7:58. He or she thinks they should be banned
altogether. Nobody but professionals should fire them off.
That sounds like a lot of fun.....NOT! I do agree that supervision
Is the key.
It's always one to two bad apples that ruin it for the rest of us.
Cities and people over react to just about everything to try to be politically
correct. Likewise when one person does fireworks wrong then
everybody has to be punished.
I think it's kind of ironic that on our celebration of "Independence"
we are told what we can and can't do.