NEWS AND VIEWS by Greg Walters
New Curfew Hours Adopted
Last Tuesday the Board of Aldermen adopted new curfew hours for minors under the age of 17 in Raytown. The original suggestion for an earlier curfew came from Ward 5 Aldermen Steve Mock and Michael Lightfoot.
The new hours are 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Sunday through Friday and 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Minors accompanied by a parent or guardian, on an emergency errand or travelling to and from their job (with parental approval) are exempt from the curfew. Also exempt are those minors returning from a school, church or other organization provided the police department is informed of the event.
The new curfew hours are being adopted to confront unsupervised gathering of minors late at night.
Park Board Should Consider Earlier Closing Times
The majority of the Raytown Board of Aldermen took some reasonable steps in confronting juvenile delinquency in Raytown last week when it adopted new curfew hours in Raytown.
As with all laws, the effectiveness of how well this action goes to solve curfew violations in Raytown depend upon how well the new hours are enforced by the Raytown Police Department.
One area that may cause come confusion is the operating hours of Raytown Parks. Raytown parks are open until 11:00 p.m. every night. Police officers, faced with having to tell the age of a minor at a community park are facing an unreasonable task in determining who is a minor and who is not.
The simple solution would be for the Park Department to change the closing time of Raytown Parks from 11:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This simple change would make the police departments job of enforcement of the new city wide curfew much easier.
Three weeks ago the Park Department told neighborhood representatives that they would meet to consider new closing hours at local parks. The results from that meeting have not been made public.
The Raytown Board of Aldermen moved quickly in recognizing the need for an earlier curfew. The Park Department should follow their example and move to earlier closing times in Raytown Parks.
Last Week Before the Big Vote
Monday marks the beginning of the end of the 2010 Primary Election season. After the August 3rd Primary the field of candidates for elective offices in the metropolitan area will shrink considerably. Raytowners can expect to be targeted with a considerable amount of direct mail this coming week with emphasis on the local County races and at least two state representative races in Raytown’s sphere of influence.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is unopposed in his race for the Democratic nomination. Six Republicans are vying for the chance to challenge him in November.
Local political watchers will be paying close attention to the state representative race in the 51st District (south part of Raytown) for the seat abandoned by Will Kraus last summer. The Democratic side of that primary has only one candidate, Gavin Fletchall. On the Republican side there are three candidates vying for the nomination, Gary Cross, Bob Gough and Pam Osgood.
Jackson County has four contested seats up for grabs in the primary election. Three of those races will be decided in the Democratic Primary. Theresa Garza-Ruiz is challenged by Ray Salva, Jr. for the 1st District at Large seat. In the Second District at Large seat there is a spirited fight going on between Henry Rizzo and Crystal Williams. The Third District has long time incumbent Fred Arbanas being challenged by Terry Riley.
The Sixth District seat on the Jackson County Legislature is the only County seat that will not be decided in the August primary. On the Democratic side of the ballot Greg Walters and Syed Asif are vying for the nomination. The winner of that contest will face the winner of the Republican Primary in the November general election. That race is between incumbent Bob Spence and challenger Joe Spallo.
TO YOUR HEALTH by Jenn Walters
Calorie-Burning Fat, Headache Help, and Dangerous Detoxes
The elusive brown fat, how exercise affects migraines and the lowdown on detoxing.
Ever heard of brown fat? It sounds gross, but it’s about to become your new best friend. Brown fat is a special form of fat that really is brown and really does burn calories. The special fat is said to help us stay warm because it helps us shiver and uses mundo calories to produce body heat.
Previously, researchers believed that brown fat was just in kids and babies, but new research shows that the brown stuff is in adults, too. In those studied, thinner people appeared to have more brown fat than heavier people, younger people had more than older people, and, surprisingly, women had more than men. Finally, women have an advantage in the weight-loss battle of the sexes!
Exercise: Migraine Reducer or Trigger? Many migraine sufferers cite workouts as a trigger for head pain, but they shouldn’t throw in the workout towel yet. New research shows that a regular aerobic exercise program, such as indoor cycling, can improve maximal oxygen uptake without making migraines worse.
In fact, by the end of the study, participants reduced their number of migraine attacks, the number of days with a migraine per month, headache intensity and the amount of headache medication used. Everyone wins!
Detoxes Debunked t seems like detoxes come in spurts. You don’t hear anything about them for years, and then all of a sudden everyone at work is doing the Master Cleanse. I’ve always been skeptical of detoxes for a number of reasons. First, they’re not a long-term health solution. Second, you generally aren’t allowed to eat substantial food while on them. Third, I like food.
According to one expert, most detoxes are more hype than help, but, sheconcedes, short ones can help people jump start healthy behaviors.
To visit Jenn's website go to fitbottomedgirls.com
A Bridge Not Finished
Late in 2009 construction on the 63rd Street Bridge was started. Fancy architectural drawings showing the completed structure were released to the press. A six month work schedule was announced and a completion date of late May or early June was announced by City Hall.
It is almost eight months later and the bridge is still not finished.
Local business owners say the delays, coupled with an extended recession, have had a disastrous effect on their bottom line. Some express concerns that shopping patterns of area residents may have become permanently altered by the long closure of the bridge.
One local businessman, who asked not be named, said that he has been told the bridge will be completed by August 1st.
Apologists say bad weather has slowed down the project. Granted, the winter and spring have been wetter than usual. But there has not been two months of bad weather.
Typically, large bridge and road projects have stringent timelines in place with penalties assessed against the construction companies if projects are not completed on time. City Hall has been uncharacteristically quiet on the subject, which makes one wonder if the contract has a penalty clause.
It is a question that deserves an answer. If there are penalties involved they should be made public. If there are not any penalties, the City Council and Mayor should be asking some hard questions about how the project was managed by city staff.
Aldermen Mock and Lightfoot Ask for Earlier Curfew
Ward 5 Aldermen Steve Mock and Michael Lightfoot have asked the Board of Aldermen to consider changing curfew hours in Raytown for minors. The current curfew is 11:00 p.m. during the week and midnight on the weekend. If the proposal is accepted by the Board of Aldermen the hours would be changed to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. on weekends.
Mock and Lightfoot told the Board that they personally witnessed minors blocking traffic on public streets. When the police were called the juvenile delinquents would scatter, but would return to the streets once the police had left the area.
The Board has sent the request to the Chief of Police and City Prosecutor for review.
Earlier Curfews Just Might Work . . .
Three weeks ago a couple of neighbors and I attended a Raytown Park Board meeting. My neighbor’s house abuts Coleman Park. I live on the other side of the street, but often walk my dog through the park in the morning hours.
The reason for our visit to the Park Board was to express our concern of the unlawful behavior taking place in the park on the weekends. Loud, obnoxious behavior, fueled by plenty of alcohol, were becoming the norm on weekend nights. So we went to the Park Board and suggested that they close the parks down earlier in the evening to help the police control the problem.
Surrounding parks, most notably those operated by Jackson County close their parks at dusk. This would send a message to those who would use Raytown parks as their adult playground that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Some members of the Park Board recognize the problem. They have sent the matter to one of their committees for further study.
Aldermen Steve Mock and Michael Lightfoot have recognized the same problem.
Part of the solution rests with the governing bodies, the Park Board and Board of Aldermen, to take a positive step in changing curfew hours in Raytown. The other part of the solution rests with the Police Department making enforcement of such curfews a high priority.
It would go a long way in sending a message that Raytown will not tolerate illegal activity on our streets or in our parks.
Bits and Pieces . . .
Mayor David Bower appears to be greasing up his political machine for another run for the big chair at City Hall next spring. He is quietly holding small neighborhood meetings in areas known to have supported him strongly in his last election.
Depends upon your political stripe as to whether this is a good or bad thing.
Bower has been criticized as being an absentee Mayor who can rarely be found at City Hall. The local meetings may be an attempt to re-build a base that many see as crumbling.
As one local Democrat opined at the RDA Picnic, “Look at the bright side. At least you know he is in town!
Speaking of the heat . . . I took some time to do some old fashioned door to door campaigning this weekend. As a politician I am well aware that some people are less than pleased to see all the baggage that comes with political campaigns . . . the signs, the literature left on door steps, etc.
Please bare this in mind, it is terribly hot outside and hard work tramping through neighborhoods. But it is also a proven method of winning elections. This campaign cycle ends on August
3rd. Roughly one half of the candidates running will be eliminated from the race.
Those that survive the primary will probably be back. But all are doing so because they want to make everyone’s life better.
One final note, while campaigning I ran into some old friends. One of them told me that they had recently called on my replacement on the Raytown City Council, Shane Pardue. Seems they had some trouble with neighbors who were letting their property go downhill (junk in the yard, tall weeds, etc.).
Pardue told them that there was nothing he could do!
Wrong answer, Shane.
Here’s some free advice for the freshman Alderman from Ward 1. These people are reaching out to you. The easiest answer in the world is to say “there is nothing I can do”. It is your job to help find solutions to those problems.
TO YOUR HEALTH By Jenn Walters
Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred
Because of our immense love for Bob Harper, I sometimes feel like Jillian Michael gets the short end of the FBG love stick. And frankly, she’s a bad ass. My husband affectionately refers to her, not by her name, but as “Rock & Roll Motorcycle,” as tribute to her bad-assness. And no bad-assness isn’t a word, but it should be.
Because Erin reviewed Bob-led The Biggest Loser, Volume 1, we thought that to even The Biggest Loser trainer score, we’d review Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred. Plus, I’d heard it was a serious calorie scorcher, which is especially good on a day like today when America actually celebrates naming a turkey, killing a turkey and then stuffing themselves with turkey and other delicacies. And I, for one, plan on partaking in all of that, minus the killing of the turkey, and need a tough workout to counteract that extra helping of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. After doing Rock & Roll Motorcycle’s 30-Day Shred, I’m happy to report that it did the job, and then some.
The DVD is divided up into three different levels. Each level consists of 25 minutes (the package says 20 minutes, but it’s lying—I know because I was almost late to work two mornings in a row) of hard-core circuit training. The circuits have a 3-2-1 format. Three minutes of weight lifting (one isolated movement and one compound movement that works the upper- and lower-body simultaneously), two minutes of cardio drills and one minute of abs.
The 25-minute levels get progressively harder as you go, as they are designed to challenge the exerciser as she gets more fit. Level 1 has you doing rows followed by lunges with bicep curls, butt kicks, punches and oblique crunches. Level 2 hits ya harder with walking push-ups, front and back lunges, plus a hammer curl, skaters, plank jacks and planks plus a side twist.
Level 3 is a whole other ball of crazy. It’s the one level where I feel like you get the real Jillian from the show. The Jillian who turns 300-pound people into svelte role models. She takes you through traveling push-ups, dumbbell cleans, jump squats and old-school sit-ups. It’s insane, in a really good way. All levels include a warm-up and cool down, too.
Why aren’t more DVDs designed like this? I mean, really, it’s like a beginner, intermediate and advanced workout in one, and I loved Level 1 for days when I wasn’t feeling very ambitious but wanted to do something. Jillian is tough but totally lovable. Okay, maybe not Bob-lovable, but with lines like “She’s kicking herself in the ass, literally!” during butt kicks and “I have 400-pound people do jacks, so you can, too,” it’s hard not to love her. She cues perfectly, she’s more personal trainer-y than aerobics-y, and all of the exercises are done at a sane pace where you have the time to do the exercises with proper form. It’s like she’s been reading FBG and taking notes on all the DVDs that suck. (Unfortunately, she didn’t read about how much we love fun music because that’s the only negative thing that I can say about the Shred.)
One funny thing about the DVD, though, is that I’m pretty sure they used the same set from this DVD. Thankfully, I loved that one, too, so it didn’t hurt R&RM’s rating by much. Okay, not at all. It’s totally worth the $10.99 on Amazon.
FBG Rating (Out of 5): Instruction: ★★★★★ Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★★ Music: ★★★ Fun Factor: ★★★★★ Meets Expectations: ★★★★★ Overall: ★★★★1/2
Fit Bottom line: Whether you’re a novice, intermediate or advanced exerciser, this DVD will challenge you. The exercises are unique, fun and, well, perfect. —Jenn