Sunday, August 8, 2010

In This Week's Raytown Report

Speaking of Politics by Garth Bare*

Heat Wave is Hard on Our Four Legged Friends

Former Raytown Councilman Hospitalized

To Your Health by Jenn Walters

*This week’s stories were written by former Raytown Alderman and co-founder of the Raytown Report, Garth Bare. Greg Walters will return with his regular column next week.

Every Picture Tells a Story

The picture shows the entrance to Glacier Bay, Alaska, The ice floating in the water has broken off from the glacier in the center of the picture (light blue area before the mountain).

Note the parallel lines of the waters surface and the frozen surface of the glacier in the background.

Until this heat wave breaks you can expect to see more pictures of colder climates.

Speaking of Politics . . . by Garth Bare

Former Raytown City Councilman Greg Walters says he is ready to take the next step in his campaign to represent the Sixth District on the Jackson County Legislature. He is encouraged by his lopsided win in the Democratic Primary held on August 3rd. Walters garnered 79% of the vote to his opponent’s total of 21%.

The Republican side of the contest was a much more heated contest. Incumbent Bob Spence held off a strong challenge from Lee’s Summit Councilman Joe Spallo (Spence, 52%, Spallo, 48%).

Political observers were surprised by the closeness of the race.

Some have characterized the weak showing by Spence as an indication that the 12 year incumbent may be in trouble come November.

For his part, Walters says he plans to keep his campaign based on the issues.

“I am a fiscal conservative who believes government should be run as a business,” said Walters.

His 27 year record on the City Council backs up Walters statement. During his tenure, he often opposed TIF and Tax Abatement give-aways as an unfair shifting of the tax burden to homeowners. He was the lone vote to oppose the 23 year Super Tif granted to Walmart on 350 Highway by the City of Raytown.

Other areas in which Walters earned high marks were in neighborhood preservation and recycling.

In 2003 he blocked an effort by the City Administration to close the city’s recycling center for budgetary reasons by leading an effort to raise $9,000.00 to keep the center open. He later chaired the city’s Recycling Committee and found a new location for the center when its site was lost to the new Walmart development on 350 Highway.

Heat Wave is Hard on Our Four Legged Friends.

This summer has already proven to be one for the record books. As we move into the Dog Days of Summer – August in the Kansas City area – it is timely to be reminded that care needs to be taken for our four legged friends as well.

Extreme heat can be deadly to dogs and cats. Since they have less body mass this is especially true for small and active dogs.

If the misery index is over 100 degrees, keep your pet inside during the heat of the day. If your home is not air conditioned, a well shaded area, with plenty of ventilation is the next best reprise from the heat.

Be a good neighbor. If you see animals that are left outside in conditions of extreme humidity and heat call Raytown Animal Control at 737-6014 to report the abuse.

Former Raytown Councilman Hospitalized

Former Raytown Alderman Jerry Kinman was hospitalized this weekend after experiencing chest pains Friday evening. Doctors suspect the chest pain was caused by some recent minor surgery and that there was no damage to his heart.

Kinman is expected to be back at home on Monday.


by Jenn Walters

We’ve already determined that running long distances regularly turns your mental state a bit freakish. Today I’m going to share with you a few more freak-tastic things that marathon training has done to me. I figure it’s not good to keep tose “idiosyncrasies” secret, right? (And I have a feeling I am not alone…)
Weirdness #1: Food

I have never spent more time thinking about what I’m eating—not because I’m obsessed with gaining weight or eating perfectly—but because I’m so attuned to how that food will affect my run. And now that my “short” runs are now no shorter than 5 miles, a bad run isn’t a quick workout to fight through; it’s a full-out hour-long torture session to endure. And life is too short to suffer through, so I like to eat healthy foods that are easy for me to digest and don’t weigh me down. I used to be a pretty regular breakfast-lunch-dinner kinda gal, maybe with a snack or two here and there, but now I am a mini-meal queen. Five to six times a day, I’m noshing on some fruit or veggies with protein. It keeps me full, energized, and makes the next run that much better. Sadly for Yellow Tail, I’ve also cut down on my wine consumption, limiting myself to a glass or two only one or two nights a week. I am a changed woman, I say. (If you’re reading, I still love you Yellow Tail chardonnay! You are my favorite deliciously cheap wine, and we will reunite in 2010!)

Weirdness #2: Getting Ready

Going to a party? I can get ready in 10 minutes flat. With a shower? Thirty minutes, tops. I am VERY proud of my get-ready speediness. How long does it take me to get ready for a run? Well, ahem, that’s a different story. I timed it last week. From getting up on a Saturday morning to eating breakfast, loading up my ipod withpodcasts, Aquaphor-ing my feet to prevent blisters, filling up my water bottle with Gatorade/water, packing myhydration pack with my cellie (you know, for texting muscle-buildup purposes) and ID, strapping on the heart-rate monitor and GPS watch, digesting food, checking this awesome what-to-wear tool and FINALLY kissing the hubby and pup goodbye before I leave the house for 3+ hours, it takes me an hour minimum to get ready to run. Wait, isn’t there a Dixie Chicks song about that? I really should add that to my getting-ready-to-run playlist…

Weirdness #3: Thinking Everyone Share Your Obsession

I have been CONSUMED with training for this marathon. Everything I decide to do or not do (see weirdness #1 above) relates to running. Do I want to go to happy hour? No, I have to run. Do I want free wine at lunch? No, I have to run. Do I want to meet Brad Pitt? Um, can I do it after I run? Seriously. And every morning when I go into work, I give everyone not only the mileage on how far I ran but also how it felt. You know…because they care. Or they just like to watch the crazy. Yes, a lot of people in my life are right there in the obsession with me: my husband, my best friend who’s virtually training with me, FBG Erin and my parents (albeit in a “Don’t kill yourself, we love you” kinda way) are all interested. But others? I forget that they’re not. I drag them along for the ride anyways. If you’re within six feet of me, I WILL discuss my training with you. You’ve been warned.

Weirdness #4: Sleep/Rearranging of Schedules

I have always loved my sleep. Like even in grade school, I’d put myself to bed and tell my parents if I was ever up past my bedtime. I was weird, still am. And now that little I-heart-my-sleep grade schooler is even MORE obsessed with getting her ZZZs. It’s not uncommon for me to be in bed by 9 p.m. or even 8:30 p.m. Heck, when you have to run 9 miles at 6 a.m. the next morning, you start seeing your night differently (and you’re really tired if you already got up that morning at 5 a.m. to run 6 miles). Sure, leaving a warm bed is tough in the wee hours, but it’s the best time of day for me to get it done. And seriously, how bad-ass is it to have run 10 miles by the time you get to work at 9 a.m.? Again, see weirdness #3.

You can visit Jenn's website at


Have you noticed any change in the enforcement of the new curfew hours by the Raytown Police Department?

Yes, more enforcement. 8%

No change. 51%

Not sure 40%


Anonymous said...

I am disappointed by your pole question. It seems like you are asking questions to retarded people. We all know that bridge is not completely finished but open for traffic. There are work that can be done without impacting the traffic as well as landscaping work has to wait until the later part of the year when temperature is suitable. I decided not to vote this time.

Andy Whiteman said...

Garth, Thanks for mentioning the pets. The Alamogordo Daily News published a similar warning in May or June that produced a heated argument on Topix. It is still on going with another post today.

On the same line, please remember those working in the heat. I put Gator Aide and bottled water out for my letter carrier. I move it from the frig to the freezer a few hours before I put it out so hopefully it is still cool by the time he picks it up. Likewise I put drinks out for meter readers, UPS, and/or Fedex if I see them.

Greg Walters said...

The poll was not meant to insult. There was a story in another Raytown news source that was written in such a way that it sounded as if the bridge was completely finished.

I was curious as to how far that message reached and if it was believed.

I do have to agree that it really makes little difference. Other than the lights and the work to be completed on the monument it appears that the bridge is finished.

There has been no official word out of city hall -- so, all we can do is sit and wait.

Andy Whiteman said...

The bridge is open to traffic so to the average person it appears to be finished. If it was not for the Raytown Report, I never would know the difference. I have no way to receive the other news source. I voted "don't know" because it looks finished to me.

I suspect people are unaware that the bridge is open. It seems like many are still taking the detour. I still take the long way so I can report the price of gas at Conoco to GasBuddy.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I can't even voice my real opinion on the "monuments."
I think they are a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.
Especially at this time. Each at a cost of around
ten thousand dollars. ( I've been told)
That money could go a long way for street repairs.
I guess I will never understand now elected officials
can spend our money on such worthless items when
there is so much more they could be doing with it.
I'm not saying anything against the new bridge. It is
beautiful and we needed it but, we don't need the
high priced monuments.

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, I am in complete agreement about the monuments. I have expressed this feeling at to the BOA, but it is like talking to a wall. They don't care and waste money anyway because part of the funding was a state grant or whatever. That is still a waste of money.

I think is similar to people putting decorative items in their yards~~a waste of money. I think these same Alderpeople would waste money on their yards or other decorations at their homes. People like to waste money on useless decorative things because they look good and they continue to waste money on maintenance of this useless beautifull stuff. I can't see the point in wasting money like that.

These people clearly aren't frugal until it comes to cutting hours for the Recycle Center. Not very smart of you ask me.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I don't think that all the members of the BOA waste their money on fixing up their yards.

Go by Shane Pardue's house. It looks as run down and unkept as some of the homes in the area that are turned in to the city for code violations.

Salamander said...

“The Bridge is Open,” exalted Raytown publishing impresario Randy Battagler.

“Finally,” replied most of the merchants and residents whose lives were decimated by endless delays completing the structure.

To backtrack… November of 2009 the bridge was closed. Closed at the beginning of the holiday shopping period.

We were promised it would be completed and reopen by June 2, 2010.

In the meanwhile, during the entire month of December, the heaviest shopping period of the year, the Salamander could find no evidence of any work being done on the project.

June 2nd came and went; there was no evidence that the bridge was going to be completed before the fall.

In fact, there was talk of conducting a sweepstakes targeting when the bridge would open – something like they do in Alaska – betting on when the ice will break.

Anyway, the bridge is now open. But it is not complete. I would bet it will take another 30 days to complete it entirely.

The real tragedy is not the bridge itself. It needed replacing. The fault lies directly with City Hall. The contractor, obviously, was under no deadline. Had he been – and deadlines on projects such as this are standard. He would have been fined on an almost daily basis for his tardiness.

Those of you who read the metro papers or watch TV will agree. For example, if the Bannister repair project is not completed by September 14th, the contractor will pay a tidy $34,000.00 for each day he is late. The assessment for being late on the Highway 4 – I 70 bridge is in the neighborhood of $81,000.00 each day it is late.

Anonymous said...

I saw on the news tonight that kansas city and the YMCA are opening their pools for free so that people can go there to cool off.

I think it is a good idea and the right thing to do.

What about Raytown? Will SuperSplash be opened for free to the public?

I am sure someone on the park board reads these messages. I think it is an question they should address.

Maybe they can work with John Wiley's bunch. I wonder if he is opening the River's private pool to the public as well?

Andy Whiteman said...

I nominate Salamander for Mayor. He would have done it the right way!

Pat Casady said...

It's not quite the same with a persons yard ornaments.
A home owner can't use our tax dollars to decorate their yards.
Even if our cities elected officials say the state paid for the monuments, it's still our money. Our tax dollars.
I've heard about Mr.Pardue's code violations but you have
to remember he belongs to the club. This club tells the rest
of us to do as they say not as they do.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Mr. Kanabe will open his pool at 79th and Spring Valley?

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, You are correct that yard ornaments are not paid for with tax money. I feel that decorative items are a complete waste of money and my point is if people will waste money for things like this at their homes, then whey will waste tax dollars for public projects. To top it off these peojects eat more tax dollars because of required maintenance. (We just voted a 1/8% park sales tax to pay for the maintenance.) I don't waste money like that and object when tax dollars is spent that way.
With this heat wave, Mr. Knabe should open his mosquito pool as a cooling station.

Anonymous said...

The Salamander has it right on what delayed the bridge. It was City Hall’s lack of oversight, inefficiency.

There was one other factor he did not touch.

One of the merchants affected by the lengthy bridge closure had to be former Mayor Sue Frank.

From what I have heard there has always been contention between the former Mayor and David Bower. Just speculating, but Bower’s closing that bridge right before holiday season; then standing idly by while the contractor ran two months late causes me to wonder.

As the man said, “Paybacks are hell.”

Nice to hear from the Salamander. Hope he sticks around for a while. We need to keep our eye on City Hall.

A blog by one of the political hot-shots in town – Mike Downey – tells us to brace ourselves for tax hikes galore in the next year. Sewer use charges could go up as much as 70%. Someone always has to pay when government is running amuck.

Andy Whiteman said...

The Little Blue Sewer District made a presentation at the BOA about the upgrades that must be made to the plant due to increased sewer usage and storm overflow into the sewers. The plant is 25 years old and the equipment was only supposed to last 20 years. Also there are more strict Federal Regulations which must be met in 2013 requiring more expense of equipment. The intent is to have a bond issue supported by O'Bomba porkulous money.

I think it is laughable that Dictator O'Bomba mandates stricter requirements and then wants to loan the money to make said improvements!

The sewer speaker stated the average home in the district pays $10 per month. Then he amended it to say that the district receives an average of $10 per home per month because the cities set the sewer rates (and I am sure the rate also covers city sewer expenses.) Alderman Aziere questioned the rate increase over the 30 year bond period. The sewer district man downplayed it as only being 6%. (It may be on their books, but what is the pass through to the consumer?) He did say he wasn't good at math.

In my opinion, obviously sewer rates are going up. I suggest that everyone conserve water during the winter months that determine sewer billing. My winter usage is 900 gallons per month. Not bragging, but there are ways to cut back during those months. My main reason for cutting back is that water is too expensive here.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Water and sewer are TOO HIGH in Raytown. Thriving communities such as Lee's Summit are much cheaper. Another reason we are losing our young families, and some retirees too, to cleaner, safer and in some cases less expensive living, in those cities.

Anonymous said...

Higher taxes is what you get when your city's leaders
give away tax income to big corporations. In turn these
big corporations run off long time small tax collecting retailers and
small businesses. The only way to keep their spending going
is tax you, the people, until you are forced to move away. If, you
are lucky enough to sell your property in the highest taxed city
in the area. Raytown is becoming known around the area as a
high tax, low service town and no return for your taxes paid.
Certainly the codes depart is worthless. Our streets are in
the worst shape since dirt roads. But, hey, we have some nice
gateways and monuments to look at. I can hardly wait to sell
my house and get the #@&% out of here. Raytown needs it's own Tea

Anonymous said...

I hear a developer who wants to build a box store at the old Mitch Crawford's dealership bullied his way through a dozen of the city's codes.

Remember those ugly pole signs? He was given permission to put one up.

Weak people at city hall. They would cave in on anything to be able to claim they are creating so-called progress.

By the way -- get ready to dig deeper into you pocket if you plan to spend any money there. The developer will get a special "tax" to pay for his cost in building the structure!!

Son of Walmart -- we recognize you.

Andy Whiteman said...

9:46 AM. As I asked the BOA last night,"Why do you bother writing ordinances and then deciding they don’t suit you?" Apparently progress is what the royalty at the place at 10000 E 59th decide is progress at a given moment. No ordinance or plan will be adheared to if it doesn't suit that moment.

7:34AM, In addition to mismanaged government, high school taxes, outrageous utility bills accompanied by high franchise fees and sales tax on top of them, and unbearable climate this disabled retiree is forced to move not to Lees Summit but to a better climate. Only the rich can afford to live in Raytown, but why would the rich want to move to Raytown?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Could Mayor Bower be getting money under the table from Gary Knabe to leave his property at 79th and Spring Valley alone???? I think we should have Chanel 5 research this issue.

Andy Whiteman said...

7:34 AM, I am moving and will sell my house AFTER I move.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Local media has reported a Pit Bull was stolen from a Raytown residence and returned the next day injured.

It was thought the dog was stolen for fighting since neighbors had reported dog fighting but Police were unable to locate any.

I suggest dog owners take steps to make sure their pets are safe.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I saw on the news this morning that Westwood, Kansas increased the property tax by 50% last night at a special meeting of their city council.

It reminded me of when Mayor Bower gave out 7% pay increases two years ago when the rest of us were getting pay cuts, downsizing or losing our jobs.

I cannot wait for April so that I can undo the mistake I made three and one-half years ago when I voted for him for Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Now let's be fair about this. He had help. There are ten chair warmers up there with him that have to approve everythign that is done as well.

Remember them next april too!

Andy Whiteman said...

The elected official wage commission is the first group to blaim. They are appointed by guess who? Remember any wage change, by law, MUST be done before the April election.

PS. I am glad for more than one reason that I don't live in KS. Their overall property taxes and tax to register a deed seem higher.

From casual observation, the bridge appears to be finished since it is open to traffic. Careful reading of a media source indicates that cosmetic items are unfinished. I don't care about cosmetics, monuments, markers, etc. As fare as functionability, the bridge is finished. It is open to traffic.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I happen to notice one of the PARK IT signs that promoted a yes vote on the park sales tax. It says it is paid for by "Friends of Raytown Parks Sales Tax Committee, Inc." It lists no treasurer, which is required by law, and this committee is not on file with the Missouri Ethics Committee in Jefferson City. Wonder Why? Who are these people that are trying to remain anonymous? Anyone who donates to a cause such as this must be identified in the public record. Could it be some corporate interest that has something to gain by the Parks Department having more money to spend on a product or service that they sell? Again, it appears that the "Good Ole Boy" network is alive and thriving as usual in Raytown. Wonder if Bob Smith and Mayor Bower could withstand an Ethics Commission investigation on this one?

Greg Walters said...

I am not sure that the "park it" signs are in violation of anything. They do not tell you to vote yes. They do not tell you to vote no.

I checked the phrase "park it" out on the web. Came up with a bunch of public service related messages from other cities about parking cars, public parks, etc., etc., etc.

I've been told the Park Board spent money on a consultant for their campaign. Such as it is -- with just a little imagination and a connection on the web they could have had the slogan for free.

Andy Whiteman said...

The park sales tax election seems to be somewhat illegal because the local/state issues were at the end of the flip cards and not with the regular ballot. A poll worker told me about it otherwise, I would have forgotten to vote on those issues after I voted the party. He said that possibly people weren't voting on them because the election board called and told them to remind people.

I an sure the YES votes knew about it and made sure they voted. Many of the NO voters had no clue. I wonder if the count would have been different if the issue wasn't hidden in the back?
I wonder what the Dysfunctional School District is going to do with our property taxes? If they publish a legal notice it will be hidden in the Red Star so no one sees it.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

If you listened to the local TV stations in the last 24 hours all that is on is about more crime in Raytown. The man that was assaulted and robbed at 8600 Elm street is another black eye on our city and it's police department. When are Chief Lynch and Mayor Bower going to get a handle on these gangs that are running wild in our town? We must demand some action, by showing up at council meetings, writing letters to the newspapers and yes even stopping by the Mayor and Chief's houses to discuss these alarming trends in our community. WAKE UP RAYTOWN it's time to hold these elected officials accountable for keeping our city safe. It's not a good town to live in anymore. See you at the next council meeting Mayor Bower and I will be demanding some action.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect Mr. Walters the "Park It" signs DID say very clearly "VOTE YES AUGUST 3RD", so they due fall under the Missouri Ethics Commission law that requires a committee be established with a bank account and a treasurer. Again, it appears that someone at the Park Department was trying to circumvent the law. How about it Mr. Smith and Park Board members, where are your records?

Anonymous said...


Greg Walters said...

If I am mistaken about the Park It signs being political by telling people to vote yes -- but not having a proper disclaimer then, by all means, turn them into the Missouri Ethics Commission.

I do know for a fact that the Ethics Commission keeps the identity of complaintants completely confidential.

Those who are in government should be held to higher standard.

If they broke the law. Turn them in.

Andy Whiteman said...

10:44AM, I said this before but don't remember if it was this blog or another blog:

Our founding fathers put a lot of thought into the Constitution trying to protect us from anything that could possibly endanger our freedom. The flaws are many of the words they used are not in use now or have different meanings (for example high crimes and misdemeanors~~misdemeanor at that time meant bad behavior). Also our founding fathers never dreamed of the technology we would have to day. (Neither did any of us 10 or more years ago.)

The plain fact is ANY party or group (without mentioning anyone in specific) could really mess up the Constitution and/or create a dictatorship.

I feel the Constitution should be left as is. If change is needed, it MUST be well thought out and all contingencies covered. It is something that should NOT be rushed into. The founding fathers were great thinkers and did not rush this important document.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To the guy or gal who is afraid of a constitutional convention.

No doubt you would have fled to Canada during the Revolutionary War.

You remind of an old Black Sabbath song verse -- Paranoia, Great Destroyer!

Andy Whiteman said...

Since we are turning to a dictatorship, I would flee to Canada now except it is Socialist and too cold up there. Mexico seems more logical except for their drug violence.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

you must have fried your brain on drugs because it was not black sabbath, it was the kinks.... again people need to get their facts straight before rambling on aimlessly like they know how to fix things!

Anonymous said...

Don't have a constitutional convention because you are afraid guys named limbaugh and back will control the agenda?

That is a pathetic excuse not to open your mind to new ideas.

Anonymous said...

Andy - Toronto is not that cold

Anonymous said...

Nazism and Communism were new ideas that some accepted and welcomed. Look what happened there. How about the Republican Guard? What happened there?

Why would I want to be a follower of the Republican Party, or Limbaugh, or any other members of that party that spews forth lies, hate, and discontent? How about the ignorant 'Tea Baggers'? I can't believe that ignorant people would put a spin on 'Tea Party' and use that just to further advance their poison agenda upon the majority.

I would really like to hear what good has ever come via the Republicans or their ideology. The only things that I have ever heard is that they have got richer because of tax breaks while destroying the American Family and the Middle Class, which is obviously their objective.

And they call themselves 'Good Christians'?

The only pathetic thing is that you all have been blinded and brainwashed by Limbaugh and Beck.

And this is from an open minded individual, who doesn't need a group to tell him or her how to vote!

Andy Whiteman said...

I see in a legal notice that the city plans to REDUCE the mill levy by 0.00450! I am pleasantly surprised! I wonder how much the Dysfunctional School District is going to rip off from us?

11:38 AM, Thanks for the suggestion but as far as I am concerned it is way too cold here. Anything north of southern NM or AZ is too cold for me. You didn't mention humidity in Toronto but their Socialized medicine rules that country out.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


They are reducing the levy by almost half a cent!

Don't give them too much credit. There is a formula used (set up by the State of Missouri) to determine the fair amount used in the mil levy.

All this really does is confirm what everyone already knows. We are deep in a recession. Property values continue. Not just here, but everywhere.

The Board will vote to approve it like the good little boys and girls they are.

Anonymous said...

Politics again!
You people make me laugh. Do you even read what
you write?
This country is screwed now. It doesn't matter who is elected
they don't care about any of us.
The only way out is a simple little word, revolution!
The people need to take back this country from the big
corporations and banks that have all politicians in their pockets.
Stop buying foreign cars and foreign products and demand
American. Get your pride in America again and demand what
is best for this country.
The last two presidents first republican then a democrat don't care about you or me. Illegals get free yes, FREE health care housing and Social Security benefits and they they never contributed a dime.
I don't know what has happened but, right under our noses we have let the government tax us into a country that takes better care of non-US Citizens and other countries than it's own people.
I thought George Bush would go down as the worst president in history but, Barack Hussein Obama is even worse.

Andy Whiteman said...

6:50 AM, Down is better than up. I remember last year they were deceptive and raised the mill levy claiming it was the same dollar amount and not a raise.

We have a puppet board and a puppet Congress with the exception of 2 or 3 board members and one Democrat Congressman I know of. There may be other non-puppets in Congress I don't know of because I only follow 2 states.

Andy Whiteman