Sunday, September 12, 2010

Every Picture
Tells A Story . . .
Crop land doubles as a wind farm in an Iowa cornfield.
Western and Northern Iowa have a large number of such renewable energy wind turbines.
The bicyclists are midway through their ride across Iowa. The day was picture perfect with a healthy tail wind pushing the riders on their way.

Call for Help Goes Unanswered by Greg Walters

Two weeks ago we ran a story about a dangerous traffic problem at the 79th / 80th Street Block of Hedges. Mr. John Howayek had asked the Raytown Public Works to re-paint a speed limit sign on Hedges warning motorists that children were at play in the neighborhood. He made his first request in March. According to Mr. Howayek the Public Works Department has repeatedly promised to re-paint the street.

The problem is that Hedges is a very long street. It stretches from 83rd Street to 350 Highway. Traffic in the late afternoon picks up around 3:00 p.m. after Raytown South dismisses classes and continues through the evening rush hour. Many of those vehicles are speeding well above the 25 per hour speed limit.

Since the direct approach did not work we suggested that Mr. Howayek go directly to his two Aldermen.

Recently there was a story in the Kansas City Star about Jackson County Missouri settling a lawsuit over a pothole that was not fixed despite repeated requests that it be repaired. A motorcyclist hit the pothole and sustained some pretty serious injuries. The injured party was able to prove that the County was aware of the damaged street but was negligent in not maintaining it. The County ended up settling the lawsuit in an amount in six figures.

Undoubtedly the County now takes its responsibilities more seriously than before the accident and subsequent settlement.

Raytown would be wise to keep a better handle on similar situations within its borders.

63rd Street Bridge Remains Unfinished

Merchants served by the 63rd Street Bridge are reporting that business is slowly beginning to increase since the bridge was re-opened. But a number of them are scratching their heads wondering when will the bridge be completed.

Telephone poles still wait to be removed. The most embarrassing one stands in the middle ofthe sidewalk!

Eight new light poles on the bridge still do not have the globes or lights affixed to the top of them.

Some local merchants are having some fun with the delayed project. Signs have been posted on the bridge announcing fictional announcements from city hall about when the bridge will be completed. Mayor Bower was spotted holding one of the signs while meeting with officials from Kansas City Power and Light.

City Hall has yet to announce a date for completion of the project.

Weight Loss Blogging Can Help You Reach Your Goals by Jenn Walters

As many of you bloggers already know, there is power in blogging. From feeling the communal blog support when you have a setback to sharing your successes with readers, having a blog (as Erin and I sooo know and understand) is an amazing and rewarding experience that can not only inspire others, but also inspire you to do more than you ever dreamed. Like Rosie says, “We can blog it.” (And I like to add “Rock it.”) Read on for more on how blogging can help your health or weight-loss efforts. Note that while the article was written for SparkPeople and therefore features blogging on SparkPeople, blogging on any platform works! It’s more about what you put into than where you do it that counts. Happy blogging!

How Weight-Loss Blogging Can Help You Reach Your Goals To some, “blogging” may seem confusing or somewhat intimidating. Heck, even the word “blog” itself sounds a little sci-fi. But I’m here to tell you that blogging is actually quite easy, and it can be immensely helpful in setting and achieving your health and weight-loss goals. First, let’s break down the word blog. “Blog” is just the contraction of “weblog.” And a weblog is just an online diary. Think of the written diary you kept in your nightstand as a kid. It’s like that, only it’s online. And your little brother is probably no longer trying to break the lock to read it.

Blogging Keeps You Accountable Unlike a simple nutrition or fitness journal that lists what you eat and when you work out, a blog can help you set and achieve goals. Whether it’s dropping 10 pounds over the course of two months or cutting junk food from your diet, a blog is an online journal about you, your life and your achievements and setbacks. And what better way to stay on track? You know your SparkFriends are reading about your progress. Last year, I committed on my blog to running a half marathon. Believe me, when the training was tough and I didn’t want to run another mile, I remembered all of the people who were reading my blog and following my progress. I couldn’t let them down! They all believed in me, and that feeling was contagious. Blogging Helps You Tap into Your Feelings We all know how stress and emotions can influence what we eat and whether or not we make it to the gym. Taking the time to sit down and write about your day and your feelings can be really cathartic. It’s cliché, but many of us don’t talk about how we feel often enough. Especially if your blog is restricted to just your friends, a blog is a safe, non-judgmental place for you to go and write about your feelings.

Blogging Uncovers Patterns When you're writing about your pitfalls, plateaus and positive steps, you'll start to notice trends. For example, many find that their motivation to work out wanes after a stressful day at work or that an evening with the in-laws leads to ordering dessert (or one too many cocktails). Writing about those issues and brainstorming ways to overcome them—either on your own or with the help of your readers—is a huge perk of regular blogging. Blogging Provides Support It's funny. Even when you think you’re having a problem or a setback that no one else can understand, I guarantee that by blogging about it, you’ll have a SparkFriend or two share a very similar story with you and how they got through the same ordeal or, at the very least, receive an outpouring of support and compassionate comments. Losing weight is a tough process, but you’re not the first or only one going through it. Visit other blogs or SparkPages that inspire you, and ask them to check out your blog, too. There is power—and support—in numbers. I recently blogged about my experience with emotional eating and was overwhelmed with the response from readers. The comments and emails I received about it were so uplifting and encouraging—not to mention that I hopefully helped some other people in the process. Believe me, you get back what you put in when it comes to blogging.

To visit Jenn's website go to

Last Week's Poll Results

Should the Raytown Park Board develop a dog park where pet owners could exercise their pets?

Yes . . . . . . . 67%
No . . . . . . . .30%
Not Sure . . . . 3%


Pat Casady said...

It would be a shame if it took a child getting hurt
to get the street repainted or a sign put up.
I don't understand, how hard could it be to paint a few
words on a street. Maybe that neighborhood could talk the
Chamber into painting their street. They don't have a problem
painting Raytown Road and the paint lasts for years.
As for the bridge, I am grateful that it is open again.
We have customers from all over Missouri and Kansas.
Trying to tell them how to get around this town with two
streets named Raytown Road and Raytown Tfw.
right next to each other is a real chore. Most of us in the
downtown area are happy the bridge is open but far from
being finished. However it is a great opportunity for some
humor at the cities expense. I've often thought about taping
some cheap flashlights on the un-finished, un-lighted poles
and signs on the poles in the way that say please don't hit me.
Maybe even one of those Halloween witches that look like
They ran into the pole on their brooms.
But, in fairness, I've heard that the power and light people
are shorthanded because of all the disasters, floods, tornados
and so on. Either way I don't blame the city for this one.

Andy Whiteman said...

The main point is the bridge is open to traffic. The rest is cosmetic.

Maybe is the residents of Hedges and the entire neighborhood packed a BOA meeting, things would happen. Or does it take a child being injured or killed? Money won't replace a life.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

Last Saturday an interesting post caught my eye on the blog portion of this site. He or she wrote:

“We are not Kansas City or Lee's Summit. We are Raytown and that's the fact. We would like to think that we are better than Lee's Summit but that in someone's head not the reality.”

I wondered where on earth that came from. Who wrote anywhere was better than anywhere else?

I’ve spent a lot of time in the eastern part of Jackson County lately in my campaign. The people there are no different than the people here. In fact, the number of former Raytown residents living in Lee’s Summit has led me to believe that as the Kansas City metropolitan area grows, people move with it.

If you compare the different cities, it comes down to this. Fifty years ago Raytown was an outer ring suburb. Now it is an inner ring suburb. Lee’s Summit is now an outer ring suburb.

Lee’s Summit is a vibrant city with a lot of room for growth and a promising future. Raytown is a 60 year old city that I believe is on the rebound. The road may be rocky. We may not agree on how we are approaching the future. Still, things are looking up for both communities.

Lee said...

If speeding on Hedges is a problem, has the police department been asked to do additional enforcement during the afternoon hours? Assuming there are no speed limit signs stating otherwise, 25 MPH is the limit on all Raytown streets. It shouldn't be necessary, but if it is, explain to them that it is their job. Repainting a sign on the street will do no good if there is no enforcement.

Pat Casady said...

There are a lot good people trying to make
Raytown a better place. The Main Street Association is such a group. Their focus is on the downtown area.
However, they don't have the means to make much really
happen. This is where the city has to step up to the plate
and use taxpayer dollars to bring back Raytown.
But, with a city government that has given away millions
in tax income the future isn't all that bright.
The only way this town will come back is to help new business
prospects, not by giving them a free ride on taxes but to
reduce some of the asinine startup codes like planting trees,
installing curbs where none had ever been and so on.
If this town is to ever come back, it needs to bend over backwards
for new businesses without costing the taxpayers money.
If tax breaks are given they should not be such that
Raytown doesn't get any part of it. We have already seen that without tax income they raise our taxes to try to make up for it.
We need smarter more caring people running things in Raytown.

Greg Walters said...

The police have been contacted about the speeding on Hedges.

The long straight-away that is Hedges from 83rd Street to 350 Highway encourages people to accelerate.

How many times has each of us been driving down a highway or neighborhood street, glance at the speedometer and realize how fast we had accelerated?

Posting the warning on the street was a good, effective way to slow down traffic.

Why the city has chosen to ignore the situation is a puzzle to me.

The fact that children play along the street (and probably in it as well) should be reason enough to push this simple maintenance problem to the top of the list.

Andy Whiteman said...

Is a 25MPH speed limit sufficient? Maybe these residential feeder streets passing through a residential area with high traffic volume should have a 15MPH speed limit. 15 was the school zone limit when I was in school.

My wife was run down and killed in a parking lot by someone who was driving too fast. I later discussed this with a California Highway Patrol accident investigator who stated that the injuries would be deadly in this type of "accident" regardless if the speed is 40 or 25. It seems to me that in the case of high speed residential feeder streets, 15MPH is something that could be enforced.

I called RPD about 10 years ago agout speeding on 67th. I met with the officer who was doing speed checks. Since the area was down hill, people tended to speed up due to gravity. The officer stated that in 2 hours he issued only one ticket because most officers allow some leeway in speed since a car going (especially down hill) 37 in a 30 zone could claim defective equipment. If the speed is 15MPH, those going 35 are clearly in violation and can't claim defective equipment.

The speed limit on Willow from 63rd to 67th is 30. I normally drive it at 25 and people pass me which is really unsafe.

Isn't it reasonable to lower the speed limit before a child is killed or seriously injured? Enforcing a 25 limit isn't enough because inforcement isn't 24/7 and drivers are allowed a leeway to exceed the limit due to alleged equipment error.

Andy Whiteman

KMCCLA said...

What about another busy Raytown street, it only runs for a short distance through Raytown, about 4 or 5 blocks. Both sides are 35 on either side (of Raytown) it is a collector street as well. For the most part is unimproved, with only a small part even having curb. There is also a lot of foot traffic, considering there is a Middle School near by. I have lived here all my life, and we too have had our share of speeders. Almost forty years ago, they tried to raise the speed limit, but a petition led mostly by my parents returned it back to 25 MPH. We are grateful (although it has been awhile) when the police patrol the speed limit. Now there seems to be a problem on Hedges, with much of the same one we have here on James A Reed Road. Posting speed limit signs, and painting them on the street will do little if people do not pay attention to them. I have noticed on some streets (in Kansas City) that have speed bumps in the street (Booth, just south the 87th, and 93rd Street, just west of James A Reed Road). Perhaps this could be a solution to part of the problem. The only way is to get the police out there and issue tickets, even perhaps have them park an "empty" patrol car near the north end near 350, might even slow some of the traffic down. But wanting a street painted, and more signs put up will do nothing, unless it is enforced, because people simply will just ignore them.

Anonymous said...


You are 100% correct on your analysis of the problem in Raytown. John Wiley said it best at the last City Council meeting.

Raytown does have a lack of leadership crisis.

Frank Potter said...

Could you explain why you think
"Raytown is on the rebound & things
are looking up".Other than a few
retail prospects I am not aware of
much positive going on in Raytown.

Greg Walters said...


Drive down 350 highway. Fewer vacancies than 10, even 5 years ago. Change is slow to come. But at least there has not been an increase of vacancies along that strip.

Yes, I am aware that there are some recent vacancies like the old bowling alley. But from a retail perspective there is more now than there was before.

Anonymous said...

There is speeding on all Raytown streets. The other day while I was outside three cars ran all three stop signs on my street. We could have more revenue if the police department ran radar and wrote some tickets. I don't know if they are just plain lazy or scared!!! Either way they need to get off their a-- and do their job.Here is another prime example of no LEADERSHIP!!!!

Anonymous said...

Greg I know this a very busy time of the year for you with your campagin and everything else going on. May I offer a suggestion for a poll you could do on your blog. Put one out there for the citizens to vote on if they think the mayor deserves a second term or if he doing a good job of governing our city. Let's see how LOW in the poll he can go.

KMCCLA said...

Anonymous 10:52 AM --

The police are not lazy. Awhile back I was able to speak to Chief Lynch, and asked him about not having as many patrols for the speeders on James A Reed. He basically said that they did not have the time, money or the manpower to do it at this time. People are complaining about the raising crime rate, and then complain that they got a ticket, while the police should be out catching the criminals. While I agree that there is a growing crime problem in certain areas of Raytown, I would also like to see our street patrolled as well. But do not call them lazy, because unlike you, they are willing to protect and serve -- what are you willing to do?

Greg Walters said...

If, for one, do not believe that the rising crime rate is something only happening in Raytown.

Last weekend I was campaigning in Lee's Summit. I came upon a house where a police car was parked. In the driveway of the house was a Highway Patrol vehicle. Many Missouri State Highway patrolman take their vehicles home.

During the night, someone had thrown a paving block through the passenger window of the patrol car.

My point is that crime is on the rise everywhere.

And there no doubt that those who are committing the crimes have an advantage over the police because they can pick and choose when they break the law.

The best we can do is look out for each other and call the authorities when we suspect something is not right in our neighborhoods.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with KMCCLA. The Police are NOT lazy. There are only a certain number of officers on duty at one time. Also an officer has to observe a violation to write a ticket. It is purely luck if an officer happens to be at a given point to observe a traffic violation. If an officer observes a violation and is dispatched an emergency situation, he/she must respond to the emergency.

10:52 AM, I suggest you call the non-emergency number of the RPD and ask to speak with a traffic Sgt. Ask the Sgt. for selective enforcement of the area you have a concern about. If you notice infractions during certain time periods such as before or after school please be sure to mention the approximate times. I have done that twice in the 10 years I have lived in Raytown and both times, my request was complied with.

I used to work in law enforcement. Comparing the RPD to everywhere I have lived, I rate the Raytown Police Department as top notch!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

the slow 25 mph on Hedges has been repainted. now if they can keep the armada of cars that are usually parked on the street on both sides out of there that would be a plus. If you absolutely feel that you have to have all of these cars, make some off street parking. This is just as dangerous as anyone speeding through the area.

BTW, the speeding is not going to subside on it's own. There are a lot of irresponsible 'adults' that are in a hurry trying to get to and from their house to where ever they are going that are the main culprits that are blowing through stop signs, speeding, blasting their radios, etc. It is not just limited to the high school kids at 2-2:30 pm. Try 4:30-6:30pm and early in the mornings.

Speed bumps are not the answer. I don't need to be penalized any more by the city by wearing out my vehicles suspension system way before it's time because of the irresponsible people. And the potholes don't help either.

If something is not done about this problem, then the city is just as negligent as the perpetrators and should be held accountable as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the police are lazy either.
They have a thankless job.
On the other hand you might ask, "Safety Tax?"
What "Safety Tax?" remember it was for more officers
and better coverage of our city,
because of the increase in crime. But, with city hall giving away
more and more tax income to any business that asks, there is
little tax money to add to the coffers.
Every sales tax increase for every new business just pushes
Raytown into the highest taxed town with no services for
the citizens. Here's something city hall doesn't want you to know.
There have been well over three hundred police calls to
the new Wal-Mart! W-M doesn't contribute any sales
tax toward the "Safety Tax" because city hall gave them a free tax ride.
(The city doesn't get a cent of taxes for twenty years)
It looks like your safety tax has gone to keep W-M safe not you.

Anonymous said...

I too am waiting to see the benefit of the new "safety sales tax". Where are the new officers that we were promised? It is my understanding from " insiders" that Jim Lynch wants to spend all of this new tax money on new equipment and raises for his highly paid command staff. Sounds like Lynch has his priorities mixed up. I believe Lynch needs an opponent in next April's election. Maybe with an open debate about how the police department is ran, it could only improve things down there.

Anonymous said...

Along the lines of John Wiley's rant last week I was just informed that Aldi's and Ihop both have put thier projects on hold, due to an inability to reach an agreement with city staff. In addition I was told a large lumber yard was looking at the old Wal-Mart, but has also met a brickwall at city hall. Good'ole Beth Linn killing more growth before 9 am than most city's do in a year.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the Chief hired any new patrolman? He has the money from the safety sales tax to do it. We hired a crime analyist, now get some patrol man on the street. You got your new toy, a vehicle to go to drove to stand offs in, so now how about doing something for the citizens of Raytown crack down on speeders and the thugs. If they get a ticket for speeding them all they have to do is slow down. Quit giving excuses and start working.

Anonymous said...

I am all for the poll. Let's give the mayor a wake up call!!!!

Anonymous said...

Can somebody tell me if this isn't the same old thing
only worded different?
"The Board of Aldermen, at last meeting on September 7,
approved and ordinance that created the "Ditzler
Community Improvement District (CID) to help the development
and also authorized a cooperative agreement with the district.
at a later date the city is expected to authorize a $600,000 "loan"
to the district, which would be repaid from an additional one
Cent sales tax charged within the district."
A separate $250,000 loan is expected to be made to the
CID for a second phase of development , which is expected to be a restaurant."
It sounds like the people of Raytown are once again building the buildings
for yet another large corporation.
Not to mention, Raytown is a ten square mile town. This brings the grocery store tally up a grocery store for every square mile of town.

Anonymous said...

A new Aldi Store will probably push out one of the older stores. More likely than not, you can say goodbye to the Apple Market at 350 and Raytown Road.

And why not. The new Aldi Store gets a half cent sales tax tacked on to every dollar spent there to pay maintenance and improvements on their property.

The long time Raytown Apple Market does not.

This type of economic development makes as much sense as the homeowner who keeps getting second mortgages to pay off the debt of his old mortgage.

Apparently there are some at city hall who thinks that is sound economic policy.

Boy, are we in trouble if keep this bunch in office past next April.

Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong about Jim Lynch. He may have wanted
to spend the "Safety Tax" on officers and equipment and
if you remember we were promised, as was Jim Lynch,
that all the money would go towards
new hire police and equipment and none, none would go
into the "general fund." we were lied to. And it looks like
he was lied to also. He may have gotten the shaft like
we did on the "Street Overlay." Remember Jim Lynch
doesn't have the cities check book.
Isn't anybody curious about where the city will get the
almost one million dollars to "loan" the Ditzler Community
Improvement District (CID)?" By the way, city hall invented this CID!
They are loaning the money to themselves to give to a developer!
It's our tax money collected by these
spenders we have elected. You and I are financing these
corporations. Both of which make more in a day the we do in
a year. We are financing these just like we financed Wal-Mart
and HY-Vee!
If the city has a million dollars extra, then why are our streets
in such bad shape? Why are our neighborhoods going downhill as
is our downtown? Why does city hall spend our money on corporations and
not the citizen services we pay for? We deserve safe neighborhoods, good
safe streets to drive on, codes enforcement and traffic control. We pay for it!
We should get more for our tax dollars. We should come first before corporations!
It is our money they collect it from us. We the people, are not a finance company.
Next time you wonder where did our "Safety Tax" and our "Street Overlay"
money go, just look at the new businesses that you have financed!

Pat Casady said...

Why do they keep paying big corporations to
come to Raytown? I though they had learned their
lesson with the big box on 350 hwy.
Everybody but a new born, knows that giving away
tax money to multi million dollar companies
doesn't work out for the people of the town.
Almost always the property values go down
and taxes go up.
This is just my opinion but, wouldn't the money
be better spent making the town a better looking
place? If this town was fixed up maybe we wouldn't
have to pay businesses to come here.
Maybe if Raytown stayed out of the news for having bad
neighborhoods where people aren't safe to even take an
evening walk, without being jumped by punks and thugs
we wouldn't have to pay businesses to come to town.
We need to take care of Raytown before we take care
of companies.

Anonymous said...

Also, for those of you that read the new Raytown Times it stated, "The board also approved payment of $5,090,000.00 for public improvements made
as "part" of the new store development." It's too bad
this multi-billion dollar company needed the people of
Raytown to pay for their building. Can anybody else here all that laughing coming from Arkansas?

Andy Whiteman said...

I doubt that the Aldi store will run any grocery store out of business because Aldis does not have a good selection. There may be an occassional brand name but usually everything is an off brand or generic. Also Aldi has a very LIMITED selection. The only payment accepted is cash or Discover card. Those using Discover are charged 25 cents but you aren't told about it except the cashier says, "Push the green button twice." If you watch it, one of the pushes authorizes a 25 cent transaction charge.

I think people will shop Aldi only for certain items, not general shopping. That is what I do.
The Red Star states the poverty level is 14.3% which is defined as a family of 4 making under
$20,500. I couldn't live on $20,500 as a family of 2.

If 14.3% of Raytown is poor, it is logical to expect an increase in the crime rate. How do poor people live? Crime is unreport income which shows people to be in the poverty level.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

1) I will still shop at Apple Market, like the staff and the Pharmacy. They all know me and I feel like I know them. You can't beat good customer service in the world today.
2) I am quite happy with the Raytown Police Department. I do wish they would give more speeding tickets though - always a danger and who knows what other illegal items them may find from time-to-time.
3) What is Mount Olivet doing with those big hay bales. I am really sick and tired of looking at them every day! I think it is fine they let the grass grow and bale it, but then take it away in a decent amount of time. Someone told me last year's bales were still on the back of the property.
4) Remember change isn't all always good, sometimes things can get a lot worse.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, some of those in our city government think that increasing the debt load actually is okay.

It has not sunk in yet that our current national recession had its beginnings in a mortgage crisis that embraced the same nonsense.

Get these people out of office as soon as possible. If not, all you will have left will be a pile of debt.

Andy Whiteman said...

I wish I could get a copy of the local news media. I gave the owner/editor/publisher a stack of 10 prepaid envelopes to mail my copy in and he sent only 3. It is next to impossible to get a copy because I rarely go out. If I am out, my focus is on what I went for, not looking for a paper. If I remember the paper, they are usually gone.

12:12PM Exactly what we need: A pile of debt and our good jobs sent overseas where people will work for next to nothing!

Who will pay this debt since we don't have good jobs here?

Andy Whiteman