Sunday, March 18, 2012

OTHER WRITERS DISCUSS . . . 

Fill ‘er up with algae: An energy policy that has left America vulnerable BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER OF THE WASHINGTON POST

Yes, of course, presidents have no direct control over gas prices. But the American people know something about this president and his disdain for oil. The “fuel of the past,” he contemptuously calls it. To the American worker who doesn’t commute by government motorcade and is getting fleeced every week at the pump, oil seems very much a fuel of the present, and of the foreseeable future. READ MORE


Greg Walters
Raytown Watchdog Takes Action BY GREG WALTERS
Richard Tush is not a household name in Raytown. But he is an activist in our small community. 

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jackson County Water Supply District and a member of the Jackson County Democratic Committee. Last year he was the runner up to fill a vacant position on Raytown Fire District Board of Directors that was eventually filled by former Raytown Alderman Barb Schlapia.

Tush gets around, and we mean that literally. He also volunteers with Raytown's Crime Watch Program.

Last week he was driving down Raytown Trafficway when he saw two guys in a pick-up truck  posting signs on a telephone pole*. He yelled at them that what they were doing was illegal and that he was calling the police.

One to keep his word he immediately called the police.

Tush told the dispatcher of what was going on and reminded her that two Raytown Aldermen (Mock and Ertz) had recently publicly stated that they wanted the anti-posting laws vigorously enforced.

“She must have checked with her watch commander,” said Tush, “because she got back on the phone and said she was dispatching officers.”

Did the officers catch them? We don’t know. But we do know that it was through actions such as those by Tush, Mock, Ertz and the Raytown Police that will slowly turn our town around.

Pride in a community is best unspoken. Action, such as those taken  by Tush, Mock, Ertz, and the Raytown Police Department says more than all the words that can be put on this site.

Good job to all of those involved.
*FOR INQUIRING MINDS. THE SIGNS WERE THOSE UGLY ONES THAT OFFER TO REFINANCE HOMES.

Richard Tush Reports . . . BY RICHARD TUSH
Mr. Tush has written columns for the Raytown Report in the past. Following is his account  of the incident.

Saturday afternoon while driving North on Raytown Trafficway I noticed a car going south bound pulled over just to the South of the Raytown Fire Department.  Just in front of where the car was stopped was a teenager who was busy installing a “We refinance” sign on the electrical pole.  As I past, I realized that I need to do my part to help curb the ongoing reproduction of these illegally placed signs.  So I drove down the street to where I could turn around so that I could obtain a good description on the vehicle.  To my luck the teenage was just finishing up his craftsmanship.  As I searched the my car for something to write with I noticed they were now getting ready to leave so being I knew I needed to do something I called the police on the non-emergency number.  I explained the incident to the dispatcher who took down the description of the white Dodge Shadow with Kansas tags and told them being the roof was rusted the car was easy to spot.  After stressing how hard many of our Aldermen work to personally identify and remove signs like these the dispatcher the current location of the vehicle and dispatched an officer in attempt to make contact.  Although the individual had crossed into KCMO the dispatch remain due diligent in her effort to make contact by contacting KCMO police about this vehicle.

At 350 and Eastwood Trafficway I lost site of the vehicle when it turned East on Eastwood Trafficway, dispatch notified our officers to be on the outlook for the vehicle to return to the city and complete distributing the signs they had loaded in the back seat of the car.
Later in the day I was headed back home and decided to come in from Blue Ridge Cutoff at Raytown Trafficway.  As I headed on South, I noticed the handy work these to individuals had done right down to the point they knew someone was on to their illegal placement of signs.

This Week's Poll Question BY PAUL LIVIUS
The ever rising price of gasoline has everyone guessing how high the price will go before leveling off. This week's poll question asks our readers their opinion on the question that will affect all our pocketbooks.

The View From Here . . . BY GREG WALTERS
Gasoline prices appear to be on the way to record setting highs this summer. Not good for anyone’s pocketbook, family vacations and especially for those on a fixed budget.

We are sure to hear a lot from Republican candidates bashing the President for the higher prices. We are just as certain to read and hear a lot from the liberal media elite throwing up their hands saying no one can control it.

That last part simply does not ring true.

There are some simple steps that can lower gasoline prices, particularly in the Kansas City area. We are surprised the President has not taken them. Gasoline in Kansas City is a “special blend” with additives in it. That “special blend” with ethanol uses low RVP (or low emission gas) gasoline. Reformulated costs more than conventional gas, hence the higher cost in cities as opposed to rural areas.

Ethanol does not have the higher emission of pollutants as regular gasoline. On the downside it does not perform as well with regards to fuel consumption. Some vehicles, such as Toyota, advise not to run ethanol based fuels in their engines because it causes unnecessary wear that leads to poor fuel economy.

Could the President of the United States set those standards for fuel in large cities aside to help better the economy?

We think so. After all, he has shown that he has no problem with enacting policies without Congressional approval on many other important facets of our lives


Meet the Fit Bottomed Girls
EDITOR’S NOTE: Regular readers know that we have been linking out page to stories penned by a group of young women known as Fit Bottomed Girls. Websites come and go, but we believe Fit Bottomed Girls will be around for a long time. With that in mind please read on for a re-introduction to the individuals that make up the Fit Bottomed Girls.

The Fit Bottomed Girls are a team originally made up of Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead. While the pair is sometimes so twin-like it’s scary, they both bring different perspectives to the FBG table. Due to the site’s increasing popularity, Jenn and Erin have expanded the FBG team to include contributing writers Tish Merritt and Kristen Seymour, bringing new content and other fun, fresh perspectives to the site. The FBGs pride themselves on being real girls—not gladiators. They understand that health and fitness should be about enjoyable activities and the occasional treat, not about torturous workouts and deprivation.

A Little About the FBGs

Jennipher Walters:  As co-founder of the site, Jenn has several fitness credentials under her belt: She is an ACE-certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach, and advanced health and fitness specialist, and an AFAA-certified group exercise instructor. Jenn has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and an MA in health journalism from the University of Minnesota. She has also written for numerous online publications including Shape magazineYahoo! ShineSparkPeopleAOL’s Paw Nation and Diets in Review. In her free time, Jenn can be found challenging her husband to a wicked game of MarioKart on the Wii, chomping on kale, updating her 1960s-decorated home in Kansas City, Mo., and running with her pup. READ MORE




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28 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

If I am low enough on gas or going there anyway, I make a trip to Lake Lotawana to fill up on gas with NO ethanol. It costs about the same as contaminated gas but I get better mileage. I get only 11 to 12 miles per gallon on contaminated gas but may get 15mpg on pure gas. The strange thing is the last time I was in NM I was getting 20 mpg with pure gas on city driving.
*******
Great job Richard! I hope these criminals are apprehended. Better yet, hopefully the won't return. Since you provided the license number, I sure hope our codes department and/or city Attorney sends them a letter.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Sending them a letter. An excellent idea. I've wondered if anyone at city hall has ever contacted these criminals about their illegal signs. After all their phone number is on the signs!

Maybe someone on the BOA will do more than offer lip service to tackling the problem and have our out of town city staff actually go after the illegal sign posters.

Pat Casady said...

Gas prices!
Follow the money. Our government officials
probably have stock in oil futures.
If you remember when this financial crunch
started it was with four dollar and above
gasoline prices. People had to decide
between feeding their families or making
their house payments. True there were many
bad loans out there by greedy bankers, but
the people were making it. Paycheck to paycheck
but making it. The high gas prices put them
over the edge. I don't know who to blame.
The US, according to Forbes, has more oil
under it than any other country in the world.
But, the government doesn't want oil companies
to drill for it. I guess it might bring down
the high prices. Environmentalist have cost
us a fortune and they don't care as long a
bird isn't run out of a tree. I don't think
this is a Republican or a Democratic thing.
I think it's greed pure and simple.
The righ want more and they are going to it
from you and me.

Anonymous said...

I saw Alderman Van Buskirk out yesterday taking signs off poles. Thanks for all you do to keep our city looking good.

Pat Casady said...

I forgot to mention,
My wife's car can use the E85
ethanol blend. her car used to
get 22mpg whit E85 it gets 20 mpg.
However, it is sixty cents a gallon
cheaper. We live in the country and gas is
alomst always ten to twenty cents a
gallon cheaper than it is in town.

Andy Whiteman said...

Back in the '70s during a gas shortage my father was driving through Texas and noticed many oil wells not pumping. Fianlly he stopped and asked why oil wasn't deing pumped since we had a shortage? The response was, "Prices are too low. When prices go up enough, we will pump."

I see it as a greed issue. I think that investors in futures have driven up the prices.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I personally know of one alderman who did call the number on the sign and told them they were in violation of the law. We just to stay on these people like mud on a fence

Andy Whiteman said...

In my opinion calling the number on the sign may be useless. The caller may be speaking to a voice mail or an answering service who doesn't care and may or may not pass on the message. A phone message is not legal notice.

Sending and official letter on City letter head signed by a city official or attorney may get attention. I suggest it be in the form of a code violation notice demanding removal within 10 days!

Also I boycott the businesses on those signs.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Did you see the article in yesterday's Kansas City Star? It told about the communities in Kansas that are building bike paths that allow residents to ride downtown on thier bycycles. And in Raytown, we have the bike path to nowhere. Good job, guys!

Andy Whiteman said...

Bike lanes were discussed at length on 980 Live with Darla Jaye last night.

I feel bike trails are great for short distances or recreation but useless for biking many miles to work. (Assuming that everyone works downtown.) The cost of a 1.25 mile section in OP was totally outrageous and wasteful spending. I would like to see the unused Raytown rail line used as a bike trail but I doubt it would be used to and from work except possibly by one person I know.

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

Many years ago a friend of mine wanted to install a bike and hiking path along the railroad tracks through the downtown
area on to around 59th st.
He even had asphalt companies committed to donate most of the asphalt. He had the
equipment to clear the path.
At the time he was thinking of doing
this he was also trying to fix up the old carwash on Raytown Rd. by the swimming pool. He was given so much trouble by City
Hall that he quickly dropped the idea. He went from the love for Raytown to the hate of it.
I hope this town learned a lesson from this.
Chris Payne is wanting to make Raytown a better place too. BUT, he also has to deal with
City Hall. Lets hope things have changed.

Andy Whiteman said...

From the Kansas City Star poor quality Chicom products sold at Walmart:

Posted by Letters Editor on March 21, 2012 at 12:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Corporations’ greed

I bought a pair of Brahma hiking boots from Wal-Mart about one year
ago. They were manufactured in China with leather uppers and synthetic
soles, which disintegrated after very little use. I only wore them
eight or 10 times in that one year.

Then about a month ago, I bought a pair of casual shoes with the
Starter logo. I noticed if I walked in small puddles of water or snow,
my feet and socks were saturated, and my feet became ice cold. The
synthetic soles were split, and the sides of the soles, which were
glued in the production of the shoes, were coming apart.

People should boycott poorly manufactured footwear. The people of our
country need quality-made shoes like “made in America” instead of
putting poor-workmanship products on the shelves of stores.

Our corporations are overseas to obtain cheap, unqualified labor
because of the companies’ insatiable greed.

Unions always had qualified laborers who took pride in their products,
which would be guaranteed in the United States. Greed of the wealthy
corporations is evidently more important than pride and workmanship
today because of the almighty dollar.

Terrance R. Hawbaker
Atchison, Kan.

Read more here: http://blogs.kansascity.com/unfettered_letters/#storylink=cpy

Anonymous said...

I think biking trails would help Raytown's image.

But I got to agree that the trail to nowhere the city counicl is funding on 350 Highway doesn't make much sense. Maybe one of our BOA members will step up and explain why they voted for it.

If I remember right ALL of them voted for it.

Andy Whiteman said...

I remember making the same comment about the bike trail to nowhere. It was later stated by I believe Mayor Bower that it is part of a bigger plan to continue so that it is not a trail to nowhere.

I saw on the news and the Red Star there is a tunnel to nowhere in Kansas that is now being connected as a highway exit system.

My objection to government is that they propose what appears to be a trail to nowhere but don't tell us it is part of a plan until challenged.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Before we spend money on bike trails we need to get curbs and sidewalks on all of the streets. The curbs will increase the life of the street and the sidewalks will make it safer for the citizens as they will not have to walk out in the street.

Raytown could be great again if those at city hall would take the time to put money back into fixing up the city, but I guess they are just racing to be the next KCMO.

Anonymous said...

Wrong, one of them dis not vote for it. That I reemeber for a fact!

Andy Whiteman said...

Walmart fined $2.1M in CA for overcharging. Has any one checked them here?

http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2012/03/22/wal-mart-to-pay-21-million-in-california.html?ana=yfcpc

Andy Whiteman said...

One reason I bought my house is because there is NO sidewalk. Sidewalks mean having to pay someone to shovel them. I lived in Waldo where the sidewalks were dangerous due to raised spots from tree roots or some idiot making a lame attempt at shoveling so that I was walking on black ice. I fell numerous times. It would have been safer to walk on shoveled sidewalks! In Raytown where there are no sidewalks, people can walk on the yards. They do that all the time. In the winter, I walk on the yards because the streets are too slick.

I called the city because the gutter ends at my property line. I was told that the developer was responsible for installing curb and gutter. I assume the same is true about sidewalks. Now codes require sidewalks. The areas without sidewalks are obviously grandfathered.

9:25 PM, Do you actually think the city will pay for curbs, gutters, and sidewalks when they refuse to maintain the streets? Who will pay for all of this? Obviously the homeowners who can't afford to pay their taxes in this high taxed city.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Now we learn that Bower has a "secret plan" to expand the trail to nowhere on 350 highway.

I am sure he does.

NOT!

Get ready for another round of tax giveaways to developers with the new property owner in Downtown Raytown. Word is that he will not do anything unless the city throws in bucks to help him out.

Meanwhile our streets remain unsafe to walk on at night for lack of sidewalks and street lights.

Used to be that when a neighborohood street was repaved it improved curb appeal. This slurry seal they are using actually detracts from the neighborhoods.

Andy Whiteman said...

Correction to typo in my post about sidewalks. Shoveled should be UNshoveled.
"It would have been safer to walk on UNshoveled sidewalks!
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

At the time of writing this comment, there were 20 comments posted on this weeks issue. 12 of those written by Pat Casady and Andy Whiteman. Why don't these two talk to each other in another format? They are just boring.

Lee said...

That article on algae is nothing more than a thinly veiled partisan attack. And it doesn't even discuss algae, it merely mentions it twice in the middle of a rant on energy policy.

Where to even start.....

Keystone, lets look at the facts. There is already a pipeline that runs from the Alberta oil fields through Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Oklahoma refineries. The new pipeline will start in the same place and run through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and then connect to an existing pipeline to the same Oklahoma refineries, over top of the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska. And then connect the Oklahoma refineries with the Gulf Coast so that it can be easily exported. This is NOT about increasing supplies or lowering prices in the US, our problem is lack of refining capacity and special fuel blends. (btw Pat, that is probably why your country fuel is cheaper than KC metro fuel. The metro area is on a special blend to reduce smog.) This is about getting Canadian oil to market. The problem is that they don't want to properly assess the risks to an aquifer that provides 30% of the water used in US agriculture. It also provides 82% of the water for people living in Nebraska, western Kansas, western Oklahoma, and northwestern Texas. This aquifer is VERY important to the American economy, and it is considered a 'shallow aquifer', meaning that it is easily contaminated by ground water. Should the pipeline have a leak, it could contaminate the aquifer. The consequences would be like dumping the oil in the Missouri river. We need to leave the risk assessment to science and stop using it as a political wedge.

While Keystone might create a few construction jobs, it will likely only add a handful of long term jobs.

And in the end, there is some doubt whether the extra pipeline capacity is even needed.

Other points in the article discuss US drilling. The author contends that the current administration is against drilling. Consider this, the biggest problem we face right now is our national debt. All exploration and drilling in contention is on Federal 'land'. The Federal gov't issues leases for off shore exploration and drilling and drilling on public land. When a lease is granted the Federal gov't gets a royalty on all oil extracted. Nobody is going to turn down additional funds in the treasury. You can look directly at BP for the extra scrutiny on issuing leases.

If our sewage system was managed by the oil industry we would all have cesspools in our yards. Because building a coordinated sewer system is hard.

I could go on, but you never know when blogger is going to chop a post. But if you want to discuss another way to lower energy dependance on foreign countries, kill the CRP program (mostly a welfare program for ADM anyway) that pays farmers to take cropland out of production for years. Instead, give them an incentive to grow soybeans and hemp and use those feedstocks to produce biodiesel. It's a much more efficient system that Ethanol production and an unmodified diesel engine can run 100% biodiesel or even 100% vegetable oil with a few modifications.

Diesel engines are also less complicated and more efficient than gasoline engines.

Anonymous said...

Talk about misleading! Those parts of the pipeline NOT being built are not being built because our President specifically ordered them not to be built.

Those very small sections that are built are not under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Yes, state governments, closer to the people and more in touch with reality than the royalty in Washington DC recognize the need to become independent of foreign energy sources.

Don't buy into the liberal nonsense spouted by apologists for President Obama. He knows exactly what he did.In true Obama style, he did exactly what he wanted to despite the facts.

Marjain Breitenbach said...

Independence Property Tax

The snake oil salesmen are back again. They have a new colored bottle with a new label. Open the bottle and you find the same foul smelling substance another new tax. Nothing has changed. Just another tax that goes into the general fund. The snake oil salesmen have pulled out all stops. I find it repulsive the amount of money spent from the general fund to inform us how bad we need this tax. They have spent all their money and desperately need more of our hard earned money. They have found a fertile market in the people who want better police protection. People who desperately want to feel safer. Many people are buying into the new label. They want a better police department and will grasp at anything to get it. We are being promised a goldmine, But we will probably just end up with the shaft. I know it is hard to predict the future. The best way I know is to look to the past and see the direction the wind is blowing. Looking in our past the officials are pros at turning our hard earned dollars into bonds. Which is another way of saying spend all you can we will worry about paying for it later. I for one can not justify giving the fox a key to the hen house. But then I am old fashioned and think you should try and spend within your means. Vote no on April 3rd.

Lee said...

Misleading? Do you understand the facts? He didn't 'order it not to be built', he vetoed a bill that would have required 60 day fast-tracking the decision about whether it is safe to build. The decision is scheduled to be made next year (2013) after the environmental impact study is complete.

And if a pipeline crosses a state line, or attaches to a pipeline that crosses a state line, then the Federal government holds jurisdiction over permitting and operation through the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution. The existing pipeline not only crosses state lines, but it also crosses the US/Canadian border. Just like the proposed one.

Oh, and BTW, the President did order the permitting of the southern portion of the pipeline to be fast-tracked. You know, the part that doesn't have the possibility to turn Nebraska and western Kansas into a contaminated wasteland.

I know it's in vogue to blame the entire controversy on the current president, but you need to ask yourself then; why does the (R) Governor of Nebraska and both Nebraska Senators (R&D) oppose the pipeline going any where near the aquifer?

Anonymous said...

you meean after the election Lee?
Also after all the eco freaks cast the vote for Obama.
It will be approved then.

Funny all those promises close this end that civilian courts.
Its funny what happens when you get in office and get all the real information in your daily security brief. Not just what your handlers gave you for talking points.

Anonymous said...

Who is kidding who? The environmental study has been going on for three years! This President is bad news for country economically. Especially on the area of energy independence.

He has blinders on when it comes to using the resources of the earth. What would you do? Leave it in the ground? What is the point? So that you can pursue energy sources that are so inefficient that even with huge government subsidies they go broke?

This President is the worst kind of leader. He will encourage class warfare. He will punish success in the name of equality.

Here is a typical Obama ploy. He publicly espouses reasonable energy prices. Yet he appoints a man to head up the policy end of the federal government who has publicly stated he wants America to pay the same for gasoline as do Europeans -- about $10 a gallon.

Face it. This guy, our President, is not good for America.

Bring as another!

BLACKSTREAM said...

The new owner of Bowen;Ray.Plaza;Spanky's strip will more than likely to have to follow suit w/former busness attempts in "town'.