Sunday, April 1, 2012

-- BREAKING NEWS --  
K.C. STAR JOINS RAYTOWN REPORT IN CALL FOR BETTER ENFORCEMENT
It is no secret that readers of the Raytown Report would like to see better enforcement on the blight commonly recognized as illegal signage on telephone poles. Signs advertising cheap home loans, "we buy ugly houses", etc. are not only ugly, they send a demeaning message about the community we call home.

The Kansas City Star has picked up  on the call in an editorial this morning. 

Approve new, tougher ordinance
The Star’s editorial | Crack down on sign blight in KC
Removing illegally placed signs on utility poles or out of the public right of way feels good. Just ask residents who have taken on this task in the past in Kansas City.

They and others know the signs — advertising junk cars, health products, homes for sale and many other ventures — are visual pollution that blight neighborhoods. READ MORE

NOT REALLY BREAKING NEWS
BUT DEFINITELY WORTH CHECKING OUT!
Britain's Got Talent has always been entertaining, but few of the episodes match up to the attached. Use this link and be inspired (pay close attention to what Simon says at the very beginning of the clip) . . .  Britain's Got Talent

OTHER WRITERS DISCUSS . . .
What else will Obama do, once he has “flexibility” BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him (Putin) to give me space. … This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” READ MORE

-- BREAKING NEWS --
Streetscape Public Open House: A public open house on the Central Business District (CBD) Streetscape Design will be held on Monday April 16th from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Raytown City Hall. Residents, business owners, and anyone else who is interested in the project are invited to stop by anytime to see the plans that the Steering Committee has developed. This is an open house format so anyone can stop by anytime to view the information and work that the Steering Committee has developed for the streetscape plan over the past few months. Steering Committee members are invited to attend the open house as well. The project consultant team along city staff will also be available to answer questions about the design and the process for constructing the proposed streetscape improvements. NOTICE POSTED BY PAT CASADY



PAUL LIVIUS
City to Waive Raytown Clean-up Fee for Automobiles and Pickup Trucks BY PAUL LIVIUS

 THE CITY OF RAYTOWN HAS PUBLISHED A FLYER WHICH GIVES DETAIL ON COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH RAYTOWN CLEAN-UP DAY. USE THIS LINK TO VIEW THE FLYER: RAYTOWN CLEAN-UP DAY

Ward 4 Alderman Bill Van Buskirk told the Raytown Report that the Board of Aldermen has instructed the City Administrator to waive the dump fee for automobiles and pick-up trucks at the City’s annual Raytown Clean-Up Day.

The event is scheduled to take place on May 5th at Super Splash USA located at 55th and Raytown Road. Gates to the dump site will open at 8:00 a.m. The event is scheduled to run until 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

A recent poll in the Raytown Report indicated that 94% of those participating in the poll would prefer an extended version of the program through extended hours or more days. Last year’s Clean Up Event created backed up lines of vehicles trying to entering the Super Splash location. Many Raytowners, frustrated with the long wait time to drop off material, were seen pulling out of the line.

The Raytown Board of Aldermen has the authority to extend and adjust hours of operation of the Raytown Clean-up Days.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
April 3rd is election day in Raytown. This year two positions on the Raytown School Board will be filled. Three people have filed for two open positions on the Raytown Board of Education.

Incumbents Kristie Collins-Delarber and Amy Tittle will face newcomer Alonzo Burton April 3. Terms are for three years.

Collins-Delarber was first elected in 2006 and is completing her second term. She is president of the board and has three children who have attended or are attending Raytown schools.

Tittle was elected in 2006 and 2009 and is board vice-president. She has one child who graduated from Raytown schools.

Burton has three children, all of whom have attended or are now attending schools within the district.

Polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

From the City Administrator’s Desk . . .
The story is from the City Administrator’s Weekly Report. Our comments are in bold face following the story under the title “THE REST OF THE STORY”.

The City has received formal plans for Phase 2 of the Gregory Square Development. A 5,500 square foot building will be constructed at the corner of 350 Highway and Gregory Boulevard adjacent to the recently opened Aldi store. The new building will feature three retail tenants. To date, two of the three tenants have submitted interior finish plans to the City. Those tenants include GameStop – a national retailer specializing in console and computer-based video games and Chipotle Mexican Grill. The building shell is anticipated to begin construction in April 2012 with tenant move-in and opening to occur this fall. An announcement of the third tenant is anticipated to occur in the coming months.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has been, perhaps, the most requested restaurant suggested by our residents over the previous two years. After many months of contacting the firm and local development companies, we are pleased to have successfully garnered the attention of Chipotle and their desire to establish a presence in Raytown.

THE REST OF THE STORY: The three-outlet building to be constructed on the property is funded in part by a loan of about $200,000 from the City of Raytown. The loan will be paid back through a 1% CID Sales Tax increase paid for by anyone who spends money at the new stores.

You’ve got to love the last paragraph  . . .  “Chipolte Mexican Grill has been, “perhaps”, the most requested restaurant”.

What a clever sentence! Is Chipolte the most requested restaurant?

We looked up the definition of PERHAPS: (core meaning) an adverb expressing uncertainty, or indicating that something is possibly true or may possibly happen, often used to make remarks appear less definite.

And, we looked up the definition of GARNERED: to earn or acquire something by effort, to collect or accumulate something such as information or facts.

It would be more accurate to say that the City “garnered” the developer with $200,000 of the taxpayer’s money to build a retail outlet. The loan is to be paid for by taxpayers at a rate of 1% until paid in full.

Chipotle will be the fourth restaurant in Raytown to offer Mexican/American cuisine. It joins Los Compos on 350 Highway, El Maguay and Las Chiles Restaurants (both located on Raytown Road). Los Compos, El Maguay and Las Chiles do not have a CID 1% sales tax on their dinner bills.

GREG WALTERS
An Argument for More Stringent Voter Identification BY GREG WALTERS

The following happened to me two years ago.

I was visiting with one of the Directors of the Jackson County Election Board. Somehow the topic honed in on voter fraud. At that point in the conversation I was surprised to hear the Director tell me that he had received a call from the FBI regarding my voting record in the last Presidential Election. He did not elaborate, just said that they had called and wanted a copy of the record.

I did not give it too much thought . . . until . . . two years later when I received a phone call at home from a young lady who identified herself as a member of the FBI. She explained that in their investigation of voter fraud in the Kansas City area they had come across my name as voting five times in the last Presidential election (2008). She asked if she and another agent could visit with me regarding the matter. Since I was home that week anyway I asked them to come by the house.

They arrived, showed their credentials and came in to discuss the multiple votes. Though they did not say as much, I believe the real purpose of the visit was to establish in person that I was, in fact, Greg Walters, and, that this was actually my home. They also shared that four other “voters” has used my name and other personal identification to vote in the 2008 election. They strongly suspected that the voting fraud was an organized effort and that it may have been the same individual using my name on each occasion.

After visiting for a while, they excused themselves and left. They told me that they doubted that I would be contacted again regarding the alleged multiple votes.
The whole episode made me a believer in more stringent controls on identifying voters . . . especially in Presidential elections.

I wondered how come my name was used. The agents had told me that people in public life (at the time I was a member of the Raytown City Council) are sometimes targeted for fraud by individuals. They did not explain why.

Many states have adopted requirements using photo identification when people go to vote. Most people in Missouri have a driver’s license or a state approved identification card. Both cards have photos on them and are easily obtained.

I read in the Kansas City Star this morning that the editorial board does not share my view. Their reasoning is pretty vague. They rattle on how requiring a picture voter I.D. would make voting more difficult.

Give me a break! This is the 21st Century. The technology and ability to create photo identification for individuals is inexpensive and efficient.

If you fly on an airplane, use a credit card, open a bank account, enter a federal office building, purchase medicine containing decongestants, (I could go on for paragraphs with examples)  you are required to show photo identification. 

The right to vote is one of the pillars of American freedom. Voting in elections should be at least as important as driving a car. It would be well worth the cost to guarantee that we have fair and honest elections.

Members of the Missouri State Legislature have come under unfair attacks for trying to protect the integrity of our elections. A simple change of our state’s laws regarding proper identification at the polls would go a long way in solving the problem.
  
THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION . . . 
. . . asks if voters should be required to present a photo identification card in order to vote.

Fit Bottomed Girls
ROASTED VEGGIES ON CRUSTY BREAD! BY KRISTEN
I’m often asked about meals my husband and I can share, since he eats meat and I do not. Truthfully, we have tons of meals we both enjoy, but many of them come with modifications—cooking some chicken on the side, for example, or sautéing my tofu in a separate pan from his ground beef. This Roasted Veggies on Crusty Bread dish,... Continue reading

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15 comments:

At Least I Get It said...

Andy,

I agree there other solutions at times for items that are no longer wanted by the current owner, but one of the furniture I have seen at the streets in Raytown should just be burned. Now in to be fair I cannot say what the condition of it was when it went to the curb. I often wonder why the city cleanup couldn’t be in the summer where the school district could work with REAP to collect the items and sell at rock bottom prices and help fund programs supported by REAP. This also lessens the burden on landfills.

As for the signs that say free, I have seen others move things along faster by putting the item at the curb with a sign that said $50 only to find the item gone in the next day. It seems that many are more likely to take that item off your hand when they believe it is worth something to the owner and that the owner shouldn't have left it at the curb unwatched.

In regards to the cities that do offer a curb side city cleanup program actually end up picking up very little and even less now that hard times have hit. Many people will drive around looking for items to take home and call their own or for items they can recycle to make a little money.

When the grandparent-in-laws and mother-in-law were still alive we would go down to the small town where they lived and help them go through stuff each year. Before we would leave late on Sunday evening seventy-five percent of the stuff was gone. Their city also would do the project ward by ward with a ward a week assigned for cleanup. This way the regular city employees would take care of the disposal with no additional impact to the city. The home owners did have to separate the stuff by category and had some items they could not set out, but it was always a very productive program and helped keep the little town clean.

Over the years, many have continued to complain about our city’s inability to keep our city clean and attractive. Instead of doing something to address the issue the fine folks at city hall complain that the complainers on this blog are just negative people. In a time when bulling is no longer socially acceptable it is sad that our elected official would rather bully those who own and write on this blog then address the issues brought up on this blog or in any other forum. Until those at city hall start acknowledging that in Raytown we have issues with properties that need to be cleaned up our city officials is no better than an alcoholic who cannot admit they have a drinking problem.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anonymous At Least I Get It,
I agree Clean Up could be a fund raiser for REAP. Some of the stuff being dumped is worth keeping (to someone.) One man's trash is another man's treasure.

A friend moved away from Raytown a few years ago. He set some really nice stuff on the curb with a FREE sign. I wasn't interested because I live in a miniature house and have no room for it.

When I lived in Colorado, the guy behind me set out an old desk. I needed a computer desk so asked for a price. It was free and he delivered it because I had no way to move it. Also a neighbor in CO had a garage sale and what didn't sell was set stuff out for the trash. I picked up a cassette storage file. Didn't want to spend money, but when it was free, it was worth picking up.

One City Official told me the he won't read the blog because many entries are unsigned. Another official actually made a comment about something I wrote, so either he read it or someone is reading and reporting. Doesn't matter how but messages sometimes get through. Also I know Alderpeople who read this blog because they want to KNOW what the people are thinking so obviously they see value to this blog.

EVERYONE PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE ON TUESDAY FOR SCHOOL BOARD. Remember these are the people who spend 69% of our personal property tax dollars.

KMCCLA said...

Upon reading your post about voter fraud, and having more stringent identification, I could not agree more. We (collectedly) have to show a photo ID for just about everything. However, when it comes to voting, there is often "resistance", and sad to say it is often the Democratic Party that is most often the strongest voice against it. I have nothing wrong with having to show a photo ID, as long as it is required by law. I do not know how much influence you have with the Democrat Party, here in Jackson County, but from what I have seen, they are the ones who are the primary opposition against any photo identification. Often the so called reasons are not really that valid, and there could be ways to accommodate those who "supposedly" do not have a photo ID. However, until certain powers at be in a certain political party are willing to accept this, it will continue to be a moot point.

Andy Whiteman said...

Apparently Mahesh is quite fluent in "Government Speak." In other words saying something but at the same time leaving a way to disavow the statement. I have heard this from others in other fields. In other words they are "twisting their words!" I was having an argument with a high up bank official recently and found it impossible to make my point with this person.

I though photo ID was required in the State of Misery in order to vote. I agree it should be required. Otherwise how do we know the person casting the ballot is really the correct person. IDs are required for almost anything i.e. driving, notarizing a document, writing a check, opening a PO Box, opening a bank account, buying tobacco or alcohol, and sometimes even using a credit card! It is a common occurrence to to be asked for ID. Presenting ID is no problem for me and I expect to be asked on certain occasions. Photo ID should be required of every voter. I suggest the type of ID and number (IE drivers' license number) be entered in the Poll records of those voting.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I will vote for anyone for school board who will work to end the random drug testing of the students. My children should not be treated like criminals to attend school. They are guilty until proven innocent.

Anonymous said...

Drug testing should be for all on the School Board that voted to spend all that money on those football fields while test scores keep going down!

Andy Whiteman said...

Here is a good use to the Green Space:


RAYTOWN FIRE DISTRICT RETAIL FIREWORKS2012 CHANGES
For the 2012 season the City of Raytown has chosen to allow fireworks tents to be set up on grass. While this is different from years past the following items still apply to all locations.
Ø

Locations must be zoned either commercial or industrial.
Ø

Site or location of the tent must be returned to the same or better conditionthan it was on June 27, 2012.
Ø

A minimum of twenty (20) parking spaces per location, which shall be contiguous to the stand and shall be hard surface pavement or an existing gravel parking surface.
Ø

All vegetation beneath the tent shall be; removed, covered with a non-combustible material, or treated with a flame retardant chemical

Pat Casady said...

For anybody interested the following
may be of interest:

Streetscape Public Open House: A public open house on the Central Business District (CBD) Streetscape Design will be held on Monday April 16th from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Raytown City Hall. Residents, business owners, and anyone else who is interested in the project are invited to stop by anytime to see the plans that the Steering Committee has developed. This is an open house format so anyone can stop by anytime to view the information and work that the Steering Committee has developed for the streetscape plan over the past few months. Steering Committee members are invited to attend the open house as well. The project consultant team along city staff will also be available to answer questions about the design and the process for constructing the proposed streetscape improvements.

Anonymous said...

Pat,

Glad to see they went to more flexible hours. I would have liked to have been in on the discussion when plans were made but could not get there before 6:00 p.m.

Anonymous said...

Will the city come out and pick up stuff for the city clean up day? I have a lot of stuff I want to get rid of but no way to get it to the dumpsite.

Is there is an organization that is helping like REAP?

Andy Whiteman said...

7:33AM,
Are you kidding? The Socialist Fascist Feif ain't going to pick stuff up for you. They think you are lucky that they are operating the dump.

You can try calling REAP and other organizations.

My suggestion is leave it out on trash collection day. If the stuff is still useable but used, call a charity like DAV, Goodwill, etc. and ask for a bick up.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I wish my friends a happy and joyous Easter.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Good to see that someone is taking the trashing of our cities seriously. I wonder if Raytown will follow and come up with a law with some teeth in it.

Andy Whiteman said...

11L17 AM, I wonder if KCMO is pursuing the nuisance sign issue or the budget issue? They just cut the Fire Department budget and are laying off firefighters. Sounds like they badly need money. The fines go up to $1000! It sounds like a way to raise revenue.

I do agree Raytown needs to pursue this problem and will have more to day on Tuesday.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Anon 4-6-2012 @ 11:17 AM,

Might I just say that it doesn't take an educated person to understand that you can make all of the laws you want and put all the teeth in it that is needed.

Until those who are hired to enforece that law get up and enforce the law nothing has been done to improve the issue the law was made to address.

A prime example of useless laws and a false sense of improving the community imagie can be found in on the books in Raytown now. They cover things like property maintance and go unenforced in our city and signal a notification to the crimal element that you and your activity are welcome in our city.

To think the citizens of Raytown keep elected officals to city hall that bring just the type of people to our city that they should be working to keep out.