Sunday, December 22, 2013


How about some Christmas music? Check this video of Lindsey Stirling's version of "What Child is This" and you will agree with us that there is nothing better at Christmas time than a pretty girl with her violin in the snow.


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The Paul Livius Report and Paul's Rant appear immediately after our Christmas message.

I remember reading a critique of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy that his characters were so rich and real that you could taste them. The following Christmas story by Tolstoy has been told in many forms. But the master story teller Tolstoy makes it come alive in such a way that you feel you are in the room watching events unfold.

Merry Christmas from Paul and Greg. 

We hope you enjoy  . . . 

Papa Panov’s Special Christmas BY LEO TOLSTOY

It was Christmas Eve and although it was still afternoon, lights had begun to appear in the shops and houses of the little Russian village, for the short winter day was nearly over. Excited children scurried indoors and now only muffled sounds of chatter and laughter escaped from closed shutters.

Old Papa Panov, the village shoemaker, stepped outside his shop to take one last look around. The sounds of happiness, the bright lights and the faint but delicious smells of Christmas cooking reminded him of past Christmas times when his wife had still been alive and his own children little. Now they had gone. His usually cheerful face, with the little laughter wrinkles behind the round steel spectacles, looked sad now. But he went back indoors with a firm step, put up the shutters and set a pot of coffee to heat on the charcoal stove. Then, with a sigh, he settled in his big armchair.

Papa Panov did not often read, but tonight he pulled down the big old family Bible and, slowly tracing the lines with one forefinger, he read again the Christmas story. He read how Mary and Joseph, tired by their journey to Bethlehem, found no room for them at the inn, so that Mary's little baby was born in the cowshed.

"Oh, dear, oh, dear!" exclaimed Papa Panov, "if only they had come here! I would have given them my bed and I could have covered the baby with my patchwork quilt to keep him warm."

He read on about the wise men who had come to see the baby Jesus, bringing him splendid gifts. Papa Panov's face fell. "I have no gift that I could give him," he thought sadly.

Then his face brightened. He put down the Bible, got up and stretched his long arms t the shelf high up in his little room. He took down a small, dusty box and opened it. Inside was a perfect pair of tiny leather shoes. Papa Panov smiled with satisfaction. Yes, they were as good as he had remembered- the best shoes he had ever made. "I should give him those," he decided, as he gently put them away and sat down again.

He was feeling tired now, and the further he read the sleeper he became. The print began to dance before his eyes so that he closed them, just for a minute. In no time at all Papa Panov was fast asleep.

And as he slept he dreamed. He dreamed that someone was in his room and he know at once, as one does in dreams, who the person was. It was Jesus.

"You have been wishing that you could see me, Papa Panov." he said kindly, "then look for me tomorrow. It will be Christmas Day and I will visit you. But look carefully, for I shall not tell you who I am."

When at last Papa Panov awoke, the bells were ringing out and a thin light was filtering through the shutters. "Bless my soul!" said Papa Panov. "It's Christmas Day!"

He stood up and stretched himself for he was rather stiff. Then his face filled with happiness as he remembered his dream. This would be a very special Christmas after all, for Jesus was coming to visit him. How would he look? Would he be a little baby, as at that first Christmas? Would he be a grown man, a carpenter- or the great King that he is, God's Son? He must watch carefully the whole day through so that he recognized him however he came.

Papa Panov put on a special pot of coffee for his Christmas breakfast, took down the shutters and looked out of the window. The street was deserted, no one was stirring yet. No one except the road sweeper. He looked as miserable and dirty as ever, and well he might! Whoever wanted to work on Christmas Day - and in the raw cold and bitter freezing mist of such a morning?

Papa Panov opened the shop door, letting in a thin stream of cold air. "Come in!" he shouted across the street cheerily. "Come in and have some hot coffee to keep out the cold!"

The sweeper looked up, scarcely able to believe his ears. He was only too glad to put down his broom and come into the warm room. His old clothes steamed gently in the heat of the stove and he clasped both red hands round the comforting warm mug as he drank.

Papa Panov watched him with satisfaction, but every now and then his eyes strayed to the window. It would never do to miss his special visitor.

"Expecting someone?" the sweeper asked at last. So Papa Panov told him about his dream.

"Well, I hope he comes," the sweeper said, "you've given me a bit of Christmas cheer I never expected to have. I'd say you deserve to have your dream come true." And he actually smiled.

When he had gone, Papa Panov put on cabbage soup for his dinner, then went to the door again, scanning the street. He saw no one. But he was mistaken. Someone was coming.

The girl walked so slowly and quietly, hugging the walls of shops and houses, that it was a while before he noticed her. She looked very tired and she was carrying something. As she drew nearer he could see that it was a baby, wrapped in a thin shawl. There was such sadness in her face and in the pinched little face of the baby, that Papa Panov's heart went out to them.

"Won't you come in," he called, stepping outside to meet them. "You both need a warm by the fire and a rest."

The young mother let him shepherd her indoors and to the comfort of the armchair. She gave a big sigh of relief.

"I'll warm some milk for the baby," Papa Panov said, "I've had children of my own- I can feed her for you." He took the milk from the stove and carefully fed the baby from a spoon, warming her tiny feet by the stove at the same time.

"She needs shoes," the cobbler said.

But the girl replied, "I can't afford shoes, I've got no husband to bring home money. I'm on my way to the next village to get work."

Sudden thought flashed through Papa Panov's mind. He remembered the little shoes he had looked at last night. But he had been keeping those for Jesus. He looked again at the cold little feet and made up his mind.

"Try these on her," he said, handing the baby and the shoes to the mother. The beautiful little shoes were a perfect fit. The girl smiled happily and the baby gurgled with pleasure.

"You have been so kind to us," the girl said, when she got up with her baby to go. "May all your Christmas wishes come true!"

But Papa Panov was beginning to wonder if his very special Christmas wish would come true. Perhaps he had missed his visitor? He looked anxiously up and down the street. There were plenty of people about but they were all faces that he recognized. There were neighbors going to call on their families. They nodded and smiled and wished him Happy Christmas! Or beggars- and Papa Panov hurried indoors to fetch them hot soup and a generous hunk of bread, hurrying out again in case he missed the Important Stranger.

All too soon the winter dusk fell. When Papa Panov next went to the door and strained his eyes, he could no longer make out the passers-by. most were home and indoors by now anyway. He walked slowly back into his room at last, put up the shutters, and sat down wearily in his armchair.

So it had been just a dream after all. Jesus had not come.

Then all at once he knew that he was no longer alone in the room.

This was not dream for he was wide awake. At first he seemed to see before his eyes the long stream of people who had come to him that day. He saw again the old road sweeper, the young mother and her baby and the beggars he had fed. As they passed, each whispered, "Didn't you see me, Papa Panov?"

"Who are you?" he called out, bewildered.

Then another voice answered him. It was the voice from his dream - the voice of Jesus.

"I was hungry and you fed me," he said. "I was naked and you clothed me. I was cold and you warmed me. I came to you today in everyone of those you helped and welcomed."

Then all was quiet and still. Only the sound of the big clock ticking. A great peace and happiness seemed to fill the room, overflowing Papa Panov's heart until he wanted to burst out singing and laughing and dancing with joy.

"So he did come after all!" was all that he said.

The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – December 17, 2013

Prior to the Board of Aldermen meeting, the Board held a study session to hear about the Proposals submitted to the city.  Tom Cole told the Board that on September 6, 2013 a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued to the public seeking responses from developers for the 3.78 acres in the heart of Downtown Raytown. The intent of this effort was to identify a qualified development company committed to establishing project to develop the “Green Space.”

On November 8, 2013 Staff received three RFP responses. After careful review and discussion, City Staff brought each of the three teams to present their conceptual plans to the Board of Aldermen.
Carr Baier Crandell Real Estate Group presented plans for a new City Hall, a restaurant, and retail shops.  The Raytown Main Street Association gave an overview of their plan for a community park on the property.  Flaherty & Collins presented their plan for a grocery store, a new City Hall, and a 200 unit apartment building.

During the regular meeting, the Board approved a resolution authorizing a resolution and with UMB Bank.  Mark Loughry told the Board Nate Blum, an accountant with the City resigned and it is necessary to name Tracy Martens as his replacement.

The Board passed a resolution approving a continuation of the existing service with Med3000.  Doug Jonesi told the Board that in December 2007, the Board of Aldermen approved an agreement with Med3000 for ambulance billing services. Med3000 is paid on a percentage of collected revenue. Their contracted percentage is 7.5%. The City, for that percentage, gets their collection services as well as electronic patient care reporting software. 
This contract will be for a three year term, and Med3000 is giving the City new laptops to be used in the ambulances to enable the EMT’s to update and transmit patient information.  Alderman Mock asked Mr. Jonesi why there was no bid requested for this contract.  Mr. Jonesi said the City had received good service from this company and he saw no reason to put the service out to bid.  Alderman Van Buskirk pointed out the City doesn’t know what other companies can offer because there hasn’t been a bid requested in six years.  He said he was disturbed no one had requested a bid for this service.

The Board passed an ordinance to approve an Intergovernmental agreement with the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners to utilize city hall as a polling place for the 2014 calendar year.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance to approve the contract with Kansas City Area Transportation Authority for Bus Service in Raytown.  Daniel O’Connor, with KCATA, told the Board the current hours of operation for the KCATA are from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM; and 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Monday through Friday with one bus. The proposed agreement would maintain that level of service at a cost of $55,723. This is an increase of $6,607 from the prior year’s contract.  This is due to an extra 16 miles per day.  The bus runs at capacity, which is 42 riders daily.  There were a total of 9,829 riders of the service in the past 12 months.

Paul's Rant 
Ward 4 Alderman Bill VanBuskirk joined an exclusive club at the last meeting of the Board of Aldermen. Through his actions he joined Alderman Jim Aziere and Alderman Joe Creamer in what I call the "Pay No Attention to What I Say . . . Watch What I Do Club". 

Here is what he did to join this exclusive group.

One item of business covered by the Board of Aldermen last Tuesday was the continuation of a contract with MedTech 3000 for Ambulance billing services. MedTech 3000 has had this contract for three years.

VanBuskirk stated that he felt the contract should be put out for competitive bid. Sounds like a good idea to me. Things can get a little too cozy when contracts are continued without proper a competitive bidding. What he was suggesting is just plain old good business sense.

So, why, when the role was called, why did he vote for it?

That is when VanBuskirk became a member of the "Pay No Attention to What I Say . . . Watch What I Do Club". 

By doing so he joined Creamer and Aziere in this peculiar type of governing these club members use.

Aziere started the club when he gave some very sound reasons for not spending $80,000 on an auxiliary pump for Raytown Super Splash. He then voted to approve the contract for the pumps!

Creamer was the only Board member to vote against placing the Charter election on the ballot. Which is really weird because the Missouri State Constitution says he has no choice i the matter. The Charter is placed by initiative petition -- not the act of governing body. 

Now the word is out that he intends to run for the Charter Commission!

So, the total number of Board members in this exclusive club is three. That is nearly one third of the members of the BOA.
I sincerely hope that none of the other members of the Board join the club. We need leaders in Raytown. The hypocrisy demonstrated by those three members of the "Pay No Attention to What I say . . . Watch What I Do Club" is not a good way to govern.


Eating the Way Mother Nature Wants Me to . . .

Jenn recently wrote a post on intuitive eating over on FBG, and let me tell you, it really struck a chord with me. I guess I’ve been eating this way for years and just didn’t know it had a name. Intuitive eating, for those who are new to the idea, basically means this: pay attention to your body and it will tell you what it needs.

So today’s WIAFD is all about veggies. No, I am not a vegetarian, but some days my body tells me I need to eat this way. Why? Well, maybe an overly enthusiastic workout schedule has left this ol’ bod feeling a bit worn down. Or too many late nights and missed hours of sleep have taken a toll on my immune system, or perhaps my digestive track needs a tune-up. Whatever the reason, I have learned to listen to that small quiet voice and take heed. READ MORE

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Anonymous said...

Kudos to the guys and gals of the street department who did a great job cleaning our streets of the ice and snow for the first snow storm. I wish the Aldermen and our Mayor were that efficient in taking care of business at city hall like the snow removal crew was. We would have one great city!

Anonymous said...

Amen on the street cleaning, great.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Yes, Yes. It was undoubtedly the greatest example of street cleaning in the history of Raytown. Why, it even surpassed other record breaking efforts!

Anonymous said...

Here is my Christmas ecard to my friends on this blog:

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Why is it folks are so enthralled about people actually doing the jobs for which they're been paid. I suppose I should be getting all hot and sweaty because the post office delivered my mail every day this past week... such wonderment and glee!

Anonymous said...

I wondered if I was the only one who noticed what VanBuskirk did at the last meeting. He took a reasonable position saying that they should bid these contracts. Then he votes for the no-bid contract.

He is not the only one that talks one way and then falls in line to vote for the majority.

I think some of them have forgotten that it is important to stand your ground once elected.

Talking tough when running for office is one thing.

Cowering in fear of not being with the majority is not very becoming.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Van Buskirk has no convictions. He's just another one of the "DO NOTHING" alderman that shows up every two weeks to get their paychecks. I hope the voters show them who's boss in April by rejecting the tax increases and voting FOR A CHARTER COMMISSION.

Pat Casady said...

I fear that the three club members you state are
not the only ones. The people so far only have two
real representatives on the board. Green and Emerson.
I don’t mean the Green brother that crossed over to
the dark side early on after the people voted him in,
when he voted for the WM grocery store.
I don’t know if they use hand signals to tell each other
how to vote but, I can think of one that would be
appropriate. From all the people they prefer to ignore.

Anonymous said...

1:39 AM, Snow removal gets attention because it is not a common, everyday event that causes a hazardous situation. I think it is more of a compliment because this job is not done in nearby cities. With elected and department heads not doing their jobs or a poor job, it is logical to complement those who do an outstanding job.

Mail delivery is an everyday event unlike snow removal. I always sat out bottled water or generic Gatoraide in the summer as both a thank you and welfare concern. A card and/or small gift is appropriate at Christmas.

7:26 AM, This same thing has happened in the past. I noticed when the AC received an increase in pay that was not a raise as well as an exemption from living in Raytown the same event occurred. There were comments expressing a negative opinion but only one Alderperson (Charlotte Melson) vote "NO." I couldn't believe the voting and in my opinion, there was a discussion before the meeting about how to vote. This being the case, I wonder why the put on the "show" of having a public meeting. It is not a public meeting but more like a scripted show.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they did a good job on your street. They came through and plowed all the snow off. Now my street is a sheet of ice. I couldn't go to work today because I can't get out of my neighborhood. I tried to call city hall, but the public works department didn't answer the phone.

Anonymous said...

Andy 11:10a " I wonder why the put on the "show" of having a public meeting. It is not a public meeting but more like a scripted show."

Yes, the private meeting prior to the public meeting is a well-known fact.

We're invited to attend the City Hall Dog and Pony Show regularly. The admission price is private property and additional sovereign rights. But wait, that's not all! Also included is MORE TAXES.

When are the dupes going to say NO MORE?

Anonymous said...

I to am not to happy with the street plowing this weekend. My street is also a sheet of ice, there have been several cars trying to get up either hills and could just spin their tires. But as always if you drive 79th, Hardy, Hedges, Harris off 350, Sterling in front of the high school and 83rd there isn't any problems. The people in this area know what to expect it never changes evry year it's always the same the neighborhoods never seem to get a completely plowed street.

Anonymous said...

To 1:39 a m ; it is called positive reinforcement and it does as much good for the sender as it does for the receiver. A person with a thankful heart for even the simplest of things tends to be a happier individual. Your cup is either half full or half empty luckily the choice we feed our heart soul and mind is ours. Have a very Merry Christmas and the best to you and yours today and all the tomarro's in your future

Anonymous said...

To Andy ; I have always made it a practice at Christmas time to leave a card of thanks with a package of hot chocolate mix attached to the mailbox for my mail carrier; I also run out one to my Residential Sanitation Engineer aka trash man. In the summer I offer bottle water on the first horrible hot day. I don't get to see either much because I'm gone to work; but I know they have not forgot me and I'm appreciative if the job they do. Rain , sleet, snow, ice, unbearable heat, their job is physical and mentally challenging as they dodge the crazy drivers, stray dogs, etc

Anonymous said...

I just cam back from Lee's Summit this evening and Douglas and Tudor road is nothing but a sheet of ice. Lee's Summit plowed the streets, but it looks like no ice melt was put down. These are main streets!! At least our main streets are clear. My brother says this is the norm in their area.

Anonymous said...

Awwww Man..... are you going to talk about plowing streets for a week? Let me help. If you live on a snow route you get plowed first. If you don't and you have issues with your street's condition or are suffering street-clearing-order-envy call the City and let them know. We can't help you here. If Santa passed you by this year because you whine too much, we can't help with that either.

Anonymous said...

My vote would have to go to the the guys that pick up our trash. I've been in cities where trash collection was stopped because of strikes. What a mess! Not only to the eyes but the stench can become impossible to escape.

Remember the Occupy movement a couple of years back. The pictures of the trash and debris all over the place.

Try living without the service of the people who take care of sanitation. You will see humanity go to a base level in a heart beat.

Greg Walters said...

Merry Christmas to all of our readers! Raytown is a better place because of the discussions and ideas brought forward by readers on these pages.

Please keep those emails and blogs flowing in. They are read by many and have an important impact on our small city.

Have a Blessed Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:49 - You said if our streets are bad, call the city. Some of us have and the city doesn't answer their phone. I guess their all on holiday.

You act like the city provides these services out of the goodness of their heart. Well, they don't. We pay of lot of taxes for these services, and if they are not completed correctly, we get to complain. People who don't live in the city or don't pay taxes don't have the right to complain, but the rest sure do.

You sound like someone that works for the city and is tired of the residents expecting you to do your job.

Think about it said...

Have a great time with family and friends as you celebrate a season of thankfulness that The Lord loves you despite all your flaws, inconsistance, and lack of humanity. Yes it is his job because he is God; but isn't it better to be thankful for that gift . Just a heavy thought in the scheme of things, recent post, and time of year.........

Anonymous said...


11:49 said...

9:07a Please re-read the post for content instead of what you want to believe it said. You can complain here alright,but it won't get the job done, will it? City dwellers don't hold a candle to rurals who prepare in advance for seasonal weather and the ice we got was announced days ahead of time. Old tires, low on tread are going to make the going tough. Keep some kitty litter and a small small shovel or bowl in the trunk to put down for traction. Drive near the edge of the street, in the snow, for traction. If you have a job and can't get out, call a cab, walk to meet the cab and get to work or you might be replaced by someone else. Lower the tire pressure a little bit to get around better in adverse conditions. Nothing's perfect and things are going to get far, far worse than they are now so you best start thinking like a soviet living on a communal farm. In case you just don't get it, you've allowed that form of government to take hold here and services to the citizenry are the last thing on their list. You work for them now - how do you like it so far?

Anonymous said...

I never expected snow removal when I moved to Raytown. In fact I was quite surprised! Previously I had lived in KCMO and Aurora, Colorado both of which don't plow residential streets. KCMO did plow one lane down the middle of our street during the blizzard of 10/22/96 and Aurora plowed one lane down the middle of out street which happened to be a feeder street in '97. The people of Raytown are lucky that the city clears the streets. Many other cities don't.

Merry Christmas
Andy Whiteman

Need To Know said...

The EPA, DOT, and HUD are the UN and Obama's elves charged with ringing in the NWO, aka Agenda21. HUD-no more private property replaced by dense housing/small apartments, DOT-no more privately owned automobiles replaced by trains, buses, walking and bikes, EPA-no air conditioning, no gardens... the list is exhaustive and if you will read the 2012 International Codes our city foolishly was allowed to adopt you'll learn more of what the future holds. If they didn't intend to impose the regulations, they wouldn't have codified them and Raytown had no earthly reason to adopt them AT ALL.

California and Oregon were two of first states to be sucked in by the false Climate Change-based agenda. Here's the EPA's mandated Christmas gift to Northern California (note that they say it is important to FOLLOW THE RULES, NOT FOLLOW THE LAW, ALSO NOTE THE FINES FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES):

"Sorry, San Francisco. No chestnuts on an open fire this Christmas Eve.

Bay Area officials have banned residents from burning wood, indoors and outdoors, on Tuesday -- and might extend the ban into Christmas Day -- as part of an air quality initiative.

The order came from a governmental body called the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. It issued a "Winter Spare the Air Alert," which prohibits people from burning wood, manufactured logs or "any other solid fuels" in fireplaces and outdoor fire pits.

According to KTVU, air quality officials said pollution was expected to hit unhealthy levels amid a high-pressure system.

"We want everyone to enjoy their holiday this week, but unfortunately, weather conditions are causing unhealthy, muddy air again," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air quality district, according to KTVU.

He said it is "imperative" that people follow the rules.

It might seem unusual in some parts of the country, but for Bay Area residents, it is illegal to burn wood during these alerts -- which last 24 hours at a time. Officials say wood smoke is a major source of air pollution during the winter. The only exemption is homes where fireplaces or stoves are the only heat source.

According to KTVU, those who violate the burning ban must pay a $100 ticket, or take a "wood smoke awareness class."

The Bay Area is working hard to get ICLEI/Agenda21 out of their area. It will be a long, hard, uphill battle for them.

Take note of why Raytown needs to stop and remove any and all traces of ICLEI/Agenda21/Smart Growth/Sustainable Development from our small town's government.

"These chilling words UN Agenda21 founder, Maurice Strong, are in line with ones he used for the opening session of the Rio Conference (Earth Summit II) in 1992, that industrialized countries have:
“Developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma. It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing—are not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns."

He said this in 1992. Since then he has fleed the U.S. to avoid prosecution while like-thinking lunatics from the UN, Whitehouse, Governors, State Legislators, Mayors, MARC/NARC, MML, City Councils, School Boards and Chambers of Commerce and the APA continue to flesh out his dreams.

The Christmas Bay Area mandate is an example of what is just the beginning of how the EPA, for one, will leverage their position to tax people out of their homes, but it will become far more extreme.

My gift to you this Christmas is awareness, foreknowledge and the sincere hope that you will help to pick up the gauntlet in order to stop the impending loss of freedom here while you can.

Anonymous said...

9:07a You said, "You act like the city provides these services out of the goodness of their heart. Well, they don't. We pay of lot of taxes for these services, and if they are not completed correctly, we get to complain."

Granted, you do have the right to free speech and it is healthy to vent. You also have the right to investigate the affiliations and motives of ineffective and destructive politicians. While they expect that you will complain, they do not expect that you will effectively enact removal of them and their policies. In the information age, ignorance is a choice.

Susan Dolan said...


At this point, I'm wondering about that photo caption. Were our icy streets were treated by trucks using sprayers that had become clogged with beet sludge? Did Public Works use the correct proportions of beet juice:salt? Are they using the preferable and newer beet molasses product and if not, why not? The article did say they were spraying beet juice, not beet molasses. If we're still using beet juice, how much extra are we paying for time spent cleaning beets out of our trucks? The city boasted of pre-treating for ice, but did they re-apply after the ice had formed on the streets as they should have?

Then there's that admonition I've shared with you about the stick-and-carrot government grants local municipalities have traded for common sense and home rule. Did Raytown take grant money over this beet juice solution? Some other cities have: "Muncie Delaware County Stormwater Management was awarded an Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Pollution Prevention Grant in the amount of $60,000 to implement a winter road salt alternative product comparison project. The total project cost of $120,000 is made up of the $60,000.00 grant from IDEM, $44,000 in-kind and $16,000 cash that will come from the Stormwater Departments Good Housekeeping funds.

This project will consist of the City of Muncie Street Department, the Town of Yorktown Street Department and the Delaware County Highway Department each receiving a different road salt alternative to use this winter. The City of Muncie will receive 9,000 gallons of Ice Bite; the Town of Yorktown will receive 5,000 gallons of Ice Bite-S and Delaware County will receive 18,000 gallons of Salt Brine." (article link:

My walkaway at this point is that obviously, whatever the city used was not effective though it may have been cheap. You get what you pay for goes the saying. The city has gone on the cheap with shoddy results. The taxpayers who are paying high taxes got the shaft. I do believe we're due some accountability and correction of these inexcuseable poor choices.

Susan Dolan said...



Several wrote of the ice that remained on their streets after the snow had been plowed off. I have done some research into this issue. On the City's facebook page under an article titled "Raytown Public Works Applies Beet Juice" and dated just December (no date), it says, "Crews have started putting beet juice on the roads in preparation for foretasted bad weather." Okay, so we have streets that have been treated with beet juice which failed to melt the ice.

Curious, I dug further and found beet juice is the cheaper, experimental and supposedly 'green/sustainable' option used instead of the proven to be effective use of salt and sand.

I came across the following in the online magazine THE MUNICIPAL "The Premier Magazine for America's Municipalities" which is entitled BEAT IT, BEET JUICE:

"Beet juice has run its course, say some municipal users and commercial manufacturers.

The Madison and Dane County Department of Health in Madison, Wis., has begun to scrutinize the winter road product, questioning its safety for the ecosystem. Specifically, sugar beet juice, which is used in salt brine during the winter months, is accused of causing runoff that ends up in the lakes and streams.

Since beet juice is organic, it requires oxygen to break down the carbon. It’s biodegradable, but if it’s consuming too much oxygen in the water as it deteriorates, the DOH believes it could cause a condition known as hypoxia, which lessens the amount of oxygen the fish and other members of the nautical ecosystem receive.

According to beet-usage supporters Christine Walsh, streets superintendent for the city of Beloit, and Denver Preston, general sales manager of winter products at KTech Specialty of Ashley, Ind., however, the problem is really not much of a problem at all for two reasons. Using less of it completely resolves the runoff issue for one thing, Walsh said.

“When we’re spraying rock salt, it’s maybe seven gallons over one mile, just enough to get it wet.” Walsh added the street department of Madison doesn’t use very much salt brine along to roads to keep the runoff to a minimum. She prefers to use 80 percent salt, 10 percent organic beet juice and 10 percent calcium chloride. However, streets workers, who mix the blends for roads, in Beloit generally use 15 percent beet juice in their concoctions, adjusting the percentages when the weather changes.

continued at Part 1B of 2

Susan Dolan said...


The city of Beloit has been using beet juice for nearly 10 years and has the system down to a science. For street superintendents who don’t yet use beet juice, though, Preston recommends not starting now. He believes that beet juice will be old news within the next two years because of other issues. [FYI Note: this article was printed Jan. 13 2013]

Preston explained that the concept of beets for deicing is not an environmental concern because all organics, including grass clippings and leaves, use carbon. For his company, the issue with sugar beet juice is that it’s inconsistent and very messy.

“It’s waste stream product,” he said. “Waste stream products are just that. They’re nothing but waste from the process of making molasses and table sugar. As they’re processing the beet, they’re removing all the waste, all the components that they don’t want such as beet pulp, sand, dirt.”

Pulp, dirt, sand and sludge end up in the products that beet juice users buy. Agencies that don’t have filters on their inlet lines have found whole beets at the bottom of their tanks. Eventually, the dirt, pulp, sludge and whole beets can end up in the deicing trucks and plug the sprayers.

To combat this issue, buyers can dilute the beet juice mixture with water so that there is less of the beet waste; however, water freezes.

Both Walsh and Preston have figured out a way around the freezing
problem by using chlorides to dilute the product. K-Tech has also switched to selling primarily a beet molasses product instead of sugar beet juice.

Unlike beet juice, which has very little sugar and an inconsistent amount of it, beet molasses’s sugar level must be consistent because it’s also sold to bake cookies and desserts.

According to Preston, many agencies that used beet juice, sand or basic salt brine in the past are switching very quickly to beet molasses. The Indiana Department of Transportation as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation have both signed contracts this year for Beet Heat Concentrate deicing product, in fact.

“Beet juice deicers were the forerunners. I give credit to the pioneers,” Preston said. “I have an old cell phone that all I could do is call people on it, but I have a cell phone now that can do everything. The beet juice was the first of its kind but now there are better products on the market.” "

Photo caption, same magazine article, "Deicing trucks have been known to clog up with whole beets or be slowed
down by beet sludge. Drivers may not know that it’s happened until after the run is over and ice on the roads doesn’t melt. The process of cleaning beets out of a truck is time consuming for street departments." (article link,

continued... at Part 2

Anonymous said...

Thank you Susan. Very enlightening. It is reminder to us all that when some folks run around spouting one word solutions like Beet Juice that investigation is warranted.

Sometimes the devil is in the details!

Susan Dolan said...

December 9, 2013, PWSD#2 posted:

Notice is hereby given to the qualified voters of Public Water Supply District No. 2 of Jackson County, Missouri,
that an election will be held on April 8, 2014 to elect members of the Board of Directors of the District from Subdistrict No. 1
and 4. The opening filing date for
declaration of candidacy shall be 8:00 a.m. on December 17, 2013
and the closing filing date shall be 4:00 p.m. on January 21, 2014.

Declarations of candidacy must
be filed at the office of Public Water Supply District No. 2 of
Jackson County, Missouri, at 6945 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raytown, Missouri.

Candidates filing for Subdistrict No. 1 and 4 must reside within the boundaries of the Subdistrict. The Boundary lines for all Subdistricts are on record at the office of Public Water Supply District No. 2 of Jackson County.

Since the UN wants to ration our water usage and MARC is preparing to use Smart Metering to accomplish that, being on this Board would be worthy of your serious consideration.

Anonymous said...

You should probably know that when there
is a thick layer of ice on the streets there is no
snow plow that will remove it. In some cases a
plow will make it worse. As for the salt and sand,
it takes warmer temperatures for them to
It’s winter and with it comes snow and ice and we
do have good removal workers but the last I heard
they can’t perform miracles.
The only suggestion I can think of is, make sure your
tires are good, carry some oil dry with you to put under
your spinning tires if you get stuck and drive slow and
safely. But, the best advice for icy streets is to stay
home and enjoy your family.

Anonymous said...

beet juice is two words. Just saying!

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting to a development agreement in Castle Rock, CO:

Also in the agreement, Alberta cannot relocate any existing Castle Rock businesses to the new development because the town wants all commercial development to be new to residents. To that extent, the city will not provide any assistance to a new King Soopers as part of the project in case King Soopers decides to shut down another store elsewhere in town.

Similarly, if Alberta builds a new Target and closes down another store elsewhere in town, sales tax sharing would apply only to the increasing increment of sales tax and not existing for the new Target.

Alberta also is prohibited from relocating stores from the neighboring Outlets at Castle Rock to the new development and cannot create an outlet mall-like development. Steven Craig of Craig Realty, which manages the Outlets, is concerned about the Promenade possibly edging out the Outlet stores. Negotiations are ongoing between the parties, Stevens said.

Read more: Big Castle Rock retail development deal close to being completed - The Denver Post

Raytown should do likewise to avoid TIFs moving stores from one part of town to another.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Beet whatever, mixed with salt is effective to -18. Read the articles.

Susan Dolan said...


While researching another topic, I came across this piece regarding how Lawton, Missouri cleaned house on their City Hall. Those who have said they want a City audit have been pretty fiercely attacked but it may be just the thing Raytown should do. As you read, note that MARC 'assisted' in Lawton's hire of a new City Assistant...wonder what involvement MARC had in the hiring of our unpopular CA. It's time for more than one FOIA request.

" Community and government
The community suffered from a breach of trust by City Clerk Rhonda Minnick who was charged in August 2006 and convicted in April 2007 for theft and forgery over the previous three years in excess of $89,000 from city funds.[8][9] During the investigations several other issues were uncovered and publicly recognized, such as an annual financial audit not having been completed for several years. To complicate the situation, over-spending and financial mismanagement when added to the theft left the city approximately $500,000 short of funds, prompting citizens to initiate a petition audit with the state of Missouri to review the city's procedures in more depth. Audit findings were released to citizens in a special town hall meeting in September 2007.

In the April 2007 election, several new faces ran for the Board of Aldermen, taking seats at the next regular board meeting. Promptly, workshops began to collect and organize information of, about, and affecting the city's operations, procedures, and finances. The transition of the new city council occurred in the midst of the state's auditing activities in the city. Shortly following the auditors' completion of research on-site within the city, but before the results of the state's audit could be presented to the citizens, both the mayor and the City Administrator resigned. The board conducted additional workshops scheduled to continue their progress in directing the city toward more open communication with the public. In November 2007, the board hired a new city administrator with the assistance of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)." Source >

Anonymous said...

Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!!!!I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

I re-read all the articles and could not find any place where beet juice was written as one word. Also saw where someone claimed it is effective up to -18 degrees IF if does not clog up the equipment that is distributing it.

Not sure how it is being put to use in Raytown (or if it is even being used here!). The trucks I saw on the streets in our little town all looked like traditional and salt spreaders. Either way it looks likeit worked on the streets that were treated.

I can't remember it getting down below -3 around here so it seems like a silly point.

Susan Dolan said...

1:28P No, I don't agree it seems a silly point, though you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Some people said they couldn't get out to go to work, Others were coming and going to holiday gatherings, others to and from church. It seems that all of the streets that needed brine or salt did not receive it, or they were treated and the treatment failed.

In my post on the topic, Page 1A of 2, first paragraph it says, "On the City's facebook page under an article titled "Raytown Public Works Applies Beet Juice" and dated just December (no date), it says,

"Crews have started putting beet juice on the roads in preparation for foretasted bad weather."

It could not have been stated more clearly. In fact the City's facebook page has a short video taken from a vehicle following the city beet juice sprayer as it was traveling up Raytown Rd.

If you follow the links I provided to the original articles you'll read the reference to the -18 degree effectiveness of the product and how it salt can be treated with beet juice prior to spreading the salt in addition to just pre-treating the streets with the spray.

The reference to the -18 degree effectiveness is hardly a silly point, as you said. I believe it was made regarding what 12/26 7:56a had said, "You should probably know that when there
is a thick layer of ice on the streets there is no snow plow that will remove it. In some cases a plow will make it worse. As for the salt and sand, it takes warmer temperatures for them to work."

Certainly a snow plowing alone isn't going to remove thick ice.

The point of my post, again, is that since Raytown is using this beet juice product and it can melt ice at temps to -18 degrees, why did so many post here that they had iced streets? Is it because their streets were not treated, but just plowed?

We're paying for use of this product. If it isn't effective then why are they spending our tax dollars to buy it and for the manpower to put it down?

Our Christmas ice storm was not insurmountable but the problems that were reported are symptomatic of issues that seem to warrant scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

I had a different piece of mail today, it was a copy of the City Of Raytown Newsletter.
This is the first one that I remember ever receiving. A nice little letter from the Mayor was in it. Wonder of wonders.

Anonymous said...

People who didn't go to work is because they didn't want to or didn't feel they had to.... Point blank.... Grow up!!! I've had to get out 30 minutes early to either scrape ice or walk in yards a couple blocks to meet a fellow co worker to do what? Go to work! And I'm a CDL driver for a living ; if anyone would want to find an excuse not to go into work on ruff road days it would be me! Nope I plan ahead and make it into work; but I'm determined and not a quitter

Anonymous said...

Andy, your post about Castle Rock, CO is well worth the read. Limiting the the ability of mega-business to damage them the way they have was pretty sensible and creative. I did read the full article since you provided a link to it.

Their government was attempting to protect the interests of the people, which is all it is designed to do.

Have you noticed that more and more cities in the U.S. are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy?

Simplify, Don’t Subsidize
The Right Way to Support
Private Development is an article that is in league with yours, Andy. It's about a private, non-mega developer's experience in navigating the hostile red tape and associated costs involved which penalize both the private sector developers and homeowners. “You’re the government,” I told him.
“I don’t want you to do more for me;
I just want you to do less to me.”

Article here >

Anonymous said...

I agree with that last post. Two and a half inches of snow and a very thin amount of ice should not have kept anyone from going to work.

I know a guy who owns a business who had some real tight deadlines to meet. One of his employees called him and said he could not make it in because of the snow.

So he told the employee, "no problem, I will come and get you myself".

The employee then told him that he was not at home but at his girlfriend's place.

So the boss, said no problem, give me the address and I will come and pick you up.

The line went dead.

The next tie the employee came to work he told his boss that the he did not hear him make the offer because his cell phone ran out of power.

Yeah, right. Talk about unlucky!

Keep this in mind. Some people are just plain lazy. You cannot change them. All you can do is try to find ways to stay avoid them.

Anonymous said...

I agree 2:08 pm, able-bodied people had better get a clue and fast. Long term unemployment benefits have just been given the axe (no renewal so far) so there goes that cushion. Those of us who do get off our duffs and go to work are supporting the other 60% who don't and I'm fed up with paying for Obama phones, food stamps that get sold and cashed at booze stores and strip clubs, and subsidized housing for people who consider making babies a source of income too. The gov't gives in order to get votes - when they don't need your vote any longer, they take away. Your time is coming. What will you turn to then?

As 2:08p said, I avoid you. I've got your number so don't come crying to me.

Just before Christmas, I saw a man who must've been 80 years old, standing in the cold doorway of a mega store, working as a greeter (and he was having a hard time doing that, but it was work!).

Anonymous said...

Did you receive your City of Raytown "Comic Book" (fall news letter) where Bower states that crime is down 17%. I have witnessed the following since Dec 27th. 59th street 6 officers and KCPD converging on a house, 2 cops hiding behind 2 trees with shotguns and the rest ready to bust a door down in a house. Walmart, 3 officers handling a disturbance at the check out lane. Sat Dec 28th rolling gun battle at Gregory and Blue Ridge. Then I proceed down Raytown Trfwy, across from Coach Lamp Apts, about 7 pm and several cops, all dark, heading to the duplexes across the street to surround it. Our police are over worked and out gunned.

I don't know where Bower has been, he must have his head in the sand. Oh, also you can contact him by phone or e-mail, lots of luck having him respond.

I have been here 55 years and can't wait to get out of "Dump Town"

Anonymous said...

When I worked as an operator in Denver, I lived in a rural area about 25 miles from work. When we had heavy snows, I was one of the few who reported to work. Even those who lived within walking distance couldn't get to work!!! Since I had a 4WD, I offered to pick up the others but my offer was refused due to liability issues. I think the company thought it was a lost cause. Those who were absent where charged with an absence. The only exception was a lady who lived in the mountains and couldn't come to work because the State Patrol closed I-70. Her's was the only excused absence. The office closed and I went to Mountain Bell. I was surplussed as an operator and forced into another job. I still went to work as an operator during blizzards due to operators claiming to be unable to get to work. After a year away from that office I found they had saved my operator number for for me.

12:10 PM, When I saw that article, I thought it is something that Raytown could use. It seems ridiculous to me that Walmart had 2 stores close to each other and wanted to open a grocery between the 2 stores. When I was in Colorado I ate lunch with a group of business people. One was a dry cleaner who was also an investor and knew quite a bit about economics. He said that stores were located too close together and actually competing against themselves. In this case it was KMart with 2 stores within 4 miles of each other. It is just not good business sense! There should me no TIFs for this type of activity. The Raytown Walmart never should NEVER have had a TIF due to another Walmart being so close.
Last year the Walmart here was packed with people. The last 3 Sunday evenings the parking lot has seemed vacant with few people in the store and no long lines. Business has seemed to drop off compared to last Christmas. Either it is the economy or people bought all they wanted on Thanksgiving.

The Walmart here has a loss prevention person at the door. He said they get a few shoplifters but nothing like Raytown.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

This is from an RPD Face Book post:
"Two People Injured During an Altercation Between Two Vehicles

Raytown, MO – On 12-28-13 (Saturday) Two cars were involved in an altercation. Witness reported hearing what they thought to be gun shots. An Officer in the area saw a car with what looked like bullet holes. Two people in the car had unknown injuries, and were taken to local Hospitals. The investigation is continuing."

My comment: DUH! This is written to appear that the vehicles fired the shots. Aren't the operators or occupants of the vehicles responsible for the altercation?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

All the problems that the city of Raytown has and the biggest concern seems to be the snowfall and how to treat the roads?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the house that burnt almost a year ago on 67th street is still standing? Very disgraceful not to mention a safety hazard.

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