Sunday, October 25, 2015


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The Bare Curse (REVISITED)
The Bare Curse is a baseball curse placed by co-founder of the Raytown Report, Garth Bare, on the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship.

Garth’s “Bare Curse” was effective. The Boston Red Sox came back from a 0 – 3 deficit against the Yankees to win the American League Championship that year.

I will never forget the night.

Garth and I were enjoying a couple of adult beverages while watching the fourth game of the American League Championship Series. The Yankees were ahead in the series, three games to none. The Red Sox, with their backs against the wall, were trailing the Yankees by one run in the ninth inning.

Suddenly, Garth sprang to his feet, pointed his right index finger at the television and shouted, “I Curse Thee” three times in rapid succession. He fell back into his chair, shirt soaked with sweat.

I asked him what on earth was that all about.

Garth told me he was sick and tired of the Yankees “buying” world championships. "Enough was enough", he said . . . so, “I placed a baseball curse on them.”

I gave Garth another adult beverage, and we settled in to watch the Red Sox come back in Game 4 to tie the game in the ninth inning. A home run by David Ortiz of the Red Sox sealed the Yankees fate. The Yankees would lose three straight. The Red Sox would go on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in four games to win the World Series.

Later, Garth explained to me that his curse was really a "counter-curse". It broke the infamous “Curse of the Bambino” said to have been placed by Babe Ruth on the Boston Red Sox in 1918 to the New York Yankees.

Boston had traded Ruth to the New York Yankees. Ruth did not want to be traded to the Yankees and cursed the Red Sox for doing so. The Bambino Curse was effective. It had kept Boston out of the World Series until 2004, a stretch of 84 years.

No doubt, Garth’s “Bare Curse” is the reason Red Sox won the Championship and World Series that year.

So now it is 2015. The Royals have just finished off the Toronto Blue Jays and are set to take on the New York Mets in the World Series.

The Blue Jays were a tough team to beat. In my opinion, the New York Mets are even tougher. But I believe the Royals will pull through because they are, after all, a team of destiny.

Still, it would not hurt to have a little help. So I asked Garth, “Could he could transfer the “Bare Curse” from the Yankees over to the Mets?”

He told me it is an interesting idea. “In most cases,” said Garth,  “a curse can only be used on one subject and is not transferable.”

“However,” he continued, “the Mets and Yankees both have ‘New York’ at the front of their name.”

He told me he would look into it and get back to me. 

Eight hours later Garth called me back. He told me “It will be difficult, but I believe I can transfer the curse from the Yankees to the Mets".

He went on to explain the two team names had little to do with it. It was “doable” because both teams are from the same geographic location.

Being a true born and raised Midwesterner, I told Garth I totally understand.

Two hours later Garth called me back and said, “The deed is done.”

We talked about some old times and decided to get together to share some adult beverages while watching the Royals slowly take apart the New York Mets.

So there you have it. The Royals are rolling AND they have the added help of the Bare Curse on their side.

Garth and I agree . . . the Royals in seven.

Just You Watch!

A Note to Our Readers: Paul Livius sends me reports of the all the City Council meetings. Often times he includes commentary to review on what is, in his eyes, the most significant part of the meeting. We frequently highlight those sections in yellow. With this edition of the Raytown Report we have decided to share Paul’s Notes as a preamble to the Paul Livius Report.
We have decided to call the section “Paul’s Notes” I hope you find them as enlightening as I do.                                                                 
                     Greg Walters

Paul’s Notes:  The board FINALLY passed something for the downtown area.  At first blush, it appears to be a good plan.  Janet Emerson was proactive and suggested they sell engraved bricks to offset the cost of paver bricks in the area.  This is an excellent idea.  It is being used all over town, and like she said, it is very popular.  It is a win-win all around.

Mark Loughry is being responsive to the Board.  He has come up with a plan to fix the 83rd Street bridge way ahead of the Public Works schedule because the Board expressed concern about the Bridge.  Maybe the staff – at least some of them – are starting to realize who runs this city.

The Paul Livius Report BY PAUL LIVIUS
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – October 20, 2015

Mayor McDonough said fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally, and homes are where people are at the greatest risk to fire.  In 2014 home fires killed more than 2,755 Americans; and roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from home fires in which no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms were present.  Raytown residents should install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home; and the residents who have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan are more prepared to survive a fire.  Raytown’s fire fighters are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home fire deaths and injuries through prevention and proper education.  The 2015 Fire Prevention Month 2015, theme, ““Hear the Beep Where You Sleep.  Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” effectively serves to remind us that we need working smoke alarms to give us the time to get out safely.  He then proclaimed the month of October 2015 as Fire Prevention Month.

Mayor McDonough said the Shepherd’s Center of Raytown’s mission is to promote continued personal and spiritual growth to help maintain the dignity, independence, and productivity of older adults.  The founders of Shepherd’s Center of Raytown, Edna Scahill and Betty Conley, began training with Shepherd’s Centers of America and discussing forming a local chapter in Raytown in 1988 when they held discussions with former Mayor Willard Ross.  In November of 1990, the first Board of Trustees meeting was held with Edna Scahill serving as President and Betty Conley serving as Vice President.  Under the management of Executive Director Kristina Peters and the current Board of Trustees, Shepherd’s Center of Raytown will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on November 7th, 2015.  He encouraged all Raytown residents to congratulate the Center’s years of service and wish them many more years of success in our community.

Mark Loughry spoke to the Board during a study session about Financing Plans in the City.  He said during the recent budget process in reviewing the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) there was discussion about funding options for the projects currently scheduled for the next six years.  The direction as he understood it is that the City would like to accelerate the completion of projects, primarily the 83rd Street Bridge, while maintaining at least a portion of the annual road maintenance projects.  He worked with the City’s Financial Advisor to put together two scenarios in addition to the plan proposed during the budget meeting.  The two additional scenarios do require debt issuance in the form of either Certificates of Participation or a Lease Purchase program.

One issuance of debt.  If all current projects are completed as proposed in option #2 at the estimated cost, the total project cost would be $5,021,000.00 with the City’s share being $3,130,500.00 and additional financing costs of $123,340.00 This partial pay as you go partial debt financing option would allow completion of all the projects by 2021 but would accelerate the bridge completion by three to four years. 

Additionally, the City would be able to invest $2,050,000.00 towards road maintenance projects over the next six years.  This option would help the City avoid potential inflation on construction costs on the largest CIP project.  The additional cost of this option versus option #1 represents 7.2% of the 83rd Street Bridge project.  It is very likely that delaying construction of the bridge until 2020 will result in inflation far exceeding 7.2%.  This would also help the City avoid any potential emergency repairs to the bridge and/or bridge closure.  The other projects, such as the 350 Bike Trail and the Blue Ridge overlay project would be on a “pay as you go” basis.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Rae Letterman to the Council on Aging.

The Board passed a resolution approving the reappointment of George Koepp to the Tax Increment Financing Commission.

The Board passed a resolution approving the reappointment of Donald Orrell to the Tax Increment Financing Commission.

The Board denied an ordinance granting a conditional use permit subject to certain conditions to allow a salt storage facility on property located at 6206 Raytown Road The staff requested a suspension of the rules.  The Planning and Zoning Commission by a vote of and in favor and 1 against recommends denial of the Conditional Use Permit application at their September 3, 2015 meeting and after the application was referred back to the Planning and Zoning Commission by the Board of Aldermen the Commission again recommends denial of the application by a vote of 7 in favor and 0 against. 

Ms. Patricia Moore is seeking approval of a Conditional Use Permit application to allow the outside storage of salt on property located at 6206 Raytown Road, which is located on the northwest corner of Raytown Road and 62nd Street in the Raytown Central Business District (CBD).  The subject property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial (NC).  

Ms. Moore leases the property from Harry and Dorothy Harding.  As depicted on the aerial photo in the attached staff report for the July 9, 2015 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, the storage of the salt would be located on the west side of the property, which is to the rear of the building on the property.  Ms. Moore installed the salt storage area at the end of last winter without realizing that it is not a permitted use in the NC District.  Staff notified Ms. Moore that the storage of salt is not a permitted use and that it must be either removed or a Conditional Use Permit obtained.   

Because it was near the end of the winter and Ms. Moore indicated that the salt would be removed, staff granted Ms. Moore an extension.  As a result, Ms. Moore submitted a Conditional Use Permit application seeking to allow the storage of salt at this location.  The application originally came before the Planning and Zoning Commission on July 9, 2015.  During consideration of the application by the Planning and Zoning Commission several questions were raised.  As a result, the application was continued to the September 3, 2015 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.  When the application came back before the Planning and Zoning Commission on September 3, 2015 Ms. Moore failed to appear.  In addition, Ms. Moore did not provide any information regarding the environmental issues to staff in advance of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.   

After discussing the questions/issues raised at their previous meeting, the Commission approved a motion recommending denial of the application.  Ms. Moore contacted staff on September 4th to say that they had a family matter that came up the day of the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting and they forgot that the meeting was that night.  Also, following the September 3rd Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Ms. Moore provided an email to staff from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The MDNR email states they will require a site specific permit for the proposed outside salt storage enclosure.  The MDNR also “strongly recommends” construction of a roof over the structure to keep salt from dissolving and washing away from the enclosure.  Construction of a roof over the enclosure will significantly increase the height of the salt storage structure making it much more visible in the Raytown Central Business District (CBD) area.  The height and visibility of the enclosure with the roof needs to be taken into account when considering the compatibility of the proposed enclosure in the Raytown CBD. 

The application and the additional information from the MNDR came before the Board of Aldermen on September 15, 2015.  After discussing the application, the Board referred the application back to the Planning and Zoning Commission so that they could consider the application in context to the additional information from the MDNR.  The Planning and Zoning Commission reconsidered the application on October 1, 2015. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Commission approved a motion to deny the application by a vote of 7 in favor and 0 against. 

Alderman Meyers said he gave Ms. Moore an “E” for effort.  She thought the salt storage permit was easy to get.  She has been to 3-4 meetings and has been required to modify property she doesn’t own. Alderman Moore said perhaps a good compromise would be to allow her to sell all the salt at the property and not bring in any more salt until the property is in compliance.  Alderman Teeman said the Board needs to know all the salt will be gone by early spring.  The Board voted to deny the permit.

The Board passed a resolution approving the continuation of an existing agreement with Cochran Head Vick and Co. for the performance of professional audit services for fiscal year 2015-2016 in an amount not to exceed $44,300.00.  Mark Loughry told the Board In 2009, the City issued a Request for Proposal to eight firms, as well as posted it on our website, and had the notice published in the Raytown Post.  We had five responses to the RFP – four who chose to submit a bid and one no-bid response.  This will be our seventh year utilizing Cochran Head and Vick and Co., P.C. for auditing services.  The Staff has been very pleased with the auditors and their work, and would recommend that the City approve the contract.  This would allow for continuity of service as both parties are familiar with the process and what is expected.

The Board passed a resolution amending the Budget related to risk management.  Mark Loughry said The Risk Management Fund is utilized to process insurance claims and to fund risk mitigation programs.  Because the amount of insurance claims versus reimbursements varies so much year to year, staff budgets a general amount during the budget process and then submits a budget amendment as needed at the end of the year to clean up the balance.  This year we are asking to amend the budget in the amount of $70,000.00 to cover the difference in budgeted to actual.  A majority of these expenditures are reimbursed from insurance claims.

The Board passed a resolution approving the Professional Services of storm water infrastructure repair Wiedenmann, Inc. Utilizing the City of Lee’s Summit cooperative purchase contract and approving project expenses for 59th street and Raytown Road in an amount of $45,248.00 and 59th Terrace and Raytown Road in an amount of $69,500.00 for a total amount not to exceed $114,748.  Jim Melvin said in September 2014, Staff found a hole near the sidewalk on the south side of 59th Street, approximately 200’ west of Raytown Road.  Staff backfilled the hole and monitored the condition of the pipe both upstream and downstream of the site of the hole.  In September 2015, the condition of the pipe under 59th Street reached a point where staff became concerned that further delay might require full replacement of the pipe.  As of today, the pipe can still be repaired.   

Staff obtained a proposal from Wiedenmann, Inc. for repair of the pipe under 59th Street, in the amount of $45,248.00.  Additionally in September 2015, Staff found a hole in the pavement along the east curb of Raytown Road at approximately 59th Terrace. 

The hole was approximately 12” in diameter at the surface of the pavement; however, shining a light into the hole revealed a much larger cavity.  Cause of the cavity was determined to be corrosion of the bottom of the existing 42” corrugated metal pipe. The full length of the pipe run from structure to structure was damaged by corrosion to the extent that cavities were forming along much of the length.  Only one cavity had reached the surface. 

Staff obtained a proposal from Wiedenmann, Inc. for replacement of the full 130 LF of 42” pipe, in the amount of $69,500.00.  Additional quotes were not required since the contract with Wiedenmann, Inc. is part of a cooperative contract through the City of Lee’s Summit, MO.  The cooperative contract is a time and materials contract, and the projects are not expected to exceed the proposed amounts.  The total amount for both projects is $114,748.00 and funds are available from unbudgeted reserves.

The Board passed a resolution declaring certain property owned by the City to be surplus and authorizing disposition of such property by auction.  Jim Melvin told the Board multiple police vehicles have been taken out of service due to the purchase and operation of new vehicles.  Public Works has evaluated the vehicles that were taken out of service and it was determined that these vehicles are not well-suited for continued use by the City and should therefore be deemed surplus and disposed of in accordance with the purchasing policy.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Duke’s Root control, Inc.  Jim Melvin said root control is performed annually in the Sanitary Sewer system.  The amounts spent in past years have varied, but the current budget allows for $30,000.00.  The staff obtained a proposal from Duke’s Root Control, Inc. for treating the sewer mains.  Additional quotes were not required since the contract with Duke’s Root Control, Inc. is part of a cooperative contract through the City of Lawrence, Kansas.  The cooperative contract is a linear foot contract with stipulated prices per linear foot for each size of sewer pipe.  The project will not exceed the proposed amount.  The funds are available from the sewer fund.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the City Administrator to enter into an agreement with National Streetscape Inc for the Downtown Streetscape Project in an amount not to exceed $1,107,869.57.  The Public Works Department received two sealed bids that were opened on September 24, 2015.  National Streetscape Inc. was the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder with a base bid of $1,107,869.57 and is being recommended for approval. The Board passed an amendment to the resolution for the installation of electrical outlets at the trees in the sidewalk planter areas.  This additional cost is $9,360.00.  They also passed an amendment for the installation of clay pavers in the sidewalk areas.  This additional cost is $27,250.00 and an amendment for the installation of a concrete seat wall.  This additional cost for this is $13,200.00.  Alderman Emerson suggested the City sell the engraved bricks for this project.  She said it has been done before and is very popular.  Mr. Melvin said they could probably do it.  Other aldermen thought it was a good idea.

The Board passed an ordinance amending Chapter 44 (utilities) of the Code of Ordinances.  Mark Loughry told the Board the City contracted with Carl Brown Consulting to perform a sewer rate analysis study to ensure the rates we are charging our customers are fair and sufficient.  That study demonstrated a need for an annual increase in rates of 4% per year.  Over the past four years the City has been able to avoid this increase via cost saving measures implemented by staff.

Mayor Appoints Special Committee 
Mayor Michael McDonough has appointed a special committee to study and make a recommendation on the split of sales tax revenue commonly known as the Park/Storm Sewer Sales Tax.

In 2010 the Board of Aldermen chose to state on a sales tax election ballot that money derived from the sales tax would be split between Parks and Storm Sewer needs within the city. Since voter approval in 2010, all of the sales tax revenue has been send spent by the Park Department.

The Committee members are as follows:

CHAIRMAN:   Ralph Monaco
MEMBER: Ward 1 Alderman Karen Black
MEMBER: Ward 5 Alderman Eric Teeman
MEMBER: Park Board President George Mitchell
MEMBER: Park Board member Michael Hannah
MEMBER: Steve Knabe
MEMBER: Angel Abercrombie

The Committee is tasked with coming up with a solution on the Park/ Storm Sewer Tax issue and to make recommendation to the Board of Aldermen for final action.

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Pat Casady said...

I would like to thank our Mayor for NOT appointing
Mr. Aziere to the committee for Parks/Sewer.

Vicky said...

Pat - You got that right. Aziere would do his very best to keep any money away from the Sewer fund and keep the white elephant know as Super Splash open. You’d think he’d be happy. The school district is pouring millions of dollars into the old YMCA so they can have a pool.

Anonymous said...

I learned the hard way not to put a smoke detector in the kitchen because it sounds every time something is burnt on the stove! I do have a gas/CO2 detector which saved my life since I am unable to smell at all. I had forgot that I left the burner on low, didn't turn it off, and the flame went out causing a gas leak!

Paul, could you please not use yellow highlight on an entire paragraph? One or 2 works is no problem, but this yellow is so brilliant that I can't read the text. How about a bold font or using a different color of lettering?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Looks like the mayor loaded the park/storm water committee with HIS people. Come on mayor we are not dumb!!!Sign me new in Raytown but not dumb as to what you are doing

Paul said...

Andy, I changed the yellow to a lighter background. If this does not help, let me know. If this does not work, I could bold face all the type.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me he chose wisely
Two good citizens, Park Board President and a lawyer Park Board member and two new Board of Aldermen member along with a well known past State Representative for the Chair
sounds pretty well rounded to me

Anonymous said...

Well I guess 5:54 knows the names better than I do but I see 2 board members and 2 park members and the other 2 seem like common citizens.

Come on let us try to be civil.

Anonymous said...

I see two city council members I think the people can trust to keep the promise made and put in writing on the ballot. The real question is how strongly they will fight for that position. They would be right to insist on the city keeping its word. I wonder if they are strong enough to make that happen. The ballot language clearly stated the tax would be split between the park board and storm sewer repair.

I also see two park board members who will be adamantly opposed to keeping that promise. The Park Board President refused to suggest a split his board could live with when pressed by alderman in an effort to compromise.

I also see one member who is part of the revolving door club of political assignments on the committee. One member who I have never heard of and a chairman who had a pretty good reputation of being honest with the people when he was in charge of the Raytown school board.

The split should be 50/50 but I don't think the committee has the strength to go that far. A pitty if they do not. Because you can bet your bottom dollar the anti-tax forces in Raytown will use the result of this drama against any promises from city hall in the future. I think the committee should recommend that the city keep its promise that was in the ballot language and go with a 50/50 split.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when and where this committee will be meeting? They should be public meetings. We have had too many closed door sessions under Bower. Please don't go back to that type of government.

Anonymous said...

I strongly suggest everyone get a CO2/gas detector. CO2 is an odorless killer! A detector will save lives! It saved mine. When I was working in the Littleton, CO Post Office, one of my coworkers didn't come to work. When I asked about him, I learned that his neighbor in the townhouse parked his (the neighbor's) car in the garage and left the engine running. The CO2 drifted into the townhouse causing my coworker and his wife not to wake up. I purchased my CO2/gas detector at WestLake Ace Hardware several years ago. It plugs into an electric outlet and has a 9 volt battery backup in the event of power failure.

Paul, Thanks for the change, it is much easier to read!


Anonymous said...

Watching this administration I don't think anyone will have those kind of exclusive meetings. They look like they make sure they are open
These meeting would have to be also.

Raytown Newbie said...

Andy, wow what a close call and one that anyone with a gas appliance should learn from. Get a co2/gas detector. I am surprised your stove does not have some sort of auto shutoff in case the flame goes out. I have a gas log that shuts off if the pilot goes out or even is it detects low oxygen. My camper trailer has a CO2/gas detector and I am now going to get one for my house. Thanks for sharing.

Julie said...

Andy - My aunt and uncle were snow birds that went to Texas every winter. They came home a few years ago in March and my cousin wanted to do them a favor. He went over and turned on their furnace, and then went on to work. My aunt and uncle came home after dark, unloaded the camper and went to bed. They died in the middle of the night from CO2 poisoning. My cousin is a mess. Please keep getting the word out.

Anonymous said...

Julie, Good point! Anyone with a gas furnace, water heater, or a even an attached garage should have a gas/CO2 defector. We had a gas/CO2 detector. It has a digital gauge that displays the highest CO2 level. One would expect it to remain a Zero but ours frequently displayed up to 40 indicating that there was CO2 present! In the winter my wife was starting her car before opening the garage door. I told her to open the door before starting the car but she claimed it was too cold! After she was murdered, I reset the display and it remained at Zero! I came home from a trip to scatter her ashes arriving home very tired at 4AM, closed the door, got out of the car, and realized that the car was still running since I didn't have my keys to unlock the door. The next day I checked the CO2 meter and is was at 40 again! If they had had CO2 detectors back in the 70s, my coworker and his wife wouldn't have died from CO2!

Greg, how good of a curse did Garth invoke? A 5 hours 9 minute game, 14 innings and a win by 1! I was wondering about the curse about the 11th inning. This game was the longest 1st game of the World Series setting the record! I guess it is the win that counts!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

CO Carbon Monoxide....not CO2 Carbon Dioxide......doc

Greg Walters said...

I don't know Andy. I think the Bare Curse works! Consider this . . . A solo home run Alex Gordon in the ninth inning to tie up the game. He was hitting against one of the premier closers in the National League. Not to mention that he hit it to the deepest part of the park in center field. Remember this about Gordon. He has not been full speed since he injured himself before the All Star Game! He has had to sit out nearly half of the season to heal up -- if you have ever had deep injuries like Gordon had, (I have), you know it takes almost a half year to come back to full speed. I just watched Cueto retire the side -- I think he is on tonight. Should be a good pitcher's duel. As for baseball curses . . . no one doubts that you can bless someone or bless an event. It stands to reason you should be able to curse them as well.

Anonymous said...

Been watching the game. Do you think Joe Buck can talk the Mets into a victory?

Anonymous said...

Doc, Thanks for the correction.
Greg, The curse must work, A 7-1 win in the 2nd game! Hopefully it will be a 4 game series.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Doc - which is lethal, Carbon Monoxide or Carbon Dioxide?


Anonymous said...

So glad the Royals are showing the world how really good they are. A true hitting machine! Missed the Republican debate on cnbc last night but found out it was a real slugfest. And the slugfest was against the moderators. Check cnn or fox to find out the real story. National news media looked very very bad.

Anonymous said...

7:50 am - so what you're saying is the skits Saturday Night Live does when they spoof Fox News are accurate?

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen any spoofs on Saturday Night Live. Is it still on the air? The debate CNBC put on last night was soooooo bad that even my favorite CNN commentator, Anderson Cooper, was talking trash about how out poorly CNBC did. Dr. Carson probably said it best when he reminded one reporter that most people were probably watching the World Series.

Anonymous said...

The presidential debate is on cable TV for the rich who have money to spend on something that should be free. The World Series was on FREE over the air TV so that the middle class/poor, like me, could watch. Presidential debates are of national interest and should be available to ALL on free TV!

I didn't watch the presidential debate because it was not on over the air TV and not available to me.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the Presidential debates weren't on regular over the air tv. Of course it was poor timing with the World Series on

Raytown Newbie said...

Morning Andy... I am pretty sure the "free" networks would carry candidate debates if the ratings were high enough. It's all about the money at this point. Later when there are just democrat vs republican, they will be aired.

BTW.. how about that.. we have nothing to fear from CO2... it's CO (dopeslap) We knew that, didn't we? Anyway thanks DOC.

Anonymous said...

Poisoning can be from carbon dioxide as well commonly known as CO2. However carbon monoxide CO is what is produced from furnaces etc

Anonymous said...

LETS GO ROYALS, one more game

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, my error CO2 vs. CO.

Andy Whiteman