Friday, June 9, 2017


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Due to a family crisis last year, my wife, Mecee and I were unable to take an extended holiday. So we packed up our stuff and headed west last week to Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole and the surrounding areas.

The Grand Tetons are unique because they have no foothills. As the picture above shows, the mountains literally shoot up from the surrounding plains. The Tetons have glaciers, and unlike so many in our world, they are actually growing in size! The high altitude and extremely heavy snow falls in winter are the reason why. The Teton glaciers were formed in what is considered a mini ice age around 1850.

My mind wandered to another part of our planet in the mid 1800’s. Between 1300 and 1850, England endured a “little ice age” that brought harsh winters. The fact is documented in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carole”, which portrays London as a snowy town with sub-freezing temperatures.  The winters were so cold that contemporary artists painted pictures of people ice skating on the Thames River!

Anyone who has been to London in the 20th and 21st Century knows it can get damp and cold. But it is extremely rare to see snow in London. Furthermore, the Thames River does not freeze over. It is open to navigation year round.

Coincidentally, there was story in the local news paper, the Jackson Hole Daily, which lampooned some the hysteria of scientific experts who spend an inordinate amount of time lamenting global warming.

It was a good read. The most interesting part was a reminiscence of so-called scientific predictions that got it all wrong with dire predictions for the future.
Following are a few examples.

Newsweek magazine featured a cover story in 1975 about “global cooling.” That was supposed to be a scientific consensus.

Prior to 1985, there was “scientific consensus” that acid rain caused by electricity generating plants fueled by coal and emitting sulfur dioxide was destroying vast acres of forests and lakes in the eastern United States. In 1991, “after 10 years and $500 million, the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program study … concluded, ‘Acid rain was not damaging forests, did not hurt crops, and caused no measurable health problems.’ ”

A June 2010 article in Reason magazine lists some of the other Chicken Little claims about doomsday being just around the corner. The magazine’s science writer, Ronald Bailey, found a July 1, 1979 issue of The Washington Post claiming a “broad scientific consensus” that saccharin causes cancer. It took 30 years before the National Cancer Institute reported, “There is no clear evidence that saccharin causes cancer in humans.”

Today’s hot topic is “global warming”. Not all scientists are in agreement with the popular theory that CO2 controls the climate. Most notably, MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, who claims believing that CO2 controls the climate “is pretty close to believing in magic.”

As for the “Little Ice Age” mentioned earlier in this column, just what did cause the unusually cold weather of the mid-1800’s?

One influence may have been a drop in solar energy. Isotopes of carbon in tree rings and beryllium in ice cores show a drop-off in solar radiation during much of the period. Moreover, sunspot observations that began around 1610 show a near-absence of reported sunspots between 1645 and 1715. However, recent studies have brought down the relative importance of this solar effect on the little ice age.

Also in the mix are volcanoes, which seem to have erupted more frequently after 1500 than during the so-called medieval warm period that preceded it. The 1815 eruption of Indonesia's Tambora – one of the most violent ever recorded on Earth – led to a disastrously cold summer across much of the globe in 1816. That "year without a summer" brought crop failures to northern Europe as well as snows in Vermont as late as early June.

After reading through all of this data, the only conclusion I have come with is that the climate is something everyone can talk about, but none are able to control.

Driving down 59th Street on Saturday I saw the problems are not over for one of Raytown’s busiest east/west streets. Another water main break – this one about 15 yards north of where the previous break was repaired.

59th Street
to be Repaired
One of the first things I did on my return from vacation was check out 59th Street. It came as no surprise that the street had degraded even further. Whoever  wrote on the blog that driving down 59th Street was like riding on a roller coaster pretty much hit the nail on the head.

I have been watching the comments in the Raytown Report and know more than a few people want the street repaired. So I checked at City Hall to see what the plan is for repairing the street.

I was told there is no doubt the problem with the street is the responsibility of the local Water Company. The city has informed the Water Company of its responsibility to repair the street properly.

At the same time the city has also recognizes its responsibility in making certain the repairs are made in a timely fashion. That being the case, the city may make the repairs and then require the water company to pay for the cost of the repairs.

Whatever the solution, it would be in the best interest of everyone concerned for the street to be repaired soon, properly and efficiently.

The Paul Livius Report

Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – June 6, 2017

Mayor McDonough applauded the efforts of the Raytown Council of Aging for their continued efforts to improve the lives of its Senior citizens.

Police Chief Jim Lynch introduced Officer Ann Provost. City Clerk Teresa Henry administered the oath.

Will Dyson told the Board he is the HOA President of a sub division at Noland and Bannister Roads.  They received a letter from KCMO telling them they need to purchase flood insurance. The reason the flood plain changed is because the storm water run-off from Raytown.  The Mayor asked Mr. Dyson to email City Hall in order to discuss this further.

Alderman Mark Moore said the City of Raytown does not agree with the assessment in the letter and suggested he (Mr. Dyson) contact the Army Corps of Engineers, whose responsibility it is to evaluate and determine responsibility in matters of flooding.

Paul Hackenburger said he has been the victim of two break-ins. The first incident, the officer was exemplary of her processing of the break-in.

She dusted for fingerprints using the mobile equipment the department provides its officers and was very understanding and helpful.

Four days later there was another break-in and the two officers dispatched were not as good. Mr. Hackenburger asked the two officers to dust and they said they could not because of the lack of mobile equipment. Mr. Hackenburger asked the Board that the police department improve training of the officers to provide better service.

He told the Board he uses a mobile app called “Next Door” in which community neighbors and friends communicate what is going on in Raytown. He continued that even though there are instances of exemplary service by the police (as demonstrated by the officer that responded to the first break-in). There is a general feeling in the community the police could do more to work with citizens in their time of need.

Mayor McDonough asked if Hackenburger if he had any other communications with the Department.

Hackenburger replied they had been assigned a detective who has been very responsive to their questions but they (Hackenburger) had to take the initiative to involve the detective in the process.”

Mary Jane VanBuskirk told the Board that code violations abound.  She can drive any street in Raytown and find violations.  She wants to know why the codes department can’t.  She only wants Raytown to look better.

The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Damon Hodges as the Public Works Director for the city.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the continuation of an agreement for inmate security housing services with Johnson County, Missouri, Sheriff’s office for fiscal year 2016-2017 in an amount not to exceed $71,500.  On July 1, 2015, the City entered into a contract with the Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s Department to provide housing for our inmates.  The current contract will expire on June 30, 2017. The Police Department requests approval to extend the contract with the Johnson County Missouri Sheriff’s Department for an additional two years.  The contract would begin on July 1, 2017 and will terminate June 30, 2019.  The only change to the existing contract will be lowering the number of guaranteed prisoner beds per day from 17 to 10.

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Anonymous said...

A large garage sale at Lady of Lourdes Church located at Gregory and Blue Ridge.


Please Come

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you guys are still buying into the "there is no global warming" nonsense. Next, you'll be saying those that disagree with you are "not even people". Gullible fools.

Anonymous said...

Typical liberal knee jerk reaction. Who said there was no global warming? The story mentions the hysteria over global warming. Is it so viral that you go to the extent of trying to put words in the writer's mouth ("not even people") and end with the standard liberal method of operation. Resort to name calling ("gullible fools").

Got to hand it to you. If nothing else you are consistent!

Anonymous said...

The earth has been warmer than it is now. The earth has been cooler than it is now. Cycles continue. The only difference is now some seek to become wealthy by spreading fear one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

As of Saturday evening, the 59th street water main fix broke again. Water running down the street. Now that has to tell you something.....what is the remaining water line condition of Neil's Raytown Water company infrastructure of ALL water lines he owns. He hasn't upgraded much of any other lines. This "mess" will fall on the city and tax payer pockets cause he won't have the funds to repair the failing lines.

Anonymous said...

So now we know the neighbor tattling on us,,,VanBuskirk....Let the city take care of code violations

Anonymous said...

It seems people love to find all the things wrong in Raytown. Why don't you guys do an article on something good for a change?

Greg Walters said...

I really wonder about the two posts prior this comment. It seems someone is upset because Mary Jane Van Buskirk wants to raise the bar in the quality of life in Raytown. She complains that the city Code Enforcement is not doing an adequate job. To be fair about this, there are many in Raytown who share Mary Jane's point of view. I am one of "those people". I applaud Mary Jane's efforts. She is not making up what she finds. She is following the proper procedure in turning the problem over to the city. That way, the highly trained personnel in the Codes Enforcement Division can then enforce the code as the law prescribes.

Will someone tell me what is wrong with that?

On another topic, I assume it was the same author to the previous post, the writer wrote: "WHY DON'T YOU DO AN ARTICLE ON SOMETHING GOOD FOR A CHANGE?"

So, I went back through this week's stories. One story I wrote was a little about my vacation and a lot about global warming. Don't really see a whole lot of negative in either of those stories. Perhaps a different point of view. But not any "negativity" on that one.

The other story had to do with two water main breaks on 59th Street. The story was just the facts. The upside being that the city was aware of the problem and working to find a solution with the water company. The source at City Hall asked not be named, but I can assure you it (the source) is very highly placed and has a fantastic reputation as an honest individual. Sorry, friend, no negativity there either.

Finally, there is the Paul Livius Report. Paul wrote an excellent account of the last Board of Aldermen meeting. The facts are what they are -- Paul does not editorialize in his column. No negativity there.

So I guess my question to the writer of the blog is this . . . "what on Earth are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

I for one am glad to see Mrs. Vanbuskirk take an interest in the city in which she lives. So if you don't like it and you don't want to keep your property up then move. There are a lot of places that you could buy an acre or two and fill it up with weeds, scrub brush, junk cars, bags of trash and what ever else your heart desires. Just don't ruin my town and bring the value of my property down because you are to lazy to keep yours up.

Anonymous said...

I want to use this opportunity to say how happy I am to have Tom Cole as our new city administrator. He has new ideas on how to deal with problems in Raytown including codes. I also want to say what a great job Andy Boyd has been doing others in the department, other employees need to take a lead from Andy on how to get the job done.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Being part of a community carries a responsibility to maintain and show pride. Keep up the good work Mary Jane! Please be aware there are many others who believe as you do that Raytown is our home and we should take pride in it.

Andy Whiteman said...

Long ago I said that a department head (many of whom do not live in Raytown) should be assigned and required to WALK a certain area at least once a month looking for code violations so that the entire city is covered. I say WALK rather than drive because I used to walk my dogs in Raytown and could see more violations walking but not seeing them, while driving because 15mph is too fast to look closely.

I agree with Alderman Mark Moore that the KCMO resident should check with the Army Corps of Engineers about alleged flooding from Raytown. The Army Corps of Engineers has a flood plain map on the internet. Flood insurance is a personal decision unless their mortgage company requires it.

9:22 AM Raytown Water Company's rates are controlled by the PUC and I received rate increase notices due to required repairs and upgrades by the company. I suspect in the end the customers of Raytown Water Company will see a big rate increase to pay for the failed and failing water lines.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Being a Curious George I took a drive down the Van Buskirt street today and I can certainly why she is upset. If I had to wake up and look at that mess down the street from me everyday I would be mad too.

Anonymous said...

When was the flood plain last updated?
What year was the flood plain the sub division used for their construction?

Anonymous said...

What’s wrong is it breeds neighbor against neighbor. I’m not saying coeds should not be addressed just let the city do it.

Anonymous said...

Why do I get the feeling you want to just want to - let the city do - but are really hoping the city does not see it? There is nothing wrong with someone turning int a codes violation. The wrong is that the city has missed the violation and people are compelled to turn the problem in. Is not that same as - Letting the City do it?

Anonymous said...

Home ownership and the pride and respect you should have for your neighbors who get it isn't for everyone. They have these things called apartments.. Sell your lawnmowers and rakes. "Like New" would not be an exaggeration!!!

Anonymous said...

Our paid, professional and transparent city staff needs all the help they can get. Apparently it takes a village to catch someone neglecting their duties as a homeowner. Just waiting for the city to try and push the codes inforcement sales tax... They won't hire any more codes people with the money, but that never stopped them before.

Anonymous said...

Sure is refreshing that the local political climate has seemed to calm down immensely after the elections. It really does portray a much more positive community image amongst those business and families viewing Raytown as a potential landing spot!!

Anonymous said...

If it seems like the political climate has calmed down, it's because two out of the three new aldermen sit meekly on the dais and are afraid to utter a sound. I guess when they don't have current and former aldermen telling them what to say, they don't know what to do. The people get the type of representation they deserve.

Anonymous said...


Maybe the two elected aldermen with ties to the clowns of raytown realize that they were led on. Learning lessons can be a humbling experience.

Anonymous said...

Channel 5 had a sad story about the super splash being closed. It was blamed on the board of aldermen.

Anonymous said...

I did learn last week why the city has been so tight-lipped about the fire departments complaints about the wal-mart TIF project. A current alderman from ward 2 told a group of us that the city filed a lawsuit against the fire department for not paying their share and the fire department responded by filing a counter-claim for almost a million dollars against the city for fraud and malfeasance. The case has already moved beyond the point where frivolous claims are dismissed and a date for the trial has been set. I cannot understand how something this important has gone under the radar. Not once has the newspaper even one of the three or four Raytown blogs even mentioned this lawsuit. How can the city refinance the TIF bonds with pending litigation? If the fire department wins does that mean for the city, do they have a million dollars laying around? If the city wins what do they actually win? How much is all this costing us? Sooo many questions and not a single person is talking about this.

Anonymous said...

Went to the Raytown Police Safety fair last night. It was a nice event only disappointed that public works didn't have a street sweeper on display oh wait we don't have one why because the police department gets over several million for their budget. Don't get me wrong I support the men in blue out on the streets protecting us what I don't like is all the high paid chair warmers and believe we have lots of them. Now we have popsicles with the cops really what a waste of money and police time. we hardly see patrolman on the streets and now they are out handing out popsicles. Wonder of Caption Rogers will be doing that looks like a god job for someone who makes eighty thousand a year.

Anonymous said...

Channel 5 blamed the closing of Super Splash on the board of aldermen because they were told the same lies as the rest of the town. The park board closed super splash. I don't know how many time you people have to be told. Go to the city website and look at their past budgets. See funding for super splash anywhere? Nope - not there. Now, go the past budgets for the park board. Guess what you'll find? Yep. Super splash funds.

Anonymous said...

8:51 pm

Lawsuits and pending lawsuits are discussed in closed session. None of the elected or appointed officials are allowed to discuss pending litigation. Anyone from closed sessions that reveals the discussions are subject to sanctions, impeachment by the Board, or discipline up to and including termination. There needs to be a city investigation to find out where the illegal leak is. I bet I know, but the city needs to prove it.

Anonymous said...

To: Anonymous June 16, 2017 at 7:33 AM

Public Works has only 1 engineer/project manager on staff. For all of the city's infrastructure including roads, bridges, sideways, storm water, sewer, right of way, on and on and on, that is seriously an under staffed, under budgeted department. Maybe PD can lend them one of their 10 or so PD administration people to manage something besides popsicles hand outs.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:33am. Looks like you had the opportunity to say all that to "Caption" Rogers' face but you didn't do it right tough guy?

Anonymous said...

The alderman from Ward two that leaked confidential information should be punished. Executive session information is not to be leaked. This is total BS and I hope the Mayor and BOA do something about it. Not holding my breathe.

Anonymous said...

I'm not buying this whole "A little birdie AKA Alderman Ward 2" told a group of us story that was spun by 8:51 PM June 15. As someone mentioned details and information regarding pending litigation have been obviously held in strict confidence as it should have. At this point this information is NEWS to us all I guess. My early takeaway is the Taxpayers of Raytown seem to be the obvious potential loser in this lawsuit. Services, projects, etc all things that require $$$$$. And if you follow much of City Hall doings these days the budget seems to be the # 1 hot plate issue that they are attempting to deal with. A high end judgement to the Fire District for whatever just cause they think they have a stake for will impact many things that the average Joe in Raytown will feel and will be quite resentful for. And with the present group of Alderman that are in place, my prediction would be they will go down swinging and not be QUIET in the process. Raytown doesn't need that political climate right now. Things have been enjoyable being somewhat quiet for awhile!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:05 are you saying the Fire Department is the bad guy here? They are also supported by tax dollars and those dollars should not be given to support kickbacks and billion dollar corporations. The recent focus on the budget at city hall is because for years they have not been accountable for how money was either spent or given away to friends of the administration. I for one hope the current board puts up a fight, just make sure it's with those who are actually responsible. The firemen are the people who caught them red handed, and I for one say good for them. Raytowna Beach Bum

Anonymous said...

Nice try . . . but if a lawsuit has been filed it is public information. In other words, there has not been a leak.