Sunday, August 2, 2020



TO MY READERS: I recently learned the City of Raytown has quit the active trapping of feral cats. Up until that announcement, the city routinely sets traps for feral cats. I visited with the City Administrator regarding this policy change. I personally believe it is a mistake to abruptly change the city's policy without public notice.

I have been assured by City Administrator Hodges that they are looking for an alternative to having the city provide this service.

For those who are not aware, it is not common for pet owners to abandon their pets at city parks and wooded areas within the city limits. But it does happen. This past week, I was contacted by a constituent who had rescued a stray cat. The animal was well groomed and in good health. We contacted animal control who resolved the problem by picking up the animal. 

Stray cats are a unique animal. A domesticated cat can revert back to their roots and survive in the wild. Cats are excellent hunters and have very strong survival instincts. Given time, they can lose their familiarity with people and become feral. 

The following article in an account of what can happen if you are bitten by a cat -- domestic or feral.

CAT BITE: AN INCIDENT NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY

Renee DiPietro, CVT
Veterinary Information Specialist, Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator

Did you know that a bite from your furry friend Felis domesticus (house cat), can have dire consequences? As a person who very recently spent 3 days hospitalized on IV antibiotics for a cat bite, I thought I would share a little public service warning. If your cat, or any other cat for that matter ever bites you, don’t take it lightly or try to treat this injury at home.A couple of weeks ago I was bitten by a cat in the upper arm while working at a veterinary clinic. I cleaned the wounds well and then went straight to an urgent care facility as my own health care provider had no appointments available until the end of the day. Knowing what can happen if a cat bite goes untreated I chose urgent care. I cleaned the bites well, immediately. Within 2 hours of the bite I had been examined, treated, and started on oral antibiotics. For the rest of the day the heat and pain in and around the bite wounds grew. By evening I started to feel unwell but I attributed this to the anti-biotics. By bed time I was running a low- grade fever and the spreading redness and heat on my arm indicated that the bite wounds had become infected. We headed to the ER.

Now this is not my first cat bite rodeo, or even my first infected cat bite rodeo. (Studies show that 50 % of cat bites become infected) I have been bitten by cats, dogs, horses, hamsters, eagles, turtles, and even taloned by an owl during my career. I have always taken these wounds in stride as part of my occupation. This incident was different and more severe than I personally have ever experienced, but it not an uncommon outcome among cat bite victims. I am going to tell you why.

The bacterial flora in a cat’s mouth include some nasty anaerobic bacteria (thriving where oxygen is not present). The most common offender in the cat’s mouth is Pasteurella multocida. This bacteria is also present in the mouths of other animals that bite, but in cats the potential for this pathogen to cause serious infection is amplified by feline dental structure when a cat bite occurs. Cat’s teeth are sharp, like a needle. When a cat bites you they basically inject this aggressive pathogen (and others) deep into your tissue. This plunges the bacteria right into a warm, dark, low oxygen environment which is optimal for the development of infection. From there, an aggressive cellulitis (skin infection) can take root and spread quickly. Additional complications can include Osteomyelitis (bone infection), Sepsis, (a life threatening systemic response to infection), chronic local infection, disfigurement etc. Treatment for infected cat bites often requires hospitalization, treatment with IV antibiotics, surgery, and in rare cases amputations.

Studies have found that up to 90% of domestic cats carry Pasteurella in their mouths.

A Mayo Clinic study on infected cat bites found that 72 % of people hospitalized immediately after presentation to an ER for an infected cat bite required surgery as part of their medical treatment.

I am still on antibiotics, and the jury is still out on whether I will be having surgery.

Another significant concern when one is bitten by a cat, or any mammal, is the animal’s vaccine status and potential to transmit Rabies. Cats, like all other mammals can be infected with and carry Rabies. This neurologic virus if left untreated is almost always fatal. If you think the above described infection sounds bad, contracting Rabies would be astronomically worse. Once symptoms appear the chance for a good outcome (one where you don’t die) is basically nil.

Rabies is a public health hazard and if you are bitten by an unvaccinated mammal it is taken very seriously. The cat that bit me was not vaccinated. I have been vaccinated for Rabies for over 20 years and have always had good titers when checked every two years to make sure the vaccine was still protective in my system. Regardless of this, while in the ER I received rabies post exposure treatment. Fun times. For me this included several injections of Human Rabies Immune Globulin. They want to get this as close as they can to any potential Rabies virus particles in the bite wounds. In my case this meant that the injections were injected all around the bite wounds in the infected area. Can you say ouch? After that I also received a booster to my rabies vaccine and then 2 more boosters on days 2 and four after the bite. So much fun.

You can find pictures of my own personal incident at the bottom of this article. If you are squeamish you may want to avoid them. If you choose to look, you will see where the nurses in the hospital drew circles on my arm to track the infection as it spread.

Long story short, avoid cat bites at all costs. It is not worth the risk. How can you do this? With your own cat at home it is important to teach them from kitten hood that biting is not okay, even during play. It is best not to encourage rough play that involves your hands or other body parts with a kitten or adult cat.

For tips on teaching your cat or kitten not to bite, consult with your veterinarian or a pet behaviorist. Do not attempt medical procedures (taking a temperature for example) or significant grooming procedures on your own cat without assistance, (preferably professional experience) or proper training in cat restraint.

For your own safety, avoid petting cats on the street that you do not know, no matter how friendly they seem. If you are attempting to rescue a cat, wear thick gloves when handling it and have it examined immediately by a licensed veterinarian.

USE THIS LINK TO COMMENT . . . comments


BY GREG WALTERS
PLANNING AND ZONING
COMMISSION CHANGES
NOTIFICATION RULES 

Ward 1 Alderman Greg Walters addressed the Raytown Planning and Zoning Commission on the need to change the notification procedure used to alert Raytowners of zoning changes in their neighborhoods.

The current procedure calls for a “courtesy notice” to be sent to surrounding homeowners. The courtesy notice and be done personally or by First Class Mail.

“The courtesy notice was step in the right direction,” said Walters, “but it has not always been as effective as hoped.”

Walters reviewed three zoning applications where residents within 185’ had complained of not be notified of planned changes. He recommended the courtesy notice be required to be sent by certified letter through the United States Postal Service.

After discussing the proposal the members of the Commission voted 7 to 1 to recommend approval of the proposal.

The Board of Aldermen will now meet to consider the issue and make a final determination at the August 18th meeting of the Board.

PLANNING AND ZONING

RECOMMENDS REDUCING
SIZE OF COMMISSION
After a lengthy discussion of the Planning and Zoning Commission monthly meeting Commissioners unanimously endorsed changing the size of the Commission from nine to seven members.

Planning and Zoning’s role at City Hall is to review applications for zoning changes within Raytown’s borders. Members then pass their recommendation on to the Board of Aldermen for further review. The Board of Aldermen take the Commission’s recommendation into consideration when making their final review and vote on an application.

Missouri State Statutes allow for a Fourth Class City to create a Planning and Zoning Commission with a membership of 7 to 15 members.

Commissioners expressed concerns for the need to meet quorum requirements to hold future meetings.


Crime and Police

Overview Activity

On July 26th, at approx. 4:15 pm, officers were called to a business in the 9000 block of 350 Hwy regarding a robbery that had just occurred. The clerk reported that a man armed with a knife had just robbed the store and taken merchandise and cash. The subject was not immediately located in the area and the investigation is ongoing.

On July 26th, at approx. 8:30 pm, an officer was dispatched to Truman Medical Center regarding a shooting. An adult male reported that he had been at an apartment complex in Raytown with a friend when a man he did not know walked up to his car and shot him in the leg one time. He did not know where specifically in Raytown he was at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

On July 28th, at approx. 6 pm, officers were dispatched to a residence in the 8300 block of Spring Valley Rd regarding a robbery. The victim reported that he got into an argument with his friend. The friend punched him and then threatened him with a handgun before stealing a puppy from the residence. A suspect has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

USE THIS LINK TO COMMENT . . . comments

Sunday, July 26, 2020

USE THIS LINK TO VIEW THE BOA COMMITTEE MEETING

USE THIS LINK TO COMMENT . . . comments


Jackson County and the City of Raytown will be distributing 1,000 packets of 10 face masks on Wednesday afternoon, July 29th.  This event is free to Raytown citizens.

The masks will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Simply drive up in your car and receive your free masks. Limit of one package of ten masks per vehicle.

WHEN:       WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020
WHERE:     Connection Point Church
                   10500 East Highway 350
TIME:          4:00 pm to 6:00 pm       
HOW:          Drive thru
Masks donated by Governor Michael Parsons Office through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

BY PAUL LIVIUS
PAUL LIVIUS REPORT
“Taxes Paid Statement”
REQUIRED ON COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENT 
APPLICATION FORMS

All elected officials, the Mayor, Board Members and the Municipal Judge in Raytown are required to have their tax obligations paid in full before their name is placed on a ballot for election. This is a state law. There have been instances in Raytown where candidates were removed from a ballot because their taxes were not paid up to date.

At its last meeting Ward 1 Alderman Greg Walters brought forth a discussion to  require applicants for Boards, Committees and Commissions to have the same requirement as do elected officials to be considered for their office.

One of the responsibilities of the Raytown Board of Aldermen is to vote approval of appointments to City Boards and Commissions. Typically, the Mayor nominates a candidate. The Board then votes to either approve or disapprove the appointment.

Committee seats affected by the proposal would be any positions requiring Board approval for appointment. Examples would be the Jackson County Board of Equalization, the Board of Zoning Adjustment, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Raytown Park Board.

Each of these Committee/Boards plays an important part of studying and recommending decisions to the Board of Aldermen. For instance the Park Board has the power to propose tax increases. But they cannot do so without Board approval. The same can be said of the Planning and Zoning Commission, which studies and recommends all matters involving zoning of commercial and residential property. There authority is to study issues and recommend approval or disapproval of zoning issues before the Board. 

Raytown is not the only governing body in the metropolitan area to require up to date payment of taxes of nominees for appointment. Kansas City, Missouri requires applicants to have their taxes paid up to date for appointment to a city committee. Jackson County requires it of certain committees, especially those dealing with property tax valuation.

In point of fact, the Board of Aldermen approved the appointment of Wendy McDermott to the Jackson County Board of Equalization later that same evening. Raytown makes the appointment . . . but the County requires the appointee have all taxes paid in full to serve on the Board of Equalization. 

An Acceptable Compromise . . .
Some lively discussion and clarification of the need to raise the bar for applicants to City appointed Boards and Commissions followed.

Ward 4 Alderman Mary Jane VanBuskirk made a motion directing City Administrator Damon Hodges to add a question specifically asking if taxes were paid in full by the applicant for a committee assignment. Ward 5 Alderman Bonnaye Mims provided a second to the motion.

The vote was called and the bill passed unanimously by a vote of 7 yes to 0 no. (three Board members were absent from the meeting)

Walters told the Raytown Report he was pleased with the outcome.

“I would have preferred an ordinance to give the requirement the weight of law, but I believe Mrs. VanBuskirk's motion will fulfill the purpose of adding transparency and an understanding of what is expected of applicants,” said Walters.


HOW THEY VOTED:
YES:*       Greg Walters, Mary Jane VanBuskirk, Bonnaye Mims,
                    Bill VanBuskirk, Jason Greene, Frank Hunt, Janet Emerson

ABSENT:  Ryan Myers, Derek Ward, Jim Aziere  
* Approval was unanimous. There were not any "no" votes. 



Crime and Police

Overview Activity
On July 25th, 2020 at approximately 3:14 P.M., Raytown Police were called to the 11200 block of Lakeview Drive, in regard to a shooting. Officers arrived on scene and located one adult male and one adult female, with apparent gunshot wounds. The victims were transported to an area hospital with serious injuries. Officers located the suspect, an adult aged female known to both victims, walking away from the residence on foot. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. An investigation of the incident is underway.

On July 17th, at approx. 8:25 pm, officers were dispatched to the 10200 block of 55th Street on shots fired. The victim reported that he had been standing outside talking to a neighbor when a car passed by and the passenger fired several shots at them. No one was injured and the suspects fled the scene before officers arrived. The investigation is ongoing.

Overnight from July 16th to July 17th , construction trailers at two school district locations were burglarized and tools were stolen. The investigation is ongoing.
USE THIS LINK TO COMMENT . . . comments

Sunday, July 19, 2020



Jackson County and the City of Raytown will be distributing 1,000 packets of 10 face masks on Wednesday afternoon, July 29th.  This event is free to Raytown citizens.

The masks will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Simply drive up in your car and receive your free masks. Limit of one package of ten masks per vehicle.

WHEN:       WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020
WHERE:     Connection Point Church
                   10500 East Highway 350
TIME:          4:00 pm to 6:00 pm       
HOW:          Drive thru
Masks donated by Governor Michael Parsons Office through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

BY PAUL LIVIUS
THE PAUL LIVIUS REPORT
Barb’s Place
Application Withdrawn
The controversial application would have allowed the opening of an event venue space (Barb’s Place) at 6614A Blue Ridge Boulevard has been withdrawn by the applicant.

The City has not released any specific reason for the withdrawal by the applicant of its application.

The Board of Aldermen spent over three hours of sometimes contentious debate over the application. The last vote taken on the issue was indicative of how split the Board was on the issue.

A motion by Alderman Ryan Myers to carry over the application (seconded by Alderman Mims) to the July 21st Meeting of the Board had created at five to five split of the Board. Mayor Michael McDonough broke the tie by vote to carry over the meeting.

HOW THEY VOTED:
YES:    Ryan Myers, Bonnaye Mims, Jason Greene, Janet Emerson
            Frank Hunt
NO:      Greg Walters, MJ VanBuskirk, Derek Ward, Bill VanBuskirk,
            Jim Aziere

The five/five split on the Board was common during the issue as each side maneuvered to make their points on whether or not to grant a license to the applicants.

A lack of parking space, operating without a city license and the high cost of renovation to meet fire codes were brought up during the lengthy debates over the application.

The location of the proposed event center is located in Ward 1. Greg Walters represents the area. He told the Raytown Report there was strong opposition from local businesses, the operators of the Historic Rice Tremonti Home*, and residential neighborhoods surrounding the site.

Walters said, “Sometimes the system works. This time it did. The interests Raytown businesses and homeowners were heard.”

*The Rice Tremonti Home is part of the Raytown Parks and Recreation system of parks.


Crime and Police
Overview Activity
On July 8 th, at approx. 2:45 pm, officers responded to the intersection of Gregory & Hunter regarding a traffic collision. While investigating the crash, officers determined that one of the drivers was a convicted felon who was armed with a stolen firearm. She also was in possession of drugs and paraphernalia. The driver was arrested at the scene and the case has been transferred to the FBI.

On July 9 th, at approx. 11:40 am, officers were dispatched to an armed robbery at a business in the 9100 block of 350 Hwy. The investigation led officers to an address in Kansas City, where a suspect was arrested and the stolen property recovered. The investigation is ongoing.

We took one sex crime report this week. The victim reported being molested by a family member at a location in Raytown between 2008 and 2013. The investigation is ongoing.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Paul’s Rant!
Public Comments (PART TWO)
Last Tuesday night’s meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen was pretty much an uneventful meeting. A few housekeeping resolutions and a smattering of appointments to various Boards and Commissions – before you knew it, the meeting was over.

There was one exception. It was the handling of the Public Comments section of the meeting.

Keep in mind, the Board of Aldermen meetings are open to the public. “Public” has been defined as those in attendance who are not city employees or elected officials. The McDonough Administration has limited the number of people from the “public” to “six or seven”.

The reason given is to contain the spread of the Corona Virus.

Temperatures of attendees are taken before the meeting. Masks are required  and social distancing is practiced.

However, Public Comments are not allowed to be given in public. Anyone wishing to comment must do so in writing, at least 30 hours before the meeting. The letter is then scanned by city personnel and projected on the wall for all to read.

At the last meeting there was only one public comment. The Mayor’s opponent in the last City Election, Tony Jacob, sent a 586 word document which could easily be read within the five minute allotted time period.

Here is the odd part. Mr. Jacob was sitting in the audience when the letter was projected on the wall. He could have easily given his public comment personally. He had a mask on. The podium from which he would speak is 12 feet away from the nearest chair (double the space required by the Center for Disease Control guidelines).

The City Attorney, who was also serving as city clerk, scrolled through the letter at a reasonable pace so all who observed could read the letter.

When the reading was completed, the Clerk scrolled back to a certain part of the letter and left the projector on.

At that point, Mayor McDonough responded to some of the comments in Mr. Jacob’s public comment.

OUR VIEW . . .
Public Comments is supposed to be a venue for private citizens to address their elected officials in a public meeting. The rules are simple. Raytown residents only; topics can only cover City of Raytown issues; elected officials are not allowed to debate what is said.

At the last meeting those rules were followed, with one glaring exception.

The Mayor, despite the prohibition on responding to public comments, decided to throw in. It also appears he colluded with the City Clerk to have a portion of Jacob’s comments scrolled back onto the screen when giving the Mayor gave his response.

We fact checked Mr. Jacob’s comments (a link to the letter is provided following this editorial) and found them to be accurate.

The Mayor may not agree with what Mr. Jacob has to say. But the purpose of Public Comments is not to create a forum to appease politicians. Any Raytown resident has a right to make a public comment at a meeting.

The rules as set forth by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen are very clear. Rebuttal during the meeting by the Board of Aldermen and Mayor is not allowed.

At the last meeting, a private citizen’s comments were sent to the city. The contents of the comments by Mr. Jacob were obviously shared with certain elected officials who then crafted a response. The response was given given immediately following the public comment.

There are some very important lessons here: 
  • Board meetings should not be a contest of who gets the last word.
  • Private citizen’s Public Comments should not be leaked to elected officials before a meeting.
  • Most important, elected officials should follow the rules they have crafted for Public Comments.
To view Tony Jacob's comments . . . 
USE THIS LINK . . . Tony Jacob's Comment



The Kansas City Fringe has gone virtual. Due to the Corona Virus the Kansas City Fringe has taken its show to the internet. You can visit and enjoy all the award winning entertainment via the internet. To learn more about the 2020 Virtual KC Fringe use the following link.




To view the offerings in the Visual Arts section of the Fringe Festival use the following link.
NOTE: Admission to the Visual Arts portion of the Fringe Festival is free.



Peggy’s Cove

$36.00
Peggy’s Cove is known as the idyllic fishing village, Peggy’s Cove is one of most popular stops in Atlantic Canada. Set on rocky shores, the lighthouse and village at Peggy’s Cove are a photographer’s paradise on the Nova Scotia coast, 43 kms southwest of Halifax.
PHOTO BY GREG WALTERS
Prints are produced on a heavy matte sheet (170 GSM Presentation Paper). Photos are printed in an aqueous ink. A hard copy of the finished work can be viewed before ordering.
Email Greg Walters at greg@serviceprintingonline.com to view any of the works shown.

Road Trip
$36.00
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States. The Parkway, noted for its scenic beauty, is America’s longest linear park. It run 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, linking Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It runs mostly along the spine of the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains.
PHOTO BY GREG WALTERS
Prints are produced on a heavy matte sheet (170 GSM Presentation Paper). Photos are printed in an aqueous ink. A hard copy of the finished work can be viewed before ordering.
Email Greg Walters at greg@serviceprintingonline.com to view any of the works shown.




Trail Through
Tent Rocks
$36.00
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a remarkable outdoor laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes. The National Monument, on the Pajarito Plateau in north-central New Mexico, includes a national recreation trail and ranges from 5,570 feet to 6,760 feet above sea level. The trail winds through the remnants of a prehistoric desert, eroded by time, rain and wind to create a unique hiking experience.

PHOTO BY GREG WALTERS
Prints are produced on a heavy matte sheet (170 GSM Presentation Paper). Photos are printed in an aqueous ink. A hard copy of the finished work can be viewed before ordering.
Email Greg Walters at greg@serviceprintingonline.com to view any of the works shown.

Strausbourg

$45.00
Strausbourg is the ultimate European city. Located on the Rhine River it has flavors of both France and Germany. Located in Alsace-Lorraine, the city has changed hands many times between the two countries. Canals and locks crisscross the city. Strausburg traces its founding to the First Century BC by the Romans. It is currently the seat of the European Union Parliament.
PHOTO BY GREG WALTERS
Prints are produced on a heavy matte sheet (170 GSM Presentation Paper). Photos are printed in an aqueous ink. A hard copy of the finished work can be viewed before ordering.
Email Greg Walters at greg@serviceprintingonline.com to view any of the works shown.

USE THIS LINK TO COMMENT . . . comments

Sunday, July 5, 2020

USE THIS LINK TO COMMENT . . . comments
Do as they say, not as they do.
BY GREG WALTERS
I received my regular agenda this weekend and read the following. It was a bullet point in a list of 7 recommendations put in place due to the Covid19 Cornona Virus. Most were common sense . . . wear a mask, social distancing was required, only six seats were available for the public, and so on.

The one that caught my attention was the following.

·       There will be no in-person Public Comments.
Please send your Public Comments to the City Clerk at thenry@raytown.mo.us by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Monday, July 6, so that your comments can be provided to the Board of Aldermen during the Public Comments section of the July 7, 2020 meeting agenda. All Public Comments received will be kept on file in the City Clerk’s office.

I wondered why.

Other guests at Board meetings have been allowed to speak when they are discussing city business since the resumption of public meetings at City Hall. 

Typically they wait in an adjoining room for their item to come up on the agenda. When the time comes they enter the room, discuss their business with the city and then leave.

It has proven to be an efficient and effective way to manage the the number of people in the Council Chamber to the six person limit. 

But when it comes to Public Comments the Public is told to send their message in writing to City Hall. A copy of the written message is projected on the wall for all to read. 

In my opinion, it is a half measure. Something is lost in a message when it is not delivered in person. The representation of Raytown Citizens is our most important job. If they wish to speak in public session they should be allowed to do so.

It is important to keep in mind Public Comments are limited to five minutes. Since the beginning of this calendar yea, I do not recall more than two speakers at a meeting.

Certainly the Board and Mayor can afford ten minutes of a meeting to hear what private citizens have to say.

The powers that be (the instructions on the agenda were unsigned) should re-think this one. Using the Covid 19 Pandemic as an excuse not to hear what the public has to say can be done safely if the same rules used for other guests speaking before Board are used.



Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Contact: Michael Mansur, Director of Communication

For Immediate Release
July 3, 2020

A 47-year-old Independence, MO, man has been charged in the abduction and shooting of a woman in a domestic assault today in Raytown, MO, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

Tyrone Johnson, dob: 10/12/1972, faces Kidnapping, Domestic Assault, Armed Criminal Action, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Domestic Assault 2nd, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Tampering With a Physical Evidence.*

According to court records, about 6 am this morning in Raytown, a Raytown Police reserve corporal was observed by police driving quickly in the police parking lot. The reserve corporal’s personal vehicle had holes in it from gunshots and inside was a shooting victim. At 59th Street and Raytown Trafficway, the corporal saw a vehicle stopped. He saw a woman inside the vehicle. She made a statement, "Get me out of here." He began to take her to Raytown Police headquarters, when a man stepped out of the stalled car and fired shots at the corporal’s vehicle.

Later, at Truman Hospital, the woman, who was shot in the leg, told a police detective that she had been in an argument with her boyfriend, the defendant. Earlier, at a Kansas City motel, he had choked her and later forced her into his vehicle after she started to walk away, she stated.

Then, at the Raytown intersection he stopped the vehicle after she tried to get out to get into the corporal’s vehicle. The defendant, she stated, warned her he was going to shoot her before he fired shots. The defendant was taken into custody at the motel where the incident began today.

He was observed there throwing spent shell casings into a trash can.

Prosecutors requested a $150,000 bond.
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded guilty.

USE THIS LINK TO COMMENT . . . comments