Home Archives 2014 March 27

Daily Archives: March 27, 2014

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Community meeting planned on education March 27

“How Best to Access Success in Wyco,” a community meeting, will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 27 at the Dr. Thomas Burke Technical Education Center at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 65th and State Avenue. A panel discussion will be sponsored by El Centro, KCKCC Advancement Council and MainStream Coalition on kindergarten through 16th year education in Wyandotte County and the effect of recent Kansas legislation. Partnerships in the Wyandotte education community that help students succeed will be discussed. There will be a voter registration booth. Guest speakers include Ed Marquez, director of admissions, Donnelly College; Superintendent Cynthia Lane, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools; Joy Engel, assistant superintendent of the Turner Public Schools. The moderator is KCKCC President Doris Givens. To register for the program, visit www.mainstreamcoalition.org under “Upcoming Events.” Reservations are requested but not required.

UG scheduled to meet March 27

The Unified Government Commission is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. March 27 at City Hall, lobby level, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan. Several planning and zoning items are expected to be considered. An agenda for the meeting is posted at www.wycokck.org.

CFI to sponsor recycling event

The Coalition for Independence will have a one-day recycled durable medical equipment extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 28 at the CFI offices, 4911 State Ave. All current inventory will  be available. The not-for-profit agency provides a low-cost alternative to purchasing new equipment for individuals. Items include walkers, manual and power wheelchairs, bath benches and grab bars. Donations of used equipment in good condition also are being accepted.

Program offered on diversifying markets for farmers markets

A program on “Diversifying Markets: Farmers Market,” Wholesale and Farm School, will be offered March 31 in Kansas City, Mo. The program has assistance from K-State Research and Extension. For more information, visit www.growinggrocers.org.

Created Equal Film Series – Part I – opens April 1

Marking historic anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington, this film series explores facets of Civil Rights history. A portion of the documentary “Slavery By Another Name” will be screened. The event is at 6 pm April 1 at the Kansas City Kansas Community College Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center, 6565 State Ave. There will be a discussion a moderated by Clarence Lang, professor of African and African-American Studies, and American Studies at the University of Kansas. Created Equal is a program of the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the NEH with the Kansas Humanities Council.

Financial literacy for seniors: Adapting and adjusting for retirement

A financial literacy program will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. April 3 at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Attend this informative presentation about financial matters for seniors and retirement. Presented in partnership with Heartland Habitat for Humanity and Wells Fargo Bank. To register, call 913-906-8990.

Eleven ways you may be sabotaging your planters and baskets

A program on taking care of planters and baskets will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at the Sunflower Meeting Room, Wyandotte County Extension office 1208 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. The program will be presented by Kaw Valley Nursery, Manhattan Kan. It is sponsored by the Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners. Those attending may bring their lunches. There is a $5 fee for the class. Registration is not required. For information, call 913-299-9300.

Blood drive to be April 4

A blood drive will be from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 4 at Sumner Academy, old gym, 1610 N. 8th, Kansas City, Kan. To register for this Community Blood Center blood drive, visit https://www.esavealifenow.

Created Equal Film Series continues April 4

The Created Equal Film Series – Part II – will continue at 6 p.m. April 4 at the Main Kansas City, Kansas Public Library, 625 Minnesota Ave.  The program will focus on the Freedom Rides of 1961, a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights struggle. There will be a screening of selected scenes from “Freedom Riders” followed by a discussion moderated by Clarence Long, professor of African and African-American studies, and American studies at the University of Kansas. Created Equal is a program of the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the NEH with the Kansas Humanities Council.

ServSafe Course to be April 8

A ServSafe Course will be Tuesday, April 8, at K-State Research and Extension, Wyandotte County office, 1216 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. This course is for everyone who handles any type of food service or group meals. Also, it is for those interested in food service employment. The cost is $10, which includes class materials and workbook. The deadline for registration is April 1 because of limited seating and workbooks. Contact Lori Wuellner at 913-299-9300 or email lwuellne@ksu.edu.

Women’s Chamber to meet April 9

The Kansas City, Kan., Women’s Chamber of Commerce will meet from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, for a spring membership event. The event will be held at the Cork House, 509 N. 6th St., Kansas City, Kan. Parking is on the west side of the building.

Fairfax Industrial Association to meet April 10

The Fairfax Industrial Association will meet at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, April 10, at Reddi Services, 603 Funston Road, Kansas City, Kan. The guest speaker will be Chad Meyer, president and chief operating officer of NorthPoint Development, giving an update on progress in Fairfax.

UG scheduled to meet April 10

The Unified Government Commission is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at the Commission Chambers, City Hall, lobby level, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan. An agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting might be posted at www.wycokck.org.

Town Hall Forum planned April 12

The Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a Town Hall Forum rom 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd St., Kansas City, Kan. The public will hear an update on legislation and will have the opportunity to meet with members of the Wyandotte County legislative delegation. The program is free and open to the public.

Candlelighting service planned for crime victims April 14

A memorial service and candlelighting is planned at 5 p.m. April 14 at the Forest Grove Baptist Church, 1417 N. 9th St., Kansas City, Kan. A light dinner begins at 5 p.m. followed by the candlelighting at 6 p.m. The Crime Awareness Coordinating Effort is planning this free event, which has several sponsors. For more information, call 913-321-1566 or visit the website at www.friendsofyates.org.

Human Resources Roundtable meeting planned

The Wyandotte County Human Resources Roundtable will hold a meeting from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at Earp Distribution, 2730 S. 98th St., Edwardsville, Kan.  For more information, contact Jay Matlack, business retention and expansion director, 913-748-2273.

Blood drive scheduled April 21

A Red Cross blood drive is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21 at the Sacred Heart Home Health Care, 7735 Washington Ave., Kansas City, Kan.  To schedule an appointment, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners annual plant sale to be May 2-3

The annual plant sale of the Wyandotte County Master Gardeners will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 2, and 9 a.m. to noon (or as long as inventory is left) Saturday, May 3, at the Wildcat Room, Wyandotte County Extension office, 1200 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. The Wyandotte County Master Gardeners will offer tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, herbs, and other vegetable and fruit plants started by the members, and collections of perennials, annuals, Kansas native wildflowers and ornamental grasses. New to the sale this year will be succulent plants, gently used books and gardening supplies. Master Gardeners will be on hand to help with selections and answer gardening questions. For information, call 913-299-9300.

Program covers post-harvest handling

A program for gardeners and those who raise food on “Post-Harvest Handling” will take place on May 12 in Kansas City, Kan. The program is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension. For more information, visit www.growinggrocers.org.

African-American Art Festival planned Aug. 9

The MoKan African-American Art Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Quindaro Park, 35th and Sewell, Kansas City, Kan. Those attending the free event may bring a blanket, enjoy artwork, stilt walkers Gullah basket weathers, African drummers and dancers, food and vendors. For more information about having an art exhibit there or being a vendor, contact 913-788-7330.

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Members of the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education recognized March Students of the Month at the March 25 Board of Education meeting. Students honored were, from left, Joshua Quinones, New Stanley Elementary; Juan Tirado Garcia, Harmon High School; and Sydney Riley, Welborn Elementary School. (Photo from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools)

Students of the month were honored recently by the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education.

The students’ nominations:

Joshua Quinones, 5th grade, New Stanley School

Nominated by: Cindy Moore, Brandy Treaster, teachers and Miriam Torres, ESL aide:

“What can I say about Joshua?  He is a great student.  He comes to school every day with a smile on his face, ready to take on the challenges of the day.  He strives to learn something new each day.   Joshua does not complain or give up when he is presented with something new or challenging.  Joshua’s peers look up to him as well.  He is dedicated to his schoolwork and puts in 100 percent all the time.  Joshua is a member of our school’s Safety Patrol.  He comes to school a little early and stays a little late to fulfill his commitment.  Joshua has a bright future and his possibilities are endless!”

Juan Tirado Garcia, 11th grade Harmon High School

Nominated by:  Steve Howard, teacher and coach at Harmon High School

“I first met Juan last summer, and had the pleasure of having him on our cross country team.  His energy and natural leadership skills made the decision easy to name him the captain. I found it interesting that he had made a commitment to get involved in sports during his junior year, once he had made his grades, developed a work/study skills that would maintain his high academic standards.  Juan is an honor roll student, and taking college credit courses. His list of inside and outside school activities is remarkable.  Leadership 20-20, Bio-Science Academy, Math and Science Saturday Academy, KU Talent Search, not to mention the band, Pep Club, and Student Council.  It is my privilege to write this recommendation.”

Sydney Riley, 5th grade, Welborn Elementary School

Nominated by: Stacey Chatmon, teacher and Jamila Harris, counselor

“Sydney is the student’s student.  She is an advocate for fair treatment of all students.  She models what it means to be bully-free.  She always stands up to other students who are bullies by reporting bullying incidents to teachers and administration.  She encourages the victim to stand up for themselves and be honest.  She also tries to befriend the bully knowing they often don’t have friends.  She is an Honor Roll Student, Student Council, Safety Patrol, and Battle of the Books participant, all while battling with some health issues.  Yet she perseveres through her daily battles and school work never complaining about her struggles.  Sydney is a model student that we want to recognize.”

- Story and photo from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

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Opinion column

Window on the West

 by Mary Rupert

I was rather disappointed to see in the past week that a bill that would open more public records in Kansas had run into some delays.

House Bill 2555 would have made more information available to the public from search warrant affidavits and arrest reports.

The bill passed the House, and when it was in a Senate committee, amendments took out some of the basic changes it was proposing. Some opposition to it surfaced from some organizations supporting law enforcement and prosecutors.

According to open records advocates, Kansas is one of the few, if not the only state, in the nation that did not allow the public to view these records. I am a member of a group of journalists that is advocating for this change. A change in the law would allow journalists, as well as anyone interested, to see these records.

A House committee received testimony from two residents of Leawood who wanted to see the records when their home was raided by police a few years ago. The couple, who was innocent, ended up in a court fight and had to spend $25,000 to finally be allowed to see the records. In other states, they wouldn’t have had to pay anything other than a small copying fee to see the records.

The proposed bill to open the records suffered a severe setback last week. While the prospect of the bill’s passage this year does not appear very good at the present time, as long as the Legislature is still in session, there is still a chance it may be passed.

Today I talked with Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who said that there might still be a chance for the bill. He said he voted against the changes the Senate committee made to it, and that he agreed with the House version.

“It is my hope that we will reconcile the bill favorable to the House version. Kansas is the only state in the union that does not have the full disclosure or transparency for search and arrest warrants,” Sen. Haley said.

As it is, current law allows for actions to be taken in near secrecy.

“I have heard innumerable complaints,” Sen. Haley said, from people who felt set upon, detained and arrested, for which there was no response, no answer to their questions about why their homes were being searched.

Most of his constituents, unlike the couple in Johnson County, did not have the money or the time off work to go to court to find out why, he added.

The bill as originally proposed in the House would have exempted from the open records certain categories, such as minors and anyone whose life may be in danger.

I have seen a few Missouri arrest reports that go into detail about why a person was arrested, detailing the complaint.  In Kansas, the part of the reports that the public may see usually don’t give very many details. Because of lack of details, it is sometimes hard to gauge the importance of a case, difficult to tell whether a charge for aggravated robbery involved someone walking into a bank holding a shotgun, or was it someone snatching a family pet away from an ex while holding up a fist.

In the past week, we have seen several reports on this topic of open affidavits. One of the best is from KSHB-TV, Channel 41, and is online at www.kshb.com/news/investigators/openrecords.

I think a change in favor of more openness is always a good idea. After many years as a journalist, I believe that more openness is better in the long run.  Opening records and meetings to the public may not always get the result that governments want immediately, but it does further communication with the public. Every time you hold an open meeting or open a record, governments will not necessarily get a result that they are looking for, but in the long run, increasing communication is a desirable goal, eventually leading to more public confidence in government.

Our government can’t be run under a veil of secrecy, and to do so invites the public to be suspicious of it. The public has the right to know what its government is doing. If the other states in the nation can deal with affidavits being open, why can’t Kansas?

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email maryr@wyandottepublishing.com.

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