Archive for August 2014

UG deadlocks again on filling vacant 1st District seat at-large

The Unified Government could not get enough votes tonight to move forward on a plan to reopen the commission selection process for the vacant 1st District, at-large seat.

The position has been vacant for more than a year, and is the subject of a resident’s lawsuit in Wyandotte County District Court. The resident stated in the lawsuit that she suffered a lack of representation as the result of the position being unfilled. The lawsuit was scheduled to come up in court in September.

Mayor Mark Holland proposed that the issue be reopened, with UG commissioners selecting from a list of 15 applicants that did not include the top two vote-getters last time, who were Don Budd Jr. and Nathan Barnes. The other applicants would be considered if they were still interested in the job, according to the new proposal.

In a vote tonight, the mayor’s proposal received a 4-4 vote, and the mayor then cast a yes vote. The motion failed 5-4 because it needed 6 yes votes to pass.

Voting for the mayor’s proposal were Commissioners Jane Philbrook, Hal Walker, Gayle Townsend, and Brian McKiernan. Voting against it were Commissioners Tarence Maddox, Angela Markley, Jim Walters and Ann Murguia. Commissioner Mike Kane was not present.

Holland said in his view, this is the last opportunity to address the issue before it goes to the voters at the polls next spring.

Townsend reiterated some comments from last year about a coin toss between the top two vote-getters to settle the issue; she said a special election was found to be too expensive; and she thought the best option would be to leave the seat open until the next election, allowing it to be open to everyone.

She said she didn’t believe the lawsuit was the way to resolve it. She also did not favor putting aside the top two vote-getters. But because she wanted the issue to move forward, recognizing public sentiment that wanted the seat filled, she would be agreeable to that option, “with the caveat, be careful what you ask for.”

She also disagreed with some language of the lawsuit that said complainants were not represented. They were represented, she noted, but “under-represented” may have been a better word.

Townsend also said the bigger issue was the structure of the UG charter that requires about half of the commission to give up their seats in order to run for mayor. The other half, because of the staggered terms, can return to their seats if they run for mayor and are not successful.

Murguia said she was not in favor of moving this issue forward without all the commissioners present to vote on it. Otherwise, she was not against the mayor’s proposal.

Maddox agreed with Townsend about a coin flip to determine the winner of the contest.

Walker pointed out the charter stated the commission “shall” fill this position, not may or will.
“We need to make a decision on this and put it to rest,” he said. “I believe the people deserve four representatives in theory that represent their interest.”

He said it was clear the commission would not agree on the two initial top vote-getters. If the commission voted on the top two again, he said the vote probably would be tied again.

Markley said the commission’s last voting revealed a flaw in the procedure, that there was nothing in place to deal with a tie situation. This proposal tonight had the same flaw, she said, that it was likely to go through the process again with the possibility to arrive at the same place.

Plus, she said some of the residents who were most vocal about this issue were not interested in throwing out the top two candidates.

The UG charter did not say when the position must be filled, and neither did it say how a tie could be broken.

Alvin Sykes, a human rights activist, recently said that if there was a plan to exclude any of the candidates, he was not in favor of it. He said he would not be against starting the entire process over, with the public allowed to apply for the position.

State Sen. David Haley last week said he wanted to call a meeting of Wyandotte County legislators, UG commissioners and the mayor in order to discuss filling the vacant position. If it is not filled, legislators could discuss a bill that might resolve it, such as a provision for breaking a tie vote.


Community calendar

The Wyandotte Daily News is interested in news of your community event in Wyandotte County. Send information to and include your name and phone number.

UG Commission to meet Aug. 7
The Unified Government Commission plans to meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at City Hall, Commission Chambers, lobby area, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan. An agenda may be posted at A 5 p.m. meeting Aug. 7 also is scheduled.

Balloon festival set for Aug. 8-10
The Great Midwest Balloon Festival will be Aug. 8 to 10 at the grounds of the Kansas Speedway, at I-70 and I-435, Kansas City, Kan. More than 50 hot-air balloons are expected to fly over the area. There will be food vendors, balloon rides, children’s events, a carnival and balloon glows. Tickets start at $15 for adults and $7.50 for children ages 4 to 14. Children under 3 are free. For more information, see

Back-to-School Fair to be Aug. 9
The annual Wyandotte County Back-to-School Fair will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at two locations, Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave., and Boys and Girls Club Wyandotte County, 1240 Troup Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Students who live in Wyandotte County may participate. Parents should bring proof of residence. Children are required to attend. Immunizations are available to those who bring their immunization cards. Sports physicals will be available; a pre-participation examination form is requested. Bookbags with school supplies will be given out. Books will be distributed to children. Haircuts will be available. Lunch will be served. The United Way of Wyandotte County is accepting donations toward this event. People interested in volunteering may contact the United Way, 913-371-3674.

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.

P.R.I.D.E. parade, festival planned Aug. 9
A parade and festival sponsored by P.R.I.D.E. and the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters is scheduled on Saturday, Aug. 9. A Day with P.R.I.D.E. Black Fire Fighters, 17th annual Back-to-School Parade and the Garvin Run and Memorial Balloon Release are among the events. Grand marshal of the parade, which starts at 9 a.m. Aug. 9, will be John F. Drew Sr., first black U.S. deputy marshal from the state of Kansas, and former director of the Northeast Community Development Center. The lineup for the Garvin Run is at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 9 at 1726 Quindaro Blvd. The parade route is from Cissna and Quindaro Boulevard to 9th and Quindaro Boulevard (Parkwood Park behind Fire Station No. 5). School bands, drill team and dancers plan to participate in the parade. Those who are interested in participating in the parade may call Paul Jones at 913-908-5622 or the P.R.I.D.E. office at 913-321-2733. The event at Parkwood Park, 9th and Quindaro, will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event includes special awards, games for children and a talent showcase. There will be school supply giveaway for children in kindergarten and older, while supplies last. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be available. The Parkwood pool on Aug. 9 is open free to all swimmers who bring a canned good donation. The event has several sponsors including the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan.

End of Summer Carnival Aug. 9 at library
The Schlagle Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road, will hold an End of Summer Carnival from 10 a.m. to 2 pm. Saturday, Aug. 9. The family event will include games, food, a silent auction and “Doo-Dad Mike,” a musician performing at 11 a.m. The event is free. There is a donation for games. The Leavenworth Road Association will provide lunch and snacks for purchase. Silent auction donors include T-Bones, Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs, Great Wolf Lodge, Kansas City Zoo, Paradise Park, Sunflower Golf Course and Science City.

Mobile food pantry to distribute food Aug. 9
Civitan Clubs of KC are sponsoring a mobile food pantry at noon on Saturday, Aug. 9 and Aug. 16, at 8822 Parallel Parkway. This is in the parking lot of the Crossroads Family Church. The mobile food pantry will be open until the food is gone. The Civitan Family Life Development Center is at that location. For more information, visit

Summer concert to be Aug. 9 at Legends
Dave and Buster’s Summer Concert Series will continue at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, on the rooftop patio at The Legends Outlets. The Matt Spinks Trio will perform from 9 p.m. to close Aug. 9. Different bands will play on Saturdays through September.

Educational meeting on agricultural market information to be Aug. 10
An educational meeting and field demonstration, “Quenching Agriculture’s Thirst for Market Information,” will be held from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, 620 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs. The meeting will explain how crop estimates are determined. The meeting is free to the public; reservations are appreciated to 785-587-6111 or to The event is sponsored by Kansas Farm Bureau, Wyandotte County Farm Bureau and the Ag Hall. Speakers will include Mark Nelson, Kansas Farm Bureau; and Jason Lamprecht, USDA. There will be a tour of the Ag Hall, and a crop estimating field demonstration.

Blood drive planned Aug. 11
A Community Blood Center blood drive is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Chiropractic Healing Center parking lot at 8437 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan. For information or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 816-753-4040.

Vendor Fair planned
A Vendor Fair will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Unified Government City Hall lobby, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan. This is an opportunity for local vendors to learn how to do business with the Unified Government and BPU. An educational forum will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Some of the topics covered will be vendor numbers, business licenses, equal employment opportunity compliance license, and tax clearance letter. Reservations are required to or 913-573-5446.

Personal finance class, ‘Finding Cash,’ offered
“Finding Cash,” a four-session class for general financial education, will be offered from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on four Tuesdays, Aug. 12-Sept. 2, at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Topics will include budgeting, savings, credit, needs vs. wants, plugging spending leaks and avoiding spending traps. This class is a prerequisite for individuals and families who are income eligible (below 200 percent of the federal level and have a net worth, market value of all assets owned minus debt of less than $10,000. The home you live in and one vehicle are excluded from asset determination) to participate in Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas 2:1 matched savings account program to assist with first time homeownership, homeowner occupied housing repair, post-secondary education, specialized skills training, or small business. Visit or call Kimberly Simmons, Catholic Charities, 913-384-6608, Ext. 2577 for questions. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

Author to attend book club meeting Aug. 12
Keeler Women’s Center monthly book club will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Author Judith Valente will be present to lead discussion and read from her award-winning book, “Atchison Blue, a Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith.” In addition to regular participants, there is a limited number of spaces for additional women who wish to take part. Books are available for $11. A limited number of copies will be available for those who are unable to purchase one. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

LRA to meet Aug. 12
The Leavenworth Road Association will meet at 6 p.m. Aug. 12 for a potluck dinner and social hour at the lower level, Fellowship Hall, Trinity Community Church, 5010 Parallel Parkway. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. The LRA will provide chicken and baked potato casserole. Members and visitors may bring side dishes. Presenting the August program will be presented by representatives of the community policing unit who will discuss tips on what to do in a shooting situation.

College president to speak at Women’s Chamber meeting Aug. 13
The guest speaker at the Aug. 13 meeting of the Kansas City, Kan., Women’s Chamber of Commerce will be Doris Givens, president of Kansas City Kansas Community College. The meeting will begin with networking at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 13, followed by a lunch and program from noon to 1 p.m. at Dave and Busters, Village West, Legends Outlets, Kansas City, Kan. The cost of the lunch will be $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. At the program, four scholarships will be awarded. Recipients include Tiffani Henley, Melissa Cooper, Deborah Sparks and Teresa Hall. Melissa, Tiffani and Teresa will attend KCKCC while Deborah will attend Park University. Reservations are required by emailing Barbara Newby at, telephone 913-485-1208 or Ardith Deason at, telephone, 913-233-3305.

Film to be discussed Aug. 13
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., will sponsor the Keeler Film Series at 1 p.m. Wednesdays. Roxanne Hutton will be the facilitator. Films about women and subjects important to women will be presented. There will be discussions about the films. On Aug. 13, the film and discussion will be about “Shirley Valentine.” Call 913-906-8990 to register for the film series.

Yoder to speak at Fairfax luncheon
U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-3rd Dist., will speak at the Aug. 14 luncheon of the Fairfax Industrial Association. The event is at 11:15 a.m. Aug. 14. The sponsor is General Motors, 3201 Fairfax Trafficway, Kansas City, Kan. Reservations may be made to Melissa Clark by 5 p.m. Aug. 12 at

Bonner Friends of Library Book Sale to be Aug. 14-16
Book lovers will want to mark Aug. 14, 15 and 16 as the date of the Bonner Friends of the Library Book Sale. Hours are 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The library is at 201 N. Nettleton Ave., Bonner Springs. A large selection of fiction and nonfiction as well as children’s books will be sold for no more than $1 and many older but still in good shape choices for only 25 cents. There is an interesting selection of large print volumes and you may also find a book autographed by the author. Along with bargain prices there will be different specials throughout the days of the sale, such as a bag of romance fiction or a bag of paperbacks for $1. Fiction is arranged alphabetically by author and nonfiction in a variety of categories is identified by signage. Recent donations will be in a separate area and many are like new and would make good gifts. The sale will be held in the lower level storm shelter of the library and can be accessed from the parking lot in the rear of the building. Profits from the sale are used to enhance the library and its programs, most recently contributing to the successful summer reading program.

Live at Legends free concert to be Aug. 16
The Legends Outlets, I-70 and I-435, will sponsor free family friendly concerts on some Saturday evenings during July and August in front of the center courtyard fountain. Red Guitar will perform from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16. The Live at the Legends summer concert series will feature local and regional talent performing popular pop, classic rock and country hits from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and today. The concert series will take place at the center of the Civic Courtyard Fountain in front of Phoenix Theaters Legends 14.

Concert planned Aug. 17
A concert featuring Miranda Lambert will be Aug. 17 at Verizon Wireless amphitheater in Bonner Springs. For ticket information, visit

Program offered about divorce, separation
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., will present “When a Family Changes: Dealing with Separation and Divorce,” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18. It will be presented by Chiquita Miller of K-State Extension. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

Spanish-speaking program offered for women
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., offers this program for Spanish-speaking women: Grupo de mujeres, dirigido por Mary Ellen Rodriguez y Ana Maria Sauer: 10-11 a.m., los martes, 19 y 26 de agosto.

Children’s self-esteem program offered
“Building Children’s Self Esteem,” a two-part free program, will be presented from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on two Wednesdays, Aug. 20 and 27, at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. To register, call 913-906-8990. Those who need child care should mention it since there are only a limited number of spaces available.

Landscaping program offered
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., will present “Landscaping and Simple Home Improvements” in partnership with Heartland Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday, Aug. 20. A cook out will be provided at 5:30 p.m. and the program is from 6 to 8 p.m. Space is limited and reservations are required. Men and women are welcome. No children. The program is free. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

Workshop offered to optimize health
A free workshop, Kansans Optimizing Health Program, will be held Sept. 3 and continue on Wednesdays for a total of six meetings. The workshop is for adults with an ongoing health condition, and will provide practical ways to deal with pain and fatigue, and will provide information on nutrition and exercise, understand new treatment choices, find better ways to talk with the doctor and family about health. Those with conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain, and anxiety may be interested in this workshop. It meets one-and-a-half hours each week for six weeks. The workshop is held in connection with the Wyandotte County Extension office, 1216 N. 79th St., telephone 913-299-9300.

Ume to perform with Arctic Monkeys Sept. 5
Austin rock trio Ume will open for Arctic Monkeys Sept. 5 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Ume’s new album, “Monuments,” was released March 4.

United Way campaign opening luncheon to be Sept. 11
United Way of Wyandotte County will kick off its Live Heroic annual campaign with its annual kick-off luncheon set for 11:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at the KCKCC Technology Center. United Way encourages the community to support the Wyandotte community by attending this luncheon or by donating to the Live Heroic campaign. Further information can be found at the United Way of Wyandotte County website, or by calling 913-371-3674.

Dotte Trot to benefit SAFE fund
The Dotte Trot, a 5K and 10K run, will be run at 8 a.m. Sept. 27 at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 9100 Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, Kan. All proceeds from the run benefit the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund. SAFE supports the families of law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency service personnel in the Kansas City metropolitan area who have died while protecting the community and citizens. The event is limited to 500 participants. For early registration, visit

Fundraiser set Sept. 27
A Texas Hold-‘Em and Taco Dinner to raise funds for Missy Kline is scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

‘Master of Memory’ class scheduled Oct. 2
A memory retention class, “Master of Memory,” will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in the West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd St., Kansas City, Kan. The class may be suitable for people who have difficulty remembering names, or forgetting items at the store. The series of classes was designed to help people develop strategies to improve their memories. The class is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension of Wyandotte County and the West Wyandotte Library. For more information and to register for the class, call 913-299-9300.

Walk to Cure Lupus scheduled Oct. 11
The Kansas City Metro Walk to Cure Lupus is scheduled Saturday, Oct. 11, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at The Legends area in Kansas City, Kan. Former Kansas City Chiefs player Eddie Kennison, honorary co-chair, will lead the walk. For more information, see

Counseling offered
Keeler Women’s Center, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., offers individual and couples counseling to women and men who might otherwise not be able to afford counseling. Nothing is billed. Donations are accepted. Call 913-906-8990 for information or to do an intake and schedule an appointment.


Soccer executive tells of successful rebranding effort

by Murrel Bland

Greg Cotton suddenly realized the new name of the soccer team would be accepted when he overhead a couple of 20-somethings in a bar praising “Sporting Kansas City.”

“That was the demographic that we wanted to reach,” Cotton said. Cotton was the featured speaker Friday, Aug. 1, at a Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce membership meeting at the new City View at St. Margaret’s loft apartments.

Cotton, who is the chief operating officer and legal counsel for the soccer team, said that the rebranding changed from the Wizards when the team moved in 2011 to the new state-of-the-art stadium in Village West. The name change has been quite successful, despite initial criticism from sports commentators including Jack Harry of KSHB-TV 41. Cotton is also chairman-elect of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

The team can trace its history to 1996 when it began as “The Wiz.” That name didn’t last very long as those who owned the copyrighted “Wiz” musical name threatened legal action. Owner Lamar Hunt changed the name to The Wizards in 1997.

Hunt sold the team in 2006 to the On Goal group; the principals included Neal Patterson and Cliff Illig, two of the founders of the Cerner company, a medical software firm that is fast becoming one of the largest private employers in the Kansas City Area.

In 2008, the team moved to Community America Ballpark as a temporary location until its new stadium could be built.

Cotton said that Jeff Lind, who was then manager of Nebraska Furniture Mart, called him and said the store owned 14 acres that might be a location for a soccer stadium. The $180 million venue was completed in 2011, thanks to sales tax bonds issued by the state of Kansas that paid for infrastructure.

Cotton said the club looked at other locations including those in Johnson County and the Bannister Mall area in Kansas City, Mo., but decided on the Village West location. Part of the consideration for issuing the bonds was Cerner’s commitment to building two office buildings that will employee more than 4,000.

Cotton talked briefly about the national training center for soccer coaches and referees that will use some of the property that Schitterbahn owns and several acres just to the east. The center is expected to attract more than 30,000 room nights annually for hotels. It will have 17 soccer fields covering more than 100,000 square feet, Cotton said. It is expected to be open in 2016.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is executive director of Business West.