New Rosedale bus route means ‘everything’ to some riders

Connie Rideau, left, and Carol Guenther, both residents of the Rosedale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan., were happy about the start today of a new bus route from Rosedale to Argentine. (Staff photo)

by Mary Rupert

For Connie Rideau, a new bus route from the Rosedale to Argentine neighborhoods of Kansas City, Kan., means “everything.”

Rideau, a Rosedale resident, said it means she won’t be stuck in her apartment every day doing nothing. It means she can find a job, get to the doctor and go to the store, she said.

Rideau, part of today’s bus route ceremony at Emerson Park, and other Rosedale residents worked for more than a year to get this new bus route in place. The new 105 Rosedale bus route will cost the Unified Government $290,000 annually and is operated by the Area Transportation Authority.

Carol Guenther, another Rosedale resident who lives near Rushton Elementary, said there were times she had trouble getting to her polling place at the Rainbow Mennonite Church. She added she had to make quite a few calls to find a ride. Guenther, who worked with Rosedale Development Association on this bus route project, said she also plans to use the bus to go to RDA meetings and to the Save-A-Lot grocery store in Argentine.

Not just Rosedale, but also Argentine is expected to reap the benefits of the new bus route, as residents of Rosedale without other transportation will be able to ride the bus to shop at Save-A-Lot, a new Walmart Neighborhood Market, as well as the new South Library in Argentine. Argentine residents will gain better access to the University of Kansas Hospital and doctors’ offices in the Rosedale area, as well.

Heidi Holliday, executive director of the Rosedale Development Association, said it will increase Rosedale residents’ access to employment, food, and education through the library.

“It decreases the isolation of people without access to reliable transportation,” she said.

Mark Huffer, CEO and president of the Kansas City ATA, said it was the first time in about a decade that a new bus route has been added in Kansas City, Kan.

“It’s a game-changer for our county,” said Maureen Mahoney, chief of staff for Mayor Mark Holland.

Transit, said Dan Serda, a member of the ATA board of commissioners, is essential to everything a community does, including economic development.

“It was truly a grass-roots effort,” said UG Commissioner Ann Murguia, 3rd District, who was instrumental in getting the UG commission to approve the project. She related a story at the opening event about her volunteer work years ago at Emerson School. A student was absent one day because his mother did not have transportation to get a vaccination.

“We took care of it then,” she said, and she hopes now they’ve taken care of it (in the future) for everyone who runs across these issues.

The new bus route also has a business side to it. It could help residents gain transportation to the Walmart Neighborhood Market under construction at 2100 Metropolitan Ave. in Argentine, as well as to the new Save-A-Lot store nearby. Some UG officials last year said they hoped the bus line and its access to stores in Kansas City, Kan., would help keep more sales tax money in Wyandotte County, instead of going outside the county.

The new Rosedale to Argentine bus on its first day, June 30, in front of Emerson Park in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.

Unified Government Commissioner Ann Murguia addressed the audience at opening ceremonies for the new Rosedale bus route on June 30. (Staff photo)

Mark Huffer, CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, said it was the first time in about a decade that a new bus route has been added in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Transit is essential to everything a community does, said Dan Serda, a member of the KCATA board. (Staff photo)

“It’s a game-changer for our county,” said Maureen Mahoney, chief of staff for Mayor Mark Holland. At the left was UG Transit Director Emerick Cross. (Staff photo)

A new Walmart Neighborhood Market is under construction at 2100 Metropolitan Ave. in the Argentine area of Kansas City, Kan.

Kansas senator applauds Supreme Court ruling

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling, saying it “rightly rejects the federal government’s intrusion into an individual’s religious liberty.”

Moran issued a statement on the court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, involving the company’s stance on not providing contraception to its employees as part of their medical benefits.

Moran’s statement:

“Since our nation’s earliest days, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently affirmed our First Amendment right to exercise our religious beliefs freely,” Sen. Moran said. “Today’s Supreme Court decision rightly rejects the federal government’s intrusion into an individual’s religious liberty. This ruling protects religious practice beyond places of worship without harm to others. I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Sen. Moran was one of 15 senators to co-sign an amicus brief in the case challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate. The Supreme Court’s decision applies to closely-held corporations.

Other comments today:
The ACLU, in a news release, called it a “deeply troubling decision.”
“This is a deeply troubling decision. For the first time, the highest court in the country has said that business owners can use their religious beliefs to deny their employees a benefit that they are guaranteed by law,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU. “Religious freedom is a fundamental right, but that freedom does not include the right to impose beliefs on others. In its ruling today, the Court simply got it wrong.”

A news release from the United Church of Christ said the decision is “an affront to the religious liberty of women across the nation.”
“The Court’s decision today is in fact an affront to the religious liberty of women across the country, who we believe have a right to make decisions based on the dictates of their moral conscience and religious beliefs. Since the early 1970s, the United Church of Christ General Synod has long witnessed to this fundamental right of conscience, one central to our religious forbearers,” said Sandy Sorenson, director of the United Church of Christ’s Washington, D.C., office. “We are particularly concerned that those women most impacted by the inability to access the full range of reproductive health services are low-income and working women, who do not otherwise have the means to access such care. This decision has troubling implications for the health care of women and families. We will continue to work with our partners to advocate for policies that ensure access to affordable, comprehensive reproductive health care services for all women.”

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback today said the ruling affirmed religious freedom.
“The Supreme Court today affirmed the right of religious freedom, one of the bedrock principles enshrined in our constitution,” Gov Brownback said in a statement. “It again rebuked a needless overreach of President Obama’s administration. Kansans understand that President Obama’s Washington approach, with its one-size-fits-all philosophy, coupled with the President’s repeated abuses of power, are not good for America and are terrible for Kansas.”

Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer issued this statement: “Today the Justices of the Supreme Court had a chance to protect religious freedoms and take a stand against the continued federal intrusion into our private beliefs. In ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court stood strong for those beliefs.”

Kansas Attorney Gen. Derek Schmidt issued this statement: “America’s bedrock principle of religious liberty today prevailed over the demands of the modern bureaucratic state. For the second time in two years, the United States Supreme Court has stricken a part of ‘Obamacare’ as illegal. Kansas has been a proud part of both those successes, and I am hopeful our other pending challenges will succeed in future years.”

Man in critical condition after overnight shooting on 23rd Street

Police are investigating a shooting about 12:10 a.m. June 30 in the 200 block of North 23rd Street.

According to a spokesman, when officers arrived they found one gunshot victim in his 30s who was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department is asking anyone with information about the incident to call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS.