Archive for Opinions

Safe Halloween event coming to Eisenhower Center

by Lou Braswell

Our ghosts and goblins will all be the fun type, large and small, fun and games, treats and hot dogs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Eisenhower Recreation Center, 2901 N. 72nd.

The event is sponsored by the Unified Government Parks and Recreation Department, Leavenworth Road Association and Multiply Church.

In the gym area will be all types of activities. There will be games, treats and challenges put together by Multiply Church. It is so much fun, even parents can’t resist taking part.

Just across the hall will be the Leavenworth Road Association and sponsored tables. Our little trick-or-treaters will be able to knock on each table, old-fashioned trick-or-treating without the doors. We will keep it non-scary, but still decorated for Halloween fun.

Rumor also has it that Multiply Church may have cotton candy as part of the program.

Sponsored tables can get the word out about your business organization, neighborhood group or family. There is no charge to sponsor a table. Just bring treats and place a sign at your table. There are 10 tables signed up, but room for more than 20 more. If you can’t be there in person, you may donate treats or donate funds for the Leavenworth Road Association to buy treats along with your sign. One of the volunteers will staff your table.

In the past, more than 300 children have joined us for the Fun and Safe Halloween. For more information, or to reserve or sponsor a table, call the Leavenworth Road Association office, 913-788-3988 or email

Lou Braswell is the executive director of the Leavenworth Road Association.


Business West learns about development along Turner Diagonal

Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

When a commercial real estate agent first approached Brent Miles of Northpoint Development about selling a tract of about 125 acres along the Turner Diagonal corridor, the answer was a flat no.

Miles told that story Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the annual membership meeting of Business West at the Mary Ann Flunder Lodge by the Lake at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

However, when Miles learned that Amazon wanted the site for a warehouse that would have about 800,000 square feet of floor space and that it could eventually mean the site could support more than 2,500 new jobs, Northpoint reconsidered and sold the property to investors connected with the USAA Insurance Company of San Antonio, Texas.

The Amazon warehouse could be the initial catalyst that could mean considerable more development along this corridor.

Miles said the site was very rough terrain and required a considerable amount of earth moving. The Kansas Department of Transportation helped pay for necessary roadwork including traffic signals at the entrance to the site. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority will provide bus service to the warehouse.

Jon Stephens, the acting director of economic development for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, also spoke at the meeting. He said that about one-third of the employees at the warehouse will be from Wyandotte County. Amazon pays from about $13 to $15 an hour for its warehouse workers along with health insurance and a generous reimbursement for education.

Miles said that the Amazon jobs do not pay as well as high-end manufacturing jobs; however, they do offer a chance for someone like a worker at a fast-food restaurant to move up and double his or her salary.

Stephens said that Amazon’s warehouses are highly automated with thousands of robots that gather items from bins that customers have ordered using the internet.

Stephens said he can envision an area of about 2,300 acres from 61st Street on the east, 72nd Street on the west, State Avenue on the north and K-32 on the south being influenced by development along the Turner Diagonal that could be developed. He said he realizes that there is already some development in the area that should remain.

Also speaking at the meeting was Conrad Miller, a Johnson County development lawyer who is assembling some 249 parcels that cover 34 acres at the north end of the Turner Diagonal corridor. Miller said Steve Wood, a builder, plans to build a 280-unit market-rate apartment complex that would charge market-rate rents. The College Park Town Homes and other buildings would be razed.

Miller said he has commitments from more than 90 percent of the landowners. Wood has built several successful apartment developments including the one at Delaware Ridge. Miller said related retail development will also be part of the development and would be called Turner Vista.

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


Award winners named for Leavenworth Road parade

by Lou Braswell

Mother Nature shined on our Leavenworth Road Association parade again this year. She knew we needed rain, so she visited during the sleeping hours with the rain parading out of the area by mid-morning. Happy faces all around us.

The parade participants, either marching Leavenworth Road, watching and cheering on the sidelines, patrolling, traffic control, volunteering, or judging, it all shows a community working together.

Our line-up crew at Washington High School and Sunset Hills Church kept the line in order for the more than 50 entrants.

Washington RORC presented the colors along with Makynzie Sanchez singing the National Anthem. Superintendent Cynthia Lane of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools was our 2017 parade marshal.

Deniese Davis was not marching in the parade, because she was still working lots of areas, as our parade chairman.

Our judges had a tough job, but did narrow it down to the winners:

Music/Dance/Precision: Kristi’s Academy of Dance

Enthusiasm/Theme: Kansas City Marching Falcons

Riding/Any mode of transportation: KCK Council of PTA

The Judges also thought the KC Gators deserved honorable mention. Our 2017 judges were Kevin Steele, Kristin Love and Russ Love; Russ was also announcer.

All trophies will be awarded at our Oct. 10 meeting at Eisenhower Center, 2901 N. 72nd St. We also begin with a potluck dinner and social hour at 6 p.m. followed by our monthly meeting at 7 p.m. We hope all winners will be there , along with our 2017 judges and all those involved behind the scenes.

Lou Braswell is the executive director of the Leavenworth Road Association.