KCKCC participates in ‘kick butts’ campaign

(KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge

The Kansas City Kansas Community College Blue Devils “kicked butt” recently by cleaning up cigarette debris around campus.
KCKCC participated in the Blue Devils Kick Butts Campaign April 23. Organized by the KCKCC Wellness Committee, 14 student, faculty and staff volunteers picked up cigarette butts and trash on campus. This is the first campus cleanup event that has been organized with Tobacco Free Kansas.
“I wanted to coordinate something during the week of Earth Day (April 22) to raise awareness of the dangers tobacco use has on the environment, not just what it does to the consumer and the dangers of secondhand and third-hand smoke as a result,” said Rob Crane, director of the KCKCC Health and Wellness Center. “Tobacco use is responsible for nearly one in five deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors − activities that people choose to do – smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society.”
The amount of cigarette debris that volunteers collected was impressive. More than 6,390 cigarette butts, four empty cigarette packets, one broken lighter and a few match books were picked up. The butts represented approximately 300 packs (20 per pack) of cigarettes or 30 cartons. Crane said this was done in only a few hours and did not include the entire campus.
“We wanted to raise awareness and make people think about what they are doing to themselves, other people, wildlife and the environment,” he said of the event. “Cigarette butts contaminate our water sources, leach toxic chemicals and carcinogens into the environment and are poisonous to wildlife as well as our pets. They are also the number one littered item in the US. Water runoff from our campus drains directly in to the Kansas (Kaw) river. Tobacco smoke also contributes to outdoor air pollution and indoor air quality.”

Mayor’s Food Summit sets goal to make healthy choices the easy choice

Mayor Mark Holland will be the host of the 2014 Wyandotte County Mayor’s Food Summit from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, at 6565 State Ave, Kansas City, Kan.

The summit is sponsored by the Wyandotte Health Foundation.

“Our community needs to continue to rally around the cause of health improvement,” Holland said, citing statistics released this month that rated Wyandotte as having some of the worst health outcomes in the state.

“Increased access to healthy food should be one of our rallying cries,” he said. “We conducted a recent survey of Wyandotte County residents that confirmed this is a major felt need. The summit will give cross-sector leaders the tools to meet this need.”

A joint effort of the mayor and the Healthy Communities Wyandotte Coalition, the Food Summit seeks to bring together elected officials, education, business and community leaders and give them the information and resources they need to take action in their communities to increase accessibility to good food.

“Healthy Communities Wyandotte has been working on this issue for over four years; now we want to expand the circle of concern,” he said. “Leaders everywhere can and should take an interest in healthy eating.”

The Food Summit  arose from a transparent community planning process held from 2009 to 2011 that involved hundreds of residents, area experts and public officials, the results of which were compiled in a document titled “Recommendations for a Better Future.”

The recommendations included strategies for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and in fact, the Food Summit is the kick-off for a three-year plan to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among Wyandotte County residents. Holland and others who are the hosts of the Food Summit acknowledge that changing individual behavior is an important component of improving diet, and in order for change to stick, the healthy choice needs to be the easy choice.

Following welcoming remarks by Holland, the Food Summit will feature a keynote address from Dr. Oran Hesterman, a national leader in sustainable agriculture and food systems, and author of “Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All.” The Food Summit will also feature Dr. Judd Allen, president of the Human Resources Institute and a national expert on creating supportive cultures for healthy living.

The summit will include the following four breakout sessions featuring speakers, facilitators and panelists from community organizations:
•         Nutritious Food in Schools
•         Ensuring Healthy Food Access for Low-Income Households
•         Transforming Organizational Culture for Health
•         Increasing Physical Access to Healthy Food in Wyandotte County
Lunch will be provided by the Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Culinary Arts Program, led by Chef Cheryl Runnebaum.
To register for the event, visit 2014foodsummit.eventbrite.com.

Animal control searching for two aggressive dogs

Police released this map of an area where two aggressive dogs are thought to be loose. They represent a danger.

Police are warning the public about a pack of dogs that has bitten three persons April 26-27 near 12th and Richmond, 14th and Richmond, and 13th and Oakland.

Animal control officers have captured one of the three dogs but are still looking for two dogs, a brindle male boxer with a muscular build and cropped ears, and a fawn female boxer, police said.

Police said these dogs should be considered dangerous and have shown very aggressive tendencies. Those who see the dogs or have information about them may call the Animal Control shelter at 913-321-1445 or the nonemergency line at 913-596-3000.

Police released this photo of a male brindle boxer. It is not the actual dog that has bitten residents.
Police released this photo of a female fawn boxer. It is not the actual dog that has bitten residents.