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.

Sign up for library’s reading program
The Kansas City, Kan., Public Library’s summer reading program has started signing up readers. The program runs from June 1 to July 31. Participate at any of the five library branches. After signing up, participants may start logging books on June 1. For more information, visit the website at

Informational meeting planned on downtown healthy campus
An informational meeting on the new healthy campus is planned from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 8 at the Commission Chambers, lobby level, City Hall, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan.  The downtown healthy campus will be at 10th and State, and plans are to have a grocery store and community center. The Unified Government is seeking opinions from the community about plans for the project, including opinions about green space and housing options.

Topic of seminar to be ‘Understanding Grief’
A seminar on “Understanding Grief” will be presented from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at the Rosedale Development Association, 1401 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Kan. The seminar will be presented by Stella Ruiz of Crossroads Hospice. She will discuss reactions to loss, what grief is and how different people respond to it.

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

Support group to meet May 12
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kansas City, Kan., Support and Education group, will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, May 12, at Trinity Community Church 5010 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.  The program topic is bipolar disorders.  The group is for consumers and families. For more information, call Gerald Ulrich at 913-299-8490.

Book club to meet
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., will serve as host of a monthly book club for women that meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. The book for May 13 is “The Bird Sisters” by Rebecca Rasmussen. Call 913-906-8990 to register. A limited number of books are available for participants.

Programs for women offered in Spanish
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., offers programs for Spanish-speaking women: Grupo de mujeres, dirigido por Mary Ellen Rodriguez y Ana Maria Sauer:10-11 a.m. Los martes,  13, y 20 de mayo. Grupo de salud emocional de la mujer, ofrecido por MOCSA, los martes, 1-2:30 p.m. Para registrarse contacte a Carol Vicuna, Llame 816-285-1328. Compartiendo nuestras vidas: Grupo de discusión para mujeres, dirigido por Teresa Kerbawy, lunes, 12 de mayo, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Women’s Chamber to meet May 14
The Kansas City, Kan., Women’s Chamber of Commerce will meet from 11:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 14, at Dave and Buster’s, Village West at The Legends Outlets. The program is “Damsel in Defense,” and Mary Riesberger will speak about equipping women with tools to keep them safe and give them confidence. Cost of the program is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Reservations are required by emailing Barbara Newby at or calling 913-485-1208.

Program offered on discipline
“Discipline without Screaming or Scolding,” part 2, will be presented from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 14, at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. To register for the free class, call 913-906-8990. Also call to request child care; only a limited number of spaces are available for child care.

Armourdale group to meet May 15
The Armourdale community meeting will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at the Armourdale Renewal Recreation Center, 730 Osage Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Deputy Chief Terry Ziegler will present a safety program, and there will be a summer recreation planning topic on the agenda. Free refreshments will be served.

UG Commission to meet May 15
The Unified Government Commission will meet at 7 p.m. May 15 at the Commission Chambers, City Hall, 701 N. 7th, Kansas City, Kan.  An agenda may be posted online at

Croquet tourney scheduled May 16
The fifth Downtown KCK Cork House croquet tournament will be held at 4 p.m. May 16 at 509 N. 6th St.  The tourney could be held on the City Vision Champion Lawn and another course could be added to the south near St. Mary’s Church. The cost of the tournament is $10, including food and drinks. For more information, call 913-371-1944.

Democratic breakfast to be May 17
The Wyandotte County Third Saturday Democratic Breakfast will be May 17 at the Eisenhower Room in the Hilton Garden Inn, 520 Minnesota Ave. Breakfast is at 8:15 a.m.; the program starts at 9:15. Speakers will be State Sen. David Haley and State Reps. Kathy Wolfe Moore and Tom Burroughs. A precinct and campaign training workshop, led by Kansas Democratic Party political director Kerry Gooch,  will take place immediately after the breakfast forum.

Free bike rodeo May 17 to provide bike helmets for kids
The free KCK Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo returns Saturday, May 17, to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Elementary-aged kids will have the opportunity to learn tips on cycling safety, participate in interactive activities that promote health and safety and to sneak a peek at attractions at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark at the eighth annual bike event. Hours are from 9 a.m. to noon May 17. The event sponsors plan to distribute up to 300 free bike safety helmets and T-shirts to participants. Activities will take place in the parking lot and entrance area of Schlitterbahn, and a large turnout is anticipated. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles. Helmets will be fitted, bikes will be inspected for safety, and kids may visit bike riding stations to earn a safety certificate. Those with questions on the day of the event may call 816-751-4227.

Time management class offered
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Avenue, KCK, will present a workshop, “Time Management for Women,” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday, May 19, presented by Chiquita Miller of K-State Extension. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

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.

Development of tourism industry helps local economy

Views West

by Murrel Bland
I recall attending a luncheon, sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce, some 35 years ago at the Downtown Holiday Inn.
The featured speaker was Larry Montgomery, a lawyer from Shawnee County who was promoting tourism for the Kansas Department of Economic Development. Montgomery, who would later run unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor and become the first director of the Kansas Lottery, was telling business leadership here how much the state was missing in not promoting tourism.
I can’t remember much of what Montgomery had to say—but I do remember his story about a television spot for the state of Alaska promoting tourism. The catch line was “Alaska—after you have been there, everything else is like Kansas!”
Fast-forward to Wednesday, May 7, at the Reardon Convention Center, where about 300 gathered to celebrate National Tourism Week. No disrespect to Alaska, but that television spot would not be accurate today. And a major reason would be the numerous high-quality attractions in Village West including the Kansas Speedway, The Legends Outlets, the Hollywood Casino, Schlitterbahn Vacation Village and the Sporting Kansas City and Kansas City T-Bones stadiums.
The theme of the tourism celebration this year is “Kansas City Kansas—Insanely Fun.” That phrase refers to the new attraction at Schitterbahn that recently revealed the world’s tallest water slide at 168 feet and 7 inches.  Some folks might believe that anyone who takes a ride down the slide at speeds up to 60 miles per hour would be insane.
The Kansas City, Kan., Convention and Visitors Bureau presented four awards. The Major League Soccer All-Star game was named the “Event of the Year.” The game attracted fans from 36 states and several foreign countries.      The “Excellence in Hospitality” award went to Justin (Doc) Shobe, the corporate account manager at Kansas Speedway. Shobe was recognized for his cooperation in accommodating tour groups.
The “Organization of the Year” went to Dave and Buster’s in The Legends. Dave and Buster’s was one of the first businesses to open in the Legends in 2005 and provides dining and a video arcade.
Dennis Hays, who recently retired as the Wyandotte County administrator, was named the “Tourism Advocate of the Year.” Hays was recognized for his leadership in developing Village West as a quality destination.
Tourism is big business. According to Bridgette Jobe, the executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, it ranks as the sixth largest employer in the United States and third in Kansas. Jobe said she will soon have information where tourism ranks as an employer in Wyandotte County.
Wyandotte County continues to attract more than 12 million visitors annually, according to Jobe. Although Village West has many sports and entertainment attractions, most people come here to shop.
Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is executive director of Business West.

KCK student inducted into Phi Kappa Phi at K-State

Michael Saylor of Kansas City, Kan., was recently initiated into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

Saylor was initiated at Kansas State University. Saylor is among approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year.

Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors, having at least 72 semester hours, are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. The society has chapters on more than 300 college and university campuses in North America and the Philippines. Its mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”