Speaker tells of historic preservation efforts

Randy Greeves

Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

Randy Greeves, a recently appointed Historic Preservation Officer for the Unified Government, was the speaker at the annual meeting of the Wyandotte County Historical Society Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Wyandotte County Museum. About 40 persons attended.

Greeves explained that the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 sets federal policy for the preservation of our heritage. The law allows federal, state and local governments to operate and cooperate in historic preservation efforts.

Greeves told about the Downtown Historic Commercial District and downtown and nearby historic churches. The boundaries of the commercial district are Sixth Street on the East, Tenth Street on the West, Nebraska Avenue on the North and Tauromee Avenue on the South.

Greeves also told of the standards used in determining historic standards. It must have physical integrity, determine who was there, how skilled was the workmanship and what were the surroundings like.

Greeves said various state and federal grants and tax credits are available to rehabilitate historic structures.

Society President Bill Hutton presented the annual awards for the society. They included Roger Guess and Dean Bridge, The Garland M. Smith Award; Mary Lew, Volunteer of the Year; the Baric Brothers musical group, the Margaret Landis Award for Regional Historical Preservation; St. John’s Catholic Club, the V.J. Lane-Organizational Recognition Award; and Special President’s Awards, Margaret Long and Murrel Bland.

The society elected three trustees to serve three-year terms. They are George Groneman, Elnora Jefferson and Brett Lovett.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of the Wyandotte West. He is a member of the historical society and Business West.


Thankful for it all


Opinion column

by Mary Rupert

Today I’m thankful to still be here, after a brief hospitalization possibly caused by an infection recently. I hope to be here for many more years, too.

Thanks to those who kindly care for those who don’t even know them.

Thanksgiving Day also is a wonderful time to thank all the volunteers helping the Wyandotte Daily. All year they have given their utmost to bring you news of their community, helping you to know a little of what is happening.

Thanks to Steve Rupert, Murrel Bland, Brian Turrel, Rebecca Tombaugh, Alan Hoskins, William Crum and many others for their giving spirit in helping out in large or small ways this year. They are unpaid volunteers, along with me.

I also am thankful at this time for all past teachers and mentors, friends and family. I am most thankful, as always, for a loving and caring family.

Today, drive safely, and stay home if you are sick, so we can continue our Thanksgivings next year.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email maryr@g3f.1db.myftpupload.com.

Chamber examines election results, looks to 2023

Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

The Public Policy Committee of the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce met Friday, Nov. 11 to assess the recent general election results and worked on its Legislative Agenda for 2023.

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, the incumbent Democratic Congresswoman for the 3rd District, was successful in winning a third term. She was able to defeat Republican challenger Amanda Adkins for a second time. Rep. Davids won despite Republicans who gerrymandered the 3rd District by stripping out traditionally Democratic areas of Wyandotte County and putting it in the 2nd Congressional District.

Wyandotte County will be represented by two Congress members. U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner, a conservative Republican incumbent, defeated Democratic newcomer Patrick Schmidt by more than 35,000 votes.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, the Republican incumbent, had little trouble defeating Mark Holland, a Democratic former Kansas City, Kansas, mayor, who lost by more than 200,000 votes statewide.

Third party candidates played an important role in the race for governor and lieutenant governor. The incumbent, Democrat Laura Kelly and her running mate, Democrat David Toland, were able to edge by, defeating Republicans, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and his running mate, Katie Sawyer. State Sen. Dennis Pyle, an independent candidate, and Seth Cordell, a Libertarian, attracted more than 30,000 votes. Had they not been in the race, most political observers believe Schmidt would have won. Pyle was upset that his Kansas Senate District had been gerrymandered.

Democratic legislative candidates were successful in Wyandotte County except for Bill Hutton, who lost to Republican Mike Thompson.

In reviewing its Legislative Agenda, the Chamber probably will keep many of its existing agenda items as its looks to 2023. The Chamber has traditionally supported STAR bonds, a finance method that uses sales tax to pay for infrastructure, the efforts of the district attorney to enforce business licenses, expanded Medicaid, origin-based sales tax, early child education, workforce development, sports book gaming and affordable child care.

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