Category Archives: Kansas City

Dead in the Water

KC Confidential: Dead in the WaterFor the Kansas City folks who follow such things, KC Confidential, Hearne Christopher’s vanity project, is down again.

Near as we can tell the blog went offline sometime this past Thursday. This is the second time in less than 6 months the blog has been shuttered. After the last instance, which lasted roughly a week, Christopher claimed “bad actors/commenters” had hacked his site. 1

As the site’s registration expiration date doesn’t fall until right before Thanksgiving this year, we can only assume Christopher attempted another ‘fix.’

We’d email an enquiry Chrostopher’s way, but we don’t want to set off Christopher’s lavish paranoia…

Dead in the Water

Show 1 footnote

  1. Though a cursory study of the site’s headers revealed at the time almost everything about his WordPress instance to be so far out of date an 11-year-old script kiddie could have brought KC Confidential down by accident.

Idle Thoughts

If you live in Kansas City, go vote. I don’t particularly care whether you favor Sly and the Council Stoned’s GO Bonds proposal (though, frankly, if you vote for those you’re less numerate than the very worst Powerball addict), but go and vote. I would recommend you vote for the itsy bitsy step toward decriminalizing dope, at least within city limits. But vote.

Get into the habit of voting. Remind yourself it’s your actual civic duty. Keep voting every time an election comes up.

You never know when your vote might save or damn your country.

The list of polls are here; the official sample ballot here.

AFTERNOON UPDATE: There were a exactly eight people in my polling place a few minutes go. Only one of us was there to vote.

Idle Thoughts

Jeff Sessions made plain today that the ReThugs are intent on undoing every single damned thing “that black mothefucker” put into place; that OMP‘s neo-Confederate Kleptocracy is going to forcefully move blacks back into their place and there’ll be no damned sass about it:

  • If you’re beaten, maimed and even killed by the police, well then, boy, it’s because you deserve it.
  • If you are not educated, or only minimally so (in order to keep you off the streets), it’s because you don’t deserve it.
  • If you can not find work that pays a living wage, tough shit, boy; you’re lucky we let you work at all (in order to keep you off the streets).
  • If we flood your neighborhoods with drugs in order to both pacify and incarcerate you, boy, it’s only what you deserve.

No, Sessions did not come out and actually say those things. But you could see it in his beady little eyes and the nearly unrestrained glee with which he made his announcement.

You can see it in OMP‘s cozying up to a military dictator.

You can see it in Ben Carson’s awkward self loathing, Betsy DeVos’ mannered prescriptions for school “choice”, and the arrogantly dismissive attitudes of Scott Pruitt & Mike Pompeo

To paraphrase Huey Walker, “The OMP years are going to make the Nixon years look like the Eisenhower years.”

Put another way, it appears slavery, rapine, pillaging and looting is back on the menu. 1

Idle Thoughts

Speaking of rapine…

Out of the blue, and with no warning, the Well Hell Michelle gal infected me this morning. And like most of the delicately awkward  situations in which I’ve found myself, it was Warren’s fault. 2

A long time reader emailed me overnight to say that she had run across a comment Warren had posted on Well Hell Michelle‘s site and would I be interested in the link? Sure, I said, though isn’t that blog defunct? Whereupon the lady informed me she had accidentally run across the archives and yadda yadda yadda…

Foolhardy chap that I am I followed the link, whereupon (almost before the page had rendered) F-Secure popped up letting me know I had been dosed (didn’t Well Hell Michelle have some connection to the pr0n industry?)  Rude, just freaking rude. If you’re going to retire, retire.

Don’t leave honey pots around to tempt the wicked weak…

Idle Thoughts

Show 2 footnotes

  1. And this from people who seriously thought Spock had Antonin Scalia killed, Obama was coming for everyone’s guns and HRC was running a pedo ring out of a WDC pizza joint. Actually, when you stop to consider it, the deplorables is far too mild an appellation.
  2. No, Warren’s still dead, damnit. We’ll not see his like again…

Académie Lafayette

K-12 Growth Plan Update 3/30/2017

Dear families and staff,

We are pleased to give you this update on progress toward accomplishing our K-12 Growth Plan as discussed with families on February 9th, 2017.

Summary: On February 9th we presented a plan to provide both an expanded kindergarten and a high school, beginning in 2018. The K-12 Growth Plan will add one building to the current two-campus system.

Progress to date:

  1. The Board of Directors has made an offer on the property at 201 East Armour Boulevard. This building will be the third building in our system. Built in 1957, the property features 69,000 square feet of interior space and sits on two acres of land. It includes a nearby athletic field. From 2001 to 2013, the building was home to Derrick Thomas Academy, a charter public school that served over 900 students in grades K-12. Académie Lafayette currently serves 940 students at two campuses. [Ed. Note: Cherry campus is nearby.]
  2. While the owners, Wilmington Trust, N. A., have accepted our offer, it is contingent on the outcome of a 120-day inspection and vetting period.
  3. During the next four months we will:
  • Authorize property and site inspections (which may include soil tests, environmental tests, and foundation and mechanical inspections)
  • Establish the property’s appraised value
  • Solidify financing and fundraising plans

If we are unsatisfied with any of the outcomes, we can and will terminate the contract. Our earnest money is fully refundable within the first 90 days.

We are planning a meeting about this new site and will keep you informed about the date and location.

Thank you for your continued support of our school.
Sincerely,

Elimane Mbengue                                           Chad Phillips
Head of School                                                President, Board of Directors

Académie Lafayette

Relevant links:

Derrick Thomas Academy – Wiki
Derrick Thomas Academy – Past Lifealmost
Derrick Thomas Academy – Outside Photos

Southwest High School

UASW
Four and a half months after the aborted launch of United at Southwest comes Uniting at Southwest. 1

The new cloud-based WIX web site is attractive, the design a fairly standard (and therefore ubiquitous) presentation, and the copy… Well, let’s talk about the copy. As we noted of the first United at Southwest site, there’s no there there; mostly it’s promotional copy, leavened with a promotional video. 2

However there is some data: The list of individuals on their advisory group has expanded to represent not just the Port Authority 3, but the Mayor’s office, as well as several well-known Kansas City community leaders and noted business figures.

There are still uncertainties; while Uniting at Southwest says a partnership with KCPS is necessary, the group is also hawking the XQ: The Super Schools Project. It is unclear who would own the building, much less who would be in charge of the day-to-day administration and teaching; what –exactly– would the curriculum be? Would a XQ template be used? Which one? And how would that be implemented? Would this be a “test in” high school? If so, where would the entrance bar be set? And if not, how would acceptance to the school work? Will the school branch out from its (so far minimally) stated goals and attempt to “fix” cultural segregation?

These and many, many, many more queries all go unanswered.

Which is fair enough, we suppose. After all this is nothing (yet) but a marketing campaign, released with the obvious hopes of whipping up and channeling long-term dissatisfaction with the KCPS product into a force that might override the objections of the usual players 4, as well as convince Dr. Bedell to discard the KCPS master plan that calls for Southwest to reopen as a middle school. 5

We wish them luck. 6

Afternoon Update: From commenter Gloria, who reached out to Dr. Bedell’s office:

“There is a group in the Southwest corridor that is trying to rally support to open a charter-esque high school in that building. We have spoken with the leaders of the organization but are not currently involved in the project. I hope this answers your questions. Please let me know if you need anything further.” 7

My 2017 NCAA Bracket

Show 7 footnotes

  1. Though ICANN shows the group waited to claim the unitingatsouthwest.com CN, through Network Solutions, until February 15, 2017. The ownership of the domain is hidden behind Perfect Privacy. The email for information is as follows: 27qajajokkju6bmuc354ktjgt8@domaindiscreet.com. Think the money behind this effort wants to talk with anyone? yeah, me neither.
  2. Produced by XQ – The Super School Project.
  3. As of April 18th –when WNBTv first revisited the web site– Joe Perry is still listed, but as a Public Supporter; he decoupled himself from The Port Authority…but still works there.
  4. Freedom, Inc., KC’s Black United Front, MORE2, SCLC, Urban League & the Urban Summit.
  5. Which means you should expect to see/hear a UASW spokesperson (probably Zeller) on KCPT’s Ruckus and/or KCUR’s Up To Date soonish.
  6. Further information on XQ: XQ Competition Results; Education Next review of the XQ design completion;  Education Weekly blog post about XQ.
  7. Hmmm. Possibilities: Dr. Bedell granted the group the courtesy of a meet-and-greet while remaining noncommittal; the good doctor  enthusiastically supported and encouraged the group behind closed doors only (for fear of upsetting previously named community organizations); the good doctor wanted no part of it. It boggles the mind – why not come right out and say whether you support the Uniting at Southwest efforts? What does that cost you, we wonder?

Kansas City

We understand that Kansas City “Sly” Mayor James finally got his meeting with our new Governor, Eric “Minigun” Greitens 1, who enthused that “We had a really great meeting with the Mayor.” 2

For his part James was equally (falsely) enthusiastic about the meeting.

“I thought it went extremely well… What we talked about was whether or not how we could find ways to collaborate on things like public safety. And so we’re going to be talking about that going forward.”

However, there was no immediate word on exactly how many cowboys “Minigun” was willing to loan Kansas City to assist in our current rogue cattle round-up.

flyover country

Everything’s Up To Date in Kansas City

Kansas City

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Kudos to long-time reader Condi for the fitting appellation.
  2. Of course “Minigun” spewed said pap with a sociopath’s smile firmly fixed in place, so we’re not sure we should take his utterings at face value.

Kansas City

KC STOTC 2017

Join Mayor James for the 2017 State of the City Address on March 28th at 6PM. This event is an opportunity to hear about the progress we are making as a city and explore what is on the horizon. This year, the event will take place at The Nelson. If you are unable to attend, the event will be livestreamed on Channel 2, The Mayor’s Facebook page and at kcmo.gov.

Kansas City

Kansas City

It’s hardly news that our nation’s newspapers’ fortunes have dimmed.

Locally the Star’s light has diminished such it barely illuminates important city issues, 1 often leaving its readers entirely in the dark concerning county and regional events. And their editorial board? Fagettaboutit!

Indeed the Star’s editorial board has been a major source of contention, with readers split into predictable “too liberal”, “too wishy washy” and “too conservatives” camps. 2 Most recently the Star furloughed their entire editorial board, leaving only new publisher Tony Berg to pen editorials for the Star – hardly an ideal situation.

But the Star rebuilt its editorial board (complete with new blood to reinvigorate a few old hands), sparking hope the newspaper might return as the foremost voice of our region. 3  4 Monday’s editorial perhaps breathed a whisper of life into that optimism:

At some point, embarrassingly late begins to verge on something more disquieting.

President Donald Trump has silently planted himself in that space.

Nearly a week has passed since two India-born engineers were singled out and shot at an Olathe bar, presumably because they were immigrants, darker in skin tone and possibly viewed by the shooter as unwanted foreigners…

While the Star’s editorial is not on the same moral plane as the NYT calling OMP‘s lies…well, lies.

But it is a noteworthy stance for a paper that rarely takes them. So much so other newspapers noticed:

This I promising, folks. Star editorials don’t normally warrant a full read, much less a second look AND comments from writers of national papers.

Should the editorial board continue in this vein, we might just see a resurgence of the reasoned leadership for which the Star for was once known. And that’s not a bad thing.

Kansas City

Show 4 footnotes

  1. Why, for example, no hue and cry from the Star over Sly’s refusing a state audit of the KCMO Water Department? That’s EXACTLY the of troubling behavior that needs to be spotlighted.
  2. WNBTv fell squarely in the “too wishy washy” camp.
  3.  For more details on this, see this post over at JimmyC Says.
  4. Fitz’s blog should be considered the definitive source for all things Star related. Thor knows the newspaper is worse than useless when it comes to covering its own foibles.

Kansas City

Kansas City has another authentically French bakery.

Gabrianna, A French Bakery, located in Waldo, will deliver fresh pastries to your home, as well as cater a private or public event. Per their FB page:

Gabrianna is a French bakery delivery service new to the Kansas City area. Inspired by the culture and recipes of her native country, France, Cecile Rocher strives to bring traditional pastries, breads, desserts and cookies to those dreaming of having breakfast in Paris. But if a trip to Paris is not in your budget, hopefully an order from Gabrianna’s will transport your taste buds there for a fraction of the cost.

Juste la chose pour une main de petit déjeuner gratuity, n’est-ce pas?

Kansas City

Kansas City

Well, that was a disappointment: the Icepocalypse II that wasn’t 1, Our Manchurian President-elect didn’t spontaneously combust 2, and the Chiefs, again, choked big time. 3

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

Kansas City

Our self-imposed hibernation did allow the Astas to watch the original Star Wars flics; at 14 and 11 they are the perfect demographic. And of course they loved Yoda and the Ewoks.

We chose to watch the latest local commentary offerings: WIR and Ruckus.

On WIR the strongest feelings came from Helling, who sternly warned us that both the Chiefs and the Royals could abandon Kansas City unless we continue to subsidize their stadiums 4  And we need to start discussing that possibility now, ’cause, you know…panic!

Our personal opinion is, let them go.

Kansas City is not known for sports.

Kansas City is known for annually giving away at least half of its tax base via TIFs and other developer-friendly scams; it’s known as a city that –surprise, surprise, surprise!!!– doesn’t collect enough taxes to maintain its streets, sidewalks and lights (though the city does feel fiscally charitable enough to  underwrite a new private downtown hotel, not to mention a brand new airport) to the point the Mayor is practically begging voters to pass a nearly $1 billion “Go” bond he promises, PROMISES!, that this time  he won’t give away to developers 5; it’s known as a city that has more murders and gun violence than any other city in Missouri; it’s known as a city that –surprise, surprise, surprise!!!– does not have local control of its own police force 6; it’s known as a city whose school system only recently qualified for full accreditation (though did not receive it) for the first time in decades; it’s known as a city whose only daily newspaper quit investigating the true reasons for all the above and more over a decade ago, content to regurgitate wire service items and city hall hand-outs.

Let the teams move, for pity’s sake. It’s not like the city doesn’t have more pressing issues to apply that annual $3 million toward.

Besides, odds are the teams won’t move further than Wyandotte County.

Kansas City

Ruckus was disappointing.

But then it always is; where WIR host Nick Haines deftly deals questions to his panelists (while quietly folding his own hand), Ruckus Mike Shanin runs roughshod over his guests, never allowing them (or the viewer) to believe for an instant that Ruckus is about anything but Shanin.

This week was no different. However Shanin’s normal shallow behavior was exacerbated by his simplistic interview of Judy Ancel, UMKC’s Director of Worker Education & Labor Studies. The topic – the Missouri Legislature’s undoubted passage of a “right to work” 7 bill this session. 8

In the hands of Haines, or any other competent interviewer, this could have been not only interesting but enlightening. But Shanin tread oh so superficially, eliciting mere topical information; Ms. Ancel was thus boxed in as to her responses, though she did briefly slip in the concept of wage spillover.

But digging into the racist origins of “right to work” was clearly right off; no need in Shanin’s mind to confuse his prescribed talking points with the truth. No need to shine any light on America’s continuing corporate greed/fascism.

Like we said, disappointing.

Hell, we suppose there’s always next weekend. 9

Kansas City

Show 9 footnotes

  1. The high today is supposed to reach 53 degrees.
  2. Hope springs eternal.
  3. Really, did you expect anything different? Sure looks like an alliterative Super Bowl to us.
  4. Maybe even increasing the teams’ current allowance of $3 million a year.
  5. Sometimes when a politician promises not to do something, it becomes the one thing above all others that they most wish to do.
  6. The only America city to “earn” said distinction.
  7. Or, as we like to think of it, the “slavery at a fraction of the cost” bill.
  8. The last bill that passed (2015’s HB116) was vetoed by Gov. Nixon. The state legislature then failed to override that veto. The new Governor will undoubtedly sign any “right to work” bill that crosses his desk.
  9. Unless erstwhile Navy SEAL and noted weather pussy Gov. Greitens calls another “state of emergency.” Sheesh – grow a pair, dude.

Icepocalypse II

Hunkerin’ down, that’s the plan.

In advance of Icepocalypse II, I’ve toted enough wood indoors to build a 10-person sauna 1; there’s well over a case of beer, several bottles of wine and enough Pappy Van Winkle’s to see me us through; I bought a shit-pile of both C and D batteries for the portable DVD/radio units, with the SMT1500 providing juice-juice for a small switch and display monitor.

Have already purchased in abundance both cooked food and food that does not need to be cooked; after the 2002 ice storm I bought both a fireplace crane AND a hearth cooking grill.

I had the chainsaw tuned up and sharpened after Christmas. 2

Think we’re good to go. 3

Be safe. 4 5

Icepocalypse II

Show 5 footnotes

  1. Teh Tv weather people swear this will NOT be a repeat of 2002. On the other hand, yesterday on Middlin’ Middlin’ the retired weather person said his computer models predicted an exact replica of the 2002 ice storm. Myself? I tend to err on the side of caution.
  2. It goes w/o saying that there’s enough ammo for both the Streetsweeper and the S&W .500. Duh…
  3. If all this seems like over-kill, you either did not lose power for 10 days during Icepocalypse I, or you drank your way through that ice storm and have no memory of it, or you were living elsewhere then.
  4. Oh, I’ve a sitar mix scheduled (about 7:30, I think) later tonight, if that’s your thing.
  5. If anyone is silly enough to attend the Chief’s game Sunday, let me know how THAT goes…