Category Archives: Kansas City

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, 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 3, as well as convince Dr. Bedell to discard the KCPS master plan that calls for Southwest to reopen as a middle school. 4

We wish them luck. 5

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.” 6

My 2017 NCAA Bracket

Show 6 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. Freedom, Inc., KC’s Black United Front, MORE2, SCLC, Urban League & the Urban Summit.
  4. 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.
  5. Further information on XQ: XQ Competition Results; Education Next review of the XQ design completion;  Education Weekly blog post about XQ.
  6. 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…

Erin Little Says Goodbye

JANUARY 11th UPDATE: Little was hired by the Shawnee Mission School District to “oversee media relations efforts and serve as spokeswoman.”

As we type this there is no explanation on Little’s KMBC bio page, but the long-time weather person announced via Twitter this morning that today is her last day at the station:

Long-time WNBTv readers will remember another New Year’s surprise back in 2014  when KMBC let Joel Nichols and Lisa Teachman go in favor of Little. Is such a thing were possible, there was a “groundswell” of outrage over the move, especially because Teachman was far more popular than Little.

Indeed a Support for Joel Nichols & Lisa Teachman FB page 1 started up immediately crying foul; the attitude toward Little at the time was nothing less than dismissive. Today, however, the same people are rallying ’round what they perceive as KMBC ‘firing’ Little. 2

WNBTv has requested a comment from Little, but don’t hold your breath.Erin Little Says Goodbye

Show 2 footnotes

  1. At it’s height of popularity, the FB page garnered over 4K members; today that number is just over 3.3K.
  2. Though no such rumor, much less evidence, exists to support that claim.

Water Audit

Well over a year ago we talked with the folks who planned on asking for an audit of the KCMO Water Department; their estimation was it would take a year to achieve.

It apparently takes longer to get stuff done than back in the day 1, but their web presence is finally up and running – you can volunteer here, or just send them an email.

Step up, people – this should have been done years ago, Sly and the Council Stoned to the contrary. When you see these good folk – ourselves included – pushing petitions at the neighborhood shopping markets or going door-to-door, take a brief moment to scribble your signature.

The tax dollars you save may be your own.

Water Audit

Show 1 footnote

  1. Why, when I was a kid I did an audit of the entire DoD in just under a week! Kids these days…

Southwest High School

Over the last couple of days we received a few emails noting the United at Southwest innernetz presence had disappeared. A couple of those missives went so far as to infer that perhaps, just perhaps we had imagined the whole thing. One writer actually claimed we were put up to the “prank” by the Trump campaign.

We confirmed this morning that United at Southwest was indeed among the missing.

However, that’s only technically true; as at least 10,000 people a day still discover (often to their horror), nothing truly disappears from the innernetz: Et voilà

United at Southwest front page

United at Southwest front page – click to embiggen.

 

United at Southwest contact page

United at Southwest contact page – click to embiggen.

 

UAS also had a FB and Twitter presence; FB was captured, though not the Twitter feed…

United at Southwest FB page

United at Southwest FB page – click to embiggen.

 

And finally, Mike Zeller fronting for UAS

United at Westport's Mike Zeller

United at Westport’s Mike Zeller – click to embiggen.

 

As to why all UAS innernetz presence was mostly scrubbed? A couple of thoughts come to mind:

  1. They weren’t ready for prime time; as we noted the other day there were links that did not work, verbiage badly in need of editing, etc etc etc.
  2. It might also have to do with the opening of their mission statement:

United at Southwest will be an open-enrollment public high school (and potentially a middle school) located in the vacant Southwest High School facility that is…

As Dr. Bedell made clear Tuesday evening, he plans “…to follow the KCPS master plan.” And that plan calls for Southwest to reopen as a middle school: “Close SWECC afer SY2016 and designate as the preferred 3rd middle school site.” 1

Should the usual suspects 2 get wind of UAS’s plan, why they just might think that a bunch of “old, rich & privileged white guys” are trying to “steal” SWEC from “the community” and raise the sort of ruckus that caused Dr. Green and the KCPS board to back down from the original Académie Lafayette/KCPS partnership.

We’re jes’ sayin’…

Southwest High School

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Though back in the day, when the master plan was first unleashed publicized, it’s worth noting KCPS had a mind to to lease SWEC, so it could well be SWEC’s ultimate outcome could best be defined as “moving target.”
  2. Freedom, Inc., KC’s Black United Front, MORE2, SCLC, Urban League & the Urban Summit.