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KCK Mayor Holland Goes Partisan in State of the City Speech
February 24, 2015

KCK. Mayor Mark Holland talks to reporters Tuesday after State of the City Speech

Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland ended his State of the City speech Tuesday on a very partisan note.
Holand took note of the different kinds of people who had settled in the area and noted that some of them had been forgotten. Including Kansas Democrats.
“Bless their hearts,” he said.
The Holland blasted the Republican majorities in Topkea and Governor Brownback for their policies on funding public schools in the state.
“ “The Democrats of Wyandotte County believe our teachers are our role models; not our enemies,” Holland told about 350 people at the midday speech at the KCK Rotary Club.
“And our educational institutions, K-through 16, ought to be our pride and joy, and not just shifted over to the liability line , hoping the next generation will take care of it,” he said.
He also called on the state to Accept the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicaid. I know we’re taking federal dollars for education, for transportation, yes? And I know we’re taking subsidies for agriculture.
I doubt, if we called it ‘ Obama-culture ’ that people would stop taking their agricultural subsidies,” Holland said.

Schmitt Tells Lake Tapawingo Town is ” Notorious Speed Trap”
February 20, 2015

Missouri St. Senator Eric Schmitt talks to Bill Durham about his crackdown on speed trap towns.

A Missouri State Senator brought his campaign against small town speed traps to Jackson County Friday. State senator Eric Schmitt of Glendale called the little Jackson County town of Lake Tapawingo, “one of the most notorious speed traps in the state,”.
Schmitt’s bill , cracking down on municipal courts using traffic tickets as a major money maker, has cleared the State Senate without a negative vote.
Schmitt says 89% of Lake Tapawingo’s municipal revenue comes from traffic fines, court costs of bond revocation money.
“I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist to see what’s going on. This is a revenue generation operation,” Schmitt told reporters Friday. The small town’s mayor, however, challenged Schmitt and his claims. “He’s an idiot’< snarled Mayor Rocky Queen.
Queen and Police Chief Jim Cross says their town total revenue is more than a million dollars, much more than Schmitt claims.
Cross said the city money generated by the tickets is around 30% which is the current limit.
Under Schmitt’s bill, the cap for city revenue from traffic fines would drop to 10% over a two year period. He saifd it would end the practice of “taxation by citation”. Police Chief Cross denies the speed trap charge.
“I think we’re strict, but fair. We issue a lot of warning tickets, too,” he said. Lake Tapawingo’s reputation as a speed trap is well established. “Lake Tapawingo tries to pull over anyone and everyone,” said Travis Crutcher.
Crutcher says he was ticketed once for not having the correct number of bolt attaching his license plate to his car.
“They get people going to and from work. East and west,” said area resident Bill Durham.
He says watches the traffic stops along highway 40 right outside his front door.

Sebelius Blasts Brownback Over Executive Order Roll Back
February 11, 2015

Former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius ripped her successor Sam Brownback Wednesday for rescinding a 2007 executive order from her administration.
Brownback cancelled an order that extended job protection to state workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity. “I am surprised, appalled, baffled, frankly,” Sebelius told KMBC 9 News.
Brownback’s office announced Tuesday it was rescinding several executive orders put into place by Sebelius and former Governor Mark Parkinson’s.
the Brownback Administration replaced the Sebelius order on job protection with a new says the state will not discriminate in its hiring practices based on ” race, color, gender, national origin, ancestry or age”.
“I think it will brand Kansas as taking a step backward when the rest of the country seeming to be moving forward with tolerance,” Sebelius said.
She also thought it was good for a Governor to send a signal to a big operation like state government that it would not be discrimatory.
In a statement, Brownback’s office says if a set of people are to be placed In a protected class, it should be done by the legislature, not an executive order.
Equality Kansas, A gay rights organization, says the Brownback move is “an outrage”
Equality Kansas Chair Sandra Meade says LGBT state workers can now lose their jobs for who they are, not how well they work.
“If they place as picture of a same sex spouse on their desk, he can fire them. And he will fire them for doing that ” she said.

AMTRAK Threatens to End KC Service
February 2, 2015

AMTRAK has notified Kansas City Terminal Railway Company (KCT) that it will end passenger service on it’s lines until new high tech safety devices are installed by the end of the year.
The notice was sent to KCT’s general Manager Bradley Peek from James A. Blair, AMTRAK’s Director of Host Railroads.
It’s the latest move in a complicated battle over rail passenger service and approaching deadline for new safety equipment aimed at reducing train collision and high speed derailments.
The State of Missouri, which operates the AMTRAK line between Kansas City and St. Louis, is also involved.
Michelle Teel, the Multimodal Operations Director for MoDOT, told the Senate Comerce Comittee the state would struggle paying the $20 million costs estimated to install the new safety gear. ” We don’t have a funding source,” Teel said.
Teel noted MoDOT has difficulty each year getting $9 million to pay for the AMTRAK service between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Teel wonders if the requirement is even necessary for Kansas City Terminal and the Terminsal Rail Road Association of St. Louis.
Teel told Congress KCT has 250 freight train movements day, compared with six passenger trains each day.
Both KCT and TRRA operate rail yards where numerous railroads their trains through each day, often at low speeds.
Three area senators, Senators Roy Blunt, Claire McCaskill and Kansas Senator Jerry Moran are members of the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
There may be an effort soon to propose a bill tat would push back the deadline for installation of the safety equipment.

Missouri Sets Trade Trip to Cuba
January 30, 2015

Brownfield Network via
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is taking Missouri commodity group leaders with him to Cuba for a trade trip in early March. Members of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) representing national ag groups will also be on the trip.

Nixon tells Brownfield Ag News that ag products will be the leader in exports from Missouri to Cuba as trade relations are eased, “Soybeans and corn have really solid potential there – we also think rice. I mean, the Bootheel in Missouri is continuing to be more and more productive on the rice front with the water they have and the capacity with it down there.”

With the Mississippi River as the gateway – Nixon says Missouri and other ag states are perfectly positioned for the Cuban market. But other countries have moved faster than the U.S. He says, “We’ve seen Brazil move in over the last five or six years and, quite frankly, I’ve a lot more confidence that our Missouri farmers can produce on-time, high quality products. That’s one reason why we think it’s a significant advantage for them to buy it from us but, clearly, they’re buying rice from outside their country.”

Nixon concedes there is more work to be done on fully opening trade with Cuba. Although trade is happening, he says, it’s been very difficult because of currency and payment issues. However, “I’m confident our federal partners are going to work that out. We think the relationship side is very important to begin to open up these markets and that’s what the trip in March is all about.”

The Missouri trade trip is scheduled for the first week of March. Nixon is holding a round table discussion about trade with Cuba with commodity leaders at Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters this afternoon.


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