Friday, March 30, 2007

Western Shawnee Wal-Mart Part II

Just loved the article in the Shawnee Dispatch

In a previous post I mentioned that one of the opponents of this store was quoted as saying the store would bring in transient shoppers. That didn't make sense, and I mentioned Wal-Mart's demographic studies before they build. My opinion was that the residents of that area didn't want it to be known that they too shop at Wal-Mart.

Well, in the above linked Dispatch article this appears, attributed to a Wal-Mart rep:

"Thum said one of the most-asked questions was why Wal-Mart would choose the site with its close proximity to supercenters in Bonner Springs and in the Shawnee Station shopping center at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer Road. She said the store does extensive market research whenever it considers a potential store site and found the area could support all the stores."

Look at the benefits that the western Shawnee residents will receive. They won't spend as much money on their gas guzzling SUVs to go shopping at Wal-Mart. Maybe some of them will visit that new fancy sunglass store in the Westbrooke Village Shopping Center. There they can get designer sunglasses at super discount prices so they won't be recognized when they shop at the new Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Whoops....Did I Rattle Somebody's Chain?

Seems like a gentleman by the name of Mark Crouch took exception to my comment about exploiting children to protest against Wal-Mart. You can see his letter to the Shawnee Dispatch at

Mr Crouch seems to be concerned about the increased traffic levels near an elementary school. That could be a concern. So.............go ahead and protest Mr Crouch...........that is your right. But, having pre-school children (eventhough they may someday attend that school) stand outside and chant slogans that they have no understanding of, is still, in my opinion, exploitation of the children.

I'd comment in a letter to the editor of the Dispatch, but I'm not sure what their time limitations are. Most newspapers do not publish more than one letter from an individual every 30 days.

Gonna have to look into that.................

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Vegas Comes to Shawnee

The TV news crews were hanging around last night's Shawnee City Council Meeting.

What was happening? What earth shattering event was taking place?

Well, it appears that a skeleton came out of the closet and it isn't even Halloween. Kevin Straub (the councilman with the arrogant smirk on his face) lives in a haunted house. The same Kevin Straub who is running for the De Soto USD 232 school board.

According to the KCTV5 reporter when she went on air Mr Straub had 2 bankruptcy filings in Nevada and still has an open judgment of over $140K. Mr Straub claims he did not know the judgment was still open.

Bankruptcy, judgments, personal financial problems.............these are things that unfortunately are affecting many people. Heck, I've had my share of personal financial problems.

What makes Mr Straub's problem different though is his arrogant attitude that he is the only person that can be fiscally responsible with the school district's budget. That becomes highly questionable.

Note: Added 2/27/10 Would you like to see something interesting now? Go here

Shawnee Smoking Task Force

Last night the City Council voted to have the mayor appoint a task force to review smoking ordinances. At the end of its review the task force will naturally have recommendations for the city council.

Mayor Jeff Meyers has a monumental task before him. Can he truly create a well balanced task force? A balance between residents and business owners. A balance between advocates of restrictive ordinances and advocates for less intrusion of government into everyday living.

Two members of the council (Mickey Sandifer and Michelle Distler) have repeatedly stated what this is really about. It is NOT about smoking vs. non-smoking. It is, as they have said, about the erosion of individual rights. It is about government telling folks how to run their business.

As individual rights are slowly taken away, the question that must be asked is: What next?
Folks are so concerned about the effects of secondhand smoke, maybe they need to look at other causes of respiratory problems. Prior to the meeting last night I did a quick count of the vehicles in the parking lot. I counted 24 cars and 27 SUVs/pick-ups. Maybe Shawnee needs to restrict the number of SUVs that can be owned in the city. You know, those gas guzzling, emission belching monstrosities. For the health and welfare of the citizens of Shawnee maybe the government needs to intrude and control tighter what kind of vehicle you can own.

Whaddya think?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Letter Made It

Yepper, it made it, and can also be viewed at

Am sure I'll get some flak from these folks who think it's ok to exploit their young uns.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Western Shawnee Wal-Mart

It's about 9:45PM on Sunday 3/18/07 and I just composed a lettr to the editor of the Shawnee Dispatch. Not sure if it will get published there, so I am going to publish it here:

As a Shawnee resident that lives in a different part of the city I'm not sure, at this point, whether this is a good project or not.

What I am intrigued by though was the video on various metro TV stations last week. The video of the protesters. The video that showed them using preschoolers to protest. Preschoolers with memorized chants.
Yes, little Buffy, Muffy and Barbie were chanting protests that their parents had taught them. And they were smiling and their eyes were wide with glee. See, like all good little puppies they felt good that they were pleasing their masters, and they knew they'd be rewarded. Even if the rewards were only verbal, as in "good girl, good girl". Personally, I feel this is exploitation of the children.

Now, let's look at another aspect of this situation. Wal-Mart does quite a bit of demographic research before opening a new store. They want to know that the odds are on their side for profits before they make the commitment to build. They research the neighborhood, incomes, buying habits, competition etc etc etc.

A previous letter writer (Martin Gilmore on 3/13/07) said in part".......not just another suburban strip mall that drives in transient shoppers, and drives out families" I wonder about that. Would Wal-Mart be looking for transient shoppers? Or are they confident that the neighborhood and housing within close proximity can support their store? How far away does Mr Martin expect these transient shoppers to travel to come to his neighborhood? Isn't it possible that the areas he feels the "transients" will come from already have their own Wal-Marts? Maybe it's just a case of the folks in western Shawnee not wanting others to know that they too shop at Wal-Mart. It is so déclassé you know. It won't be so obvious if they travel to the one on Shawnee Mission Parkway

USD 232 & Party Crashers

Interesting letter in the Shawnee Dispatch at

If an inidivudal wants to sponsor a "meet and greet" for candidates that he/she supports that is a private affair. Heck, we've seen even Presidential candidates do that at the homes of "common folks".

Anyway, for candidates who are not invited (not being supported) it is in poor taste to show up and crash these "meet and greets".

If the content of this letter is accurate, then there is definitely one individual who apparently thinks very highly of himself, to the point of arrogance.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This Explains It..........

Now I know why I don't particularly like this Kevin Straub. He wants to force his views down everybody else's throat.

On 2/20/07 the KC Star published biographical information and answers to its questions to the candidates for the DeSoto USD 232 school board.

Below is question 10 and Mr Straub's reply:

10. Should intelligent design be taught in the public schools? If so, in what context or class?

I believe evolution and intelligent design should be taught as a theory. I believe the founding fathers of our country wrote the United States Constitution so that we can have "freedom of religion" not "freedom from religion."

I think Mr Straub needs to take Civics 101 over. Let's clue him in.............."freedom of religion" also means "freedom from religion". Nobody has the right to shove their religious beliefs down anyone else's throat.

My sincere sympathies to the folks in USD 232 if this guy gets on their board

To Smoke Or Not To Smoke

The City of Shawnee Council's Finance and Administration Committee met this past Tuesday evening 3/6/07.

One of the items on the agenda was a discussion of what to do about a new smoking ordinance.

The final result was the committee recommending a Task Force be appointed to assist in a possible resolution.

I'm getting to enjoy these meetings, and listening to some of the trash that emanates from the mouths of certain individuals. It is an education.

Kevin Straub, 3d Ward councilmember came up with an item that he has mentioned before. It has to do with folks in offices and how non-smokers should not have to put up with the drift of smoke coming from a smoker's cubicle. This guy is a cute piece of work. Bringing up meaningless items, just to hear himself speak, and to make it appear that he cares.

Yours truly took to the podium and had to explain to Mr Straub, that even without an ordinance, businesses today have worked out plans in their offices to eliminate the very problem that Mr Straub wants to codify. These businesses have to do it on their own, so as to retain qualified personnel, to maintain a positive work environment, and to promote positive employee morale.

I challenge this individual to find one office type business in Shawnee that has not created a smoking policy on its own so as not to create the problem he is concerned about. His rhetoric sounds good, but, IMHO it is pure bovine scatology.

Allow the consumer to tell restaurants and bars what to do by what does or does not happen at the cash register.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Shawnee Justice Center

Did some more thinking after Monday's Shawnee City Council Meeting (2/26/07)

The council members who wanted to delay the approval for 60 days while looking into the possibility of converting a vacated Hy Vee, were, IMHO, off base. They kept talking about saving the taxpayers money. The contractors kept trying to explain how building certain things from scratch are usually cheaper than retrofitting (like an EOC).

But, one point that I didn't hear anybody bring up was the effect on taxes that using the Hy Vee would have. The Police Department, as a city agency does not pay property taxes. That Hy Vee is sitting in a prime retail/commercial area. Taking it off the tax rols could be quite costly over a 20 year period.

The emphasis here needs to be on getting that property reoccupied, either as one large store, or even broken down and subdivided as a mini-mall/office complex. Wow, jsut think of the property taxes that would be generated, and, if it is retail, the sales taxes.

I'm happy to see that 4 of the council members and the mayor had the intestinal fortitude to finally approve this thing.