Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Phelps Bites the Big One

Looks like Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church are going to have to come up with $11 million. See the info at:

It's about time somebody stuck it to this low life SOB. I have no tolerance for what he and his followers have been doing at military funerals.

Doesn't this low life piece of fecal matter not realize that it is American military personnel that have defended and protected us against all enemies, and who have defended and protected the constitution that has insured that we have freedom of speech and religion?

When this group tried their little act at Ft Bliss in El Paso this past February they literally ran for their lives, as counter protesters out numbered them, and, in a peaceful manner, stopped them from protesting at a memorial service for 6 GIs

Couldn't Resist

Too good of an opportunity............ :-) :-)

Background: At the 10/8 council meeting Kevin Straub in his push for recycling in city parks made a feeble attempt to compare himself with John Kennedy's push for a man on the moon. Dawn Kuhn borrowed a line from Sen Lloyd Bentsen when he referred to Dan Quayle as "You are no John Kennedy"

Well, on 10/10/07, in the "Local" section of the KC Star, page 1, was an article about that council meeting, complete with pictures of the late Sen Bentsen and Kevin Straub.

I just had to get it framed and presented it to Straub at the 10/22 council meeting. Heck, it's not every day that a Shawnee council member gets their picture in the Star..........and for such an auspicious reason. ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

Mark Your Calendars

Unbelievable.........apparently next Wed, 11/7/07 KMBZ Radio 980 is going to have a discussion between 8AM and 9AM regarding distractions while driving.

They contacted me. Jayme Monacelli, producer of the morning news show, did a taped interview yesterday. Not sure how much of the interview they will use, nor at what point in the show it will air. It is my understanding that the entire hour will be dedicated to that topic and that law enforcement and others have also been interviewed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Cell Phone Restrictions

Las Vegas, New Mexico has joined three other cities in that state to ban the use of cell phones while driving. It joins Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos.

See the info by clicking here

And, a New Hampshire state legislator has introduced legislation to restrict text messaging while driving. See that info by clicking here

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Two Questions

Last week a reporter for one of the local high school newspapers interviewed me about the cell phone proposal.

When the interview was over I asked her to ask her friends and classmates two questions:

1. What would you be willing to die for? Firemen know they may have to, as do policemen and members of the military. Even regular folks, defending a family member from a violent attack. But, is finding out what color dress somebody is wearing to the prom or which pizza place to go to after Friday's game worth dying for?

2. What would you be willing to kill for? Policemen and members of the military are sometimes faced with that. And, again, so would a regular person to protect a family member from a violent attack. But, again, is finding out what color dress somebody is wearing to the prom or which pizza place to go to after Friday's game worth killing for? That is what can happen if someone is talking or texting and their car goes out of control and hits another one.

Even adults need to ask themselves those two questions.

Think about it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ugly Old Woman ?????

Went to one of the major supermarkets the other day to get a birthday card for my grandson. It was one of those that when you open it up it talks to you.

Then I went to their customer service area to get postage for it. It was one of those that needed extra postage. The young lady at the counter was going to print off a meter strip for it. Told her that I would prefer a stamp. She told me the only 58 cent stamp they had, had a picture of an ugly old woman on it. I said no problem.

Then I looked at the stamp. It was Margaret Chase Smith. I asked the young lady if she knew who that was. She said no. Gave her a quick history lesson. Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to be elected to both the US House of Representatives and then the US Senate. Did not go into the rest of her history. Women like her paved the way for the female politicians (and corporate executives) of today.

Ugly old woman???? No, a very beautiful lady.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Media Clips About the Cell Phone Proposal

Wow, never realized that the proposal to restrict cell phones in Shawnee would attract the media attention that it has.

Anyway, here are some media clips.

Video Clip: Interview on WDAF-TV on 10/14/o7 Click here

Sound Clip: Interview on the KCUR-FM show "Up To Date". After it starts, fast forward to the fifteen minute fifty-one second mark (15:51), unless you want to listen to the interview with Mayor Mark Funkhouser of KCMO Click here

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Brownback Part III

On Friday Sen Sam Brownback dropped out of the Presidential race. According to news reports he also apologized for missing 35 percent of the votes in the Senate.

Apologize? Heck the man should resign. How many committee meetings did he miss? How many floor debates did he miss?

He was elected to represent the people of Kansas. If he wanted to run for President then he should have resigned his Senate seat and allow someone else to serve this state in Congress.

If he had been in "civilian" life he probably would have been fired for excessive absenteeism and dereliction of duty.

What is ironic is that his chances of getting the nomination were so slim as to be comical. I have a better chance of getting a dinner date with Julia Roberts. And we know that is slim and none.

What makes it even worse is that this round or pre-nomination campaigning started real early in the cycle.

I'd still like to see a federal law that any member of Congress actively seeking the Presidential nomination needs to resign.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pflumm is Soooooooooo Wrong..............

Just read the draft minutes of the 10/8/07 city council meeting. That was the meeting in which I brought up the cell phone issue.

Councilmember Kuhn asked the staff to research the info. She also brought up some info on her own regarding teenagers and auto insurance.

Anyway, Dan Pflumm is recorded as saying........ "Councilmember Pflumm stated he thinks Mr. Erlichman and Councilmember Kuhn rehearsed this." It's also on the CD of the meeting.

That is sooooooooooo wrong. Ms Kuhn had absolutely no idea what I was going to speak about.

Now, if he wants to talk about "rehearsing" things.........well......he needs to listen to the CDs of the various meetings and listen to the interactions between himself and Kevin Straub. Who is the puppet and who is the puppet master?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

State Sen. Nick Jordan - - - MIA ????

State Sen Nick Jordan apparently does not feel it is necessary to respond to questions concerning taxes. I sent him an email on 8/26/07 with a follow up on 9/15/07. To date, he has not responded.

I can understand why. No politician likes to address the possibility of increasing taxes. Or, discuss the possibility of reduced government services.

The email was based on the research material presented to the Shawnee Smoking Task Force. A copy of this research is available at:

Eventually something will have to be taxed to replace the lost revenue generated by decreasing cigarette sales. My questions basically pertained to State of Kansas taxes. Local sales taxes are also affectd. Additionally the federal government is considering increasing the cigarette excise tax 61 cents a pack to a total of $1. Eventually this golden egg laying goose will disappear, and then the feds (and the state) will also have to tax other items or reduce services.

So, as a current state senator and candidate for congress, I think Mr Jordan needs to answer these questions. What taxes will he support raising, or establishing if not existing? What services would he consider reducing or eliminating?

The original email from 8/26/07 is quoted below (I felt it unnecessary to post the 9/15/07 follow up, but it is available):

Dear Senator Jordan,

Allow me to "re-introduce" myself. We chatted briefly at the reception for the new Shawnee Magazine.

First, let me wish you the best in your campaign for the US Congress.

There is an item that we started to discuss and I would like to get your input. This relates to the state excise tax on cigarettes. According to the KDOR annual report, there was a spike in receipts of this tax, but that was due to an increase in the tax in 2003. Until that time, receipts were dropping. Also, since 2000 and until 2006 the actual number of packs of cigarettes in Kansas declined each year, to the point where the figure for 2006 was over 55 million less packs than in 2000. At 79¢ per pack that is alot of money. To verify this all one has to do is to divide the monies collected by the amount of the excise tax in effect at the time.

The KDOR annual reports for 2005 & 2006 can be located on line as follows:

As this trend continues it would seem that something has to be done to replace the monies that will no longer be supplied by this excise tax. I see the choices as follow:

1. Increase the excise tax again (until such point that the number of packs sold become negligible)
2. Increase existing taxes in other areas
3. Create taxes where none currently exist (such as an excise tax on computers ond associated peripherals and supplies). This would be more equitable as it would impact more people and spread it out more evenly.
4. Maybe something I haven't thought of?

Also, since you are running for the US Congress it would be nice to know your thoughts on the attempts to increase the federal excise tax on cigarettes from 39¢ to $1 per pack.
So there is no misunderstanding as to my intentions, I plan on posting this email together with your response on my blog located at

Ray Erlichman
Shawnee, KS

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Talkin' & Textin' while Drivin'....then add Recyclin'

Last night I proposed that the city council consider a local ordinance restricting the use of cell phones while driving. This is not a popular idea in Shawnee or Johnson County. Too many cell phone users, myself included.

So far only 17 states have passed restrictions and a handful of cities. But we need to take the initiative on this because of the various problems associated with cell phones and driving, particularly among our youth.

Wonder of wonders, Kevin Straub actually agreed with me. I asked the recording secretary to make a note of that. He and I agreeing on an issue is a miracle

Dan Pflumm on the other hand played the fool. Instead of agreeing with me (since he has so strongly expressed his concerns for people's health and welfare) he decided to question why I was proposing this, especially in view of my stand on the smoking ordinance. He appeared to want to debate the smoking ordinance again. He actually referred to it as "your ordinance".
If the guy had any guts and he did not like it, he could have voted against it, and given a qualifying statement (he didn't think it was strong enough) It would still have passed (6-2).
But he probably didn't want to give the impression he was in favor of allowing smoking. He did the politically expedient thing by voting for it, as it was, intead of standing by his principles.

Anyway, I digress, because the smoking ordinance was NOT the topic but apparently Pflumm wanted to try and make it the topic. Accidents, injuries and deaths are occurring. Something has to be done.

Now we move on to a later portion of the council meeting. Kevin Straub brings up the issue of recycling in the city parks. Basically he wanted the coucnil to go ahead and approve a recycling program, "tonight", without allowing staff the opportunity to research costs, procedures etc.
The motion was seconded by, guess who? That's right, Dan Pflumm. (Do we have verification that these two are not joined at the hip?) Anyway the vote was 6-2 against. Interesting though, is that all of the other members of the council appeared to be very much in favor of the concept. They just wanted the facts and figures relative to the cost. City money (taxpayer money) will be used. They want to know how much. They want to know if they have to reduce some other expenditures. Ya just don't rush willy nilly into any project.

Oh well, Pfrick and Pfrack at their normal levels of common sense.

Hey, I've got a recycling idea. How about if the voters in Wards I and III recycle their council members in 2010? Say bye bye to Pfrick & Pfrack ??

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Failure of Common Sense

Well, the Shawnee Dispatch (actually, its editor) has gone and done it again. Yes, in an editorial entitled " A Failure of Leadership" (see at ) the editor of the paper (anonymously, because he loves to hide and not take credit for his work) spews forth with outright lies.

He takes issue with the recent smoking ban because as it turns out certain establishments will be exempt. Again, he gets on his moral high horse espousing concern for employees who are exposed to smoke in these establishments.

Hey, John Beal, get off your sedimentary posterior and go into these estanlishments. Yes, you and the holier than thou narrow minded fools and liars of the Shawnee Clean Air group.

Do you know what you will find in these establishments? You will find that they are old fashioned neighborhood bars. They are not family friendly restaurants. They are not what one would call high class upscale night clubs. Your supposed concern for the health of the employees is a bunch of BS. The people who work in these establishments smoke....just like the patrons. Is it possible that these employees don't want you meddling in their health or livelihood?

I'd bet a cup of coffee that neither you nor the Shawnee Clean Air hypocrites have ever even looked inside those establishments.

Oh, by the way, speaking of hypocrites. How come you didn't mention that when it was pointed out to one of the two council members who tried to pass the OP ordinance, that by doing so a portion of that ordinance could adversely affect certain activities of the Knights of Columbus he was quick to take that section out?

Also, show some intestinal fortitude and start signing your editorials.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

DeSoto....Wherefore Art Thou?

Has anybody ever looked at a map of Johnson County?

The City of DeSoto has a unique "shape" to its city limits. A good part of the city sits on the K-1o corridor, just west of Olathe & Lenexa. Lots of good commercial and industrial space.

Also, there is a mini building boom going on there with low density residential housing.

Now, here's the deal. Three cities border on DeSoto.............Olathe, Lenexa and Shawnee.
Some day one of these cities will annex DeSoto.

What is wild is that children who live in west Shawnee attend schools that are in the DeSoto USD 232.

Now, which city will eventually be successful in annexing DeSoto?

If I was a betting man, my money would be on Olathe. Personally, I'd rather see Shawnee do it, but I doubt if it would happen that way.

What a shame.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Small Victory

The Monticello residents achieved a small victory last night at the Shawnee Planning Commission.

The Commission voted not to recommend a change to the Land Use Guide for the area of 75th St to 79th St along the "new" Monticello Rd.

It's a small victory. The Council could still ignore the recommendation. Someone can still come in and request a zoning change for the area or part of it.

The hang up is going to be the two new arterials intersecting at 75th and "new" Monticello. That is, unless the Monticello residents can figure out a way to stop the reconstruction and realignment of the road.