Kansas City Week in Review – October 18, 2019


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welcome everyone I’m Nick Haines glad to have you on this
journey through the news of our week keeping tabs on what’s
happening on both sides of state line at the head of the
editorial page of your Kansas city star Colleen Nelson from
the world of television news KMBC nine chief political
reporter Micheal Mahoney from the call newspaper senior writer
Eric Wesson and star columnist and editorial writer Dave
Helling the Kansas city T. bones have officially been
evicted from their stadium in Kansas city Kansas the locks
were changed the gates padlocked blocking team personnel from
entering what has been their home for the past sixteen years
the move came after the minor league baseball franchise was
given a one month extension on eviction noticed they were
handed for failing to keep up with the payments but if you
thought that was the end of the T. bones in Wyandotte county
think again the unified government now inking a deal
with a new ownership group to take over the stadium and does
that mean bringing back the Tbones as well Michael yes
there is joy in Mudville as we say in the baseball world the
T bones will be back they’ve got new ownership and more
commitments to refurbish the stadium which is not in bad
shape to begin with and it does look like the unified
government is going to consider pursued the seven hundred and
plus thousand dollars againist John & Adam Ehlert the old
owners of for not paying their utility bills and other
payments but this this brand of minor league baseball which is
a very modestly priced very family oriented element
will still be played next year in KCK why did the
unified government believe that this new ownership group
there will be more successful than the other ownership group
when they’re basically gonna be offering pickle ball and an
outdoor stage and sand
volleyball right they think they’re going
to try to do other things at the stadium presumably that
would bring in some revenue and help support the team and maybe
there are some efficiencies that the ownership can bring to
the operation of the baseball franchise Nick but this is a
very a very close margin business I mean you you you
know it’s expensive to run and if you don’t get crowds it it
you you’ll go into the red and while it’s encouraging that they have found another owner
and that there are plans that by the way maybe controversial
to upgrade the stadium it’ll be interesting to see if
they can make a going concern the unified government is gonna
pump one million dollars into
improving the stadium right and the other
dynamic that has sort of changed for a while the T.
bones and KCK because the the unified government owns that
stadium were promoting concerts and music
events and stuff like that they haven’t been able to do that as
much because right down the street now is the children’s
mercy soccer stadium and a lot of that those music
venues are choosing there so I don’t know even though they’re
gonna add an outdoor music state whether or not the that
work they’re going to have to hustle really hard
to do this and one of the things they need to do Nick I
believe is aggressivily market the product of this
small town unaffiliated minor league baseball and they have
not done that in the last few years under the old ownership
and several Kansas city Kansas residents speaking at the city
hall this week saying they weren’t happy that the new
owners were gonna get a million dollars to help improve the
stadium they should be able to do all of this without any
subsidies whatsoever that’s right I mean the million dollar
contribution and and tax dollars is controversy as as
Dave noted in and and the question is are they throwing
good money after bad and it’s not as if the previous
ownership was close to making this work the numbers didn’t
work at all they owe a huge sum of money and so the
question is will sand volleyball and botchi ball
be enough to completely change
the fate here We need to ask
Eric Wession that who never went out there before
anyway and now is that going to entice you for
pickelball yeah absolutely
Eric’s a well known pickleball
player World class
and I agree with the people in that we’ve had some phone calls
from people to live over there why not take the million
dollars and do something more beneficial a grocery store or
things like that than watching somebody play Pickle Just to put
a bow on it Royals attendance is down you know attendance in
person attendance at sporting events is down across
the country people prefering to watch games on their high
definition televisions and other things so you’ve really
got to do everything right to make a franchise show a profit
can you tell me what the current rules and laws are for
possession of marijuana Kansas city’s new mayor is confused
and he now wants to make it simple simply erase the word
marijuana from all city codes and ordinances we will just get
out of the business of restricting pot within city
limits he says freeing up the courts to handle what he
believes are far more pressing matters our municipal court our
municipal prosecutors the public defense we help pay for
we want them focusing on other issues and priorities in Kansas
city though he is the most visible figure in city
government mayor Lucas is only
one vote on the thirteen member
city council how do those other members feel about this
quick fix well Brandon Ellington has a ordinance that
is going to be going before the city council to change the
marijuana to a hundred grams I think one of the things that you
have is the thirty five grams is like a fifty dollars fine
twenty five dollar fine so he wants to eliminate that
the problem that people are having with the behind the
scenes is does it open the door for the them to be charged with
a felony and going into state court whether it be in a city
matter the Jackson County prosecutors said that she wasn’t
going to prosecute those cases but that’s her what happens when
a new prosecutor comes in then how dynamics change or
whether it happens in Clay County right or Platte
County and the police haven’t
been too happy about these changes
either and they’ve they’ve recorded they say up to ten
murders that have happened in
Kansas city that have been direct
involvement in marijuana use right it’s an interesting
dynamic because it’s becoming increasingly clear that the
mayor and the police chief have very different views on
marijuana and so where’s mayor Quinton Lucas wants to strip
marijuana out of city codes meanwhile the police chief Rick
Smith has written a blog post about the dangers of marijuana
and how it contributes to violent crime and has
contributed to a number of homicides in Kansas city and so
they haven’t really spoken publicly about how they view
each other but there their words separately have made it
clear that they’re kind of on a collision course headed in
different directions that claim by the police that tying ten
murders to marijuana in Kansas city was greeted with
a great deal of skepticism when that was presented in front of
the the city council that’s considering Ellington’s
ordinance there is there
violence in drugs without question
whether or not somebody buying pot on the street versus somebody is buying
five pounds of it two different things
go ahead Eric and in addition to that is the conflict the
marijuana or is the conflict economics because people don’t
have enough money to do the things is the issue conflict
resolution whether they’re getting into arguments about
the marijuana and that leads to a homicide verses is this based
off of marijuana there are so many other things you could tie
to it briefly the the the laws surrounding marijuana are
just about as confusing as you can imagine in our area
medicinal marijuana in Missouri is just around the corner so
you’ll be able to to to to legally buy some marijuana for
some reasons but if you’re in a different county it could be a
state felony it might be decriminalized in Kansas
city it gets somebody needs to senator table say we need to get
on the same page about how we feel about this substance but I
saw there were the three hundred and fifty different folks
looking to have a medical dispensary license in the
Missouri side of our metropolitan area but I was
wondering if we’re going to decriminalize it at the local
level in Kansas city are they under cutting any of these
dispensaries if you’re not in the face any
sanctions just picking up marijuana from anyway what what
will happen here which is happened in another medical
marijuana states and even some recreationally legal states as
well is there will remain a marijuana black market because
the price over the counter literally will be X and the
price on the street will be X and the price on the street
will always be lower than it will be at the counter and it
will probably be a better
quality black market Not that mike or I
would know I don’t know it’s
my understanding is going to be pretty high grade stuff She is
best known as the Republican lawmaker in Kansas who switched
parties to become a Democrat now state senator Barbara Bollier
from mission Hills believes she is the best person to
succeed Pat Roberts in the United States Senate the truth
is as a doctor I’ve never really been about partisan
labels just problem solving and we need more of that right now
so I’m running for US Senate to be a voice of reason in
Washington Bollier’s entry into the race
was considered so impactful that the leading democratic
candidate Barry Grissom quit the race and decided to endorse
her that was unexpected but what are her prospects it’s been
eighteen years since a Democrat was elected to the United
States Senate from Kansas so why does state senator Bollier
believe she can overcome those odds Colleen well they’re still
steep odds for her let’s just be clear she still faces a major
challenge running as a Democrat statewide in Kansas as you note
it’s been nearly a century since a Democrat Kansas has won
Senate seat but working in Bollier’s favor is the fact that
she is pretty moderate as you noted she was a Republican and
so she kind of you know she’s pretty centrist and that can
play well in Kansas much like Laura Kelly who won the
governor’s race and I think Democrats are are hoping that
perhaps Kris Kobach comes out of the Republican primary and
he just lost state wide and so they’re hoping for kind of a
repeat performance that would give Democrats perhaps their
best shot at winning this seat unlike Laura Kelly though
BarbaraBollier a is not from
Topeka or another part of Kansas she’s
from Johnson County in mission
hills and it’s been I looked at the
statistics forty years since any any candidates became a U.
S. Senate a senator in Kansas who
came from Johnson County so that’s not a great launching
pad for higher office the bully a campaign away Mr reporters
that they’re going to hate after run a perfect campaign
not a nearly perfect campaign but a perfect campaign and bi
they’re gonna bank heavily as Colleen just mentioned that
they are matched up against Kris Kobach as the Republican
nominee that is by no means a guaranteed at this point maybe
yeah and money suggested certainly isn’t those are two
big else and that’s pretty the needle the threat I’m it
fascinated by the politics of the decision for Bergeson to
get out of this race are I was told that by a pretty the the
authoritative source Nick that the effort to get him out began
several weeks ago that they understood he was a flawed
candidate he had this problem is a former US attorney there
was criticism of his service there and that the Democratic
Party at a high level like a Washington level begin talking
with the berry about Hey maybe you need to move on we prefer
Barbara ball yeah who has the support of Laura Kelly and by
inference from a former governor Kathleen Sebelius but
but there was a Terry two months ago among some Democrats
say you’re just right off the race we have no shot we’ve
never elected a Democrat it’s a waste of money the idea that
the national Democrats would try and clear the field for
Barbara boy A. suggests they think the scene
is winnable at some level otherwise they wouldn’t invest
anytime they just say everybody run and nobody will get me
money and the Republican will win I don’t know
the social so I think the Democrats on a national level
are sort of hoping Kobach can prevail Colleen points out and
then they’ll have somebody like bully A.
who could step in and run a Laura Kelly like I don’t know
that the Democratic National Sarah camp that can be a
committee has four will invest in the too
to use your well awards a may get the obligatory visit early
next and next year by the big shots in the and then be on I
guess it’s going to be really really fine needle threat it’s
rare to see a member of our local congressional delegation
making a big splash on the world stage but it’s been quite
sometime since we’ve been represented by someone like
Josh Hawley Center Josh Hawley of Missouri just returned a few
hours ago from his to Hong Kong saw the protests themselves
Tucker I said I want to be scooped up in in some hotel I
want to go out to the streets in just a forty eight hour span
this week was only senator flew to Hong Kong appeared on
national television blasted the NBA Alex biggest all abroad
James I’m in the same timeframe was condemned on global TV by
the Chinese section leader of Hong Kong of all the issues
though that we are facing in this country Hawley issues
we’re facing globally why isn’t it a Hawley decided to make the
story of freedom for the people of Hong Kong his priority
number one Colleen you’re asking the right question
because Josh Hawley as senator has not really been a champion
for human rights and he hasn’t really he didn’t speak up when
Donald Trump said Kim Jong moon and I are writing love letters
to each other he hasn’t come out in other instances to stand
up for at some of these issues and for human rights and so but
it was an easy opportunity to take on lebron James to
generate some headlines he didn’t physically go to Hong
Kong and and Josh Hawley has has certainly made a name for
himself taking on some popular and big names like lebron James
and also he’s in a war with Facebook and so I’m it’s it’s a
good way for him to kind of elevate himself distinguish
himself from that the pack on Capitol Hill strategy has been
to look at these big big big players from prescription drug
companies and apple and Facebook at yes the NBA Adam
yes China is not a successful strategy for him
I guess he got elected because I had you have to really stop
and think about him being a a United States senator from
Missouri I think a better conversation form him for him
probably is taken on the NRA given the amount of murders
that are taking place in the state that he represents in
Saint Louis and Kansas city I think that’s a bigger argument
for him and that he is closer to home than going out to
lebron James or anybody else about something and then
Micheal season regardless of the timing on this he’s on the
right side of this question in terms of defending the pro
democracy protesters in high in Hong Kong it is more than the
top administration is doing and I’ll give him props for the
fact that he went out on the streets of Hong Kong where it’s
pretty hairy situation and there art there is live
ammunition being it being used out there now whether or not
it’s a grand publicity start I’m not going to say but I’m
gonna give props for being on the right side of that question
and going there and going through state is relatively low
hanging fruit I mean there’s no real downside going to Hong
Kong a politically but I do think at some point Josh Hawley
will have to show some results for his activity I mean he’s
taking on Facebook he takes on Google the old opioid
folks go to Hong Kong all of those get a lot of headlines
but at the end of six years Missourians are going to say
okay what do I want to get done on any of this stuff and so for
that record is a very meager indeed there is some danger in
getting headlines and not bringing results and I think
Hawley runs that day don’t prosper city to
unfortunately but in perspective
he’s been in the Senate for less than a year you’re right
he he’s gotta prove wanted on his record he’s only been in
the office for city manager Troy Solti recently
announced he was retiring at the time he said he had no
plans for his future other than leaving his wife of running the
shuttles to his kids practices and activities this week it’s
reportedly maybe do a little more than that he’s talking
with Frank white about joining Jackson County government now
the only evidence of that I see the report is that Solti spent
an hour talking with Frank white couldn’t have been
talking about the failing fortunes oils all the trolls
they both encounter on social media no he didn’t but they
could have what they did talk about as he talked about the
jail they talk about infrastructure and they also
asked or they also talked along with the German the legislature
to reach a gallon about Troy she’ll be coming over in some
capacity perhaps has that County manager which is a
position that does not exist on a government a day at the at
this point and we’ll talk to the courthouse in
yeah about time this should be a bi okay but there are also
some people have some misgivings about about that I
can’t say here as well as we’re talking it is going to happen
but that conversation did take place Eric and I was thinking
because I reached out to him to get a response and he didn’t
but he has to live in Jackson County there’s a residency rule
he is a living Jackson County so how would he be doing
where’s he living that’s always in the Kansas city Missouri
election on that are I know okay he lives on forever so I
don’t know the date they could have been talking about a
possible Holmes available in Jackson County given the tax
credits old actually also this week the new life for someone
who wanted to be mayor of Kansas city former city
councilman Alisha Kennedy just appointed by may Lucas to had
the tip commission I’m too assuming technically this is
not a job they don’t get paid to do that now it’s a volunteer
post it was one of a number of announcements from the mayor of
appointments to commissions with taking a look at because a
lot of the people he named to these boards and commissions
happen to be serving on the city council now
that’s unusual it’s not unique but it doesn’t happen at this
scale very often so we’re taking a little bit of a look
at that Alicia Kennedy by the way it was a sharp critic of of
subsidies for private projects putting her in charge of the
tip commission sends a message to developers that there’s a
new day down right and that’s what mayor Quinton Lucas and he
said this is this to board is going to be different they’re
not going to be a rubber stamp for development and so which is
the knock on the previous council in the previous to
board and so it’s going to be interesting to test the
question of how things operate differently whether they
actually turned down some high profile projects particularly
in downtown and and in areas that are thriving and not in
desperate need of subsidies and I think one of the underlying
things is to get development is to Troost and that was some of
the comments and questions but again you still have the
financing issues and problems Easter Troost example if you
buy proper or do something there is a million dollars and
for years when you open the door it might be worth five
hundred thousand dollars so you’re already a half a million
dollars upside down and that is what keeps developers from
companies to Troost and I don’t think it’s going to make that
much of a difference the numbers may seem hard to
believe one in four students at K. you and one in four students
and then you say they’ve been sexually assaulted since
starting at the two schools and by the way fifteen percent of
female students at Katie when Lawrence today being raped
those are the figures from the national campus climate survey
just released by the American Association the association of
American universities the numbers all incredibly high but
is that what universities around the country is seeing or
is this something alarming happening at our area schools
Colleen well our schools aren’t out wires per say this was a
comprehensive survey of every university in the country but
of the universities they surveyed there were a lot of
other schools in the same basic range of of nearly a a fourth
of women saying that they’ve been sexually assaulted and
it’s it’s a stunning number but it unfortunately it’s not a
very surprising number and it really highlights what eight
eight mammoth problem universities are facing an even
though the survey FAQ found that women on campus now know
more about the resources available to them they have
more information they’re still being sexually assaulted and
they’re often not acting on not taking advantage of those
resources they’re not reporting these assaults and they’re not
seeking out folks who can help them all the numbers worse now
than they were before all eyes Colleen points out that because
the universities on doing a much better job of helping
students understand where they can go and how to report sexual
assaults Caroline not yeah I think it’s part of that
Nick but I also think it reflects the pervasive
influence of alcohol on campuses and that’s been a
problem that’s been growing for many many years kids just drink
a lot of alcohol now that’s kind of expected in and we see
that across the board stories about fraternity miss behavior
and and other pro problems on campus I think the use of
alcohol is inextricably linked to this problem and they need
to sort of addressed both of them going for that’s not gonna
happen not on campus and now and then you know I I Davids
it’s sad but two weeks ago the late the
school district was making headlines as an elected school
board voted to take on the nation’s largest beeping
company Jew will now I either area school districts joining
the legal action and not just one Shawnee mission blue valley
desoto all making plans to take on the electronic cigarette
manufacturing they’ll claim it will cost the district’s any
money because attorneys are taking on the cases for free
though those law firms will take a hefty cut of any
settlement money of the legal actions prove successful why
are all these districts on the Kansas side of the state line
in Alton Missouri though does the impact of vaping stop at
the state line Eric because Josh Hawley hasn’t found out
about it I think it had incidents of
people having a problem over a Kansas Missouri has and
documented the problems that people have over here to the
same extent as cancer well they you know they the they had one
death over in Saint Louis so it’s not like it’s a it isn’t a
problem on the state on the state line it’s sort of
typically Missouri to be honest there is much more laissez
faire about tobacco it has a lower one of the lowest back of
taxes in the nation it has a tobacco industry as we know so
Missourians tend to be more libertarian about these things
maybe the Kander eighteen months after it was first
announced the loss federal regulators signs off on
sprint’s budget with T. mobile the FCC green lighting
this week the two companies coming together to form a new
carrier under the T. mobile name will the signs now
come down across the metro and around the country with the
split name stop disappearing at its corporate headquarters in
overland park and at the sprint center downtown Colleen
probably so this was the the last hurdle within the DOJ and
the FCC and and all the regulatory approvals that they
needed but there’s one remaining question mark and
that is that a number of attorneys attorneys general
around the country are suing to try to stop this merger and and
that’s a very real problem for sprint and T.
mobile and there’s a court date in December so this is expected
to go to trial and unless they can convince these attorneys
general that this this merger is not going to be anti
competitive this still could prove present upon some states
have dropped out including Mississippi that dropped out of
the legal action yeah there’s a big concern here about on the
future competition in the wireless industry a as a result
of this and the fact that won the SEC commissioner said I in
the golden age of wireless may be over with this and the the
fact the suit from the attorneys general around the
country are still there is a testament to that you know
another bagel in pop based company also hitting the
headlines by the way federal gas which you may know from its
blue rhino brand of portable propane for your gas grill may
be heading to bankruptcy the company employs more than four
thousand people they warning investors now they may not be
able to remain in operation due to huge debts when you put a
program like this together every single week we counted
every single story what was the big story but we missed
once at the cheap showing they can still win games even
without this star quarterback overland park police rang the
alarm bell over distracted driving they released this
video of a white collar being plowed into and pushed into the
air on Metzker also Avenue mourning the loss this week of
a community leader a little make it Yvonne Wilson did
Kansas city schools get accredited the Missouri
department of education blasted for a baffling new school report
card alarm over bike lanes still packing council
chambers this time in North Kansas city would you pay
seventy Bucks for mac and cheese the first ever mac and
cheese fest launches Saturday at Berkeley riverfront park it
may seem pricy but it’s all you can eat and free drink to wash
all the yellow stuff down what was your biggest story we
missed was in one of those options are something
completely different Colleen well I know that Patrick
Mahomes dislocated knee is all consuming and it’s hard to
talk about anything else but I think it is worth revisiting
the Missouri test scores that were released this week which
were baffling indeed and they have a very confusing new
system of how they rate schools and there’s not just one bottom
line rating you have to dig into a lot of different numbers
and you get a lot of confusing signals and for parents and and
even teachers looking at schools it’s hard to figure out
where how your school ranks Micheal Mahoney the tentative
agreement between GM the United auto workers especially as it
relates to the GM plant in Fairfax there’s twenty two
hundred workers down there
they’re going to benefit from this it
looks like the union one some of the major issues on this the
strike was about including more pay for temporary workers a
better ladder for temporary workers to to join the work
force it’s a big story
Eric the mayors appointment to the commission’s and and that
was something and of course senator Wilson passing she was
a tremendous asset to the black community and Missourians as a
whole Dave I agree with all of
that but let me tell you a week from
now we will all know more about the anatomy of the human knee
than almost anyone on the planet earth because
that’s the only story that a lot of folks are going to be
paying attention to I’m Nick Haines for all of us at KCPT
thanks for spending part of your
weekend with us

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