Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sam Graves: Your Ad Is Offensive, Racist And Homophobic. Haven't You Learned A Thing In The Last Eight Years? This Kind Of Stuff Alienates Voters

It's Like That And That's The Way It Is

Park Board / Skatepark Association At Impasse: Sk8rs Run Risk Of Losing Say In Operation

I received this news release from Louise Whall, Director of Public Information this morning. I'm not special nor do I have a private pipeline to information coming out of the PIO's office, I just signed up to receive city news releases via email. Anyone can do that. I also get news releases from Bob Nelson.

Who's Bob Nelson? He's the Parks Public Information Administrator, (417) 864-1403. I would have thought he would have been the one to send out this email.

As in previous accounts, there seems to be a pretty subtle bias against the Skatepark people in this release.

Before participating in the mediation process, all parties signed confidentiality agreements regarding the actual mediation. Since the Jan. 8 session, attorneys for both sides have been discussing possible operating agreements, but have reached an impasse.
While this news release technically does not discuss the actual mediation, it implies what was discussed.

I thought the police said last fall that the Skatepark was not even on 'their radar screen'. This blog seemed to think the same thoughts.

I wonder if the Skatepark's no tolerance policy on stealing, assaults, drug possession, noise, general disturbances, inappropriate actions by minors and illegal fireworks is the basis for the seemingly high number of police calls to the facility?

If you violate the no tolerance policy, the cops get called. Period. How can that be a bad thing? I think that's a good thing.

My grandsons go to the Skatepark and I have never seen any trouble there. What I have seen is a lot of kids, mostly teenage boys, who don't dress the same way people dress at Cooper Tennis, or should I say Mediacom Tennis, nor are they wearing those soccer shorts. Skaters wear stocking caps and baggy pants and most of them need to pull their pants up.

It seems that when some people look at these Sk8trs, they see young hoodlums. I see a bunch of kids who are out in the fresh air exercising and having fun.

Part of the appeal of the current Skatepark is that it is NOT run by the Park's bureaucracy; it is run by the kids who use the facility. Which actually makes more sense sometimes: decisions are made by the people who are affected by them. This makes the Park's approach seem a little heavy-handed, almost as if they are more interested in empire building and power. They already have the power of taxation. (Remember that Parks Tax you and I voted for? It never sunsets, it just keeps growing and growing and growing. Read the ballot language.)

The loudspeakers at Kennedy Stadium are more of a bother to our neighborhood than the Skatepark ever was.

May 30, 2008

News Release

For Immediate Release

Following several settlement conferences and a third round of mediation with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, the Springfield Skatepark Association has elected not to sign a new operating agreement for the Skatepark facility. The Park Board and City regret that no resolution has been reached with the Skatepark Association and that the Board has been left with no choice except to take legal action to regain possession of the facility in order to address park policy, safety and liability concerns.

The City and Park Board served the Springfield Skatepark Association late Thursday with a Demand for Possession for the facility, requesting that they return possession of the facility back to the Park Board by June 30, 2008.

The Park Board and the City have absolutely no intention of closing the Skatepark. The facility is part of the Vision 20/20 plan for the Park System, which was the basis for Parks’ assistance in raising donations and using parks sales tax funds toward its development. The City and Park Board have approximately $500,000 invested in the project to date, including the parking lot, a $10,000 contribution to the indoor facility and revenue from the 2001 voter-approved Parks and Recreation Sales Tax used for construction of the outdoor skating area.

After regaining possession, the Park Board intends to fully fund any and all necessary repairs and upkeep at the Skatepark, and does not anticipate any changes in rates at this time.

Parks and the Skatepark Association began meeting in late 2006 to try to work out a new agreement in anticipation of the contract expiring on Oct. 31, 2007. The Skatepark Association has remained steadfast in its demand to retain ownership of the physical structures that were constructed on public property with donations, taxpayer funds and in-kind contributions. When no new agreement was reached, possession of the land reverted and all permanent structures on it became property of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, as outlined in the original agreement.

In late 2007, the Springfield R-12 Board of Education offered to donate the property on which the majority of the Skatepark facility is located at 945 W. Meadowmere St. to the City. This donation eliminated the need for a lease agreement between the Park Board and the R-12 Board, which streamlined the ownership process.

After receiving the donation offer, a third mediation session was scheduled in January 2008 based on these new circumstances and as an opportunity to possibly resolve this matter with the Skatepark Association. City Council and Park Board members attended the third session, which started on Jan. 8, 2008, to demonstrate their commitment to resolving the matter, to attempt to keep the Association involved in operating the facility, and to avoid unnecessary litigation.

Before participating in the mediation process, all parties signed confidentiality agreements regarding the actual mediation. Since the Jan. 8 session, attorneys for both sides have been discussing possible operating agreements, but have reached an impasse.

The Park Board wishes to clarify that it is not interested in possession of the facility because it is a “profit center” as some have suggested. Annette Weatherman, President and Director of the Skatepark Association, informed Park representatives in early 2007 that there were inadequate funds for upkeep of the facility, such as ramp repairs and replacing insulation. She asked for additional Park’s funds for maintenance and upkeep. The Skatepark operated with a net gain of $16,658 in 2001; showed a loss of $9,371 for 2002; and a loss of $8,176 for 2003, according to the only IRS forms made available to the City. To date, the Springfield Skatepark Association could not or has not provided IRS forms for 2004-2007.

In signing contracts with any of the multiple groups with which the Park Board partners, the City and Park Board research a number of items including: current tax registration status; IRS status; police reports; potential public liabilities; management practices and performance related to City-County park codes and ordinances; citizens’ complaints; and value of service to the public.

Multiple liability concerns remain at the forefront of this matter for the Park Board and the City. Park Rangers and Skatepark users have found the facility operating with inadequate or no adult supervision at various times, including during “all-nighters” where children came and went from the facility without a check-in/check-out process. The Springfield Skatepark Association also has failed to inform the Parks Department of injuries and disputes occurring at the facility.

From Jan. 2, 2004 through May 3, 2008, there were 188 Springfield Police and Springfield-Greene County Park Ranger calls filed at the Skatepark address, including false alarms, stealing, assaults, drug possession, noise, general disturbances, inappropriate actions by minors and illegal fireworks. For comparison purposes, the Park Board operates similar recreation facilities that have indoor/outdoor venues at Lake Country Soccer and Cooper Tennis Complex. During this same time period, there were 20 police calls at Lake Country and 42 calls at Cooper.

The Park Board and City also have concerns about the management of the facility. The Skatepark Association has informed Parks, and the public, that several of its board members are minors. Minors do not have legal capacity to enter into contracts. The Park Board questions whether it is appropriate for the Skatepark to operate with minors running the facility and making safety and operational decisions.

The Park Board agrees with the Skatepark Assocation that operation of the facility is a specialized area and the Park Board is committed to running the facility with staff knowledgeable in the sport. It has a similar commitment for all of the specialized Parks’ facilities, such as tennis, ice sports, soccer, golf and others.

The Park Board and the City have a responsibility to guard the safety of its citizens when using a public facility and a responsibility to protect the voter-approved investment in this facility. They also must limit any potential liabilities for taxpayers created by a failure to take action to mitigate possible safety hazards at the Skatepark. Whenever the Park Board takes over operation of the Skatepark facility, additional oversight and safety measures will be implemented. The Park Board will encourage interested Springfield Skatepark Association members to apply for future openings at the Skatepark and anyone who meets City hiring qualifications will be considered for employment.

During the time the Springfield Skatepark Association continues to operate the facility, the Park Board will continue to use Park Rangers to monitor activities at the facility on weekend nights – continuing the previous arrangement supported by the Skatepark Association – and at other times as warranted.

For more information, contact: Louise Whall, Director of Public Information,864-1010.
Louise Whall
Director of Public Information
City of Springfield, Missouri
(417) 864-1010

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Search Engine That's Pretty Neat

Search me.

Well, Why DID The Chicken Cross The Road?

The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

When I was 1ST Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.......

The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here!

Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my egg s when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

To die in the rain. Alone.

In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ........ reboot.

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

I invented the chicken!

Did I miss one?

Where's my gun?

Why are all the chickens White? We need some Black chickens.

To get to the other side!

Because no one would carry him across.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Well, SOMETHING Happened.

What happened? Bush misled US on Iraq, that's what happened.

Book Bashes Bush: I Am So Sorry Scott Said Those Horrible, Ugly Things About Me, I Could Just Cry. Instead I Will Wave This Tiny Flag And Look Sad.

Last November, we posted this. wegschauen

Yesterday, Peter Onus, the founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, which is publishing Scott McClellan's book, What Happened, in April, released 151 words that set off a firestorm across the internet.

"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

"There was one problem. It was not true. I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."

Today, the book is out and McClellan Rips Into Bush. Some money quotes:
McClellan draws a portrait of Bush as possessing "personal charm, wit and enormous political skill." He said Bush's record as Texas governor and "disarming personality" inspired him to follow him and that his administration early on possessed "seeds of greatness."

But, McClellan said, Bush's unwillingness to admit mistakes and belief in his own spin contributed to turning the president into "not quite the leader I once imagined him to be." He faults Bush for a "lack of inquisitiveness" and "a degree of self-deception that may be psychologically necessary to justify the tactics needed to win the political game."

Bush "convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment," McClellan writes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Horse Trailer


I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally...but this one is real, and it's important.

So please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list. If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and this person asks you to take your clothes off, raise your arms up and twirl around so they can do a thorough body check for ticks, DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!! They only want to see you naked.

I only wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.

What Is Missing From This Pict**e?

By The Numbers

John David Lee, photo taken Summer, 1970
John David and daugher Jessica
John David grilling in the rain, however, unlike Lil Jim in the previous post, John is wearing a rain coat instead of a plastic table cloth of over his head. Note John's cap, ala "Alphonse".
My younger brother, John David, has entered the blogosphere! You may recall his occasional forays into commentataries on the bus. At one time, when I was putting in too many hours driving the bus, I thought about asking him to second-seat.

Now he has entered the blog world with his own blog: By The Numbers. I'll let him explain:

I have an existing blog, although in its very infant stages, and as such, I have chosen not to share it previously. I am still learning the ins and outs of administrating a blog. I also am, kind of, awaiting my move to the Birthplace of Speed to move forward as there seems to be a more intelligent blogging environment there, although with the WWW, maybe it is my reluctance to look unintelligent.

My blog is The URL refers to my old convertible, although I am sure you knew that, but the blog name, bythenumbers, refers to the fact that every vehicle I currently own has no model name, only numbers....BMW 325, Volvo 850, Ford (F)150.

I must brag, I thought that was pretty clever.

The problem I have is that there are no longroofs in my budget that have only numbers. Can't afford a Chevy II, Chevy Handyman 150 or 210--plus it is a Handyman--, Volkswagon 411 or Type III--nah...been there, done that, Corvair Lakewood 700, still a Lakewood, AH, the quest continues...

Anyway, I have been researching blogs and blogging and aspire to be as competent as you, relatively and hopefully, soon.

As an aside, I spent a wonderful several hours with Ed, just he and I, working on his old Jeep today, which looks great by the way. James was deep sea fishing with a pal and his dad and a friend, and Cheryl was shopping with Taylor. We both had a blast as we both talked about on my way home and, then, emailed about. I look forward to being closer to him and enjoy his company as you enjoy Tom's.

I'll put up a picture of John when I find one. He currently lives in Ocala, FL and is preparing a move to the Daytona Beach, hence the reference to the birthplace of speed.

John has a sharp wit and has always been able to make me laugh. I am certain you bus riders will enjoy his blog. That is why I am linking to it on my side bar, well, plus the fact that he still looks up to his older brother

Like me, John has owned a lot of automobiles. This is a posting I wrote about his BMW 325 last Fall: Dead Beemer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Fun Jane Missed! Leeches, Grilling In The Rain and Swimming In The Lake And Staying In Mom's Cabin!

Not exactly "Stand By Me", but close. (Austin said this was cool, just like that movie except it's on Dad's foot and not on his....)
Sophie and Kristin on the boat.
Trey and Austin recreating a pose from several years ago
Son Jim grilling in the rain with a plastic table cloth over his head. He should take a page from his Uncle John's playbook (see posting above).
Fun at the lake cabin, Memorial Day, 2008! leaning on deck railing: Austin, Trey, Vi, Tom. standing behind deck railing: Karen, Kristin, Sophie, Jim II, Jim I, Regina

Say Good Night, Dick

They made me laugh.

Jason and Amy Get Hitched Without Cake Smashing!

Congratulations to Jason and Amy on their recent nuptials!When I learned Jason and Amy were getting married, I mentioned to Jason that every wedding that I have been to where cake has been smashed in either the bride's face or the groom's face, has ended in divorce.

Thus the picture and rather cryptic note on Jason's blog.

Some thoughts on cake smashing here

More cake smashing thoughts here

Still more opinions here.

And here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Wall For San Sebastian As It Relates To Pruitt-Igoe And Buying A Red-Haired Lady $26.00 Worth Of Gasoline

Earlier I related my fronting a red-headed lady $26.00 for gasoline at the convenience store.

My brother John, aka JohnInOcala, (soon to be JohnInDaytonaBeach or LongRoofJohn) added the following comment to that post:

It must be an inheritance from Bob Lee. A couple weeks ago, a similar thing happened to me at local Cstore, with a young woman, in a worn out Chevy Cavalier, looking for $16 for a night in the shelter for her and her two kids, in the car. Gave her twenty, even though unemployed, and have the same feelings of gullibility. john 5.21.2008 9:39 PM

That comment touched off some stories about our Dad that I hadn't thought about in a long time.

Dad's friend, Bob Landewe tells the story of the time he and Dad were travelling across SW MO on highway 60, stopped at a gas station somewhere in the rain and a guy came up begging a handout. He was cold and wet from the rain so Dad gave him his coat. I remember thinking at the time, while the guy in wet clothes may be wearing a dry coat, he's still wet under the coat, and Dad, because he gave away his coat, will also get wet from the rain. Now we got two guys who are cold and wet.

Relating that story led me down memory lane to St. Louis, before I-44 was built. There used to be a lot of slums that were tore down because the interstate went through those slums, by accident or design? Probably by design. Dad worked at a building on Grand Avenue and Arsenal, Dad and Father Barb Faherty, the Jesuit who was the historian who wrote "Guns For San Sebastian" (He also drove a yellow 1948 Jeepster, I thought Jesuits took a vow of poverty so I don't know where he got the car from) used to gather groceries and put them in baskets and pass them out to families who lived in the slums. Only now we wouldn't call them 'slums', we call them low income housing.

This was before Pruitt-Igoe, before the "projects" in St. Louis. All those people who got displaced by the interstate would move into public housing, the 'projects', a real life "Good Times". The architect who designed Pruitt-Igoe, Minoru Yamasaki, was the guy who designed the WTC.
John, Fr. Faherty's book was A Wall For San Sebastian. When it was made into a movie, the title was changed to Guns For San Sebastian. Father Faherty wasn't too happy with the change in the title and the rewrites done for the movie. I remember sitting around the dinner table at our house on National and Sunshine (now St. John's parking lot) listening to him tell about his experiences on the movie set. The movie was filmed in Mexico. (John, note the 1965 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon in the photo. A dark blue longroof!)

Dad had the book somewhere. It can still be purchased on Fr. Faherty also taught history at St. Louis University.

I am thinking that I got him confused with another Jesuit who drove the yellow Jeepster. I do remember sitting in the back seat, surrounded by baskets of groceries.

So I guess we come by it rightfully, John. I often wondered how we, how I got to be the way I am: it's all in the upbringing, it's all in the upbringing.
Bus note: That church that is in the Pruitt-Igoe photos is St. Bridget's. The pastor was Fr. John Shocklee. He led a group of St. Louisans on the Selma to Montgomery March in March, 1965. Mom and Dad knew him.
Fr. Faherty's middle name in the screen credits is "Barby" but on his books it is "Barnaby". I have no idea if there is any significance to this.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gas or Guns

Wonder if this was thought up by the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association: Guns or Gas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Sad Legacy Of The Jetton Era, from

From The sad legacy of the Jetton era.

Here's my Jetton story: In 2002, as I was preparing to seek the state representative's seat in the new 138th district here in Springfield, Mark Wright and Brad Rourke caught up with me in Jefferson City at the Capitol building and said Rod Jetton wanted to see me. I asked what would he want with me. Wright and Rourke said Jetton wanted me to register and run for the seat as a Republican. Jetton had told them to tell me that if I did that he would see to it that I became chair of the house education committee.

I told them I appreciated his interest, but I wasn't interested.

That guy who cures gay people* eventually won the seat. He was beat by Sara Lampe.

It Was Only $26.00

Trey and Austin's Mom called me and asked if I would pick the boys up from school this afternoon. I was cutting down a tree at my Mom's old house behind Pricecutter's and dulled the chainsaw blade. It was hot work and I was ready to take a break.

I picked Austin up at WINGS, he was sad because it was the last day there and his best buddy was moving to Dallas, TX. I told Austin after we picked up Trey, we'd swing by Fast Bobbie's and get a frozen Coke. He cheered up quickly.

We got to Sunshine and picked up Trey and headed to the convenience store. While there, I filled up the Suburban. I have learned to fill it up whenever I get below full because gas goes up so fast and the Suburban burns a lot of gas with the big 454Chevrolet motor. I'm driving the Suburban this week while the private nurse is driving the S-10: her Honda is in the shop getting a new paint job.

So, we are at the convenience store at Campbell and Sunshine and I am fueling the vintage Suburban when I notice the car at the pump behind me has a donut spare on the right front and the driver, a red headed woman, is approaching me.

Well, yep, she spins me a tale of misfortune and woe. She and her buddy live up by Rolla and have been to NAMI to an autism conference (her son is autistic as is the child of her buddy) and leaving NAMI they have a flat and pull into Pricecutter's parking lot and watch the air escape the tire.

She related that she asked several people for help but no one helped change the tire. Finally, she gave a man her last $20.00 to change the flat. I told her that guy was a jerk and she wasn't much better: giving away her last twenty, her gas tank sitting on "E" and still 70 miles from home.

She asked if I would loan her $5 for gas. I said no, but when I got done fueling I would put five gallons in her car off of my pump. I ended up pumping $26.00 worth of fuel in her car. She took one of my cards and said she would send me the money when she got home.

I asked where she worked, she said she was a SAHM because her son had such severe behavior problems he couldn't be left alone.

After I shut the pump off, I went into the store and got Trey and Austin their frozen Cokes. I also told the boys if they ever saw a lady with a flat, to fix it and don't charge her $20.00, because it's the right thing to do.

I took the boys back to our house and they ate Ramon noodles and watched a little TV, then played in the front yard until their Mom came and got them.

Me, I sat on the porch and watched them play. It was wonderful. After they left, I got to thinking about the lady and the gas. I should have told her to go back to NAMI, surely they have emergency funds for their clients. I wondered who was watching the two ladies' kids while they were in Springfield for the conference. I wondered if they made it back to Rolla area on the donut spare. They said they were only going to drive 55 mph. I wondered if I got beat out of $26.00.

I only put gas in her tank for two reasons: she mentioned NAMI and said she had an autistic son. NAMI stands for National Alliance of the Mentally Ill. We all fit into that category sometimes and we can use all the help we can get. My niece's son is autistic. If the lady hadn't mentioned those two things I would have sent her to the Salvation Army which is right down the street or back to NAMI. But I didn't.

Trey asked me why I put gas in that lady's car. I told him that sometimes people need a little help and sometimes I feel like helping them. I also told him that if he was ever 70 miles from home, with an empty tank, and only $20 and he has a flat tire, don't give a man $20 to change the flat because he will end up having to beg gas at a convenience store.

All in all, her story was almost worth $26.00. I am on a fixed income. I watch what I spend very carefully. I remember when I was a young man and never been kissed, I got to thinking it over, and boy was I pissed. Oh wait, that's a whole other story.

This one is about how in 1973 I was working at a warehouse making $3.25 an hour and Joe Cox, a guy I worked with, equated the cost of everything into how many hours he had to work to pay for it. Like, if a steak dinner in a restaurant cost $6.50, Joe would ask, "Is this steak dinner really worth two hours work?" I still do that today. That's why I am happy with a "30 pack" and a five pound bag of "salted in the shells" and sitting in the backyard sipping slow out of styrofoam cups, wondering if the ladies made it home and wondering why I even care.

I just won't eat the Rib Crib's "All You Can Eat Ribs And Two Sides" for $10.99 plus tax and tip, twice.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Well, The Signs Weren't Made In Vain After All

May 19, 2008

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board will host an unveiling
ceremony at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 20, at the Jordan Valley Ice Park, 635 E.

Representatives from Mediacom Communications and the
Springfield-Greene County Park Board will be on-hand for the announcement of naming
rights of two City and Park Board facilities, which Springfield City
Council approved this evening at its bi-weekly meeting.

For more information, contact: Jodie Adams, Director of Parks, (417)

Bob Nelson
Public Information Administrator
Springfield-Greene County Parks
P.O. Box 8368
840 Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65801
Office: 417-864-1403
Fax: 417-864-1114

Missouri Bred and Corn Fed

One of the neatest things about watching Sophie grow and learn, is all the new things she becomes exposed to. And it goes beyond chicken pox. Yesterday afternoon Sophie entertained us all with her first encounter with Missouri grown corn on the cob. Sweet corn, sweet Sophie!

Community Improvement District

The SN-L had ran a story in today's paper about the proposed sale of the Hickory Hills School on East Chestnut and ByPass 65. Buried in this story was this quote:

Rognstad said the city has offered RLB Properties and developers interested in the south property the option to set up a community improvement district. That would mean the retail establishments developed there would charge higher sales tax -- up to 1 cent on the dollar -- which would ultimately be refunded back to the developers to help them pay for the improvements they had to finance.
Oh yeah. 1 cent on the dollar is 1%.
Does this mean that shoppers who shop in a Community Improvement District pay an additional 1% sales tax which goes to the developer to pay them back for the cost of the driveways and curbing and sewers? The shoppers pay for the improvement?

Wow! Who thought this up?!? This makes Milo Minderbinder look like an amateur! Guess where I ain't gonna be shopping no more!

ps, Mark Thieme has an interesting take on "The City's" plan to "sell out" our parks (staff recommends approval).

Variations On A Theme

Awesome Austin, Terrific Trey and Just Jaycee!

Awesome Austin!Terrific Trey!And the prettiest one of all, Just Jaycee!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Keep On The Sunny Side, Oh Yeah!

One Of These Vehicles Gets 60 Miles To A Gallon Of Gas

This Suburban, pulling this Airstream, gets about 10 miles to a gallon.
This scooter gets about 60 miles per gallon.I am looking to trade this scooter and some cash for the right 1946-48 CJ2A Jeep.

What Did He Say?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Photo Id

You gonna tell these nuns they can't vote because they don't have a state issued photo id card?
Oh, only if they're democrats.

Read this.
Then read this.
Then read this

Next, read this.

Finally, read this.

Money quotes:

No one besides Republican lawmakers spoke in favor of the photo ID measure. By contrast, a long line of people were still standing to oppose it when the Senate panel cut off testimony after less than an hour and voted. The committee had to quit, because the Senate was going into session.

Republican Sen. John Loudon ridiculed concerns that the photo ID requirement amounted to a tax on voters.

"The only thing taxing is you have to get off your duff and get an ID that's given away for free," Loudon said.

If Mohammed Won't Go To The Mountain, The Mountain Must Go To Mohammed

Mapping The Blogosphere

Yesterday, I had a rambling phone call from a man who said, and I paraphrase, that nobody reads blogs. I said that a lot of people read and ride the bus. He clarified his statement and said nobody who is anybody reads blogs. I told him that frequent if not daily bus riders reach the bus through government servers in Jefferson City and Washington D.C.

So, in an attempt to convince my dubious friend, who has a blog by the way, it is one of the ones linked on my list of blogs I frequent, I found a hyperbolic computer model of how blogs are interconnected. It sorta looks like a dump truck driving down a bunch of tubes, if you squint your eyes enough.

Oh, that big white spot in the middle...that's the Bus. And that stuff about 2 o'clock, that's his blog ;> (it's not LOJ.)

Hit Them Where It Hurts: Hit Them In The Pocket Book!

David Catanese is reporting on the KY3 Political Blog that

Missouri lawmakers are moving towards passing a bill that could put a halt on red light cameras in Springfield.

The Missouri House has approved an amendment that would require communities with red light cameras to put the revenue from tickets back into schools. The city of Springfield said that if passes out of conference committee, it would effectively shut down the cameras here.

Watch my KY3 News @ 10 report HERE.

All of Greene County's lawmakers voted for the amendment. But now they are doubting it will survive the conference process. Watch for comments from Rep. Bob Dixon and Rep. Shane Schoeller in the piece

Catanese further reports
Missouri lawmakers are close to passing a bill that could put halt the use of red light enforcement systems in Springfield.
The Missouri House approved an amendment that would require communities with red light enforcement still/video camera systems to put the revenue from their tickets into schools. The City of Springfield says, if that passes, it would effectively shut down the systems here.

“Right now for this fiscal year, it'd be about a $250,000 hit,” said city attorney Dan Wichmer.

That's the money the city would lose if this amendment survives an unpredictable conference committee. A lawmaker from St. Louis who feels the red light cameras in his city are geared towards profit sponsored the amendment.

Springfield's cameras are leased on a flat rate, and police officers decide which tickets to issue, not the company, so the city contends there's no incentive for the company to capture fines.

If a bus rider cares, here is another bus stop on "red light cameras" from March, 2008:

Some Gave All, All Gave Some, And One Got To Play Dress Up And Act Like A Soldier

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh Yeah. How You Gonna Square This Mess?

From the Community Free Press website:

In an e-mail yesterday, when asked if the media would be allowed to attend the meeting, Department of Public Information Special Projects Coordinator Mike Brothers wrote, "The meeting about the Square is a staff meeting and is not an open meeting."

Read all about it and also on Jackehammer's blog.

Here is the SN-L story. Money quotes:
The meeting was not open to the public because no elected city officials would be attending it, according to city spokeswoman Louise Whall.

The city also had no plans to record the meeting or keep a written record of what was discussed, Whall said.

The square was built by Lawrence Halprin & Associates. Lawrence Halprin is a renowned landscape architect noted for his sunken plaza designs and water features.

The city believes the square wasn’t designed by Halprin himself, but one of his employees, bringing into question whether the square is eligible for historic listing.

Who is driving this city bus? Elected officials or staff? Dang! I forgot the article, insert it yourself, afterall it seems that we citizens should be getting used to having stuff inserted by staff.

Was there anyone at this meeting who is actually able to be held accountable?


We don't know?

Oh yeah, because there wasn't any record of the meeting kept so we will never know what was said and who said it.

Why wasn't there a record kept of the meeting? Surely SOMEBODY present took notes. Isn't that what committees do? Waste hours and save minutes?

Jeez, where's that turnip truck picture? I don't see anybody falling off of it, do you? Call me Ishmael, but I kinda thought that if The future of Park Central Square’s latest renovation hinged on a meeting today where city, state, federal and historic preservation representatives met, that somebody shoulda kept minutes, especially since us regular folks were told, basically, that we weren't welcome at the meeting.

Inquiring minds want to know how many other meetings have taken place where no record was kept?

Sort of begs questions like is this how Mediacom knew it was ok to have a sign painter paint the new signs. Did Someone on staff meet with them and give them the ok? (Staff recommends approval?)

From the SN-L: "Larry Peterson, Mediacom regional vice president in Springfield, said the new signs are almost finished and will be unveiled Tuesday morning at both facilities."

Uh, Larry, it might look a little bit better, from a PR standpoint,if you let City Council pass the ordinance ok'ing the naming rights first before you started talking about the signs. It sort of makes it look like City Council just does what staff tells them to do.


Oh Yeah. It's not an ordinance, it's a resolution?

Uh, Larry, it might look a little better from a public relations standpoint if you let City Council have their little show next Monday night and pass their resolution before you started bragging about your signs.

But maybe Dad doesn't have enough money to redo the signs.

Ok, hide the damn things, quit talking about them and how tasteful they are.

Don't you get it? City Council hasn't approved the resolution yet! Isn't your excitement a little premature? Bus Note: this is sorta connected to the square business, as is the quarry sinking, but is the Springfield Wagon Company factory site where Harry Cooper Supply is located today?