Friday, April 17, 2015

Clay Chastain's lawsuit against Sly James is off to a lousy start, and other KCMO political loose ends

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 3:38 PM

Clay Chastain wants a Jackson County Circuit Court judge to hurry and take a look at his lawsuit to take Kansas City Mayor Sly James off the ballot, but already he's off to a slow start.

Chastain, a distant third-place finisher in the April 7 mayoral primary election, sued on Wednesday claiming that James was delinquent on his taxes, and thus not qualified to run for office.

Already Chastain's lawsuit has hit a snag. A court administrator sent a letter to Chastain telling him that the court can't process his claim until he pays the required $184 filing fee. Chastain tried to pay with a personal check, which the Jackson County Circuit Court won't accept. 

It's the latest setback for a lawsuit with already dim prospects.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rod Anderson, other convicts in the Hereford House fire, lose their appeal for new trial

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 4:29 PM

In a lengthy and complicated ruling, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied new trials requested by Rod Anderson and two others convicted of burning down the Hereford House in 2008.

Anderson, the well-known restaurateur, was convicted in 2012 of conspiring with Mark Sorrentino and Vincent Pisciotta to torch the downtown steakhouse. Federal prosecutors claimed that Anderson, facing mounting financial pressure, got Sorrentino and Pisciotta to set an early morning fire on October 20, 2008, at the building at 20th Street and Main while Anderson was out of town. The implication was that Anderson wanted to do away with a struggling business and collect the insurance money.

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Audacious child pornographer caught printing porn at the KC Library will be going away for a long time

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 1:04 PM

He took a risk.
  • He took a risk.
Just the other day, I was telling a story from back in the early days of the Internet, when I was but a tween, or perhaps a young teen, attempting to print some sexy photos that I had downloaded on the family computer. By today's standards these photos would rate as quaint but in my memory they were very titillating. You know what? Let's just say it ended poorly and leave it at that. Shouldn't have brought it up in the first place. Moving along. 

In 2010 — well into the era of smartphones and video streaming and cloud-based storage and other technological advances that have made the consumption of pornography on paper nearly obsolete — Donald T. Paris, now 28, was apprehended at the Kansas City Public Library for trying to print off pornography on one of the computers there. This would be kind of a funny story if it was regular pornography, but it is instead a dark story, because it was child pornography. 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Was Sly James late in paying his taxes for 2014? Yes. Does it have bearing on his candidacy? No.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 12:57 PM

Clay Chastain
  • Clay Chastain
Clay Chastain's defeat at the polls on April 7 isn't keeping the Virginia man out of Kansas City politics, after all.

Chastain, who finished last in the three-candidate primary last week, called out Kansas City Mayor Sly James for "yet another unethical act for personal advantage" in an e-mail sent Tuesday to local media. In it, he claims that James was late on his taxes when he filed to run for a second term.

Kansas City's charter says that in order to be "elected or appointed to the Council, including as Mayor" that a person, among other things, must be "current on all city taxes or municipal user fees, as attested by the candidate to the City Clerk."

(It also says mayoral candidates must be Kansas City residents for five years prior to the election [Clarification: The charter requires residency in Kansas City for five years, including two years immediately prior to election day. Chastain has lived in Virginia for more than two years]. Chastain claims Kansas City residency, even though he lives in Virginia and couldn't attend one of two mayoral forums because he needed to get back to Bedford, Virginia.)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

KFC guy not too worried about the KFC that burned down in Olathe last night

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 3:59 PM

The Colonel doesn't sweat the small stuff.
  • The Colonel doesn't sweat the small stuff.
In Olathe last night, a three-alarm fire ravaged the better part of a strip mall. Destroyed in the blaze were a Fronteras Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, a Sprint store, a nail salon and a KFC. (Nobody was injured.)

The Kansas City Star's report on the fire includes the following pieces of information: 
As workers using heavy equipment tore down the brick building’s west wall, Salvador De La Torre surveyed what little remained of Fronteras Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, one of two restaurants he owned in Johnson County. 

“When I saw the flames, I felt bad,” he said. “It made me cry. It’s my life.”
Heartbreaking stuff. KFC? Eh, they'll live:
Travis McGruder, an area coach for KFC, said he didn’t know whether the company would rebuild.

“Our food is so good that our customers will find us” at two other nearby locations, he said.
OK then. KFC's "food" is so "good" that its Olathe customers will seek it out wherever need be. And KFC calls its district managers "coaches." 

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday. 

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Tough news for Sporting Kansas City as Ike Opara learns his Achilles tendon is ruptured

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 8:57 AM

Ike Opara was set to have a break out year in 2015. Sporting Kansas City's front office took a chance on the 26-year-old to play a major role for the team's defense after it parted ways with Aurelien Collin during the offseason.

The gamble looked like it would paid off: Opara has been the brightest spot for Sporting KC so far this season. The centerback is among Major League Soccer's leaders in several defensive statistical categories. He has also provided an offensive spark, leading Sporting KC and all MLS defenders with two goals to his name.

But the risk for Opara hinged less on whether he could play well and more on how long he could play.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Will Lyft return to Kansas City now that Uber says it's leaving?

Will Lyft return to Kansas City now that Uber says it's leaving?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 12:35 PM

They don't do the pink mustaches anymore.
  • They don't do the pink mustaches anymore.
Last Thursday, the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council approved a revised set of rules and regulations for so-called transportation-network companies ("TNCs") like Uber and Lyft. The intent was to make the city more friendly to such companies. But Uber says the amendments do not go far enough, and it is threatening to leave town as a result. 

Before the vote, both Mayor Sly James and Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo suggested that the changes would allow Lyft to resume operations in Kansas City. The company shut down operations in KC last year, after the city filed suit against it alleging that it was operating illegally in the city. That litigation was recently granted a stay in federal court while the city worked to revise the TNC ordinance.  

So do the new rules meet Lyft's standards? 

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  • Will Lyft return to Kansas City now that Uber says it's leaving?

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Kansas humiliated on The Daily Show again

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 11:24 AM

It's almost too easy.
  • It's almost too easy.
Kansas' recent passage of a reckless gun bill and a weird welfare-restriction bill (no cruise ships for the poor!) earned the state eight minutes of ridicule before a national audience on The Daily Show last night.

Among other things, host Jon Stewart pointed out the absurdity of recent statements by Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady (who believes that eliminating gun training somehow makes gun training better) and Gov. Sam Brownback, who says he signed the gun bill because "Kansas gun owners have shown that they're responsible." 

Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton (R-Overland Park) noted the dubious distinction on Twitter this morning: "I see that the #ksleg made @TheDailyShow. Again. When we set our state up for ridicule, it hurts us economically, and that's not funny."

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

KCMO City Council passes revised ridesharing ordinance; Uber may cease operations in the city

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 6:22 PM

Andy Hung of Uber speaking to reporters outside City Hall today.
  • Andy Hung of Uber speaking to reporters outside City Hall today.
The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council today voted unanimously in favor of a new and revised ordinance that will relax regulations and lower fees for "transportation network companies" such as Uber and Lyft. In a thundering speech, Mayor Sly James stressed the importance of background checks for drivers and blasted Uber for refusing to negotiate with the city. He accused the company of stalling in Kansas City while it awaits the passage of state legislation in Jefferson City that could allow it to disregard civic ordinances. 

"They’re jerking our chain," James said of Uber. "That’s the truth of the matter. We met and met with them till we were blue in the face. We’ve been clear from day one about what was necessary here. We've worked with Lyft and got to the point where the ordinance is not exactly what they want and it's not exactly what we want, but it will go forward. Z Trip is already registered. But Uber says, 'We won’t accept any of this.' Now today I'm getting calls from Uber at 7 a.m., last night at 10:30 p.m., then five minutes before this meeting, saying they need another 90 days. You've had nine months." 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines welcomes Weezer, Wilco, Jenny Lewis and more in July

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 12:24 PM


You know what's worth a three-hour drive and a state line? A 50-plus lineup of national music acts like Weezer, Wilco, Jenny Lewis, Run the Jewels, St. Lucia, Talib Kweli.... The mouthwatering list for Des Moines' 80/35 Music Festival goes on. If you've got Friday, July 10, and Saturday, July 11, open on your calendar, maybe now's a good time to plan a vacation. 

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