One of Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser's major initiatives met the sound of crickets chirping on Wednesday morning.
Funk presented Schools First, his idea to issue $100 million in bonds to pay for sidewalks and other infrastructure around school buildings, to the Transportation & Infrastructure committee. No one on the committee made a motion to pass the ordinance, putting its future and its chief sponsor in an unhappy place.
Have $6,000 laying around? Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser thinks you should buy a house. This weekend.
Hizzoner set up a microphone in Ruskin Heights on Wednesday and talked about an auction of 200 foreclosed homes taking place later this week. Funkhouser asked local buyers to step up and keep the properties out of the hands of out-of-town investors.
The mayor complained that speculators have gobbled up hundreds of houses in Kansas City, "often without them even opening the front door. These groups too often allow these homes to sit and rot and fall into disrepair, betting that at some point they'll be worth more than the $5,000 they paid for the house."
Area politicians are pretending to be service workers in an effort to highlight National Travel and Tourism Week. Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Mark Funkhouser was supposed to surprise guests at the Westin Crown Center with his tallness this morning.
In Kansas City, Kansas, on Tuesday, Unified Government Mayor Joe Reardon and commissioners John Mendez and Tom Cooley went to CommunityAmerica Ballpark for the Kansas City T-Bones' home opener. Mendez scanned tickets at Gate A. Reardon "worked" by watching his son Connor throw out the first pitch -- he beaned Sizzle, the T-Bones' mascot -- and visiting the radio booth.
The Boxing Day-style recognition of tourism week was clever if somewhat off-key. A more accurate celebration of visitor spending would send a public official into your home with a toilet brush. Let me explain.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame that officials in Kansas wishfully pursued opened today in Charlotte. Racing fans gathered outside the $200 million attraction under the cover of darkness in order to be the first to gawk at Goody's Headache Power decals and other memorabilia.
In 2005, former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and then Unified Government Mayor Carol Marinovich visited NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida, in an effort to convince the series to locate its hall of fame next to the Kansas Speedway.
The Kansas City Star at one time declared Kansas City, Kansas, to be a "front-runner" in the competition for the hall of fame. KCK was a front-runner only in the sense that NASCAR officials listened politely to a spiel. The series was bound to choose a site in the southeastern U.S., stock-car racing's place of origin.
Officials in Kansas City, Missouri, have targeted the site of the Power & Light Building for a 1,000-room convention hotel. If the project gets the go ahead, a little environmental cleanup work will be required.
Decades ago, a powerhouse operated at the site. Later, Kansas City Power & Light removed an underground storage tank that had been used to fuel the vehicles in its fleet.
KCP&L enrolled a 0.7-acre section of the block into the Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program in 2005, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Nutbag Kansas City evangelical Lou Engle made The New York Times. The rabidly antigay Engle recently traveled to Uganda, whose parliament is considering a controversial bill that ratchets up existing restrictions on homosexuality.
Engle founded TheCall, a youth-oriented ministry specializing in raspy outrage over abortion rights and homosexuality. Engle moved to California and led prayer rallies when the state considered a ban on same-sex marriage.
Democrats in Kansas are promoting the fact that Engle, who tends to play up the Bible's bloodthirstier elements, is buds with U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback. Here's a video of Engle talking about how and he Brownback came to share a condo and in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Senate hopeful Jerry Moran wants you to know something. He may be a six-term Congressman, but he still knows how to rock a plaid, button-down shirt.
In a new television ad, Moran is shown driving along dusty roads in search of the wisdom that only members of the Kansas Farm Bureau can provide. The ad takes a shot at Moran's Republican rival, fellow Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt, who happens to own a home in Virginia. Moran would have viewers believe that Tiahrt spends his weekends drinking Grey Goose and shooting rhinoceros with Nancy Pelosi at Jack Abramoff's hunting lodge.
It's not hard to find an unused school building in Kansas City. Yet the fight for possession of one empty schoolhouse reached the Missouri Court of Appeals.
The court recently ruled in favor of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, which wants to turn the old Horace Mann School near 39th and Garfield into senior housing. Upholding the decision of Jackson County Judge Justine Del Muro, the Court of Appeals said a city agency failed to act in good faith with the neighborhood group.
Politics is pretty easy, really. You just say "Main Street" whenever you're trying to make a point.
U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback got a little C-SPAN time the other day. The Kansas lawmaker is leading the effort in the Senate to carve auto dealers out of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. In his remarks, Brownback called auto dealers "quintessential Main Street.".
And, hey, if you're the victim of "yo-yo" financing or some other shady practice, take it up with that bedazzled piece of Old Glory the National Automobile Dealers Association fought and die for at Antietam.
A recent story in The New York Times outlined the mathematics that people should consider when they weigh a decision to rent an apartment or buy a house. It's a question with special urgency, as a federal tax credit for home buyers expires on April 30.
A graphic that accompanied the Times story described the conditions of the housing market in a multitude of U.S. cities -- but not Kansas City. On Monday, the Times' Economix blog produced the data for KC and eight other metropolitan areas neglected in the original piece.
The numbers indicate that renters contemplating a purchase should pull the trigger.
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