"Tired of all the shootings and killings in our community?" asks a flier distributed by members of the AdHoc Group Against Crime. The organization is calling for volunteers "who are not afraid to walk neighborhoods, knock on doors and enter the homes of residents to discuss crime, shootings and unsolved homicides in a non-threatening manner."
Not surprisingly, the safety of said volunteers isn't guaranteed.
Animal rights activist Jason Miller appears to be working on another restraining order.
Miller and his fellow Bite Club of KC members have been banned
from the University of Kansas Medical Center, where security didn't take kindly to him passing out "Wanted" posters
targeting the so-called crimes of two researchers or his crusade
to end animal research. That's fine with Miller. He's taking his protests to the researchers' neighborhoods.
Longtime peace activist Kris Cheatum died on June 6.
Back in 2006, I wrote about Cheatum and her husband, Lynn, ("Granny the Terrorist"). They believed the government was spying on them. And in 2003, ex-Pitch writer Allie Johnson wrote about the Cheatums ("Young Blood").
Cheatum's obituary is a better tribute than I could give.
I missed yesterday's PETA's anti-meat demonstration on the Country Club Plaza, but the animal rights organization sent over a few photos of nearly naked women wrapped in cellophane on a tray ... just like a KC strip.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver's KC office director, Geoff Jolley, was supposed to find a date in May for Cleaver to host a town hall meeting for sick workers at the Bannister Federal Complex. For a week, though, he didn't return calls.
Maurice Copeland, the ex-KC Plant worker whose connections made this feature story possible, wasn't going to sit around and wait. He and other activists from KC Nukeswatch visited the office of County Executive Mike Sanders to see if he'd be more responsive. Calvin Williford, Sanders' communications chief, offered to let the group use the second floor legislative meeting room at the Jackson County Courthouse. Last night, that room was packed with people for a lively, but very sad, town hall.
"I got an e-mail from Cleaver's office yesterday," Copeland announced as the town hall got underway. "Guess what? He's gonna hold a town hall for y'all!" A wave of cynical laughter rose up from the assembled crowd.
Yesterday, CNN's Anderson Cooper marked the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a segment on "the rise in rhetoric from groups on the political fringe."
CNN's Drew Griffen interviewed Parkville native Catherine Bleish, executive director of the local Liberty Restoration Project, which has staged protests in Kansas City against the use of red-light cameras, and most recently, against full-body scanners at the Kansas City International Airport.
Griffen described his meeting place with Bleish -- Brave New Books in Austin, Texas -- as "subterranean." It's down a set of stairs, sure, but Griffen was playing up the ominous subtext. So-called patriot groups like the LRP have been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as potentially dangerous because of their support of gun rights, racist rhetoric and attachment to conspiracy theories.
Maybe it worked.
Less than two weeks ago, Will Suarez, a student at Johnson County Community College, organized a rally at the office of Congressman Dennis Moore. The Peru native wanted the Kansas Democrat to sign on to the DREAM Act, federal legislation that would make higher education accessible for undocumented kids, many of whom were brought into this country before they even knew how to read.
In a meeting that day, Moore expressed support for the measure. But Suarez wanted the congressman to step it up and co-sponsor the bill. Moore didn't commit immediately, but he told Suarez he'd think about it.
Members of the Liberty Restoration Project protested the use of full-body scanners at the Kansas City International Airport on Saturday. The responses from passengers was wide ranging.
"What if you need an MRI?" an old man snarled at the group as he exited the airport, shaking his head.
Tracy Ward, whose sign read, "Refuse the human microwaves!" retorted with a shrug, "I won't get one."
The LRP's Kansas City chapter, which has also protested the use of red light cameras, takes issue with the scanners that were recently installed in Terminal B.
Jason Miller had another run-in with law enforcement last night, this time at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
The local animal rights activist, who went to battle for the deer in Shawnee Mission Park last year, has turned his attacks on KU Med, which uses monkeys in some clinical research studies.
Last month, an activist in Maine created a "Wanted" poster targeting the so-called crimes of two researchers at KU Med. Thursday night, those fliers earned Miller another encounter with the cops.
Will Suarez and Sen. Sam Brownback were short-lived friends.
The Peru native and Johnson County Community College student became a fan of Brownback on Facebook and started posting comments on the Republican's wall, calling on the Kansas conservative to support a bill that would allow undocumented students obtain in-state college tuition.
It didn't take long for Suarez to find Brownback's Facebook minion had blocked him.
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