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Old 12-11-2012, 08:57 AM
1,830 posts, read 3,110,519 times
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KCMO's E Side is very bad, some of worst hoods in country but they are very easy to avoid. Lower income areas of KCK and Independence also not good. It's very easy to avoid these areas. Downtown to Plaza (city core) violent crime has gone down quite a bit, not much different than average city. KC city and metro are huge in area. It's easy to not see any sign of it in most of the metro. I live in the city (Westport/Plaza area), my single sister lives in the city. Many single women from the burbs continue to move into the city - it's not as bad as the stats show because the issue is mostly localized. Is still serious though and KC has got to figure out how to reduce it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:03 PM
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,361,269 times
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KC's ghetto sucks. There is a lot of violent crime confined to a fairly geographically small area. The state of public education here reflects the social problems in the worst parts of the city, and it's a chicken-egg thing. The vast majority of the city, though? No problem, whatsoever. I came here from Chicago, as well.

I live on the Plaza, which is one of the more upscale parts of town. I've also lived in Waldo, which is somewhat grittier. I feel 100% safe, and I'm a female who lives alone. I walk everywhere, anytime of day or night, and have had zero problems. My car was broken into once, about four years ago, and some change, an empty messenger bag, and an umbrella were stolen. Other than that, I've not felt remotely violated in any way.

Honestly, if you are not involved in the drug trade/do not associate with others involved in the drug trade/have the misfortune of being a minor child who happens to live with those who fall under the above categories and haven't much say over your living situation, the chances of violent crime in KC personally affecting you aren't the greatest.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:30 AM
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
58 posts, read 191,639 times
Reputation: 22
This is my letter questioning the ethics of the Lee's Summit School District

Sometimes I sit and relive the past four years. I think of all of the tears, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, and hurt that my family has gone through. Then I think of all of the other families that are going through the same thing. Their lives being destroyed while they sit back and helplessly watch it happen.

One thing always comes to mind. How do the people that are paid with my tax dollars sleep at night? How can they destroy the life and future of another human being and then take their paycheck? How can they hug their children while they are destroying the lives of other children?

I was raised in the 60s and the 70s. My parents were strict and taught us to be honest, caring, and loving human beings. We were taught that you never progress in life without hard work, integrity, honor, and respect. You never hurt others or lie.

I wonder what the parents our of teachers, principals, superintendents, legislators, and school board officials taught their children. Would they be disgusted by the things that their children do to innocent children? Would they be dismayed that their children care about nothing more than self promotion and the almighty dollar? Would they be proud that their children are successful because they are robbing children of their future? My parents would disown me. They would not tolerate the behavior that I see every day.

I have been to many school meetings and sat across the table as these people have lied, cheated, and stolen my child's future. I am powerless to stop them. They have all of the power and my hard earned tax dollars have bought it for them.

How many lives are going to be destroyed before this is stopped? How many people are willing to stand up for their children no matter what the consequences are? I am. I have been for four years. Its a lonely journey and I invite you to join me.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:31 AM
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
58 posts, read 191,639 times
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42 percent of R-7 graduates that attend local community colleges must take remedial mathematics and English
It's news to me

Political sound bites

John Beaudoin, Journal Publisher

John Beaudoin is publisher of the Lee's Summit Journal.

Tuesday night’s R-7 school board forum had a lot of reoccurring themes.

The levy failed so let’s get over it. That was a big one.

Another centered on current board member and candidate Jon Plaas being right.

I lost track of how many times fellow board member Jack Wiley and hopefuls Chris Storms and Mike Smith commented about Plaas making a great point, agreeing with one of his statements or just flat out “being right.”

Perhaps they were just being polite. But if they really think that, maybe Jon will be one of the three candidates they vote for on April 5.

No one can argue that Plaas had a steady performance at the forum, reiterating his stance that the levy going to the voters wasn’t wrong, it was the amount and the fact that so much of it was going to “bail out” the teacher’s retirement fund.

“Once you raise the property tax,” Plaas noted, “anyone ever saw it come off?”

Storms said he is convinced that the levy issue should not go in front of the voters again “for the near future.”

Plaas noted the need for “solutions to external problems before we start asking citizens for more money.” He even came with some non-traditional ideas that may not prove to be real popular with parents who will be casting a ballot soon. Plaas said he would be in favor of kids not being eligible to earn a driver’s license if they fail the MAP test.

Smith didn’t have as strong of a performance at the forum, but still had a few choice sound bites for the crowd of 70-plus in attendance, saying the district was “out of balance” with the levy issue.

One area that Plaas and Smith didn’t agree on was whether budget cuts could come right from Central Office. Smith argued the district would “build morale and show character” if it cut from the top down. Plaas countered that the R-7 administration pay is already the ninth lowest in the state.

On the topic of school vouchers, most seemed to be turned off by the idea. Plaas continued his assault of the state elected officials, asking “what does it cost and who is going to pay the bills?”

Wiley noted that private schools get to pick their students, while the public districts take in everyone.

Storms also weighed in, noting that if that measure were to pass, “students would flock to the R-7 School District.”

A few interesting facts should also be noted from the forum.

Plaas said that 42 percent of R-7 graduates that attend local community colleges must take remedial mathematics and English.

Another was that board candidate Mike Smith has never been a school board meeting, a fact that Wiley chided him on.

“It is incumbent on a candidate to attend a board meeting when you file,” Wiley noted.

Candidate Terri Harmon was unable to stay past the first 15 minutes of the forum due to a family commitment.

It will be interesting to see how voters weigh in on these five come April 5.

John Beaudoin, a Lee’s Summit resident, is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To respond to today’s commentary, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail jbeaudoin@lsjournal.com
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:33 AM
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
58 posts, read 191,639 times
Reputation: 22
Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave When We All Are On The Same Committees
Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave When We All Are On The Same Committees

Lee's Summit R-7 School Board Members and Those That Are Running

Ron Baker
Annette Braam
Gene Brixey
Patti Buie
Dr. David McGehee
Jon Plaas
Jeff Tindle
Jack Wiley
Mike Smith
Terri Harmon
Chris Storms

Lee's Summit Cares

Ron Baker
At Least Four Administrators From The R-7 District

Citizens Advisory Committee

Pattie Buie
Terri Harmon
Dr. David McGehee
Janice Phelan
Dr. Ann Starlin-Horner
Chris Storms
Jeff Tindle
Gene Brixey

(This information is hard to find and I could only find the minutes of a meeting and who was in attendance. Janice Phelan is in charge of this and I had to ask her for a list the last time I needed it.)

Remember folks that it is the CAC that proposed the tax levy. It's not hard to get the CAC to propose it when the school board and administrators make up the majority of the CAC. These are the same folks that decide who is on the CAC. What would be confidential and not be allowed to be heard by the public?

Confidentiality: Some agenda items may require confidentiality. This will be reviewed and stated at the conclusion of the meeting by the Chair(s). Members will know what and when to communicate. The reason for the confidentiality should be discussed by the group and if agreed by the members, the item will not be discussed outside of the meeting. All votes should become the decision of the group and not discussed outside the meeting. R-7 Community Relations Director will develop brief talking points following each meeting to be included with minutes so members will know what and when to communicate. PLEASE NOTE that CAC meetings are open meetings by law and that members of the general community and the press may be in attendance.

Building Our Future

Terri Harmon
Dr Robert "Bud" Hertzog

Lee's Summit Educational Foundation

Annette Braam
Janette Cooley
Dr. David McGehee
Dr. Michael Pragman

Sheryl Franke

Dr. Ann Starlin-Horner
Kristy Young

Building Our Future

For some reason there is no place where I can find the members of this. Doesn't surprise me very much.

Citizens For Excellence in Lee's Summit City Government

Annette Braam, Chair
Steve Braam

Dr. Steve & Patti Buie

Bill & Rita Duvall
Brian & Sheryl Franke

Jon Plaas

This list isn't even close to all of the ways that these people's lives are intertwined. I have just given a very small idea of how only certain people in Lee's Summit run the whole city and how little the average citizen has to say about what happens out here.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:37 AM
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
58 posts, read 191,639 times
Reputation: 22
The Fight Continues

Parents protest R-7 official’s autism presentation

By Brett Dalton, The Journal Staff

A series of meetings that may have eased the tension between the R-7 School District and the Lee’s Summit Autism Support Group have been put on hold after members of the LSASG protested a conference at which an R-7 official was speaking.

After Sherri Tucker, co-founder of the LSASG, was unsuccessful in her bid for a seat on the R-7 Board of Education earlier this year, R-7 Superintendent David McGehee reached out to Tucker in hopes the two groups could find at least some common ground.

Tucker and other LSASG members have been consistently outspoken about what they feel is a lack of proper services and programs within the school district for children with special needs. In fact, Tucker admitted freely that she ran in the April election solely on the issue of benefiting students with special needs. And she pulled no punches when criticizing the school district.

While McGehee said there are some issues on which the two sides will always “agree to disagree,” he had hoped that meeting with Tucker on a somewhat consistent basis would help each side understand the other and perhaps common ground could be met — and it worked for a while.

“We had met a couple of times and there were even a couple things that came out of those meetings and we’re now looking into how to get better at those things,” McGehee said. “So I think they were productive — to a point.”

However, on Aug. 4, LSASG members, Tucker included, protested the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Cooperative Conference for School Administrators, which took place at Tan-Tar-A, a family resort in Osage Beach.

Tucker said they protested because Jerry Keimig, R-7’s director of special services, was chosen to speak at the conference based on the school district’s “outstanding programs for students with autism.” Tucker said she was appalled not only to hear that Keimig was chosen to speak but also because of the reason he was chosen. She even accused the school district of lying about why Keimig was chosen.

“They said it was because of their outstanding programs,” Tucker said. “That’s not why they got picked.”

To back up her claim, Tucker points to a recent article in The Pitch detailing the ongoing struggle between the R-7 School District and members of the LSASG. According to the article, which published July 10, Heidi Atkins Lieberman, assistant commissioner of special education for DESE, said she chose Keimig to speak after talking to “people who were very knowledgeable about autism education, and they all said Jerry would be great.”

“So basically Heidi Lieberman asked a few friends about who should speak at the conference,” Tucker said.

Lieberman told the Journal on Thursday that she chose Keimig based on several recommendations from reliable sources.

“Based on recommendations we received from numerous sources, I selected the Kirkwood School District (St. Louis County) and the Lee’s Summit School District to outline their programs,” she said. “Both districts have well-established programs, and they have in-district autism consultants who were trained by Project Access.” Last Monday’s protest was peaceful and consisted of parents, including Deb Shaumeyer and Joyce Lindsey, sitting in lawn chairs for six hours in front of a large sign that read, “Lee’s Summit R-7 & Mo. Dept. of Education Are leaving our Autistic Children Behind.”

Tucker said the protest was perfectly legal and the parents did receive permission from Osage Beach’s chief of police.

But while the protesters were greeted somewhat positively by cars passing by, R-7 officials weren’t amused.

McGehee said he decided to “take a break” from his meetings with Tucker following the protest because he thought the protest proved their meetings to be unproductive. He said he didn’t expect the meetings to end Tucker’s criticism of the school district, but he was hopeful that by gaining a better of understanding of each other, the public attacks would no longer be necessary.

McGehee said the two sides may revisit their discussions in the future, but added that at this time, he doesn’t want to take time to hold meetings that aren’t accomplishing their objective.

“My time is limited, all of our time is limited,” he said. “This is just one of many, many issues we deal with. And it is a very important issue and one I’m continuing to try to learn more about and gain a better understanding of. But at this moment, it’s time to take a break because they didn’t seem to be very productive.”

Tucker said she appreciated the chance to meet with McGehee, but never intended to “remain silent” as a result of their discussions.

“My voice is the only tool I have to help advocate for the children that are affected by autism,” Tucker wrote in a reply to the school district’s letter informing her that the upcoming meetings have been cancelled. “I truly hoped we could work together. I am and have always been willing to give it a try. However, I can not be made to be quiet in the hopes that the situation will work out in favor of our children. It’s a gamble that is too risky and too many lives are at stake.”

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Old 01-05-2013, 02:28 PM
Location: Florida
16 posts, read 24,072 times
Reputation: 28
I would look into Liberty or Kearney. They have both new and craftsman type homes there. Older Liberty is darling with all of their 100 year old craftsman and Victorian homes off of the square. Cute! Kearney is more rural but it is old too and you may find the older homes that you are looking for. Now I know there are lovely craftsman and four square type homes throughout the city especially in the Valentine dist and the NE near St, John's but I am not sure of the crime there. Even North Kansas City has cute craftsman homes and close to the city without high crime. Hope this helps! Now, I hope that you like football because KC is Chiefs country; football and bbq are a way of life there. I lived in KC for 7 years (2004-2011) and miss it. Best wishes!
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:20 AM
1,830 posts, read 3,110,519 times
Reputation: 532
Originally Posted by Bradysmommy12 View Post
Now, I hope that you like football because KC is Chiefs country; football and bbq are a way of life there.
There are many who are not into sports (myself included). KC has something like 2.5-3 times more attendance for arts related events than sports (even when Chiefs were hot). Downtown is all arts related events, very little sports. KC is obviously a BBQ town but there are 2x more Asian and 3-4x more Mexican eats than BBQ.

Is fair to say though if you want football/bbq culture, KC metro definitely has it but the city core not as much into it.
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