Fri June 15, 2012
Top Stories Of The Week
Plans for a new terminal at KCI took a new turn. Kansas finally got new redistricting maps for Congress, the Legislature and the state board of education. Those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.
Late Redistricting Creates Rush Of Candidates
On Monday, the Kansas Secretary of State's office did a land-office business as candidates rushed to file in districts a court had finally defined only three days earlier. Some, like Kansas House candidate Stephen Foster of Overland Park have never run before.
Politicians looked at the new districts and scratched their heads. How will they affect the power balance in the Kansas Legislature? Some said they favored moderates over conservatives in some races. Others said they also were unpromising for Democrats.
One Democrat running for the Kansas House – Larry Meeker of Lake Quivera – said the Secretary of State's office lost his paperwork. Fellow Democrat and House minority leader Paul Davis said he did not suspect partisan shenanigans. The situation will be appealed to the state board of objections, which at this time is an all-Republican group.
School Funding Lawsuit Enters Second Week
The trial in the Kansas school-funding lawsuit entered its second week. Fifty-four districts contend that the Legislature has failed to meet its responsibility to adequately fund the schools. This week saw the the state of Kansas attempted to bring in a controversial “ambush journalism” organization to try to discredit a witness, . That group, Veritas, has been accused of editing video secretly taken of journalists and liberal politicians to create a false impression about what they said.The judges refused to allow the edited video to be shown in court.
Objections to Evolution Arises Again in Kansas Board of Ed
As the state and districts wrangled in court over funding and Kansas educators worked in a national group creating model science standards, two state board of education members expressed concern that the standards would give too much credibility to evolution. One was Ken Willard, Hugoton Republican. Willard said the evolution controversy is not something of concern only to a “bunch of Kansas yahoos,” but is important beyond even national scope. Moderates currently control the Kansas Board of Education, but with elections coming the balance could change.
Kids, Adults Banned From Crown Center Fountain
A Kansas City tradition ended as Crown Center Square declared its fountains could no longer be used as public spraygrounds. The concern was increasing crowds and dangers of falls... and water tests that showed high bacteria levels.
Savings Prompt New Proposal For KCI Terminal
Aviation officials said plans for a new terminal at KCI could change. Director Mark Van Loh said building the new terminal at the location of one of the present 3 terminals rather than on vacant land could save $500,000. The new $1.5+ billion terminal won't be publicly financed, so the money-saving news did little to appease the many who would like to keep the existing airport design.
Condemnation Notices On East Side Delayed 2 Weeks
Councilman Jermaine Reed, facing recall petitions gathered by people unhappy that he didn't get the city to change its plans for an East Patrol/CSI lab campus, persuaded his colleagues to wait two weeks to vote on sending condemnation notices to all the property owners who haven't come to terms on selling their property. He said progress is being made and that he hoped the delay would allow thelist of those unsigned ton be reduced to four or five.
Plan To Ease Billboard Limits Prompts Public Outcry
Also on hold for two weeks is a plan to ease the city's billboard restrictions a little. A lot of people like Carol Winterowd of Citizens Against Billboard Bight testified against it. Winterowd said Kansas City should not abandon s model ordinance that other communities are now adopting. The changes were proposed after owners of billboards taken for eminent domain asked prices up to $500,000 and city planners worried that litigation could slow the wheels of development.