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  • skcablog 6:10 am on February 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    They’re Not Just Students; They’re Black and White and Brown. 

    It seems I have read and heard more than enough about Superintendent Carpenter leaving Hickman Mills for Lee’s Summit; yet, for some reason I clicked on a link Tony had in one of his blogs. Now I wish I hadn’t.

    I have heard Carpenter say on more than one occasion that the kids in Hickman Mills will never do as well, educationally, as in other districts. That defeatist attitude is, in itself, over the top for a superintendent. At a Lee’s Summit community forum, Carpenter “stood by comments he’s made in the past about black kids needing to learn from black educators”. I can understand black kids needing to see role models, but this implies they can only learn from black teachers. Does that mean white kids need white educators; brown kids need brown educators? Should we go back to segregation so all kids can learn? Has he simply written off the handful of black kids in Lee’s Summit? Perhaps he should be made aware of a quote from Lyndon Johnson: “Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”

    Lee’s Summit can only be wished the best of luck. With all his charisma it’s difficult to know when Carpenter is telling the truth. He likes to cite studies, but of course those studies always support his view. It’s like the number of times he has said the mobility rate in Hickman Mills is 75%; yet, another link on Tony’s to an article written by Barbara Shelly says it’s 61%. Of course that’s a high percentage but the higher number would imply the job of teaching is more difficult.

    Tony does some excellent reporting but in the future I will need to restrain myself from clicking on any of his links to Carpenter. It’s just more than my blood pressure can take.

  • skcablog 5:21 am on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    True Colors 

    The Southern Communities Coalition meeting Wednesday evening was packed with information; but I think the speaker who most people came to hear was Robbyn Wahby who is Executive Director, Missouri Charter Public School Commission. She was at the meeting to simply explain what charter schools are, how they’re governed, and how they’re held accountable by the state.

    In 1998 the Missouri legislature passed a bill allowing charter schools in the St. Louis and Kansas City Public Schools school districts. That was amended in 2011 to allow charter schools in any school district that was unaccredited or provisionally accredited for 3 or more years. That fact seemed to take the Hickman Mills Superintendent, Dennis Carpenter, by surprise. A person would think, coming from Georgia, he would have acquainted himself with Missouri law regarding education and school districts; though he and some of his cronies have made it clear they don’t believe Missouri Law or Kansas City ordinances should apply to Hickman Mills.

    But I digress. The Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City consist of 30 school districts, including Hickman Mills. Legislative services, including a lobbyist, is one of the benefits of belonging; yet, Hickman Mills with barely 6,000 students, pays their own lobbyist. You would think for that money the District would have been more aware of the possibilities for charter schools within their own district.

    Instead, Carpenter chose to attend the meeting where he proceeded to not only raise his voice to Ms. Wahby, but literally called her a liar. It’s difficult to understand his vehement aversion to charter schools since, as someone pointed out, he has already flirted with them in his own district by creating two of what he calls COMPASS schools. Perhaps it has something to do with control. Though Carpenter is leaving Hickman Mills to become superintendent for Lee’s Summit schools on July 1, he may feel a charter school in Hickman Mills would spur the legislature to pass charter school legislation they are currently considering to allow the schools in any district, any time.

    If charters were allowed in Lee’s Summit during his tenure, there could be kids in public schools but not under Carpenter’s control. He remarked at a meeting that only 20% of Hickman Mills teachers are actually any good; the rest move on to other districts. He blames it on pay equity, but I have heard a number of staff complain about his control issues. They say there is no expression of opinion in Hickman Mills. Everyone has to do as they’re told, regardless. Pay may be a partial reason for people leaving, but they also need to have their ideas and experience recognized.

    Regardless of the number of good teachers or the reasons for their leaving, Carpenter has no respect for the children of the district. During the Town Hall on Education which aired on KCPT, he said that even given the same resources as Blue Valley, Hickman Mills would not do as well.

    Also, his parting words at the meeting Wednesday evening made it clear that he has no faith in Hickman Mills. If you don’t believe it, how can you achieve it?

    It will be interesting to see if he believes the Lee’s Summit schools are up to educating his children. By opting for a private school for his own children, he proved that he didn’t think Hickman Mills is. Many in the District are looking forward to July 1.

  • skcablog 12:33 pm on February 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Southern Communities Coalition Meeting 

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 7:00 P.M.
    South Kansas City Patrol Station
    9701 Marion Park Drive
    Kansas City, MO 64137

    Guest Speakers:

    • Mr. Bill Walker, President – G.W. Van Keppel Co.
    • Mr. Greg Filsram, Sr. Vice President, Economic Development Corp. of K.C. A proposal by the EDC & the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA) north of Bannister Rd. from Hillcrest Rd. to James A. Reed Rd.
    • Ms. Robbyn Wahby, Executive Director, Missouri Charter Public School Commission. Topic: 3-Trails School Initiative

    Coffee & cookies are served
    This meeting is always informative on local issues
    Questions: Carol McClure, Co-Chair, 816-966-0855


  • skcablog 4:44 pm on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Center Planning January Meeting 

    Center Planning and Development Council

    Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes Road
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017
    7:00 pm

    Parking access on south side of 99th St. Additional parking on the north side of 99th St
    Park with caution. Or park in Gomer’s or Holmeswood Shopping Center on west side of Holmes


    Red Bridge Area Plan

    Kellie Johnston-Dorsey and Joe Blankenship from the City Development Dept. will present final guidelines of the Red Bridge Area Plan. This has been a lengthy process and now our planners want to know whether our Center Planning neighborhoods are in agreement with the conclusions, or have issues that still need to be addressed. We need all neighborhoods at this meeting to give them important feedback.

    The Red Bridge Area Plan will be a guide to developers who wish to invest in our area. The boundaries of the plan are 85th St. to Blue Ridge Blvd., and from StateLine Rd. to 71 Hwy. There are vacant and undeveloped pieces of property in this area. The plan will represent what the community (business, neighborhoods, churches, school, etc.) would like to see happen.

    The highlighted pieces in our area include:

    • 122nd and Wornall
    • SW corner of 85th and Holmes
    • 127th and Wornall
    • West side of Troost from 89th to 92nd
    • 128th and Holmes
    • East side of Wornall across from Ward Parkway
    • Martha Truman Rd and Holmes
    • Bannister Federal Complex
    • NW corner of Holmes and Bannister

    The area between Blue River and 71 Hwy is being addressed by the Southern Communities Coalition. Carol McClure and Jerry Darter are the co-chairs of this umbrella neighborhood group. We have invited their members to come to our meeting if they are not able to come to one they hope to have.

    The final meeting of the Red Bridge Area Plan Steering Committee will be Thursday, February 2nd at 4pm at the Holmeswood Baptist Church. The plan will go to the City Plan Commission at City Hall on Tuesday, February 7th. The next step will be the Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee (of which councilman Scott Taylor is Chair) sometime in March before full Council approval.


    Senior Comfort Services

    Ericka Beeler, Manager, and Jodie Fincher, RN from St. Joseph Medical Center will speak on their new program called Senior Comfort Services. The program will focus on delivering top notch care for the senior population. Dr. Ryan Sears, Board-Certified Geriatrician will oversee the care of senior patients. We will hear the details of their new program.

    News Items

    The new Euston Hardware store is officially open in the Red Bridge Shopping Center. Be sure and come in and support the store and the renovation of Red Bridge Shopping Center. Euston’s Red Bridge is located at 453 W Red Bridge Road. Their website is

    Sad news: Tom Cosgrove, one of our board members, died January 5th. Tom was 93 yrs old, lived in the Country Lane area and was an active member of Center Planning for over 40 years. We are grateful for his dedication and concern for the betterment of our community. He has been to City Hall many times to support constructive changes in zoning issues on projects in our area. He will be missed! Our thoughts and prayers go to his family.

  • skcablog 10:42 am on January 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Southern Communities Coalition Meeting 

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 7:00 P.M.
    South Kansas City Patrol Station
    9701 Marion Park Drive
    Kansas City, MO 64137

    This month’s meeting will be held in a new location: The new South Patrol police station at 9701 Marion Park Drive, which is behind the Bannister Road Home Depot.

    Guest Speakers:

    • Mr. Riad Baghdadi, Architect. Case No. 14781-SU: About 0.734 acres located at 10322 Blue Ridge Blvd., to consider approval of a “special use permit” to allow for the expansion of an existing gas station & convenience store.
    • Mr. Mark Bryant, Attorney with White Goss: Representing Kasuri Development Co. proposal 9642. 9700 and 9706 Hillcrest Road, behind old K-Mart site, 24 townhomes on this site.
    • Mr. Troy Schulte, City Manager: Will discuss the proposed $800 million general obligation bond issue.


    Coffee & cookies are served

    This meeting is always informative on local issues

    Questions: Carol McClure, Co-Chair, 816-966-0855

  • skcablog 5:40 am on November 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Hopeless in South KC 

    I’ve been mulling over last week’s Southern Communities Coalition meeting and can say I couldn’t feel less hopeful about the future of the 6th District. To sum things up, the majority of teachers in the Hickman Mills School District can’t teach and any city problems need to be handled through 311.

    First the Hickman Mills superintendent blamed teachers for poor scores on the most recent MAP test. Seemingly, only 20% of teachers in Hickman Mills are capable of teaching effectively. It apparently hasn’t occurred to anyone to question why good teachers don’t stay. From what I’ve heard many believe administration thinks it has all the answers and won’t even listen to suggestions; not a good way to engender pride and dignity, but a sure fire way to discourage constructive thinking and cause teachers to believe they might be happier elsewhere.

    Next the group heard from Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus, their city council representatives. The emphasis should be on heard as it applies to Taylor. The most he had to contribute was to remind everyone about years ago when he would give reports for his wife, Cathy Jolly, when she was state representative, and of course mentioned how he always brought his son along. (Kids always make a good prop.) I guess it didn’t occur to him that he was reminding people that they saw more of him back then than they have since he was actually elected to represent them. He and McManus both mentioned several times that people should call 311 with various concerns. That seemed to be their only solution for most complaints. When lack of city inspectors was brought up, Taylor said people need to make that argument at budget hearings as if lack of inspectors isn’t a city wide problem. Regardless, he obviously doesn’t see it as an issue he needs to be concerned with.

    McManus actually didn’t have much to say. He probably thought it was enough to stand around and look pretty. All in all not much hope for those living in the 6th district.

    • Edward E Scott 10:22 am on November 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This is the state of teaching today. High payed, out of the classroom, administration dictating the minute by minute, useless in life, canned, boring as hell, vendor driven for profit, test prep instruction… that makes 1/2 the students hate school. Been going on since Bush lI, Obama made it even worse…not a democrat or republican issue…it’s all about money…me first, me only, educational fraud, leadership.


  • skcablog 10:23 am on November 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Center Planning November Meeting 

    Center Planning and Development Council

    Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes Road
    Tuesday, November 29, 2016
    7:00 pm

    Parking access on south side of 99th St. Additional parking on the north side of 99th St
    Park with caution. Or park in Gomer’s or Holmeswood Shopping Center on west side of Holmes


    Major Louis Perez, South Patrol, will talk about the problems along Indian Creek with the recent stabbings of homeless people. In addition, he will give us a crime report for our area. The Red Bridge area is experiencing break-ins. We are noticing more people panhandling at our intersections. He will provide safety tips for the holidays as well. Bring your questions and concerns.

    Terri Moore, Executive Director of Kingswood Senior Living Community at 1000 Wornall Rd will speak about the 34.7 million dollar extensive redesign and expansion of their complex. Kingswood has been in our area over 30 years. As a Life Plan Community they offer a full continuum of care from independent living to skilled nursing care. Numerous services and opportunities are being provided. As part of the expansion they have applied for a liquor license from Regulated Industries so that residents can have wine with their meals, including a rooftop dining venue. For more information, go to:

    Kingswood will have a groundbreaking ceremony and reception on Wed, February 17th at 1:30pm.

    Our thanks to Ben Wearing from Oakdell for sending our newsletters via post office to our members who do not have email.

    And many thanks to Carol Cutler from Indian Heights who edits our newsletters and sends it to our members via email.

    This will be our last meeting for the year since we do not meet in December. Our best to you and your family for a wonderful holiday season.

  • skcablog 4:03 pm on November 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Southern Communities Coalition Meeting 

    Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 7:00 P.M.

    Baptiste Educational Center
    5401 E. 103rd St.
    Kansas City, MO 64137

    Guest Speakers:

    • Hickman Mills C-1 School Board Members
    • Dr. Dennis Carpenter, Superintendent, Hickman Mills C-1 School District
    • Mr. Kevin McManus, 6th Distict Councilman
    • Mr. Scott Taylor, 6th District At-Large Councilman

    No meeting next month

    Coffee & cookies are served

    This meeting is always informative on local issues

    Questions: Carol McClure, Co-Chair, 816-966-0855

  • skcablog 12:29 pm on November 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Red Bridge Area Plan Final Public Meeting 

    Red Bridge Area Plan Final Public Meeting
    Tuesday, November 15 at 6 p.m.
    Avila University
    Whitfield Center (see map)

    The Kansas City, Missouri City Planning and Development Department invites citizens to the final public meeting to learn about and provide feedback for the Red Bridge Area Plan at 6 p.m. Tuesday, November 15 at Avila University, 11901 Wornall Road in Kansas City, Missouri. The meeting will take place in the Whitfield Center. The boundaries of the plan area are 85th Street and the Trolley Track Trail ROW on the north, Blue Ridge Boulevard on the south, State Line Road on the west, and Highway 71 on the east.

    This is the third and final public meeting for the Red Bridge Area Plan. At the meeting citizens will hear a short presentation on the draft plan at 6:15. A repeat of the same presentation will begin around 7 p.m. if needed. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view specific plan recommendations and discuss those with staff in a one-on-one open house format. Public participation is essential while developing the plan. The public meetings are the best opportunities for citizens to tell staff their wants, needs, concerns, and desires for the future of the area.

    Area plans are being prepared for 18 different geographic areas of City. Area plans recommend strategies to help realize a community’s long term vision for the future and provide a comprehensive framework to guide public decisions on land use, housing, public improvements, community development, and city services.

    In the coming week, the draft Red Bridge Area Plan will be posted to the Red Bridge Area Plan website:

    If you have questions, contact Kellie Johnston Dorsey at (816) 513-2889 or

  • skcablog 5:30 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Good News, Bad News in Hickman Mills 

    This past weekend has been spent reflecting on the drama recently played out in the Hickman Mills School district. Judge Kanatzar ruled that Evelyn Hildebrand should be issued a certificate of election for last April’s school board election and she was finally sworn in at Thursday’s meeting after Shawn Kirkwood tendered his resignation. I have to wonder, though, if you can actually resign from a seat that wasn’t yours to begin with.

    Then the Kansas City Star ran an editorial about the whole embarrassing mess not mentioning the wrongful use of tax dollars to defend Kirkwood’s position; but misinforming the people with regards to the Cerner Innovation Campus. According to the editorial, Hickman Mills is “soon to be the beneficiary of heightened cash flow” from the project. There are a couple of things wrong with that statement. First, it will be a total of $6 million, won’t begin to “flow” until Cerner has money coming in, and will be highly regulated as to how it can be spent. It also glosses over the fact that, with the backing of John Sharp and Scott Taylor and the support of Kevin McManus, Cerner not only has a TIF but a super TIF. Even if Cerner employees were to flood into Hickman Mills as Mr. Sharp led the community to believe would happen, the school district couldn’t afford to educate their kids, with that kind of diversion of tax dollars.

    Hopefully, now with Ms. Hildebrand seated, the school board will be able to put its focus where it needs to be, which is holding the superintendent accountable for the district remaining provisionally accredited. Hopefully, also, in the future the Star will serve the community better by getting all the facts straight before publishing another article regarding the school district and its community.

    • Lou Austin 9:27 am on October 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I called Ms. Sanchez and left a message that I would like to chat with her regarding her article (she never responded) with the same criticism that I will direct to you – that is, to continually recite that HMSD will be receiving money from the Cerner development is grossly misleading – you rightfully point out that the Cerner money is very regulated and over time, but this issue must be put into context to present a fair and accurate picture – I is my understanding that HMSD will, over years, receive approximately $6 million dollars from the Cerner development – at the same time over the 23 year life of the Cerner TIF the district will be giving up $340 million in school taxes that are being diverted back to the development – Whenever this subject is mentioned both numbers should be cited – the $6 million in vs. the $340 out so the reader is provided with an accurate understanding of the cash flows involved. By any logic this does not appear to be a good deal for HMSD – and – what will the value of the Cerner facilities when the taxes finally start flowing to the district a quarter of a century from now – I would point out that the Bannister Mall barely lasted beyond 25 years – so when tax flow time finally arrives there might not be much in the way of taxes for the district to spend. Best regards.


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