Steve Rose rebuts Steve Kraske’s call for removal of J.C. Nichols’s name from Plaza fountain. Former Johnson County Sun Publisher Steve Rose this weekend penned a response to Star editorial board member Steve Kraske’s suggestion that developer J.C. Nichols’s name be stripped from the Plaza’s signature foundation. Rose says that the experience of his Jewish parents in Prairie Village suggests that Nichols’s discriminatory housing practices were not always iron-clad. “[My parents] knew nothing about covenants that would not allow them to purchase a home there. They put down their $75 for the model they wanted. Soon after, a salesman for Nichols called. As my 96-year-old mother tells the story today, he said only this: ‘You know you would be the only Jewish family living in Prairie Village, and your neighbors may not be comfortable with that,’” Rose writes. “Despite the deed restrictions, no one from the Nichols Co. ever said they could not live there, and so they moved into their new home. When they started up a newspaper for Prairie Village, Nichols, who developed the Prairie Village Shopping Center, helped them for a time by covering the costs of mailing the newspaper to all the residents.” [Steve Rose: J.C. Nichols’ name belongs on Kansas City’s iconic fountain — Kansas City Star]Shawnee Mission East grad Kyle Ball named to Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team. SM East grad Kyle Ball, who helped his Lancer team to the first state football title in school history in 2014, has named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team. Ball is majoring in Business at Kansas State University, where he recorded a sack in his first game for the Wildcats last fall.
Hundreds gathered on the Plaza Tuesday evening to protest President Trump’s announcement that he will end DACA in six months. Photo via Twitter user @Azek90.Yoder, Ramsey respond to Trump admin decision to end DACA. President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months drew demonstrators to the streets in dozens of American cities, including here in Kansas City, where hundreds gathered on the Plaza to show support for “Dreamers.” The announcement also prompted reaction from a number of area officials, including Rep. Kevin Yoder issued a statement saying that he did not favor deporting the Dreamers, but that President Obama’s order creating the DACA program was unconstitutional. “I have great sympathy for minors that were illegally brought to the United States through no fault of their own and who know no other country than the United States of America. We are a nation of immigrants,” Yoder said. “Yet, we are also a nation that values the rule of law, and President Obama’s DACA order was an unconstitutional abuse of executive authority. The Administration is right to restore proper balance of powers under our Constitution.” Andrea Ramsey, who hopes to challenge Yoder as the Democratic nominee for his seat, issued a statement as well, saying that the decision was “punishing people brought here as kids — through no fault of their own — throwing lives into chaos and doubt.”Shawnee Mission board to hold special meeting tonight including discussion on superintendent search. The Shawnee Mission Board of Education will meet tonight at 8 p.m. in a special session that will include an information discussion with Ray and Associates about the search for a new superintendent. The board will also consider the new teacher contract tentatively approved by negotiating parties last week.Surveillance report finds West Nile-infected mosquitos in Johnson County. Health officials say that recent surveillance reports have found mosquitos infected with the West Nile Virus across Kansas, including in Johnson County. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment recommends residents follow these CDC prevention tips to mitigate the risk of infection.Mill Creek Elementary put on lockdown as Lenexa police address potentially suicidal individual. Shawnee Mission School District police on Tuesday placed Lenexa’s Mill Creek Elementary on lockdown during dismissal as city police in the area address an armed individually they believed may be suicidal. A message to parents Tuesday afternoon said the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution” and that administrators “did not dismiss students until we received word from district police that is was safe to do so.”SM West PTSA sets board candidate meet and greet for Monday. The Shawnee Mission West PTSA will host a candidate meet-and-greet event Monday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the SM West library. At-large candidates Mandi Hunter and Heather Ousley and SM West area candidates Craig Denny and Laura Guy will be in attendance.
Police responding to a shooting in Overland Park in 2015.The last day to register to vote for November’s elections is Tuesday — and advance voting by mail begins this week.With Election Day fast approaching, we’ve been working to ensure Shawnee Mission area residents understand where the candidates stand on the issues facing our community.A few weeks ago, we put out a call to readers for questions they’d like to hear the candidates running for a number of local offices answer. With that input, we developed five-item candidates questionnaires — and all this week we’ll be running their responses.We’ve asked the three candidates running for the Kansas 3rd Congressional seat for their positions on the issues that matter to our readers’ most. Here’s question number one:What specific measures should Congress take to reduce gun violence in our communities? What needs to happen to see such steps become reality?Chris Clemmons, LibertarianThe single biggest action congress could take in regards to violent crime is ending the Drug War. In 2014, 51% of all homicides occurred within 2% of U.S. counties, while 54% of the counties in the U.S. had 0 homicides. Of the counties which had homicides committed within them, only 4% of them had more than 16 murders. Typically, the numbers that run up our homicide statistics come from the inner city, and are a result of criminal activity stemming from the drug war. Our regressive policies on personal liberties have created another black market, just as it did in the times of prohibition, and like those times, society’s most vulnerable bears the majority of the burden.As such, the most effective measure congress can take in reducing violence on America’s streets, is to end the unconstitutional and immoral drug war. Give non-violent drug offenders the ability to have their drug crimes wiped from the record so that they can rebuild their lives, and become active members of the community, as opposed to our policies today, which encourage a lifetime dependency on the system.”Sharice Davids, DemocratI grew up in a military family and was raised with a respect for responsibly owning and handling firearms. We all want our families to be safe and secure. That’s why I am tired of our politicians who do nothing to stop the senseless killings happening in our schools and communities. Our representatives must make a choice: put people first and pass gun safety legislation — or continue being beholden to the gun lobby. My opponent has taken more than $20,000 from the NRA and they’ve spent thousands more propping up his campaign. In return, he opposed stronger background checks for gun purchases and earned their A rating. With politicians like my opponent in office, our safety is being sold to the highest bidder. I will always put the safety of our families first, no matter what the NRA thinks. As your representative, I will never accept a campaign contribution or endorsement from the gun lobby. I will work across the aisle with anyone willing to put our safety ahead of special interests.Kevin Yoder, RepublicanDid not respond.Tomorrow, we’ll run the candidates’ responses to item two:Should all Americans be guaranteed the right to have access to affordable health insurance? If so, how should that right be addressed? Should coverage be guaranteed for pre-existing conditions?
Register to continue
Rep. Jerry Stogsdill says tax policy, school finances and Medicaid expansion will be among the top topics facing the legislature this session.Each legislative session, we provide Shawnee Mission area legislators the opportunity to share their thoughts about what’s happening in the state capitol. Rep. Jerry Stogsdill, Rep. Susan Ruiz and Sen. John Skubal are scheduled to send updates this week. Rep. Stogsdill’s column is below.When I took office in January of 2017 the state of Kansas was still suffering under the fiscal policies and inept management of government by the Brownback administration. The state was on the verge of bankruptcy, we were operating our schools under an unconstitutional school finance plan, failure to expand Medicaid was costing the state billions of dollars, services for our most vulnerable children were in collapse and we were robbing our transportation funds and missing KPERS payments in order to cover general budget shortfalls. Kansas was a mess. So much so that Kansans had elected over 50 new legislators, including myself. to go to Topeka and start cleaning up the mess.I successfully ran for the Kansas House of Representatives based on the promise I made to my constituents that I would focus my efforts on doing away with the disastrous Brownback “tax experiment”, restoring full funding for our public schools under a constitutional school finance formula and supporting the expansion of Medicaid in Kansas.At the time, I think there was hope, but also a lot of skepticism, that any of those promises could be kept. I am happy to report that by working with my Democratic colleagues, a number of moderate Republicans and the election of Democratic Governor Laura Kelly we have accomplished two of those three goals and it looks like we have a very good chance of accomplishing the third goal this session. Let’s see where we are at the beginning of the 2020 session.Tax Policy: In 2017 we were able to form a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans and we were able to end the Brownback “tax experiment” and return Kansas back toward financial stability. Not only were we able to enact legislation that overturned the Brownback plan we were able to override Brownback’s attempt to veto that legislation. That was a landmark day for the state of Kansas.School Finance: In the 2019 session of the Legislature, with the support of pro public education Governor Kelly, we were again able to put together a Democratic and moderate Republican majority that allowed us to pass legislation that ended years of underfunding and attacks on our public schools. The new plan ended years of court challenges and finally passed constitutional scrutiny by the Kansas Supreme Court.Medicaid Expansion: Not expanding Medicaid has cost Kansas billions in federal tax dollars that could have been returned to Kansas to cover the medical costs for 150,000 of our most vulnerable working Kansans and their children, helped put many of our hospitals on sound financial footing, stimulated our economy and created thousands of new and good paying jobs. I am proud to say we have passed Medicaid expansion in the House twice but the Senate, under ultra conservative Republican leadership, has rejected our efforts on both occasions. This session it looks like we may have a promising yet fragile bipartisan coalition in both the House and the Senate that may have the votes to pass Medicaid Expansion and a Governor who will sign the legislation when put on her desk.There has been good progress made in turning Kansas around over the last three years, but, there is still a LOT of work to do to return Kansas to a position of financial stability, economic prosperity and rebuilding our reputation to a place national prominence. There are still a number of Brownback leftovers who will be working to take us back to the failed policies and programs of that administration.This year we are going to need the attention, involvement and votes of the people of Kansas if we are going to keep Kansas on the path to recovery. We need to make sure we pass Medicaid expansion and we don’t falter on our support of fair tax policy and our public schools. There will also be a number of other issues of vital importance to Kansans that we will be dealing with this session. I will be working on many of these issues through my assignments to the Federal and State Affairs Committee, Tax Committee and Education Committee. People can follow my work and votes on these committees by going to kslegislature.org.I will also be keeping my constituents informed through this column on the Shawnee Mission Post, my Facebook page, Rep. Jerry Stogsdill for Kansas, my web site, JerryforKansas.com and in regular forums that I will be announcing and holding in my District throughout the Session. I also encourage my constituents to contact me with any questions or suggestions they may have at email@example.com or 913-579-9208.
Awards and honors, downtown revitalization and a shared vision for Shawnee’s future were some of the key subjects highlighted by Mayor Michelle Distler in her 2020 State of the City address.As the city continues to build on its strategic visioning processes, Distler reflected on all the work that has been accomplished so far. The mayor listed several awards and accolades last year that attest to the quality of life in the city, including:Money Magazine named Shawnee as #25 on its Best Places to Live listRealtor.com called downtown Shawnee and the entire 66203 zip code a “Hot Zip”Shawnee was named a Hidden Heroes City which recognizes the city’s efforts to streamline services to veterans and their caregiversThe city secured a spot on Zippia’s “Best Places to Work” listShawnee was one of five organizations honored for Priority Based Budgeting at the annual PBB Summit in AugustThe Center for Digital Government recognized Shawnee as a Digital Cities Survey winner for its work in Information TechnologyShawnee was named a SolSmart community for its recent solar projectsThe Mid-America Regional Council honored Shawnee with an Outstanding Program Award for its two annual recycling eventsShawnee received the Community Award for Communications from the League of Kansas MunicipalitiesShawnee again named a Tree City USA and a Bicycle Friendly Community“Believe it or not, that’s not even all the awards and recognitions we racked up in 2019,” Distler said. “We’ll be highlighting a few more throughout our look back at the year.”The Shawnee Police Department also recently received the Law Enforcement Award of Accreditation. This comes on the cusp of new leadership in the department, as long-time Police Chief Rob Moser prepares to retire after serving 30 years in the city, and Deputy Chief Sam Larson steps up to take his place, Distler said.The Shawnee Fire Department is also on the verge of new leadership, as Chief John Mattox prepares to retire after 41 years of service (18 of those in Shawnee). Under his leadership, the fire department added Fire Station 74 on Woodsonia and also achieved the ISO Class 1 rating last year, which translates to lower insurance rates for some Shawnee residents.Revitalization of downtown Shawnee is also underway with a flurry of new activity, including renovations of Aztec Theater, work on the Nieman catalyst site and Sixty16 luxury apartments (formerly Stag’s Spring), as well as the introduction of McLain’s Market (moving into the OK Garage). The city is also in the finishing stretch of reconstruction along Nieman Road — including two new plaza areas with playground equipment and outdoor seating.“We believe Nieman Now will continue to revitalize downtown Shawnee and make it ‘the place to be,’ so be sure to check it out this spring,” Distler said. “The focus is to bring people downtown and to make it a destination, and we are ever so close to seeing that happen.”But more work remains, and that’s where the city’s strategic visioning process, Imagine Shawnee, steps in. The next public input process begins in April.“We are creating a shared vision for Shawnee and it’s all coming into focus,” Distler said. “I hope you join me in that focused effort as we move forward together as a community, as one Shawnee, our Shawnee.”A video of Mayor Distler’s 2020 State of the City address is below:
Editor’s noteThe Shawnee Mission Post’s policy on using mugshots in stories is evolving. In most instances, we will try to avoid using them, but that decision will be made by an editor on a case by case basis. In cases where the person pictured poses a potentially imminent threat to the community, we will err on the side of publishing a mugshot, especially if it’s the only image of the suspect we have available to us.Update: Just before noon, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that Naves had been “apprehended without incident.” Elijah Nathanial Naves, an inmate at the Johnson County Jail, has escaped from custody while at the Olathe Medical Center.In a Monday morning tweet, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said it was attempting to locate the 27-year-old Naves, who is described as a white, six-foot, 150-pound male. According to authorities, he was last seen in a green hospital gown and blue and white striped jail-issued pants. Naves was arrested on Aug. 26 on aggravated robbery charges, according to Johnson County District Court records. He was last seen at 4:30 a.m. Monda and was traveling south from the Olathe Medical Center, 20333 W. 151st Street. Elijah Nathaniel Naves is believed to be in the truck above, according to another Johnson County Sheriff’s Office tweet. It is a white Ford truck with blue Mynatt Equipment decals on it. Photo via Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Twitter.Additionally, it is believed Naves is driving a white Ford truck with blue, Mynatt Equipment decals on it. The sheriff’s office’s tweeet asks the public not to contact or attempt to stop Naves if he is seen but instead to call the Sheriff’s Office at (913) 782-0720.This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Leyard and Planar announced Tuesday the companies are releasing the VS Series of LEDs. Available in 2.5-, 3.9- and 4.8-millimeter pixel pitches, the new Leyard VS Series joins the Leyard CarbonLight LED Displays for Leyard and Planar’s solutions for rental applications.At fewer than 62 pounds (28 kilograms) per square meter, the Leyard VS Series is a lightweight but rugged solution designed to meet the needs of today’s fast-paced rental and staging industry.The series supports single-person installations with magnetic points that hold the LED cabinet in place as it is being installed, along with integrated ratcheting cabinet locks to secure cabinets together easily. It also comes with integrated corner protection and an anti-collision bottom edge to prevent damage as users move the cabinets around.The Leyard VS Series offers a flexible, adaptable design that can adjust to a wide variety of rental and staging environments. The displays can be hung or stacked to form video walls of nearly any size. Also, curved designs can be achieved at different angles. The Leyard VS Series supports universal modules for stress-free serviceability. The displays also include swappable power supplies that can easily be removed and replaced.The full line of rental and staging displays can be seen in this video we shot at ISE 2020:The Leyard VS Series will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2020. More information about the Leyard VS Series is here. More information about Planar is here.
Kramer Electronics’ KDS-8 is a zero-latency, SDVoE-based (10G) AV-over-IP transceiver for distributing AV signals via Ethernet over copper cable. The KDS-8 streams up to 4K@60Hz (4:4:4) resolution signals over a 10G network interface, providing lossless compression. The KDS-8 is a fully standard and compliant SDVoE codec, and it enables compatibility with other software and hardware streaming platforms.Kramer’s KDS−8 is a transceiver and as such can be set to be either an encoder or decoder. As an encoder, it encodes and sends the HDMI input along with IR, RS-232 and analog audio over an IP network. As a decoder, it receives the encoded signal and decodes it for output. The KDS-8 also features an unbalanced analog audio port for embedding audio into the signal.Kramer’s $2,000 KDS-8 4K SDVoE transceiver is designed for distributing AV signals in conference rooms, meeting rooms and classrooms. Here are more detailed specs.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Reflex Capital was rumored to now own around 40% of signageOS. The ownership percentage has been confirmed as “less than 15%” according to signageOS CEO Stan Richter.SignageOS just told rAVe that the company received $2 million in early-stage funding from Reflex Capital, a private venture capital firm with offices in both the Czech Republic and the United States. The investment follows growth and partnerships with global industry leaders for signageOS and further solidifies the signageOS unification technology in digital signage.“As always, we decided to invest primarily in the team at signageOS and the great founders,” said Ondřej Fryc, founder and managing partner, Reflex Capital. “They have created a global service for digital signage that meets all of the prerequisites for it to succeed. We are very happy that we can be a part of this journey.”The funding by Reflex Capital will enable signageOS to grow its digital signage platform and facilitate the expansion of the signageOS team and services worldwide.SignageOS provides a method to access and use smart commercial displays and other professional digital signage hardware — without the need for a separate, external media player. The company does this by using a cloud hardware management to content management system and other digital signage stakeholders — like integrated solutions providers. SignageOS technology enables digital signage companies and their customers’ device networks to become hardware-agnostic.Since launching in 2018, signageOS has garnered partnerships with global content management system companies and digital signage hardware manufacturers. Thousands of devices across the globe in verticals such as banking, retail, airports, educational institutions, quick service restaurants and cinemas are connected and use the signageOS technology already.Stan Richter, CEO, signageOS said, “SignageOS is paving a new path forward that redefines the status quo in digital signage hardware and software compatibility to benefit companies at all levels in the digital signage industry. Alongside our partners at Reflex Capital, we are excited to continue on this path even stronger and advance the signageOS technology to its full potential. Our efforts will continue to unlock new opportunities for all of our partners, build open ecosystems, and drive software-based innovation for the entire digital signage industry that has long been predominantly focused just on hardware.”