Monday, July 06, 2015

Joplin City Council approves CDBG projects

(From the City of Joplin)

During its meeting tonight, the Joplin City Council approved a list of projects to be funded by Community Development Block Grants.

View the list of recovery projects funded by CDBG-DR grants from US Dept. of HUD by clicking on link below. Infrastructure projects are first projects to start, including sewer, stormwater, roads, & sidewalks. Watch for future postings to stay informed.

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Joplin area

(From the National Weather Service)

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS EXTENDED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
WATCH 394 TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING AREAS UNTIL 11 PM CDT THIS
EVENING

IN KANSAS THIS WATCH INCLUDES 2 COUNTIES

IN SOUTHEAST KANSAS

CHEROKEE              CRAWFORD

IN MISSOURI THIS WATCH INCLUDES 9 COUNTIES

IN CENTRAL MISSOURI

CAMDEN                HICKORY               MILLER

IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI

BARTON                CEDAR                 DADE
DALLAS                JASPER                POLK

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...BAXTER SPRINGS...BOLIVAR...
BUFFALO...CAMDENTON...CARTHAGE...COLUMBUS...EL DORADO SPRINGS...
ELDON...GREENFIELD...HERMITAGE...JOPLIN...LAKE OZARK...LAMAR...
OSAGE BEACH...PITTSBURG AND STOCKTON.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

You can order Silver Lining, other books directly from me

Those who would like to order signed copies of my books can do so through the "Donate" button on the right hand side of this page and the bottom of this post.

All you have to do is to use PayPal or your credit card, say which book or books you want to order, leave your mailing address, and I will mail them out to you the next day.

Or if you prefer not to use PayPal or a credit card, you can send a check to me at 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin, MO 64801.

The prices for my books, postage included, are as follows:

Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud  $25
5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado $20
Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado $20
Let Teachers Teach $15
No Child Left Alive $15
Small Town News $10
Newspaper Days $10
The Turner Report $10

Bartosh: We couldn't do our job if we had to follow the Sunshine Law

Someone needs to explain the purpose of Missouri's Sunshine Law to Jasper County Presiding Commissioner John Bartosh.

It is not designed to make things convenient for him and his fellow county commissioners. It is there so the people will know how their elected officials are conducting the people's businesses.

Weeks after the County Commission ignored the Sunshine Law by discussing candidates for vacancies on the Joplin R-8 Board of Education, the Joplin Globe, which has taken the Commission to task for skating around the law in the past, finally decided to address the issue.

Now that the issue appears to be settled, the Globe decided to weigh in.

 From today's article:

Bartosh told the Globe this past week that the vote to approve the appointees took place in a public meeting, although discussions leading up to that vote weren't necessarily part of an open meeting.

"As far as I am concerned, we as commissioners, we have to talk about stuff, and there would be no reason for us to be here if we didn't talk about stuff," he said. How do you think a business could run if they didn't visit with each other within the business? There's no way we could do something without saying, 'Hey, what do you think about this?' and then we put it on the agenda."

Yes, Mr. Bartosh, there is a way it can be done. All you have to do is set aside a portion of your time to plan things that need to be placed on the agenda for discussion purposes, post them, and then allow the citizens and media the opportunity to listen to those discussions. It would take a little more work and you might not like doing it, but you can't ignore the law because it is inconvenient.

Unless, of course, Judge Carlton is the one who determines if the law has been broken.

Did former Joplin master developer lose his new job?

A check of the website for International Accelerators shows no listing for former Joplin master developer David Wallace as one of its mentors.

Wallace, who filed for personal bankruptcy in March after failing to repay $1.5 million to investors in the BizRadio scheme and who resigned from Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners, leaving Joplin high and dry, does not list International Accelerators on his Linked In profile.

International Accelerators is a company that provides business expertise for foreign businesses wanting to operate in the United States. The mentors provided the businesses with their wisdom and wealth of business experience.

On that Linked In profile, Wallace still proudly proclaims the work he did in Joplin as a positive:

-Used extensive development experience, private equity funds and knowledge of public-private partnerships to develop assets ranging from single-family developments, student housing, office, retail, multi-family, assistant living, memory care, etc. Master Developer hired by the city of Amarillo, Tulsa, San Antonio, and Joplin, MO to redevelop the community following the devastating EF-5 tornado that struck on May 22, 2011.

The connection between Billy Long and Taylor Swift

Seventh District Congressman Billy Long, Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, and 20 other candidates or political action committees will attempt to cash in on a Taylor Swift concert Monday, July 13, at Nationals Park in Washington, D. C.

Though the Swift concert is not a political event, it is being used to bring people to the luxury boxes at Nationals Park to contribute to serving members of Congress.

The cost is $2,500 for one ticket and $5,000 for two.

Four of the 22 will have their event on the following day, something which was made possible when Swift added a second concert on July 14.

Of the 22, 16 are Republicans, six are Democrats. The fundraisers have been arranged by a group named Coalescent.

Considering that Billy Long has not held a town hall meeting during his four and a half years as Seventh District Congressman, this could be your only opportunity to get one-on-one time with the Congressman, so pull out your checkbooks.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Agenda posted for Monday's Joplin City Council meeting

JOPLIN CITY C O U N C I L   A G E N D A
July 6, 2015
                                                     6:00 P.M., Council Chambers
                                                 
1.      Call to Order
            Invocation
            Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America         

2.                  Roll Call

3.                  Presentations
                                   
4.                  Finalization of Consent Agenda

5.                  Reports and Communications

6.                  Citizen Requests and Petitions   

7.                  Public Hearings

Public Hearings Procedures

1. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-007-A RESOLUTION granting a Special Use Permit (First Request) to Kathleen Diane Martinous for the operation of a home beauty parlor located at 1914 West Perkins Street, in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Requested by Diane Martinous. Planning and Zoning recommended approval for a two-year Special Use Permit.

2.                  Consent Agenda
1. Minutes of the June 15, 2015 Council Meeting

2. Minutes of the June 22, 2015 Special Council Meeting

3.                  Resolutions
1. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-008 – A RESOLUTION authorizing the approval of a list of projects to be funded by two Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grant(s) received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help aid in the recovery from an EF-5 tornado that struck the City of Joplin on May 22, 2011.
 2.                  Ordinances – Emergency
1. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-134 -AN ORDINANCE approving the purchase of property at 2931 S. Jackson Avenue, in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri and authorizing the payment of  One Hundred Fifty Two Thousand Nine Hundred and 00/100 Dollars ($152,900.00) and containing an emergency clause.

2. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015- 135-AN ORDINANCE approving the contract with Vance Brothers in the amount of One Million One Hundred Twenty Seven Thousand Five Hundred Thirty and no/100 Dollars ($1,127,530.00) for Microsurfacing of Streets in Various Locations for 2015 in the City of Joplin, Missouri; providing how the cost shall be made and levied; and containing an emergency clause.

3. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-136 - AN ORDINANCE approving a contract with Blevins Asphalt Construction Company Inc.  in the amount of  One Million Eight Hundred Thirteen Thousand Eight Hundred One  and 58/100 Dollars ($1,813,801.58) for Resurfacing in Various Locations 2015 project in the City of Joplin, Missouri; providing how the cost shall be made and levied, and containing an emergency clause;

 4. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015- 137 - AN ORDINANCE authorizing the execution of an Agreement by and between the City of Joplin and McClanahan Construction Company, to provide construction services for installing Tertiary filters for the Turkey Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, not to exceed One Million, Three Hundred Nineteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirteen and No/100 Dollars ($1,319,513.00) and authorizing the Director of Public Works to execute said Agreement; and containing an emergency clause.

5. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015- 138 - AN ORDINANCE approving the City of Joplin to enter into an Agreement with Allgeier, Martin and Associates to provide professional engineering services for the MS4 Stormwater Permitting Assistance Program, not to Sixty Thousand No/100 Dollars ($60,000.00) and authorizing the Public Works to execute said Agreement; and containing an emergency clause.

6. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015- 139 - AN ORDINANCE approving the City of Joplin to enter into an Agreement with Trans Systems to provide professional design and construction management services for the Surface Street, Sidewalk, Curb & Gutter Repair Projects in the Green Area not to exceed the amount of One Hundred Thirty Nine Thousand One Hundred Fifteen and no/ 100 (139,115.00) and authorizing the Public Works to executesaid Agreement; and containing an emergency clause.

7. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-359- AN ORDINANCE approving the contract by and between the City of Joplin and Wheeler Excavation for the boarding & securing of the structure located at 410 S. Wall. in the City of Joplin, Missouri, for the amount of  Eight Thousand nine Hundred seventy  and 00/100 Dollar   (8,970.00); providing how the cost thereof shall be paid; how the assessment thereof shall be made; and containing an emergency clause.

8. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-404- AN ORDINANCE approving the City of Joplin execute Work Authorization Number 3 to the Master Services Agreement for Professional Administrative Consulting Services with Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. to provide planning and administrative activities, not to exceed Nine Hundred Sixty Eight Thousand Dollars ($968,000.00) and authorizing the Director of Planning, Development and Neighborhood Services to execute said Agreement; and containing an emergency clause.

 9. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-456 - AN ORDINANCE authorizing a Participation Agreement For State Investment In Local Public Health Agencies and a Memorandum of Understanding for participation in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Health Services Initiatives (H.S.I.) project, by and between the State of Missouri, Department of Health and Senior Services, and the City of Joplin, Missouri, and for the City of Joplin Health Department to receive compensation, for up to Ninety-One Thousand,  Six Hundred Eighty-Six  Dollars, no Cents, ($91,686.00); and, authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin, Missouri; and, containing an emergency clause. 
   
110. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-457-AN ORDINANCE authorizing a Program Services Contract Amendment, by and between the State of Missouri, Department of Health and Senior Services, and the City of Joplin, Missouri, and for the City of Joplin Health Department to receive compensation, for Thirty-Nine Thousand One Hundred Ninety-Eight Dollars, no Cents, ($39,198.00); and, authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin, Missouri; and, containing an emergency clause.

11. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-614-AN ORDINANCE authorizing the acceptance of a grant from the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) for the Environmental Assessment at the Joplin Regional Airport on and containing an emergency clause.

12. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-615 - AN ORDINANCE authorizing the acceptance of an Agreement by and between the City of Joplin and Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, INC. for Environmental Assessment Study at the Joplin Regional Airport on and containing an emergency clause.

13. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-616 - AN ORDINANCE amending the Classification and Pay Plan adopted by Ordinance No. 2012-173 and authorizing revised job classification titles  and updating position descriptions and containing an emergency clause.

2.                  Ordinances – First Reading

12.       Ordinances – Second Reading and Third Reading
1. COUNCIL BILL NO. 2015-613 - AN ORDINANCE approving an Agreement with Paragon Architecture to develop conceptual designs and cost estimates for the development of a Route 66 attraction, public space and offices on City-owned property on the north side of the 1100 block of Broadway Avenue.

13.       Unfinished Business

14.       New Business
         1. Appointments to Boards and Commissions  

2. News from the PIO

3. Vote to go into closed session, which shall pertain to leasing, purchasing or sale of real estate by a public governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration; and confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body and its auditor, including all auditor work product; however, all final audit reports issued by the auditor are to be considered open records pursuant to this chapter—more specifically, for the Council to discuss the City’s responses to the Audit Report, as set forth in Section 610.021(2) (17) RSMo, as amended, 2014.  This meeting, record, and vote to be closed to the extent provided by law. The City Council shall adjourn at the end of the session.

 

Friday, July 03, 2015

Hartzler: Obama, EPA costing jobs

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Missourians share an appreciation for a clean environment and a sincere desire to make our planet better for future generations. But the ill-conceived extreme environmentalism of President Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deals a devastating blow to Missouri families—costing jobs and bringing skyrocketing bills.

Hardworking Missourians—particularly those living in agricultural regions—are already familiar with the disturbing Waters of the United States rule. This rule twists the 1972 Clean Water Act to define “navigable waterway” as any stream, creek, or ditch with water that might eventually make its way into an actual navigable waterway. Farmers and livestock producers across Missouri are outraged they will need permission from a Washington bureaucrat to work their land.

More recently, we have seen the EPA’s attempt to unilaterally regulate states’ electricity systems through mandates that will result in dramatic increases in heating and cooling bills for hardworking Missourians. These radical mandates are yet another Obama Administration overreach and are not being made with the best interests of the people in mind.

My House colleagues and I recently passed the Ratepayer Protection Act, allowing states to opt out of the federal rule if implementation would have significant adverse effects on ratepayers. In Missouri, cost increases as a result of this rule are projected to reach 12 percent annually. This is not acceptable. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has agreed with this common sense that is sorely lacking in the Obama Administration’s edicts, ruling the EPA failed to take into account the costs to utilities in setting its overzealous air pollution standards.

No one is opposed to a clean environment. The extreme course charted by the Obama Administration, however, ignores the impact on the people it claims to help. Common sense with a willful respect for the people must prevail over the Administration’s incessant attack on industries so many of us rely on.

Cleaver: Supreme Court decisions provided historic week for our nation

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

Last week was a historic week for our nation, as the Supreme Court announced two key decisions that will forever mark a victorious few days in the fight for equal rights and basic healthcare.

Since the wedding at Cana, when Jesus turned water into wine, he taught us that the main thing and the plain thing was love. Today that is still true. Only a handful of the Bible’s one million verses relate to same-sex relationships. Neither the Jewish prophets nor Jesus Christ ever spoke of it. What Jesus did talk about was love.

What a momentous day last Friday was for the LGBTQ community, and for their friends and families who celebrate across our great country, knowing that the Supreme Court has affirmed their humanity. Justice Kennedy said it best, I believe, as he stated at the end of his opinion:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.

This landmark decision is an important step toward ending the discrimination faced by too many families, based solely on where they live and who they love. This country upholds its foundation on freedom and equality. It is basic and simple, yet critically fundamental.

As a minister, it has been a privilege to preside over many marriages and civil unions, ushering two people down a path of love and devotion. And now we can move forward as a stronger country, knowing that path is open to all people, no matter who they love.

In addition, the Supreme Court has said it again: the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Last week’s decision will save lives by helping millions focus on their families, jobs, and quality of life, instead of worrying about what will happen if someone gets hurt or sick. Tax credits are available to all eligible Americans, regardless of where they live.

Chief Justice Roberts states, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.” Partisan politics have come at the expense of people’s health, well-being, and wallets. This decision protects 6.4 million Americans and 200,000 in Missouri from suffering. It is a victory for us all.

Now is not a day to deepen our divisions or throw up our hands and say our work is done. States must continue to work with the federal government to ensure healthcare is functional, full, and fair. Seniors are getting free preventive services, children are not being denied coverage, and young adults are covered under their parents' plan.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud available at Changing Hands Book Shoppe

As of about three hours ago, Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud: Greed, Corruption, and the Joplin Tornado is available at Changing Hands Book Shoppe, 528 S. Virginia, Joplin.

Changing Hands also has copies of nearly all of my previous books, including Let Teachers Teach, No Child Left Alive, Scars from the Tornado, 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado, Spirit of Hope, and Small Town News.

Silver Lining and my other books are also available at Always Buying Books in Joplin and Pat's Books in Carthage, as well as at Amazon.com and other internet outlets.
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For those who do not live in the Joplin area, check out these books at Amazon.com.