Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bits and Pieces

October 25, 2007

I've been gone for a few weeks and missed Eudora's hugely successful 150th sesquicentennial celebration. A visit from Miss Kansas and the dedication of the statue in CPA Park were the highlights, but I also understand $2 buffalo burger meals, free ice cream and cake, a beer garden, live bands, a volunteer recognition program and many other attractions were also a hit. I believe that everyone who was present the day the statue was unveiled or who now walks or drives by will agree that this part of our history so grandly displayed is certainly an asset to our community and adds to the beauty of the park. Even some of the naysayers who originally thought the project too impractical when other needs for the city seemed more pressing have admitted to the historical significance of the statue and the importance of the city's history that it brings to our community. I believe a special thank you should go out to the planning committee and all the volunteers who helped the day of the event.

We also have another little asset to the community that I have yet to visit since returning home in the form of the new downtown coffee shop brought to us by DeeAnn and David Alvarez. I've heard good things about the coffee and the pastries plus, what a nice venue to display local artists. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

From the sublime to the ridiculous I was also glad to see the new trash can that arrived at our house compliments of the city. Gee, it's huge and so much better than the leaky old barrel we had. Also, the street looks much better with almost none of the overflowing bags and barrels that used to clutter the scene on trash day.

I missed two football games and look forward to the game this week against Baldwin. I am hoping the boys are pumped for this game with Baldwin, who always "loom large in our circle" each year. I understand that coach Gregg Webb was honored for his 200th high school win as a coach. This brings additional congratulations his way.

I did arrive home in time to attend a neighborhood gathering on the upcoming school bond issue Oct.16 at my daughter's house. It was well attended and after listening to USD 491 Superintendent Marty Kobza's presentation and an extended question and answer period, I believe every question and issue that could be raised was addressed. I was impressed by the amount of information we received in addition to being informed about how passage of this bond issue will impact future expansion that will come with inevitable growth. I understand there is a possibility that Head Start may be included in the preschool program, as well, which is a proven government program for those kids who need additional time to learn skills that are needed to enter kindergarten. Expansion of the vocational education program was also a favorite topic of mine for those high school graduates who are not bound for college. Hopefully this program will continue to guide and instruct that group into satisfying and productive futures where they are badly needed in our current service-oriented society.

The following are quotes from fact sheets handed out at the meeting, which I feel are especially pertinent.

The school board has "Resolved to not increase the total mill rate the district would charge to taxpayers." In addition, "38 percent rate of state aid could save district taxpayers millions" and will "lock in when the bonds are issued, but it is not guaranteed to be available if the bond does not pass in November."

The inclusion of a new stadium in the package seems to be the sticking point for those who oppose the bond. The issue of favoritism toward varsity football comes up in most conversations with those who are against the bond. One of the fact sheets for those whose kids participate in soccer, track, band and the dance team address how they will also benefit from a new stadium to say nothing of addressing overcrowding at Laws Field for athletic events, outgrown restrooms and inadequate parking and safety issues,

It appears whether we pass this bond package or do it piece meal in the future, the items included in the issue will eventually be a reality with a higher price tag. Whatever your inclination for or against, get involved and exercise your right to vote Nov. 6.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.