Ruckus – September 19, 2019

Ruckus – September 19, 2019

funding for Ruckus has been
provided by gifts from Dave and Jamie Cummings the Fred and Lou
Hartwig family Peter and Barbara Gattermeir the Courtney
S. Turner charitable trust John H. Mize and bank of America N.
A. co trustees and by viewers like
thank you welcome to ruckus our weekly
food for thought fight over the news of the day and the trends
of the times I’m Mike Shanin the Ruckettes joined me shortly
our topics this week oount on counties for consistent
controversy a Raucus Caucus debate in Kansas and the
lingering debate over guns and violence in Kansas city and
throughout America plus of course roasts and toasts but we
start with our newsmaker segment and talk with Eric
Rogers of Bikewalk KC last week’s panel weighed in on the
idea of adding bike lanes to Kansas city streets and there
did not seem to be strong support of course there are
many people who do like the concept of bike lanes and see
them as a beneficial addition to Kansas city and certainly
Eric Rogers executive director of Bike walk KC is one of them
and he will now tell us why I hope Mister Rogers
how’s your neighborhood Mister Rogers it’s great Eric
welcome to ruckus thanks for coming in thank you for
having me if someone knows
nothing about your organization Bike
walked KC what can you tell about a few seconds that would
describe it we are a local small nonprofit that works to make it
safer and more comfortable and easier to get around the city
in however you want to whether it’s walking biking using
public transit we work in dozens of elementary schools
across the region to educate kids we work with public policy
makers and local city halls and we do a variety of activities to
build community to really help redefine our
streets as places for people to build a
culture of active living when you say bike is that all
inclusive you for two wheeled
vehicles yes it could be a bike it could
be a tricycle if you’re an older person we talk about
scooters now really anything that is a different way of
getting around and I think your organization wants the city
council to adopt what is being called the master bike plan
what is the essence of it how is it described so the bike
plan is the really the result of a performance audit that the
city auditor did a couple years ago and found that the city’s
entire aproach to mobility issues was broken and we needed
to start over and so now we have this new plan that has
been drafted and it’s outside a vision of what things could
look like in thirty years it has a network of what are
called low stress bike routes to places you can bike to get
from your home stay to work or the grocery store or school and
have a place where you are safe protected from cars and you
feel comfortable getting there so you see
bikes as something more than you use for recreational
purposes absolutely absolutely and it’s on the increase so we
know from the census data that here in Kansas city biking to
work in particular has gone up twenty percent since the
nineties and it’s actually gone up a hundred and thirty percent
since just two thousand sixteen do you know what that would mean
in terms of people what the
number would be I was told there
would be no math here Mike but I I’m sure the viewers can do
math on their own you don’t know
and in many parts of the community it’s it’s a very
large segment so there are parts of downtown the west side
historic northeast and east side where it could be up to
ten or fifteen percent of people are walking and biking
and these are specially neighborhoods where more than
half of households may not have access to a car so we’re
talking about very vulnerable populations who really have no
other way to get to work or school than walking biking or
transit and so those are really the folks that we try to focus
on and support well there are some news reports say the cost
of the master plan would be four hundred million dollars to
implement you’ve pushed back on that I think yes let me quote
from your website the estimated cost of the plan
ranges from three hundred eighty seven million to four
hundred eighteen million but this price tag must be placed
in the proper context what is the proper context so the bike
plan actually provided a range of prices from somewhere around
one hundred and fifty million up to four hundred million and
that price is really only if we would go out and overnight
rebuild all of the streets from the ground up to add in bike
lanes and of course we’re never going to do that
we can see from a lot of other cities places around us like
Saint Louis Omaha Wichita where they do a much more much less
expensively by doing things like incorporating bike lanes
when you do the normal repaving of a street and so the the
actual price we see around the country is much much lower and
if somebody wants to know more about the plan and about your
organizations you have a website yeah our website is bikewalkKC
dot org and one final quick question I know a lot of the
focus is on Kansas city Missouri but what about other
parts of the metro area other parts of the metro area are
really embracing alternative transportation for the health
benefits especially economic benefits we know
the folks that arrive at a business walking or biking are
likely to visit more often spend more money
a lot of places around the country that put in bike lanes
see business sales tax receipts go up so a city like overland
park is really probably at the forefront in our region they’re
adding something like twenty or thirty miles of bike routes
every year so you’re group is metro wide we are metro wide
we work in elementary schools on both sides of the state line
we work in city halls all over the region alright thanks
very much for coming in sorry about the math question
we’ll excluce that next time alright thank you that is Eric
Rogers he is executive director Bike walk KC now let’s meet the
panel and start ruckus how Alana Roethle is a former
Kansas GOP official and now executive director of the
nineteenth amendment centennial Arthur Benson is a long time
and prominent Kansas city attorney Teresa Garza is
a former Jackson County legislator and Ron Freeman is a
motivational speaker and writer welcome to all of you thanks
very much for coming in a lot to talk about today
generally we don’t hear a lot of news about clay counties
government but in the last few months we have and the news is
not good an apparent political battle between two of the three
County commissioners and the sheriff has resulted in the
commission cutting one million dollars from the sheriff’s
budget the cuts have caused serious problems affecting jail
house food and health care a judge ordered the money
restored but two of the commissioners appealled the
judgment earlier in the year the state began an audit of the
county’s finances the result of a petition campaign signed by
nine thousand clay County residents clay is not the
only County with a controversial government think
of Jackson County for example but let’s start with this is
there something unique about County governments that leads
to controversy and you were part of the Jackson County
legislature once Teresa so what is your answer to that
thank you for pointing that out I think that County governments
tend to kind of fly under the radar they they work in the
dark a lot not a lot of people pay attention to them
because they don’t really know what they do and although
there’s a lot that they actually handle such as all of
the property tax assessments and things like that those
important especially would have been in the news lately they
also Jackson County particularly has one of the
largest County park systems in in the nation there like in the
top five so there’s a lot that actually they oversee including
the court systems here in Jackson County for the circuit
courts but people just don’t realize that so they
tend to fly under the radar and nobody really pays
much attention do we see these same problems in other metro
counties beyond Jackson and clay well I think you see
the problem they get highlighted when something
controversial happens and so a lot of the counties are you see
Johnson County Missouri or platte County they don’t get in
the news because nothing’s really significant going on
right there but when you get somebody where typically
somebody gets petty and we seen that in Jackson County now
it’s going on in clay you see
these wars escalating stuff comes to
the surface you mention the property tax problem in
Jackson County and Art that is a serious problem lot of
people believe they have been the overtaxed at least the
estimates are far beyond what they should be thousands of
people have appealed and thus far it appears the County has
no solution no but the courts will there are a number of plaintiffs that are ready to
file a lawsuit but they could not file until they’ve
exhausted their administrative remedies which means appealing
through the board of adjustment for the county and then the
appealing to the state tax commission at the timing of
those appeals may mean that arounious tax bills will be sent
out on the aronious assessments by
the end of this year there is some hope that the tax
commission can start churning out some exhaustion
plaintiffs and a lawsuit can be filed in early December maybe a
preliminary injunction will prevent the mis taxation of
Jackson Countians Alana I wonder are there too
many overlapping functions between city and county
governments seems like they do a lot of the same things they
do overlap but it kind of is it specific to different counties
and cities so for instance you’re talking about the parks
and recreation I see a lot of overlap with that just you know
in the county where I my children participate in these
kinds of parks and the activities that are done and
there seemed to be quite a bit of overlap there
I also think you know the problems that we have
with property assessments and that kind of thing definitely
those are not unique to particular counties we have had
a lot of people upset in Johnson county on the Kansas
side for the same reason and they’re saying they’re just
getting these assessments because they want increased
tax revenue what is this clay County dispute the state audit
by state auditor Nicole Galloway do for her
gubernatorial campaign doesn’t hurt does it it doesn’t hurt at
all but at the same time it if I think it more draws
attention to clay County and what’s going on there and then
the voters and how they’re going to look at that and what
that carries over into any upcoming elections for anyone
and what the result is with how did she alleviates that issue
ironically before this program began and after I prepared the
material to talk about the counties of central Europe
there’s been another County controversy in Jackson County
and it’s the combat programs reason
yes anti drug anti crime program
millions of dollars apparently misspent right people don’t
like the combat tax basically is a tax that is placed in
Jackson County that provides for four different mechanisms
of funding words prosecution rehabilitation treatment and
then law enforcement and then that money gets divvied out
based on you know the different people at the different
organizations that request grant funding and so there’s
actually a commission at as that oversees there’s grant
requests and then they make the record books but they often
lead shows millions of dollars have been missed and nothing
will be done about it right and so I think it goes back to that
processes and procedures checks and balances what does that
look like and how do they make sure that they are following
those processes and procedures and that they’re not
breaking the law breaking the law going around finding
loopholes and figuring out a lot of fun with quick final
question you think these controversies and county
governments might be minimized if there were more news
coverage of them you know in the way the news coverage is
done today I think it would just exacerbated I think
and when those things out there it just gets people riled up
and they get Beto and so I think it would almost be worse
if it was covered more I mean definitely think it should be
mentioned but also mention the good things are doing too so
it’s not always such a blow up and in the face of the well I
hope the clay County prisoners are getting Fred
that is kind of shocking that there is being ignored
some of the news organizations are shocked shocked the Kansas
GOP you will not hold of presidential caucus and twenty
twenty officials apparently believe
there is no need a Republican is president and he’s running
for reelection and there is every reason to think that
Donald J. trump will be re nominated by
the Republican Party even if the Democrats ultimately begin
impeachment proceedings not just some news organizations
are irritated so are the other three announced GOP
presidential candidates bill weld Joe Walsh and mark Sanford
cancel the star says the party’s decision not to hold a
caucus is more evidence of the GOP considers voters irrelevant
Solanas a Kansas Republican how do you respond to that
criticism well I think there’s a lot of misinformation going
around first of all the Kansas Republican Party has does not
hold the caucus for an elected Republican incumbent president
there just doesn’t caucus support so we’re not going to
get special treatment to this particular president good or
bad because because other people think we should and they
wanted different selection you know I also don’t think that
people realize that the way we select these people we do it at
a convention and those are people selected to go to the
national convention to vote you’ve done that every I have I
have and so you know I again I think it’s misinformation
Kansas does not hold the caucus for an elected Republican
incumbent president it just doesn’t happen the Democrats
held one in twenty twelve did they not for awhile even though
a bomb was president you know and that’s their choice it’s a
it’s a decision of the party not government we are more
concerned about having you know going off of what’s been
historical precedents we’re not looking to give special
treatment to anyone and then also you know this and and
twenty twelve they did that but if we were to do that again now
it will cost the party over two hundred fifty thousand dollars
that would rather spend on all of our candidates and it really
the manpower in the volunteer hours are exceptional we spend
so much time on this and twenty sixteen it’s very taxing to the
party and you know we really want people to be out there
promoting our candidates and giving good information to them
or do I know you’re deeply concerned about
do you think could weld Walsh and Sanford are justified in
their criticism of Kansas Republicans so I don’t really
have a pony in that race the GOP can do whatever they want
this it the way our democratic system works is that these are
party nominations not the state of Kansas and not the state of
Missouri and so if the GOP wants to do it and call down
criticism or praise on itself that’s for the GOP to decide
how much do you think these these three who really have no
chance to win the nomination I suspect you think they’re
justified though and being irritated no I mean I I agree
in the sense that it is the party’s choice in the party
gets to determine how they move forward when it comes to these
presidential elections in these caucuses so if that’s their
choice of that’s the decision that they’re making and then
they have the right to do that Ron do you have any doubt the
trump is going to be re nominated by the Republican
Party absolutely and it is run eighty incessant Kansas eighty
ninety percent approval rating in the Kansas and you’re also
looking at a state that ninety to ninety six oh for two
thousand twelve didn’t hold the Congress was not like it’s this
is his it’s new the media on the other hand Beto schoolmate
have debates and allow some people to have a platform and
is that wrong burns it same with the same basic things that
we look at the rules for parties and rule the media so
speaking of debates on television Teresa did you
happen to see the democratic debate last week I read our
spectacular I watched part seven
what was your assessment and I mean obviously and I think
we’re gonna get into this gun control is going to be a big
issue ever I think every single candidate have something we’ll
talk about another woman let me phrase I have my family I not
only prevailed in the democratic
debate yeah I will say that I think a lot of people were a
little disappointed in Castro’s performance and his
attacks towards biden and I think I think a lot of people
felt that they were uncalled for unnecessary suggested he
lost his mind he had no recollection of something he
said to minutes before which is that might be true
but I think for the most part
I think we’re still a long ways off and I think there’s still
some candidates that are that are still ahead in certain
areas and some that probably shouldn’t be up there
Alana from your perspective in
the Republican Party I know you
don’t particularly follow democratic politics I suspect
bur do you think Biden is likely to be the nominee you know I
have picked Biden from the beginning to tell you the truth
and the reason why I believe that’s really the best
chance for Democrats to win there’s still a lot of moderate
people on both sides that that don’t like trump even on the
Republican side but there’s a lot of moderates that
would feel comfortable voting for a Biden but they would
never vote for a far left extremist and that’s honestly
made more than I mean there might be one or two who are not
far left extremists that they’re not getting alot of
support their not getting a lot of traction Elizabeth warren
seems to be rising in some of the polls getting very
close to Biden all right if you learn nothing else about the
Democratic Party strategy in the twenty twenty elections by
watching last week’s debate as Teresa did you would know
this gun issues will be a major part of the drive to win the
White House hold let we read this and not not hold
the Senate they have to take
back the Senate and hold the house of
representatives written incorrectly probably by
me the kansas city areas is well
aware of gun issues and gun violence
just last week five homicides in a twenty four hour span
two thirteen year old Johnson county middle schoolers now
face charges after taking guns to school the gun issue is both
local and national in scope let’s start locally what can
the Kansas city Missouri city council do if anything to stop
gun violence and the increasing rate of homicides start with
art and go over to Ron first a little constitutional context
when justice Scalia wrote the heller opinion that
essentially essentially kind of opened up this second amendment
issue that’s a decision that says gun rights are individual
issues yeah he wrote that this was done for
defense of that by the individual and that nothing in
this opinion restricts reasonable regulation of the
purchase and possession of guns and since then the Supreme
Court has not once struck down any regulation of the purchase
or possession of guns and so Kansas city can if the Missouri
legislature would allow them to prohibit the open display of
guns or the carrying of guns or the possession of guns by
persons under the age of eighteen there’s a fairly wide array of measures the key point
is kansas city Missouri can’t do that on it’s own it has
to have approval from the state of Missouri right
I don’t think so now I think Missouri I think Jackson County
or Kansas city could adopt ordinance but I think for years
sly james said they couldn’t it
had to take state action that does I think
within a blink the state would shut them down yes yeah I think
that typically the county or the city if they are a charter
city or charter county have the ability to adopt the same as
or stricter than what is at the state but they can’t adopt
less than what is already in place of the state well there
were a couple of ordinances passed by the city council
a few weeks ago but they delt with teenagers I think
the ability of police to go in and seize weapons from
teenagers well Art ah Ron you’re Ron
you’re a work of art no doubt
about it let ask the same
question to you what if anything can the Kansas
city council do about gun violence and homicide well I
think that’s where the challenge is since you’ve got a
an issue that everybody wants to stop we don’t want to
see people being shot we don’t
want kids at school worried about
guns but at the end of the day there there’s a proliferation
of guns are streets and say it’s so sic incredible that what
what are you gonna do you can pass a
law right now we have a law you can’t shoot someone it’s illegal
they do it I work with young kids seventeen eighteen years
old I ask them if I asked to get a
gun ah by Friday could you do it
he goes yeah no problem how do you curb that what laws
are being promoted in I mean
Betos going to come out and take
everybody’s AR-15 AR-47 that would be
an interest well let ask you
about that Alana in this debate last week when
you say Beto you really mean
Robert Francis just pointing that out
during the democratic debate he said that hell yes we’ll take
away your A. R.
fifteens and A. K.
forty sevens and it seems to me that something Republicans have
said for years Democrats just want to take your guns now I
don’t know if that’s true or not but doesn’t that statement
by O’Roake give Republicans reason to run that pulled in
their campaign commercials, sure I mean of course it is he’s
done a favor for Republicans you
know does that pretty often actually
like to say though until we realize the real problem in gun
violence it’s never it’s going to continue to happen if you
look at the last the mass shootings the twenty
seven worst mass shootings in our history twenty six of those
had a fatherless homes so until we look at what the real
problem is these things aren’t gonna change you look at Europe
they have strict gun laws they use knives they have a high
high high murder rate so they’ll just use another thing whether
they’re bombs whether they’re
you know whatever it is
they can’t kill fifty people at
a country western concert with the knife
and you can with a bomb as a nation we have taken away
machine guns you can’t buy a machine gun as a nation we took
away A. R.
fifteens a semi automatics and it worked the the the statistics
on the number of mass shootings during that ten year period
when you could not put own or possess an AR-15 what
Beto O’rourke did is he moved the window of acceptable of
discussion about restricting guns and it’s going to get
there a majority of Republicans fifty one percent favor
restricting the possession of AR of semi automatics and
eighty percent of Democrats I got a restrict any further
conversation now it is time this may happen roasts and
toasts where the Ruckettes have thirty seconds each to achieve
deceive or aleve and we start with Art
to Greta Thunberg and to all young people her age who
whose lives literally hang in the balance if you’re under
fifty years of age now you are very likely to see population
destabilization worldwide because we have put as much
carbon atmospheric carbon into the air
in the last thirty years as we had in the preceding two
hundred and the the world’s stability and its ability to
promote life hangs in the balance Ron you and I won’t
have to worry go ahead no I think I’m going to
roast Francis O’rourke and his declaration because it’s just
too it’s really playing to an emotional strain and it’s
stirring up a lot of stuff that’s never to be resolved
because we haven’t dealt with the root of it which is the
moral factor we had machine guns
in the six sixties and the fifties
and no school shootings we short on time Alana um I
would like to roast the Democrat media for
giving the information they did on the recent Kansas caucus I
think when you throw things out there without explaining what
it is it really causes controversy and it causes more
fighting that we just don’t need gives us something to talk
about on Ruckus ah Theresa quickly yes I want to toasts a
new organization KC Common Good and the Dunn family
specifically Peggy and Terry and Peggy for taking on
the challenge of working to reduce violence among other
issues and also and kudos to my friend Klassie Alcine
for being named president of the organization
alright and finally here is a toasts to the renaissance
festival in Bonner Springs weekends through Columbus day I
went a couple weekends ago and I had my palms read
palm reader said my palm is revealed intelligence
talent energy leadership and tremendous potential now what
did I do when she told me all that
well I gave her a hand and that is Ruckus for this
week were back next Thursday at seven now for the Ruckettes and
crew I’m Mike Shanin saying thanks for watching and

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