Thursday, September 30, 2010

American Royal BBQ 2010 - Tickets for Kansas City

American Royal BBQ 2010 - Tickets for Kansas City, Bands, Entertainment, Info

A lot has changed in recent years regarding Kansas City's biggest BBQ contest. For those of you who have never been, the American Royal BBQ contest is a giant grid of private parties who are entered in the BBQ competition. It's basically like a bunch of little backyard BBQ parties, except they're spread out across Kemper Arena parking lot in little squares. Now, in the old days, if you weren't invited to one of the parties, you didn't eat or drink and you just basically paid $10 to walk around and smell everyone's food. In the years of late that has changed and you can now purchase great barbecue and drinks out on the main concourse.

American Royal BBQ 2010 Entertainment
Most of the private parties have their own entertainment, from live bands to DJs, and there is also a main stage that is open to the public. For the 2010 American Royal BBQ the main stage will feature Liverpool - a Tribute to The Beatles. If you haven't seen these guys you should check them out, they do an authentic Beatles tribute down to the last detail. Last year the main stage was rockin' with an awesome line up of Brody Buster followed by headliners The KC All Stars. The live music on the main stage is followed by a great fireworks show.

American Royal BBQ Tickets
Looking for tickets? Just click on the link above to purchase tickets to either Friday night's American Royal BBQ or you can also purchase tickets for Saturday's American Royal BBQ 2010.

2009 American Royal BBQ Contest Winners

Best Overall - "Pork Pullin' Plowboys" - 1st Place

Best Chicken - "Smoke This BBQ" 1st Place

Best Pork - "Caveman Quisine" 1st Place

Best Ribs - "Pig In! Pig Out!" 1st Place

Best Brisket - "Pork Pullin' Plowboys" 1st Place

Best Sauce on the Planet Award - Grandma Foster's Smooth & Spicy

American Royal BBQ Sauce Store People’s Choice Awards

People’s Choice Marinade/Baste - Buster's Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

People’s Choice Rub - Real Texas -- Original/p>

People’s Choice Sauce - Blues Hog Tennessee Blues Sauce

Man, after writing this blog, I've gotta go get some BBQ! I prefer Jack Stack BBQ on Holmes Road but actually the other day I was amazed at how awesome the ribs were at J. Alexander's of all places! Those ribs are smackin' good! Hope to see you all at The American Royal BBQ 2010 on Friday and Saturday - bring your appetite.

Kansas International Film Festival Opens This Weekend

The Kansas International Film Festival opens this weekend, running from October 1 through October 7. The festival is entering its 10th year, and was recently added to Moviemaker Magazine's list of "25 film festivals worth the entry fee." The Kansas International Film Festival, or KIFF, should be even more enticing for movie fans this year. The festival will feature several big-budget hollywood films that will be screened here before being released to the general public.

Due to the success of previous festivals as well as involving some big budget films, the event has seen a dramatic rise in tickets sold. However, there are still tickets available for the event including a pass that allows guests access to the entire festival. KIFF will be taking place at Glenwood Arts Theatre.

Some movies to watch out for are "Black Swan" which stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis and "Conviction" starring Hillary Swank. KIFF is best known for quality documentaries, and this year is no different.

Tickets for the event can be found here.

American Royal Barbecue Fires Up Today

American Royal Barbecue Fires Up Today

The 31st Annual American Royal Barbecue starts Thursday and continues through this Sunday October 3rd. Known as the "World Series of Barbecue" the American Royal is the largest Barbecue competition in the world! There are over 500 contestants in several different categories including brisket, ribs, sauce, dessert and many others. The event is open to the public starting Friday. Tickets are $13 and kids under 5 are free.

Activities include live music - with all the local favorites - such as Blues artists Samantha Fish and Trampled Under Foot. Tribute bands to Lynard Skynard, Journey, and The Beatles will also perform. You can check out a schedule of Live entertainment here. Of course there will be a Kids Fun Fest Area with activities for the children including a petting zoo. you can sample Barbecue and have a couple of beers as well. A Texas Hold-em Tournament will also be held Saturday night at 7PM. A $65 donation is required to participate in the poker tournament, you can register here. And with no Chiefs game (or Missouri Tigers, not that they would be on TV anyway) this weekend, it will give you something to do on Saturday and Sunday.

Miami Heat Sprint Center Kansas City NBA Game News

Miami Heat at The Sprint Center in Kansas City NBA Game October 8th

NBA basketball hits Kansas City next Friday October 8th at The Sprint Center when The Miami Heat take on The Oklahoma City Thunder.  Yes, that's right, I said The Oklahoma City Thunder - appearantly they have an NBA team.  Anyway, this will be a very big night at The Power and Light District in downtown KC and if you're coming in from out of town you'd better reserve your hotel rooms now.

The most exciting thing for most at this event will be watching the Miami Heat "SuperFriends" LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh mop up the court with the poor Oklahoma High School team or whoever they are.  I'm pretty sure that this game will be over by the first period.   The story behind The Miami Heat is that they came into the 2010 NBA season with 45 million dollars in their salary cap pocket ready to spend money on big players.  With this giant wad of cash they were able to keep star player Dwayne Wade and the add LeBron James and Chris Bosh.  LeBron James made a mockery of the Cleveland Cavaliers when he televised his decision to go to Miami, turning the decision into a media frenzy.  LeBron signed for a mere $110 Million and Wade and Bosh both signed for a measly $107 Million. - Kansas City News

I have to think of the New York Yankees when I think of the Miami Heat as they have both pretty much bought their way to the top.  The NBA, like the MLB is already pretty one sided as far as the teams go, but hopefully it won't get as bad as the MLB.  Coming from a city like Kansas City it's difficult to watch our poor Royals struggle because our owners would rather build a shiny fancy new stadium that is pretty much like a giant BAR now than to spend money on actual players - or at least keep around the good ones.  Just think, in 1985 when the Royals won the World Series the highest paid player on the team only made $1 Million per year (George Brett) and winning series pitcher Bret Saberhagen only made around $800,000.  Times, they are a changing'. - Kansas City News

Tickets for the Miami Heat game at the Sprint Center in Kansas City are on sale at Ticketmaster, and if you want some really incredible tickets, visit the cranky guy at the Sports Memorabilia Store at Oak Park Mall - he's probably got a couple floor seats for around $750 a pair.  After the game The Power and Light District is featuring live music from local Kansas City favorite dance band "The KC All Stars" at 10pm.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kansas City Economy Continues to Struggle

Recent reports indicate that while the US economy is slowly getting better, Kansas City is still struggling. Employment is down by 1.4% compared to last year, andthere are more active job seekers as a whole. The report did indicate that experts expect job prospects to improve soon, so hopefully we see a rebound in the near future.

While Kansas City is struggling, some cities nearby are doing well. Both Manhattan, KS and St. Joesph, MO have seen an increase in employment. The demographics of Kansas City could be to blame, or it could merely be a coincidence that these other areas are improving. However, it seems odd that smaller cities are getting better while the area with the most jobs and job opportunities continues to struggle.

The Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area, Boston, MA and Austin, TX had the best improvement in the nation. It is important for Kansas City to examine how these cities have created job and fought unemployment rates. The ratio of job-seekers and open jobs continues to be extreme in Kansas City, and soon residents of the city may have to check out greener pastures elsewhere.

Shawnee Mission School District Boundry Changes Anger Some

Shawnee Mission School District Superintendent Gene Johnson's plans to close several schools has lead to some redistricting as well. Brookwood Elementary School will now be located in the SM South boundary (Students attending Brookwood will eventual attend South) - currently it is in the SM East region. It also appears that new lines drawn directly through a subdivision has drawn some criticism as well. It would seem obvious to some that a district with shrinking enrollment (and a shrinking budget)must make some tough choices. Population shifts have made previous boundaries obsolete. South currently has 400 fewer students than East. With a disparity like that it is hard to offer equal services among schools.

Some change is required to more evenly distribute students among the high schools. These are always emotionally charged situations for parents when it involves their little babies. One look at the district map would indicate the logic in making the decision they did. The area in the far southeast corner of the district is MUCH closer to South than it is East. Students also would likely be able to finish their high school careers at East if they have already started there.

I contend parents should focus on making this a positive for their kids. What about turning this into an opportunity to meet new people. These kids likely have friends and neighbors that go to several different schools - diversity is a good thing, and these parents are sending the wrong message to their children. Is it OK to find answers to their questions? Sure it is, but the problem is - no answer is good enough for them if it's not the answer they are looking for. After all, there are so many things in this world we have little control over.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bed Bug Problem Comes to Kansas City Area

Everyone has heard the old saying "Sleep Tight, don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!" Apparently that is great advice, maybe now more than ever. It seems there is a bit of a bed bug problem sweeping across the country. The problem seems to be centered on the Eastern Seaboard, but is rapidly spreading to areas that rarely see the problem. According to , a website where people can report bed bug sightings at hotels, There have been several sightings in the Kansas City Area, including some very nice hotels. This isn't just a problem for the Super 8s of the World.

Bed Bugs are small (4mm) insects that feed exclusively on the blood of mammals. They get the name "bed bug" for their tendency to live in human beds. This obviously lends itself to feeding on human blood during the night hours. Though Bed bugs do not spread disease like other insect bites, their bites can cause rash, and are uncomfortable physically and mentally disturbing. They can be difficult to spot (though they can be seen with the naked), and are very difficult to get rid of.

The problem is bad enough that the first ever "Bed Bug Summit" was held in Chicago last week. Four hundred people, including exterminators, government agencies, and researchers, turned out to share ideas on detection (including bug sniffing dogs) and eradication. New industries are literally popping up to combat the growing problem. A popular method of killing the bugs includes heating your furniture to 180 degrees to kill the creatures. Locally, a Plaza highrise used this method to exterminate bed bugs. Residents were displaced for three days.

Tamba Hali Key to Chiefs' Success

Forget about the potent rushing attack from Jamal Charles, big play ability from Dexter McCluster or the occasional decent play from Matt Cassel. Tamba Hali is the most important piece to the forming Kansas City Chief playoff picture. The former first round pick is entering his fifth season, and after steady production in his first four years, the OLB/DE hybrid is ready to break out and become a star. He will need to, as a pass rush will be sorely needed for the Chiefs if they want to seriously contend for the AFC West title and make a run at the postseason.

Having a game-changing pass rusher is important for any team, and it can be the difference between a team going 7-9 and watching the postseason from home or making it into the NFL playoffs. Growing up in a Packer household, I remember watching Reggie White terrorize defenses during Green Bay’s Superbowl runs in 1996 and 1997. In the title game alone, White sacked Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe three times and was in the backfield all game, ultimately swaying the game. If Hali can step up in big moments and take down the quarterback – as he did against the 49ers on Sunday with three sacks and countless hurries – the Chiefs may be able to sway some big games in their favor.

Hali’s value isn’t only just bringing down the opposing QB for a loss. His presence helps the entire defense, most notably the secondary. With young cornerbacks and rookie safeties, it will be important for the Chiefs to not allow opposing QBs and WRs all day to operate. With a pass rush, playmakers like Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry can
make big plays in the secondary and not get burnt on deep routes. The Chiefs are extremely young on defense, and Hali’s presence can help mask that youth and avoid putting young players in difficult situations.

Tamba Hali will likely never be as dominant as Reggie White, or even as feared as today's star pass rushers like
Mario Williams.His presence is important for a young Chief defense that keeps improving every week., and his ability to pressure the QB could help the Chiefs win some more games. If Hali can build on what he has done already this season and continue to be a force, the Chiefs could find themselves playing in January.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Delta 4951 Crash Lands at JFK Airport

Delta Flight 4951 was forced to make an emergency landing on a flight from Atlanta to White Plains, NY. The plane, which could not get part of its landing gear down, was forced to make an emergency landing at JFK airport. Thanks to the skill of the pilot, not one of the 60 passengers or crew on board were hurt.

The events leading up to the crash landing were documented by two passengers who recorded footage on their i-phones. In the footage, instructions from the flight attendants to keep the passengers' heads down as well as a "brace for impact" warning. While it is not legal to use a cell phone during a flight, especially during take-off and landing, the captured video was a great move by the passengers to not only document the events but receive what will likely be some compensation for their footage.

Many are comparing this landing to that made by Captain Sully of US Airways in the Hudson river. It will be interesting to see if Captain Jack Conroyd receives the same amount of praise and media attention as Sully did after the Hudson incident. Considering that Conroyd landed the plane with no working landing gear on the right side is pretty remarkable, but even more remarkable is the fact that no one on board was hurt. Hopefully the passengers who recorded the landing video will buy Conroyd a gift with the fat checks they receive from CNN and other news outlets.

Chiefs Trounce 49ers, Move to 3-0!

Chiefs fans rejoice! It hasn't felt like this for so long. Wins number one and two for the Chiefs left us wondering if the Chiefs are contenders or pretenders, but Sunday's dismantling of an improved 49er team leaves no doubt, this team is for real. The Final was 31-10, but the game wasn't even that close. San Francisco scored their lone touchdown as time expired on a field full of second defensive players - and got Wide Receiver Josh Morgan hurt in the process. Creative play calling by Todd Haley and Charlie Weis even made Matt Cassel look like an NFL quarterback! Of course when you run the ball for over 200 yards as the Chiefs did Sunday, it takes some pressure off the passing game. Holding your opponent to 40 yards rushing doesn't hurt either.

Cassel seems more comfortable with his playmakers. Tight End Tony Moeoki looked like he can fill the massive cleats of the departed Tony Gonzalez. He made a spectacular one handed catch in the back of the endzone in the 3rd quarter that really put the game out of reach. Throw in great offensive line play and a running attack that the 49ers defense had no answer for, and the rout was on. Todd Haley kept the niners off balance all day with some trickeration. A beautifully executed onsides kick was nullified by an offsides, but what a great call. The 49ers were stunned. When the punt team ran off and the offense ran back in on a pivotal 4th down, I think a couple of 49ers actually wet themselves. It was a coaching gem.

Speaking of coaching, how about the job Romeo Crennel is doing with our defense. Five sacks, an interception, 40 yards rushing, and San Francisco Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye was fired this morning. (Seriously, how does that guy keep getting hired in the NFL). I only hope another team doesn't want to try Crennel as their head coach next year.

The Chiefs are off next week before tough, tough road games in Indianapolis and Houston. If they can win one of these games, I think they are playoff bound. Waiting two weeks to watch this team play again is tough. I can't wait, and I'm sure the players feel the same way.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Big 12 Preview: League as Wide Open as Ever

With most Big 12 schools starting conference play this next weekend and the non-conference schedules almost wrapped up, the league picture is starting to come into focus. If the non-conference results are any indicator, this could be the most wide open league the Big 12 has seen in its history as a conference.

The conference remains wide open mostly due to the struggles of the league's two perennial top teams, Texas and Oklahoma. Texas struggled all non-conference play, and its problems finally cumulated in a blowout loss to UCLA. Oklahoma, picked by most pundits to win the league, has remained undefeated so far. Despite the perfect record, it has been anything but easy for the Sooners. OU hung on to beat Air Force and then narrowly escaped Cincinnati. None of these teams are that strong, and if there is any year that a team not named Texas or Oklahoma makes a run at a Big 12 title, this could be it.

One team that could push UT and OU is Nebraska. The Huskers finally appear to have a dangerous offense to go with its stout defense now that Taylor Martinez is behind center. However, the team struggled against FCS South Dakota State saturday, and the Huskers have struggled to remain consistent the last several seasons under Bo Pelini. Other teams picked to finish high in the league, such as Missouri, Texas A & M and Texas Tech have all struggled against lesser teams during the non-conference schedule as well. Add these teams to a team like Kansas who lost to an FCS opponent in week one and then beat last year's ACC champion in week two, and it is hard to figure out how the Big 12 play will shape out.

While its hard to pick against Texas and Oklahoma once again being the class of the Big 12, the two juggernauts have looked beatable so far this season. The only problem is, few if any other Big 12 schools seem ready to challenge them. While predicting the league is tough, one thing is for sure: this is the closest from top to bottom the Big 12 has ever been.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

American Airlines Overhaul Base at Kansas City International Airport Closes

The long history of American Airlines' overhaul base in Kansas City is over. The last day of operations was Friday September 24th. Aircraft overhaul operations date back to 1956 in Kansas City. Then TWA had a facility at Kansas City's downtown airport. Operations grew to it's height in the early 70's at the newly constructed Kansas City International Airport. Kansas City became a hub for TWA at this time and the overhaul base employed nearly 6,000 people. TWA was the largest private employer in the city. Another casualty in the United States struggling airline industry as operations are consolidated into their Oklahoma Facility.

Even with all the problems the airlines have had since the 80's, the TWA overhaul base was a large employer. At the time American bought TWA in 2001, there were still over 2000 employees at the KCI facility. The September 11, 2001 attacks were the beginning of the end. Though the city and American had hoped to keep the base alive, two years ago it was announced that most operations would move to their Tulsa, OK base effective cutting the Kansas City facility's work force in half. Last October the word would come of yesterday's closure. It seemed inevitable with declining revenues for all airlines. About half of the remaining workers at the facility will retire, the other half have been transferred to other American Facilities.

The challenge now is for Kansas City to generate revenue from the massive building that sits mostly idle now that American is gone. Last month, Frontier Airlines began using some of the space for its maintenance operations, and a small locally based aircraft parts company is hoping to expand and use a significant portion of the space.

Masquerade 2010 - Cerner's First Hand Foundation

Masquerade - Cerner's First Hand Foundation Charity Fundraiser October 30th at The Midland Theater

Masquerade entertainment is presented each year by Adam Blue Productions and this year will feature one of the hottest new 80's bands in Kansas City - Perpetual Change - and will also feature opening act Sean McNown.  Masquerade is one of the most exclusive charity events in Kansas City and ticket prices range from $100 for one ticket to $60,000 for group rates.

Cerner's charity for children "First Hand Foundation" will hold it's annual charity fundraiser this year at The Midland Theater on October 30th.  Our friend Shanna Hilt of the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders is heading up the event (pictured right).

For a great night of dining, cocktails, live music and most importantly donating to a great charity, buy your tickets now for Masquerade 2010 by visiting

Mexicans in Kansas City - Olathe, Kansas

Mexicans are multiplying in exponential numbers in the Kansas City area.  The average Mexican has 4+ children, over 40% of which are on Obama supported welfare.  Not good.

After a recent visit to the Johnson County DMV it was obvious that the ratio of white people to Mexicans was about 1 white person to every 4 Mexicans (9 Mexicans if you include each Mexican family's 5 children in tow) - this is mostly due to the overwhelming Mexican population in Olathe, Kansas.  We move that Olathe, Kansas be separated into it's own county - certainly not Johnson County - perhaps we could call it MexiOlathe.

Thank God the American Border Patrol are stepping up their game, and we at Kansas City News Official Source are going to keep abreast of the Mexican Border Patrol's captures and arrests.  Mexicans who enter into the United States whether legally or illegally MUST SPEAK ENGLISH.  We're not going to "push 1 for English" anymore.  Sorry Mexicans, your time is up.

Here are some examples of the heroic efforts our American Border Patrols are making to keep Illegal Mexican Immigrants from slithering across our borders.

 El Paso Sector's Operation Hold the Line

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent (and future U.S. congressman) Silvestre Reyes started a program called "Operation Hold the Line". In this program, Border Patrol agents would no longer react to illegal entries resulting in apprehensions, but would instead be forward deployed to the border, immediately detecting any attempted entries or deterring crossing at a more remote location. The idea was that it would be easier to capture illegal entrants in the wide open deserts than through the urban alleyways. Chief Reyes deployed his agents along the Rio Grande River, within eyesight of other agents. The program significantly reduced illegal entries in the urban part of El Paso, however, the operation merely shifted the illegal entries to other areas.

San Diego Sector's Operation Gatekeeper

A Border Patrol Jeep stands watch over the U.S.-Mexico border at San Ysidro, California.
San Diego Sector tried Silvestre Reyes' approach of forward deploying agents to deter illegal entries into the country. Congress authorized the hiring of thousands of new agents, and many were sent to San Diego Sector.  In addition, Congressman Duncan Hunter obtained surplus military landing mats to use as a border fence.  Stadium lighting, ground sensors and infra-red cameras were also placed in the area.  Eventually the primitive landing mat fence was replaced with a modern triple fence line that begins over one hundred yards into the Pacific Ocean at Imperial Beach, CA and ends more than thirteen miles (19 km) inland on Otay Mesa where the mountains begin. Apprehensions decreased dramatically in that area as people crossed in different regions.

Tucson Sector's Operation Safeguard

California was no longer the hotbed of illegal entry and the traffic shifted to Arizona, primarily in Nogales and Douglas.  The Border Patrol instituted the same deterrent strategy it used in San Diego to Arizona.

This is all great news as we should see a gradual decrease in Illegal Mexican Immigrants heading for Kansas City.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Plaza Art Fair Kansas City 2010

Plaza Art Fair Kansas City 2010

For Plaza Art Fair 2011 Go HERE

This weekend kicks off the 79th Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City. The Fair will run from Friday until Sunday with the hours being 5pm - 10pm on Friday, 10am - 10pm on Saturday, 11am - 5pm on Sunday. This year's Plaza Art Fair will feature 240 different artists, 30 plaza restaurants, three live music stages featuring several Kansas City bands, a kids art workshop and the Kemper Street Museum.

Friday, Sept. 24
5 - 6:30 p.m.|
Red Guitar - not sure who this is
6:45 - 8:15 p.m.|Michael Beers Band - small wedding band
8:30 – 10 p.m.| Drew - the guitar player from the Jeff Jenkins Band

Saturday, Sept. 25
10-11:30 a.m.|
Brian Ruskin Quartet
11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.|Lester Estelle & Friends
1:30-3 p.m.|Low Standards
3:15-4:45 p.m.|The Good Foot
5-6:30 p.m.|Shay Estes
6:45-8:15 p.m.|The Nadas
8:30-10 p.m.|Barclay Martin

Sunday, Sept. 26 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.|Son's of Brasil - Awesome band with Denny Embry on guitar
1-2:45 p.m.|Jillian Riscoe & The 21st Century
3-5 p.m.|Project DNA

Plaza Unplugged StageNichols Road & Central Street, near Starbucks
Friday, Sept. 24
5-6:30 p.m.|
Heather Thorton & Hannah Shuler
6:45-8:15 p.m.|Nathan and Roz Duo
8:30-10 p.m.|Lyal Strickland

Saturday, Sept. 25
10 a.m - 11:30 a.m.|
Kansas City Symphony Performers
11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.|
Laura Chalk Duo
1:30-3 p.m.|Casey Todd
3:15-4:45 p.m.|Brendan McNaughton
5-6:30 p.m.|Silver Soul Delight
6:45-8:15 p.m.|Kirsten Paludan
8:30-10 p.m.|Sean McNown

Sunday, Sept. 26
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.|
Shanice & Maurice Hayes
12:30-1:45 p.m.|Jim & Karla of the Rain Dogs
2-3:15 p.m.|Jason Kayne Duo
3:30-5 p.m.|Terry Wright

Ward Parkway Live!Ward Parkway & Pennsylvania, near Plaza III
Friday, Sept. 24
5-7:30 p.m.|
90 Minutes
8-10 p.m.|The Shanks

Saturday, Sept. 25
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.|
Menage of Twang
1-3:30 p.m.|Samantha Fish
8-10 p.m.|Lipriddle

Sunday, Sept. 26
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.|
Az One
2-5 p.m.|Magnetics

Along with the art and the music at The Plaza Art Fair Kansas City 2010, there will be plenty of restaurants doing happy hour!

Lee's Summit Oktoberfest and Other Weekend Events Around Kansas City

Lee's Summit Oktoberfest
Downtown Lee's Summit

It's that time of year again, cool breezes, beautiful Autumn days, and Oktoberfest! Lee's Summit, MO has one of the finest Oktoberfest celebrations in town. It takes place this weekend starting Friday night at 5Pm and runs until 11PM both Friday and Saturday. The festival opens at 9AM on Saturday. There will be three stages of live entertainment. The Main stage offers a variety of local rock and blues bands both days - the Community stage features local youth and dance acts - and the Children's stage will entertain the little ones with activities and shows geared to children. A full schedule of shows can be found here. And no Oktoberfest would be complete without Beer. Visit the Biergarten for your fix of authentic German Food, beer, and entertainment. Lederhosen optional! There will also be a carnival for all ages.
Fall Festivals
Liberty will be holding its annual Fall Festival this weekend in their downtown. Fun for all ages including a carnival, science fun, and a karaoke contest. Katie Horner will even be there
(at least she can't interrupt regularly scheduled programming from the Festival). A schedule of events can be found here.
Overland Park will also be holding their annual Fall Festival on Saturday from 9AM-5PM in downtown Overland Park. Free Children's entertainment, food booths, classic car show, and live entertainment will be on hand. The Santa Fe Trail Parade starts at 10AM one block west of Metcalf on 79th St. More information can be found here.
Waldo's Rockin' Block Party
75th and Wornall, Kansas City
A Family Fun bike ride will kick off the festivities in Waldo at 10AM. Events include Chalk Art and Laser Tag. Food and Live Music (of course) - and KC Wolf (from Noon-1PM). Disco Dick will be belting out all your favorite 70's hits at 6PM. Full schedule here.
Whatever your weekend has planned, the weather will be gorgeous, get our and enjoy yourselves before winter sets in.

Kansas City Police Announce Sobriety Checkpoints For This Weekend

Checkpoints Kansas City - DUI - Sept 24th 25th

When going out on the town this weekend, make sure you save some cash for a cab or strap on some comfortable walking shoes. Driving may be a bad idea, given that the Kansas City Police Department has announced it will be conducting several sobriety checkpoints all weekend long in the Kansas City metro area.

The police are not releasing the times and locations of the checkpoints, however given that 80% of Kansas City roads are closed as usual due to construction, it may be hard to avoid the checkpoints when entering and leaving the downtown area. The police did mention that the checkpoints will occur at areas known for having DUI related crashes or arrests. Signs will be placed in advance of the checkpoints.

Kansas City Police have been able to make several arrests every time checkpoints are set up, however drunken driving arrests have decreased since the police started announcing the sobriety checkpoints in advance. Hopefully this warning scares more people into finding an alternative way home when they have been drinking.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Katy Perry Booted Off Sesame Street

Children's show Sesame Street is known for many things, one being celebrity appearances. Every week, a sports star, actor, or even a politician helps kids learn their ABCs and how to count. Katy Perry was slated to be just another star who helped your kids learn, until the network rejected the footage it filmed of Perry and Elmo.

After posting a video of the pop star and beloved muppet singing Perry's hit "Hot n' Cold" on its youtube site, Sesame Street was immediately bombarded with comments, both positive and negative, about Perry's dress. It was deemed a little too revealing by most, and now the show has decided to cancel airing it on New Year's Eve like it originally planned.

While parents over-reacting is nothing new, it seems like Sesame Street could have avoided this whole mess by simply giving Perry something less adult to wear. Was everyone on the set blind, stupid or just ignorant? People get paid a lot more money than I do to make sure that Sesame Street stays appropriate for its audience, where were they when this was being filmed, edited and uploaded to the web? I have no idea, but maybe this whole situation was a secret attempt for the show to gain a more mature audience.

Kansas City Wizards Beat Houston Dynamo in Dramatic Fashion

Kansas City Wizards Beat Houston Dynamo in Dramatic Fashion

The Kansas City Wizards stayed relevant to the MLS Playoff picture with a thrilling added time victory over the Houston Dynamo Wednesday Night. The final was 4-3. Josh Wolff -the once heralded, but lately nearly invisible forward - headed home the game winner for Kansas City almost 6 minutes into stoppage time. With six games remaining (3 home - 3 Away), the Wizards are still on the outside looking in for the MLS playoffs, but have won four of their last five and seem determined to make the postseason. They are a mere 3 points behind Seattle and San Jose for the last spot.

Suspect defense by the Wizards handed Houston a 2-0 lead at the 34 minute mark before Kei Kamara, the Wizards leading scorer, finally got Kansas City on the board a minute later. Kamara took a beautiful pass from Craig Rocastle and blasted it past Dynamo Keeper Pat Onstad. Kansas City thought they had the ship righted until another defensive lapse two minutes later lead to another Houston goal.

Down 3-1 at halftime, it looked bleak for the Wizards. No MLS team this season had come from 2 goals down to win. Coach Peter Vermes made two offensive minded changes at halftime - and it turned out to help the cause. It took until the 60th minute, but one of Vermes's subs came through on a bizarre play where Houston's Keeper fell down while attempting a goal kick giving Teal Bunbury a 1-on-1 opportunity that he did not miss. With renewed life the Wizards rallied with two more goals in the final thirty minutes culminating with Wolff's header in the box off a great cross from winger Michael Harrington.

There are 3 more home games this year with huge playoff implications. Kansas City needs to get behind this team. Tickets are affordable (under $20) and parking is FREE.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Former NBA Player Gives Us Rare Positive Example

All to often, NBA and former NBA stars are in the news for all the wrong reasons. All too often, NBA players are arrested, so often that a very lengthy list can be found on stars who wound up behind bars. Other former players end up going bankrupt due to poor decision making and excess spending.

With these occurrences in the news seemingly daily, it is comforting to see a former NBA star doing something positive with his life. "Tiny" Nate Archibald is set to receive his PHD in education, providing a rare example of a former NBA star who used his time away from the court to do something greater with his life.

Archibald, who is part of the NBA's exclusive "50 Greatest Players" list, took advantage of his fame and fortune to get a degree and help educate youth on the importance of school. Rather than attempt to make money off of commercials and lame endorsements, Archibald did something to both better himself and his community. I can only hope that his example rubs off on today's NBA players. It would be refreshing to see basketball stars in the news for something other than a trip to the big house.

Independence, Missouri adds New "Harassment" Law

Independence, Missouri adds New "Harassment" Law

The Independence City Council has passed a new City Ordinance banning "Harassment" of people from vehicles. Sounds strange, but apparently there has been problems in the past with motorists throwing items such as drink cups, change and bottles at pedestrians and of all things, people in wheelchairs. People in Wheelchairs? Wow - that is really disgusting - you really have to be disturbed to throw something or yell at a person in a wheelchair. Of course, Independence isn't really known as the Mecca of class and sophistication. My questions is, how is this legal before the law. I understand Freedom of Speech, but isn't throwing items some kind of assault - or attempted assault? Do we really need another law on the books?

Independence is actually the third municipality in the State to enact such a law. Greenwood, MO (just south of Lee's Summit) and Columbia, MO already have similar laws on the books. Neither city can recall ever having a citation for an offence. A Columbia city council member even acknowledged that the law was really just a way to have a dialogue about the problem. What is our world coming to when we need to have a dialogue about harassing handicapped people? We don't need a dialogue - these people need their ass kicked.

Decline of The Catholic Church - Catholicism On The Way Out

Decline of The Catholic Church - Catholicism on the Way Out

CNN announced today that they will be airing a new investigative news report on the Catholic Religion as a whole and the fact that it is rapidly declining in popularity.  Included in the show will be an investigation on "What The Pope Knew", an intense look into just how much the Pope and the Vatican actually knew about the priests that repeatedly raped young boys for over a century right under their noses.  CNN believes that the Pope and the Vatican knew about these heinous acts of rape and sodomy and ignored them.

This is old news and I'm sure that those who continue to practice Catholicism try to block that out - as they do many facts of truth that are right in front of them.  The Catholic Church is a vast land of wild imagination as they make up anything they want as they go along and pass it on as pure fact to their parishioners.  It's hard to picture a clear thinking business man or woman sitting in a Catholic Mass, listening to the fairy tails flowing from the priest and actually believing it as fact.  Perhaps it's like a watching a movie and you have to "suspend your disbelief" to get the benefit from it.  Try to picture the president of your company sitting in church, listening to stories about serpents, magical gardens and a woman giving birth without having sex and taking all of that seriously - seems pretty far fetched.  But the Catholic brain-washing techniques are very attractive to those who need answers to questions that no one technically has the answers to.  That is, as you know, how religion was invented in the first place; to explain the unexplainable.

The Catholic Church takes the whole story book a little too far, however, and many are starting to realize that most of what the religion is based on is a huge, yet entertaining, fantasy story.  This is the information age, and the common person is not simply going to take anything that is told to them as an absolute fact.  For example:

In the old days (before Google)Two or more people are in a disagreement about what year Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.  If the disagreement wasn't taking place in a library, the true answer could not be verified.  What would usually happen back then was the person who could argue with the most conviction, almost selling the answer like a car salesman, could convince everyone present that he/she was correct and would, for the moment, win the argument.  Kind of like most political and religious leaders (starting to get the picture?)

Today (with Google)
Two or more people are in the same disagreement as above, one person gets online and performs a Google search and in seconds has the answer;  1950.  We are not easily fooled into believing anything that we hear anymore because the facts are within easy reach.

The point of that example is that the days of orators, political leaders and religious leaders just making up things as they go along are over.  We can all do a quick fact check on anything, any time, anywhere.  The reason that the Catholic Religion has survived verbatim for so many years is that no one ever challenged the story book or fact checked anything.  There was no technology to do any fact checking, and religious leaders just made things up as they went along to satisfy questions that the common people were asking about life after death, the source of their creation and other questions that really, no one knows the answer to, even to this day.  And furthermore, anyone who claims to know the answers to those questions is wrong, and if they try to push their unproven beliefs on others, they are also ignorantly arrogant.

Let's all come to one conclusion on religion, NO ONE REALLY KNOWS.  And that's ok!  It's ok to have a little mystery in life.

Sorry Catholics, but your time has come to an end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Earnings Tax Fight Heats up in Kansas City

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Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem ruled in favor of keeping Missouri Proposition A on the November ballot. Proposition A would ban cities in Missouri from collecting an income tax. The two cities that currently have an Earnings (income) tax - St Louis and Kansas City - would be required to have voters decide if the tax could continue. Next year would be the first such vote, and if the tax is continued, it would have to be voted on every five years. Kansas City Mayor Funkhouser said he was disappointed and would continue to try and educate citizens about the need for the earnings tax revenue in the city.

A large percentage of Kansas City's general budget is derived from the "E-tax" as it's called. The matter has not been brought to the voters in years. It has city officials terrified. The city has become dependent on this income - like a drug addict, it craves more and more money.

Many supporters of the earnings tax in Kansas City are geared to fight the statewide measure in November. They include the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and of course Police and Firefighters Unions, The city of Kansas City (Mayor Funkhouser), and other government employee unions. Others - like St Louis Mayor Francis Slay - think the passage of Proposition A is a foregone conclusion and are instead gearing up for the local vote on the Earnings Tax next year. This approach makes more sense to me, the local voters should have a say when it comes to how they are taxed.

Browns Center Accuses Chief Defender of Hitting Below the Belt

Football is a physical game, but according to Cleveland Brown Center Alex Mack, Chiefs Defensive Lineman Shaun Smith got a little too physical in the Chiefs 16-14 win over Cleveland on Sunday. According to Mack, Smith grabbed the Center's private parts during the game.

Smith has denied any wrong doing, however the play ended up having big consequences for the Browns. Mack claims he was so irrate after the play, he commited a personal foul on Chiefs Linebacker Derrick Johnson. The penalty led to a long field goal attempt for Browns kicker Phil Dawson, who missed what may have been a game-winning kick.

Smith played for the Browns the past two seasons before the team cut him in the offseason, so he may have had a little extra motivation to get back at his former team. The Browns may only have themselves to blame for his antics; this article mentions that NFL players accuse the Browns of the most crotch-grabbing and eye-poking in the NFL. Mack is simply getting the same treatment that Brown's opponents have been receiving for the past few seasons.

The bottom line is that the NFL is a dirty game, and things like this happen on the field all the time. Smith is not mentioned as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL, and did something that the Browns have become notorious for. Maybe in the future Mack should just wear a bigger cup.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chiefs Beat Browns, Move to 2-0

No that title is not a misprint, the Kansas City Chiefs have opened the season 2-0. Kansas City won a close road contest against the Cleveland Browns to remain undefeated and on top of the AFC West standings. While not thoroughly convincing, a win is a win, and the team has already matched half of its win total from last season.

After finishing what was yet again a terrible preseason, many thought that the young Chiefs were still at least a year away from contention. However, the league's weakest schedule and a few signs of life from the running game and special teams turned some fans into believers. After the first two weeks, many are starting to wonder if Kansas City can make a push for the playoffs.

Now before Chief fans get too carried away, lets not forget that even really bad teams can jump out to fast starts (Tampa Bay, anyone?) and then cool off. The Chiefs offense is still held back from subpar play from Matt Cassel and not getting Jamaal Charles the ball enough (despite his eye-opening stats).

The Chiefs have made obvious improvements, but still have a long way to go. With an easy schedule and weak division, there is no reason why the team shouldn't at least contend for a playoff spot. At the very least, the team may still be in playoff contention after week 8, which is a big improvement from the past two seasons.

Weekend Storms Wreak Havoc Over Kansas City Area

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Strong storms rolled through the Kansas City Area on Saturday evening accompanied by strong winds and large hail. Some of the worst damage was in the Northland where winds close to 90 mph tore through the area. As of this morning, KCP&L reports roughly 1400 are still without power North of the River. This is down from the nearly 20,000 that were powerless immediately following the storm. The utility will be handing out dry ice today to those without power, bring a cooler with you to the K-Mart parking lot on Vivian Rd.

Also hard hit was Smithville Lake. The storm did $500,000 worth of damage to G Dock at Paradise Pointe Marina. That dock was a total lose, and some damage was done to surrounding docks. Large trees were downed around the Lake, and power is not restored in that are either.

Large hail around town did significant damage including the Independence Center where a skylight was broken. The mall had to be partially evacuated. Cars and roofs were heavily damaged by hail up to SOFTBALL sized. Amazingly there were no injuries reported in any of the incidents across the Kansas City Region. More good news, no more storms expected until at least Wednesday, giving folks a chance to clean up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Should KU Start Kale Pick?

Ah, the good old quarterback position. It all starts and ends there. We saw how Kale Pick started the season,Jordan Webb came in to lead KU to a surprise win over 15th ranked Georgia Tech, and then KU got smacked on the road by Southern Mississippi. While Webb has played somewhat well for a true freshman, perhaps KU is better off with Kale Pick.

First, lets take a look at KU's offense as a whole. So far, the only thing KU has really done effectively is run the ball. Webb has played pretty well, most notably he hasn't thrown a pick which has been big. My question is: if KU's offense is going to rely on the run, especially some zone reads, options, etc why not use Pick? Webb made a few plays with his feet but Pick could be deadly on the run. Maybe just go all in with a rushing attack with Pick and the RBs, and use the occasional pass?

The other reason I thought a switch could be possible is when KU isn't running and running and running, the majority of the team's passes are bubble screens and short throws. You are telling me that Pick couldn't execute the bubble screen? If the Jayhawks are going to handicap its offense no matter who is behind center and only throw screens and short passes, couldn't they at least try to get another threat/dimension out of the position?

My third point is for being the "better passer" of the two, I haven't been impressed really with Webb's throws more than 10 yards. Against Southern Miss, most of his passes that were even remotely downfield were way off. I know he is still young and has time to develop, but some of those passes were ugly. I also wonder about the quick switch at QB. Was Pick that bad against NDSU? He wasn't good, but was he that bad? The coaches said he was clearly the better QB during the spring and summer and earned the QB1 spot, was that just an attempt to give him confidence? I'm not sure, but if KU's offense continues to struggle, Pick should at least be given a second look.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cigar Fest and Other Weekend Events Around Kansas City

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A Look at Weekend Events Around Kansas City

Saturday, September 18th from 2-10PM
Beaumont Club
4050 Pennsylvania, KCMO
Tickets are $55 at the door.

Admission includes 4 hand rolled cigars, 2 drink tickets, and a raffle chance - Raffle prizes include premium cigars, t-shirts, ashtrays. Hooters calender girl Brittney Fultz will be on hand. Music via live DJ, and Master cigar roller Abel Laura (son of Fidel Castro's former personal cigar roller) will be rolling cigars. Event is hosted by the Cigar Rights of America, an organization devoted to protecting the smoking rights of Americans.

Saturday September 18th 7PM
Starlight Theatre
4600 Starlight Rd, KCMO

Enjoy the sounds of Blue Eyed Soul at Starlight tonight. Boz Skaggs, Donald Fagan, and Michael McDonald will be performing. Boz Skaggs started his career with Steve Miller before striking out on his own with hits like "Lido Shuffle" and "Lowdown". Donald Fagan enjoyed a lengthy career as songwriter and lead singer of Steely Dan (I'd love to have those MUZAK royalties). Michael McDonald has played with the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and had a very successful solo career with hits such as "I keep Forgettin'" and "You Belong to Me". Tickets still available ranging from $40-$126.

The Blue Room
18th and Vine, KCMO

Kansas City's own Jazz singers and all around entertainers will be performing Saturday night at The Blue Room in the 18th and Vine district - 8PM - admission is $10.

Midland Theatre
1228 Main St, KCMO

For the kiddos, Dora, Kai-lan, and all of their friends from Nick, Jr will perform live Saturday and Sunday. Three shows each day - buy your tickets here. Prices range from $15-$40. Kids as young as 2yrs old will enjoy this show.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ford CEO Speaks to Businessmen in Kansas City

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Ford CEO Speaks to Businessmen in Kansas City

Ford CEO Alan Mullaly visited Kansas City on Thursday to speak to a group of businessmen at the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon introduced him at the event. Some employees of the local Ford plant were nervous about the visit because of rumors abound regarding the moving of Escape production to Louisville next year. But Mullaly would not commit either way to continue production or add new models to the Claycomo Production Facility.

Earlier this summer, Governor Nixon called a special Legislative Session to push through tax incentives for Ford to continue production in the State. That move did not guarantee that Ford would increase production or even keep the facility open. The move was somewhat controversial with some legislators claims that giving a tax break to a company that had billions in profit last year was financially irresponsible. Mullaly would only give lip service as to whether or not Ford was committed to keeping the Claycomo Plant open stating that he was "pleased with the ongoing relationship with the State of Missouri".

After speaking to the Chamber, Mullaly spoke a block away at an event for the Missouri Department of Economic Development. It was good to see the Governor back in Kansas City for the First time since THIS crazy person wanted to stab him.

Michael Vick Gets Shot at Redemption

Few professional athletes, or human beings for that matter, fell harder than Michael Vick did two years ago. Vick, a former number one pick, had enjoyed three pro bowls and had led his Atlanta Falcons to an NFC Title game and what seemed to be a bright future.

Then it happened. Vick, found guilty of soliciting illegal dog fighting at his home, went to jail, and his career was seemingly over. A quarterback who once signed the richest deal in NFL history was seemingly finished, another cautionary tale of an athlete who had everything, and foolishly squandered it all away.

Sports can be funny though. For every nine athletes that go to jail and are never heard from again, there is always that one who makes a comeback. Vick signed with the Eagles to be a decoy type player. Maybe run a little wildcat, line up in the slot. No one thought he would ever be a starting quarterback again.

Fast forward to this season. The Eagles deal long-time starter Donovan McNabb to Washington, Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion and Vick found himself leading a gusty comeback attempt against Green Bay, in which he moved the chains all day with his arm and legs and nearly pulled off the comeback. Vick may never be a long-term starter again, but starting this week, he has a chance at some redemption and an opportunity to prove a nation wrong.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gays Seek to get on "Kiss Cam"

Baseball can be a slow, boring game. Ok, what am I saying "can be," the games are too long, lack non-stop action found in other sports, and even this guy can be a star player (yes that is a baseball player, not a pie-eating competition champion). Naturally, stadiums have gotten clever at adding events to keep fans interested: prize give-aways, various races and most notably, the kiss-cam. You know you start rooting hard when you see Grandpa and Grandma start making out in front of thousands of people.

Gay activists in St. Louis want in on the fun too, and are now asking Busch Stadium to put them on the kiss cam. Thats right, Ozzie Guillen and his team aren't making the sport gay enough already by kissing at the end of games. To protest, over 200 members from the gay community will be attending a Cardinals game this saturday to try and be heard.

My first thought on this issue was "gay people go to baseball games?!" Next time you are out at a ball park, take a look around the crowd. There aren't exactly a bunch of guys that look like this group are there? You are more likely to see these guys or, if we are lucky, her. The gayest thing a baseball game is when "YMCA" comes on the loudspeakers; where are all these oppressed gays in the stands?

On the issue at hand, I'm all for gays having equal rights, but lets be real. Not everyone shares my viewpoint, especially baseball fans. I'm talking loud, angry, and incredibly drunk baseball fans. Showing guy-on-guy action on the jumbotron is going to lead to some fights and unpleasant situations which could be avoided. Then again, maybe some girl-on-girl action could boost attendance. We know the Royals could certainly benefit from selling some more tickets...

City of Randolph Speed Trap Scrutinized

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City of Randolph Speed Trap Scrutinized

Anyone who regularly visits the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City knows that you do not speed through the tiny village of Randolph, MO on Hwy 210. A speed trap has long existed there and is a huge revenue source for the town of roughly 50 people. It is not uncommon for small towns to derive income this way - obviously lacking a strong tax base for revenue. I used to drive Hwy 50 to Warrensburg regularly and remember a speed trap in Lone Jack. Well, for many years, a law has existed in the State of Missouri that limits a municipality's ability to derive income from speeding tickets. In fact, the law states that any revenue over 35% of a town's budget that comes from ticketing on state or US Highways has to be returned to the Missouri budget for education.

State Auditor Susan Montee recently completed an audit on the town and released her findings. The report finds that Randolph does not have a system in place for tracking funds derived from violations given on highways. In addition, the town operated 5 months starting in August of last year without a court clerk. Many duties were not being done, and records were a disaster. The Police Department also does not keep track of tickets issued. The Department was unable to locate 38% of the tickets tested by the Auditor's office.

Not only is the city of Randolph in violation of state law, the shoddy accounting is also makes them ripe for corruption. The Auditor's office has made no allegations of corruption as yet.


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