Thursday, June 17, 2010

Budget Cuts in Missouri Could Impact Schools

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The state of Missouri is facing more cuts to the state budget, which could impact Kansas City, MO schools. Today, Governor Nixon announced over $300 million dollars in tax cuts, which will decrease college scholarships, mental health services and school transportation.

The cuts to school transportation may be the most significant reduction to the state budget, as the reported $70 million being cut for transportation is 45 percent of the overall budget. Nixon said the cuts were made to preserve funding for classrooms.

While Nixon’s efforts to improve education are commendable, slashing the school’s transportation budget nearly in half will likely have significant consequences. If schools continue to cut transportation, working parents may lose bus options for their children and be forced to find other options. If the school districts cannot cut transportation further, other areas of education may be negatively impacted.

It is important for the state to try to cut education as little as possible. If budget cuts are necessary in the future, hopefully legislation can find ways to reduce spending without impacting education. In our present economy, however, this may not be possible.

KCPL Attempts to Increase Rates in Kansas City

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KCPL is attempting to raise rates for power in Kansas City in relation to a new power plant they intend to build in Weston, Missouri.

The estimate to build the new plant is at a whopping $98 million dollars - $20 million over KCP&L's original estimate.  The new plant will be a coal-fired 850 megawatt plant which will be 73% owned by Great Plains Energy, KCP&L's parent company.

So who do you think KCP&L will expect to pay for this new plant?  That's right, the consumers.  David Springe, head of the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board in Kansas, has been anticipating that rates will increase by 50 percent.  Springe said it's important for regulators to scrutinize the plant's cost to see whether any of it is imprudent."We'll see if the management and shareholders can absorb some of the cost instead of just dumping it on consumers," he said.

The good news is, a ruling came down today from the Kansas Corporation Commission stating that KCP&L should not only be denied the $50 + million dolar rate increases, but should actually cut their revenues by $9 million per year.  The KCC claims that the consumer should not have to pay for KCP&L's new plant, nor the $4 million they are seeking to improve their current headquarters in Kansas City.

Well, all we can say is, it must be nice to have a MONOPOLY based company that can raise it's rates whenever they feel like it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kansas City Picked to Host 2012 MLB All-Star Game

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Kansas City has been officially selected to host the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star game. The decision was announced by MLB commissioner Bud Selig today before the Royals’ inter-league game against the Houston Astros. The official announcement ends over a year’s worth of speculation that Kansas City would be picked to host the event in 2012.

The recent renovations made to Kauffman stadium were a boost to Kansas City’s chances of landing the game. Kansas City approved a $225 million bond issue to fund stadium renovations, which were completed before the 2009 regular season.

Kansas City has not hosted an all-star game since Kauffman Stadium’s opening season in 1973. The event, which features the all-star game as well as a full week of festivities including the home run derby, will generated an estimated $60-65 million dollars in revenue.  This means great things for Kansas City Restaurants and most likely The Power and Light District.

Anaheim, CA will host this season’s event. Current ticket prices for the 2010 event are starting at well over $400, which signals an expensive experience for any Kansas City locals who are interested in attending. Phoenix, AZ will host the all-star week during the 2011 season.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kansas City Hit Hard by Flooding

Bookmark and ShareKansas City area homes and business continue to be damaged by on-going flooding. Up to four feet of water has been reported in some areas, as heavy overnight rains have pushed creeks and rivers out of their banks and into business and residential areas.
The National Weather Service has reported that areas near the state line between Kansas and Missouri have been hit the hardest. Leawood, Mission Hills, Prairie Village all were victims to the most significant flooding that came primarily from Indian Creek.
Many homes and businesses have experience power loss as well. The combined effects of the water damage and loss of power have caused some businesses to permanently close, while many residents have been forced to relocate.
Several major highways in Kansas and Missouri have had closings as well, which has caused traffic problems for other highways. While many of these issues are being resolved, the forecast for rain throughout the month of June could signal more problems in the future.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big 12 Survival Still Possible

The new network, which would be modeled after the Big 10’s successful network, could produce anywhere between $17 to $20 million dollars for the remaining schools. The Big 12 would also split the penalties Colorado and Nebraska would be forced to pay for leaving the conference, adding further financial incentive for the remaining schools to possibly stay and salvage the conference.
The move may be too little too late from Beebe, who has been criticized for his lack of a proactive approach throughout the various progressions of conference realignment news. The Pac 10 has reportedly already offered Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State spots in the conference, in addition to Colorado who has already committed.
Texas A&M is reportedly interested in the SEC and has turned down the Pac 10, which may now be targeting Kansas. Pac 10 Commissioner Larry Scott has reportedly flown to Kansas City to talk to KU officials as early as Monday morning.
Beebe’s actions and many of the Big 12’s schools desire to stay put may save the conference. However it appears everything hinges on the decision of Texas. The schools must decide what is best for their future first and what is best for the rest of the Big 12 schools second. No matter what happens, it appears that an outcome should be coming soon that will significantly or insignificantly shake up college sports.


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