Mission’s Johnson Drive opened more than a year ago after months of construction.We continue today with our questions for candidates for public office from shawneemissionpost.com readers. Today we feature the responses to the third question from candidates for Mission City Council. Today’s question is:The Johnson Drive rebuild has attracted some new businesses. What is the next step the city needs to take to strengthen the business community? What about the residential community?Ward 2Scott BabcockScott BabcockDuring the renovation of Johnson Drive between Lamar and Nall, the businesses in Mission were challenged. Poor access, rerouted traffic, and the mess caused by construction, all were stressors on our businesses. Now we are seeing businesses and building owners revitalize their property. Bearde’ Salon has redone their space giving it a fresh feel. The old Taco Bell building has been given a face lift and now houses Starbucks. The old Apollo Hair Systems building has been remodeled and is awaiting a new tenant. Additionally, the old Plymouth dealership has been redeveloped into Natural Grocers, Pot Belly, Pie Five, Five Guys and PepperJax. I believe we have a great start and need to work with business and property owners to continue this clean up and remodeling effort throughout the Johnson Drive business district. The vision for the development of Mission was to encourage a walking retail experience. To achieve that vision, we need to bring pedestrian traffic to Mission. One step to increase our pedestrian traffic was the establishment of the Mission Market last year. The Market is off to a good start, and we need to continue to promote it and encourage its growth. Events such as the Shop Local Campaign, Trunk or Treat, or our annual BBQ event are things the City can do to act as a catalyst to establish retail traffic. I would like to see the formal development of an organization I call the Mission Retailers Association. This would be an association of business and commercial property owners which the city could work with to promote business in Mission. I would like to see this association work with the city to come up with an annual signature event. An example could be the “Annual Mission Fun Run”, which would be an annual 5k run/walk charitable event for Disabled Veterans. Maybe it’s an event that rotates charitable organizations each year, the point being that it serves the metro community from a charitable aspect and serves to increase the visibility of retail in our city. In addition to marketing type programs, we also could designate Neighborhood Revitalization Districts (NRD) both in our business and residential areas. This program basically would allow owners to make improvements to their building or dwelling, and receive a rebate of property tax dollars on those improvements for up to 10 years. Another program that exists is the Business Improvement Grant (BIG). This program funds ½ of the improvement costs to a commercial building, up to $10,000. The improvements could be exterior or energy efficiency improvements in nature. I think working with business in the city to develop opportunities for success in our city will generate goodwill for all and help us obtain the vision the city strives to meet.Nick SchlossmacherNick SchlossmacherMany of the steps that the city should take to strengthen both the business community and the residential community overlap with each other and I’ll start there. The most important things that we need to do is to ensure that we provide safety and accessibility for the residents, business patrons and people who work in Mission. It’s critical to make sure that we pass a road maintenance plan to ensure that our streets will be taken care of. This includes looking at plans to improve the city sidewalks and curbs to make the city more accessible and walkable. The city also needs to ensure that we have adequate police protection to ensure the safety of the community, and that city services that are provided are of the highest quality possible.As for businesses specifically, we need to make sure that we don’t price people out of doing business in Mission. Our sales tax rate is already the highest of the surrounding communities and increasing it any further may be detrimental to both our existing businesses and potential future businesses that may want to move to Mission. The city should also make a stronger attempt to engage the local business community and listen to their ideas on how we can ensure that Mission remains a desirable place to be.Although neither of us are from Mission, my wife and I decided to buy our first home here. Sure the location is great, but on top of that we love the character of Mission, the livability and the value it provides its residents. Programs like the Mission Farm and Flower Market also go a long way to bolster the community. There are some other low cost amenities, like an off-leash dog park that could bring a lot of enjoyment to the residents of Mission and surrounding communities.By providing the essential services that the city should be responsible for, exploring the expansion of some amenities and preserving the characteristics that we all love about Mission we will continue to strengthen Mission and make it more appealing to both the residential and business communities.Ward 3Jennifer CowdryJennifer CowdrySuccessful developments on both the east and west side of Mission will increase traffic through the Johnson Drive corridor increasing opportunities for people to stop, shop and eat. Increased traffic increases business. Increased business increases revenues leading to more money for streets, sidewalks, trails, recreation and deceased tax burden on residents for infrastructure. Kristin InmanKristin InmanPromote the Mission Business Improvement Grant (BIG). This grant supports local businesses through funding for exterior building repairs or improvements as well qualified energy efficiency improvements.Expand the farmer’s market to include a semi permanent structure. In addition to the farmer’s market, this structure could be used for other community based events that bring people downtown such as bands, festivals and the Art Walk. This would be good for both the residential community as well as the business community.Mission is fortunate to have many businesses here that are non-retail but have a lot of employees that shop in Mission. I would like the Mission Magazine to profile these businesses. In addition to promoting these businesses, the community would realize a greater appreciation of the important contributions these businesses and their employees make to our city. This may lead to private industry sponsorships that would benefit the community.We have many homeowners that are on a fixed income that could use assistance in maintaining their property. Mission has an outstanding program called Mission Possible that provides for these services. I would like to see this program more heavily promoted. This will help to eliminate code violations as will as maintain property values.Ward 4Ron AppletoftRon AppletoftThe revitalization of Johnson Drive has been successful and has tremendously improved its appearance as well as its structural foundation. Now it is time to make improvements to other parts of Johnson Drive that will help our businesses. We need to turn our attention to improved signage and enforcing our current codes related to existing signage. Also, we have an opportunity to support the businesses by improving the parking availability for their customers. A committee has been established and is currently studying the parking situation. There are a number of vacant lots around Johnson Drive that could be utilized for a much better purpose.The key to a healthy and vital residential neighborhood relates to codes enforcement and strong homeowners associations. We all have a vested interest in maintaining our property values and the best way to accomplish that is to have strong codes and consistent enforcement. Homeowners Associations help a neighborhood establish its identity and complements the code enforcement of Mission.Ward 1 council candidate Pat Quinn, who is unopposed, did not submit a response to the question.Tomorrow’s question: The Transportation Utility Fee (TUF), sometimes known as the driveway tax, was dropped in the city’s 2016 budget and the revenue replaced with a property tax increase. The TUF is tied up in the courts. If it is found to be legal, would you be in favor of bringing it back or do you favor using property tax and/or sales tax to support street work? Should the city debt-finance the needed street work?Monday’s question: The Gateway developmentWalking and biking trails
The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday issued the long-awaited ruling in the Gannon school funding case, a unanimous decision finding that the state’s K-12 funding mechanism does not satisfy the “adequacy” requirement of the state constitution. The Office of Judicial Administration’s announcement of the ruling is copied below:TOPEKA— The Kansas Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision in Gannon v. State, holding that the Kansas K-12 public education financing system does not meet the adequacy requirements of the people’s constitution. The court stayed the enforcement of its decision until June 30, 2017, to give the state Legislature time to respond. If by June 30 the state has not satisfactorily demonstrated to the Supreme Court that any K-12 public education financing system the Legislature enacts is capable of meeting the adequacy requirements of the constitution, then a lifting of the stay will mean that Kansas will be without a legally valid system. The plaintiffs in this case are four school districts that sued the state in 2010, alleging K-12 public school funding in Kansas was unconstitutionally inadequate. After a 16-day trial, a three-judge panel agreed with the plaintiffs that the then existing school finance system — the School District Finance and Quality Performance Act (SDFQPA) — was unconstitutional under Article 6, § 6(b) of the Kansas Constitution. On appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court held that Article 6, § 6(b) contains an adequacy component. It adopted a seven-prong adequacy test initially expressed by the Kentucky Supreme Court in Rose v. Council for Better Education, Inc. (1989), which had essentially been codified earlier by the Kansas Legislature. The adequacy question then was sent back to the three-judge panel for it to “assess whether the public education financing system provided by the Legislature for grades K-12 — through structure and implementation — is reasonably calculated to have all Kansas public education students meet or exceed the standards set out in Rose [citation omitted] and as presently codified in K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 72-1127.” The panel again held — now under the Rose-based test — that the SDFQPA was still constitutionally inadequate. The Legislature then repealed the SDFQPA and replaced it with the Classroom Learning Assuring Student Success Act (CLASS). The Legislature set CLASS and its block grants to expire on June 30, 2017, with the intention of installing a new financing system by that time. The plaintiff school districts challenged CLASS as constitutionally inadequate under Article 6, § 6(b), and the panel agreed after reviewing the new law under the Rose-based test.On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the panel’s conclusion that CLASS is unconstitutionally inadequate. In reaching this conclusion, the court determined that the panel properly exercised its jurisdiction over the question of CLASS’s constitutional adequacy. It also reaffirmed the ruling of its previous Gannon decisions that the question of Article 6 compliance is a justiciable question suitable for resolution in the courts of Kansas. The Supreme Court further held that the panel did not abuse its discretion in refusing to reopen the trial record on remand, and that it correctly utilized the judicial notice procedures allowed under state law. Additionally, the court determined that the panel’s written decisions were sufficient to provide the Supreme Court with a meaningful review of the panel’s analysis.To determine whether the Rose-based test for adequacy had been met, the court reviewed the panel’s findings. It also reviewed updated information concerning both the education system’s inputs, such as funding and other resources the state made available to school districts, and outputs such as student scores on statewide standardized tests. The court determined the plaintiff school districts had shown through the evidence before the panel — and through the updated results on standardized testing since the trial — that the state is failing to provide approximately one-fourth of all its public school K-12 students with the basic skills of both reading and math, and that it is leaving further behind significant groups of other students. Nearly one-half of Kansas’ African American students, and more than one-third of its Hispanic students, are not proficient in reading and math — subjects at the heart of an adequate education. The total of these students equates to approximately all the K-12 public school students in every school district in every county with an eastern boundary beginning west of Salina — more than one-half of the state’s geographic area. The full decision can be viewed here.We’ve put out a call to local officials and interested parties for comment on the decision and will be posting them on the site this afternoon.
A handful of Kansas City Chiefs fans watch the team’s victory parade and rally at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center in Mission.The Kansas City Chiefs celebrated a Super Bowl victory on Wednesday afternoon, and the city of Mission did its part to help fans participate in the festivities — from the comfort of a warm building.The city of Mission hosted a Chiefs victory parade and rally watch party in the conference rooms at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday. A handful of Kansas City Chiefs fans came out to watch the parade on the community center’s big screens, and enjoy a snacks provided by the city.Some attendees came to the watch party after seeing an announcement on social media, and others happened to be in the building. One attendee said she headed to the watch party after a yoga instructor informed her about it. She said she was a fan of the Chiefs prior to the franchise’s relocation to Kansas City, when they were the Dallas Texans.Another attendee, Vincent Rolls, went to the victory parade in downtown Kansas City, Mo., before heading to the Sylvester Powell watch party. Rolls, who has been a Chiefs fan for nearly three decades, said even in the bitter cold, parade attendees were peaceful and loving.“It means everything for the city, for me it means everything,” Rolls said. “I’ve been a fan since I was 10 and I’m 38, so I’m a diehard and I love it. It brings the community together.”Rolls said the conference room alone showed the power of the win, as there were people of varying generations there sharing the experience. Another watch party participant, Kathy Bauer, struck a similar chord: Not only has the win brought the city together, it’s brought together a nationwide fanbase, Bauer said.“Everybody is so excited, even people all over [the country],” Bauer said. “My son is in Las Vegas, he was cheering [the Chiefs] on and jumping into a swimming pool afterwards. It’s just bringing everybody together.”
A statement yesterday from the Entomological Society of America (ESA) called for a national strategy to invest in approaches that address the spread of ticks and the rising prevalence of tickborne diseases in humans.Tickborne diseases are responsible for about 300,000 human illnesses per year in the United States, accounting for $700 million to $1.3 billion in annual costs, the ESA said. The economic burden on public health systems is estimated to be at least three times higher.Strategy and prioritiesResearch, training, and development of technology are at the heart of the ESA’s strategy, partly because ecological changes and the identification of new tickborne diseases have led to what ESA President Phil Mulder, PhD, calls a “tick literacy deficit” in both scientists and members of the public.”The rapid rise in tick-borne diseases is a critical national issue. A recent confluence of environmental, ecological, sociological, and human demographic factors has created a near ‘perfect storm, ‘ leading to more ticks in more places, ” Mulder said.The statement advocates for an integrated approach among universities, industry, and government to addressing tickborne disease, noting that entomologists have unique capabilities to help prevent human disease.New diseases, expanding Lyme threatIts priorities come on the heels of new tickborne diseases identified in the United States over the past several years and the increasing spread of ticks across the country. Bourbon virus, which was identified in 2014 after it caused the death of a Kansas man, currently has no treatment or vaccine. Heartland virus was first identified in 2009 after it severely sickened two Missouri men.The ESA requests policies and investments that strengthen research into development of vaccines, repellents, attractants, and acaricides. Also of high importance are ecological surveillance technologies and methods that will allow researchers to visualize interactions between ticks, their animal hosts, and the landscape.Lyme disease, which is spread by deer ticks and can cause severe illness, continues to gain a foothold across the United States. A 2014 North Dakota survey found that ticks carrying the pathogens that cause Lyme disease and anaplasmosis had spread into the state. A study in upstate New York found that a sample of deer ticks carried multiple pathogens, potentially exposing people to more than one disease with a single bite.Investing in new partnershipsThe ESA statement emphasizes that gains in preventing tickborne disease will come with greater investment in training professional entomologists and citizen-scientists to monitor tick biology and pathogens. International partnerships that prevent introduction of new diseases are also a key focus of the statement; the ESA estimates that preventing new tickborne diseases from entering the US would save the livestock industry more than $3 billion each year.An integrated approach focused on scientific research, ecological understanding, training for new scientists, and partnerships with those who can translate research into technology will “solve the tick problem,” asserts the ESA.See also:Aug 10 ESA statementMay 29 CIDRAP News scan on second Bourbon virus caseFeb 20 CIDRAP News scan on first Bourbon virus caseSept 12, 2014, CIDRAP News scan on Lyme disease spreadJun 20, 2014, CIDRAP News scan on Lyme disease coinfectionJul 22, 2013, CIDRAP News story on Heartland virus
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Companies have failed to invest in anti-corruption schemes ahead of legislation that will punish domestic and foreign bribery, research has shown. More than three-quarters of companies have not invested any money in anti-corruption strategies, and only 12% have spent more than £500 on preparing for the Bribery Act, according to research by business and financial advisers Grant Thornton. Some 42% of companies had not conducted a thorough assessment of their exposure to corruption risk, or established a clear plan to revise their existing policies, the research found. The act will introduce a corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery, but companies will have a defence under the act if they can show that they had adequate procedures in place to prevent it. Company executives face personal criminal liability if they connived or consented to offering or receiving a bribe to or from a public official or company representative. Grant Thornton forensic partner Sterl Greenhalgh said: ‘It is clear that these findings are not exactly good news for the Serious Fraud Office, [which has] undertaken an extensive outreach programme promoting the importance of the new act and the penalties that will come into force. ‘This report shows that there is still confusion, uncertainty and a certain level of complacency about the Bribery Act among corporates.’ Some 90% of the senior executives surveyed said that the government should be doing more to promote anti-corruption measures to foreign governments. Two-fifths said they were concerned that, once the act comes into force, they will lose out to foreign competitors. However, 80% said that the legislation marked a positive move for the UK. Grant Thornton surveyed 166 senior executives at leading UK companies.
THE LARGEST smart-card fare collection contract yet awarded in North America was signed by San Francisco’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission on May 27. The 10-year turnkey agreement with Motorola’s Worldwide Smartcard Solutions Division and the ERG Group provides for the installation of a smart card ticketing system that may eventually cover every public transport operator in the San Francisco Bay Area. The consortium will initially conduct a six-month trial of the new TransLink system towards the end of next year. This will cover about 5000 passengers using metro, rail, light rail and bus services worked by BART, Caltrain, Muni, Golden Gate Transit, AC Transit and Santa Clara County’s Valley Transportation Authority. If the trials are successful, TransLink will be expanded to cover the services of 26 operators from 2001, allowing seamless travel throughout the region. Motorola and ERG will fund the installation and operation of the equipment, and will receive between US$114m and US$157m, depending the level of card usage over the 10-year concession.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted a second-half penalty to seal Borussia Dortmund’s 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Saturday’s German Cup final — on what could be his final Dortmund appearance.Aubameyang’s calmly taken spot-kick was his 40th goal this season for Dortmund in all competitions and ended Dortmund’s misery after losing the three previous cup finals in Berlin in 2014, 2015 and 2016.His winning penalty was Aubameyang’s 120th goal in his 190th game in four seasons with Dortmund.However, despite having a contract until 2020, this could be Aubameyang’s final appearance having said he will decide his future after talks with Dortmund’s bosses.He is reportedly weighing up bumper offers from Paris St-Germain, AC Milan and China’s China’s Tianjin Quanjian with PSG his most likely destinationAfter Dortmund took the lead at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium through Ousmane Dembele’s early goal, Frankfurt’s forward Ante Rebic’s equalised to make it 1-1 at the break before Aubameyang turned the game.Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel praised his team, who have bounced back from the April 11 bomb attack on their team bus to win silverware this season having finished third in the Bundesliga.“I am spent, I must admit, after watching that,” said Tuchel.“We started really well, then stopped playing and were lucky not to fall behind, but we dug deep and now everything is perfect.”Dortmund romped to a 3-1 home Bundesliga win over Frankfurt in mid-April, but this was a much bolder performance from Niko Kovic’s Eintracht, who had won only one of their previous ten games coming into the Berlin final.Dortmund took the lead with just eight minutes gone when Dembele was released down the right flank and the fleet-footed 20-year-old cut inside Frankfurt defender Jesus Vallejo and curled his shot into the net.But Eintracht started to pressurise the Dortmund defence.Frankfurt’s US international Timothy Chandler whipped in a cross and Croatia international Rebic was just inches from connecting with the goal at his mercy.He made no mistake on 29 minutes when Serbia midfielder Mijat Gacinovic’s superb pass split the Dortmund defence and released Rebic, who slotted his shot past Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki.Frankfurt should have taken the lead when Rebic traded passes with Haris Seferovic whose shot beat Burki, but hit the post on 39 minutes.Neither Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer nor playmaker Marco Reus came out for the second half.Schmelzer had carried a leg knock into the final, while Reus injured his right knee midway through the first half.Tuchel responded by switching from a 3-3-2-2 formation to a 4-5-1 formation with Aubameyang, the Bundesliga’s top scorer this season with 31 goals, as the loan striker.Japan midfielder fired at Frankfurt goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky just after the break.But the scene was set for Aubameyang.His flying bicycle kick was only cleared off the line by Frankfurt’s Mexico international Marco Fabian on 64 minutes.And the Gabon hot-shot showed a cool head by slotting the winning penalty straight down the middle on 67 minutes after substitute Christian Pulisic was brought down by Frankfurt’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.Frankfurt boss Kovac responded by bringing on Frankfurt’s burly striker Alexander Meier, 34, the Bundesliga’s top-scorer in 2014/15, for the final 20 minutes to try to force an equaliser to no avail.
Tuesday afternoon the Brunswick Lady Blue Devil bowling team put up some of their best scores of the season, as they topped Elyria 1699-1636 .After losing the first team game by only 19 pins, the Blue Devils came out on fire, taking home an eventual 33 pin win.Sophomore Mikayla Craig led that team game with a 176, followed by Sophomore Nina Bowman with a 175, which was her highest pin total of the season.Junior Ally Kovach added a 167, while Sophomores Ashley Mullally and Kylie Boyd had 140 and 106.Brunswick stayed ahead and won their first baker game. Even after losing the next, the Lady Blue Devils managed to bring home a win.The Blue Devils are back in action this Friday at Dick Hoover Lanes. They will host Buckeye. Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Matt Loede Related TopicsBrunswick Blue DevilsElyria Pioneers