Kansas City Week in Review – October 4, 2019

Kansas City Week in Review – October 4, 2019

October 13, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


please have your boarding pass
out we’re heading on a journey it’s a thirty minute ride thru
the most impactful local news stories of our week what no no
we’ve been raising hell for months it makes me
sick I think it’s kind of disgusting that you try to
addict our children Not all of
Mozart’s paintings were perfect week in review is made possible
through the generous support of Dave and Jamie Cummings Bob and
Marlese Gourley Smithfield foods Haas and Wilkerson
insurance the Courtney S. Turner charitable trust John H.
Mize and bank of America N. A.
co trustees and by viewers like you thank you
welcome everyone I’m Nick Haines glad to have you with us
as our traveling companions to the biggest news stories of our
week pouring through the metros top headlines Mr up to date on
KCUR FM Steve Kraske nationally syndicated columnist for the
Tribune news service Mary Sanchez from the forty one
action news problem solving team reporter cat Reid and from
the pages of your Kansas city star Dave Helling they were the
ones that finally put the word international in Kansas city
International Airport now the only airline offering a direct
connection from Kansas city to Europe has left KCI Iceland air
made lots of headlines last year when they began flying
passengers nonstop between Kansas city and the Icelandic
capital Reykjavik why quit so soon cat well the airline says
it has to do with profitability and and partially related to
the grounding of the seven thirty seven Max so they had to
go to a bigger plane which led to a thirty three percent
increase in seet capacity for at this route so they say that
they’re just looking to kind of trim some some of these
things and get their budget back on track but they to
get them here in the first place the city was willing to waive
all of this the airport charges the landing fees they got two
hundred fifty thousand dollars for marketing they did a twelve
million dollar renovation of the international area for
Icelandair will the city now be trying to claw any of that
money back not as far as I understand it
there may be some discussions with the aviation department
and they’re but but I do think that there will be an
attempt to use some of those funds Nick going forward to
find another airline who might be willing to fly to Europe
that that discussion continues I will point out we probably
won’t be getting money back we might be spending more money
because as part of the agreement the development
counsel and chamber agreed to pay the airline stop loss
funding for the the route so the chamber told us they’re
not sure exactly or rather the development council said
they’re not sure how much that will be but they’re committed
to that agreement Steve we are working on a brand new one
point five billion dollar single terminal at KCI part of
that is also about the idea somehow we might have expanded
service to other parts what does this story tellers about
the prospects for that is this a worrying sign yes there’s
clearly challenges ahead when it comes to this community
getting international flights this Icelandic Iceland flight
situation didn’t work out really well there it was an
initial interest lot of people trying it out but then yeah you
heard complaints about a lack of of marketing a lack of
interest travel agents said that the public’s interest in
flying to Iceland really dropped off so clearly there
are big challenges ahead for folks who want to put KCI on the
map Mary by the end of the week
though the KCI was saying Hey hold on
a moment we are bringing in more flights vacation express the
tour operator bringing in two
new flights to Mexico does that
offset the loss of the first transatlantic flight it does
only if you look at it in terms of those tourism dollars that
vacationing set what KCI what Kansas city really needs to
move forward are flights to international for business
Fort Leavenworth is a huge user of the airport and if you’re
within their businesses and that’s what like forty Kansas
city based businesses that have international offices if you’re
one of those executives you have to build on time at the
end and the beginning of your trip just to get there because
we don’t have international flights Cat and I will point out
that the two flights that were announced we already had a
flight to Cancun on other airlines and Puerto Vallarta
we have that in twenty fifteen so that is a return
to what we used to have but not quite as much as as as the
excitement with Iceland we shouldn’t oversell what Iceland
air was actually doing in Kansas city either the idea
that somehow we now have a nonstop to Iceland really
doesn’t cure the problems that Mary’s talking about if you
want to fly to London or Paris or Greece you’re either gonna
stop in New York or Altanta or you’re gonna stop in Reykjavik
you know so the idea that this was the solution to all of our
international travel problems was probably a little over sold
and remember flying nonstop from Kansas city to Europe is a
long flight I mean it’s a long haul so there will be some
discussion among people out at the airport as to whether or
not all of the incentives need to go for flights like this or
whether we need to concentrate more on domestic flights and
international flights to Central America and Mexico
instead Let’s take Week in review to Cancun
by the way early twenty twenty three right for the opening of
that single new terminal yes
it’s been two years since the me too
movement exploded onto the scene it’s most optimistic
promises that it become more than just a hash tag more than
a brief interruption in America’s regularly scheduled
sexism so on this the second anniversary of me too what we to
make of Kansas city federal judge Carlos Murguia one of the
most prominent judges in Kansas city who’s just been issued a
rare public reprimand by circuit court panel for sexual
misconduct harassing court workers making suggestive
comments texting female employees late into the night
and also opening up himself to extortion after it’s revealed
he had a year long affair with a convicted felon out on
probation the judge though insists his actions hasn’t
compromised any of his handling of any cases it didn’t
interfere with the fair administration of justice so is
this the end of the story Dave well it could be there are
other steps that might be taken we in the paper this week
suggested he should resign these are very serious
allegations it’s not an isolated incident it went over
the the the difficulties went on over several years he was
late to court that was another thing that the panel
was worried about you know you wonder if you have a case
before judge Murguia on say sexual discrimination whether
or not his the supervision of that
trial is tainted in any way by his own personal behavior it’s
just not a very good look for a any judge let alone a federal
judge and there is always a possibility of impeachment but
that’s very rare very difficult and in fact the panel said in
its ruling we don’t think these offenses rise to the level of
high crimes and misdemeanors state and local judges can be
elected and we also have seen local judges you might be
retaining at election time but a federal judge is there for
for the life right that’s correct Nick and this is the
dark underbelly of that arrangement that is governed by
statute and all kinds of things here these folks are in office
for a lifetime you have nothing to worry about on so many
levels and this is one result of that where this judge
apparently thought that he was beyond reproach for anything
that he did cat and I was just gonna agree with Dave and the
impeachment of federal judges is extremely rare something
like only a dozen have been impeached by the house of
representatives plus their
working on another impeachment right now
you may have heard of so it’s a little more difficult to turn
their attention to this Mary but
there’s an awful lot of eyes on this judge
now and it’s not like there
haven’t been for a while I think it’s
just not been played out in the public sphere I mean when he
was first nominated back in ninety nine he received a
qualified rating for the American Bar Association that’s
not well qualified and that had to do with just a lack of
litigation experience a lack of trial experience so you add on
these other very it sounds like personal issues sloppiness
about how he runs his court if
he gets another complaint you can
bet that they will go after him full force It’s particularly
troubling that he’d been warned in the past and the
behavior continued that’s a troubling sign the politics
here are interesting Nick in Washington we have the
impeachment of a Republican president under way this Carlos
Murguia is a well known Democrat appointed by a democratic
president it might be a way for Republicans to score some
points in a difficult time in
the nations capitol Just briefly actually the Republicans in
Johnson County are trying to make an issue of this in
regards to Sharice Davids they’re putting out releases
saying Sharice you should call
for impeachment investigation of
judge murguia so there will be
some politics involved the judge
could do everyone a favor by stepping aside whether he does
or not we’ll see the news goes in cycles but we’re definitely
in a cycle of alarm concern and outrage over vaping now the
Olathe school district has taken the unusual step of
filing suit against the largest manufacturer of E cigarettes
juul which is headquartered in San Francisco shame on you for
for advertising for marketing for I I understand it is a
business strategy but I think it’s kind of disgusting that
you try to addict our children knowing the health consequences
On what basis is a Kansas school district suing a
California based company Cat so they’re saying that it has
created a disruption in the districts educational programs
and they’ve had to divert resources to prevent vaping
to divert students away from it why are they spending money on
this lawsuit though actually filing suit when they didn’t
file a lawsuit against the cigarette manufacturers against
the opioid drug manufacturers even tanning
salons trampoline markers all of those other things
Cell phone makers gun manufacurers
yeah I mean you know cell the these of cell phones in
classrooms is a huge distraction for teachers
although obviously want you can’t take us away from
students I think it’s a different era and so there was
so much not hoopla I mean real concern about the vaping I do
think that their concerns are well place it’s odd though that
they would do this and the district claims that no district
money’s going to be taken I think they got a lot of
publicity for it for being on the right side of something I
don’t know that they’re actually the best advocates yet
they claim if they if they in the court of law win this it
will be the attorneys who will claim a third of the money and
if they lose they don’t have to spend a dime on this yeah I was
gonna say there’s nothing out of pocket here on behalf of the
Olathe school district other school districts have done
something similar Goddard down in the Wichita area in
Kansas has taken a similar step let’s don’t under estimate for
a second the health threat this that does pose to young
people the Olathe district is clearly looking out on behalf
of its own students Nick five years ago the state
of Missouri ranked number one alongside Texas as the place
that executed more Americans than any other state but that
was then this is now Missouri hasn’t executed a prisoner in
three years that changed this week when Russell Bucklew was
sent to his death by lethal injection at the state prison
in bonne terre they were pleases to governor Mike parson
to grant clemency to bucklew who had a throat tumor that
could burst it was argued causing and to choke and die
painfully they also pointed to the governor’s recent signing
of an abortion law where he claimed look I think all life
has value to it all life does but that doesn’t extend to a
convicted criminal Mary apparently not and that’s a
long standing argument frankly within the Catholic conference
of bishops all four of them came out and tried to get the
governor to do something to stop this and he wouldn’t do it
and it’s a solid argument at what point if you value life as
it begins can you also you need to value it also throughout the
continuum and at the end and state sanctioned revenge is
basically what executions are five years ago the state of
Missouri was number one along with Texas and actually number
one in itself because of per capita number of executions in
the country but it has slowed down it has now become a very
rare circumstance to see this happen in Missouri what changed
Dave well part of it is just the logistics of how many
people are on death row and what appeals still exist some of
the a large part of this is just happenstance Nick because
we know Mike parson supports the death penalty Jay Nixon his
predecessor before Eric Greitens supported the death
penalty Missouri is a death penalty state there’s no real
effort to repealed the death penalty statute contrast that
by the way with Kansas which hasn’t executed anyone in more
than fifty years one of the longest strings in the country
even though it nominally has a death penalty statute so
there’s the situation hasn’t really changed in Missouri it’s
just really happenstance Steve you and I sort of met in
the early nineties and in
nineteen ninety four it was the
reinstatement of the death penalty issue the biggest issue
in Kansas signed when it came into law without governor
finney’s signature so it’s been twenty five years since they
reinstated the death penalty and not one person executed you know
it’s confusing Nick you see a lot of cases being adjudicated
in a way that to avoid a long trial you agree not to execute
you just put someone in prison for life you see a lot of that
happening Kansas I also would suggest you know there’s is
this broader sense in society right now more more people
having second thoughts about the death penalty goodness
knows even our own neck of the woods here we’ve seen example
after example of inmates being wrongly convicted being freed
after more than twenty years in prison I think a lot of people
are holding back and and wondering a little more about
what we’re doing here cat yeah there’s definitely concerned I
would say about the margin of error if you have one person
who’s wrongfully accused wrongfully imprisoned I think
that people have started to think about that more seeing
all of these people being released that was not the case
in this though I mean his his crimes are horrendous I
remember the first time that I really dug deeply into them it’s
horrifying but even that said every this often doesn’t get
publicized either but in these circles I mean the victims
often don’t want the death penalty in the end it was a
little muddy on this case who
did and who didn’t but the people
who were really most impacted by this sometimes they don’t
want to see the person executed they want to see them just
in prison for life no chance of ever getting out and that is
the payment and it’s cheaper for society to do it that way
couple final points you know
missouri Nick there’s been a long fight
over the the cocktail used for lethal injection and there’s
been a lots of litigation over that that has slowed the March
to the death chamber in Missouri interesting and Kansas
Nick the recent Kansas Supreme Court decision over abortion
that says that protects access to abortion in Kansas lawyers
for death row inmates in Kansas
are using that case now to argue
that none of their clients
should be put to death do you have
what it takes to be our next metro area congressman or
congresswoman despite an unforgiving social media
climate that does a great job of tearing people down there’s
no shortage of Kansas citians who say sign me up for the job
this week Kansas congresswoman Sharice Davids draws a third
opponent this time it’s the former mayor of Roland Park
Adrian foster she’s a Republican currently working
for the small business administration and is the
third woman to challenge Davids meanwhile in Missouri’s fourth
district which covers most of our viewing area south and east
of Kansas city congresswoman Vicki Hartzler draws a second
opponent a former age to Claire McCaskill has declared her
candidacy Lindsey Simmons attended Harvard Law School
she’s an attorney whose husband is an army helicopter pilot and
so why is she getting into this race alarm over Donald Trump
healthcare the failing fortunes of working Americans no she
pointedly declares because she’s concerned that the United
States is withdrawing its troops from Syria where her
husband had been deployed is simmons highlighting siria so
she can distance herself from directly criticizing the
president on issues that will be more polarizing to the
electorate well I will say this that in a way it it’s almost a
critique of president trump that’s getting her into the race
she is highlighting her family’s military service which
is something that the president lacks but even as she said this
is why she got into the race it’s not necessarily what he’s
gonna be campaigning on she has sad that healthcare is going to
be one of her top issues but is it’s interessting that she
really use that as the you know with all of the other things
that you could potentially get into this race for though Dave
well right because the fourth district is home to whitemen
airforce base retired military Ike Skelton was a long time
congressman from the district he was chairman of the Armed
Services Committee during his time in the house so some
military background is important in this race
Democrats always sort of think they have a chance in the
fourth Nick because of Ike Skelton it’s a pretty red
district Vicki Hartzler is but won comfortably in other races
against some pretty good opponent so it’s a long shot
but I think it’s also fascinating how many women are
getting involved in politics at that level Sharice Davids faces
three opponents all women two women in this race plus a man
who’s declared I mean the the twenty twenty race will be
about the women’s vote I think in our area and I think the
rosters of those people running reflect that ah that interest
on the Kansas side though Adrienne Foster was somebody who
endorsed president trump when he
was running for election in twenty
sixteen so she’s certainly not distancing herself from the
president no she has been long term in GOP politics though
and people who know her I mean I go back with her
twenty years know that about her she also though I’ve seen
her in in other I’m actually was at the university of
Missouri Kansas City and other seminars as when Gloria Steinem
was in town frankly and she had you know a great rapport with
her they had some strong conversations about the term
feminist I remember it was really interesting so I think
she’ll be a good candidate she’s been out before Adrienne Foster
lost her bid for reelection in Roland park not a great
credentials so she has a couple of other tough opponents in the
primary Nick so just let it play out could there be
another big time candidate ready though to jump back into
Kansas politics former Kansas congressman now secretary of
state Mike Pompeo meeting with Pope Francis this week not sure
whether he was getting spiritual advice on whether to
depart Washington and head home
to run for the Kansas Senate seat
being vacated by Pat Roberts Washington Post though seems to
suggest that he may find a better option now that he’s
been caught up in what they called the Ukraine imbroglio
and they claim it could actually help him how
well if he comes back to Kansas his
service would be an issue but I’m not sure I I didn’t see the
Post’s story but I think increasingly there’s a
discussion in Kansas that Mike Pompeo a would be damaged
goods if he comes back because of the controversy surrounding
his services as the secretary of state and that he would not
be a slam dunk either in the primary or in a general
election but the problems of surrounding mister Pompeo
and the president make it more likely than not that he comes
back Nick because if there is more difficulty surrounding
the president he’ll drop Mike Pompeo a like a hot potato and
this would be the option then going to agree with that Steve,
I’m not quite there yet I think
as things stand today Mike Pompeo
a would be a slam dunk for the GOP nomination Donald Trump
still popular in Kansas at least in areas outside of
Johnson County and Wyandotte county Nick Mike Pompeo would
would be seen as at least as of today as a loyal foot soldier
on behalf of the president all the candidates who were already
in the race are keeping a very close eye on what what he
decides to do yet just let me
say briefly if he comes back to run
because he’s cut loose by Donald Trump then the Trump
effect goes away or at least arguably goes away and second
Kris Kobach’s not going to get out Susan Wagle isn’t going to
get out of the race I mean that’s the primary will
continue and Mike Pompeo’s resume other than his time in
Washington is relatively thin he’s a congressman just like
Roger Marshall who’s also in the Senate race so I just think
that the politics are more confusing and interesting than
people know at this point and we should have some clarity at
the end of the year or early next last week the head of
Jackson County government launched a last minute lifeline
to help save taxpayers outraged over wopping property
evaluations Frank White claimed almost everyone would benefit
from his three million dollar tax rollback plan this week
County legislators deliver their verdict it’s basically so that
people can walk out of this room and say that the Jackson
County legislature’s not for cutting people’s taxes when in
fact we’ve been raising hell for months it makes me sick, I
have been physically sick legislators felt so
insulted they refused to even vote on it that left Frank
White angry taking to Twitter and declaring I bet if someone
was walking down the street handing out twenty dollar bills
people would be excited to get one BS today got in the way
of me making this happen for people in Jackson County with
Frank White now when the siege is he going to be falling by
the same way that Troy Schulte
and Ned Yost in saying you don’t I
don’t need this anymore I’m gonna call it quits right now
there’s no evidence of that when I talked to him in his
office he was really defiant over this he tried to kind of
explain the three million cut as well this wasn’t my answer
to the assessments this was just like a separate side thing
that I’m doing it’s not intended to address that so he
really double down and he just kept saying over and over the
process is working we’re going through the process he says
that he’s being attacked unfairly because he’s Frank
White you don’t see anybody though at this point in time
saying this despite some of the unhappiness I’m now going to
be running against this man co of course he’s not on the
ballot for some time Nick but I think that Frank White
fairly or unfairly is tired of bearing all of the
responsibility for the higher tax bills that people will
start seeing in their mailboxes in the next several weeks and
in fact as we’ve talked about on the show while the appraisal
mess is a ah deserves the lion’s share of the blame it
doesn’t deserve all the blame because taxing bodies have the
ability to roll back their levees and lessen the impact of
higher valuations and for whatever reason decided not to
do so Steve you know I had a
couple members of the Jackson County
legislature on the show this week including ah Theresa
Galvin the the chairwoman I was really astonished to hear the
level of cander the level of frustration these lawmakers
have in their ongoing relationship with with Frank
White that relationship has completely has been broken down
for months it remains broken down completely to have
lawmakers say what they said on camera you showed us is really
breathtaking you know Frank White has not proved to be an
effective leader there are continuing long shadows over his administration rumors of
federal investigation that may or may not bite him going
forward and Jackson County continues to be a place where
good government continues to be elusive my default position is
always that everyone is redeemable Mary I mean he must
be doing something right though right
he’s showing up every now and then I mean in terms of what he
needs to be doing though this is it’s the jail it was the COMBAT
money it was there was all sorts of things it’s not just this
issue this is only the one that’s in the forefront right
now I did ask him about showing up because he wasn’t at the
meeting where his three million tax cut was initially brought
up and he was in Nashville on a trip with the chamber of
commerce and said that he felt that it was important to be
there and he said to me technically I don’t even have
to be at the meetings but I co because I’m interested in
what’s happening in the county without defending Frank White
too much tension between the legislature and the county
executive is an old story hood Katheryn Shields used to fight
Bill Wherris had fights with the legislature
you know so these things happen
it is worse than it’s ever been
when you put together a show like this every week it’s hard
to cover everything in thirty minutes what was the big story
we missed the Royals end their season with
the win but with the lowest attendance in more than a
decade there’s hot demand for Mozart
paintings around the Cheifs fans just hoping
Sunday’s game against the Colts is as smooth as a Van Gogh
symphony it’s now official we’ve just gone through the
wettest three hundred and sixty five days in Kansas city
recorded history remember these scenes from two years ago the
flood prone mall that was once the home of Coaches Bar is now
gone demolished the city turning it into a park week
three and still no end in sight for striking GM Fairfax workers
and Kansas city in the spotlight it’s the opening
location for Netflix newest series living undocumented what
the NO NO
those on dramatic scenes from our immigration control office
near KCI airport which story did you choose one of those
options or something completely different Steve it’s the rain
Nick I watch lots construction in my neighborhood of my street
I walk out to my car in front of the house every day I’m
walking through mud and getting
my shoes dirty it’s the rain Mary
it’s another one that involves immigration ah there’s the
ongoing confusion strider everything that’s going around
Kemper UMB, UMB holds some bonds there is a lawsuit
with a jail that is in Rhode Island
it’s really thrown the arts community up there was another
meeting this week and it involves all these issues of
where money is interchanged and
it still you know they’re holding
ice detainees there task is a complicated story I would say
probably the strike a lot of people forget about it in their
daily lives but it’s still impacting so many people Dave
briefly I’ll be watching the
Royals this winter it’ll be an interesting time
new ownership new leadership good time for the baseball and
that is our Week in Review our thanks to our news reviews
nationally syndicated columnist for the Tribune news service
Mary Sanchez and Dave Helling with your Kansas City Star from
KCUR’s Up to Date program weekdays at eleven host Steve
Kraske and forty one action news Cat Reid I’m Nick Haines
from all of us at KCPT thanks for spending part of the
weekend with us