The Hyde Parker
Volume 37, Issue 3 A publication of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association March 2010
open in April
off Main St.
Costco, Home Depot and the
City of Kansas City are final-
izing contracts that would
create a new permanent drive-
through recycling center off
Linwood Avenue that could
open as early as next month.
Rendering courtesy of MainCor; prepared by Davison Architecture + Urban Design LLC
The center would take paper,
glass, metal, cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam and communication devices and be located in a fenced-off section of the
parking lot between the office building at the intersection of Linwood/Main and entrance drive leading to Home Depot’s
Midtown store. It would be the fourth major recycling center in the Kansas City area operated by Bridging the Gap, the
Westport-based non-profit environmental awareness group.
As of late February, Ripple Glass had already installed one of its trademark purple glass collection bins on the site. Burnt
out light bulbs for recycling will still need to be taken into Home Depot while household hazardous waste — such as
paint, batteries and oil — will not be accepted at the new facility. For a complete list of recyclable items and city dis-
posal requirements, see www.bridgingthecap.org or www.recyclespot.org
How Andrew came home:
Inside 17 days, two neighborhoods
An interview with
and one very happy tail
mayoral candidate By Denise Phillips, Squier Park
Our dog Andrew, a Golden Retreiver and Great
Hyde Park seeks Pyranees mix, has a favorite game and a most dan-
2010 Homes Tour gerous trait — a love of playing keep away.
If he can dart out of the yard or the front door, the
Hyde Park Easter chase is on. On a walk, he will try to pull free of
Egg Hunt planned our leash-hold, and off he will race. Usually, my children and our neighbors’ kids catch
for April 4 him and bring him home, and I always have thought he has a little wicked smile as he
ends up back in the yard.
School slated for However, on the evening of Feb. 1, he made a break for it out the open garage door, ran
closure to the end of our Squier Park driveway and was hit by a truck, got back up and kept run-
ning. My kids were in hot pursuit, but Andrew was nowhere to be seen.
Continued on page 5
Page 2 THE HYDE PARKER Volume 37, Issue 3
February/March HPNA member honor roll
Each month we recognize new and renewing Hyde Park Neighborhood Association members. Several levels
are available. See our website for details.
Gary Seckinger and Lee Wells
Scott Wilmarth and Brian Gilbreath
Carla Ingram and Susie Hanna
David and Jane Albright
Don and Diana McBride
Amy L. Rausch
Jacki and Jon Lammers
Mark Schroer and Phyllis Becker
Stacey Jones and Myra Karasik
Denes & Co. Don’t you want some bunny to love?
Tree & Lawn Hop on over to this year’s
Now’s the best time to sign up
for spring services and trim
Easter Egg Hunt
Spring cleaning Come celebrate the arrival of spring in Hyde Park.
Sweetgum tree fruit
On Easter Sunday (April 4th), from 1pm
to 3pm, the Pilgrim Center and the Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recrea-
Lawn renovation/mowing tion Department are sponsoring the 13th annual Midtown Easter Frolic and
Fertilization Egg Hunt. Everyone is welcome! Children ages up to 10 can enjoy face paint-
ing, pony rides, an egg hunt, and even pose for a picture with the Easter
Call 816.753-TREE (8733) Bunny. All children are also entered in our raffle to win prizes. The best part:
it's all FREE! So please join your neighbors in Hyde Park (38th Street and
Certified Arborist Gillham Road) for some family-friendly fun.
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CALL BOB ROBINSON 816-241-8678
Volume 37, Issue 3 THE HYDE PARKER Page 3
Mayoral candidate Michael Burke:
Create a new city housing policy,
reform how City Hall works
The profile that follows is the second of a series providing insight and perspective on
KC’s mayoral candidates. It is for informational purposes only. Neither The Hyde
Parker nor the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association has endorsed anyone. See our
January issue at hydeparkkc.org for a profile of Sly James and look for an interview
with Mayor Mark Funkhouser this spring.
It isn’t easy for development attorney Michael Burke to talk about subsidized housing.
Burke’s law firm — King Hershey — represented The Eaglepoint Companies when the
Portland, Maine-based real estate developer acquired The Bainbridge, Georgian Court and
Linda Vista apartments on Armour Boulevard in June 2006. The firm served their client
well — helping Eaglepoint secure $78 million in public and private financing and navi-
gate the federal and state bureaucracy to rehabilitate 303 units of low income housing. In
fact, with Burke’s help, the National Park Service changed the boundaries of the Hyde Park Historic District so Eaglepoint
could qualify for federal tax credits.
Kansas City voters are a much different client. To become mayor, Burke, needs to convince people he can serve the public
interest, and can avoid decisions at City Hall that have unintended, negative consequences. After nearly three decades of
service on public boards and authorities, the Kansas City City Council and non-profit organizations, the 60-year-old Burke
has the connections and background. A managing partner at King Hershey, Burke has a reputation for a personable, low-
key, consensus-building style. His resume shows deep experience on a broad range of issues — from the Missouri River-
front to chair of the Public Improvements Advisory Council (PIAC) (2002 to 2007).
Like fellow mayoral candidate Sly James, Burke grew up on Holmes Street –the 5300 block. Currently Burke and his wife,
Melinda, live in the Northland. Burke’s educational roots are Jesuit (St. Francis Xavier elementary, Rockhurst High School
and Georgetown University for his bachelor’s and law degrees) while his Democratic political roots go back to former Vice
President Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 campaign. He is currently Council President at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church
on Gillham Road. Unlike James, son of a restaurant chef, or current Mayor Mark Funkhouser, a West Virginia native,
Burke has followed his father’s hometown Kansas City career path. That includes taking on controversial legal clients. His
dad, James E. Burke, represented Democratic boss Tom Pendergast in civil matters following Pendergast’s indictment on
tax evasion charges.
Each candidate has a distinct campaign color palette. Funkhouser’s is orange. James appears to prefer the blues (based on
his law firm’s logo and his TogetherKC web site). Burke’s color is Irish green. A copy of the book The Irish in Kansas City
greets visitors at King Hershey and campaign materials show his name in green. Like the 18th century Irish/English states-
man whose namesake he shares (Edmund Burke), Burke wants to convey the impression that good people shouldn’t sit by
as public problems fester. That appears to be what’s prompted him to run for mayor.
“I am deeply troubled by the lack of leadership, depth of vision and focus in how our city is run,” Burke says. “A thousand
household decisions a day hinge of the perception of Kansas City as a place to live and do business. We are currently faced
with a lack of public confidence.” Continued on page 4
Kansas City School Board candidate forum
7pm March 16 - Central Presbyterian Church ELECTION DAY is Tuesday, April 6
Sponsored by the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association … Come, learn and inquire about....
What each candidate thinks of the recent proposal to close 30 district schools
How would they manage the budget — by far the biggest chunk of annual property taxes.
What alternate uses are in mind for Westport High, Westport Middle and the Longan Schools.
Volume 37, Issue 3 THE HYDE PARKER Page 4
Burke’s approach to city finances:
Pay as you go, don’t skimp on upkeep, keep the earnings tax
Continued from page 3
Burke differs from his historical namesake in one key respect. While Edmund embraced the 18th century free market conser-
vatism of Adam Smith, Michael Burke advocates an activist, empowered government. That comes through when talking
about Kansas City’s revenues, special projects and ongoing maintenance of streets and facilities.
“The earnings tax absolutely needs to be preserved,” says Burke, adding that he believes it is much fairer to tax incomes
from wages, especially non-residents who work in Kansas City, than to shift more of the overall tax burden to city property
owners such as retirees and other homeowners.
Housing is a policy area where Burke believes the city “has been adrift for at least the last eight years.” The lack of strategic
vision and planning, he says, has resulted in neighborhood deterioration and missing out on federal aid. The lack of a service
culture among City Hall agencies is frustrating for contractors, he adds. Burke says he would create a comprehensive hous-
ing policy using financial incentives that would lead to a more a balanced mix of housing types. He adds: “Experience has
shown that a neighborhood or a building can seamlessly absorb 15% to 20% of housing units dedicated to low or moderate
income needs. Concentrations beyond that, however, clearly create an adverse impact on market rate housing.”
“Experience has shown that a neighborhood or a building can seamlessly absorb 15% to 20%
of housing units dedicated to low or moderate income needs. Concentrations beyond that,
however, clearly create an adverse impact on market rate housing.”
Overall, Burke says he believes voters are
looking for municipal government to create:
1. “Public confidence in the ability to act Your Next American Dream starts
fast and solve problems” right here with the...
2. “Strategies to bring in jobs and improve
the KC economy — to stop the consistent
bleeding of jobs out of KC”
Hyde Park Homes Tour
When: Saturday, October 2, 2010
3. “Safer and cleaner neighborhoods”
Burke says he has found something admirable
about every Kansas City mayor since H. Roe Homes —- Showcase your property
Bartle, whom he met at a Union Station break-
fast while a boy scout. He believes the person Volunteers — Meet, greet, help, learn
makes the office, and the office does not nec- and party
essarily need a “strong-mayor” structure to be
effective. Sponsors — Get your organization’s
“It’s the nature of the office to be collabora- message out to more than 2,000 house-
tive, to work with the council. It can be pow- holds and hundreds of event attendees
erful in the right hands,” he says.
Special promotional opportunities combining this
Burke says the KC mayor he has most ad-
year’s Homes Tour and The Hyde Parker are
mired was Republican Richard L. Berkley
(who served from 1987-1991): “I learned available to fit your business’ goals and budget.
from him that little things really do matter,
like being considerate and respectful of other E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call your
elected officials. It makes for a stronger part- HPNA area rep today!
nership and more effective government.”
Volume 37, Issue 3 THE HYDE PARKER Page 5
School’s out! Century-old Westport High
to close amid district budget crunch
The math is just ugly.
Only one-third of Westport High School’s 1,429 student capacity is
in use. It’s had a 29% drop in enrollment to 470 students in the past
two years. Architecturally beautiful, the school’s 101-year-old
building lacks wireless internet and annual utility costs are nearly
$600 per student. There’s been a 11 percentage point drop in
graduation rates since 2007. Nearly one third of the student body
gets at least two Fs on their report cards in the first semester.
These are some of the numbers that the Kansas City School District added up in its recent recommendation to close West-
port High, a move that will leave 181,196 sq. ft. of empty space just west of Gillham Park. Westport Middle School, also
slated for permanent closure as part of the district’s plan to adopt a grades K-8 system, is an even larger facility.
Kansas City’s history of adaptive reuse of old schools suggests the process of finding a new life for these two obsolete
buildings won’t be quick, or cheap. For example, more than 30 years after its closure, the boarded up Horace Mann ele-
mentary school at Highway 71 and 39th Street remains mired in a redevelopment legal battle. Plans initiated several years
ago had called for that school to be rehabbed as senior citizen housing.
Westport High was built in 1908 for $500,000. The school’s most famous alumnus (Class of 1934) was pharmaceutical
executive and KC Royals owner Ewing Kauffman. Kaufmann walked to school from his boyhood home on the 3800
block of Harrison Street. In 1988, Kauffman established Project Choice at Westport High, which provided post-secondary
scholarships to graduating teens whose parents/guardians committed to their children’s education. More than 300 West-
port High students earned a degree or vocational training through the program, which closed in 1996.
A winter’s tale: With help, a lost dog finds his way home
Continued from page 1
In the dark and cold, my family and neighbors combed the area, on foot and in the car, but saw no sign of him. The next
morning, I got on the computer and notified South Hyde Park’s Ginny Johnson (email@example.com) to please send a
community e-mail to help find my big boy. (Ginny manages a neighborhood crime & lost-found alert e-mail list).
That day, I got several phone messages reporting possible sightings of him at 36th & Holmes, or 38th & Campbell. Each
time, someone raced over to drive the streets calling his name, or walking over to give his special whistle. But we never saw
him. People called to make sure that I had notified vets in the area, and telling me of the best places to post signs. We noti-
fied lost pet boards and services and people were very nice, but the only calls we got were from Hyde Park neighbors. I
posted a second notice, to let people know that he was still gone, and again got numerous helpful e-mails and phone calls
The afternoon of Feb 17, after a frustrating day of meetings and a disheartening trip to a shelter to try one more time to see if
he had been picked up, I got an e-mail from Bonnie Witt, on Charlotte, telling me that she thought she had Andrew. From
her description, I just knew it was our dog. (Bonnie’s black lab—Buddy– had alerted her to Andrew’s presence on the
grounds of 717 Manheim, a vacant home currently in property tax foreclosure).
I picked up my 6-year-old son from his after-school care and we raced over to her home. My son had the leash, and to be
honest, Andrew took a minute just to look at us, then jumped up and put his paws on our shoulders . He looked like he was
saying, “where the heck have you guys been all this time?” We have had many happy homecoming moments, and are also
struck by how insecure our dog has become when he is separated from any of us, which points to the probability that he was
outside for most or all of his time away.
It has been a very powerful example of community, however, to drive across 39th Street and point up Charlotte and remem-
ber that the family that helped us find Andrew lives there. It has been great for all of us in our family to know that people
called us when they thought they saw our dog, and that so many got out and helped us scour the streets for him. The line
from the movie Lilo and Stitch that says “family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten” is very important in our family
of adopted kids. We are so glad that Andrew was found and remembered, thanks to our great community.
Important Meetings Your Board Members
President David Kimmis 561.7766 firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Meetings: Second Monday of every month, 6:30
1st Vice Kevin Sullivan 913.231. email@example.com
p.m., Pilgrim Chapel at 38th & Gillham President 4873
General Meetings: Third Tuesday of every month, 7:00 2nd Vice Kerrie Tyndall 561.7339 firstname.lastname@example.org
p.m., Central Presbyterian Church at 3501 Campbell
Treasurer Clara Keller 960-4669 email@example.com
Crime and Safety Meetings: Last Thursday of every
month, 7:00 p.m., at KCPD Central Patrol offices on Lin- Historian Pat Alley 531.7777 firstname.lastname@example.org
wood Avenue. Talk informally with Police about issues
Recording Chris Harper 547.7308 recordingsecretary@
affecting your block. Police officers are assigned specifi- Secretary hydeparkkc.org
cally to Hyde Park. These officers can be reached at
Corresponding Gene Morgan 753.5336 correspondingsecretary@
816.719.8297 daily. Secretary hydeparkkc.org
The HP Playgroup: Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. North Area Dan Mugg 531.0003 email@example.com
Directors Abigail FitzGerald 913.
Check www.hydeparkkc.org for details. 231.4873
Central Area Terri Hiebert 756.3422 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of Gillham Park are holding their monthly meet- Directors Ben Nemenoff 665-5993
ings and park clean-ups on the last Saturday of each
South Area Stephanie Smith 916-2783 email@example.com
month. Check their website for information: Directors Rikki 515
www.friendsofgillhampark.org. Honnold-Helvick .577.2928
Reach 2,000 households in the heart of KC. Advertise in Share your viewpoint
The Hyde Parker. Just $5 buys a 25-word classified ad email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
for household members. Call 816-960-1492 today.
Kansas City, Mo 64171
P.O. Box 32551
Hyde Park Neighborhood Assoc., Inc.
by the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, Inc.
The Hyde Parker is a monthly newsletter published
Page 6 THE HYDE PARKER Volume 37, Issue 3