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Saturday, August 04, 2007

California De-Certifies Certain Voting Machines

People in the know on the Net have been screaming about these machines for years- now the Great State of California has banned certain machines made by "Diebold Election Systems- Hart InterCivic and Sequoia Voting Systems" according to the AP article.

Why? Because these machines can be accessed by hackers and the voting results altered- the very thing the people in the know on the Net have been saying.

Et tu Central States?
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CENTRAL STATES WEATHER: Severe Thunderstorm- Tornado Watch In Nebraska And Iowa

According to the NWS-SPC- severe thunderstorm watches remain in effect for a large part of Nebraska into western Iowa- and a tornado watch has just been issued for parts of central Iowa.

Below are images depicting the watch areas- by county.

No severe weather in the K.C. MetroRegion overnight.
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Love And Color

As always- I'm scrolling though the latest news and come across what I thought was kind of an odd article HERE- seemingly odd anyway because your Captain has always been an Equal-Opportunity lover.

It dealt with black woman- and the seeming dearth of decent- eligible black men to mate with. It also deals with the issue of interracial relationships and how it's "okay" for black women to date white guys.

The article mentions how it's often a "status symbol" for black men to marry white women.

Silly me- I thought it was just L-O-V-E.

Call and wake me please when we're all color-blind.
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Bottom Line- Money Came Before Lives In Minnesota- Elsewhere

HERE is the latest AP article on recovery efforts in the Twin Cities.

You can give me all the song and dance you want- but what happened in Minneapolis could happen anywhere in this great land of ours.

It's time to quit nation-building elsewhere and rebuild THIS nation. Now.

Oh and Bush?
Stay the Hell home next time part of this country's infrastructure falls apart and kills Americans.

You're part of the problem- not a solution. Unless you come to HELP....

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Overnight News And Weather Report Later

Something has come up here- so the Overnight report will be delayed until later.

Nothing too serious other than a possible shooting involved in one of several vehicle accidents around the Metro and a couple of rural Missouri structure fires.
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Friday, August 03, 2007

KANSAS CITY'S WEATHER: Rainfall Today In The Metro

Here is the NWS-Topeka Doppler radar depiction of indicated-rainfall over the Kansas City Metro today.

The maximum rainfall amount found was just south of the Downtown Airport in the West Bottoms west of downtown and in far southeast KC-MO north of Raymore at 2.25-inches.

Except for a lone- dying shower in central Leavenworth County KS- all activity has departed with the warmth of the Sun.

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Doubts Remain In Tornado Recovery In Greensburg-KS

It's estimated the town's population is around 400 these days- down more than 1100 since the deadly tornado struck in May.


A number of folks in Greensburg don't think the town will ever recover- according to this Associated Press article.


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KANSAS CITY'S WEATHER: Storm With Torrential Rain Near Downtown KC-MO

A heavy thunderstorm with torrential rain is indicated as you can see by the radar picture- near downtown KC-MO.This cell will produce street flooding. Other cells in Jackson County MO and on the state line near Leawood.
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Citizen Letter From KC-MO's Mayor: "Notes From Funk's Front Porch" IX

Funk's Front Porch

03 August 2007

Dear Folks,

The Mayor met with Clay Chastain last month to try to find a way to move forward with a shared light rail plan. As you know, the Mayor supports a regional light rail plan as it is desperately needed in order to bring people, hence money, back to the City. Mr. Chastain agreed that a regional plan would be much than his starter line but stated that he was uncomfortable changing his plan because it is what the citizens voted for. The beauty of the discussions that the Mayor is having is that they will not delay Clay’s starter line, as that line cannot begin work until the Federal Government completes its Alternatives Analysis Study first. The Mayor believes that the metropolitan community would prefer a regional light rail plan, if they were given that choice.

The ordinance terminating the City Manager’s contract so that a new contract could be negotiated that reflects the Mayor and Council’s goals came up for vote yesterday. It lost by one vote. Unfortunately, the ordinance became a political issue instead of what it is: a necessary step in contract negotiations. The Mayor is trying to make sure that Kansas City has a professional City Manager who works for the Mayor and the Council, for the good of the citizens as a whole. The current contract will most likely come up for another vote next week.

Funk and I are taking the weekend off; our first since before the campaign began last November. We are going to our little cabin in the woods with our family. While there we will probably list it for sale so that we can buy something closer to home in the near future.

That said, I’m cutting this newsletter short this week to begin packing. Please try to attend the weekly Town Hall meetings, which are ongoing, and the Economic Development and Incentive Task Force meetings, which will wrap up at the end of this month. For a schedule of both meetings, please go to our website at, www.funksfrontporch.com.

In faith,
Gloria & Mark

You can respond to this newsletter at http://www.blogger.com/funksfrontporch@gmail.com.

Please help us by forwarding this email to as many people as you think might want to be more informed about their city government. They can sign up to receive the newsletter at, http://www.funksfrontporch.com/.

The Mayor’s top ten priorities:

1. Establishing a good working relationship with the Council
2. Getting the City’s finances in order
3. Making downtown work
4. Tending to our neighborhoods
5. Implementing the Housing Policy task force recommendations
6. Improving the perception and the reality of public education in Kansas City
7. Reducing Crime
8. Repairing our sewer systems
9. Establishing an excellent regional transit system, which includes light rail
10. Improving citizen satisfaction with City services.
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Largest Number Of Bad Bridges Are Not Far From K.C.

In case you missed a paragraph toward the bottom of the last AP story I linked to- note:

"Among counties with more than 100 bridges, the problem appears to be most significant in the Midwest. In Nemaha County in southeastern Nebraska, about 58 percent of 194 bridges are structurally deficient. More than 55 percent of neighboring Pawnee County's 188 bridges are in the same shape. Of the 10 worst-off counties with significant numbers of bridges, seven are in Oklahoma or Nebraska."

The county seats of the two counties are Auburn and Pawnee City respectively.

According to a list of Kansas City bridge ratings published in Friday's K.C. STAR- spans that carry a "sufficiency rating" equal to or less than the "50" assigned to the failed I-35W span in Minneapolis are:

* Fairfax (southbound span) built in 1935 and Platte Purchase (northbound)- built in 1957- bridges over the Missouri River- rated 49 and 42 respectively.
* Eastbound span of I-70/Lewis & Clark viaduct- built in 1907- rating 49.

The next lowest-rated bridges were:

* Eastbound span of the I-70 Blue River/Manchester Trafficway bridge- built in 1960- rated 51.
* Westbound span of I-70/Lewis & Clark viaduct- built in 1963- rated 52.
* The Paseo bridge which carries I-35 over the Missouri- built in 1954- is rated at 55.

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LEAVE KANSAS CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ALONE

Unbelievable- now there's talk of doing a BILLION DOLLAR makeover of one of America's most passenger-friendly airports.

Folks- I've been in quite a few airports in America over the years- nothing beats K.C.I. in ease and convenience.

This idea ranks right up there in the same stupidity-league as those who built a new downtown arena barely bigger than the OTHER arena we'll still be paying for.

Geez politicians- pass the acid!
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Chance of Scattered T-Storms In The Metro This Afternoon

I see the cumulus clouds over the city are billowing up right now- so be on the lookout for scattered thunderstorms with torrential rains from now until about 9 pm.

Updates here if anything develops- and bear in mind any storm developing will be slow-moving- and capable of dropping 2-3 inches of rain in little more than an hour.
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National Transportation Safety Board Chief Says 'Don't Worry..."

Had he also added "Be Happy" I'd thrown Bobby McFerren at him.

Seriously folks- that's what America's NTSB chief said about the estimated 70000 bridges nationwide that are substandard. What else can he say when America's resources are being spent on overseas follies instead of IN America.

"I don't believe that they should be worried at all"- Mark Rosenker's direct quote in the Associated Press article.

Well of COURSE the Feds tell the American public not to worry.

I also recall the dude saying pay no attention to the man behind the curtain- for they were all frauds.
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Count Of Missing In Minneapolis Bridge Collapse Lowered

Recovery crews have drastically lowered the number of missing in the I-35W bridge collapse to 8- according to the latest AP story.

Five are confirmed dead and 79 were injured when the 8-lane structure fell just after 6pm Wednesday evening.
Traffic was reported "bumper to bumper" on four of the bridge's 8 lanes and construction crews were working on the bridge's roadway on the other 4 lanes when the bridge failed.


The recovery effort continues- albeit it slowly- due to debris- currents and the murky conditions of the Mississippi River.
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Oakland-CA Newspaper Editor Gunned Down

Sometimes- thoughts such as happen to accidentally enter my head get translated to the words you- the hapless reader- peruse.

Occasionally those thoughts translated to words makes somebody angry- one hopes the anger isn't at the writer- but that's another reason we have bullet-resistant vests and foil hats.

Unfortunately for the new editor of weekly The OAKLAND POST Chauncey Bailey- he wasn't wearing such a vest and the hat wouldn't have done much good.

Police tell the AP and other news media someone made "a hit" on Mr. Bailey- killing him.


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More Than 70000 American Bridges Rated "Deficient"

That's the word on this AP story- and that was the same rating that the ill-fated I-35W bridge in Minneapolis had- deficient.

States and municipalites have had to make do with less and less Federal funding as more of the latter goes elsewhere (Iraq- etc.).

American infrastructure continues to age and fall apart with less money per capita spent year after year. Now citizens like you and I are dying.

Are you just a tad angry? Yet?
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Thursday, August 02, 2007

KANSAS CITY MetroRegion's WEATHER: Rainfall Feast Or Famine Continues

Below is the NWS-Topeka radar rainfall-estimates image. Some areas- one near LAWSON-MO and another over Hillsdale Lake in NW Miami County KS indicated more than 5 inches in the random but drenching storms dotted around the MetroRegion today.Most of this activity has died out with the loss of the sun's heat. Of course- just sprinkles on my tomatoes.
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Security Camera Video Of Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

Go HERE.

Note afterwards- the woman rushing back and forth in front of the camera- on her cellphone and obviously in shock.
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Minneapolis Bridge Collapse Wake-Up Call To Dubya Administration Spending Priorities

First of all a correction from what I last reported- only 4 bodies have been recovered there- not seven as CNN- MSNBC and Faux News reported.

Tony Snowjob got in front of the cameras this morning and said more-or-less- "Oops- but this bridge was rated deficient."
TONY SNOWJOB: This was a Federal highway bridge. There are hundreds if not thousands of defective bridges in this country with more being discovered daily.

Are we going to keep spending $300-million per day on a WAR NOBODY WANTS or are our leaders going to put this $300-million per day into AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE THAT IS FALLING APART???

Americans should INSIST- no DEMAND that tax dollars should be spent FIXING AMERICA!!!
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS-MN FREEWAY BRIDGE COLLAPSE UPDATE TWO

From live media news conferences monitored here- there are now "6 confirmed dead" in the bridge collapse that occurred just before 6:10 pm Wednesday evening. One construction worker- among the crew doing work on four of the bridge's 8 lanes- is missing.

There are an estimated 50 vehicles in the Mississippi River itself that remain to be searched for victims.

Several dozen were injured including some of the 60 or so children who were travelling on a school bus when the bridge's elevated approach collapsed. The bus stayed on the tilted though intact span upright. Six of the injured were reported to be in critical condition.

The death toll will no doubt continue to rise as the submerged vehicles are searched.
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MINNEAPOLIS-MN FREEWAY BRIDGE COLLAPSE UPDATE ONE

There is still no confirmed reports of fatalities- but unconfirmed reports of up to 3 dead- after a 2000-foot long section of the Interstate-35W(est) bridge in downtown Minneapolis collapsed just after 6 pm Central time.

Screen captures show at least 2 dozen vehicles trapped on collapsed sections of the bridge. Some are hanging off collapsed portions of bridge.

The fires on the east end of the collapse are no doubt vehicles crushed by the falling concrete and steel on a parkway that ran perpendicular to the bridge- where the fire department aerial is parked.

Minneapolis-St. Paul medical centers report "at least 15 trauma patients" and divers are searching for victims in the Mississippi river.

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Central States BREAKING NEWS: FREEWAY BRIDGE COLLAPSES IN MINNEAPOLIS

An Interstate-35W bridge over the Mississippi river in downtown Minneapolis collapsed at 6:05 pm CDT tonite.

Part of the bridge with cars on it fell into the river and rescues are on-going at this moment.
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Buddy Bell To Step Down As Skipper of The K.C. Royals

Buddy Bell says he'll be leaving the Royals at the end of this season. Bell has been the manager since Tony Pena left.

I have no opinion either way really. The team is a disgrace with WallyWorld Glass as owner.
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KANSAS CITY'S BREAKING NEWS: KC-MO Cycle Cop In Wreck In Raytown


At 12:39pm- Raytown police- fire and EMS are toned-out to a crash "at 63rd Street and Hadley" where it's reported "a KC-MO police officer on a motorcycle" is involved.


It's reported the officer's injuries "serious" by paramedics on scene. Paramedics report a car turned in front of the officer's cycle- he struck the car- "flying over the hood" and onto the ground beyond. The male officer's condition on the EMS med report did indeed sound serious to critical.
KC-MO police provided an escort for the Raytown EMS unit to a nearby trauma center.
-----
At 12:45pm- there is yet another crash reported involving KC-MO police- this one's at "U.S. 71 (Watkins Expressway) and Gregory. Fire Dept. there at 12:48pm reports "4 cars involved." no report of injuries here yet. The officer injuries here is reported as "a broken arm." Northbound U.S. 71 here is closed at this time.

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First American Nuclear Power Plant Since 1990's Set To Be "Finished"

The Tennessee Valley Authority or TVA was established during the Great Depression of the 1930's by President Franklin Roosevelt's administration to control the raging floods on the Tennessee River with locks and dams- thus providing commerce- water supplies- recreation and more importantly- electricity to the poverty-sticken area.

Later- nuclear energy was added- the facility seen in the image is one TVA plant- the last nuclear power facility to come on-line in the U.C.S.A. in 1996.
A second plant- planned- partially built but never finished- will now be completed- according a TVA board of director's decision in a meeting this morning reported by the Associated Press.
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More Family Violence- This Time Near Atlanta-GA

Just came over the AP wire here- Cobb County sheriff's department is investigating a "triple homicide" and a resultant "injured child" at a home in suburban Powder Springs.

Please- somebody- what is going on with all this stuff ?????

AP UPDATE 1135cdt HERE.

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Harrisonville Republicrat Becomes Harrisonville Demoblican

The story is told by fellow KC blogger Dan at his blog 'Gone Mild' about Missouri politician Chris Koster jumping-ship from the Lost Party to the Clueless one.

Yes Dan- I was ONCE a Harry Truman Dem- but Harry's been dead along with his honesty- since 1972 (the VERY year Nixon's crimes were being uncovered ironically).

Unless Americans seek out and VOTE a 3rd party- which will literally put the Fear of God in these biz-as-usual Reps & Dems- America is doomed.
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KANSAS CITY MetroRegion WEATHER: Current Weather Radar View From NWS-K.C.

Here's that storm cluster I was mentioning in last post. This cluster is barely making any forward progress- with a number of areas under these storms already suffering rainfalls of more than 4 inches.
Incidentally- this weather radar program I use IS available for public use- for the VERY reasonable cost of about $80 for the GR-Level3 radar program. It updates automatically- provides virtually ALL functions the NWS people use (warnings-rainfall rates- storm tops- radial velocities- etc.). Their Website is HERE if you are interested.

The Captain is happy to help any of my faithful readers buying the program with any questions regarding it's uses and functions too.
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Dead Cyclist Identified - Other STAR News Days Later- And The Weather Right Now

Three days after this accident took place- this morning's KANSAS CITY STAR reports the cyclist killed Saturday morning on Parallel & College Parkways in KC-KS- reported HERE first- was 46-year-old Terry R. Gaggins of KC-KS.. Besides reporting the time and place this crash happened- THE STAR reports "no further details" although a female passenger on Gaggins' bike was critically hurt (no mention of THAT at all).
---
Also referring to the OVERNIGHT REPORT from last Saturday morning- the "48-year-old" driver of the vehicle in the 2nd accident reported HERE that morning- at Forest and Kansas Streets in Liberty-MO- has died. That driver's name was Arthur R. Hall of Drumwright-OK reports the STAR.
Hall reportedly had struck the concrete base of a traffic signal at that intersection.
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THE STAR also ran another story- no address- this just apparently happened SOMEWHERE in the 318-square miles of Kansas City-MO- at "10:15pm Sunday night" (2 days ago- no news like old news): 28-year-old Jose Sanchez died "of asphyxiation" after the Chevrolet Suburban land yacht he was working underneath fell on him- then rolled down the driveway with Mr. Sanchez still under it and struck a tree.
---
I'm watching a fairly small but intense cluster of thunderstorms this morning in southeastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas- moving eastward (not toward KC) toward northwestern Missouri north of St. Joseph- just beyond the MetroRegion.

I'm hoping for some sort of outflow boundary that may fire some storms later close to the K.C. Metro.

The NWS-SPC in Norman has parts of northern and central Nebraska outlooked for a "slight risk" of severe thunderstorms later today and tonight. Some portions of south-central Nebraska have also received torrential rains this morning ... everywhere it seems but HERE- for our tomato plants!
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Woman In Wealthy Dallas Suburb Shoots and Kills Children- Husband and Self

There's sure been a LOT of bad news regarding parents/families in general and children in particular lately.

The latest comes from the Central States however- and the "affluent" community of Flower Mound- Texas- about 30 miles northwest of Dallas.

A "stay-at-home" mom of two shot her husband and children while they slept- then killed herself.

They were regarded as "the ideal couple- the ideal mom and dad" by one interviewed later- and that was echoed by everyone interviewed who knew the couple.

The AP dispatch on the Texas story also tells of another possible murder/suicide in Ohio.

People- if I reported everything I see on the news wire regarding deviate behavior and/or injuries or fatality to minors involving parents and/or relatives- we'd all need Zoloft AND Oxycontin....
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pumper 9 Was Left To Burn

With no earth-shattering news going on- how about a true story from 31 years ago? Only the names are shortened to protect the incompetent ...


It was the hottest day of July- and 1976 thus far. It was 90-degrees at 10 am and heading for a high of 105. The only saving grace was a steady south wind- that gusted to 30 miles per hour by late afternoon.

What started on the 7am- 24-hour 'C-Shift' of the Kansas City- Mo Fire Department's Pumper Company No. 9 as a crew of 4 had shrunk to 3- Captain Pete and driver or 'fire apparatus operator (FAO) Ed and myself. Joe- the other firefighter- had gotten injured at an apartment fire we ran about 11am that day. In fact- we'd already had a half-dozen runs since we'd come on at 7am.

Joe was treated and released from the hospital as well as duty for the rest of our 24-hour day- and had returned to the engine house on Southwest Boulevard at 24th Street for a change of clothes and his car. Only the bunk room- captain's room and the downstairs watch room were air conditioned- so of course- Joe and I sat in the upstairs dining table & kitchen with fans blowing the 100-degree-plus air around. With the way the day was going-now late afternoon just after 4 pm- I preferred to stay acclimated to the heat.

I was about to get the plenty of heat 5 minutes after the innocent- two tones still alarm now sounding over fire department dispatch radio.

"Pumper 9- a trash fire - 21st Street and Holly."

I take the hose tower rope rather than the pole to the apparatus floor-kick off my dress shoes- into the fire boots and step up on the tailboard of the late-1960's model convertible Seagrave 1500 GPM pumper truck. FAO Ed turns the truck hard left and we take 24th Street to Belleview then north. Only FAO Ed and myself have our fire helmets on- Captain Pete's has his arm around the front seat as if on a Sunday drive. When we hit 23rd Street is when I saw it.


Thick- black smoke was rolling low above us to the left about 3 blocks away. I murmur "Holy shit" as I'm putting on full fire gear while holding on to the rail on the pumper's tailboard going up hills at 35 mph. I try everything I could in the next 2 blocks to get Ed and Pete's attention. Ed wasn't watching his mirrors and the siren and the pumper's roaring diesel engine drowned out my yells and pounding on the handrail with the hydrant key. I heard the upgraded alarm come in as we turned onto 21st Street. Pete turns around with big eyes and sees me decked out and ready to go with thick-black smoke rolling low ahead.

Not 3 weeks earlier- we had a district drill that included Pumpers 2 and 8 and Truck 6 on this street a block west of Holly at 21st Street & Mercier. 21st Street ended in a downhill dead-end with a fire hydrant- the bluffs above Kemper Arena. On the south side of that dead-end running east to Mercier was a row of 2-1/2-story row houses- with only a narrow walkway's space between them.

It had been decided that day- Captain Pete- FAO Ed- Firefighters Joe and myself in attendance- that ANY structure fire in that block have the first-arriving pumper (us if we're in the house) back down that hill- hook up to that hydrant- then pull the truck up the street to the fire.

The reasoning? If a pumper got nose-down the hill and the row houses got going- the pumper would be trapped. The drill decision was a pumper in the line of fire could hose-clamp the feeder- break the pumper connection and get out.

Pete points at a hydrant at the corner of 21st Street and Mercier- the only plug for a block besides the one at the bottom of the dead-end- FAO Ed and Captain Pete pull nose-down the hill- in front of the heavily-smoking vacant row house.

After I jump off the pumper- the next 60 seconds turn crazy. I get the feeder line hooked up fast- ready to turn it on. Suddenly- I'm surrounded by a group of 8-10 kids- yelling someone's in one of the houses in proximity to the one where the thick black smoke is pouring out of. I can see between the kids- FAO Ed and Captain Pete fumbling with the feeder hose to connect to the pumper. I hear Truck 6 approaching as all Hell breaks loose.

Even over approaching Truck 6's siren- over the south wind gusting to 30 mph- over the yelling kids- I hear a loud WHOOSH and instantly see the entire 2-and-a-half-story row house auto-ignite into a tower of flames 30 to 40 feet high- and being blown right at and over Pumper 9 only 20 feet away. Ed and Pete had at that very moment gotten their end of the feeder line connected and the truck's captain yells at me to turn it on as they roll by. Important here to remember- all this takes place in the space of maybe 30 seconds.

I ran down to the pumper and the heat was unbelievable (I later found I had a nice "sunburn" on my face from the heat and melted parts on my coat). I tried to pull a section of inch-and-a-half pre-connect to just keep us cool- but the pump panel was facing the flames- licking out to within 10 feet of us and now involving the row houses on either side.

I ran around to the side away from the direct heat and found Captain Pete frozen with the radio microphone in his hand. I grabbed the mike and yelled "This is Pumper 9- Give us a 2nd-alarm at 21st Street and Holly!" then threw the mike down on the floor. I then pulled Pete away from the truck and the fire back to Mercier. Ed had already abandoned ship- both him and Pete were burned. Other than their helmets & boots- neither one had their protective turnout coats on. I had managed to get on the coat- gloves and Nomex hood in addition to helmet & boots.

With the Captain and FAO out of the game now- I was the only crew member left on 9's Pumper. Little more than 200 feet away was Pumper 9- still running in pump gear. The truck was now mostly obscured by the huge plume of heavy black smoke with flames inside blooming 70 feet into the air. The hose in the pumper's hose bed was smoking when I turned to find assignment to another company.

I was assigned to chaos. The last time a half-block of homes was lost was a gas main explosion and fire around 46th Street and Wyoming in 1962. Companies were just arriving and those who found hydrants had little water pressure. Pumper 9 had the only working hydrant still hooked up and no one seemed to have the time to shut the hydrant down and clamp the feeder. I pulled a 2-1/2-inch line a block and a half to a hydrant just to find hardly any water pressure.

The fire grew to 3-alarms plus- 10 pumper and 4 aerial companies all told in addition to the various commanders and support vehicles. Crews even trekked up the steep bluff from the south on busy 23rd Street (now Chavez) with hand lines to attack the fire using the gusty south upwinds. We ran hand lines down the alley between 21st Street and 20th Terrace and fought our side of this mini-conflagration into the wind from the front yards of the houses on the north side of 21st Street- mostly keeping Pumper 9 from bursting into flames and little else.

The fire burned every house of the south side of 21st Street west of Mercier- 8 in total. The fire's eastward advancement past Mercier was stopped only by a vacant lot at the corner. Pumper 9 is still running- the paint on the side facing the fire cooked- the exposed edges of hose in the hose bed singed or melted- as well as the plastic air tank covers and the cover for the pumper's front warning light or "cherry top."

I got the assignment of operating the pump panel to use the pumper's powerful deck gun to bring down a 2-story chimney left standing. After that a hand line I was using on the embers of one house experienced a pressure surge- lifting me up in the air over a still-hot foundation and face-down into the house's smoldering rubble in the basement. By luck- my helmet had fallen over my face first and another firefighter next to me kept me cool with a refreshing soaking actually. Unhurt- the event is seen by Deputy Chief Bennie- who lauds my work and orders me to take a break.

The only injuries are the burns to Pete and Ed. The murderous summer sun had just sank below the horizon when a fire department mechanic replaces melted light lenses and checks that sturdy Seagrave over- other firefighters are assigned to load the feeder line- then with an overtime driver and captain and the last assigned member of Pumper 9 C-shift- we head home.

Drinking one of a six-pack with injured firefighter Joe back at the engine house later- I feel damn good about my performance in the face of 40 foot wall of flames. Joe had gone to 9's roof after we pulled out of the engine house and he too saw the black smoke- got in his car and drove to the scene. He too was amazed that Pete and Ed had disregarded the conclusions from the earlier drill at that very location and went nose-first downhill- and trapped- and he and I thought Captain Pete might get some reprimand over it.

It was only 3 days later- next working day- when I incredulously learned of a hearing with the district's battalion chief and others- when I was told- dumbstruck- that Pete and Ed were framing me for what happened that July day in 1976 when Pumper 9 was left to burn.
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American War Dead In Iraq now at 3652

Oh- but this is the "lowest monthly death toll this year" so says a American general.

Oh- but July was the SECOND DEADLIEST month this year for Iraqis- according to the AP article containing all this continually-depressing news.
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KANSAS CITY MetroRegion's BREAKING NEWS: Structure Fires In KC-MO - Ray County-MO

Structure fires at the two locations came in at virtually the same moment- 12:13 pm.

*** The KC-MO fire is at the "Hi-Line Motel" in the 15000 block of East U.S. 40 highway. There was a "fire in the walls" of one of the motel's bungalows there.
That fire's been brought under control with no reports of injuries as of this writing...

*** The other is a house fire in a Crystal Lakes subdivision- northeast of Excelsior Springs in the 31200 block of Mark Drive.
This is a working firefight right now in a "2-story single-family" house- with fire crews from Wood Heights- Excelsior and Lawson-MO on the attack.

Apparently there is some injury- as it's said an EMS crew is "looking over the homeowner" for unknown problems.

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CENTRAL STATES WEATHER UPDATE MAP

The image below depicts all watches and/or warnings in effect for the Central U.S.. Note the number of Kansas counties covered in flash flood warnings- from the Topeka Metro northwest to north of Concordia-KS.



I am closely watching possible storm activity developing near Anderson-Linn and Miami Counties-KS. ... keep tuned....

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Wayside Waifs Blood Drive - August 11



There is a blood drive session being held for the American Red Cross at the Wayside Waifs animal shelter on Martha Truman Road (119th Street) about 3/4-mile west of Grandview Road on Saturday- August 11 from 11am to 4pm.

According to the flyer I picked up at the vet's office this morning (annual rabies shot and licensing for Snoball)- the blood drive will take place in Wayside Waif's conference room.

Also- "To make an appoinment please visit
http://www.americanredcrossblood.org/ and enter Sponsor Code- WaysideWaifs when prompted."

"All presenting donors will receive an American Red Cross baseball cap and a 50-percent discount on (Wayside Waif's pet) adoption fees for 6 months!"

"All presenting donors must show identification prior to donation."


I've known of and have dealt with this fine organization- Wayside Waifs- since childhood. Please offer them your support and help your fellow Human Being too.

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KANSAS CITY MetroRegion WEATHER ALERT: NWS FLASH FLOOD WARNING- SHAWNEE - OSAGE COUNTIES KANSAS



FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TOPEKA KS
1024 AM CDT TUE JUL 31 2007

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TOPEKA HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
OSAGE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KANSAS...
SHAWNEE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KANSAS...

* UNTIL 130 PM CDT

* AT 1021 AM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A COMPLEX OF THUNDERSTORMS WITH VERY HEAVY RAIN FROM THE TOPEKA VICINITY SOUTH TOWARD MELVERN. THE THUNDERSTORMS WERE SLOWLY TO THE NORTH. RADAR INDICATED RAINFALL RATES IN THE 1 TO 2 INCH PER HOUR RANGE. PORTIONS OF OSAGE COUNTY RECEIVED HEAVY RAINS EARLIER THIS MORNING CREATING SATURATED GROUNDS.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
POMONA STATE PARK...
PAULINE...
SILVER LAKE...
SCRANTON...
ROSSVILLE...
RICHLAND...
QUENEMO...
POMONA LAKE...
OVERBROOK...
OSAGE CITY...
LYNDON...
CARBONDALE...
BURLINGAME...
AUBURN...
TOPEKA...

THIS INCLUDES THE KANSAS TURNPIKE BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 162 AND 188.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 35 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 157 AND 168.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 70 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 348 AND 355.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.
IF YOU ARE IN THE WARNING AREA MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY.
RESIDENTS ALONG STREAMS AND CREEKS SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE PRECAUTIONS
TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION CONCERNING THE SEVERE WEATHER.

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Hays-KS Flooded Overnight

A NWS-reported 4 to 6 inches of rain overnight has reportedly flooded this Western Kansas town along Interstate 70.

Thus far- no details on damage or injuries- which I will check further here. If any readers here have any info- please pass it on via email: doctor_mulcahy@yahoo.com .
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News People Opine On Phoenix TV News Copter Crash

There is a wide range of news media people's feelings and emotions in regard to last Friday's deadly disaster in the skies over Phoenix.

You can view them on a news media forum- Medialine- HERE.

What does the Captain think? To quote Bill Champlin of the band CHICAGO- "The show must go on...."
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Deadline Looms For Hurricane Katrina Victims

You good folk along the Gulf Coast who lost it all to Mother Nature almost 2 years ago have until next Tuesday to apply for government assistance to rebuild.

There is a reported $6.4 billion dollars available- but as is typically the case with ANYTHING the government does- according to the AP article- if everybody eligible for assistance applied- the fund would be "an estimated $5-billion short" of what was needed.
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The Last Day Of July 2007 News Digest

And if you have trouble digesting the news as I sometimes do- give it a break for a few days...


* Chief Justice of America's Supreme Court (post Diana Ross heh) John Roberts had a seizure over the weekend. Doctors can't confirm if it was caused by a bout of conscience...

* FBI and other lawpeople raided the home of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Stevens is accused of being involved in so much graft that he SHOULD go into biology....

* Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown will conclude his visit to America today with a speech before the United Nations (joke) in New York. Brown left D.C. assuring President Dubya that Britain will ALWAYS be behind America- no matter what screwball things our leaders get us into. Thanks my British friends- I was hoping YOU of all peoples had more sense than that...

* Officials have said that North Korea has cooperated fully with the deactivation of that country's nuclear reactors. A shipment of lollypops and ice cream bars surely must be enroute there...

* The K.C. Royals lost 3 to 1 to the Minnesota Twins last night (okay- I owe a Twins fan a Pig's Eye then). Why can't our guys get Gil Meche any run support?

* There's going to be- as there is around Topeka and Fort Scott now- more scattered showers and thunderstorms around the MetroRegion (area within a 50-mile radius of Downtown K.C.) today. Some areas within 25 miles of this station have gotten anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of rain in July. Here at the NewsCenter? Barely an inch of rain for the month.
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Canadian Border With America Secure As A Sieve

THE Lady in Vancouver- B.C.- Canada with the most incredible eyes in the History Of Bo tells me I don't need a passport- birth certificate or even a valid driver's license to visit Canada again. And I don't need to clear Customs (save a 45 minute wait there).

I can hop a freight train in Washington State!

The Songbird and her 2 grandkids were coming home from Vancouver's famous Celebration of Lights pyrotechnics show last Wednesday when they got behind two male "grungers" who were talking loud enough for Birdie to hear.

Sweets (another nick for her g) heard one of the guys ask the other where they were- the other told him Vancouver- Canada. The one asking says "Wow- I slept all the way from Blaine (Washington)?"

That's right- walking along further- Birdie heard that the 2 young men probably around 20-years-old had hopped a freight train across the border in Blaine and rode it into Canada- undetected.

Now let's say these are two young men IN Canada looking for adventure here in America- or maybe not adventure but murder.

I think the reader gets the idea here....
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Monday, July 30, 2007

Goldman Family Gets O.J. Simpson's Book Rights

Everybody knows the Story Of O.J.- and the recent book he tried to peddle "(If) I Did It."

The courts have now awarded that book's rights to the family of Ron Goldman who was with Nicole Brown Simpson the night both were killed at Simpson's home in 1994.

I wonder if O.J. is still searching every Florida golf course in search of Nicole & Ron's killers?
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A Great Star-Trek Send-Off For Tom Snyder

Found an old Tomorrow show tape on the Star Trek site where Tom interviewed Scotty & Bones- go HERE.
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TV - Radio Talk Show Host Tom Snyder Dead At 71

This is particularly sad news to report. According to the Associated Press- Tom Snyder passed away Sunday in San Francisco from leukemia.

I met Tom through his radio talk show in the late 1980's-early 90's and also through emails.

We both loved the motion picture 'Network' and sadly we nodded our heads that that time had seemingly come with the electronic news media.

A little more than 2 years ago- Tom was becoming so despondent over his worsening illness and the Bush Administrations' shenanigans that he virtually dropped off the Internet.

A gentleman to the end- Tom will be missed.
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KANSAS CITY MetroRegion's WEATHER ALERT: NWS "FLASH FLOOD WARNING" For Northwestern Linn County KS

This warning is until 2 pm this Monday afternoon. Some roadway flooding has been reported in NW Linn County KS by authorities- according to the NWS warning statement.

A serious situation is developing over the warned area- as well as earlier southwest Miami County where at least 5 inches of rain has fallen since 3 am- and Anderson County KS- where it's indicated as much as 3 inches of rain has fallen since 6 am.

Affected waterways are the Pottawatomie and Middle creeks and the Marais des Cygnes river.

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KANSAS CITY MetroRegion's WEATHER ALERT: NWS "Urban Flood Advisory" For Southern Miami County KS

This advisory also includes northern Linn County KS and Bates County-MO..

Below is the latest radar-indicated precipitation image- showing an area of 5.5 inch rains in a triangle between Beagle- Lane and Osawatomie in southwestern Miami county. Torrential rains continue over these same areas.
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KANSAS CITY MetroRegion's WEATHER ALERT: Torrential Rains In Miami County KS

Below is the latest radar-indicated precipitation image from the NWS WSR-88D from Topeka (TWX). As you can see on the figure "4.50" on the bottom border of the image- that was centered on the red area you see southwest of Osawatomie.

At this posting- I have heard of NO flooding reports from Miami County sheriff or fire agencies.

This increasingly-serious situation of thunderstorms with very heavy rain sitting over the same areas since 3 am- rainfalls approaching 5 inches- certainly needs close monitoring and precautions.

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KANSAS CITY MetroRegion's WEATHER: Very Heavy Rain In Miami County KS

Radar-indicated rainfalls of nearly 2 inches an hour are indicated in the Pottawatomie Creek watershed southwest of Osawatomie- as you can see by the images below- spaced about an hour and a half apart.

Persons driving along U.S. 169 in southwestern Miami and northeastern Anderson counties should be alert for possible localized roadway flooding- and for rapid rises along Pottawatomie Creek during the next 2 hours.
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"The Birds - 2007"

In the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock classic- live birds shut down a small California coastal town- in this case- dozens of dead birds "temporarily" shut down 3 Washington D.C. Metro stations Sunday.

Authorities say the birds were poisoned by an overzealous contractor and no humans were in danger.

Unseen by most in the background beyond this media conference was a mysterious profile shadow on the wall of a portly stomach and distinct facial features.
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Twin Cities Update On Missing Sewer Workers

I guess most of you have heard that the bodies of both those missing off a sewer maintenance crew surprised by a sudden thunderstorm were located.

One was found in the Mississippi river near the storm sewer's drain- the other later found in virtually the same area.

The same thing happened here in Kansas City back in the 1990's near the Sixth Street Expressway and the River Market area.

Just off the top of my head I think 2 men also drowned after a sudden storm appeared over downtown and dropped a quick half-inch or so of rain when the men were underground.

I wonder what kind of real-time weather information these people use?

The Captain would be happy to provide this service for a reasonable fee.
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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Soccer Win Unites Iraqis - Will It Last

A big- hearty congratulations to the Iraqi people in your team's victory over Saudi Arabia to win the Asian Cup in a non-violent endeavor such is soccer/sports.

May this be a sign to unite the different factions realizing common goals such as the huge win of your football team.

Believe me- I would love nothing better than the Iraqi people take the bull by the horns and run the terrorists out and begin the task of building a great nation so we can go home.

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Paul Bunyan Also Invited To Collinsville-IL With His French Fries

The good people of the home of the world's largest bottle of catsup (ketchup) was vying for a Guinness World Book record for filling the world's largest packet of ketchup this weekend.

The H.J. Heinz Company- makers of my fave ketchup- donated 4000 jars of the tangy condiment for people to buy for $1 each and fill the packet.

The monies raised were for a local Christian school recently damaged by a fire.
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The Kansas City MetroRegion Overnight News and Weather Report - Sunday, July 29, 2007

** House Fire In Blue Springs-MO **

... Central Jackson County Fire Protection District firefighters were called out to a house fire in the 900 block of N.W. Oak Ridge Drive just after midnight.

Flames were reported coming from the back of a house there- a neighbor tried to put it out with a garden hose before fire crews arrived.

The fire is under control at 12:19 pm and no occupancy status of the house was mentioned. No injuries were reported.
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** Car Rammed Into KC-MO Northland Bar **

... No one was reported injured in this incident that came in at 5:23 am in the 9300 block of North Oak. It was reported a car had crashed into Buster's Bar & Grill there and the car was on fire.

When the first fire company arrived 2 minutes later- they reported smoke showing and requested the fire response upgraded- however the flames were quickly knocked down and brought under control several minutes later. The fire reportedly did not get into the bar.

The driver of the car was not injured and damage to the building reportedly restricted to "an outdoor patio area" of the bar.

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<><><> OVERNIGHT WEATHER <><> <>

Clouds were on the increase overnight and by dawn- showers and a few thundershowers were found north of the Missouri and Kansas rivers in the Metro and approaching the western edge of the MetroRegion near Topeka at 7 am.

Temperatures overnight stayed in the 70's and winds were light from the east.

There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms today over most of the Kansas City MetroRegion and these rain chances will be around in the afternoons and evenings most of this coming week to usher in August. Temperatures will continue to stay pleasantly summertime normal.
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First with Metro Kansas City Breaking News - NBC41 ACTION NEWS.
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