October 8, 2013

Mayor Mallinson Works for the City… in More Ways than One

   Mayor Matt Mallinson has been taking the phrase "working for the city" to many different levels lately in order to see what it’s like to work in each of the city’s departments for a period of time.  He’s been through the physical exams and agility tests just like any new employee would have to take if they wanted to be hired by the City of Sugar Creek.  

   "How better to experience what our employees go through on a day to day basis?” he said.  "I feel that you cannot make proper decisions without first hand knowledge of certain situations.  This not only gives me a feel for the job, but this allows me time to interact with the workers that do these jobs daily." 

   Why the trash truck? 

   "We have some difficult decisions to make concerning refuse collection in our city.  Our employees are exposed to many unpleasantries that people discard.  There is certainly not a shortage of smells and I fear some could be dangerous combinations.  Many trash cans exceed our weight limits which puts our workers at risk of physical injury.  As a city, we need to provide appropriate equipment for our employees or simply get out of the garbage business.  I feel I can now properly evaluate our next move." 

And what would that be?  "Ah, please come to our next town hall meeting on Monday October 21st to find out!"

School Construction's Run-Off "Catastrophic" to Our Creeks

   Erosion and mud run-off from the site of the new Abraham Mallinson Elementary School has had a devastating effect on the town’s streams and tributaries, city officials and experts say, and they claim that builder J. E. Dunn ignored their warnings and violated state and federal laws that would have prevented it from happening.

        Stream conservationist Bill Haman, trained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers, reported to Pubic Works Director Ed Layton in August that the stream beds were now covered with hundreds of tons of Loess soil that has settled in the creeks, and that this has "eliminated most of the previous habitat for invertebrates and other life forms,” calling the situation, "catastrophic."

   In March of 2012, the city's Planning Commission and Building Official Paul Loving warned of the possibility of off site run-off and called for the construction company to perform a storm water impact study to determine what measures would be needed to retain the run-off.

     In May, 2013, Sugar Creek Public Works director Ed Layton again alerted J. E. Dunn and the Independence School District that erosion control at the site was inadequate and in violation of their erosion control permit. 

   While the school district has contractors frantically seeding and sodding the muddy hill as they try to stabilize the erosion, the damage continues in a race to grow grass between downpours as a permanent solution is being sought. 

Kelsey Brings Back Sugar Creek Fire Muster

See more photos on our Facebook page
   Adam Kelsey, a third-generation Sugar Creek firefighter, wanted to bring back the traditional Sugar Creek Fire Muster that his father and grandfather enjoyed many years ago.  At these musters, area fire companies compete against each other in tests of strength and fire-fighting skill.

   On Saturday, September 14, the Sugar Creek Fire Department met with the Independence Explorers and the Sugar Creek Explorers at Lake Street and Sutcliff Drive to participate in what Kelsey called the "2nd 1st Annual Sugar Creek Fire Muster.”  Teams were formed for competitions like the "Boot Walk,” Tug-of-War, Bucket Brigade, Barrel Fight (shown) and other tests of skill.

Team Sugar Creek One, consisting of Braden Smith, Kenny Soule, Jr., and Jeremy Wright, won the Grand Championship title, with trophies provided by the Sugar Creek Optimist Club.  The Sugar Creek Fair Board provided water and ice, the Van Horn Booster Club sold concessions, and In the Mix Productions provided sound for the event. Kelsey is hoping next year to welcome more area fire companies to Sugar Creek to compete against.

Go Sugar Creek Helping Homeowners

Go Sugar Creek volunteers, including Former Mayor Jack O’Renick, Chuck Mikulich, and Dave Schafer, along with Bill Haman, recently built a wheelchair ramp for a disabled resident living on Burton Street. This is part of the community group’s efforts to help homeowners with special needs make needed improvements and bring their properties up to code.

Plans for events like this were discussed at the group’s September meeting. The group also discussed ways to develop the river front, which included artists’ renderings of a proposed marina and an RV park.  The group’s next meeting will be held on October 24 at 7 p.m. Visit gosugarcreek.blogspot.com for more information and find out how you can get involved.

2nd Lieutenant Cooper Returns for Visit

Air Force 2nd Lieutenant James Cooper, son of Jim and Sheryl Cooper, will return home to visit his family and friends for a short time in October before heading back to Del Rio, Texas, where he’s training to pilot the supersonic T-38 Talon. 

   2nd. Lieut. Cooper was First in his class at prop school, and out of 300 candidates was one of only 8 that were chosen for this training program.  Cooper, a Troop 221 Eagle Scout, will complete his T-38 training in February.

Outside Looking In by Aimee Worley

I want all of our Police Officers to live in Sugar Creek again. I know quite a few do, but not all; same for our Fire Department.  It made our neighborhoods safer, and for those on the Department to know who the citizens were.  There have been times some of the new officers are cold and curt to the citizens.  I know in larger cities that’s harder.  We are only  a city of 3,000. We need to be taken care of by our own, and not treated like criminals.  It’s even worse that the police station is all the way at the end of Sterling, out of the neighborhood.  I sure miss that.

   I do have a large complaint about how I feel.

   For 17 years I have lived on Forest Ave., and off and on I have asked for the police to do radar and issue speeding tickets to people zooming down the hill, to teach them to slow down.  It’s been done maybe 25 times in the last 16 years.  Thanks to those officers, you know how much I appreciate it.  But it seems nowadays the police sit where a driver can see the police car, but as soon as the police car is gone, 45, 55, 70 mph, up and down, all day and night.

   We have more families moving into Sugar Creek, close to the schools, and a lot more children walking on my street.  It needs to be safe.

   Please, Chief Soule, have your officers do radar and give tickets. If we can pay for someone to sit in the city police pick-up truck while the radar camera is hitched to the back, we can afford for a police officer to give speeding tickets on Forest Avenue.  P. S.: I could name over 25 citizens that speed past my house daily. Please Slow Down, Don’t be in such a hurry!

Send news and events to aimee@sugarcreekherald.com

October 2013 Extras

Did you know...

…the first church in Sugar Creek was the United Methodist Church (then called the Methodist Episcopal Church)? The first service was held in 1904 in the home of Col. N. P. Simonds, a grain man who had been commander of Kansas City’s Third Regiment Infantry.  His summer home was in Sugar Creek, like many Kansas Citians who spent their summers living near Fairmount Park.

What Sugar Creek Means to Me

"As a kid growing up in Sugar Creek, going to fish at Roper’s Pond is my greatest memory.  Roper’s  land should be made into a park."
Steven Strutton

Wish List

"Lower our sewer bills!  How could they have gone up so much?”
 "Bring back curbside recycling”
"Good coffee and somewhere to drink it!”

What do you think would make Sugar Creek better?
Email editor@sugarcreekherald.com

Pancake Breakfast October 12

The Purple Crushers IGSA Softball Team will hold a charity breakfast at Stix & Stones from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on October 12, with all the pancakes you can eat for $5. Call 816-833-7849 for more info.

Sugar Creek Historical Center Re-Opens

Friends of Sugar Creek volunteers peeled hundreds of potatoes for the traditional potato salad served at their September 25 fundraising barbecue.
   Saturday, October 5, the Sugar Creek Historical Center will be re-opened and ready to welcome visitors after having been closed for repairs and improvements over the summer.

   At the end of September, the Friends of Sugar Creek held a fundraising barbecue at Mike Onka Memorial Hall, serving brisket and pulled pork with traditional Slavic side dishes.

   The historical center will be open on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Friends of Sugar Creek will be quilting every Tuesday at the historical center, creating a quilt that will be sold or auctioned off as a fundraiser.

St. Cyril's Oktoberfest - October 12

Scouts' Popcorn Sale

Local scouts are selling popcorn in a variety of flavors to raise money for scouting events this year. Delivery will be made before Thanksgiving, with 70% of all proceeds going directly to local Scout troops.  Contact your favorite Scout to put in your order, or call Derek at (816) 462-3797. 

Tales From Old Sugar Creek - 1947

   The year began with Standard Oil Co. putting the final touches on their post-WWII expansion.  The McElroy farm and restaurant were bulldozed to make room for a multi-million dollar project.  It was also an election year, and on February 5, a Democratic primary was held.  R. J. Roper won a fourth term, defeating Mike Jurchak In the 1st Ward Mike Onka beat incumbent Vern Sutton; 2nd Ward incumbent Bill Mossie won and John “Buster” Kobe lost.

   Things at the school were also on the move. A levy provided funds to build a new basketball gymnasium on Chicago Street. The Sugar Creek Merchants, a semi-pro baseball team, represented the town in the Blue Valley league.  They finished third in the State tournament.  On June 15 the hated “Ace of Clubs” from Independence came to town confident of a win they didn’t get. John Yuhas was too much for the Aces.

   The 4th of July that year was the first true Fourth since the war began. Everyone was finally home. A baseball game and street party followed the parade.

   For Christmas several Standard employees painted 200 light bulbs and decorated the new 16 story cracking unit that had recently been put into operation.