Watch The Werks Cover The Disco Biscuits’ ‘Home Again’ From TWERK Tour

first_imgWhen you see The Werks, you get a little bit of everything… some jam, some funk, some good ol’ rock and roll. As the band powers along their TWERK Tour with Twiddle, they kindly shared with us a taste of some jam-tronica chops. This cover of The Disco Biscuits’ classic tune, “Home Again”, comes from a powerful performance at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore, MD.Twiddle And The Werks Release Hilarious Teaser For Twerk Tour, Presented By L4LMCheck out this pro-shot footage, as provided by The Werks:The Werks and Twiddle continue their TWERK tour, tonight, at The Canopy Club in Urbana, IL. Check out the full schedule below, with ticket links available for any upcoming performance in a town near you. Don’t miss out, as these bands are coming in hot!TWERK Tour Dates10/29    Urbana, IL    The Canopy Club10/30    Grand Rapids, MI    The Stache10/31    Chicago, IL    Bottom Lounge11/1    Chicago, IL    Chop Shop11/3    Iowa City, IA    Blue Moose Tap House11/4    Omaha, NE    Waiting Room11/5    Kansas City, MO    The Riot Room11/6    Fort Collins, CO    Aggie Theatre11/7    Boulder, CO    Boulder Theater11/10    Seattle, WA    Tractor Tavern11/11    Portland, OR    Star Theater11/12    Eugene, OR    The WOW Hall11/13    San Francisco, CA    The Independent11/14    Crystal Bay, NV    Crystal Bay Club11/19    Bloomington, IN    Bluebird Nightclub11/20    Columbus, OH    Newport Music Hall11/21    Cleveland, OH    The Beachland Ballroom & Tavernlast_img read more

Regan Smith to join FOX NASCAR pit road reporting team in 2018

first_imgCHARLOTTE, NC – As NASCAR prepares to honor its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion this weekend in Las Vegas and teams finalize their 2018 lineups, FOX Sports has begun stacking its broadcaster deck for 2018.New to the FOX NASCAR arsenal next year, the network’s 18th consecutive season broadcasting NASCAR races, is veteran driver Regan Smith, who will serve as a pit reporter for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series, in addition to continuing his role as a NASCAR Race Hub analyst. He took a broadcasting test drive with his race analyst debut last June at Iowa Speedway for FS1’s presentation of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race.“When I had the opportunity to be in the FOX Sports booth at Iowa earlier in the year, the driver in me was really intrigued by the TV side of the sport,” Smith said. “So, my biggest goal in joining pit road is to be able to give viewers something they didn’t know before or to better help them understand something going on with the driver or the car. Since I am still competing, I can put into perspective what a driver is feeling at a particular moment.”Smith, winner of the prestigious Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in 2011 and 2008 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year, has regularly appeared as a driver analyst on FS1’s NASCAR Race Hub since 2015.“We’ve enjoyed and appreciated Regan’s insight in the NASCAR Race Hub studio but really had our eyes opened to his broadcasting potential at Iowa last summer,” said Steve Craddock, FOX Sports SVP of NASCAR Production. “A fan and peer favorite, he has proven himself seamless in translating his years of driving experience to the viewers at home.”MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIESFor its broadcast of the first half of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, FOX NASCAR is armed with seven championships’ worth of analysis and insight. For the third year, Hall of Famer and three-time champ Darrell Waltrip pairs with four-time champion Jeff Gordon in the booth for analysis, with veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, covering his 43rd Daytona 500 in February, and former Daytona 500-winning crew chief Larry McReynolds with race analysis on the strength of his 43 years in the sport.Delivering stories and updates from pit road are pit reporters Jamie Little, Vince Welch, Matt Yocum and Smith. Chris Myers hosts FOX NASCAR Sunday and the network’s race coverage from the famed Hollywood Hotel alongside Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon. FOX broadcasts 10 of FOX Sports’ 16 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, while FS1 telecasts the remaining six.NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIESFor the 16th consecutive year, FS1 offers exclusive coverage of the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Welch calls play-by-play with veteran analysts Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Hermie Sadler, Kaitlyn Vincie and Alan Cavanna deliver pit reports.NASCAR XFINITY SERIES & “Drivers Only” BroadcastThe NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to FOX Sports for the fourth consecutive season in 2018, with Adam Alexander once again handling full-time play-by-play duties alongside analyst Michael Waltrip and a rotation of prominent Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers to be announced in the near future. Little, Yocum and Smith cover pit road.Additionally, FOX Sports brings back its “Drivers Only” NASCAR XFINITY Series broadcast in 2018, at a track to be announced in the near future, after a wildly successful and critically acclaimed debut in June 2017 at Pocono Raceway. Throughout the 2017 NXS season, FOX Sports featured five Cup Series drivers in the booth, offering fans a variety of knowledgeable and current viewpoints.NASCAR RACEDAYNASCAR RaceDay, FS1’s popular pre-race show, continues to deliver the excitement behind-the-scenes and up-to-the-minute reports from the garage prior to the start of each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. John Roberts and Myers share hosting duties, while the entire FOX NASCAR on-air team joins analysts Kenny Wallace, Jeff Hammond, Andy Petree and reporters Cavanna and Vincie.In addition, FOX Sports offers a dedicated 30-minute pre-race show immediately prior to each NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Shannon Spake returns to host NASCAR RaceDay-XFINITY with McReynolds and Wallace providing analysis. Roberts has the honors for NCWTS Setup leading into all Truck Series races with insight from two-time series champion Todd Bodine.NASCAR RACE HUBNASCAR Race Hub, FS1’s daily news and update program, continues live at 6:00 p.m. ET every Monday through Thursday. Alexander and Spake co-host the hour-long program with analysts McReynolds, Hammond and Andy Petree, who are joined by a rotating team of active drivers and crew chiefs. The duo of Cavanna and Vincie are back with daily reports from NASCAR race shops, while Roberts hosts most Thursdays.NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, hosted by Roberts, is a Friday and Saturday fixture on FS1, delivering at-track updates and news as it breaks throughout the course of the race weekend.last_img read more

Q&A with new Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kurt Busch

first_imgDid you know Chip previously? Obviously you know the man through walking through garageland, but has there been any sort of relationship?Just in crossing paths. Whether it was sports car stuff when I raced in the Rolex or the time that I spent at Indianapolis running IndyCar, Chip and I always had that genuine smile and handshake when we saw each other. Then, there is Felix Sabates, who is a part owner of the team. I’ve known him over the last 15 years and we go to dinner and tell war stories together. It’s neat to jump in there.As far as the shop and the team and all that, have you got your head wrapped around that or is a bit too early?I was at the shop yesterday and we did a big announcement for the crew guys before it all went public. I think everybody was blown away by Monster’s energy level with girls brought in and product tastings of different flavors; we had a DJ with lights to kick it off. At the end of it all took the mic and said, “Guys, we’re here to win and it’s about teamwork and it’s about the dedication and commitment to making everything better.” Man, everybody absorbed it and everybody was chomping at the bit to get back to work and to polish up on all areas to take Chip Ganassi Racing to the next level.You’re back to Chevrolet in 2019. What did you make of the Cup teams running Chevy in ’18?I feel like right out of the box that Chevrolet struggled and then they made gains throughout the year and Kyle Larson was the fastest car at Darlington for the Southern 500. They didn’t quite execute on pit road to win that race. Yes, there were a few moments of speed, but what we need to have is tons more moments of speed to be in position to pick up the wins. I think that’s what everybody at Ganassi wants to do and what everybody at Chevrolet wants to do.After 20 years of all of this, you have to start all over again. You good with that?As fast as the contract came together with Chip Ganassi, that’s all the motivation I needed. He wanted me. There was a forward-thinking process through this. I mean I literally got some seats in cars yesterday and in my mindset, I felt like it was Feb. 1. I feel like Daytona is going to be next week and let’s go after this. There is no lack of motivation from me. Busch puts Monster Energy kick in Ganassi unveil00:0000:0000:00GO LIVEFacebookTwitterEmailEmbedSpeedNormalAutoplay “I wish I had all the answers,” scoffed Kurt Busch during one of the many dog days of NASCAR summer 2018 when asked what the veteran driver had going for 2019. “I love the way that Monster Energy has supported me over the years in NASCAR. They’ve told me that they’re with me and we’re going to go to a competitive top-tier team in 2019. That’s where I’m at with all this. I’m hoping it works out.”A slow train coming, it did.As we learned earlier this week, Kurt Busch will climb into the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet of the Chip Ganassi Racing outfit come the drop of the green at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17. A former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, Daytona 500 winner and “That’s NASCAR” Entertainment fixture, we spoke with Busch from his winter house in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he and wife Ashley were putting in some time on her polo horses and soaking up the sun.Not sure if Richard Petty did it this way, but Kurt Busch, as we’ve all come to learn, has his own way of doing things.MORE: Busch makes big announcementThere’s been an impressive reaction to your move to Chip Ganassi Racing for 2019. The announcement seemed to wave the green flag on the rush to Daytona in a few months’ time. Thoughts?Yeah, I think it went great. There has been a lot of support and enthusiasm from the fans about the switch. To have Monster Energy and to get the No. 1 car was a cool branding moment, but at the end of the day it’s about performance and as Chip Ganassi said to me, “Kurt, I want you. I want you, as a champion, to come over to this team.” And the Stewart-Haas Racing offer that I got for ’19 wasn’t all that exciting and we bounced. We made the move. I’m really looking forward to working with, what I believe is a future champion, in Kyle Larson and using my experience to get these cars dialed-in.Do you and Kyle know one another at all?A little bit. On-track experience has been solid with the respect that he has shown me and the times that I’ve helped him on-track has been, I think, solid. Now it is time to get together outside the track simply to just share a beer and get together and hang out and tell some war stories.Jonathan Ferrey | Getty ImagesYou’re a NASCAR champion and Kyle is a potential champion. With all the collective racing wisdom and experience you’ve gleaned from a 20-year career, I would think that could be quite helpful to Kyle as well as the entire Ganassi race effort.I agree 100 percent, and for me, I felt like it was one of the reasons to make a change and move away from SHR. After 20 years in the sport, I’m not necessarily passing the torch, but at least they can utilize the experience that I have to maybe teach somebody that is willing to learn about it. At SHR they’ve got a great fold of drivers that have experience, but this is a unique opportunity. There are also some IndyCar aspirations and also some sports car aspirations that I have. The way that Ganassi jut welcomed me in with open arms, it made a lot of sense.RELATED: Rolex 24, Indy 500 starts coming for Kurt Busch?As the summer burned off and you were somewhat undecided as to where you might race in ’19, did you come to a fork in the road? It could have been SHR, it could have been Ganassi, it could have been Formula E …Yeah, I’ve been at the pros and cons intersection before. I’d stay with the team or I’d leave the team and this time around it was 99 percent pro-Ganassi when it came down to it, and so that’s how I looked forward. The decision was made pretty early this year and once we got all the little stuff settled… Man, I was running for a championship at SHR and Chip Ganassi said, “You know, while you’re still championship-eligible, we’ll just hold off on the announcement.” So that’s why it took a little bit, I looked at it like, “Man, we need to go big. We need to go with some fun and flashy announcement when we do switch.” Literally, my first day available to work for Chip Ganassi contractually was on December 1st and that’s why we launched now.last_img read more

Children Hurt in Connecticut Amusement Park Accident

first_imgNORWALK, Connecticut – Connecticut police say one adult and 12 children were taken to hospitals after an amusement ride malfunctioned at a fair, sending riders crashing into each other. (Sept. 9)last_img

EB15: Ritchey adds more cyclocross, gravel & road wheels, nifty mini tools and world’s…

first_imgEvery year, Ritchey has some new iteration of his wheels. Sometimes there’s a new disc brake option, sometimes one’s a bit wider, and so forth. For 2016, there are four new models worthy of calling out, a couple of which will make for fantastic cyclocross or gravel race hoops, and two for more traditional (or even “classic”) road bikes.Above, the new WCS Apex 38 Disc carbon wheels use their two-piece Centerlock disc hubs with all-new, disc specific 38mm deep carbon rims. They’re 18.4mm wide on the inside, and they’re tubeless ready, so they’ll pair up nicely with the also-new tubeless ready Shield WCS 700×35 tires… The rims get their own special layup and resin for the disc brake version. They’re laced 2-cross with 24 spokes on both front and rear.The Shield WCS tubeless ready tire weighs in at 398g, just 24g heavier than the non-tubeless version, and gets a 120tpi casing and dual compound rubber to be grippy in the corners and fast in the straights.The hubs use Ritchey’s offset flanges to improve spoke bracing angle and keep them from rubbing against each other. The rear hub has larger bearings on the driveside for better durability. Wheelset weight is 1,747g (827g F/920g R). Compatible with standard quick release and thru axles.A rim brake version is also available, weighing in at 1,560g (685g F/875g R), but uses the Phantom hubs (see below), which are QR only.If your game is stepped up to tubulars (though we’d argue tubeless is on the level), the new WCS Apex Carbon 36 Disc Tubulars are your wheels. They use the same hubs as the 38mm deep clinchers above, but switch to a 36mm deep, 24mm wide full carbon tubular rim. That means they’re thru-axle ready, including both 12mm and 15mm options for front. Weight is 1,571g (739g F/832g R).The SuperLogic Zeta II wheels may look like carbon at first glance, but they’re actually alloy with an electro-ceramic surface hardening treatment that both protects the rim and improves braking performance in wet conditions.Called LogiCote, it’s micron thin but should last a long time, which has the bonus effect of helping your rims last longer because the brake pads won’t wear down the sidewalls as quickly.It’s textured, but in a concentric pattern that shouldn’t make the squealing sounds that other textured braking surfaces can (Mavic, we’re looking at you…even though we love the performance of Exalith).The rims are 17mm wide on the inside, and the rear has an asymmetric profile to improve dish.These wheels claim to have Ritchey’s best stiffness to weight ratio, coming in at just 1,391g (593g F/798g R). They’re built with 20/24 DT Aero Comp spokes and alloy nipples laced to Ritchey’s Phantom Flange hubs. The hubs are impressive not just for their weights (70g F/207g R), but because they use J-bend spokes all around, have a 6-pawl, 12-point engagement and staggered driveside flange that keeps the spokes from rubbing together. On top of all that, they pop apart without tools, making them easier to pack if you’re using one of Ritchey’s growing line of Breakaway frames. How? because the freehub body can pop off with the cassette attached, letting the axle slide out and making it all very flat.For those with a classic bike that wants to keep a classic look but gain modern day performance, the Zeta alloy wheels with Phantom hubs now come in silver. For thoroughly modern, the new WCS Carbon Solostreem integrated bar/stem comes in at just 350g by molding the two parts together into an ergonomic, aerodynamic start to your cockpit. It’s available in three widths, with various stem lengths for each: 40cm (80/90/100mm), 42cm (90/100/110/120mm) and 44cm (90/100/110/120/130mm). All three have a 84º stem angle (read: -16º, or roughly flat), with 126mm drop and 75mm reach.To go with your ‘cross or gravel bike, the new Evomax handlebar comes in two flavors – WCS with triple butted 7050 alloy at 270g and Comp in double butted 6061 at 292g. It’s designed with a 12º outward flare to the drops, giving you extra wrist clearance and leverage when it’s boogie time. A slightly flattened top section with 4º backsweep makes it comfortable the rest of the time.Check our outdoor demo coverage for the full story on the new WCS XC pedals and their Trail counterpart, but here’s the nutshell: Better shoe support thanks to flattened platforms on either side of the pedal, and a fixed hook at the front makes engagement and disengagement quicker and more solid and reliable.All of the changes were the result of feedback from sponsored riders like Nino Schurter and crew…though they ended up much beefier than some of the prototypes they were running last year. That means weight went up a bit, to 298g, from the 240g per pair of the originals we tested. The new Trail version weighs in at 347g per pair thanks to the outer cage that gives you more foot support.For the non pros, there’s the new Comp pedal, which gets the same fixed front cleat hook and platforms, but in a bit heavier and much more colorful package. Weight is 331g with a cast alloy body and chromoly spindle.The new WCS TrueGrip X lock-on grips bring things about as thin as you can get. Grip diameter is just 30mm, putting just a thin layer of Kraton dual density material between your palm and the bar. Weight is 93g, width is 103mm, and they’re available in black, red, yellow, green, blue and light blue. A Comp level version provides a slip-on version that does away with the lock rings but adds pink and white colors.The star of the grip show is the new SuperLogic Ergo TrueGrip. The shape is fantastically comfortable, and it’s been available as a WCS edition before, but that one weighed in at a portly 36g without end plugs. Thanks to a new “ultra-light nano foam”, the SuperLogic version cuts that all the way down to 8.5g…for the pair!Two new tools join the collection. In the middle are the Barkeeper Levers. They tuck into your handlebar ends when not needed, saving a bit of space in your saddle bag or pocket. They weigh in at 16g and retail for $15 each, sold individually.Up front, the CPR12 mini tool combines all the basics into a light, compact package and doesn’t skimp – there’s even a chain breaker! Other tools include 2/3/4/5/6/8 hex keys, Torx T20, Phillips screwdriver, tire lever and a hidden bottle opener. Hopefully they’ll switch that to a T25 at some point, otherwise a great looking tool that’s just 92g.Ritchey also had several new items at Eurobike’s outdoor demo, including the Ascent touring bike, a steel trail hardtail mountain bike and some aggressive looking tires to go with it, and more! Check them all out here.RitcheyLogic.comcenter_img Gorgeous.Bridging the gap between classic and new is the WCS Carbon NeoClassic handlebar. It’s a modern carbon monocoque bar with matte UD finish, but its shape is the traditional round bend and long, flat lower hand position of old-school handlebars. Weight is 339g for a 42cm width. Reach is 73mm, drop is 128mm. The center section is extended so it’s compatible with clip-on aero bars and all manner of out-front computer/camera mounts.last_img read more

InterUrban ArtHouse acquires Overland Park Post Office building across the street to provide space for expansion

first_imgRendering of the new gallery space planned for the InterUrban Arthouse.The InterUrban ArtHouse, a cultural anchor in downtown Overland Park for five years, has bought the post office building across the street to allow a major expansion of its arts programs and studio space.Angie Hejduk, chief operating officer for the ArtHouse, said the acquisition of the 10,000 square-foot post office building at 8010 Conser St. was completed with the help of a $160,000 grant from the City of Overland Park.Other funding for the purchase: Anonymous, $100,000; Regnier Foundation, $75,000; Howard Jacobson, $20,000; Hal Shapiro, $10,000, and Sunderland Foundation, $100,000.Plans call for the U.S. Post Office to downsize its current operation and continue to operate a 1,000 square-foot retail facility in the building.Rendering of the community porch planned for the new InterUrban Arthouse.The remainder will be converted to a dozen studios, classroom and exhibition space, and a coffee shop. The loading dock will become a “community porch.” The move also will allow InterUrban to meet the needs of people with disabilities.Hejduk estimated the cost of the renovation at about $500,000. A fundraising effort is underway. The InterUrban ArtHouse purchased the post office building debt-free and wants to complete the renovations without debt as well. The organization currently is in rented space across the street at 8001 Conser.Owning its own space and avoiding the uncertainty of rent increases was one of the goals when Nicole Emanuel founded the ArtHouse. “She came to Kansas City with her family and found that there were only a few artist spaces in this area,” Hejduk said. “She reached out to the community and over 100 artists showed up…by owning the building, we can control our rent.”Hejduk said the InterUrban ArtHouse has been a contributor to the renaissance currently occurring in downtown Overland Park. The retail district is thriving and developments totaling more than 500 apartments are in the pipeline.“We’ve been here for several years and feel we’ve been a key component of the cultural landscape,” she said. “That’s why people are developing and creating more living options.”Hejduk also praised the City of Overland Park for its help acquiring the post office building.“The city made a substantial endorsement of arts programming in this community,” she said.The ArtHouse will continue utilizing its former rented space at 8001 Conser. A new middle school for the arts is in the works there as well, and students at the school are expected to take classes at InterUrban ArtHouse.The first event planned for the new space will be a TEDxOverland Park grand opening on the theme of Systems. It will be March 2, 2017 at 2 p.m.The InterUrban ArtHouse has acquired the post office building at 8010 Conser St. in downtown Overland Park.last_img read more

Overland Park residents make case for non-discrimination ordinance, though legal staff raise questions about enforceability

first_imgMore than 50 people Wednesday presented heartfelt pleas to Overland Park leaders to approve an ordinance with legal protections from discrimination for the LGBTQ+ community, despite a grim assessment from the city’s legal department about its enforceability.The crowd at the council’s community development committee discussion was largely in favor of passage of a non-discrimination ordinance, saying Overland Park should do what nine other Johnson County municipalities have already done.Committee chair Curt Skoog invited the public to discuss the issue as the city decides how to move forward. In February, the council passed a resolution in support of LGBTQ+ rights, but left it to state legislators to write a law granting legal protection. Since that has not happened, the council is revisiting the issue.Several speakers last night told the committee Overland Park should step forward because the statehouse leadership is unlikely to make the necessary changes, and there have been issues in the area. One speaker told the committee she had experienced discrimination based on gender identity.“I’ve been a victim of anti transgender discrimination right here in Overland Park,” said Una Nowling, an intersex and transgender woman who is president of the KKFI 90.1 board of directors. “I’ve been thrown out of a business, I’ve been refused service, I’ve had hate speech used against me by staff and local business…Yes it is happening and no we can’t delay on this.”Numerous speakers asked the city to adopt an ordinance, saying it’s the right thing to do and it would send a message to lawmakers.“This is a local issue. Throwing up your hands and saying that this is something that can only be done at the state or federal level does not absolve you from responsibility,” said Taryn Jones. File photo from city council candidate forum.“This is a local issue. Throwing up your hands and saying that this is something that can only be done at the state or federal level does not absolve you from responsibility,” said Taryn Jones, a gay woman who was among the candidates in the primary field for a Ward 1 seat on the city council.State Rep. Jared Ousley, one of several legislators who attended the meeting, said having cities pass ordinances would help the argument at the state level.However, Overland Park legal staff told the committee they had concerns about the enforceability of such city level measures. The Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act severely limits enforcement of non-discrimination laws if a person cites religious beliefs, said Michael Koss, senior assistant city attorney. The city’s legal staff has asked for an attorney general’s opinion on how to enforce such ordinances.Some of the speakers pushed back on that point, saying that a city ordinance has at least some chance at being enforced, while the resolution already on the books remains just a resolution.Other speakers invoked the goals of Forward OP that stressed making the city a welcoming place for all people. “It is impossible to feel welcome in a place where you can be denied housing because of who you love,” said Melissa Cheatham. “Quite frankly I think that having to endure hours of public debate about whether or not you are entitled to full human and civil rights probably doesn’t feel very welcoming.”Still others said the lack of ongoing legal protection would cost Overland Park talented young workers who want to live in a diverse place.Beatrice Turley, a sophomore at Shawnee Mission West, said she wants to live in a place where the law protects her. “A non-discrimination ordinance is a very simple way to invite people different from you and make Overland Park an even better community to be a part of.”Hope Fritton, a sophomore at Shawnee Mission South, said, “This ordinance is our opportunity to be neighbors and to make our city a place that is a little (more) free of hate.”Jacob Moyer, a student at Johnson County Community College, remembered asking his high school teacher at Shawnee Mission North about the safety pin she was wearing. She told him it was because she was a safe person to talk to if he was bullied or had other issues, he said. Then one day, she told him she couldn’t wear it anymore because she’d risk being fired.“She’s not even gay but she could still be fired for supporting LGBTQ rights, which tells you that this is an important ordinance to pass,” Moyer said.Only four people spoke against the ordinance. Some said they didn’t want to rush into a law that would be complex and difficult to enforce.“The definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity are so spread out and so different and so rapidly changing that just from a bystander’s perspective how in the world is someone supposed to keep up with that,” said Kathy Laverick. She also said she thought normalizing transgender issues would be detrimental to children.Patricia Brown was concerned that the city continues to respect the rights of those with religious convictions. “I’m concerned that an ordinance that would promote the rights of one would then violate the rights of the other,” she said.The discussion lasted about two and a half hours. Skoog said he will discuss with Mayor Carl Gerlach how to proceed.last_img read more

Priced Out: What can cities do to encourage creation of housing options for all budgets?

first_imgA growing number of workers can’t find affordable housing in the state’s wealthiest county. With cheaper housing disappearing, pricier options proliferating and rents rising, Johnson County residents working modest-paying jobs in offices, public safety and even public schools, among others, face the prospect of increasingly missing out on the suburban good life there. But while nonprofit activism is increasing awareness of the problem, there’s little clarity about how city government — and local candidates vying for your vote this fall — might contribute to addressing it. This week, we’re running Priced Out, a series on housing affordability issues in Johnson County and beyond reported by The Journal, a publication of the Kansas Leadership Center.What exactly is it that a city can do to create more affordable housing?There are plenty of alternatives being tried. Some think tiny-home villages – like a highly successful and touted veterans community in Kansas City, Missouri – might be the answer. But tenant advocates say while it’s a great option, it’s hardly the ideal for many.Other metropolitan areas have considered allowing existing homeowners to build accessory dwelling units – dubbed granny units – where it makes sense. Designers have suggested houses made from 3-D printed parts as another possibility.But none of those options is expected to gain much traction in the Kansas City metro area. Right now, the region is instead in diagnosis mode.The Urban Land Institute defines “workforce or affordable housing” as housing that is affordable to households earning 60% to 120% of an area’s median income. In Johnson County, those incomes would range from $48,720 a year to $97,440 a year. Workforce housing could help anyone from a senior citizen on a fixed income to a recent graduate or lower income worker who don’t qualify for Section 8 housing.The National League of Cities has taken a keen interest in the Kansas City region this year after the First Suburbs Coalition and the Mid-America Regional Council won a grant to help study the housing issue. The league hired a consultant to study workforce housing. The study is still underway, but an initial data assessment indicated that Kansas and Missouri suburbs need to rethink their approaches.Some of the work confirms what local officials already knew: that older housing stock can face hefty maintenance expenses that puts it out of reach for many lower-wage employees. In Johnson County’s wealthiest suburbs, the study confirmed that many of the basic community helpers are not able to live among the residents they serve.Among the options summit strategists have suggested city officials consider:Create a regional workforce housing awareness campaign to lessen the public stigma.Better utilize tax abatements for new and existing homes and homebuyer assistance programs.The consultant also recommended that local officials actively encourage the development of workforce housing by reducing regulations involving setbacks and density requirements while easing or waiving some fees and layering financial incentives.In Johnson County, some small steps have been taken. Overland Park and Lenexa included affordable housing as priorities for future growth. The Overland Park City Council also approved a controversial development plan to build smaller, affordable homes – priced at about $250,000 – in an older section of the city where a few lots went undeveloped for decades.Neighbors argued that a developer wanted to put too many houses on small plats. City Council members disagreed, saying the homes were financially attainable. Meanwhile, time-worn patterns of development in Johnson County – from building McMansions to trendy teardowns – continue.Officials continue to compile more information about affordable housing. As the National League of Cities continues its work, Johnson County will begin its own housing study. United Community Services teamed up with the county and several cities this fall to conduct a housing study.Julie Brewer, executive director of United Community Services, thinks its findings will shape the discussion, although a Johnson County Community Development Office housing market needs and analysis released in 2004 identified many of the issues being discussed presently but did little to move the needle.Maybe it’s an income problem?Not everybody who studies the affordable housing issue is convinced that building more housing is the solution.Some, like Kirk McClure, professor of urban planning at the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration, think affordable housing is at adequate levels for Johnson County unlike, say, Seattle and Los Angeles. Why simply build more housing, which will also eventually be marked up? The real solution, he believes, is improved wages, increased minimum wage and wage assistance.“They need rents below $500,” he says. The problem is that the price of land doesn’t allow for that without subsidies.“Nobody can afford to purchase, maintain, pay taxes on housing that you rent out for, say, $350 a month,” he says.Although McClure thinks the best way to fix the problem is by encouraging federal officials to help with more targeted subsidies, he says there is room for better city and state cooperation. Kansas has a little used program called mortgage revenue bonds that allow the state to offer loans to moderate-income, first-time homebuyers.McClure also says the state is still heavily influenced by real estate agents, builders and developers, who have long shaped the housing narrative in Kansas.“We need to be guided more in serving our needs,” he says. “We’ve got to start having the Johnson County delegation show some backbone and testify against the homebuilders.”Real estate groups have long been successful in Topeka, most recently pushing the Legislature to pass a law banning cities from forcing developers to set aside a portion of new construction for affordable units because it infringed on the rights of property owners and violated free market principles.Affordable housing advocates argue that the law makes no sense, especially when developers sometimes receive taxpayer-funded subsidies to finance luxury construction at the expense of schools, libraries and others.However, builders and developers point out that putting the onus on homebuilders to increase the amount of affordable housing penalizes their industry, which is already heavily regulated.“You’re basically just taking money out of one pocket and handing it to another,” says Shawn Woods, the president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City.Instead he’d like to see cities working with the building industry to come up with solutions.“It can be done, but it’s going to take some thinking outside the box. I don’t think the way to do that is to penalize a developer for building a bigger house,” Woods says.McClure thinks local officials need to get out their toolboxes and start being creative. Play the game, McClure says, by doing things like increasing water connection fees with a caveat: “We’ll reduce them if you set aside 20%” of the units for workforce housing.“There are creative ways to do this,” he says. “You’ve got to connect to a water system in order to have water.”A place to work and live?As she mulls her housing situation, Judy Intfen, the counseling secretary at Mill Valley High School (read more about her in Part 1) wishes cities would think about someone like her.She doesn’t want a tiny house or a single-family home. She’s content to rent. Intfen once had an ownership share in the well-known Paddy O’Quigley’s Pub & Grille. For more than 21 years, the Irish pub was mainstay at 119th Street and Roe Avenue in Leawood.Back then, Intfen did everything from managing, hiring and training staff to payroll and more. She spent 60-plus hours a week at her small business. She didn’t have time to attend to home ownership. One year she went without a salary as the business weathered the recession. Making a down payment and paying a mortgage was one thing. Confronting the inevitable home repair emergency was another.“I don’t want my furnace to go out. I don’t want my roof to leak. There’s no way I could afford to get those things fixed,” she says.Intfen just wants something affordable in a safe environment. “I want a bedroom, a kitchen, living room, storage. I want the basics,” she says.Back at Mill Valley High School, students and school staff seem to enjoy having Intfen around the building.She likens her job to a flight controller at times. She will likely get to know every student. She’ll try to learn their names, and often a lot more, before sending them off to meet with the right counselor. The students have noticed. They dedicated a full page to her in the 2018 yearbook.“I love it,” she says of her job. “I love the kids, love the administration. I really do enjoy every aspect.”There’s certainly a place for her to work, but the question policymakers in Johnson County will face in the years to come is whether something needs to be done to ensure she and others in her situation also have a place to live.This is part three of a three-part series about affordable housing in Johnson County being published by the Shawnee Mission Post. The stories are adapted from The Journal, a magazine published in print and online at klcjournal.com by the Kansas Leadership Center, and are being used with permission.last_img read more

Gophers lose first game in Big Ten finale, still earn top seed for NCAA Tournament

first_imgMinnesota led once in the game at the end of the first period, but Penn State took control from there and led 3-2 in the third period.One of Minnesota’s highest scorers, defenseman Jack Sadek, was able to break through and scored the equalizer, his third goal in three games.“It somehow popped out to me,” Sadek said to the media. “I just one-timed the puck. That’s what the coaches are kind of harping on us to do, the defensemen.”Penn State wasn’t involved in just one double overtime game during the Big Ten Tournament.The championship tilt between Wisconsin and Penn State also went to a second overtime period, but didn’t last as long as the semifinal game.Although Minnesota has won all four Big Ten regular season titles, it has only won one of the four tournaments. With Penn State’s victory and tournament title, the Gophers were confirmed as one of the four number-one seeds in the NCAA Tournament.Minnesota will enter the NCAA Tournament for its 37th time, a tournament record, which broke a tie that the team previously held with Michigan at 36.Minnesota had not played Notre Dame since last season, splitting the series that came in November of 2015. The Gophers are 1-0 against Notre Dame all-time in NCAA tournament games.“We haven’t played them this year, but we played them a little bit last year,” captain Justin Kloos said Sunday. “So we kind of know their style, they’re good offensively, [they have] offensive defensemen [who] like to get up in the play.” Gophers lose first game in Big Ten finale, still earn top seed for NCAA TournamentMinnesota set a new record for NCAA Tournament bids Sunday at 37.Carter JonesGoaltender Eric Schierhorn watches forward Leon Bristedt reach to block a pass against Wisconsin on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at Mariucci Arena. Drew CoveMarch 20, 2017Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintMinnesota fell out of the Big Ten Tournament in its first game Friday, but the Gophers still finished the weekend on top.While the team didn’t win, the Gophers were selected as a one-seed for the NCAA Tournament Sunday and will play No. 10 seed Notre Dame in Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday.The rollercoaster weekend for Minnesota started Friday when the team played the longest game in Big Ten Tournament history with Penn State.The Gophers looked poised to hold off the Nittany Lions offense in the second overtime period, but the lone penalty in extra minutes on Minnesota proved fatal. A turnover along the boards put the Nittany Lions defenseman Erik Autio open in front of the Minnesota net and he broke the 3-3 tie 93:33 into the conference game, sending Penn State to its first Big Ten Tournament title game.Minnesota’s key to the extended game was its goaltender — Eric Schierhorn.In one of the strongest performances in his two years with the Gophers, the sophomore goalie faced 63 shots and saved 59 of them, a career-high for saves in a game.“The goalies played [well],” head coach Don Lucia told the media Friday. “I was very happy [with] the way Eric played. [He’s] played well the second half of the season.”Facing a total of 20 shots in the two overtime periods, and 43 in the first three frames, Schierhorn kept Minnesota in the game to prolong the Gopher’s hopes.Schierhorn has kept pace with his statistics from his freshman season and improved his save percentage to .908 and his goals against average to 2.60 this season. Minnesota was outshot 63-40, but managed to keep pace with a strong Penn State offense that was able to find its way through the Gophers’ defense.last_img read more

Navistar Names Troy Clarke President of Asia-Pacific Operations

first_imgSHANGHAI — At a media event during the 14th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (Auto Shanghai 2011), Navistar named Troy Clarke to head the company’s Asia Pacific Operations. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement “We are proud to have Troy on our team and leading our efforts in China,” said Daniel Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and CEO. “Troy brings valuable industry leadership to this important new role, and his experience heading GM’s Asia business will be a great fit as we look to grow in China and throughout the Asia Pacific region.” Clarke joined Navistar in January 2010 as senior vice president, strategic initiatives, following a 35-year career at General Motors. The 56 year-old Clarke joined GM’s Pontiac division in 1973 and held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, including president and managing director of GM’s Mexico operation, vice president of manufacturing and labor relations, and president of GM Asia Pacific. Clarke holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute, as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. Last September, Navistar signed joint venture agreements with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC) to develop, build and market advanced diesel commercial engines and advanced commercial vehicles in China. “I’m proud and humbled to be leading our efforts in Asia as our joint ventures with JAC represent a significant step in Navistar’s global growth,” said Clarke. “Navistar recognizes the importance of the Chinese market. The similarities between our two nations and infrastructure growth patterns combined with our heritage of innovation best position us to help lower logistics costs and further China’s economic development goals. This venture with a strong partner such as JAC enables us to understand the market quickly as we grow our business in the Asia Pacific region.” Advertisement Formation of the joint ventures is subject to finalization of certain procedural steps and the finalization of certain ancillary commercial agreements among the parties.last_img read more