Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I am McLovin

Alright, I just have to share this with the world...

Go to: and you can download the template for this. A few minutes in a photo editor and ....
Voila, "I am McLovin' "

Have fun.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Advice to the Funk on Light Rail...

Readers, I am now starting an advice column to change my blog. Eventually, I will take appropriate, legitimate reader questions. (email to: with the word "advice" in the subject.) Until then, I plan on forging questions from Kansas City bigwigs.


It's the Funk here. I recently announced my big plan for a bi-state light rail plan. Do you think it has a chance? Any hints and tips you can give me for this project would be helpful.


Mark "I'm not a puppet of my wife" Funkhouser
Mayor Kansas City, Mo


Good to see your finally asking for advice. I think that this plan (see: or corresponding article on Tuesday's B1.) Has some very good points. The suburbanites would probably be distrustful of a commuter transportation plan run by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority because KCATA has done a fine job running a downtown bus system, but it has not done too much to get out to the edge of Kansas City. Definitely, the bistate plan will give Kansas City a bigger, more useful light rail plan.
To help keep constructions costs use these tips from Nashville's Music City Star which is a heavy rail construction project.
1. Take advantage of what you have. Use existing rail and city owned right-of-way, when available. (In Kansas City this would be any number of the rail lines that already go all of the way into Union Station.)

2. Don't double-track immediately. To get a system off the ground, consider single tracking rail corridors and providing passing sidings when necessary. You can always expand in the future as demand grows. (This is a great point. Kansas City has a love affair with the biggest, newest, and best. Remodeled equipment would be suitable at the start. This would both be faster to get up and running and cheaper.)

3. Simplify station design. Rail stations can be just as simple as bus shelters. At-grade stations with small covered shelters are suitable.

4. Consider used rolling stock. Rail has been around for over 100 years. You don't always have to purchase the latest, greatest, and most expensive rail cars. Give a neighboring American city a call. They may have a surplus of something you can use and will give you a deal to get it off their hands. (Nashville was able to get some of their rolling stock from Chicago's Metra service for $1. They then had to remodel the cars to btoh update them and make them ADA compatible. Even with that the cars came in at significantly less than what new rolling stock costs.)

5. Public / Private relationships. Like roads, rail benefits more than just riders. It also increases the value and visibility of property in surrounding areas adjacent to track and rail stops. Considering that stations don't have to be anywhere as elaborate or expensive as the Skyway's, there may be private entities out there willing to fund stops adjacent to their properties because of the benefits they will receive. (The support of the KC business could help this project get off the ground. Hey, we supported them with Tax-increment Financing for the past decades. Time for a little payback.)
(see my source:

So go forward with this plan. I'd say it has a good chance, and the bi-state support is crucial.


James "The advice guru"

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Let it snow... Again...

Today is the 13th recorded event of snowfall in the Kansas City area. Which is to say that it is snowing once again.

But stay optimistic, when it does snow there is a chance that work or school might be canceled. However, when it decides not to snow, you can always be grateful that you don't have to wake up early to shovel the walk or clean the car off.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Francis Semler resigns.

Francis Semler, The Funk's most debated choice for the Board of Park and Recreation has decided to step down from her post.

This decision comes after two conventions have threatened to pull their annual conventions out of the Kansas City Area. (The 2010 NAACP convention and the 2009 La Raza convention.)

Semler decided to resign after months of pressure and a council resolution against her. (See:

"I'm a decent, nice person that happens to belong to the Minutemen and thinks our borders should be protected and our laws upheld," Semler said in a Kansas City Star Article.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Light Rail in Kansas City? The Saga continues...

So in the continuing saga to get a good rail based commuter system into Kansas City, the latest development is...
Clay Chastain is suing the city on behalf of the petitioners who the city council has slapped in the face with its repeal of the initiative.

Now, the City Council has made a good enough plan that they will be presenting to the voters on a future ballot (They hope to have it in November, at the rate things are going it could be about November 2100 by the time it goes through).

In the meantime, the council needs to get a source of funding for the buses and so they have to renew the tax for the buses. This tax was set to expire in 2009, and will be put on the April 8th ballot.

However in the 2006 citizen referendum that created a funding source for the light rail , it was this same tax that was continued to be the funding source.

Clay Chastain has his faults. He has finally gotten the citizens to agree that they want light rail. He now needs to be flexible and let the city do their work to make light rail a reality.

His new lawsuit will only slow things down and decrease the likelihood that the light rail system will ever happen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ron Paul: The Responsible Choice

In this election year there are many choices vying for your important caucus vote.
I will throwing my vote to Ron Paul, the strict Constitutionalist. He's the leader for the future. He has the view for the future.
He stands for everything that the Republican party is supposed to believe in. He believes in small government, gun rights, a balanced budget and the right to life.
He has held the "Taxpayers' Best Friend" title from the National Taxpayers Union for his votes on minimizing spending.
Some people believe that a vote for Ron Paul is a wasted caucus vote. Opponents say that he can't raise enough money. However, on November 5th, Ron Paul's campaign used the internet to raise a record 4.3 Million dollars.
Oprah might support Obama, Chuck Norris supports Mike Huckabee, but the internet financially supports Ron Paul.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A New Year, A New Blog

Monday I began the beginning of the end. This is the last semester of high school for me.

All I have left is to pass all of my classes in the next 5 months and 19 days (Not that I'm counting or anything!)

I am incredibly overjoyed at this achievement.

After graduating from high school I plan to go out into the world and begin to make a mark on the world. (Don't ask me how as of yet.)