Belton Made it Look Easy

It’s that time again in the year where district soccer takes place. Number one ranked plays number four, and number two ranked faces number three. The two winner’s of Monday’s district games, then gets to battle each other for the district title and the ticket to MSHSAA state playoffs.
Before the district championship game, you must take care of business in the first round, like number two Belton did against number three Raytown South.
During the whole game the ball was going everywhere. The Pirates and the Cardinals never stopped facing off. In the first half, the Pirates Eduardo Lopez, from the edge of the goalie box, kicked the ball on a dribble, at a perfect 45 degree angle to score Belton’s only first half goal.
In the second half Matt Hodges and Jakob Steengaard took care of business with style, scoring the Pirates two second half goals.
Belton easily left Ray South in the dust, with a first round District victory score of 3-0.

 

Jesse Howell

Government Bureaucracy at Its Best

I’ve cooled down somewhat in the past 18 hours since the Raymore City Council meeting last night, but my opinions have not changed. The majority of the City Council should be ashamed of themselves for playing political games at the expense of the elderly and disabled in our community. Councilwoman Abdelgawad and Councilman Kellogg were the only voices of reason throughout the 45-minute argument over a line item in the budget that would provide money for an additional week of the OATS bus in Raymore. For the amount of animosity and angst that this has caused you would think that it was a huge chunk of the city budget that was being decided. Nope. It’s a whopping $2,800. Well that’s a lot of money every month you might say. Nope again. That’s for a year of sponsoring the bus for one day a month. A YEAR!!!!
As many may recall, this has been a topic of debate among the Council for over a month. Jeff Adams has made two personal appearances to request the funds be put in the budget. Last night Adams gave Wescoat and Moorhead a tongue lashing in front of a full house. In particular he told Moorhead that he should be ashamed of his behavior (for more details about the meeting check out this week’s issue of The Raymore Journal). Having been present for nearly all of the Council meetings since May, I have been observing each one of the Councilmembers and listening to what they say. I consider myself a fairly good judge of character. In my opinion, Mr. Adams was spot on as too were Abdelgawad and Kellogg with their comments particularly towards Wescoat.
Here’s the thing. I’ve listened to one excuse after another from Wescoat as to why the OATS bus should not be sponsored by the City. First it was because it might be funded through MARC, then it was because the same names kept coming up for the OATS bus service, then it was ‘is there really even a need’, then it was ‘we don’t have enough data,’ and finally and my personal favorite was ‘this cause didn’t have a champion.’
Moorhead on the other hand didn’t make excuses; he just made waffles. Last night he told everyone that his position has been consistent since August 16 – we don’t know what the need is (so we shouldn’t fund it is the rest of that thought from how he voted). But here is the nice thing about being in the news business – we love to quote people. Two weeks ago Moorhead’s position was that the OATS bus was a private business and should not be funded by city money. He also said that back in August he supported transportation for people with need, not specifically the OATS bus, but he did not receive any support from other Councilmemebers. This was after Abdelgawad proposed to change the title of the line item to say “transportation for the elderly and disabled for necessity shopping,” which he still voted against. So supposedly he was in support of that kind of budget amendment in August but not last night. What kind of sense does that make?
It was clear Abdelgawad was getting extremely frustrated with the laundry list of excuses and she did a great job of giving logical answers for them. She tried to compromise on several instances, but Wescoat, Moorhead, Hubach, Stevens, and Holman would not budge.
So you know what our brilliant council agreed to do instead? They passed a budget amendment to ad $3,000 to the “administration department’s professional services” budget in order to conduct a survey to see if there is indeed a need for transportation for the elderly and disabled in Raymore. At this point I nearly had to leave the Council chambers because I wanted to scream, “Are you kidding me?”
At least Abdelgawad and Kellogg had the sense to see the absurdity of spending $3,000 to see if we need to spend $2,800. Kellogg called it bureaucracy. I saw it as more of a spit in the eye kind of move. “We won’t spend the $2,800 on your project but I’ll get you to spend $3,000 on mine” kind of thing.
The kicker of the night was Moorhead’s answer to Adams’ ‘shame on you’ speech. Moorehead said that he never made any “disparaging remarks” against any private entity. I’m sorry, but direct quotes come back to haunt you again, Mr. Moorhead. From the Oct 13 meeting, “Regardless of this person being a former council member or not, their personal advertising venture should not be paid for by city money.” That was directed at Adams and no one else. He implied that Adams was, to use Wescoat’s favorite term, championing this cause to use the OATS bus to grow his business. If I were a business owner I would be highly offended at someone attacking my ethics and character as businessman.
In the end Wescoat and Moorhead won and the elderly and disabled citizens of Raymore lose. They are delegated to a waiting list as the Council takes its sweet time conducting the survey, assimilating the information, and finally deciding on a course of action. Well that shouldn’t take very long since we all know how quickly government bureaucracy works, right?

 

 

Jennifer Reed

Local Soccer Star Gets International Recognition

StevenSteven Tekesky, a longtime resident of Raymore, MO and a Junior at Ray-Pec High School has been selected by U.S. Youth Futsal as the goalie for the U16 National Futsal Team. Futsal is a 5 v 5 small-sided soccer game played on a hard surfaced, basketball sized court with a smaller, heavier low bounce ball; this is the game that outdoor soccer players around the globe play to refine and maintain their control skills and touch. Futsal is the only “Official form of Indoor Soccer” as approved by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association FIFA.After a year-long identification process Steven was invited to attend the U.S. Youth National Futsal Camp in Overland Park, KS in July where his efforts earned him recognition and selection to the inaugural U16 National Futsal Team. The national futsal team will be participating in their first international tournament during the end of December 2014. Details of the event are still being finalized; location, schedules and other details will be posted in the near future on the U.S. Youth Futsal website: http://www.usyouthfutsal.comSteven has been playing both indoor and outdoor soccer for more than 10 years starting with the Raymore Parks and Recreation soccer program he moved on to play two years with the Freedom Futbol Club, a youth soccer club located in Raymore MO. Following the Freedom Futbol Club, Steven moved and played for the Futura Futbol Club under the current head coach of FC Kansas City, Kansas City’s professional woman’s soccer team, Vlatko Andonovski. For the past five years Steven has been playing year-round with the Sporting Kansas City Academy where he won two Missouri State Championships and numerous other accolades. Tekesky is currently the primary goalie on Sporting’s U16 team and rosters on the U18 team as needed.

Campers learned adult, child, and infant CPR

Raymore resident helps kids with special needs stay safe in their environment

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Campers learned disaster preparedness

Walking into the campgrounds on a damp morning, at first glance it seemed no different than any other youth camp. Upon closer observation however, it became increasingly clear that the campers were unique, and even more eye-opening was the type of classes going on throughout the campground.
The campers in the bright yellow shirts were not learning how to make fire, but how to practice chemical safety in their homes. They were not making art projects out of feathers and beads, they were learning how to give CPR. They were not going on nature walks, they were developing a natural disaster home safety plan. No, this was definitely not an ordinary camp at all.
The Joshua Center is first of its type in the country to develop a program like this for kids with neurological disorders. Campers came in as far as Lincoln,

Officer Bergman taught the campers about stranger awareness

Officer Bergman taught the campers about stranger awareness

Nebraska to be a part of this program. At Safety Camp Day Camp the kids hear from experts, but there are specific activities to reinforce each objective as well. They have to experience it in some way to take ownership of the material. The Joshua Center follows the same American Camp Association standards for this Safety Camp pilot program. This program partnered with community experts to help kids understand the seriousness of safety considerations at home, at school, and in the community. The Center reached out to local police departments, fire departments and other community experts for help.
“The professionals that have stepped up, I mean its just amazing,” exclaimed Becky Ottinger, founder of the Joshua Center.
John Bergman, the School Youth Community Outreach Officer from the Raymore Police Department described how he became involved with the camp.
“Becky asked if there was any way I could teach stranger safety and home alone safety with the kids and I said, ‘Absolutely, I’ll do it!’”
When asked about adapting his safety talks to this particular group of kids he said, “I did research on kids with Autism and Aspergers. I looked at the subject matter and asked myself what is going to be the best way to relay this information to them so they will understand it and learn from it. I really didn’t do much as far as changing it. They are extremely bright kids. They are real good about asking questions. I’ve been having a ball!”
Becky Ottinger started the Joshua Center for Neurological Disorders in 1996 after her son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and ADHD. In 2003, the Center started seeing kids with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism. It provides: therapy for parents and children, help with schools, and social skills classes, and an annual American Camp Association accredited camp program at Rotary Youth Camp in Lee’s Summit. The Center also works closely with local child psychiatrists, neurologists and pediatricians.
As a former teacher, Ottinger felt very strongly that it takes a village to raise these kids. As part of that village, Ottinger developed a Safety Camp Day Camp to meet at the Rotary Camp. The Safety Camp project idea came after recently developing game cards “Speak Up,” “Safety Smart,” and “Fire Safety” for the Me and My World Social Skills Curriculum and Board Games. There are classes taught in churches by education professionals throughout the Kansas City Metro area and over 100 local schools are now using the curriculum a

Campers learned swimming techniques that could save their lives if they ever fell into a river or lake

Campers learned swimming techniques that could save their lives if they ever fell into a river or lake

s well.
“Speak Up” cards were developed after extensive research revealed that in every school tragedy the shooter was severely bullied, and in every situation someone knew of the impending tragedy and did not speak up.
“I have followed every school tragedy since and sadly the same scenario continues,” laments Ottinger.
The “Safety Smart” cards were developed from a request from a School Counselor asking for community safety cards and lessons. After the recent tragic kidnapping and murder in Springfield, MO the topic is extremely important.
“Fire Safety” cards were developed after a fireman, Mike Van Aken from Raymore, who works with families after a fire tragedy and said the kids are all “our kids.” Prevention 1st in New York has worked very closely with the Joshua Center to ensure they are on the right track to address fire safety. After talking with them about their concerns over fire drills the Center has developed a School Fire Drill lesson to specifically address the severe sensory issues of kids with neurological disorders. The Center will pilot the program in schools this fall. “I have spent over 500 hours developing the curriculum and feel pretty good about it. With 1/50 children being diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, I feel a greater need to do what we can to help. After watching the tragedy unfold in Santa Barbara this spring and learning the young man has Aspergers we must push forward to help as many people as we can,” said Ottinger
The skills that the kids were learning at the camp were life skills that will help them maneuver through a world that does not always make life easy for them. Knowing vital safety information will give them confidence and ownership in their lives.
Ottinger hopes to start Social Skills classes in Raymore soon. For more information please contact the Joshua Center at their website http://www.joshuacenter.com. For more photos of the camp, go to the Raymore Journal’s Facebook page.

NSF International Survey Reveals How Confusion About Food Expiration Dates Can Impact Health and Wallets

Expiration date labeling on food products is a source of confusion for consumers according to a new survey from NSF International, a global public health and safety organization. The survey found that people are confused about how to interpret dates on food packaging such as expiration, “best used by” and “sell by” dates, causing many to keep some food dangerously long or prematurely throw away good food.
In fact, the survey indicated that one in four (27 percent) Americans don’t throw away food by the expiration date, putting themselves, family or friends at risk of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli. Additionally, half of Americans surveyed said they throw out food based on the “best used by” and “sell by” dates (51 percent and 36 percent, respectively), wasting both their food and money.
Perhaps because of this confusion, a majority of the respondents (64 percent) said they rely on the decidedly unscientific and incorrect approach of using their senses to decide when to throw out food. Nearly half (47 percent) use visual cues such as mold or a change in texture or color as an indicator of food’s freshness. An additional 17 percent said they will throw away fresh foods based on smell. This behavior can be dangerous because the germs which cause foodborne illness cannot be seen or smelled.
“With so many different types of dates on food packaging, it’s understandable that consumers may be confused about what they all mean,” said Cheryl Luptowski, home safety expert at NSF International. “Some dates are references for food safety, while other dates are meant to inform the consumer of the food’s quality or help retailers be aware of how long to display food. Part of NSF International‘s mission is to educate consumers about food safety, and our survey results clearly show that more education is needed on the subject.”
Americans who are confused by the different label dates can refer to the quick guide below and visit NSF International’s website for more food safety advice such as the Understanding Expiration Dates Tip Sheet and NSF Food Storage Charts.
· Expiration or “use by” dates refer to food safety. Food should be thrown away once this date has passed.
· “Sell by” dates are a reference for food retailers and indicate when food should be pulled from the shelves. Consumers should check to make sure this date has not passed before purchasing food.
· “Best used by” dates have nothing to do with safety. Instead they refer to the last date when the food will be at peak quality and freshness.
Other findings from NSF International’s food expiration dates survey include:
· Uncooked meats, dairy products and produce pose the greatest food safety threat when kept too long, yet some still ignore the dates on these products. One in four (27 percent) said they keep uncooked meat past the date on the label and 22 percent said they keep dairy products such as milk and sour cream past the date on the label. Thirty-seven percent don’t throw away produce after the expiration date.
· Behavior varies according to age. Those under age 34 were more likely to throw out foods regardless of the type of date posted on the package. Conversely, Americans over age 55 were the most likely to hold onto food past any date on the label, which is concerning if they are preparing meals for young children, pregnant women or immune-compromised family and friends. Consumers older than 65 may also be more susceptible to germs which cause foodborne illness.
· Americans sometimes avoid eating at other people’s homes due to food safety concerns. According to the survey, 39 percent of respondents have avoided eating something at a friend’s or family member’s house because they didn’t trust the safety or quality of the food. The level of concern rises for middle-aged respondents. Nearly half (48 percent) of those aged 45-54 will say “no thanks” to food when they are a guest, while 35 percent of younger Americans aged 18-34 will decline food.
· Men and women tend to throw out food for the same reasons. Overall, men and women have similar behavior when it comes to throwing away food. However, women tend to be slightly more cautious when it comes to throwing out specific foods that are past the label date (e.g. uncooked meat, canned goods, prewashed vegetables, etc.). Both acknowledge relying more on changes in appearance, color or texture rather than the date on the food package.
“Food expiration dates are meant to offer guidance to consumers,” added Luptowski. “Confusion about these dates can result in many people either keeping food long past the dates on the product or throwing away food prematurely. Knowing what the dates mean can help keep you healthy, avoid food wastes and save money.”
Date labeling on food products is a source of confusion for many Americans, according to a new NSF International survey. The survey found that many people are unsure how to interpret common dates found on food product labels, such as sell by, use by and best used by dates, which is causing some to prematurely throw away good food while others are keeping bad food too long.
The survey revealed that one in four (27 percent) Americans doesn’t throw away food past the expiration date, which could lead to exposure to foodborne pathogens including Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli. In addition, half of the U.S. population (51 percent) throws out food based on the “best used by” and another third (36 percent) throws out food based on the “sell by” date, leading to unnecessary food waste and higher grocery bills.
Perhaps because of this confusion, a majority of consumers (64 percent) rely on the decidedly unscientific approach of using their senses to decide when to throw out food. Nearly half (47 percent) of the survey respondents admitted to using visual cues such as mold or a change in color or texture to help determine if food is still fresh, while another 17 percent acknowledged waiting until food smells bad before discarding.
Other interesting survey findings include:
· Americans are most cautious with dairy and meat products. The survey revealed that more than three-fourths (78 percent) of consumers will throw out dairy products, such as milk, sour cream, cream cheese or yogurt when the date on the label has passed. Similarly 73 percent of respondents said they will throw out meat when the label date has passed.
· Dry goods are less of a concern for consumers. Only one-quarter (27 percent) of consumers throw away dry goods, such as cereal, pasta or chips if the label date has passed. In addition, 33 percent do the same for frozen items and 36 percent throw away canned goods when label date has passed.
· Confusion varies according to age. Those over age 55 are the most likely to hold on to food past any date on the label, which could expose them to foodborne illness. Yet those under 34 are more likely to throw out foods quickly regardless of the date posted on the label, potentially wasting good food.
When it comes to understanding dates on food packaging, keep in mind that not all label dates indicate food safety. Below are the three most common types of food labeling found in the U.S.; visit our expiration dates tips Web page for further information about these and other types of date labeling you might find on food items.
· Expiration or use by dates – are the two types of dates that refer to food safety.
· Sell by dates – are references for retailers to let them know how long to display an item for sale.
· Best used by dates – are a guide to how long a product will retain peak quality and freshness.
Don’t buy any food after the expiration date. Any food already in your home that is past the use by or expiration dates should be thrown away unless it was frozen prior to this date.
Although some perishable foods like packaged salads and vegetables may display a sell by or best used by date, this isn’t true for bulk foods and fresh produce. In addition, once a package of food has been opened, the label date may no longer apply. For foods that don’t display a date or those that have already been opened, you can refer to NSF’s food storage charts for recommended safety and spoilage guidelines.
Although food product dating regulations vary by country, dates are commonly found on many food items sold in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, especially on perishable foods like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
Food labeling dates generally fall into one of three categories:
Safety
These are the most important dates to pay attention to. You need to use the food item before this date. If you can’t use the item before this date, you should either freeze the unused portion or throw it away before the date on the label. Don’t purchase any foods past these dates.
· Use by – Most commonly found on fresh foods like dairy products, meat and packaged produce
· Expiration date – Usually found only on infant formula and baby food. Some U.S. states also require an expiration date to be placed on eggs.
Quality
These dates refer to how long an unopened food product will remain at peak quality and freshness. They are not an indication of safety, and foods are generally still safe to consume after the date has passed assuming they were properly stored from the date of purchase. Examples of quality dates are:
· Best before
· Best if used by
· Durable life date
Store/Manufacturer
These dates are generally provided to help a store know how long to display a product for sale. Examples of store/manufacturer dates are:
· Sell by – This date serves as a guide so stores know how long to display a product for sale. Purchase products before the sell-by date has expired.
· Packed/baked – These dates are mostly for store use to help know how long to display the food item for sale.
· Closed or coded dates – Found mostly on canned foods, these are packing numbers generally used by manufacturers.
Product Safety After the Label Date Has Passed
Although not all label dates are indications of food safety, it’s still best to avoid purchasing foods after any date that is posted on the label. If you have a product in your home that is past the posted “sell by” or “best by” date, it may still be safe to use or consume if it is unopened and was properly handled from the point of purchase. For perishable goods that display a use-by date, follow that date and either freeze or discard any unused portion by that date. If a product has a sell-by date only or no date at all, cook or freeze the product according to our food storage charts.
If foods are mishandled, foodborne bacteria can grow and cause food poisoning even before the date on the package. To avoid the potential for food poisoning, shop smart and run all your other errands first and buy groceries last so that you can take them home immediately after purchasing. Pay attention to product labeling dates if posted, especially use-by and expiration dates.