News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Parkside Books June Anniversary Sale Extended

clock June 24, 2009 17:39 by author Jeff Quibell

We have extended our Anniversary Sale through June 26. 

50% off used books (no credit required)

25% off of new  books

The sale includes all inventory except books and merchandise on consignment.

The Store will be closed June 27th and July 4th.

Have a safe 4th of July!!

Beth King / Marilyn Miller
Parkside Books
208B N 7 Highway
Blue Springs, MO 64015

Aerospace Exhibition held Saturday, June 27 at Drumm Farm Independence FREE EVENT

clock June 24, 2009 17:28 by author Jeff Quibell

Attention: all rocketry enthusiast--Free Event held at Drumm Farm, Independence, MO at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 27. Crystal Clovers 4-H Club is hosting this event. The 4-H club will be launching A motor rockets. Join the flight team as they measure altitude with each rocket or be a part of the chase team tracking the rockets as they land.


Submitted by Ann Alter

In hour of need, friends reach out

clock June 24, 2009 10:09 by author Jeff Quibell

On Thursday I was driving home from a meeting at the Ararat Shrine Temple when I received a phone call from Wanda to let me know her mother had passed away. The next few days were a blur as we planned for and held a funeral in Clinton, Missouri.

The loss of a parent or close loved one is always difficult and something that is hard to prepare for. This was the first time that I was close enough to the deceased to have the honor of participating in the planning. I was impressed with the professionalism and calm expertise of the funeral director, David Mills of Vansant-Mills Funeral Home in Clinton.

Wanda’s mother, Wilma Joann Plumlee, was the mother-in-law every son-in-law would want. She loved me and accepted me from the first time we met and supported Wanda and me in our marriage from the beginning. I am thankful for her influence in my life.

She was also an exceptional grandmother to our children. Over the last few days we have had the opportunity to discuss and share stories of her life. It has been a time of coming together and celebrating as well as grieving.
This column is about things that are happening in Blue Springs so one might wonder the connection to our city. While serving on the City Council, I attended training with the National League of Cities on a variety of topics. In one class they talked about the importance of connecting with each other, beyond our immediate families, to improve our quality of life. Our cities help provide those connections through the activities they make available to the entire community. Through these opportunities we meet our neighbors and grow more connected to those in our community. It is in times like these that we learn how connected we are.

At the funeral on Monday, many of the attendees were from Clinton as you would expect. Still, quite a few people from Blue Springs took off from work and came to pay their respects to Wanda’s mother and to be supportive of us. As our two communities became aware of what had happened, calls and e-mails and Facebook postings of prayers and support came to us quickly. Both communities stepped in to prepare meals and make certain the needs of our family were met in this difficult time.

Wanda and I feel blessed and are very grateful for the outpouring of support we have received over last few days. We thank you all for your prayers and expressions of support. We are truly fortunate to live in a community with so many generous and supportive friends and neighbors.

Issues and politics fly through cyberspace in eastern Jackson County

clock June 23, 2009 18:15 by author Jeff Quibell
The Kansas City Star
Copied with Permission

Last week a Blue Springs blogger praised Carson Ross, the city’s mayor.

Jeff Quibell
The blogger, Jeff Quibell, said he was pleased with the opening of several new restaurants and shops in Blue Springs.

“Several friends have recently commented to me that they were surprised that my articles seemed to be very complimentary of Mayor Carson Ross,” Quibell added in his post.

That would be understandable. After all, last year, Ross defeated Quibell in the race for mayor.

One thing about cyberspace, though: there are no term limits.

Anyone surfing online in eastern Jackson County can find two blogs maintained by former elected officials whose voices remain prominent even after they have lost elections.

One is Quibell, who had been a District 1 City Council member in Blue Springs before being defeated by Ross. Since Quibell could not run for two offices at the same time, he found himself out of office after the election.

But Quibell still holds forth today through his blog,, established after his defeat.

“I thought ‘Well, maybe, this is the next volunteer thing I am being called to do.’ ” he said.

Greg Walters 
The other blogger is Greg Walters of Raytown.

His defeat by Shane Par-Due in April stopped the clock on his service at 27 years on the Raytown Board of Aldermen.

Walters tweaked his blog site,, shortly after the election. He announced he was removing his photograph and would let friends run the blog for a while.

But he said he would still post, and in recent weeks Walters, listing himself as a “contributing editor” with colleague Richard Tush, has done so, pointing out various maintenance and code enforcement issues. A recent post included a photo of a section of storm drainage grating that needed replacement near 67th Street and Blue Ridge Cutoff.

Eleven days later, the blog reported its repair.

“What is important about the blog is that information goes out that sometimes people at City Hall are reluctant to talk about or expand upon,” Walters said.

The two blogs represent eastern Jackson County examples of how evolving computer technology is being used by the politically minded to raise issues or advance agendas outside the government-meeting protocol.

Walters and Quibell may be more tech savvy than most.

Walters is vice president of Service Printing & Graphics in Kansas City, where he has had a box seat from which to observe the development of printing software.

For 22 years, Quibell has operated CPros, Inc., a Blue Springs IT Services and custom software company. In the 1970s he was a student at the laboratory high school operated by Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, and had access to the college computers.

“We were punching cards right alongside college students,” he said. “That was how we learned our programming skills.”

For Walters, the first version of “Raytown Report” goes back to 1997. He then perceived it as an “electronic newspaper,” and operated it with Garth Bare, a former Raytown alderman.

Even for Walters, the site evolved in ways he didn’t anticipate.

“Originally, when I started it, I was going to let anybody say what they want,” he said. “But it got to the point that I had to start deleting messages.

“I would get messages that said ‘You are restricting my freedom of speech.’ This came from people posting anonymously on my own blog.

“Then there were times that I wanted to take it wider and write about national, state or even just Jackson County issues. But they wouldn’t let me.

“People would write in and say ‘Hey, this is a Raytown blog. Write about Raytown.’ ”

Several people have been irritated by the site, such as Raytown Alderman Joe Creamer.

“I thought it was a very negative thing,” Creamer said. “Part of the negative image that Raytown has came from the blog, because Greg continually bashed city staff and other people on the board.”

Raytown Mayor David Bower said he looked at Walters’ blog only a few times and then stopped.

“I found it to be so negative I decided it was not worth my time and energy,” he said. “We are elected by our constituents, and I think leadership should be in a positive, forthright manner.”

Walters, though, believes his blog is valuable because it can allow an issue to be aired even when it’s not on the official agenda.

“One example: It’s against the law in Raytown to park your car on the grass at your house,” he said.

“But drive by a city park on a weekend and see how many people are pulled up right next to the shelter house. Why? Well, that’s a good question that needs to be asked and maybe nobody wants to stand up and talk about it before the City Council. But now it’s out there on the Raytown Report.

“So the site is just another way for people to talk back and forth. This empowers people.”

Back in Blue Springs, Mayor Ross said it’s important that reliable information about Blue Springs be distributed. He has, for example, instituted a regular online city newsletter.

“If it’s just ‘Beat up, beat up, beat up,’ then it’s not productive,” Ross said.

“But if the information is accurate, then I don’t have a problem with it. It’s one more voice talking about Blue Springs.”

Ross doesn’t believe Quibell’s blog has been adversarial, and Quibell agrees.

“Blue Springs went through a period of stagnation and although we didn’t stop growing, we started to pick up blight, with businesses moving out rather than moving in.” Quibell said.

“What I found — as the City Council worked to turn that situation around — was that knowledge was lagging behind,” he said. “We would approve the refurbishing of an old strip center and work would begin, but then people would be calling me, and asking ‘When are we going to clean up (Missouri) 7 highway?’ ”

Congressman Sam Graves hosts two Tax Reform Town Hall Meetings

clock June 18, 2009 15:06 by author Jeff Quibell

Congressman Graves would like to invite you to his upcoming Tax Reform Town Hall meetings he will be hosting in the district.  The meetings will take place at the following times and locations:

Monday, June 29, 2009
5:30 p.m.
Missouri Western State University
Leah Spratt Hall
4525 Downs Drive
St. Joseph, MO 64507

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
5:30 p.m.
North Kansas City’s Dagg Park
Iron Street and Armour Road
North Kansas City, MO 64116

Please pass this information on to your friends and colleagues.  The Congressman enjoys these opportunities to visit with constituents from the district, to share his thoughts on what is happening in Washington, and to hear the ideas and concerns from the folks back home.

Because the June 30th meeting will take place outside, we will have a rainout location at North Kansas City’s City Hall Council Chambers, located at 2010 North Howell Street, North Kansas City, MO 64116.

Please RSVP to me in Congressman Graves' Liberty office at 816.792.3976 or  We hope to see you later this month!

Sarah K. Woodward
Field Representative
U.S. Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06)
● 113 Blue Jay Drive, Room 100 ● Liberty, Missouri 64068 ●
● (816-792-3976 ● /816-792-0694 ●

Truman Heartland Community Foundation Announces 2009 Corporate Citizen of the Year

clock June 17, 2009 20:36 by author Jeff Quibell



Contact: Nicole Stevens, 816.836.8189

THCF Announces

2009 Corporate Citizen of the Year

DSI to Receive Award at 14th Annual Toast to Our Towns

HEARTLAND NEWS (April 27, 2009) - In celebrating charitable giving and the philanthropists who make change in our communities possible, THCF is pleased to announce Data Systems International Inc. (DSI) as the 2009 Corporate Citizen of the Year.



Michael J. McGraw, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, founded DSI in 1979. For nearly three decades, DSI has provided services to clients worldwide with industry leading technology solutions. Although DSI operates on an international level, McGraw has chosen to lead his company by

way of giving back locally to the heartland community. This year, DSI celebrates 30 years of delivering innovative data technology solutions, and THCF graciously celebrates their philanthropic actions in the heartland region.

On an annual basis, DSI and its employees contribute their time and treasure to regional and national charities. “Serving the community and working towards improving the quality of life for all people is one of our intrinsic values,” McGraw claims. He is an advocate to other businesses and their employees, encouraging them to give their resources to charitable organizations within their communities. “Charitable giving has been a top priority of DSI since the beginning and we plan to continue doing so.”

The Community Foundation’s Corporate Citizen of the Year Award will be presented to DSI at the Annual Gala event on September 26, 2009 at six o’clock in the evening in the Muehlebach Tower of the Kansas City Marriot.

Truman Heartland Community Foundation is a public charity committed to improving area communities by promoting private giving for the public good. After 27 years of service, THCF continues to serve the region with assets reaching $23 million and annual grants surpassing $6.7 million. THCF provides a wide range of services to more than 1,000 donors who plan to leave lasting and meaningful legacies in the communities they care about. To learn more about the Community Foundation and charitable giving, visit us online at or call the office at 816.836.8189.

Table sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available by calling the Community Foundation or visiting us on the website.


2009 Heartland Humanitarians

clock June 17, 2009 20:31 by author Jeff Quibell



Contact: Nicole Stevens, 816.836.8189

Truman Heartland Community Foundation Presents

Toast to Our Towns: Giving is Living

Introducing Dave Jeter and Jim Kidwell this year’s Heartland Humanitarians

HEARTLAND NEWS (April 27, 2009)- Preparations are under way for the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Gala event, to be held Saturday, September 26, 2009 at six o’clock in the evening in the Muehlebach Tower of the Kansas City Marriot. In preparation of the occasion, THCF is pleased to announce both Dave Jeter and Jim Kidwell as the recipients of the 2009 Heartland Humanitarian Award. Both share a unique experience, in that they are recipients of organ transplants. In addition, and perhaps most noteworthy, both recipients have come to learn and model for their communities that giving is living.


David Jeter has always been an exemplary philanthropist. Apart from his membership and leadership at Second Presbyterian Church and his support of many local non-profit agencies including Rainbow Center, Hope House, Community Services League, Blue Springs School of Economics, and the Community’s Foundation, Dave has also used his professional career to encourage and promote giving throughout our region. Recently retired from his practice as an estate planning attorney, Dave encouraged his clients to create lasting and meaningful legacies in the communities they care about by including charitable giving and/or charitable involvement in their lives and estate plans.

Following his heart transplant four years ago, Dave endeavored to honor his organ donor and express his thanks for the “gift of life” which his new heart represents by underwriting a Celebration of Life service which was attended by over 300 people. Since that time, he has served on the Board of Gift of Life, a Kansas City based not-for-profit, which “builds awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation and provides assistance to transplant patients, their families and living donors” and has been the moving force behind the creation of the Life Mentor/Life Champion program which offers support and encouragement to transplant recipients. Keith Anderson, Executive Director of Gift of Life, shares, “Nothing has been more important to Dave than to build a community in which he could raise a family, give back with boundless energy and celebrate each day in a community he helped develop.”


clip_image006With a robust style that complements Dave Jeter, Jim Kidwell is also a well-known philanthropist who hardly needs an introduction. After receiving a liver transplant nearly six years ago, Jim knows he has been given a second chance at life and he chooses to lend a hand in small ways as well as the big ways. By making the most of his life, he is an encouragement to others to make the most of theirs. “I know that I have been given a second chance at life for some reason and I hope you are able to make the most of it as I am”, Jim shares with transplant recipients from Gift of Life. And Jim has made a difference. In addition to

outright and in-kind gifts through Jim Kidwell Construction, which received the 2002 Corporate Citizen Award, Jim has also given personally his time, talent and treasure to various organizations such as Gift of Life, Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics, Angel Flights, Circle of Hope Society, and Boys and Girls Club. Jim explains, "it’s fun to help people out. And you've got to give back. If more people did it, it would be a lot better world." Keith Anderson affirms, “Some of us work in small ways and others in big ways. Jim Kidwell does both. He rises to the occasion whenever asked.”

Truman Heartland Community Foundation is a public charity committed to improving area communities by promoting private giving for the public good. After 27 years of service, THCF continues to serve the region with assets reaching $23 million and annual grants surpassing $6.7 million. THCF provides a wide range of services to more than 1,000 donors who plan to leave lasting and meaningful legacies in the communities they care about. To learn more about the Community Foundation and charitable giving, visit us online at or call the office at 816.836.8189.

Table sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available by calling the Community Foundation or visiting us on the website.


Much to do in the summertime

clock June 17, 2009 20:25 by author Jeff Quibell

Concert in the Park 001 Concert in the Park 002 When I was growing up, my family often went for a Sunday afternoon drive. It gave us an opportunity to be together and to see what was happening in town. Recently Wanda and I went out for a drive to enjoy some quality time together and see what was happening in Blue Springs.

While downtown, we noticed where the farmers market sets up just south of Main on 11th each Saturday from 7 a.m. through noon. I know that sometimes we forget this wonderful resource in our community. It has a variety of produce grown by local farmers.
Starting this Friday, at 12th and Main, the city will sponsor free movies. Reminiscent of going to the drive-in movie, this event is an opportunity to get out with your family and enjoy a movie, compliments of Comcast and the Main Center Merchants of downtown Blue Springs. This week’s “Street Flick” will be “The Spiderwick Chronicles.” Activities such as face painting, games, and fun craft projects also are available, all beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Our Parks and Recreation Department also hosts free outdoor concerts on Sunday evenings at Rotary Park, sponsored by local businesses. The hills of the park will fill with our residents as they listen to the excellent musical entertainment.

The Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce is hosting the June 28 concert, showcasing some of our local businesses and providing free ice cream and cookies for the public. You can learn more about the concerts at or just drop by and join your neighbors each Sunday evening!

Recently Blue Springs announced that the annual fireworks display had been canceled. Those of you who are looking for an alternative fireworks display should consider attending the Sugar Creek display this year. The Heritage Philharmonic will be performing a selection of patriotic music during the fireworks. I will be playing my cello and hope to see you there!

On our tour of the city, we drove by the new Adams Dairy Landing Shopping Center. I recently learned that Target is scheduled to open on Oct. 11. The Target building is looking nearly complete, and the four-sided architecture is very nice. Although there hasn’t been a formal announcement, I also noticed a sign on the restaurant strip that would suggest that a Chipotle restaurant might be locating in the center along I-70. It is exciting to see so much opportunity in our city!

City Cancels Annual Fireworks Display

clock June 15, 2009 14:23 by author Jeff Quibell

News from the City of Blue Springs


903 W Main Street Blue Springs, MO 64015 |  P: 816.228.0110 |  F: 816.228.7592 | 


DATE: June 15, 2009

CONTACT: Merideth Parrish, Public Information Officer

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.935.4176


City Cancels Annual Fireworks Display

Location and Budget Issues - Factors for Event Cancellation

Blue Springs, Mo. –
The City of Blue Springs recently announced that it will not hold its annual fireworks display for the 2009 Independence Holiday. Each year, the City hosts the free event for citizens of Blue Springs and surrounding communities at the Blue Springs High School Peve Football Stadium, on Independence Day (July 4).

Roscoe Righter, Director of Parks and Recreation said the decision to cancel this year’s fireworks display is two fold, citing “location and budget issues as two primary reasons for the cancellation.” Earlier this year, the Blue Springs School District successfully passed a bond issue for the expansion and structural improvements to several of its schools, including Blue Springs High School.

“The current fireworks display location at Blue Springs High School is and will be under construction throughout the summer, thus eliminating the parking, stadium and bleachers normally used for the July 4th exhibit,” said Righter.

“As this is a popular event for not only our immediate community, but throughout the entire metropolitan region, it was necessary to find a site suitable for accommodating such large numbers of people and to properly handle any parking, traffic and citizen safety issues. Unfortunately, no acceptable or safe alternative site was located for this year’s display.”

Recent financial trends were also part of the City’s decision to cancel the annual fireworks display. “Cancellation of the 2009 fireworks display also comes at a time when city staff and officials are carefully monitoring budget resources and looking for ways to trim line items in many areas” said City Administrator Eric Johnson.

“Although funds were allocated for this event and were preserved in the annual budget, foregoing the event this year will provide some immediate budget relief” said Johnson.

Administrator Johnson also stated that the City is appreciative of the support and cooperation shown by the Blue Springs School District in their history of working with the City to host its annual fireworks event. “We are certainly grateful for the relationship we’ve shared with the School District, and look forward to returning to Peve Stadium in 2010.”

Mayor Carson Ross said he is supportive of the City’s decision to cancel this year’s event, and encourages citizens to enjoy the Independence Day holiday through a variety of alternative resources offered both within and outside the City.

“As we have done every year, we will continue to promote the City’s annual Be a Good Neighbor Fireworks Education Campaign, which encourages citizens to purchase and discharge their own fireworks safely and responsibly within Blue Springs city limits” said Mayor Ross.

“We are one of few cities within the region that permits the discharge of fireworks within the City. While we are unable to produce a community-wide fireworks display for our citizens this year, we still want them to enjoy the celebration of the holiday here in Blue Springs.”

The following are some of the communities within the Kansas City Metropolitan area that are hosting fireworks displays, parades and other events that the public can attend this fourth of July:

1. Lee’s Summit - Legacy Blast

  • Where: Legacy Park. Enter through the south entrance of Legacy Park will open at 6:00pm & close at 9pm.
  • When: Saturday, July 4.
  • Guide Tip:  A free fireworks event choreographed to music. Food vendors, entertainers & inflatables will be on site before the fireworks For more info call LSPR at (816) 969-1500 

2.  Oak Grove - Celebrate Freedom and the 4th of July Fireworks

· Where: Webb Park

· When: Saturday, July 4th, Activities start at 6:00 pm, Fireworks sill start at 10:00 pm

  • Guide Tip: An event with several children's games, vendor booths, inflatable games, music, entertainment and fireworks out at Webb Park. Event co-sponsored by New Life Assembly of God and the Oak Grove Chamber of Commerce.

3.  KC Riverfest

  • Where: Berkley Park on the River between the Broadway and Paseo bridges.
  • When: Ongoing events July 3rd and 4th. Fireworks at 10pm, Friday.
  • Ticket Info: $5. Kids 12 and under are free.

4.  Parkville 4th of July Fireworks and Festival

· Where: English Landing Park, Parkville, Mo. Fireworks shot over Missouri River.

· Time: Approximately 9:30 pm

· Guide Tip: Shuttles are offered from 6pm-midnight to and from Park Hill South High School and Park University.

5.  Corporate Woods Star Spangled Spectacular

  • Where: Corporate Woods, I-435 and College Blvd @ 109th/Mastin.
  • Time: 9:30 pm

6.  Independence Fireworks Display at the Mormon Visitor Center

· Where: Mormon Visitor Center, 937 W. Walnut, Independence, Mo.

· Time: 9:30 pm

7.  Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun has one of the longest standing 4th of July celebrations in the metro. Watch fireworks
     from within the park or by parking close by. Event starts at 10pm.

8.  Booms and Blooms Fest at Powell Gardens

· Note: Booms and Blooms will be held July 3rd, 2009.

· Where: Powell Gardens, 1609 NW US HWY 50, Kingsville, MO, 64061

· When: July 3rd; Activities throughout the day, starting at 9am. Fireworks begin at dusk.  

9.  Smithville Marina Fireworks Display

Smithville Marina holds its annual festivities with a huge display shot off the Smithville dam. View at
     the marina, by boat, or at the Smith's Fork Park.

· Where: Smithville Lake, Smithville, MO. Smith Fork Park is located at 1601 DD Highway.

· When: Dusk, July 4th.

Residents can look for additional information regarding the Blue Springs Be a Good Neighbor Fireworks Education Campaign, to arrive in homes by June 29, 2009. Additional information can also be found at


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Blue Springs Temporary Artwork on Display

clock June 12, 2009 14:18 by author Jeff Quibell

903 W. Main Street Blue Springs, MO 64015 P: 816.228.0110 F: 816.228.7592 W:
DATE: June 8, 2009
CONTACT: Merideth Parrish, Public Information Officer
Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.935.4176

Dedication Ceremony for Blue Springs Public Art Exhibit, “Serendipity”, June 9, 2009
City Partners with Local Hospital to Bring “Healing Arts” to the Community

Blue Springs, Mo. – The Blue Springs Public Art Commission, together with St. Mary’s Medical Center of Blue Springs,
Mo. will host a dedication ceremony for the 2009 temporary public art exhibit, “Serendipity” on Tuesday, June 9, 2009.
The event begins with a pre-program reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Memorial Garden at St. Mary’s Medical Center, 201
NW RD Mize Road. The dedication program will follow promptly at 6:30 p.m. The event is free of charge and open to the

“Serendipity” is a temporary art exhibit consisting of sculpturally and architecturally composed art, featuring six original
artworks placed throughout the St. Mary’s Medical Center Campus. The sculptures were commissioned by the Blue
Springs Public Art Commission as part of its ongoing program to bring art to the community. This is the first year the
program has partnered with a private enterprise to show the work.

“We believe this program not only adds beauty to the community, but also helps us build our identity,” says Eleanor
Frasier, chair of the commission. “Often these works are purchased by individuals or groups in the area and remain in
Blue Springs for all residents to enjoy.”

The exhibit, which will be on display and open to the public through September 30, 2009, was designed to capture the
meaning found in the word Serendipity. “You wouldn’t expect to find a public art exhibit at a hospital” said Frasier, “- and
that’s exactly how Serendipity got its name. The word itself means, ‘an unexpected surprise’.” Five of the sculptures are
outside of the medical center—one is in the atrium at the entrance.