Time for change

Last weekend, the Newsdog traveled to Austin, Texas to assist with the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series. 

While visiting the downtown Austin area, we saw first-hand many of the same transient and trash issues that are currently plaguing Historic Northeast and our city at-large.

In Austin, the Watershed Protection Department (WPD) is specifically designated to deal with the safety in and around waterways that flow through the area. 

The WPD recently released a list of 20 hazardous camp areas located in or near waterways slated for cleanup. 

After a six month, $250,000 pilot program, over 35 camps were cleaned out, resulting in a whopping 27 tons of trash, debris, and waste carted off to area landfills.  

Additionally, revisions to Austin’s vagrancy ordinance makes it illegal to “sit, camp, or lie” in an area that would be hazardous to the public or the camper. 

Austin’s ordinance doesn’t specifically ban sitting or lying down, but it does ban blocking a sidewalk or obstructing a public place and makes aggressive panhandling on public property illegal.

Revisions to Kansas City’s panhandling ordinances were attempted a few years back under the guise of pedestrian safety, citing the number of panhandling complaints registered with the city. 

Those revisions would have made standing on a street corner asking for money nearly impossible.  

The ordinance failed to pass a majority and died on the 26th floor of City Hall.

Last week, we spotlighted the huge cleanup carried out by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) under the I-435/24 Highway overpass. 

An eight-yard dumpster was filled to overflowing with trash, bulky material, and potentially hazardous human waste just from that location alone. 

That camp specifically was one of the larger problem areas according to MoDOT officials. 

As we all know, the scene repeats itself across the metro, especially in the woods that make up Kessler Park.

So to that end, when will the skyrocketing transient issue be classified as the environmental hazard that it is? 

At what point does the ecosystem in and around these camps become hazardous? 

What chemical and biological hazards are workers, paid or volunteer, being exposed to when cleanup of a camp takes place?

Here’s the bottom line: We’ve all had to negotiate the gateway intersections that border the east and west boundaries of Historic Northeast on Independence Avenue. 

The eastern gateway leads to the historic sites in Independence such as the Truman home and Library and the starting point of the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails.

The western gateway at Paseo Boulevard leads to the Kansas City Museum, the 18th and Vine District, and the City Market area. 

Both are clogged with transients, vagrants, and beggars who leave their trash and waste in the public right of way, creating an unsightly and unsafe mess for the rest of the world to experience.

The Dog thinks its time, with a new Mayor and City Council, to revisit the issue in an attempt to clean things up a little not only for the safety of the general public but for the environment at large.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Inching toward local control

    January 13th, 2021

    On December 17, just prior to the City Council’s holiday recess, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas filed a resolution with […]

    “Gifts” from King Frank and the Legislators

    December 9th, 2020

    Yep, you read that right, the Christmas display sponsored by the Jackson County Parks Department down at Longview Lake was […]

    Where the sun don’t shine

    November 11th, 2020

    This community-minded NewsDog is hoppin’ mad and no, it has nothing to do with the results of last week’s Presidential […]

    Missing In Action

    October 14th, 2020

    Oh-where-oh-where has Jean Peters-Baker gone, oh-where-oh-where can she be? Where’s Waldo? This civics minded News Dog would certainly like to […]

    Braggin Rights!

    October 7th, 2020

    Once again we here at the House of News have been honored by our peers in journalism for our editorial […]

    Voter Registration Deadline for the November Election is October 7

    September 30th, 2020

    State representative Ingrid BurnettGuest columnist This is the last week to register to vote in the General Election on November […]

    Follow the process

    September 23rd, 2020

    Diane EustonGuest Columnist I’m an historian who focuses on Kansas City’s unique and fascinating past who was one of the […]

    Time for action

    September 2nd, 2020

    We’re done. This News Dog is sick of the ongoing lawlessness and criminal actions of the vagrants who continue to […]

  • Rearranging the deck chairs

    August 26th, 2020

    If you’ve driven by the intersection of I-435 and Winner Road/US 24/Independence Avenue over the last few years you’re more […]

    City council gone rogue

    August 12th, 2020

    If ever there was a reason for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department to remain under state control, your gone-rogue, […]

    And the cop hate continues

    June 30th, 2020

    This community-minded News Dog normally likes to steer clear of neighborhood politics and operations. As a former neighborhood association president, […]

    A Department Gutted

    June 10th, 2020

    Last Thursday, in a carefully orchestrated and timed bit of political theater, the Jackson County prosecutor and the Kansas City […]

    Another Blue Ribbon Commission

    May 27th, 2020

    Last Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the formation of another blue ribbon commission deployed to “study” the upward […]

    When you’re on your own, we are there with you.

    March 31st, 2020

    This week, the Dog is yielding space for a much more important message from The Missouri Press Association and the […]

    Support community journalism

    March 25th, 2020

    Over the last few weeks, this community-minded Newsdog has seen an outpouring of support on social media for local businesses […]

    I’ll take panic and hysteria for $500, Alex

    March 18th, 2020

    If anyone would have told this Newsdog a month ago that the United States would be living through what we […]

  • Northeast Newscast

  • Faces Of Northeast

  • Postcard

  • Remember This?

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.