Category Archives: Transportation

Despite Badass Paint Job, Lonely Golf Cart Driver Finds No Acceptance At Shawnee Hot Rod Show

lonelymanatshawneecarshow

Some sights just bum the hell out of you. This is one of them. From the Star‘s photo collection showcasing the jort-fest that is the Shawnee car and motorcycle show, we find this picture of a sad soul indeed. He probably stayed up all night painting those flames on his golf cart, and what does he get? The cold shoulder. The Forrest Gump bus treatment. Is there no justice in Shawnee, sirs?

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Filed under Family Life, Social Life, Transportation

Weep, Citizens! Know Ye Not That A SkyFox Has Fallen This Day?

thedeardepartedskyfoxDozens of business sectors have had a tough go In This Economy, and it appears that recessionomics has finally reached into that previously impenetrable world of useless local news station helicopters. Sadly, the Star‘s Aaron Barnhart is forced to report that Fox 4’s rotor-operated eye in the sky is no more — a victim, alas, of a) the economic maelstrom, and b) the totally pointless ownership of helicopters. Fox 4 GM Cheryl McDonald responds to Aaron’s queries, with typical PR flackishness and words that don’t really mean anything:

After careful consideration of the costs going forward and the ample technological developments that have become available in the process of news gathering and coverage, we have decided it more prudent not to renew our helicopter contract at this time and to utilize our financial resources elsewhere.

This decision does not signal in any way a reduced commitment to traffic and breaking news coverage for our viewers. In fact FOX 4 has the most advanced traffic system in the market, with more cameras, traffic sensors, e-mail and cell phone notifications, 3D renderings of every road and Highway, and the most precise drive time information available.

Wait, wait… 3D renderings of every road and “H”ighway? What are you, a wizard? And isn’t there a certain uselessness to all this? After all, you could summarize every piece of KC driving information and advice with the following:  Avoid 35 and 70 during rush hour. There, we just saved you millions of dollars a year.

We’ve never quite seen the point of local news helicopters. They seem to possess limited inherent worth; how many times do we need to see an aerial shot of a post-chase police scene, or see a wall of clouds which may or may not form a tornado? We’re calling the retirement of SkyFox — loss of an awesome name aside — a pretty sound decision.

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Filed under Economics, Local Business, Media, Transportation

Amtrak Heralds Return To What Was Already Expected Of Amtrak

amtraksexpectationsalasTaken the train across Missouri lately? Of course you haven’t. The notoriously unreliable Amtrak service in the Show Me State is legendary for delays, missed stops, and general frustration. But wait! According to a glowing piece in the Star today, it’s time for you to give Amtrak another chance — because Amtrak is back, sort of. Well, maybe not so much “back” as “back to mediocrity,” because that’s all Amtrak can offer you. That’s right: the subject of this fawning story is the return to… what Amtrak was supposed to be doing anyway. Namely, being on time. Um, bravo?

Amtrak trains between Kansas City and St. Louis are running on time more frequently this year than they have since October 2006.

They have been on schedule more than 90 percent of the time, compared with years when 70 percent might be considered good on-time performance.

“The time has been much, much better,” said Amtrak rider Shelia Wright from Kansas City. “I can live with an occasional delay, but when it happens on every trip it’s pretty disturbing.”

Okay. So we’re trumpeting the crossing of the 70 percent barrier? A rather sad commentary, it seems, when we’re giving credit to transportation companies for achieving what should have been the standard all along. This could work for a whole advertising campaign, maybe. “Amtrak: now with fewer car derailments!” or “Amtrak: 28 percent fewer missing track sections.”

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Filed under Economics, Local Business, Transportation, Travel

In Strathman v. Franklin, Flaxen-Haired Reporter Emerges Victorious

strathmanvchadfranklinmetaphorWe follow with great interest the goings-on at KSHB when it comes to investigative stories — mostly because the robotic and super-creepy Russ Ptacek never blinks — and the latest shot across the bow of would-be evildoers did not disappoint. Our friend John over at Bottomline Communications details the doubtless victory of one Jenn Strathman over Ur-salesman Chad Franklin, who operated a Suzuki dealership/Ponzi scheme in the Sunflower State.

When the lawsuit was filed in August 2008 (thanks to numerous stories by Strathman dating back a year earlier), it was alleged Chad Franklin Suzuki aired advertisements that “concealed, omitted, or misrepresented a material fact of the advertised promotion, specifically that the promotion would last for a duration of time, when in truth, the terms of the promotion would end before that specified duration.”

You may recall Chad Franklin as the well-coiffed car salesman who promised buyers some crazy deal involving perenially gratis cars or impossibly low payments. Thankfully, Strathman et al. have put this hairdo’d gentleman out to pasture. Well done, KSHB.

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Filed under Crime, Economics, Transportation, Travel

Bankrupt Missouri Forces State Reps To Paddle To Capitol

molegislatorstraveltojeffcityApparently Missouri hasn’t changed much since the days o’ Samuel Clemens and his many fictitious rapscallions, who floated the Mississip’ and changed the course of… uh, junior high reading curricula. Now five Show Me legislators, starved of travel funding, are floating from some place called “Sugar Creek” — what is this, an Allman Brothers song? — all the way to Jeff City. The lesson? Um… rivers are big. And slow. Cue the appropriate music:

They left just after 8 a.m. and will spend the night in Boonville.

The legislators said they want to find ways to make the riverfront of the Missouri River more useful to the state both for business and recreation.

Find ways to make the riverfront more useful? How about, um, letting nature take its course? And couldn’t we just, you know, ask DNR about this?

Check out the boat in that photo, by the way: we’ve come a long way since our rafting days, no?

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Transportation, Travel

Liberty Man’s Momentous School Bus Award Virtually Ignored By Shameless Media

yellowdeathtrapunlessmrstegallisdrivingSigh. Oh sure, the local media has plenty of time to report on pedestrian stuff like a silly football team, or the mayor’s continued foibles and troubles. But when it comes to really important news, where do the camera-craving personalities go? Case in point: a Liberty man won the top prize at the 39th Annual International School Bus Driver Safety Competition. Top prize! But where is the media? Okay, so KCTV covered it, and I caught a snippet on KMBC yesterday. But check this out: the official standings of the NSTA — that’s the National School Transportation Association — list the man’s name as “Danny Mack Stegall.” (Truly an awesome name — sounds like he should be opening for Hank Williams in Birmingham.) But KCTV lists his name as Larry Stegall. Who is right? Is it possible that the media not only overlooked this tremendous honor but also got the name wrong? Damn you, elites!

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Filed under Education, Media, Transportation

Kansas City Makes Triumphant Return To 1930s

kcsnewtrolleysystemBreak out the fedoras and smuggled gin: the old decades are back again. The City Council voted to approve $250,000 in start-up money for the highly questionable trolley plan — which plan will mostly involve shuttling local drunkards from meat market to meat market. Now, the plan had been in doubt because, if you’ll recall, the plan’s backers weren’t quite educated in the whole “loan” process. But now the trolleys are ready to run, and the owner of the best name of all time is here to share the news.

“The No. 1 complaint was the lack of interconnectivity between entertainment venues so this is actually going to fill the need KC has,” said Westport business owner Bill Nigro. “We’re behind the times with other cities. A lot of other cities have these entertainment attractions.

“The trolley would run from City Market through the Power and Light District, the 18th and Vine area, Martini Corner at 31st Street and Gillham Road, then Westport, the Country Club Plaza, Brookside and finally Waldo.

So for $15, you can pack up a whole entertainment kit for the evening. Start with your striped Express shirt for P&L, make a quick change on the trolley and put on a skinny tie for Martini Corner (while skipping 18th and Vine, because everyone else does), slip on some skinny jeans and an ironic t-shirt for Westport, and then break out the old community softball league jersey for Waldo. It’s perfect!

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Filed under City Government, Social Life, Transportation, Travel