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The Yellow Brick Road Has A Few Potholes

April 21, 2013

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First off, there never really was a yellow brick road through Kansas City in spite of the Wizard of Oz.  And they don’t stop traffic downtown in the middle of rush hour to heard the cattle to market.  But it’s always great to come back because Kansas City has always been good to me. Born and raised in Kansas City, I have now lived in Florida for more than 30 years but occasionally, I return to my hometown to visit with old friends and especially to see my dear old mom. 

I continually marvel at the growth and the changes I’ve seen since I moved away.  On the surface it appears to be vibrant and affordable area with great neighborhoods, headquarters to many large corporations and professional sports teams, lots of new construction, plenty of culture and nightlife and a highway system second to none. I have always thought it to be a great place to live, raise a family and prosper and it still is—but not for everybody. 

The Kansas City area still struggles with racial and social equality and it’s becoming more evident that there is much improvement to be made.  Most of the growth and development in the KC area has been at the expense of the inner cities on both sides of the state line as white flight to the suburbs is rampant especially to the South and West.  No metropolitan area can succeed without diversity.   

Schools are another critical piece of the puzzle and there’s trouble in River City there as well.  The Kansas City Missouri school district’s financial woes have caused it to lose its state accreditation and is no longer able to provide sports programs at most city schools. Some of these schools have been closed and are for sale.  On the other hand, many of the suburban public school districts including booming Overland Park and Olathe have better funding and it shows. Unfortunately, it appears the only option for parents in both Kansas City Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas is private school and of course that can get pricey.

I don’t have the answers but this is unthinkable and no good will ever come of it.  I can only pray that the Kansas City area can pull together and do what’s right for the future. 

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