Two years or more ago there were those who found it desirable to annex Hunt-Midwest Mining Inc.'s Sunflower Quarry into our city by what two Kansas courts have now been determined to have been an unlawful agreement.
The question remains why this action was pushed to completion by the majority of the De Soto City officials at that time. Question them as to why no public revelations were ever made.
It could hardly have been the taxes that a quarry operation would provide the city. No supporting numbers were every offered. I personally believe it to be a miniscule amount compared to the related cost the city incurs from regulation the quarry. There was mention that the 700-acre quarry would serve as a barrier to the city of Olathe if it was to attempt to annex Sunflower. It was found that there existed a mutual agreement between Olathe and De Soto that would prohibit a land grab that would affect areas that would logically become a part of De Soto.
At the June 5 De Soto City Council meeting, there was a request made for immediate action for an owner to clean up property at Kill Creek Road and 83rd Street. With the exception of Councilwoman Linda Zindler, none of our other elected officials expressed any interest in imposing regulations or fines on Hunt-Midwest Mining for at least 60 to 90 days. What is wrong with this picture?
A public hearing is set for July 17 on Hunt-Midwest's petition to de-annex from De Soto.
Sunday liquor sales not needed
On the question of Sunday liquor sales here in De Soto, or even in Kansas, I'd vote no. I'm against it. I think a person could buy enough six days a week without Sunday sales. I'm sure most liquor stores are open on Saturday nights, ready for the paychecks the customers have received on Friday or Saturday. I don't think many businesses wait until Sunday to pay their employees.
The Scripture says, "If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek the Lord, and turn from their wicked ways, God will hear and forgive and heal their land." (2 Chornicles 7:14). And America does need healing. Why not let it start with us here in De Soto. I hope everyone will let City Council members know their sentiments.
Don't drink and drive
Between June 27 and July 13, the Kansas Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies across the nation will participate in the "You Drink & Drive. You Lose" mobilization. During this enforcement crackdown, officers will be out in full force setting up sobriety checkpoints and aggressively patrolling our streets and highways to stop impaired drivers.
In Kansas it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of the two. The penalties for this crime are based on prior convictions over the driver's lifetime, and they can include days of community service to months of imprisonment, $500 to $2,500 fines, suspension of driving privileges, and now impoundment or immobilization of vehicles (thanks to very recent enhancements made to Kansas DUI laws by the 2003 Legislature and Governor Sebelius).
In addition, it is illegal in Kansas to transport open containers of alcoholic beverages where they are accessible to the driver or passengers. Anyone under 21 years old convicted of possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages will have his or her driver's license suspended for 30 days. With Kansas' Zero Tolerance policy, drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 or greater face a 30-day suspension of driving privileges followed by a 330-day period of restricted privileges.
This Independence Day holiday weekend and all summer long, please plan ahead: If you are going to drink, designate a sober driver, bring phone numbers for local cab companies or safe ride programs, or make arrangements to spend the night where you are. If you are giving a party, pour alcohol lightly, provide non-alcoholic alternatives, serve plenty of food, encourage guests to use designated drivers, and prepare space for people to spend the night. Never be afraid to take the keys from a friend who has had too much to drink.
Remember, if you drink and drive, you lose. You could lose your license, your vehicle, your freedom, or your life. Worse yet, you could kill an innocent driver, passenger, or pedestrian.
Colonel Don Brownlee,
Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent