Olathe News Briefs

This Edition of e-News - November 26, 2012:
• WinterFest and Mayor’s Tree Lighting Set for December 7
• Street Maintenance Receives 2012 Safe and Sustainable Snow-fighting Award
• PlanOlathe Review Set for Public Hearing
• All Aboard!
• Stock Up for Winter Reading Book Sale
• Make Holiday Memories at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop with Christmas Open House
• Avoid the Crowds with Olathe Parks & Recreation Gift Options


City Council
Released November 26, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


WinterFest and Mayor’s Tree Lighting Set for December 7
Released November 26, 2012
It’s time to kick off the holiday season at the annual Olathe WinterFest, Friday, December 7 in the R.R. Osborne Plaza at Olathe City Hall.  The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and is highlighted by the Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting.  The main stage will feature the arrival of Santa Claus, music groups from Olathe schools and a variety of local talent.  Food and warm beverages will be available for purchase.

In addition to food and music, family and children’s activities are planned.  Santa will take time out of his busy pre-holiday schedule to make a visit and sit for pictures with children.

As part of the festivities, representatives from 14 beneficiaries of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund will be introduced and proceeds from the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be presented to the Christmas Tree Fund.


Street Maintenance Receives 2012 Safe and Sustainable Snow-fighting Award
Released November 26, 2012
The City’s Street Maintenance Division has been awarded the 2012 Safe and Sustainable Snow-fighting Award from The Salt Institute, a North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the benefits of salt, particularly in winter roadway safety efforts. The award is given to organizations performing best practices in the fields of winter maintenance and salt storage.

Organizations are evaluated on a number of criteria including safety, levels of service, materials usage, tactical (per storm) operations and environmental stewardship. This award is the third the City has received from The Salt Institute in as many years, confirming the dedication to winter storm maintenance and innovation demonstrated by those involved in snow fighting operations.. The City of Olathe Street Maintenance Division received the Excellence in Salt Storage Award in 2010 and 2011.


PlanOlathe Review Set for Public Hearing
Released November 26, 2012
The annual review of the Comprehensive Plan, PlanOlathe, is scheduled for a Public Hearing on Monday, November 26 during the 7:00 p.m. Planning Commission meeting at City Hall. The plan represents the community’s vision for how Olathe should grow and develop, today and in the future.  It provides the basic guidance for land use decisions, promoting community development in ways that foster prosperity of existing and future residents. This year, regulators will review a change to the Future Land Use Map and other minor changes to data supporting PlanOlathe. After review by the Planning Commission, the plan will be presented to the Olathe City Council.


All Aboard!
Released November 26, 2012
Visit the Olathe Public Library, 201 E. Park, to see an operating model railroad.  Experts will be on hand to answer questions about the display and model railroading.  The display will be open from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, noon to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 1 and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 2.  Admission is free.


Stock Up for Winter Reading Book Sale
Released November 26, 2012
The Friends of the Olathe Public Library will sponsor a used and nearly new book sale at the Indian Creek Branch Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  The sale will run from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29. 

The sale will continue from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm on Friday, November 30.  The doors to the sale will close from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. and reopen from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the Six-Bucks-A-Bag Sale. Purchase a plastic sack at the door for $6 and fill with materials.  Buy two sacks, get two free. 

All OPL Friends members will receive $2 off of their purchases (one time use and cannot be used at the sack sale).  Materials are sorted by category.  All sales are final and cash and check are accepted.  Due to space limitations, no strollers or book carts are allowed in the room. For more information, call Rita Patterson, OPL community relations coordinator, at 971-6879.


Make Holiday Memories at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop with Christmas Open House
Released November 26, 2012
Start your Christmas season with a visit to Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s Christmas Open House on December 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free to this holiday event.

Visitors can decorate a graham cracker gingerbread house ($3 each), make Christmas crafts, and ride the stagecoach (weather and grounds permitting; $2 each, ages 3 and up).  Father Christmas will be on the historic grounds in the morning and Santa will be in the Heritage Center to hear children’s Christmas wishes from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Santa’s photographer will be available to take photos of visitors with Santa ($4 each).

Entertainment in the Heritage Center will include music by the Shady Grove String Band from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Their performance includes audience participation. The Shawnee Victorian Carolers will sing Christmas Carols from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Don’t forget to stop by Mrs. Mahaffie’s kitchen to see what’s cooking and help-out with some winter farm chores.  Plus, find those unique gifts and stocking stuffers in the gift shop, including new toys.


Avoid the Crowds with Olathe Parks & Recreation Gift Options
Released November 26, 2012
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Want to avoid the holiday shopping crowds? Olathe Parks & Recreation (OPR) has a variety of membership and gift certificate options to help you complete your list. Choose from our great options and give the gift of Health, Heritage and Happiness this year.

Option 1: OPR Gift Certificate – You choose the denomination and the recipient chooses the sport, class or program. This is a perfect gift for grandkids, nieces and nephews or the hard-to-buy-for adult. A variety of options are offered through our three catalogs.

Option 2: 2013 Swim Pass – Give the gift of fun in the sun with a 2013 season swim pass for an individual or family. Individual passes for residents start at $70 plus the cost of ID card (non-resident $95) and resident family passes start at $125 plus the cost of ID cards (non-resident $160). Start planning your summer days during the cool holiday season.

Option 3: Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Season Pass. Individual passes start at $35 for residents and $40 for non-residents and a family pass is just $50 a year for residents, $55 for non-residents. With living history and special events throughout the year, a Mahaffie Season Pass is a perfect way to ensure family activities are already taken care of for the next 12 months.  

To purchase a Parks & Recreation gift certificate or Swim Pass call 971-8563 or stop by the OPR office at City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe. For Mahaffie passes call 971-5111 or visit Mahaffie.org.
 


This Edition of e-News: November 19, 2012

• Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule
• Olathe Among Nation’s Top Digital Cities
• “Recycle Your Lawn” Campaign Underway
• Make Your Voice Heard through Regional Recycling Survey
• Stock Up for Winter Reading Book Sale

City Council
Released November 19, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule
Released November 19, 2012
City of Olathe offices will be closed on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday.  There will be no trash and recycling curbside collection on Thanksgiving Day.  Customers whose trash and recycling is collected on Thursday will be serviced on Friday and Friday customers will be serviced on Saturday.  Residents are reminded to place carts at the curb by 8:00 a.m. For more information, visit www.OlatheKS.org/OMS.


Olathe Among Nation’s Top Digital Cities
Released November 19, 2012
The City of Olathe is among America’s top-ranked digital city governments (125,000 - 249,000 population) according to the 12th annual “Digital Cities Survey.”  Part of e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities Program, the annual survey focuses on results achieved by cities, via the use of technology, in operating efficiencies and realizing strategic objectives despite current fiscal constraints.

Olathe was recognized for a number of cost-saving and citizen engagement projects ranging from a new streetlight outage reporting interface to the use of an e-Town Hall to increase citizen participation in the budget process.

“Cities that are investing in technology are seeing tremendous cost savings that are critical to operations and their ability to meet higher demand for services,” said Todd Sander, executive director for the Center. “These cities are true innovators and we applaud them as they work in the spirit of collaboration to provide extraordinary value to constituents despite budget setbacks.”

In the 125,000 to 249,000 population classification, Olathe ranked fifth behind the cities of:  Salt Lake City, UT; Cape Coral, FL; Winston-Salem, NC; and Chula Vista, CA. 

Other top-ranked cities by population classification include Louisville Metro Government, KY (250,000 or more), Ann Arbor, MI (75,000 to 124,999), and Marana, AZ (30,000 to 74,999).

Winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony concurrent with the National League of Cities annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts on November 30.


“Recycle Your Lawn” Campaign Underway
Released November 19, 2012
The City of Olathe joins Johnson County Stormwater Management and the Johnson County Environmental Department in support of their “Recycle Your Lawn” campaign.  The video campaign features “Father Nature” as he provides words of wisdom to promote healthy lawn habits that lead to improved water quality.

Residents are encouraged to “recycle” lawns by mulch mowing leaves and leaving grass clippings on the lawn instead of bagging them. The campaign also stresses that dumping grass clippings and leaves down the storm drain pollutes streams and is illegal.

To learn more, visit www.recycleyourlawn.com, or view the videos on the City’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


Make Your Voice Heard through Regional Recycling Survey
Released November 19, 2012
The Mid America Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management District, (including Cass, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Platte, Ray and Wyandotte counties) is conducting a survey of residents in the region to evaluate current levels of awareness and information about recycling activities. The survey will also assess what residents would like to see in the future in terms of recycling. All residents in the MARC region are encouraged to complete the survey online through November 30. 


Stock Up for Winter Reading Book Sale
Released November 19, 2012
The Friends of the Olathe Public Library will sponsor a used and nearly new book sale at the Indian Creek Branch Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  The sale will run from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29. 

The sale will continue from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm on Friday, November 30.  The doors to the sale will close from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. and reopen from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the Six-Bucks-A-Bag Sale. Purchase a plastic sack at the door for $6 and fill with materials.  Buy two sacks, get two free. 

All OPL Friends members will receive $2 off of their purchases (one time use and cannot be used at the sack sale).  Materials are sorted by category.  All sales are final and cash and check are accepted.  Due to space limitations, no strollers or book carts are allowed in the room. For more information, call Rita Patterson, OPL Community Relations Coordinator, at 971-6879.
 


This Edition of e-News - November 13, 2012:

• Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign Begins November 19
• Raven Ridge Park Opens at Harold and Iowa Streets
• Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Hosts Santa Breakfast
• Make Holiday Memories at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop with Christmas Open House
• Vendor Open House December 5
• Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

City Council
Released November 13, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign Begins November 19
Released November 13, 2012
The Olathe Police Department, along with many other police agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, will be participating in the Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign, from Monday, November 19 through Sunday, November 25. A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will underwrite overtime traffic enforcement especially targeted at impaired drivers and vehicle occupants who are not properly restrained.

Surprisingly, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) commonly out ranks all other holidays in its number of alcohol-related crashes. Those driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs endanger not only themselves, but also their passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. On average, across Kansas, six persons are killed or injured in alcohol-related crashes each day. According to KDOT, which tracks all crashes in the state, vehicle occupants in alcohol-related crashes are over two-and-a-half times more likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes where alcohol or other drugs were not a factor. Each week across Kansas over 300 drivers are arrested for DUI (Driving under the Influence). A DUI conviction will result in jail time, suspension or revocation of driver’s license, a fine of $500 to $2,500, participation in an alcohol treatment program, possible impoundment of their vehicle, and installation of an ignition interlock device in that vehicle.

Failure to buckle up is also responsible for needless death and maiming. Kansans who do not buckle up are nearly 12 times more likely to be killed and almost twice as likely to suffer injury as those who do buckle up. Even worse is the fact that injuries suffered by those who are unbuckled are likely to be much more severe and disabling than those suffered by those who are restrained. This applies regardless of speeds and whether on city street, county road, or highway.


Raven Ridge Park Opens at Harold and Iowa Streets
Released November 13, 2012
Residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Harold and Iowa Streets have spent the last several months watching a new park develop. In October, the new park, shelter and bike area opened to rave reviews from the community. Earlier this week the park was officially named Raven Ridge by the Park Foundation and City Council. This 5.2 acre park features a one-quarter mile, ten-foot wide concrete path which surrounds the park land. A nine-car concrete parking lot is accessed from Harold Street and is located on the northwestern portion of the site. Drainage from the parking lot and site is centered on a river rock channel which is lined with ‘Morning Light’ ornamental grasses and separates the shelter area from the playground.

Directly south of the parking lot are two regulation sized horseshoe pits with a picnic shelter which can accommodate approximately 24-30 people. A large concrete pad is located south of the picnic shelter for group activities and gatherings as well as bike storage. Recycling trash receptacles are near the shelter as well as a large grill for barbequing. A large nature-inspired playground area features rock formations with embedded fossils for kids exploring, a turbo slide, pod climbers, track ride, log balance beam, mushroom climbers, log crawl tunnel, and other play features. Three log benches surround the playground. To carry the nature-inspired theme throughout the park, large boulders have been placed along the ten foot wide concrete trail so the experience becomes a walk through nature. Plant materials were selected to be “allergy” reduced; a suggestion made by a patron who attended the neighborhood meeting in the fall. A dedication is planned for spring 2013.


Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Hosts Santa Breakfast
Released November 13, 2012
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Road, will host a Santa Breakfast on Saturday, November 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Heritage Center. Enjoy the holiday inspired decorations of the Heritage Center while you dine with Santa. Admission to the Santa Breakfast includes a photo with Santa!  Registration is required and payment is due the day of the event. Please register at www.mahaffie.org.

The site will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, November 22. Mahaffie will open with living history activities on Friday, November 23 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Weather permitting; activities will include stagecoach rides, blacksmith demonstrations, and cookstove demonstrations. Admission is $6/adults and $4/children ages 5-11; Olathe residents receive $1/off admission. Visit www.mahaffie.org for more information.


Make Holiday Memories at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop with Christmas Open House
Released November 13, 2012
Start your Christmas season with a visit to Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s Christmas Open House on December 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free to this holiday event.
 
Visitors can decorate a graham cracker gingerbread house ($3 each), make Christmas crafts, and ride the stagecoach (weather and grounds permitting; $2 each, ages 3 and up).  Father Christmas will be on the historic grounds in the morning and Santa will be in the Heritage Center to hear children’s Christmas wishes from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Santa’s photographer will be available to take photos of visitors with Santa ($4 each).

Entertainment in the Heritage Center will include music by the Shady Grove String Band from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Their performance includes audience participation. The Shawnee Victorian Carolers will sing Christmas Carols from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Don’t forget to stop by Mrs. Mahaffie’s kitchen to see what’s cooking and help-out with some winter farm chores.  Plus, find those unique gifts and stocking stuffers in the gift shop, including new toys.


Vendor Open House December 5
Released November 13, 2012
The City of Olathe, Johnson County Government, Kansas School for the Deaf, and Olathe Public Schools will hold a vendor open house on December 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Mahaffie Heritage Center, 1200 East K.C. Road.  Informational workshops at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. will include how to conduct business with each agency followed by a time for vendor questions.  City Procurement Division staff will be on hand to assist with vendor registration on Public Purchase.  For further information, please call 913-971-8925.


Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule
Released November 13, 2012
City of Olathe offices will be closed on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday.  There will be no trash and recycling curbside collection on Thanksgiving Day.  Customers whose trash and recycling is collected on Thursday will be serviced on Friday and Friday customers will be serviced on Saturday.  For more information, visit www.OlatheKS.org/OMS.



This Edition of e-News - November 5, 2012:
• City Offices Close November 12; Trash and Recycling Collection Not Impacted
• Mahaffie Receives Generous Gift
• Mahaffie Youth Volunteer Award
• Santa Fe Trail Symposium November 10
• Spring Field Trip Grant Applications Now Accepted

City Council
Released November 5, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Veterans Day Schedule
Released November 5, 2012
City of Olathe offices, including Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop, will close on Monday, November 12 in recognition of Veterans Day.  Trash and recycling collection will NOT be impacted. 


Mahaffie Receives Significant Donation for New Barn
Released November 5, 2012
With gratitude, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site announces a generous donation from long-time benefactor and Olathe resident Maron Moore.  Moore presented the personal donation on Tuesday, October 30, to fund the construction of a large, interactive barn on the Mahaffie site.

The new barn replaces the existing structure on the west edge of the site. “The current barn was built sometime in the first half of the 20th Century and is in need of repairs,” said Tim Talbott, site manager.  “This significant donation allows us to better meet the needs of our animals while connecting Mahaffie visitors to the living history mission of the site.”

The new barn feature will offer visitors year-round learning programs to allow for interaction with the animals and viewing of the 1860’s farm equipment housed at Mahaffie.

Plans are now underway to design and construct the barn over the next 18 months. The outside structure of the barn will replicate an appropriate 1860s look to fit Mahaffie Historic Site, while the interior will be a modern, highly-functional, public-access space.

“We are grateful for the continued support of Mrs. Moore,” said Talbott. “This donation allows us to expand on our mission; to engage visitors with hands on experiences of 1860s farming, frontier life, and stagecoach travel while preserving the nationally significant Mahaffie story.”


Mahaffie Recognizes Two Volunteers with Youth Volunteer Award
Released November 5, 2012
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site recognized Stephen Lowe and Hannah Seger for their volunteer service to the historic site at the annual City of Olathe Volunteer Recognition event held Thursday, November 1.  Every year, the historic site recognizes a youth volunteer or group of youth volunteers who have made a measureable contribution to the site through their leadership, example, and love of history and learning. 

The award is named in honor of Carrie Newson, a former Mahaffie volunteer who died in a car accident in March 1998.  Newson is the daughter of Mike and Lynette Newson of Olathe.

Stephen Lowe received the Interpretive Carrie Newson Youth Volunteer Award. Stephen is a seventh grade student at Aubry Bend Middle School in the Blue Valley School District. He is in his third year of volunteering and already has 100 hours of service in 2012. In addition to his daily interpretive volunteer hours during the summer, Stephen has volunteered for KC Kids Fest, Old Settlers Days, Wild West Days, Cemetery Tours, Trick or Treat OFF the Street and Christmas Open House. His favorite part of volunteering at Mahaffie is meeting the guests and educating them about Mahaffie.

Hannah Seger received the Agricultural Carrie Newson Youth Volunteer Award.  Hannah is a senior at Olathe North High School, ranking sixth out of 504 seniors. She is in the Olathe 21st Century Animal Health Program, a member of the Science Olympiad Team and co-president of the National Honor Society. Hannah, an equestrian, competes in various local and regional horse shows. She plans to attend Kansas State University next year to study veterinary medicine.


Mahaffie Hosts Santa Fe Trail Symposium Saturday, November 10
Released November 5, 2012
Three area organizations dedicated to preserving the history of the trails are hosting a public symposium at Mahaffie on Saturday, November 10, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  A dedication of two Santa Fe Trail post markers kicks off the symposium at 11:00 a.m.  Presentations include National Registry Sites on National Historic Trails in Northeast Kansas, Wagons and Other Vehicles on the Santa Fe Trail, and Beasts of Burden-Understanding Oxen. Cost is $15/person and includes lunch by Smokin’ Joe’s Barbecue of Olathe. Visit www.mahaffie.org for registration details.


Grant Applications Being Accepted for Spring Field Trip Programs
Released November 5, 2012
Thanks to a Johnson County Heritage Trust Fund grant, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is now accepting scholarship applications for spring field trip programs for Title I schools. Title I schools may use the grant for admission fees or for transportation costs for field trips to Mahaffie. An application is required and grants will be awarded in the order received. Please visit www.mahaffie.org for a grant application.