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Citizen watchdogs go the extra mile to keep an eye on Johnson County governments

January 28

BY ROXIE HAMMILL

Special to The Star

They email. They blog. They attend the meetings, sometimes with a video camera in hand.

And often, this band of citizen watchdogs gets things done.

Those detailed minutes, transcribed from Shawnee City Council meetings and available online? Thank Tony Lauer and Ray Erlichman for that. The yard sign campaign against a sales tax increase in Roeland Park? That was Linda Mau’s baby, and voters rejected the hike. And if you live in Mission and got a new City Council representative in 2012, Bill Nichols may have had something to do with that.

These are some of Johnson County’s citizen activists — a small but vocal group of people well known to city councils and commissions for their persistence, watchfulness and willingness to delve into the smallest details.

These are no casual dabblers. They spend countless hours attending meetings and running down facts.

In some cases, it runs into money, too.

“I’ve spent probably several thousands of dollars on open-records requests since 2012,” Lauer said.

Not surprisingly, open access to public records is a pet cause for Lauer, who often helps neighborhood groups negotiate city hall when they have problems with a developer or want to contest city policies.

For their efforts, they are sometimes met with distrust and dismissal by the people they keep an eye on. Even casual observers sometimes make the mistake of making light of them.

“One expression I hate is when people say I’ve got too much time on my hands,” said Erlichman, who attends most council meetings and writes about them in the blog, Shawnee Ray’s Ramblings. “You jog around the block for two hours or watch Monday night football and that’s better than a council meeting?”

Erlichman has been writing about Shawnee’s goings on for about eight years — long enough for his outspoken opinions to have had an effect on the city officials he critiques. Sometimes that means a certain slowness in responding to his questions, he said. But he’s also been on the receiving end of some criticism himself. His response? At the bottom of each blog post, Erlichman runs a couple of lines of small type: “WARNING!!!!!! The City Manager of Shawnee has determined that local bloggers post items that may contain bad or misinformation. Please read these posts with care and determine for yourself whether the information is valid.”

In some cases that blowback has been a little harsher.

“In 2010 somebody reported to the sheriff I was dangerous,” said Ken Dunwoody, who comments on the doings of the city and the Johnson County Commission in his NOlathe’s Blog. Now, whenever he attends a county commission meeting, he said, he presents his driver’s license to the law enforcement official in attendance.

For elected officials, these activists are a regular part of political life. Some politicians take them in stride, others are more bothered by the criticism.

Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Commission, said public comment is just part of the process.

“Whether it’s a citizen comment or a staff comment, you evaluate the veracity of that information,” Eilert said

Mission Mayor Laura McConwell, frequent target of criticism from Nichols, worries that the frustration and partisan bickering in Washington will spill over into the local level.

“My big fear is that what happens with bloggers is going to trickle down and create gridlock at the local level, and that’s going to really impact people’s lives,” said McConwell, who recently decided to not run for re-election.

McConwell is thick-skinned enough to work with people who don’t agree, but she said Nichols sometimes is misleading in the numbers he presents to his readers. And his videotaping “creates an uncomfortable situation for everyone” because they know he will edit it, she said. “He’s videotaping and getting right in people’s faces.” Nichols said he always tries to be unobtrusive and polite in his taping.

McConwell said she’d much rather have a dialogue with voters who have criticisms of the city’s direction, rather than read about it in a blog. “What that allows is for people just to kind of lob hand grenades,” she said.

Shawnee Councilman Jeff Vaught, who has been a target of Shawnee Ray’s Ramblings, said it’s worth remembering that the people in city government live there, too, and are doing the best they can for the community.

“These are your neighbors,” he said. “These people live in the community and care about the community.”

Vaught said he hasn’t read the blog in over nine months.

“I think it’s great that people want to engage and get involved. It would be boring if nobody did,” said Vaught. “But I am frustrated by personal attacks. That really discredits that person.”

Mark Grannell, president of the Gardner-Edgerton Board of Education, said the school takes pride in providing the highest level of information to citizens as well as quality education. But some of the scrutiny from Walter Hermreck of Gardner and others can cast a negative light on the school and staff, he said.

“Any time you hold public office, there’s going to be a counter-view. That’s healthy,” said Grannell. “But when you continue to pound on negative issues it gets people feeling like there’s always something wrong.”

Grannell said he supports open information. But “the flip side is that data can be manipulated to make an issue where there is none.”

As for relations with the group of Gardner citizens asking the questions: “I like to think they’re cordial,” Grannell said. “It’s hard to be overly friendly with the negative image the group projects. It’s not like we’re failing here.”


It would be easy to dismiss the efforts of these people as the nattering of right- or left-wing crazies devoted to a grander national agenda. Some people do.

But those people don’t get it, say several of the activists. “I hate specific labels,” said Erlichman, when asked if people ever associated him with the tea party. “To me that means you’re just as bad, that you’re marching in lockstep.”

Lauer also dislikes labels. He has a blog, For What It’s Worth, but rarely posts and dislikes being marginalized with a “blogger” label. He even demurred at the idea of being called a watchdog.

“I’m hesitant to put on labels because that gives others and excuse to dismiss you,” he said. “Being called a watchdog puts others on the defensive.”

Sometimes, just being seen talking to someone with political views results in accusations of partisanship, he said. Lauer said he’s open to talking with people from any part of the political spectrum.

That said, though, some of them admit to at least a little partisan history. Erlichman, who has another blog supporting gun rights, ran as a conservative Republican for a state assembly seat when he lived in New York more than 20 years ago. “For a long time I would have classified myself as a Rockefeller Republican, but in the past few years I’ve gone a little more to the right.”

Dunwoody and Hermreck consider themselves more Libertarian than Republican. Mau is a registered Democrat who campaigns against tax increases and considers herself fiscally conservative. And Bill Nichols, who has served as a GOP committee representative, makes no bones about his conservative viewpoint.

The line between citizen watchdog and government official can get a little blurry at times. Sometimes, the natural interest in government inspires citizen activists to run for office themselves.

Such is the case with Nichols of Mission, who recently decided he would like to represent the city’s 4th Ward, a spot now held by Suzie Gibbs.

But he’s not the only one. Lauer of Shawnee put his name in the hat last fall when City Council members appointed a replacement for Dawn Kuhn in Ward 3. He was nominated, but Stephanie Meyer was eventually appointed. Lauer applied to make a statement about the city’s selection process for vacant seats, he said.

And there are those, like Mau of Roeland Park, who have served council terms but continue to be involved in civic affairs.

Running for office is a temptation that has so far been resisted by others. Erlichman and Hermreck, for example, say they often are asked whether they’ll run for office. But both prefer the flexibility and freedom to speak their minds that comes with being outside the politically correct strictures of elected office.

“I feel I can do more by being an outspoken advocate for what’s right without being locked in,” said Erlichman. “I can speak my mind without having to play politics.”

Things look different from the other side of the dais, say the council and commission members who are subjects of scrutiny.

Teresa Kelly knows. Just a couple of years ago, she was an activist herself, campaigning for the right to keep chickens in her Roeland Park back yard. Now she is on the City Council, dealing with tough tax issues as the city tries to plan a budget after losing Wal-Mart, its largest retailer.

“It’s totally different sitting behind the dais,” she said. “There is so much information that people don’t dive into as deeply as we do.”

That means sometimes people don’t understand why certain plans won’t work, she said. Even so, Kelly said, it’s important to treat everyone with respect. “I try to remember how I felt when I would make public comments or write letters to my representative,” she said.

Kelly and other elected officials said they welcome the differences of opinion. “It shows no one is in control. We’re having an adult conversation about the issue,” said Kelly.


If there’s one thing that ties this group together, it’s the belief in citizen involvement at the local level. And perhaps a certain frustration that more people are interested in following the big names in Washington than their own city councils.

“When’s the last time you saw the president of the United States filling a pothole, mowing lawns or anything else?” said Erlichman. “City government has the largest effect on people of any government. It’s also the easiest place to get involved.”

Other points in common: A belief that local government should be open, a love of the hunt for information — and most of all, a hope that all the time and energy they invest will make things better for their fellow taxpayers.

Here, then, is a brief who’s who of local government watchers, their motivations and causes.

Ken Dunwoody

Governments watched: Olathe and Johnson County Commission

Blog: NOlathe’s Blog, https://nolathe.net/

Background: Dunwoody served in an elite Navy “brown-water” unit at the Cambodian border. Afterward, he worked as an electrical/mechanical consultant for a soft-drink company. In 1998, he developed health problems due to exposure to Agent Orange and has been retired to his farm since.


Dunwoody’s interest in local politics dates to 2008, when the city of Olathe tried to annex his farm near Heritage Park. “Something just sparked,” he said.

After a little research, Dunwoody and other residents were able to win the fight because of an ordinance that forbade annexation if the area couldn’t pay its own way in taxes, he said.

The fire was lit. Dunwoody continued to explore issues with the Johnson County Commission. He objected to the summarized minutes that appear along with video of the commission meetings on the county’s website, at one point even offering to pay the $500 cost of having them transcribed. The county turned down his offer but decided to make full transcripts available beginning in 2014.

Health problems have made it difficult for Dunwoody to get out to commission meetings as often as he would like, so he follows the meetings online. He’s been particularly interested in the county’s plans for the former King Louie bowling alley and, recently, the future of the county mental health governing board. The commission recently voted not to spend the money necessary to remodel the King Louie into space for the museum and other offices. And the county commission recently dismissed the mental health governing board so commission members could take on its duties directly. Dunwoody contends that action is against the county’s charter.

“I’m never happier than when I’m doing research,” he said. “It’s frustrating when you know the truth and share that truth and it doesn’t change anything. Incredibly frustrating.”

Thankfulness and a hope to inspire others keep Dunwoody going, he said, remembering a high school trip to Washington, D.C., that his parents helped pay for.

“I never lost the meaning of that sacrifice,” he said. “A lot of my life right now is payback.”

Ray Erlichman

Government watched: Shawnee

Blog: Shawnee Ray’s Ramblings, http://shawneeray.blogspot.com/

Background: Born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx, Erlichman moved to Shawnee in 1989 on a job transfer selling fasteners, nuts and bolts to businesses.


Erlichman got involved in local government because of a proposed smoking ordinance. Passed in 2007, it prohibited smoking in enclosed public places, places of employment and outdoor seating areas.

He had already quit smoking by the time it was being discussed but disagreed that the city should step in to prohibit it. So he went to the council and said so, and ended up on the city’s task force. “It was a learning experience. I wouldn’t say it was a bad experience,” said Erlichman.

As he continued to watch city government, Erlichman became more concerned about how things were being run. When former council member Cheryl Scott delayed her resignation, apparently to ensure her replacement would be appointed rather than elected, and when a relative of the mayor ended up being appointed to the council, Erlichman said things had gone too far.

“It just highlighted the arrogance of officials that they could do what they want,” he said.

Erlichman continued to blog on those and many other issues about the city. He said the blog posts played a part in the city’s decision to bring back detailed minutes of council meetings to augment audio recordings and summarized minutes that were there previously. And he has criticized as “inflated” the job creation numbers city officials use as rationale for special taxing districts.

Shawnee Ray posts can be positive. He pointed out positive pieces he’s done on the fire department and parks. “I can be cooperative. I just can’t stand the hypocrisy going on,” he said.

“My agenda is to try and get more people involved,” he said. His biggest complaint, he said, is “apathetic” people. “That’s why sometimes government gets away with that it does.”

Walter Hermreck

Government watched: Gardner Edgerton school district

Blog: Gardner 24 Seven, http://gardner24seven.wordpress.com/

Background: Hermreck retired from the Army three years ago after 24 years of service in artillery and recruiting. He moved to Gardner a little over two years ago from Wichita and now stays home with his children while his wife attends school.


It was a series of Facebook posts about a Gardner Edgerton High School football game that got Hermreck into the complexities of school district affairs.

The home opener featured festivities with a special appearance by Chiefs mascot KC Wolf. Some commenters wondered where the money for the show came from, he said.

Hermreck set out with the intention to defend the district because he assumed the show was paid for by a booster club rather than the district, which turned out to be true. So he went looking for some open records on school policy. A few days later, he said, he got the records — along with a bill for $122.

“I was dumbfounded,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

But the more he talked to people around town, the more he became convinced the district needed to be more open. School board members’ emails, for instance, are deleted from the system after only 24 hours, he said.

Hermreck also began to question school budget cuts and tax cuts, which he suspects are hurting the school system. He claims the replacement of three school board members and slowly improving access to records as successes. “We’re trying to clean house,” he said.

The issue is transparency, he said.

“I want to get people engaged,” he said. “You can’t control the things that happen in Washington, D.C. City council and school board members make decisions that affect everyday life.”

Linda Mau

Government watched: Roeland Park City Hall

Blog: Citizens for Roeland Park, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Citizens-for-Roeland-Park/201819109961859

Background: Mau moved to Roeland Park in the mid-1980s and became involved in the community as a stay-at-home mom. She is a former City Council member and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013.


Growing up in southeast Houston in the 1960s, Mau remembers her parents working hard to save money for the poll taxes. “I have three kids, and I tell each and every one of them that voting is a privilege. Don’t throw it away,” Mau said.

When she first moved to Roeland Park, Mau said she’d heard about a series of home break-ins and became worried enough that she went to the police station to ask if it was true that burglars were circling certain neighborhoods. But police wouldn’t tell her unless she gave them her address, she said. “That was what got me started in Roeland Park.”

But perhaps the biggest factor that got her involved was when former Roeland Park Mayor Jack Carpenter used the term “tar babies” to describe city’s increasing expenditures on a new swimming pool. The Tar-Baby was a character in an Uncle Remus story that entrapped Br’er Rabbit with its stickiness, but has also been viewed as a racial slur. Mau called the mayor out publicly for using the term.

“When someone attacks someone else for the color of their skin, you can let it ride or use it as a teachable moment,” Mau said.

Mau became increasingly involved in numerous city committees on such things as parks and Octoberfest. She won a council seat in 2003 but was defeated for re-election four years later. She ran for mayor in 2013, beating incumbent Adrienne Foster in the primary but eventually losing.

Late last year Mau was most visible for a successful campaign against a sales tax increase meant to offset some of the $700,000 in revenue the city will lose when Wal-Mart, its largest retailer, moves away.

People sometimes ask how Mau can be so passionate about issues yet maintain normal blood pressure, she says. “It’s because I love it,” she said. “So many people despair about politics and government in general, and they think, ‘My vote won’t matter.’ Your vote always counts.

“I do what I do because you have to know what’s going on in order to keep the community a community.”

Tony Lauer

Governments watched: Shawnee, Johnson County Commission, De Soto School District among others.

Blog: Shawnee, Kansas — FWIW (For What It’s Worth), http://blog.shawneefwiw.com/

Background: Lauer said he’s been an independent thinker at least since age 12. That was when he took a job stripping and polishing floors in Oklahoma City so he could pursue his own education at home. He and his mother had moved there from Johnson County, but he moved back again in the early 1990s and has made a living at a variety of pursuits, including technology consulting, writing data applications, product development and Internet marketing.


Lauer’s has been a data-driven life. He took to computers in the 1980s, and they are a mainstay in his search for information. Part of his house in west Shawnee is given over to several monitors as well as shelves of printed material he’s requested from governments over the years. “I don’t hack,” he said. “But I know how they work.”

That interest in data drove Lauer to campaign for detailed minutes to be kept of the City Council meetings. The council had been providing audio recording of the meetings plus minutes that provided few details of the council’s discussions.

“Historical data is critical,” he said. “Nobody has a crystal ball to see what the future is going to be, but hindsight should be 20/20.”

Because of his computer expertise, Lauer is able to turn that data into bigger pictures, spotting oversights in spending and other areas of city business, such as the proper recording of plats.

Lauer became interested in city business because of an issue in his western Shawnee neighborhood, Crimson Ridge. The neighborhood was to have 40 acres of trees and jogging trails running among the homes, according to the developer, Lauer said. But neighbors asked him to help when it became known that the land was sold to Habitat Kansas for stream mitigation. Homeowners would not be allowed to use it.

“As far as I was concerned that was like someone trying to take toys away from my children,” Lauer said. In response, he immersed himself in the records, taking a crash course in plats and planning commission minutes. Habitat has since backed away from the mitigation plan, but the neighborhood still doesn’t have its jogging trails, he said.

Since then Lauer has been called upon by many other citizens looking for help in disputes with the city. But he’d prefer to get more people paying closer attention to what’s going on so they can help themselves. “My agenda is to help others do what I do,” he said. “What happens too often is that people spend a lot of time complaining, but they don’t complain to the right people.”

Linda Mau

Government watched: Roeland Park City Hall

Blog: Citizens for Roeland Park, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Citizens-for-Roeland-Park/201819109961859

Background: Mau moved to Roeland Park in the mid-1980s and became involved in the community as a stay-at-home mom. She is a former City Council member and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013.


Growing up in southeast Houston in the 1960s, Mau remembers her parents working hard to save money for the poll taxes. “I have three kids, and I tell each and every one of them that voting is a privilege. Don’t throw it away,” Mau said.

When she first moved to Roeland Park, Mau said she’d heard about a series of home break-ins and became worried enough that she went to the police station to ask if it was true that burglars were circling certain neighborhoods. But police wouldn’t tell her unless she gave them her address, she said. “That was what got me started in Roeland Park.”

But perhaps the biggest factor that got her involved was when former Roeland Park Mayor Jack Carpenter used the term “tar babies” to describe city’s increasing expenditures on a new swimming pool. The Tar-Baby was a character in an Uncle Remus story that entrapped Br’er Rabbit with its stickiness, but has also been viewed as a racial slur. Mau called the mayor out publicly for using the term.

“When someone attacks someone else for the color of their skin, you can let it ride or use it as a teachable moment,” Mau said.

Mau became increasingly involved in numerous city committees on such things as parks and Octoberfest. She won a council seat in 2003 but was defeated for re-election four years later. She ran for mayor in 2013, beating incumbent Adrienne Foster in the primary but eventually losing.

Late last year Mau was most visible for a successful campaign against a sales tax increase meant to offset some of the $700,000 in revenue the city will lose when Wal-Mart, its largest retailer, moves away.

People sometimes ask how Mau can be so passionate about issues yet maintain normal blood pressure, she says. “It’s because I love it,” she said. “So many people despair about politics and government in general, and they think, ‘My vote won’t matter.’ Your vote always counts.

“I do what I do because you have to know what’s going on in order to keep the community a community.”

Bill Nichols

Government watched: Mission City Hall

Blog: SaveMission, http://www.savemission.net/

Background: Nichols retired in 2009 from his job as a photographer for a listing service. He’s been involved in Republican committee politics and is now a candidate for Mission City Council.


Nichols is probably best known as the guy with the video camera who comes to just about every City Council meeting. He then posts the videos — about 340 so far — on YouTube.

Mission doesn’t stream its meetings online. “People just don’t show up,” he said. “I certainly didn’t before the driveway tax.”

The measure, called the “driveway tax” by critics and “transportation utility fee” by its supporters, has been a thorn in Nichols’ side since it was approved three years ago and is a big reason he spends so much time following up on and blogging about City Hall. That, plus a mistrust of the city’s mayor, Laura McConwell.

He counts the 2012 elections among his biggest successes as an activist. That year he helped elect three new council members of the four who were running, unseating two longtime incumbents. After talking to The Star for this story, he decided to run for a council spot himself.

“I hate to say I stir the pot. But all I want is government that takes care of my money,” he said.

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Below is transcribed word for word the United Nations plan to secure food controlled and distributed through global governance.  Within the total plan (Agenda 21) the farming families will be relocated to urban concentrations and their land used to feed the global populations for “food security”.  Here is my favorite line “USA- Publications to help inform peasants and women of other countries access to land and strengthen weaknesses.”  (aka what they learn here will be used elsewhere, you know the peasants)  In the “partners” section you will find Soros money everywhere!

By limiting ownership and/or use of rural lands/property, three major controls are established:

  1. High density populations are easier to control versus “sprawl”
  2. Property/land rights equals access and control of water.
  3. Communal farming controls the what, when, for who and value of production and farming methods.

Kansas took the lead in condemning Agenda 21 on a National basis.  Just farmers with pitchforks huh?

http://www.earthsummit2002.org/ic/foodsecurity/fs_seal.html

TowardsES2002

ACTION PLAN:

Secure and Equitable Access to Land Partnership Programme (SEAL)

Lead Contact

Musa Salah SEAL Coordinator Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future Tel: +44 0207 089 4305 E-mail: msalah@earthsummit2002.org

Definitions:

Access: The right to use land for the purposes of socio-economic empowerment and food security.

Security: Use rights that enable investment in and sound management of land

Vision:

To Drive Sustainable Development in a manner that ensures:
Socio-Economic Development and Empowerment
Food Security
Ecologically Sound Natural Resource Management.

Aim:

To facilitate a knowledge-sharing base for participants to gain experience and where possible (in future), replicate programmes and projects on land development for the food security issue.

The workshop identified and determined measures to achieve a more responsive improvement and sustainability in food production and farmers’ livelihood through equitable land development strategies towards poverty eradication from the different parts of the world.

Objectives:

To enable secure and equitable access to land through:

Empowerment of women
Building the capacity of civil society and government
Sharing, learning and implementing Best Practices of experience
Developing a network for advocacy for policy reform
Effective Programme Development and Management

Desired outcomes:

Nepal – Building Community Learning Centres (CLCs) to inform people of their right and provide information
South Africa- Link information about organic industry with access to land issues (providing market information).
Tanzania- Help people at grassroots level organise meetings between development officers and community members.
South Africa- Strengthen NGO and peasant support and allow information exchange between peasant farmers (especially women).
Pan-Africa/ Global- Have a conference/meeting to discuss different land laws and how different land laws are or not working.
USA- Publications to help inform peasants and women of other countries access to land and strengthen weaknesses.
USA- Share/ Disseminate information on access to land (data base/ mapping)
Uganda- Land laws Reform Programmes through: Strengthen and mobilise communities. Strengthen civil society and NGOs to support communities.Engage the laws makers. Review and put in place relevant/appropriate land policies
All SEAL partners- Regional Conferences.

Work programme:

Two integrated Programme Strategies are:

Strengthening Civil Society (See diagram below)
Sharing Best Practice Experiences:

Thematic Issues for best practices include

Land use options.

Methods of accessing land.
Conflict management on land related issues.
Models for using land in an environmentally sustainable manner.
How gender concerns over land are addressed.
Land and Governance.
Strategies for accessing and using resources in protected areas e.g. Forest reserves, Games parks etc.

Methods:

The Partners agreed to pursue Networking and Experience Sharing through:

Identifying, documenting and sharing of appropriate and replicable practices through workings together, meetings and conferences.
Establishment of website and CD-ROMs
Filming and documentation of case studies
Media through Radio, print and television
Exchange visits: Land users/beneficiaries Civil Society Organisations
Collaborative Implementation with Research Institutions (through research publications). Inform advocacy through community based practice experiences.

Initial Work Programme

Development of an initial fundraising proposal for SEAL Uganda Follow-up workshop
Further programme development and drafting of programme funding proposal
SEAL Uganda Follow-up meeting (Feb 2003) for programme partners to finalise action plan and programme funding proposal
Submission of programme funding proposal to potential donors
Launch of the partnership
Implementation, accompanied by appropriate monitoring and evaluation procedures

SEAL Partners

Environmental Liaison Centre International, Environmental Alert, Norwegian People’s Aid, Western Washington University, Green Earth Organisation, Integrated Rural Development Foundation, Campfire Association, Provisional Administrator of the Western Cape Town, Nkuzi Development Association, Common ground Consultancy, Stellenbosch Business and Leaving Centre, Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future, Transkei Land Service Organisation, Zero Regional Environmental Organisation, Uganda Women Tree Planting Movement, Dodoma Environmental Network, Advocate Coalition on Development and Environment, Didibahini

Additional Background Information

Around the globe and at community level, securing access to agricultural land has been identified as a crucial factor in addressing the issue of food insecurity facing over 800m people in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Distribution of agricultural land in some communities in these countries is highly skewed from communal ownership to a more economic and profit oriented at the expense of food production by social and economic factors, thereby keeps many rural people locked in poverty. This situation is resulting in land disputes and profiteering, allowing the affluent to have more opportunity and privilege to own and control land affairs than the less advantage people in the community, usually women.

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TPATH created this wonderful article about the global warming hoax. The facts here are worth printing and using to build your case against Agenda 21 Sustainable Development. Scroll down a bit to find the article.

http://www.tpath.org/TPATH_UPDATE_LINKS.html#122112

We must stop this Act from getting passed.  Get on the phone folks.  Send emails.  Do you see since Obama has been elected again how out in the open ICLEI has been getting.  They are actively working with our government (which they always did) but now they are way out in the open about their partnership with our government.  ICLEI IS A SANCTIONED AND REGISTERED NGO with THE UN.  Once they gain credibility with the public our fight to stop them will get more difficult.   And this is what they are doing.  They are bringing themselves out of the closet to make their name and the US government a common sight for the American people.

Here is a You Tube from a summit in TN.  Here they openly admit they want to do away with city and county boundaries.  For the good of everyone ya know.  It starts early in the video so you won’t have to listen but about 50 seconds when you will hear the plan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfYtK1-xkVo&feature=youtu.be

Yahoo…..the fine state of OK has an Anti Agenda 21 bill – SB23 (Thanks to Victoria B. for sending this great news to me)

http://enidnews.com/localnews/x2056568519/Bill-would-ban-Agenda-21-in-Oklahoma

Here is a great article written by one of our TN warriors against Agenda 21.

http://www.everythinghendersonville.com/articles/article197.aspx

If you are an Agenda 21 warrior for Education I highly recommend a new monthly report from Eagle Forum.  You will get updates and information on the assaults against our vulnerable youth in the class room. From Common Core, Charter Schools and beyond.

http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/educate/nov12.html

The new currency??  EMERGY.  Believe me they are thinking about the new currency and you can rest assured it will have something to do with your EMERGY footprint.  Take notice to the mention of the HAPPINESS INDICATOR!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U8BhDfW9_M&feature=youtu.be

I HIGHLY recommend signing on with this website.  Although it covers CA I can guarantee whatever is happening in CA will happen in every state eventually.  Here are two recent articles.

http://capoliticalnews.com/2013/01/01/california-schools-to-celebrate-extortion-and-blackmail-by-unions/

http://capoliticalnews.com/2012/12/31/schwarzenegger-self-proclaimed-global-climate-and-economic-disaster-leader/

RURAL AMERICA IS UNDER ATTACK

Lets not forget Drakes Oyster Bay (CA) that was not only ordered to shut down (and they used fake data in order to do it…..even after the data was proved on several occasions to be false they were still shut down by our government) they have to remove all the oyster in the bay.  Luckily they have not given up and filed suit against the federal government.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i1ZLyGHwjM

Still think (or just in case your friends and relatives still think you are nuts) Agenda 21 isn’t real?  Still think the goal is not to control and inventory all resources (food, water, land, air, energy all of it), all human activity, all production, all everything well believe me Oregon is not the end it is the beginning.  What will the people of Oregon do about this? Probably nothing at all!  Nothing less than civil disobedience is called for when it gets to this point!!!

http://worldtruth.tv/oregon-claims-state-ownership-over-all-rainwater/?goback=%2Egde_4400754_member_199215196

Bakers Green Acres farm (MI) is still under attack. There are about 5 farmers left.  All the others killed their pigs and folded up their tent.  They had no choice.  PLEASE share this you tube and donate to help Mr. Baker.  We did an all out donation and support campaign for him last year and now he is faced with losing his farm again.  I was told he is $30K in debt. Share with everyone you know.  This IS Agenda 21.  They must destroy all the farmers.  Livestock is unsustainable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPVfduwUx-g

The economic ruin of Siskiyou County, CA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvKUl0RrXgw

The people of Siskiyou County, CA have seen complete devastation and destruction to their way of life because of Agenda 21.  If you have been following the stories you would know this county is just about economically destroyed.  But a glimmer of hope shines through on this recent decision.

http://www.defendruralamerica.com/DRA/Blog/Entries/2012/12/26_Entry_1.html

Montana ranches in jeopardy.  Believe me this is not just happening in Montana.  It is happening everywhere but no state has been ravaged like CA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-bH-6izljY

To the fine people of VA and the rest of the US.  This action being proposed by the EPA has NOTHING to do with water and EVERYTHING to do with taking the land.  In 1993 the PCSD (Presidents Council on Sustainable Development) directed the EPA, HUD, DOT to work the policies of Agenda 21 into every decision they make.  The Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act are the tools they are using to take our property and our freedom.  Lock us up in stack and pack housing and restrict our mobility.   When people tell you Agenda 21 is not real ask them to explain why AL and many other states are striking back against Agenda 21??

http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/feds-clean-water-act-protects-u-s-from-water/

And this is what our government thinks about Rural America.  Rural America is IRRELEVANT!  Well rural america is where the food is grown!!!  They are starting the verbal campaign against rural America to convince people that living on the rural land is bad.  So they can buy up all the land and control the food production.

http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_22153873/agriculture-secretary-vilsack-rural-america-becoming-less-relevant

END

Karen BrackenI WILL NOT COMPLY – WILL YOU?

americadontforget.com 215-692-2147 (cell)

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests”– Patrick Henry

To fix “THE SYSYEM” We must become “THE SYSTEM” – k. brackenThe change we seek has always required great struggle and great sacrifice.” – Barack Hussein Obama “The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.” – Ayn Rand

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This has been the traditional image of ICLEI and Agenda 21

6

9

Through out this United Nations document (Agenda 21) leading towards a global government, there are three reoccurring themes: 1) Redistribution of wealth. 2) Government control of lands, individual property rights must be relinquished. 3) Government control of water and access to water.

Mapped, the United States was designed by the United Nations to look like this

wildlandsmap22611BigGovernment

Early in his first term President Obama created both the means and methods to remove property rights and increase government (local, regional and federal) control of both property and water.  This ingenious method creates a sense of civil responsibility and voluntary surrender of rights of property. 

https://nolathe.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/ago50statereport.pdf

AGO-1 AGO-2 AGO-3

Soon after ICLEI and Agenda 21 released a new imageCircles_of_Sustainability_image_%28assessment_-_Melbourne_2011%29

As with both of the Kansas choices, most approved projects involve irrevocable conservation easements of private property and/or water/river access.  Here is a portion of the Kansas launch for one project May 2011:  (NOTE: background posting)

And a NOlathe article from January 2012 https://nolathe.net/2012/01/24/kansas-republican-governor-brownback-shifts-support-from-perry-to-obama/  Our modern day Lewis and Clark in Kansas (Gov. Brownback and Lt. Gov. Colyer) are Republicans.  The Kansas Republican Party and the National Republican delegates passed unanimously resolutions to block Agenda 21 activities by duly elected Republicans.  With great pride we can say this was initiated in Kansas. 

So in early 2013 our modern day Lewis and Clark continue to expand the global domain with Obama bucks complete with “Visions” and “regionalism” served up by paid “facilitators”.  In todays “vision” world, “falicitators” are trained to bring consensus to a predetermined “regional” conclusion. (NOTE: The below press release is riddled with Agenda 21 terms.)

Kansas Agenda 21

Flint Hills Symposium

On January 11, 2013 our Lewis and Clark duo will introduce http://www.publicsquarecommunities.com/index.php  as the paid “facilitator”.

Looking at the near-by community of Ft. Scott (another Public Square Community client) do not be shocked at the amount of land and water coming under control of the government as a result of additional local tax hikes. http://www.publicsquarecommunities.com/community/ftscott/news.htm 

So here we are, nation-wide or at least specifically here in Kansas, elected State Governments defying their party platform and pursuing a global agenda paid for by Obama’s bucks and future local taxation while eliminating property rights.  I want to click my heels three times and go home.

Governor Brownback  http://www.governor.ks.gov/

Lt. Governor Colyer  https://governor.ks.gov/about-the-office/lt-govenor-jeff-colyer

State Senator Jeff Longbine  Jeff.Longbine@senate.ks.gov

 
 
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”

Ken Dunwoody                                      
GOD
Henpecked Acres                                     
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

.

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Suburban Kansas Dream: Museum of Suburbia

Plan for Exhibits on Bowling, Lawn Furniture Inspires Neighborhood Spat; Faux Fence  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443493304578038920747409686.html?KEYWORDS=kansas+museum

By JIM CARLTON   October 10, 2012  Wall Street Journal  (NY, NY)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.—More than half of America lives in the suburbs. The others, too, will be able to savor suburbia by coming to this Kansas City, Mo., suburb if local planners have their way.

Museum officials in Johnson County, Kan., propose spending $34 million to create the National Museum of Suburbia, a faux suburb where visitors could wander through a model ranch-style home, wonder at an exhibit of lawn furniture and topple pins on a re-created bowling lane.

Among envisioned exhibits, to be built inside a cavernous former bowling alley and skating rink: a backyard fence with peepholes that let museum visitors spy on fake suburban neighbors played by actors in period suburban clothing.

image

The planned National Museum on Suburbia will feature artifacts of suburban life, including this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

“There’s a museum for barbed wire and a museum of light bulbs,” says Larry Meeker, president of the Johnson County Museum Foundation Board, which is pushing the suburb museum, so why not a national museum for suburbia?

“We thought, ‘Why hasn’t someone else thought of that?’ ” he says.

Some locals think they know why not. “I just don’t think it’s a big turn-on to see something you can see every day,” says Steve Rose, a Johnson County publisher of community newspapers and magazines who opposes the museum. “It’s not like you’re visiting ancient Rome.”

Indeed, there is plenty of real suburb in these parts already. Johnson County began turning farmland into subdivisions after World War II, and Overland Park gained national attention in 2009 as home to a suburban housewife on the Showtime series “United States of Tara.”

The suburbia museum’s backers cite a 2010 feasibility study that projects it could draw 60,000 annual visitors paying up to $6 each. The study didn’t assess where visitors would come from, but museum believers say they expect tourists and residents from the nearby metropolis.

[image] Jim Carlton/The Wall Street JournalEmily Finley and her children enjoy the fishing hole exhibit at a section on suburbia in the Johnson County Museum.

 

“We want to be one of the local places that Kansas Citians tell visitors: ‘This is a place you’ve got to see,’ ” says Mindi Love, executive director of the Johnson County Museum.

All there is to see just now of the National Museum of Suburbia is a 70,000-square-foot abandoned hulk of a building that once housed King Louie West, a 53-year-old bowling alley that later added a skating rink. Graffiti mars some windows and weeds grow up through the parking lot on the six-acre complex, which closed in 2009.

The Johnson County commissioners paid $2 million for the property in November 2011. After evicting a family of raccoons, they are committing another $1.6 million to clear asbestos and make it fit for humans. County engineers expect that work to begin by year’s end.

County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert says the county bought the property for half of what it was marketed for two years earlier. It plans to relocate its current county museum there and potentially other county offices, and maybe even use the parking lot as a transit yard.

Then the suburbia museum planners must raise another $30 million. The museum’s foundation board began a $19,000 study last month to determine how to raise funds. They expect to need to raise $10 million in private donations while persuading the county to pony up much of the rest.

Backers concede it may be 2018 before the suburbia museum opens its doors, but they do have a vision. The museum board’s wish list includes displays of accouterments of suburban life, including school lunchboxes, electric toasters and camping gear. One proposed exhibit: “A Field Guide to Sprawl.”

image

Ms. Love, director of the Johnson County Museum, says she envisions restored bowling lanes and replicas of a drive-in movie theater. “We may bring in the smell of popcorn, the sound of kids playing on the [drive-in] playground and you can sit in the back of a car and watch television episodes on the movie screen about suburbia, all the way up to ‘Modern Family.’ ”

At the faux backyard fence, visitors would be able to look through knotholes at skits by live actors. “Suburbia is much more complicated than houses on a road,” Ms. Love says. “We want to tell the story of suburbia, the good and the bad.”

The idea gained hold after a county museum in nearby Shawnee, Kan., suffered flood damage in 2009. Curators began looking for a new home for its suburban artifacts, including an exhibit of Tupperware TUP +1.22%and the “All-Electric House,” a model home from the 1950s outside the museum. The museum and the county arts council held a forum to consider the idea of a suburbia museum.

There have been other testimonials to suburbia. In 2009, Rich and Amy Wagner created an online history of their hometown of Levittown, Pa., which became a template for suburbia when it opened in 1952. Bill Owens’ “Suburbia,” a collection of photographs chronicling life in California, is regularly on exhibit nationwide.

At Long Island’s Hofstra University, the National Center for Suburban Studies is dedicated to “promoting objective, academically rigorous study of suburbia’s problems and promise.”

image

 

The museum will feature artifacts of suburban life, including this toaster.

Johnson County’s 2010 feasibility study, costing $170,000, projected the suburbia museum could also serve as a place for scholarly study on the subject.

There are naysayers. A suburbia museum “is the wrong museum at the wrong time for the wrong priorities,” says County Commissioner Michael Ashcraft, who cast the lone dissenting vote over the purchase on the five-member panel. He says the spending doesn’t make sense amid cutbacks to libraries and social services.

“I also don’t see people of a young generation darkening the doors of a museum like this,” says Dave Webb, a local auctioneer and former state senator. “You can just put it all online.”

Even some backers aren’t so sure: County Commission Chairman Mr. Eilert, while a proponent of the suburbia museum “as an asset for the county,” says he thinks it’s “problematic” whether the museum can raise enough private donations.

Mr. Meeker, the museum-board president, believes the idea is compelling enough to eventually convince skeptics. “Suburbia is a phenomenon that is unfolding in our own time,” he says. “I’m virtually 100% certain there will be a museum of suburbia.”

Write to Jim Carlton at jim.carlton@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared October 10, 2012, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Suburban Kansas Dream: Museum of Suburbia.

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In preparation of the Tom DeWeese tour of Kansas citizens of Pittsburg requested a “basics” of Agenda 21 and ICLEI presentation.  Jim Mullins with Americans For Prosperity and myself were pleased and honored with the turn out, questions and participation.

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/013112-sustainable-development-guest-column-sedgwick-county-commissioner-richard-ranzau

NOlathe’s portion of presentation.

Introduction to “free market solutions to saving energy”

Introduction to Agenda 21/ International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)

Introduction to Mr. Tom DeWeese

Introduction to George Soros

Introduction to Occupy Wall Street

Introduction to Milton Friedman

Introduction to “Been there done that”.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                         GOD
Henpecked Acres                                      
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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Search Results:  ICLEI   http://www.naco.org/searchcenter/pages/results.aspx?k=iclei

File with extension: aspxCounty Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Portal

ICLEI Local Municipal Clean Energy Toolkit … ICLEI’s Municipal Clean Energy Toolkit includes guidance on how municipalities can finance, purchase …

http://www.naco.org/programs/csd/pages/countyenergyefficiencyandrenewableenergygenerationtoolkit.aspx – 58KB

File with extension: aspxValerie Brown reflects on her NACo presidency

… a board member of ICLEI USA will continue to advocate for energy efficiency and climate protection …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/current issue/7-19-10/pages/valeriebrownreflects.aspx – 27KB

File with extension: pdfLocal Government Going Green

… PlanMembership in ICLEI and Climate Communities

http://www.naco.org/legislation/policies/urbancaucus/documents/naco local government going green oct 2010.pdf – 3MB – fripple – 10/25/2010

File with extension: pdfNACo e-News 9/28/2010

… Initiatives’ (ICLEI) Local Action Summit Conference, NACo released its latest publication highlight …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/enews archives1/enews_09282010.pdf – 197KB – NACo – 11/13/2010

File with extension: pdfCNSSA070207.1-16.indd

“The wisdom to know and the courage to defend the public interest”National Association of Counties • Washington, D.C. http://www.naco.orghttp://www.countynews.orgVol. 39 No. 13 • July 2, 2007Quik Takes■ See CLIMATE …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/archives/documents/2007/cnews-jul2-07.pdf – 2MB – 2/23/2010

File with extension: pdf

INSIDE >> QuickTakes See AGING page 6 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES ■ WASHINGTON, D.C. VOL. 40, NO. 4 ■ FEBRUARY 25, 2008 County volunteers help snag online pedophiles. >> Page 7 Two veteran NACo leaders …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/archives/documents/2008/cnews-feb25-08.pdf – 1MB – 2/23/2010

File with extension: pdf

INSIDE >> See NRF page 5 QuickTakes Airport, aviation bill advancing. >> Page 2 NACo Audit Committee releases independent counsel’s report on NACo election >> Page 3 No more county jails in Maine … maybe. …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/archives/documents/2007/cnews-oct1-07.pdf – 1MB – 2/23/2010

File with extension: pdfCNSSA032607.1-20.indd

“The wisdom to know and the courage to defend the public interest” National Association of Counties • Washington, D.C. http://www.naco.orghttp://www.countynews.org Vol. 39 No. 6 • March 26, 2007 Inside this issue …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/archives/documents/2007/cnews-mar26-07.pdf – 1MB – jack – 2/23/2010

File with extension: pdfmarch 1, 2010 county news.pdf

QuickTakes Counties with highest percentage of Married-Couple Families Source: The American Community Survey Goochland County, Va. 83.4 Holmes County, Ohio 72.0 Jefferson County, Idaho 71.8 Box Elder County, …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/archives/documents/2010/march 1, 2010 county news.pdf – 1MB – 6/7/2010

File with extension: pdfcnewsjuly19-2010-web.pdf

QuickTakes States with the Highest Volunteer Rate Source: Corporation for National and Community Service, 2010 Utah 44.2% Iowa 37.8% Minnesota 37.5% Nebraska 37.4% Alaska 37.3% NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF …

http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/archives/documents/2010/cnewsjuly19-2010-web.pdf – 2MB – 7/14/2010

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