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02 September 2010

Davis: Back To School

Fujiyama Grill and Sushi

I enjoyed attending this ribbon cutting for Fujiyama Grill and Sushi.

Mr. Qtu, owner of Fujiyama Grill, gave me a tour of his Asian-theme restaurant

Here I am presenting a Missouri House resolution to Mr. Qtu.

Back to School

If you have a child in school, it is more important than ever to scrutinize what they are being taught.  Even if they are in college, you may be disappointed to find out what our tax dollars are supporting.  My daughter signed up for a required English Literature Class at the St. Charles County Community College. Here is what she was presented to on her first day of school:

A Note about Class Content:

Much of the class material is adult in nature. We will discuss texts and view films that contain sexual situations, partial nudity, drug use, adult language and mature themes.  If you feel uncomfortable with this sort of content, then this is not the class for you.

Is there not enough quality wholesome English Literature that we must study the negative perversions of life?  What happened to the idea of studying literature that would help students aspire to integrity, honor and greatness?  When I called the college to discuss this with the staff, I was told that just because I found morally decadent content to be a problem, others might differ, so it was okay. When the teacher uses the phrase, "adult language", she doesn't really mean adult language because adults are not expected to use profanity.  She meant language that would be considered inappropriate for adults to use in a professional setting.  The intellectually honest verbiage would be to call it what it is---vulgarity!

We should all be concerned when our tax dollars are used to promote ideas that harm the development of our next generation. The future of our civilization depends on our ability to pass on morality, decency and civility.  When public paid classrooms sponsor materials that lower the standards, we have just significantly diminished the future for everybody. Students don't need to study evil to know it exists, because there is plenty of it all around.  If there is a choice between studying literature that promotes goodness, nobility, kindness and charity or literature that showcases women being raped, murders and filthy language, why wouldn't the administration opt for that which builds up the moral fiber of the students? The sex and violence is all over our media, but we are at a point now where we have to search to find material that is sincerely helpful, promotes good character and positive virtues and builds up our communities.  The mayors, governors and legislative bodies all across America are searching for financial resources to make up for the vandalism, crime control, babies born without their parents being married and other social ills that are being promoted in the classrooms across our country.  Why is the educational establishment –the intelligentsia of our country- unable to connect the dots of what is causing societal degradation?

I encourage all students, parents and grandparents to do what you can to speak out against the misuse of our educational tax dollars.  The principle of supply and demand ought to have an effect on which administrators choose what they want to offer.  With more involvement, we can make a difference in the choices available to our children.

David Horowitz recently wrote a book entitled, Reforming Our Universities wherein he discusses an "academic bill of rights". And follow this link to hear and view him state his case for educational reform: How Radical Professors Indoctrinate Students

Students themselves protest the extreme bias found in most post-secondary educational institutions: Students For Academic Freedom

Here is an article on the National Education Association agenda.

Your thoughts are important to me, so please let me know what you think about what schools are teaching. You can send me your opinion by clicking here: Cynthia Davis

A Little Bit of Humor

Is Anyone in There?

A college student was in a philosophy class, where there was a class discussion about whether or not God exists, The professor had the following logic:

"Has anyone in this class heard God?" Nobody spoke.

"Has anyone in this class touched God?" Again, nobody spoke.

"Has anyone in this class seen God?" When nobody spoke for the third time, he simply stated, "Then there is no God."

The student did not like the sound of this at all, and asked for permission to speak. The professor granted it, and the student stood up and asked the following questions of his classmates:

"Has anyone in this class heard our professor's brain?" Silence.

"Has anyone in this class touched our professor's brain?" Absolute silence.

"Has anyone in this class seen our professor's brain?" When nobody in the class dared to speak, the student concluded, "Then, according to our professor's logic, it must be true that our professor has no brain!"

The student received an "A" in the class.

Rupp: Missouri Schools Address Serious Issue of Cyberbullying

A major issue was brought to light in our state back in 2006 after a 13-year old St. Charles County girl took her own life because of cyber harassment.  Sadly, we can not change what happened to young Megan Meier, however, Missouri laws in place now will help protect those citizens who are victims of the vicious crime known as cyberbullying.

A measure passed by the General Assembly this year designed to address cyberbullying recently took effect Aug. 28. House Bill 1543 contains several provisions relating to school safety, such as adding cyberbullying and electronic communications to school district anti-bullying policies; expanding the report of acts of violence to include all teachers at the students' school building; expanding employee immunity from following established discipline policies to include, but not be limited to, policies of student discipline; and allowing all public school districts to require a school uniform or restrict student dress.

And just two years ago, the Legislature approved and the governor signed Senate Bill 818, a bill I sponsored in the Missouri Senate that changed various provisions relating to stalking and harassment in our state.  This bill expands stalking and harassment laws in Missouri to include Web-related communications and increases the penalties for such crimes.  In addition, the legislation upgrades the charge of harassment from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony, when the perpetrator is 21 years old or older and the victim is 17 years old or younger.  Class D offenses are punishable by up to four years in prison with accompanying fines.  Repeat harassment offenders, regardless of how old they are, will also be charged with a Class D felony.  Senate Bill 818 also requires school boards to add Internet stalking to the list of crimes they must report.

This issue took on nation-wide attention, prompting Megan Meier's mother, Tina Meier, and me to appear on the talk show "Dr. Phil" to discuss how we should address this serious issue without infringing on citizens' First Amendment rights.  The main focus is to make these individuals accountable for their despicable actions online. Nobody deserves to be harassed, no matter what form of communication the person may be using.  I believe our state laws in place now address this important issue and will keep up with our society's ever-changing technology.

If you have any questions or comments about this or any other topic regarding state government, please visit my website, e-mail me, or call my office at (866) 271-2844

Keaveny: Four Briefs

Metro Update
A recent article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed a growing problem throughout our city — unsightly trash at Metro Bus Stops. However, steps are now underway to address the fast food bags, bottles, newspapers, and cigarette butts that litter the sidewalks around these stops. Click here to read more.

COPE24 - Teaching Parenting Skills
Did you know that 30 percent of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children? In our country, it is estimated that for every 1,000 children, there are approximately 15 cases of substantiated abuse and neglect. Sadly, our state's rate mirrors this national figure. Click here to read more.

Senator Keaveny In the Classroom
Now that the school year is well underway for many districts in the St. Louis area, I would like to offer teachers the opportunity for me to visit classrooms throughout the 4th Senatorial District sometime in September, October, or November to talk about government, read a book to students, or just stop by for a visit. As your state senator, this is a great way for me to get acquainted with the students and let them know I care very much about their education and their future in our state. Click here to read more.

Legislation Enacted Into Law
On Aug. 28, most bills passed by the General Assembly during the 2010 legislative session and signed by the governor became law. Some measures were previously enacted while others have specified future effective dates other than Aug. 28, which falls 90 days after the constitutional end of session. Click here to read more.

Nodler: Recognizing the American Worker

On September 5, 1882 in New York City, 10,000 workers assembled to participate in the first Labor Day parade. These individuals marched through Manhattan and gathered in Wendel’s Elm Park for a picnic, concert, and speeches to inspire improvements in working conditions at the time. New York’s Labor Day celebrations inspired similar events across the country. In 1894, Congress passed legislation making Labor Day a national holiday.

Many families and friends will gather this Labor Day at picnics and barbeques throughout Missouri. Others will take the long weekend as an opportunity to travel and enjoy the final days of summer. While the modern expression of Labor Day has changed, the meaning has not. It is still common to hear addresses by industrialists, educators, and government officials on the news or radio — speeches that praise the effort workers put forth every day in order to create a solid foundation for this country. The day is still a tribute dedicated to the American worker — a day set aside as a break from daily tasks to spend time with family and friends. As of May 2009, there were 155.1 million people older than 15 in the nation’s labor force. In the U.S., there are 7.2 million teachers, 2.8 million registered nurses, 729,000 social workers, and 751,000 farmers and ranchers. Each individual worker’s efforts help make our country great.

In Missouri for the month of July, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent. The declining economy has left many Missourians without work, and families are struggling to get by. However, my experiences talking and meeting with these families has shown that the spirit of the workers in this state is resilient. They do not give up, and this is truly what will turn the economy in our state around. It is not the efforts of the government that will lead to economic recovery, but the efforts of the citizens of this state.

Labor Day today is celebrated as a time for relaxation and rest, but I know that the work ethic in our state does not rest. I recognize the dedication of workers, the very quality that allows Missouri to compete with its surrounding states. This Labor Day, I honor all of those who contribute to our nation and state’s workforce — building on the foundation created by generations before us who honored strength, leadership, and hard work. I wish everyone in the 32nd District a happy Labor Day.

01 September 2010

Nance: Bills that are now law, In the District

August 28th just passed and is the day that most bills take effect unless specifically dated or emergency clauses are attached. Many bills passed with great bi-partisan support.

Some of those bills include:

HB 1311
Establishes provisions regarding health insurance coverage for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and the licensure of behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts.

HB 1408
Changes the time period before interest is paid on an overpayment of income tax from four months to 90 days after the last date to file a return, including an extension, or the date the return was filed.

HB 1472
Changes the laws regarding the designation of controlled substances (K-2).

HB 1695
Changes the laws regarding intoxication-related traffic offenses.

HB 1893
Changes the laws regarding the distribution of gaming funds for early childhood education and veterans' programs and requires an annual audit to be conducted on the fund accounts for three years.


HB 1764
Prohibits persons, employers, or health care providers from being compelled to participate in any health care system and allows certain domestic insurance companies to dissolve under certain conditions. (Prop C)

HB 2
The Manufacturer's Job Act in an attempt to keep full employment of jobs in the automotive industry.

In the District

I was honored to receive the "Friend of Agriculture Award" from Farm Bureau on Monday evening. It is to recognize legislators serving in the Missouri House of Representatives who have been especially supportive of agriculture.

On Monday the 23rd, I shared the Bill of Rights and Constitution with 19 scouts at the Methodist Church in Excelsior Springs.

I was the speaker at the Ray County Retired Teachers meeting today.

On Tuesday, September 7th at 10:00 a.m., there will be a ribbon cutting for Route A Bridge in Hardin. At 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 7th, there will be a ribbon cutting on N Hwy, south of Excelsior Springs.

Joe Smith: WB Route 40 at Missouri River closed weekends of Sept. 10, 17

Closures will impact first two Mizzou home games

ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation will close westbound Route 40 at the Missouri River (Daniel Boone Bridge) for more repair work the weekends of Sept. 10-13 and Sept. 17-20, 2010.

This will impact all drivers heading from Chesterfield to St. Charles County those weekends, as well as fans heading to the Mizzou home games against McNeese State and San Diego State.

Crews will close westbound Route 40, and all access to St. Charles County from Route 40, at 8 p.m. both Friday Sept. 10 and Friday Sept. 17 and will reopen the route by 5 a.m. the following Mondays.  During this closure, crews will continue to reset bearings, replace expansion joints and repair splice plates on the bridge. Access to St. Charles County using I-70, Route 364, and Route 370 will remain open.
The detour for the closure is taking I-270 to I-70.  For people returning to St. Louis, however, eastbound Route 40 over the river will remain open.

"We understand how important the traditions are for home games at Mizzou," said Karen Yeomans, West St. Louis County area engineer. "There are a lot of activities in St. Charles County which draw people from St. Louis, including the wineries, bike trails and many other events. People will still be able to do these activities, but knowing about this work will help people determine which routes they need to use to get to them. To help, we'll minimize construction work on the I-270 and I-70 detour route. We will provide detour information on our overhead message boards."

The preventative maintenance work is needed to ensure that the 1930s-era Boone Bridge remains safe for the 75,000 vehicles which use it daily.

Plan ahead to avoid work zones by calling 1-888-ASK-MODOT or visiting our website at

Travelers can get up-to-the-minute traffic information on interstates or major state routes by dialing 5-1-1 from most cell phones; if 5-1-1 isn't available from your telephone, please dial 877-478-5511 (877-4STL-511).

31 August 2010

Kander: New ethics reforms become law

This past Saturday, for the first time in nearly twenty years and after a tough fight in 2010, significant changes in Missouri law regarding ethics and campaign finance went into effect. As an original author of several major provisions in the new law [SB844], Saturday was a proud day for me.

As of this past Saturday, the following positive changes are in place:
  • It is now against the law to launder money from one Political Action Committee (PAC) to another for the purpose of concealing the donor. In fact, PACs are now prohibited from receiving donations from other PACs.
  • The Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) now has substantially expanded authority to investigate the actions of elected officials, lobbyists, political candidates, and other major players in state politics.
  • Just as it is against federal law to obstruct an investigation by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), it is finally against state law to obstruct an investigation by the MEC (Missouri's version of the FEC). Previously, there existed no penalty for lying to an MEC investigator.
  • ALL political contributions of more than $25 will be searchable online at the MEC website. In the past, some committees were not required to file electronically. This loophole enabled those seeking to launder and hide funds to do so in a way that was invisible in the public database of campaign contributors.
These and other aspects of the new law are explained in a video tutorial created by the Missouri Ethics Commission.

While I'm proud of my work to author and pass these reforms, I'm far from satisfied. We still must restore campaign contribution limits, close the revolving door that allows sitting legislators to accept jobs as lobbyists, and prohibit elected officials from paying one another as "political consultants."

With these new laws acting as a solid foundation for progress, I will continue the fight for comprehensive ethics reform in Missouri.

Kraus: Legislation Becomes Law

2010 Legislation Goes into Effect

Last Saturday, August 28, the majority of the legislation passed during the 2010 legislative session became law.  Set by the Missouri constitution, this date is always the day for new laws to take effect unless passed with an emergency clause or otherwise given a different enactment date.  An emergency clause means that the law would take effect as soon as it is signed.  Adding this provision calls for a special vote, and therefore is seldom done unless some relevant circumstance, such as health concerns or the economy, demands it.

In previous emails, I've reported on a number of laws that have been signed by the Governor and would therefore have gone into effect last weekend: new political ethics requirements, stiffer penalties for drunken drivers, legislation affecting the military, a quicker turnaround on tax refunds, regulations on sexually oriented businesses, and the ban on a synthetic marijuana substance.  The two bills passed during the Special Extraordinary Session, tax incentives for auto manufacturers and the changes to the state employee pension system, take effect on October 12, 2010.

About 100 bills were signed by the Governor.  For a complete listing of these bills, click on 2010 Legislation.  From there, if you want to view either a summary or the final language of the bill, you can click on the bill number, which will take you to its legislative page.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Comes to Blue Springs

The Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall located in Washington, D.C., is coming to Blue Springs from September 30 to October 3.  The traveling exhibition allows veterans, families, friends and students to honor the 58,000 men and women whose names are inscribed on the Wall.

Vietnam Veterans can receive a commemorative medal or lapel pin. Visiting the wall is a way for all of us to honor those who served in Vietnam and to say "Welcome home!"

The Wall will be exhibited in Pink Hill Park, along with an Information Center and a variety of educational exhibits that will help educate the public about the Vietnam War and its effect on the nation.

The exhibition is free to the public and will be available 24 hours each day.   Plan now to participate in this memorable event coming to Blue Springs.

A video about the exhibit, along with volunteer and contribution information, is available at Blue Springs "Wall That Heals."

I-470 Opens Early Following Emergency Repairs

The restored westbound I-470 opened last Friday in the 3-Trails Crossing, forty-three days after sliding soil triggered collapsed pavement and 19 days ahead of schedule.

In the span of five weeks, workers removed the failed pavement, drilled shafts more than 60 feet deep to form concrete pillars anchored into bedrock that support the 225-foot-long bridge extension, and formed and poured a concrete deck and barrier walls. By Sunday, Aug. 22, the bridge deck was complete and then cured until the concrete was at full strength. General contractor Pyramid Contractors, Inc. will continue with earth work and grading through September. However, it will not impact the roadway.

This $4.5 million project required a lot of material and labor hours to complete in such a short time:
  • The project included more than 850 tons of concrete and 135 tons of steel.  This much material would fill about ten train cars.
  • All of the debris from the collapsed roadway will be recycled. None of the material from the old road way will go to landfills. Material was sorted into steel, other metal, rock, and soil to be recycled or reused in other projects.
  • The average work week consisted of 12- to 14- hour days (and sometimes 24 hours a day), seven days a week. Crews took off only one Sunday.
  • Crew members worked more than 20,000 hours on the project.

Pryor Road Intersection Closed at Route 150

Pryor Road intersection at Route 150 and a segment of the road to the south will remain closed through September 24 for reconstruction of the intersection.

Signed detours will direct traffic around the construction area. The work is part of the Route 150 widening project, which is partially funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project will eventually provide a four-lane, divided Route 150 from just west of Route 291 to Route 71.

For information on other transportation projects, go to MoDOT's Website at For instant updates, follow MoDOT_KC on Twitter or send questions and comments to kccommunityrelations{at}modot{dot}mo{dot}gov.