elcome to the frozen tundra. My car thermometer registered -16 degrees on my drive to work Tuesday morning, in some of the low areas of Running Horse Road just south of Platte City.
That’s cold. But not as cold as the lowest temperature ever recorded at KCI, which the record books tell us was -23 in December of 1989. Sure, I was alive, well and reasonably hard at it here at The Landmark in 1989 but I’m having trouble remembering that particular cold spell. I must have blocked it from my memory in some sort of defense mechanism.
The most convenient thing about Tuesday morning is that at about 6 a.m. while lying in bed I was able to see if the car I’d left parked outside all night was going to start by using the remote start function via an app on my phone. After getting the “remote start successful” response, I was able to catch a little more shuteye knowing that the car was running, it would automatically shut off in 10 minutes, and I wasn’t going to need to jump start a battery in sub zero temps.
We couldn’t do that in 1989.
Hope you caught the Landmark Live episode on Thursday in which Mary Jo Vernon, director of the Platte County Health Department, was our guest and the COVID-19 vaccination process was the topic. Vernon answered as many questions as we could get to in 45 minutes and her responses were informative and helpful to the public. We appreciate her openness and willingness to come on and tackle unfiltered questions. More than 7,000 of you have viewed the show, and the video remains posted on the Platte County Landmark Facebook page if you haven’t yet checked it out.
There is a tremendous amount of interest among Platte Countians in regard to the vaccine. Vernon said more than 20,000 folks have registered their names/information through the portal on the health department’s web site, which speaks to the high level of interest. Those registered are classified into phases and tiers, based on things such as age and health history, etc.
As of last week, about 7,000 county residents thus far have received a shot from various sources and locations, with about 1,700 of those through the health department.
The fact there is so much interest in the vaccine on the part of county residents makes the Platte County Commission’s attitude toward the virus and its handling of CARES money intended for entities such as the health department more embarrassing by the day.
Hats off to the Parkville Board of Aldermen for stepping up to the plate in the effort to assist in the COVID vaccination process. As you’ll read within our front page story on a mass vaccination event being planned for early March, the Parkville aldermen on Tuesday night passed a resolution offering support and the helping hands of public workers for the effort. The background work on the mass vaccination support and the resolution has been conducted by Alderman Brian Whitley.
Perhaps there will be more of this among publicly elected bodies in Platte County. It’s nice to see public servants stepping forward to fill a leadership vacuum created by the county commission’s disinterest on this topic.
Nice job on this, Parkville, and nice job Brian Whitley. Folks need to know their leaders care about their health.
The Platte County Commission is in the process of vetting firms as part of a plan to hire a municipal advisor–a financial advisor, if you will–to help navigate the county through potential steps in improving the county’s credit rating, which as you know sunk to junk levels as a result of the Zona Rosa bond situation. Joe Vanover, new second district commissioner, indicated to me in a conversation this week that while the county has no immediate plans to have a need for financing, the municipal advisor “will help us get ready for the future.”
Platte County Commission meetings would be a lot more exciting if they’d list conspiracy theories as an agenda item and just let Dagmar Wood hold court for about 30 minutes. She could talk about how COVID-19 is a hoax, how wearing a mask causes brain damage, or how the presidential election was stolen from Trump. Maybe she’d put on a viking helmet and storm the courthouse while screaming “you people are bat shit crazy!”
And when Dagmar was done with her rant, Ron Schieber could proclaim something in a stern matter-of-fact tone, you know so it sounds intelligent though it really isn’t. Something like: “People, every job is essential. My job, my wife’s job, Dagmar’s therapist’s job. We’ve got to get our economic engine up and running again. Let’s give more money to the Southern Platte County Athletic Association.”
Now that’s a meeting I’d watch. Would probably go Facebook Live with it, even.
One of the things I miss the most during this time of limiting crowds and such? The music concerts at Ameristar Casino.
Earlier it had been indicated the concerts might start reappearing on the schedule as early as June. The time frame has changed. An Ameristar official told The Landmark this week that the schedule has now been pushed back to late August/early September.
Anyway, when the concert series does get rolling again we’ll be giving away tickets to lucky winners on Landmark Live.
(You can catch Ivan Foley staring off into space at his desk, longing for concerts and conspiracy theories. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)