By popular, fist-waving demand, I have come up with a “good news” post.
Yes, readers, lest we get trapped in the downward, depressing spiral of the bulk of local, national and international events, let’s celebrate some of the positive things that have bubbled to the surface.
Here, in no particular order, are reasons for all of us, even the worst curmudgeons among us (we know who we are) to pull ourselves out of our smug, self-centered orbits and raise a nonalcoholic toast to the betterment of mankind. (I say nonalcoholic because if Demon Rum was involved, things would go south pretty quickly.)
10) Russian President Vlad Putin and Ukrainian President Petro (Pet) Poroshenko shook hands today and started talking peace. At least that’s what they were supposed to talk about. Pet looked pretty grim in the photo I saw, but I think I detected a curled-lip smile from Vlad.
9) Something good is going to happen at the site of Kemper Arena. Either it’s going to be saved and repurposed as a regional hub for youth sports, or it’s going to be demolished to make way for a new multipurpose center for the American Royal. Frankly, I’m torn between the two plans, which the City Council will decide on. I have unpleasant memories of slogging through the muddy parking lots down there to go to Kansas City Kings and Kansas City Scouts games, but when I saw this photo in The Star today, it made me realize just how unique and appealing the old white elephant is.
8) Oklahoma Joe’s is opening a 4,000-square-foot event space next to its Olathe restaurant near 119th and Strang Line. (If we have a Comments Dept. party, we can have it there.)
7) The Family Conservancy (formerly Heart of America Family Services) kicked off its “Talk, Read, Play” initiative yesterday. Many civic, educational and health care organizations are putting their heft behind this effort, which aims to get all area children reading at grade level by third grade.)
6) With all the hoopla over the name of the Washington “You-Know-Who” NFL team, a Kansas City Star letter writer came up with an idea for the Chiefs: Change the name to “the Kansas City Brave,” suggested Bill Fithian of Prairie Village, to solve the problem we have with singing the National Anthem at Arrowhead.
5) Pediatricians have suggested delaying the start of the school day to 8:30 a.m. for high school students so they can get more sleep and, hopefully, be better students. I love this idea! As a substitute teacher in the Shawnee Mission District, I hate the 7:40 a.m. high-school starting time. I have a big problem just getting out of bed by then.
4) Another great golf instructor, Sean Foley, has found personal freedom by splitting with Tiger Woods. Foley joins stellar swing coaches Butch Harmon and Hank Haney in being happier for having parted ways with The Great Back Painer.
3) Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is succeeding in his latest effort — convincing Turks…that is, residents of Turkey, to stop smoking. In reporting the story on Sunday, The New York Times said Bloomberg aspires to just one more title: “mayor of the world.”
2) College football season is about to begin, and for me that means one thing: I’ll soon be going over to Lawrence to see the best damn marching band in the world. Every once in a while, a decent football game breaks out, too.
1) Somewhere today…somewhere, a police officer holstered his gun and decided not to shoot an unarmed troublemaker.
(Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)