Well shiver me timbers.

In a million years, I would not have guessed that the KCI selection committee would have recommended Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate to build a new single terminal.

Not only did Edgemoor of Bethesda, MD, keep a low profile but it was the only one of the four competing companies that declined to make its proposal public.

So, we, the public, know nothing about their proposal, including what type of design they proposed or how much they bid. (It should all come out in time.)

I think this is a positive development…A release from the city said selection committee members went with Edgemoor partly because it submitted a plan “that would deliver the terminal at the best price.”

That sounds promising, but as I suggested yesterday, this whole thing could still fall apart.

At least two major hurdles remain before we can be sure Kansas Citians will go to the polls on Nov. 7 and determine if a new terminal will be built.

The first hurdle is the full City Council’s review of the selection committee’s recommendation. As disjointed as this process has been, it is foolhardy to assume that seven members of the council will vote to approve the selection of Edgemoor.

Only two council members were on the selection committee — Jermaine Reed and Aviation Committee Chairwoman Jolie Justus. The other committee members were City Manager Troy Schulte, Aviation Director Pat Klein, Aviation Deputy Director of Planning and Engineering Phil Muncy and Aviation Chief Financial Officer John Green.

Some council members, including a few who backed Burns & McDonnell, might be looking to derail the committee’s recommendation.

The second major hurdle is development of a memorandum of understanding between the city and the selected company. That memorandum is going to be complex and lengthy — probably well over 100 pages — and it’s going to take several weeks to put it together.

All the while, the clock leading up to Election Day, Nov. 7, will be running, and the longer it takes to jump both hurdles, the less time the campaign consultants will have to convince the public to vote “yes.” An earlier survey showed that only about 38 percent of Kansas City voters would vote for a new terminal. A source told me tonight he had heard that a more recent survey now put the “pro” side at 42 or 43 percent.

If that is accurate, I’m glad to hear it, but I still think gaining voter approval will be a tortuous battle.

Here are some of the pieces that will have to fall into place for the proposal to pass.

:: The business community will have to step up with campaign contributions in the range of $500,000.

:: Edgemoor will have to move quickly to convince the Kansas City Labor Council that it will provide plenty of local jobs. (The labor council had been in lockstep with Burns and Mac and is probably as confused as everyone else at this point.)

:: Every significant voting bloc, such as Freedom Inc., the firefighters union, the Committee for County Progress and the Citizens Association, will have to endorse it. Freedom Inc., the city’s leading black political organization, will be in a particularly enviable position because it will be able to extract just about whatever concessions it wants and will be able to demand payment of tens of thousands of dollars to help finance its get-out-the-vote effort.

:: Voters will have to look past the ragged selection-and-recommendation process and be convinced the city is 1) getting a good product for its money and 2) that the terminal will be convenient and appealing.

Finally, it will be important — although maybe not vital — for Burns and Mac to swallow its pride, bury its resentment and embrace the new-airport proposal.

From the outset, Burns and Mac officials talked about how proud they would be to build a new terminal for the city they love. They were fairly busting their buttons…They realized too late it was a huge mistake to have plotted with Mayor Sly James and a couple of other council members to engineer a no-bid, sweetheart contract that would produce a huge profit for the company. (It’s ironic that James has now been reduced to little more than a bit player in this drama.)

“It was a political miscalculation of unprecedented proportion,” a source told me tonight.

Burns and Mac’s original proposal was such a scam, he said, that “Tom Pendergast would have blushed.”

Now that Burns and Mac is in a totally different role than what it expected, its civic dedication is going to be sorely tested.

And yet, I’ve heard Burns and Mac could still be in for a piece of the action. Word is that Edgemoor, if it gets the job, might bring the company on board for at least part of the engineering work.

That would certainly help get Burns and Mac representatives out of the grousing mode and back into their cheerleader outfits.


Well this is a fine kettle of fish.

Burns & McDonnell, the “Hometown Team” that for many weeks appeared to be on a glide path to landing the new single-terminal project at KCI, has now placed a big stick of dynamite under the terminal-selection process. But that’s not all: It has lit the fuse.

In very short order, we should be hearing a big explosion. Burns and Mac has decided to go scorched earth, even to the point of destroying its own chances in order to keep any of the three other competing companies from getting the contract.

The impending explosion means there will be, in all likelihood, no KCI election in November and no City Council recommendation on a contractor anytime soon.

As twisted as things are right now, we might not have an airport election until November 2018 or even 2020. And that’s as it should be: This process was horribly flawed from the outset, and it needs to be dumped.

…In a nutshell, here’s what has unfolded in the last several days.

The City Council’s bond adviser alleged there were flaws (it’s too complicated to get into) in Burns and Mac’s proposed financing proposal. In retaliation, Burns and Mac, which has seen its chances of winning reduced in recent weeks, called Tuesday for the selection process to be scrubbed and for “a new, open process” begin anew.

Mayor Sly James got this “process” — if you can call an unadulterated muddle a process — off on the wrong  foot because he wanted to rush the airport project to a start while he still had a couple of years left on his second term. It all started over a lunch at the River Club, and it mushroomed from there, after he strong armed a few other council members to go in with him.

It was going to be the whipped cream on Sly’s milkshake. It was going to be the Cuban leaf in his cigar.

So, instead of going the traditional route of having the city take bids and select the “lowest and best” bidder, he tried to anoint Burns and Mac as contractor and, in so doing, he basically invited the firm to name its price tag.

But he didn’t get away with it. After other City Council members insisted the project be opened up to other competitors, another firm came along and said it could do the job for nearly $500 million less than Burns and Mac had initially projected!

A friend who has been in local politics a long time told me Burns and Mac tried to pull off “the biggest scam in the history of Kansas City.”

Now, the firm is reduced to being the spoil sport. And in that role, it will succeed.

In assembling a “Hometown Team,” it recruited as partners several powerful interest groups, including organized labor and minority and women-owned businesses. With a majority of Kansas City voters lukewarm, at best, toward the prospect of getting rid of KCI’s horseshoe terminals, the prospect of labor and important parts of the African-American community turning against the initiative spells certain doom.

…There is one more possibility, albeit remote. Burns and Mac could capitulate and try to reel back in its call for a do-over.

Won’t work. Too late.

The headlines on tonight’s story in The Star, combined with the story that will appear on the front page of tomorrow’s print edition, will sink this ship that’s been taking on water from Day One.

In the face of these hurricane-level headwinds, a City Council majority would be crazy to go ahead with a November election because the proposal would go down in flames. But I don’t think they’ll do that. They’ve been eating Sly James’ dust for many months now, and they’re tired of it.

I think they’ll throw the milkshake, the whipped cream and the Cuban cigar back in his face.

…I’ve said before I don’t like sitting in those bullpens at KCI. And it is a dump. But I would prefer to put up with the bullpens and the gloomy terminals for a few more years, until the city can show us an appealing terminal design and give us a solid bid process that will result in a good product at the “lowest and best” price.

I don’t like hot weather and can’t stand high humidity, but even so, this day — this last day of summer — is always difficult for me.

The calendar says summer goes on until Sept. 21, but the reality is it ends today. Yesterday or day before I saw a few leaves coming down. That says it all: It’s about over.

This morning, we turned the air conditioning on. By late this afternoon, if the weather forecast is correct, we’ll be able to turn it off, open the windows and let the north wind cool the house.

But today’s north wind — assuming it arrives as scheduled — won’t be an aberrational respite, like the occasional north breezes of July and August. For me, that north wind will bring a sweeping finality to summer, as well as a wistful feeling of loss and transition.

I have experienced that feeling about Labor Day more acutely since a Labor Day-weekend trip to Truman Lake many years ago. It was hot that weekend, and we and another couple and our children and a couple of theirs were camping out.


One of my foremost memories is that a young couple, maybe newlyweds, were at the adjacent camp site, with their big RV taking up much of the site. They weren’t particularly friendly — just gave us an occasional nod — and didn’t show their faces much. After being outside for a few minutes, they would retreat to the comfort of their version of the great indoors. It was clear to all of us on our steamy camp site that this couple was there for carnal rather than aquatic activities.

But we had our own situation to deal with. My friend, also named Jim, had hauled his speedboat to the lake, but it hadn’t been on the water in years, and we didn’t know what to expect. As a back-up of sorts, I had brought my 14-foot fishing boat, equipped with a powerful 5.5 horsepower motor I had inherited many years earlier from my father.

On Saturday or Sunday of that weekend, our group, which included our two children and a couple of theirs, went down to the marina and put Jim’s boat in the water. The rest of us piled into the boat from the dock, and, as best I recall, Jim got the motor to a sputtering and spewing start, and the boat lurched slowly away from the dock area.

We hadn’t even cleared the no-wake zone, however, before the engine conked out. With his stepson Gabe at the wheel of the boat, Jim went to the back of the boat and started fiddling with the motor. He would bark out orders to Gabe, telling him when to push the ignition button and when to back off. The shouting got testy at times, as the frustration built.

Meanwhile, the rest of us just sat there — sweating, sloop shouldered and silent — realizing this probably wasn’t going to be much of an outing.

After a long battle, Jim gave up, and we either paddled back to the dock or had another boater pull us back by rope. We piled out of the boat at the same place we had left an hour earlier, when our spirits were high and we had visions of the wind blowing our hair and cooling our faces as the boat skimmed over the water…Later I told Patty we must have collectively looked like the Clampett family as we sat forlornly on that boat, bobbing gently up and down in the wake of the cove.


The next 24 hours or so were entirely unmemorable, and on Labor Day Jim and his family gathered their things and departed fairly early. Patty and I had driven separately, as I recall, because we were hosting a party back home that night and she wanted to get back to prepare. I told her I would be home in a few hours but wanted to go out and do some fishing in my boat.

It was a great feeling when the motor fired right up and I moved out into the body of the lake. Propelled by 5.5 horsepower, I didn’t go very far or very fast, but at least I could glide along and feel that breeze I had been anticipating in a much bigger way.

The sun was out. Lots of boats were on the water. I fished for a few hours — don’t remember catching anything — and as the afternoon wore on clouds began to roll in, the wind picked up and the temperature began to fall.

I was reluctant to leave, partly because I knew this was probably the only boating and fishing I was going to get in possibly for the rest of the year. Late in the afternoon, though, a decided chill set in, and I headed for the marina. A lot of other boaters had the same idea. In the cove, a slew of boats was idling, each boater waiting to approach the dock and get his boat on the trailer and get out of there.

Operating on my own, I had to first tie the boat to the dock; retrieve the car and trailer from the parking lot; back the trailer into the water; then get back in the boat and drive it onto the partially submerged trailer. By the time I did that, I was one of the very last boats in the area. After pulling the boat from the water, I stopped a short distance up the ramp to get my fishing tackle and other items out of the boat.

It was starting to get dark. The wind was blowing, and it was chilly. I looked around and saw the cove was clear of boats and only one or two other stragglers were in the ramp area. As I tossed my gear into the trunk, a feeling of emptiness set in. Summer was over. Really over. And I was going to be late for the party.

Well, it’s the first big college-football weekend…Who am I going to be rooting for?


I’ve written in the past about my effort to wean myself off pro football because of the game’s clearcut association with degenerative brain disease.

I was moderately successful last season: I watched relatively little of the Chiefs’ games and went to just one — on a frigid night against the Raiders, when a friend offered me a club-level seat. (Temptation at that level is hard to turn away from.)

This year, I’m going to try to avoid the pro game altogether, and I am vowing here and now to extend my self-imposed ban to college football.

This is going to be extremely difficult, mainly because I love going to KU football games — not because it’s quality football, which it hasn’t been for years, but primarily to watch the KU Marching Jayhawks and listen to the band play “Home on the Range” after most of the fans have left and the field has long been cleared.

I know…A lot of people might think it’s a bit weird, going to Lawrence to watch a marching band and listen to one song. But that’s me. I pick up on obscure stuff and stick with it. (Example: Several years ago, when a certain women’s college basketball referee — a woman — caught my eye, I sidled up to her at halftime and introduced myself. Through downright perseverance, I befriended her over the course of a few seasons. We still see each other about once a year…In case you’re wondering, Patty doesn’t mind: My friend is gay and has had a partner for more than 20 years.)

A neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players — and 110 were found to have CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head. The New York Times, July 25, 2017


You might be wondering what brought me to my present vow to try to abstain from football altogether.

The turning point was a recent New York Times story about a longtime ESPN and ABC college football analyst named Ed Cunningham, who last spring announced he was stepping away and giving up his six-figure-a-year job. At the time, he said he was resigning because he wanted to spend more time with his two young sons and because of his workload as a film and television producer. Only recently did he come out with the real reason — “my ethical concerns.”

Ed Cunningham

“(T)he real crux of this is that I just don’t think the game is safe for the brain,” he told The Times. “To me, it’s unacceptable.”

I decided that if a guy who has been making more than $100,000 a year (by his own account) as an analyst is willing to act on the courage of his convictions, I should do likewise.

“I take full ownership of my alignment with the sport. I can just no longer be in that cheerleader’s spot.” Ed Cunningham


I don’t think I’m going to be able to make a complete withdrawal, however, for one main reason: Patty is an MU graduate, and she loves going to Columbia at least once or twice a season. Although she likes to go to the games, the bigger attraction for her is tailgating at the Phi Sigma Pi house, a few blocks from Memorial Stadium.

Patty was a Phi Si “little sister” when she attended MU, and many members of her old gang gather at the frat grounds on football weekends. I go with her at least once a year, and I’m sure I’ll be going again.

On “Phi Si” weekends, I’m going to give myself a pass and try to keep my focus on the socializing and not get caught up in the football…which is going to be a big challenge.

“Repeated blows to the head cause the buildup of an abnormal protein that degenerates brain tissue. Areas of the brain vulnerable to CTE include those that govern cognition, working memory, abstract reasoning, planning, emotional control and aggression.” Chicago Tribune, Aug. 6, 2017


The hardest part of living up to this vow, though, is going to be finding other fall and winter-time diversions.

I already play golf through most of the winter; I play when the temperature is as low as the upper 30s, as long as the wind isn’t strong. And with the “wrap-around” professional golf season starting in late fall, it’s not hard to find a golf tournament on TV.

As many of you know, I like women’s college basketball and go to some KU games every season. (Fortunately, the pep band plays at those games and I can get my “Home on the Range” fix, although it’s nothing like hearing the song played by the 270-member Marching Jayhawks.)

So, I’m in the market for new possibilities for fall and winter activities and interests.

— Maybe I could expand my basketball horizons and start following men’s college basketball more closely. MU is expected to be much better this year, and it’s only a two-hour drive to Columbia.

— Maybe I could take Patty’s suggestion and start doing some volunteer work, you know, “giving back” to the community instead of focusing mostly on my “fat self.”

—  Maybe I could get a weekend job working at the 7-Eleven in Brookside.

Wait, what am I thinking about? Scratch that.

As you can see, I need help.

Any suggestions, constructive or otherwise?


“He ended his life living out of a car, unable to get his thoughts together and fighting anger and confusion. At one point, he destroyed all his football pictures, slashing them apart.” The New England Sports Network, writing about the late Mike Webster, former Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas Chiefs center, who died of a heart attack in 2002. An autopsy showed his brain was filled with an abnormal protein associated with CTE

In cases of random, seemingly motive-less murders, the possibility of mental illness always has to be considered as a possible factor.

I theorized in a comment in my last post that 22-year-old Fredrick Scott, who has been charged with two murders and in all likelihood committed three others, was “a frustrated young man and a flat-out racist.”

Information made public before and after I made that statement confirmed the accuracy of that opinion, but new information I’ve come upon — as well as an interview The Star got with Scott’s mother — indicate Scott probably had mental problems.


His mother, whom The Star did not name, has said her son suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia include, among others, violent tendencies, anger, hearing things that are not real and emotional disconnectedness.

Well, clearly Scott had violent tendencies. And we already knew he  was angry because he told police he had been that way since his brother was murdered in 2015. (Killed by one or more black men, it should be noted.)

The information I received last night indicates he was also emotionally disconnected and perhaps was hearing voices.

The source of my information is someone who had spoken with two people who worked with Scott at a Pizza Hut at 103rd and Wornall, which is just a few blocks from where two of the five victims — Mike Darby and David Lenox — were killed.

Here’s what those employees said:

:: Scott, who was known as Freddie, “talked to himself all the time” but said very little to his fellow employees.

:: He was a terrible employee, couldn’t even bake a pizza. About all he could do was wash dishes and sweep.

:: He “creeped everybody out” and was transferred to another Pizza Hut.

The employees thought he might have a drug problem but never saw him actually taking drugs. (I am skeptical about the possibility of drug use or addiction because there is no indication any of the five victims was robbed. If he was a drug addict, you can bet he would have been taking whatever valuables the men had on them.)

Here’s another piece of information I found startling: Scott apparently knew one of his victims.

Sixty-six-year old David Lenox, who was shot down steps from the door of his residence at the nearby Willow Creek apartment complex, was a co-worker of Scott’s at the Pizza Hut. Lenox, a former Army medic, had “just started working there as a delivery driver,” I was told.

David Lenox, right, at a 2016 MU football game with son Mike and daughter Mindy

Lenox was killed on Feb. 27, apparently while either walking his dog or letting the dog outside…The “statement of probable cause” filed by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office says police responding to the scene found “a small brown dog on a leash standing next to the victim.”

The day after Lenox was shot by someone whose blood ran cold, Freddie Scott showed up for his shift at the Pizza Hut.

Further evidence of Scott’s familiarity with Lenox is the fact that Scott had become friends with a person who, at the time, lived at Willow Creek. Scott frequently came around to visit the friend.

This from the probable cause statement:

“The former tenant stated he and Scott would walk the complex sometimes and talk. Officers noted that the former tenant’s apartment was a short distance from the Lenox homicide. Scott would regularly stop by, sometimes daily, prior to the tenant moving out shortly after the Lenox homicide.”

I’m pretty sure I would have been moving out, too.

All of us Kansas City residents can breathe easier tonight, knowing that, in all likelihood, the Indian Creek Trail killer has been apprehended.

Although it is not certain, it appears 22-year-old Fredrick D. Scott of Kansas City is a serial killer.

Scott has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is suspected in three other homicides. He is in the Jackson County Jail — thank God — on $1 million bond. His last known address was in the 3300 block of Bridge Manor Drive, which is just south of Red Bridge Road, between College and Cleveland — very close to the Indian Creek Trail.

Indications are that Scott’s M.O. was arbitrarily selecting prospective victims, following them on foot and then executing them with one or more shots to the head.


In a tense and riveting 13-minute news conference — and in accompanying documents — Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker today laid out the chilling details of the most recent murder and uttered these extremely unsettling words:

“There is no motive that makes this make sense.”

No logical motive, that is.

But there is, I’m afraid, one awful, disturbing fact: Twenty-two-year-old Frederick Scott is an angry young black man who apparently took perverse satisfaction in killing white men.

The house where Scott was living. It is very near Indian Creek Trail, scene of four murders in the last year.

Why was he angry? He has told police he was upset about the murder of his brother in 2015. I don’t know — and Peters didn’t say — if his brother was killed by a white person. Watching the news conference, I did not hear any question relating to that point, although most of the questions were muffled because of poor audio.

I’d sure like to have the answer and hope reporters working the story want to find out.

Racially, this is a highly sensitive case, but reporters and their editors must not shrink from the facts. In the coming days, the public needs and deserves a lot more information about Scott’s background and the factors that may have motivated him.


Scott is charged in the slayings of 54-year-old John W. Palmer and 57-year-old Steven Gibbons.

A “probable cause statement” filed by the prosecutor’s office says Scott admitted killing Palmer, one of the four Indian Creek victims. Palmer was shot several times with a 9mm handgun on Aug. 16, 2016, near Bannister Road and Lydia. Scott told police that after shooting Palmer, he dragged his body away from the trail and into a tree line.

The three other Indian Creek Trail victims were 66-year-old David Lenox, who was killed Feb. 27 of this year near 99th and Walnut; 57-year-old Timothy Rice, killed April 4 north of Red Bridge Road just east of Lydia; and 61-year-old Mike Darby, who was killed May 18 in the 300 block of West 101st Terrace, not far from the bar he owned, Coach’s, at 103rd and Wornall.

The killing that broke open the case, however, did not occur along the trail. As often happens, once a serial killer gets going and building up confidence, his horizons expand.

Surveillance video shows that on Aug. 14 — two weeks ago yesterday — Steven Gibbons got on an ATA bus at 75th and Troost shortly before noon, and a man got on behind him. At 67th and Troost, Gibbons got off, and the other man followed him down 67th Street.

The probable cause statement says the man following Gibbons was drinking a beverage with a screw top. The camera, mounted on a building near 67th and Troost, then panned away about the time Gibbons would have been shot. A short time later the same camera captured the unknown man running from the scene.


Some good investigative work led police to Scott. Remember the line about “the unknown man” drinking from a screw-top container? Detectives found a bottle near the scene of the Gibbons killing. Police were then able to track the killer back to a gas station at 75th and Troost, where he had purchased the beverage (which The Star reported was iced tea). Surveillance footage from the gas station showed Scott purchasing the iced tea.

A few days later, a police officer saw a man resembling the presumed killer sitting on a wall, smoking a cigarette, near 97th and Holmes. When approached by one or more officers, the man identified himself as Frederick Scott. After the conversation, police recovered the butt of the cigarette, and undercover officers followed Scott to his home on Bridge Manor Drive. Later, police linked the DNA from the cigarette butt to that on the iced tea bottle. At the home, police also recovered a 9mm handgun that Scott said killed Gibbons.

Police also have DNA evidence linking Scott to Palmer’s murder. Searching the scene of that homicide, detectives found a T-shirt that was too small for Palmer.

On the shirt, police found DNA from two people: Palmer and Frederick Scott.


The probable cause statement says Scott mowed lawns to make money and that for a three-week period in July and mid-August he worked he worked at the Burger King restaurant, Red Bridge Road and Holmes. He did not have a vehicle, and the probable cause statement says: “His two primary modes of transportation were walking and the KCATA bus lines. But he had been known to ask for rides from neighbors or associates.” He told police he was familiar with the Indian Creek Trail.

With the Royals in free fall, the nation’s fourth-largest city under water, the North Koreans firing missiles over Japan and a lowbrow boxing match in Las Vegas serving as entertainment for the nation, I’m looking desperately for things to be positive about.

I’ve had to brainstorm mightily for signs of hope, but you knew you could count on me — Mr. Poztiv — to come up with a few things. Some are a bit parochial, but in desperate times, you have to narrow the frame of reference.

So, here goes…

:: Daughter Brooks and son Charlie safely completed a marathon, two-day drive to Las Vegas over the weekend, and Charlie successfully enrolled today at UNLV in what should be his last semester (or two) toward a master’s degree in environmental health physics. Not the least of our worries was the fact that they made the trip in Charlie’s 2000 Malibu, which we inherited from my father after his death in 2007.

The Malibu has given us a lot of intrigue the last few years. It’s got about 135,000 miles on it, and the air conditioning has gone out twice. We replaced the AC control panel several years ago, and I’ll be darned if the “new” panel didn’t start acting up recently. With temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees in Las Vegas these days, getting that AC fixed before Charlie went back was imperative. Last week, I bought a new panel at Midway Auto Parts in the East Bottoms, and our niece’s boyfriend, a car whiz, offered to install it.

Friday morning, then, westward-ho went the “kids” (he 27, she 29). They made it to Albuquerque — about 800 miles away — that night, and they arrived in Las Vegas — 575 more miles — Saturday night. They stayed at an Airbnb Saturday and Sunday, and today Brooks flew home.

What a relief to have them in their respective cities safe and sound!

:: The price per share in “the failing” New York Times (NYT in the market listings) is up 38 percent this year…I bought a considerable amount of that stock (and kept adding) after the Great Recession. Years ago, I read where Warren Buffett advised amateur stock-market players to “buy what you know,” and that was my guidepost. (I have to admit, though, that an earlier newspaper investment didn’t turn out so great. After I retired in 2006 — before the recession — I bought McClatchy stock, telling people my intent was to demonstrate my confidence in the newspaper industry. I bought at 50 and sold at 7. Ouch!)

:: Inversely proportional to the NYT stock price, my golf scores have been going down. I shot a 77 — my lowest score ever — a few weeks ago, and last week recorded a 78, even while missing a few putts of three feet or less. I back slid a bit yesterday, hitting an 87. But I think I’ve turned a corner because of a swing change. I watch a lot of golf on TV, you know, and I got intrigued by the swing of outstanding Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama. He pauses for almost a full second — very unusual — at the top of his backswing, before starting the club on its downward path. After adopting the pause, I have been hitting the ball farther and more accurately than ever. Thank you, Hideki, and good luck in the season-ending FedExCup series!

:: Great progress continues to be made on renovation of the Sea Horse Fountain at Meyer Circle, a couple of hundred yards from our house. The expected completion date is now mid-October, and we should see a few bursts of water from that majestic fountain yet this year. Late last year and early this year, retired KPMG executive Dave Fowler and I collaborated on a private fund-raising effort, aiming to generate at least $250,000 for a permanent endowment. (We ended up raising more than $350,000).

The Sea Horse Fountain, under repair

In return, the city agreed to shoulder the brunt of the renovation cost. The cost of repairs has jumped from an estimated $605,000 to more than $900,000, and I expect the total to come in at $1 million or more…Everyone who drives by that fountain should be grateful, as I am, for the KC Parks and Recreation Department’s determination to do this job right. By the way, more than 40,000 vehicles pass the fountain every day.

:: Finally, I am looking forward to the Romanelli West Homes Association annual picnic on Sunday, Sept. 10, at Arno Park. As usual, we’ll have barbecue from BB’s on 85th Street, and for the kids we’ll have Kona Ice and Grateful Bubbles.

I ask you, how can you be downcast when shaved ice cups and giant bubbles are being served up?

Grateful Bubbles