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Published 03/04/2010 - 10:38 p.m. CDT

Judy Ancel, President, The Cross Border Network

A hundred and four years ago in the Mexican State of Sonora copper miners for American owned Cananea Consolidated Copper Company went on strike. They were protesting deplorable conditions, inequality between the 5,360 Mexican miners who earned 3.5 pesos a day and the 2,200 American workers who got five pesos for the same work. The strike was greeted with violent repression by the company which summoned an American posse, led by Arizona Rangers. The striking miners reacted by lynching two Americans who had fired on the strikers. Strike leaders were then arrested and imprisoned.

The Cananea strike gets the credit in Mexico for starting the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Photojournalist David Bacon writes, “The 1906 battle not only heralded revolution to come, but was the first strike organized on both sides of the border, by the first real cross-border activists,” the Flores Magon brothers who had organized in communities of Mexican railroad workers in East Los Angeles and St. Louis. The Flores Magon brothers supported the Industrial Workers of the World, which organized low-wage workers without regard to color or immigrant status. After the Cananea strike, the brothers spent years on the run, not only from federales of dictator Porfirio Diaz, but from U.S. authorities. They were eventually sent to Leavenworth, where Ricardo Flores Magon died.

Published 01/22/2010 - 2:05 p.m. CDT

Thomas J. Bogdon, 1940-2010 (Photo: Michael McClure)

by Rhiannon Ross

The veteran Kansas City journalist, whose 40-year career included reporting, editing and publishing, died January 16th at the University of Kansas Medical Center after waging a long battle with lung cancer.

Fond memories of Tom, as well as accolades hailing him as a Kansas City “journalism legend,” continue to appear on Internet sites around the area and beyond.

Longtime CNN Headline News Anchor Chuck Roberts wrote from Atlanta, “No one articulated the city’s problems and potential better. Tom was irreplaceable...I admired him greatly.”

Published 01/18/2010 - 5:26 p.m. CDT

Thomas J. Bogdon (Photo: Michael McClure)

A lion of Kansas City journalism will roar no more. A distinguished 40-year career for journalist Thomas J. Bogdon ended after a long illness Saturday, January 16, 2010. He was 69.

The native of  Kansas City, Missouri, succumbed to pneumonia on January 16, 2010 at the University of Kansas Medical Center after a corageous battle with lung cancer. Until the final days of his life, he was a working journalist, directing his latest project, the online news weekly, KCTribune.com, from his hospital bed.

Published 12/03/2009 - 8:26 p.m. CDT

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

As WTO Ministerial begins in Geneva, Senators, President of United Steelworkers, Advocates Outline Steps to Address Deficit, Strengthen U.S. Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marking the ten-year anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO) demonstrations in Seattle and the Nov. 30-Dec 2 WTO ministerial in Geneva, Switzerland, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) today announced that they will reintroduce the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act. Brown first introduced the TRADE Act in 2008.

The legislation would revamp U.S. trade policy by mandating trade pact reviews, establishing higher standards, protecting workers in developing nations, and restoring Congressional oversight of future trade agreements. The bill would mandate trade pact reviews, establish standards, protect workers in developing nations, and would help restore Congressional oversight of future trade agreements.

Published 12/03/2009 - 7:52 p.m. CDT

Congressman Roy Blunt


By Ryan Hobar
Communications Director,
Missouri Democratic Party

FLASHBACK – “There’s Nothing That Happens in Congress That Roy Blunt Isn’t a Major Architect of.”

Jefferson City, MO -- Seven years ago today, shortly after Roy Blunt’s election as majority whip, George Bush’s political director Ken Mehlman told the Kansas City Star that “there’s nothing that happens in Congress that Roy Blunt isn’t a major architect of.” [Kansas City Star, 11/30/02]

Even way back then, according to the Star, Congressman Roy Blunt had already “mastered the game” of DC power politics by being an “inside player” and “twisting arms to prevent party defections.”
Congressman Roy Blunt – father of former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt – represents Southwest Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives. During the Bush administration, he was a Republican leader in congress and Tom Delay’s right hand man.

Published 11/20/2009 - 12:04 a.m. CDT

“I don’t want to comment,” Cauthen said. “It’s similar to what’s been going on before.” (Photo: Michael McClure)

Without notice, Mayor Mark Funkhouser on Thursday achieved his long-sought objective: the removal from office of City Manager Wayne Cauthen.

“I believe we need new leadership for the City,” Funkhouser wrote in a letter to his City Council colleagues. “As of today, I am exercising the authority given to me as the Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri to suspend the City Manager, effective immediately. In the interim, the city manager has been asked to vacate the premises immediately.”

Earlier in the day, Funkhouser walked into Cauthen’s office and demanded the city manager’s resignation. When Cauthen declined, Funkhouser informed Cauthen he was suspended, and had Cauthen escorted from the building.

“I don’t want to comment,” Cauthen said. “It’s similar to what’s been going on before.”

Published 11/12/2009 - 10:07 p.m. CDT

© Getty Images

By Ethan Goffman

Perhaps it began in Seattle in 1999, with the epic “Teamsters and Turtles” alliance to protest a meeting of the World Trade Organization. Unions and environmentalists, at the time seen as an unlikely pairing, united against a version of globalization that, they argued, spurs a “race to the bottom,” encouraging corporations to undercut both worker rights and environmental standards.

 The Seattle protest itself came out of earlier opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement and to illegal logging in Indonesia. “All were clearly understood as global, both bad for the environment and bad for workers,” says Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers. The Steelworkers and the nonprofit conservation group the Sierra Club are the founding partners of the national Blue Green Alliance.

 Gerard points to fair trade, healthy workplaces and global warming as key shared issues.

Published 11/12/2009 - 6:27 p.m. CDT

City Manager Wayne Cauthen (Photo: Michael McClure)

Opinion by Barry Anthony

While most citizens agree dress codes are necessary to ensure that entertainment venues remain family-friendly, enforcement of the dress code at the Power & Light District has become a hotly debated topic.

Time and time again, African Americans have cited indifferent, even hostile treatment at this downtown entertainment district. As a middle-aged African American male, I think I have some understanding of the problem and why it has not been easily resolved.

The main issue is whether certain groups are being targeted using the pretext of dress code violations.

The younger generation has embraced a lifestyle that includes wearing long T-shirts, baggy pants, sagging pants, etc. We see this on the streets, at school and in other public places.

Published 11/05/2009 - 6:42 p.m. CDT

Dr. Lori Heim, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians

The Leawood-based American Academy of Family Physicians has announced the Consumer Alliance, a new corporate partnership program, with its first alliance partner, the Coca-Cola Company.

The Consumer Alliance is a program that allows corporate partners like The Coca-Cola Company to work with the AAFP to educate consumers about the role their products can play in a healthy, active lifestyle. As part of this partnership, The Coca-Cola Company is providing a grant to the AAFP to develop consumer education content on beverages and sweeteners for FamilyDoctor.org, an award-winning consumer health and wellness resource.

“The AAFP recognizes the significant influence that consumer companies have on consumer health,” said Lori Heim, M.D., president-elect of the AAFP. “We look forward to working with The Coca-Cola Company, and other companies in the future, on the development of educational materials to teach consumers how to make the right choices and incorporate the products they love into a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.”

Published 12/03/2009 - 8:43 p.m. CDT

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Thursday night on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” he was encouraged by the White House Jobs Summit earlier and that he’s looking forward to working on the urgent goal of job creation.

Trumka told host Ed Schultz that in the discussions among President Obama, administration officials, economists and business leaders, there was a broad consensus that we need to fix an economy that has shed millions of jobs. Trumka said of the jobs summit:

I think it worked really well. The president really does understand the urgency of job creation. He said it on numerous occasions: jobs, jobs, jobs. I think his staff and Cabinet understand the importance of job creation. A lot of good ideas came out today that are usable. If we turn them around real quick, we can start putting Americans back to work in weeks.

Published 12/03/2009 - 8:04 p.m. CDT

The KC Hash rendezvous' for a beer stop in the middle of a creek during last week's "run" in Kansas City Kansas. The general lack of order, verging on chaos doesn't seem to faze them. (Photo: Michael McClure)

by Victoria “I is EZ” Prater

Hashing. It sounds illegal, doesn’t it? But really, it’s the perfect combination of exercise, social interaction and beer. If Busch Light, PBR and Miller High Life aren’t good enough for you, go sit at some snotty bar in Power & Light. But if you can appreciate all-you-can-drink amounts of your dad’s favorite yard beer, you’ll fit right in.

Some of us are runners, but without much emphasis on speed, hence the slogan “drinking club with a running problem.” In fact, it may as well be “drinking club with a bi-pedal locomotion problem,” since many of our members walk rather than run.

Hashers are people of all ages from all walks of life who like to drop the hum-drum of the everyday for a few hours in exchange for beer, a smattering of exercise and a politically incorrect good time.

Published 11/26/2009 - 8:52 p.m. CDT

Clay Rodgers has announced his candidacy for the 55th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives from Blue Springs.

Clay Rodgers, a business representative for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), has announced his candidacy for the 55th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives from Blue Springs. Rodgers is a Democrat.

The seat is currently held by Bryan Pratt. a Republican who is stepping down due to term limits.

Ryan Hobart, communications director of the Missouri Democratic Party, said there are no other announced candidates for the seat from either party. Primary elections will be in August 2010; the general election will be in November.

Rodgers reported in October that in the previous quarter he raised $10,300 in campaign contributions from 30 donors.

Published 11/19/2009 - 10:44 p.m. CDT

By Seth Michaels

This week at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other leaders joined together to call for urgent action to create jobs and rebuild the economy.

In a live webcast panel discussion, the consensus was clear: Without quick action, an entire generation could be mired in economic turmoil. The nation can, and must, put people back to work—while addressing critical needs for the future of our communities.

The scale of the jobs crisis is obvious: Since the beginning of the recession, more than 8 million jobs have been lost. The official unemployment rate is at 10.2 percent, with more than 26 million unemployed or underemployed. These figures are even more severe among African American and Latino communities. Young people are at risk of permanently stunted opportunity, and the jobs crisis is rebounding throughout the country with increased hunger and poverty, massive numbers of home foreclosures and diminished access to health care.

Published 11/12/2009 - 7:46 p.m. CDT

“America’s dependence on foreign oil continues unabated and uninterrupted” says T. Boone Pickens

DALLAS –In his eleventh consecutive monthly update on the level of foreign oil imports in the U.S., energy expert T. Boone Pickens said that based on the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. imported 60 percent of its oil, or 350 million barrels in October 2009, sending approximately $26.5 billion, or $594,359 per minute, overseas to foreign governments.

“America’s dependence on foreign oil continues unabated and uninterrupted” said Pickens. “Month after month the oil import trends continue and we have yet to truly do anything about it. But, there is a solution that uses a domestic resource to make a real difference. All that is needed is for our leaders in government to embrace natural gas and pass the NAT GAS Act. America is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. It’s time for us to use this abundant resource to end the cycle of foreign oil dependency and addiction that is making us less safe and more economically insecure.”

Published 11/05/2009 - 6:54 p.m. CDT

Dr. Peng, UMKC chemistry professor.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the University of Florida (UF) have pioneered a method to tease out promising molecular structures for capturing energy, a step that could speed the development of more efficient, cheaper solar cells.

“This gives us a new way of studying light-matter interactions,” said Valeria Kleiman, a UF associate professor of chemistry and lead author of a paper featured in a recent issue of the journal Science. “It enables us to study not just how the molecule reacts, but actually to change how it reacts, so we can test different energy transfer pathways and find the most efficient one.”

Co-investigators include Zhonghua Peng, UMKC professor of chemistry, and Daniel Kuroda and C.P. Singh at the University of Florida.

Published 10/29/2009 - 9:15 p.m. CDT

"The Quad" at UMKC's campus shows a mix of old and new (Photo: Michael McClure)

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Foundation is pleased to acknowledge three recent gifts totaling $1 million from Mrs. Lucille Armacost – a 1938 graduate of the University of Kansas City (UKC; now UMKC). The gifts create an endowed scholarship fund for the College of Arts and Sciences.

One of the largest and most prestigious scholarship funds, the Don and Lucille Armacost Scholarship Fund, will initially provide $5,000 scholarships to about 10 full-time undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences students. Scholarship recipients must demonstrate financial need based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Mrs. Armacost and her late husband, Don R. Armacost, Sr., are two of the University of Kansas City’s earliest graduates. They took courses from such notable professors as Norman Royall, Ed White and Carolyn Benton Cockefair. In 1938, Mrs. Armacost graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. In 1940, Mr. Armacost graduated from UKC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He also studied business and served as editor of the UKC newspaper.