Hyde Parker-201001 by ps94506


									                     The Hyde Parker
Volume 37, Issue 1                     A publication of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association              January 2010

Good cheer spreads
along Armour Blvd.

                                                 December 15 offered a warm-spirited night of fun-filled holiday caroling
                                                 by a children’s choir and adults along the many apartment buildings on
                                                 Armour Boulevard. Hot chocolate and cookies were provided at several
                                                 stops as well as security that included Kansas City mounted police.

New owners breath life into 39th Street properties
In the worst of economic times, one of Hyde Park's crossroads has been making a turnaround in the past year amid the
restoration of several long vacant single-family homes and rental properties.

It's a stretch of 39th Street from Gillham to Troost that includes 19 single-family homes and five low-density apart-
ment buildings where new local property owners have replaced absentee owners. Despite the harsh lending climate,
they have been making changes that are increasing the area's walkability and attractiveness.

The latest property to get facelift is 916 E 39th Street, (shown to the right)
the long derelict three-story Belmar building at the northwest corner of
Harrison and 39th. Old Hyde Park resident Aaron Clements is creating six
market-rate, two-bedroom apartments to be offered in March. Clements’
company, Wyandotte Apartments, LLC purchased the building for $56,000
in September and he says he is putting in about $200,000 to restore the
1908 building's clawfoot bathtubs, woodwork, upgrade the electrical system
and rebuild the brick wall that faces 39th Street.

"It's the busiest street I've tried to market" , says Clements who is hoping a
cosmetic overhaul and new amenities such as washer-dryers in each unit
can command $650 a month rents. Clements' organization owns 3936 Har-                 Inside
rison in South Hyde Park and multiple properties in Old Hyde Park. He
considers 3700 Washington his flagship market rate rental building.                   An interview with Sly James
                                                         Continued on page 3
 PAGE 2                                           THE HYDE PARKER                                       VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1

                                 December/January HPNA member honor roll
                                 Each month we recognize new and renewing Hyde Park Neighborhood Association members. Several levels
                                 are available. See our website for details.

                                 New Households Jeffrey Psota; Jeff and Maria Smith
                                 Patrons Stephen Metzler & Brian Williams; Angela Splittgerber & Justin Azbill;
                                 Pam & Jeffrey Gard; Edwin Gladbach & Kevin O’Brien
                                 Renewing Households
                                 Mark Shaprio & Lynn Anderson; Nancy & Ross Lowdon; Edna Wethy; Warren
                                 & Nancy Green; Bill & Margeret Jonte; William Mathis II; Ethan & Heidi White-
                                 hill; P Mitchell & Cindy S. Woolery; Richard A. Nichols; M.M. Carter & Brenda
                                 Swinney; Stephanie Smith; Chris Harper & Amanda Loflin; DeAnne Bloom-
                                 quist; Russell & Phoenix Criswell; Robert & Ann Donovan; Bill & Susan Ford;
                                 Terri Hiebert & Rhonda Reist; Alan Johnson & Shannon Hoffman; Ann & Frank
                                 Uryasz; Charles William & Robert Lawrence; Cindy & Mike Witner

Calendar of Upcoming                                 Winter heating tip: A shade of difference
Events                                               Did you know that window shades are more effective in reducing heat
                                                     loss than venetian blinds and lined draperies? Shades can prevent the
Through Jan. 20                                      escape of as much as 31% of the heat lost through windows.
From Shoals in Time                                                                                    Source: The Old-House Journal
Seashell-theme art exhibit; Community
Christian Church, 4601 Main St. FREE
                                                     Hyde Park:
Through Jan .23                                      For a time, a
History exhibit 75th years of The                    mother of mayors
National Archives (400 West Pershing)
                                                     Three Hyde Parkers served as
                                                     mayor of Kansas City between
February 6                                           1908 and 1924, the era just prior
Chinese New Year Celebration                         to the city charter that created
Nelson-Atkins Museum                                 the current mayor-city manager
                                                     power structure. The structure
Through Feb. 21                                      has been credited as one mecha-
Photography exhibit Hide & Seek:                     nism that expanded the power of
                                                     Democratic political boss Tom
Picturing Childhood Nelson-Atkins                    Pendergast. All three men
Museum FREE                                          served only one term.                       Tom Crittenden Jr, KC’s
                                                                                                 mayor 100 years ago
                                                     Here’s who they were, where they
                                                     lived and when they served:
Congratulations to new
HPNA board members!                                  Thomas J. Crittenden Jr., 711 Manheim Road, 1908 to 1909,
The following HPNA members were elected              Democrat; Son of a former Missouri governor, Born near Springfield,
to the respective positions below at last            Illinois
month’s general membership meeting.
                                                     George H. Edwards, 3533 Harrison Boulevard, 1916 to 1918, Re-
Kevin Sullivan – First Vice President                publican. Manager of Edwards & Sloane Jewelry, born in St. Louis
Clara Keller – Treasurer
                                                     Frank H. Cromwell, born on a farm that was once at 39th and Har-
Abigail FitzGerald – North Hyde Park Repre-
                                                     rison Streets, 1922 to 1924, Democrat; Engineering surveyor and a
                                                     salesman for a butter and egg company. His company went out of
Rikki Honnold-Helvick – South Hyde Park              business in the stock market crash of 1929.
Ben Nemenoff – Central Hyde Park Repre-              Also, Darius A. Brown , one-term mayor from 1910 to 1911, lived in
sentative                                            Old Hyde Park at 3641 Wyandotte St.. A Republican, he was a city
                                                     attorney and judge.
PAGE 3                                               THE HYDE PARKER                                            VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1

Walking and sliding in a winter wonderland

In the aftermath of one of Kansas City’s worst blizzards in years, some Hyde Parkers took time out to enjoy the snow
sunshine and scenery on New Year’s Eve. The Hollingsworth family rides on the hill near Notre Dame de Sion school
while a couple walks hand-in-hand toward the Gillham/Harrison/39th Street intersection.
39th Street’s road to revival
Continued from page 1
The most visible work on 39th -- the crossroads of Central
and South Hyde Park -- has been at century-old single-
family homes -- notably 3900 Holmes and 3900 Charlotte
(photo at right), both of which are now owner-occupied
after many years of vacancy.

In December 2008, Robert and Lezlie Paden of 3902
Charlotte closed on the shirtwaist next door, 3900 Char-
lotte, at the 39th street corner lot. Lezlie had bought 3902
just two years earlier and had remodeled when opportu-
nity knocked. The owner next door wanted to sell. The
timing was tricky, though. The couple secured financing        Other properties along the block are also showing sales ac-
from Citimortgage just a few weeks after its banking par-      tivity, and improvements. A third property -a cedar-shake
ent required a federal bailout under the government's          bungalow at 701 East 39th - is being remodeled after Holmes
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).                          Street apartment owner Sue McCann acquired it in a foreclo-
                                                               sure sale from a California lender. Other South Hyde Park
A block away, at 3900 Holmes, Sarah Roman and Ronald           side bungalows between Charlotte and Campbell and arts
Garriss had also moved in as the stock market was plung-       and crafts style-homes between Kenwood and Holmes have
ing. They purchased their home on Nov. 12, 2008 buying         had facelifts in the past year, too.
a completely renovated two-and half-story property that
DZ Investments had acquired as a vacant shell in Janu-         At a glance
ary 2007. DZ's improvements included rebuilding a sec-
ond-story deck that faces Holmes and removing an old           39th St. from Harrison to Gillham Rd:
chain link fence that surrounded the 39th Street side of       19 single-family homes, one vacant
                                                               Five blocks, eight Metro bus stops
the house.
                                                               3 low-density apartment buildings, 2 duplexes
                                                               Mature trees: Oaks, walnuts, magnolia, lilac
Since closing on Dec. 1, 2008, the Padens have been build-
                                                               Architectural styles: Center hall colonial, arts & crafts, bun-
ing a new retaining wall at 3900, replacing windows and        galow, tudor, four square, shirtwaist
a deck, adding fencing and a painting scheme that has          Other properties: commercial, none; one church (St. James);
brightened the entire Charlotte-39th intersection.             one KC Parks & Recreation building
                                                               Housing built: 1905 to 1920, most in 1908
Further west this past year, volunteers from the Hyde          Speed limit: 30 miles per hour
Park Neighborhood Association cleared brush along 39th         Range of 2009 annual property taxes: $800 to $3,850
along the parkway hillside overlooking Harrison Boule-         Source: Jackson County web site
vard. For the first time in decades, homeowners south
and west of the park have unobstructed park views.
VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1                                   THE HYDE PARKER                                                     PAGE 4

 An interview with Sly James
 Can a Hyde Park lawyer help Kansas City sing?
 Recently, Hyde Parker Editor Mark Dillon met with
 personal injury attorney and Hyde Park resident Sly
 James at Mama's Restaurant to learn James' views on
 issues affecting our neighborhood. The story that fol-
 lows inside is the first of a series providing insight and
 perspective on KC’s mayoral candidates, including
 Mayor Mark Funkhouser and former Councilman Mi-
 chael Burke. In order to provide insight on issues rele-
 vant to Hyde Park, we anticipate providing these dis-
 cussions in forthcoming publications. The profile that
 follows is for informational purposes only. Neither The
 Hyde Parker nor the Hyde Park Neighborhood Associa-
 tion has endorsed any mayoral candidate.

 Sly James doesn't have to go far from his Manheim Road
 home to see the challenges facing Kansas City. Just three
 doors from his stone porch is a large, long vacant single-
 family home. Three blocks to the north is Armour Boulevard.
 Three blocks to the east is Troost Avenue. A few blocks west
 is Westport High School.

 It's a much different city than when the 58-year-old first
 moved to Hyde Park in 1969 to an apartment at the south-
 west corner of Holmes and 39th Street. Back then he was
                                                                   Sly James poses at his downtown law office, de-
 just out of high school and a singer in a rock band that
                                                                   signed by Hyde Park architect Craig Shaw.
 opened for Jefferson Airplane. The Kansas City Chiefs won
 the Super Bowl that year, which was also the Royals'
 inaugural season.                                               Outgoing, usually wearing a flawless suit, James drives a
                                                                 2009 black Lincoln MKS sedan. His house usually has more
 Today supporters of James' 2011 mayoral candidacy and           Christmas lights than most along Harrison Parkway, and at
 those of his rivals, Northlander Mike Burke and incumbent       night it accents the century-old stone colonial he's called home
 Mark Funkhouser of Brookside, might agree that whomever         for the past 13 years as well as any storefront along Country
 wins has to create and execute a strategy for working to-       Club Plaza. A sign for the Barstow Knights where his
 gether after a period of acrimony and litigation.               teenage daughter, one of four children, goes to school, is on the
                                                                 front steps.

 Strategy: Accountability without micro-management
                                                                 “We were looking for diversity, a
 Over breakfast, James outlined his proposed approach to         stable environment and good people.
 governance, one that seems to blend the tenacity of a litiga-
 tor with the disciplined goal-setting of a Marine Corps ser-    We’ve found Hyde Park to be the
 geant. His overall philosophy: Create clear plans and objec-
 tives, foster a sense of ownership among public stakeholders    perfect neighborhood.”
 and consistently follow through.

 "It's all about creating consensus, building a sound process
 and delivering results" James says. "We've got to hold          An unconventional career path
 people accountable, and be accountable. Our division of re-
 sponsibilities between the mayor, the council and city man-     James' background suggests someone who can negotiate with
 ager has hurt us. We've got to make good choices without        the powers that be at The Capital Grille, but is equally com-
 micro-managing.''                                               fortable chatting with staff at a diner like Mama's. The steak-
                                                                 house of his youth was the Black Angus at 60th and Troost,
 Does that mean he's in favor of a structurally stronger         where his father was a chef. His family lived at 81th and
 mayor's office and replacing the form of city government        Holmes before moving to a three-block stretch of Hyde Park
 that's been in place since 1924? Perhaps, but he says not at    that has elected three mayors. “We really wanted to be in Mid-
 the expense of getting lost in an argument over structure       town,” James says. “We were looking for diversity, a stable
 and division of power. There's too much to do, James says.      environment and good people. We’ve found Hyde Park to be the
                                                                 perfect neighborhood. There’s easy access to everything.”
                                                                                                        Continued on page 5
 VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1                                     THE HYDE PARKER                                                    PAGE 5

                                                                                                        Armour comes
                                                                                                        alive with the
                                                                                                        sound of music
                                                                                                        A children’s choir
                                                                                                        sings at the footstops
                                                                                                        of Clyde Manor on
                                                                                                        Dec. 15. It’s one of sev-
                                                                                                        eral apartment build-
                                                                                                        ings along Armour
                                                                                                        Boulevard that MAC
                                                                                                        Properties is restoring
                                                                                                        into market-rate
                                                                                                        rental housing. MAC,
                                                                                                        based in Chicago’s
                                                                                                        Hyde Park, sponsored
                                                                                                        the caroling festival
                                                                                                        and hopes to make it
                                                                                                        an annual event.

Breaking barriers,                                                 A housing policy based on three "E"s
building trust                            Continued from page 4    Perceived housing neglect and lack of security are the fore-
                                                                   most issues on the minds of many Hyde Parkers these days.
While James’ ties are local, his life perspective is global. His   Violent crime around high-density apartments has generated
path is unconventional. He gave up the band scene in 1971 to       the most concern, but code enforcement and property crime
enlist in the Marines during the Vietnam War, and served in        issues for single-family homes abound as well, marring even
Japan and the Philippines as a military policeman, or MP.          James' own block. James says the city lacks a comprehensive
He came back to KC four years later to get his bachelor's de-      housing policy. The absence of clear standards, goals and
gree in English at Rockhurst College at age 28. Law school at      objectives has contributed to both the relatively high concen-
Syracuse University in New York and the University of Min-         tration of low-income rental housing along Armour Boule-
nesota in Minneapolis followed.                                    vard and an inability to effectively address unsafe single-
                                                                   family properties, he says. James says he agrees with
On New Year's Day 1990, James became the first African-            HPNA’s belief that current level of Section 8 apartment con-
American partner at Kansas City's Blackwell Sanders law            centration along Armour is inappropriate public policy.
firm. Breaking down barriers created by political infighting
and regional parochialism is something he's says he'd like to      A combination of increased resident education, new employ-
do at City Hall.                                                   ment opportunities and stepped up enforcement — 3 “E”s —
                                                                   may begin to change the current environment and reduce
"In many ways, we treat State Line Road as if it were the          crime, James says. He also wants to break down a long-
Berlin Wall. I say we tear down all the walls we have --           standing communication barrier both the city and state have
between Missouri and Kansas, between the two sides of              had with the Kansas City, Kansas office of the U.S. Depart-
Troost, between the City Council and the Mayor, between the        ment of Housing and Urban Development. James says he
Mayor and the City Manager, between the City Manager and           would push for the appointment of a new regional director to
department heads" James says.                                      fill the currently vacant spot.

Regional dialogue and cooperation (something Funkhouser            "Government has to be willing to change" by proactively lis-
has also advocated) is essential to helping revive economic        tening to what residents in affected buildings have to say,
growth, creating jobs and being competitive, James says.           and develop a comprehensive action plan that values people's
However, James says he would take the concept further and          input, James says, adding that "imposing a solution doesn't
reopen the City's International Affairs and Trade office, shut     work. It just breeds resentment and pushback." On many
down this past April amid budget cuts.                             issues "we need to be talking to each other to create trust"
                                                                   he says.
Like Funkhouser in 2007, James is seeking his first elected
office. His law office web site biography has a seven-             Part Two of this interview will appear in a subsequent
paragraph description of civic groups, non-profit boards and       newsletter and will discuss the city's education, infra-
economic development organizations that he's been involved         structure, mass transit and budget issues.
with over the years. His legal expertise has been in medical
and nursing home negligence, legal malpractice and
products liability.
    Important Meetings                                                                Your Board Members

                                                                President       David Kimmis         561.7766    president@hydeparkkc.org
 Board Meetings: Second Monday of every month, 6:30
                                                                1st Vice        Kevin Sullivan       913.231.    1stvp@hydeparkkc.org
 p.m., Pilgrim Chapel at 38th & Gillham                         President                            4873

 General Meetings: Third Tuesday of every month, 7:00           2nd Vice        Kerrie Tyndall       561.7339    2ndvp@hydeparkkc.org
 p.m., Central Presbyterian Church at 3501 Campbell
                                                                Treasurer       Clara Appel          960-4669    treasurer@hydeparkkc.org
 Crime and Safety Meetings: Last Thursday of every
 month, 7:00 p.m., at KCPD Central Patrol offices on Lin-       Historian       Pat Alley            531.7777    historian@hydeparkkc.org
 wood Avenue. (Third Thursdays of the month in Novem-
                                                                Recording       Chris Harper         547.7308    recordingsecretary@
 ber and December) Talk informally with Police about is-        Secretary                                        hydeparkkc.org
 sues affecting your block. Police officers are assigned spe-
                                                                Corresponding   Gene Morgan          753.5336    correspondingsecretary@
 cifically to Hyde Park. These officers can be reached at       Secretary                                        hydeparkkc.org
 816.719.8297 daily.
                                                                North Area      Dan Mugg             531.0003    northrep@hydeparkkc.org
                                                                Directors       Abigail FitzGerald   913.
 The HP Playgroup: Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.                                                     231.4873
 Check www.hydeparkkc.org for details.                          Central Area    Terri Hiebert        756.3422    centralrep@hydeparkkc.org
                                                                Directors       Ben Nemenoff         665-5993
 Friends of Gillham Park are holding their monthly meet-
                                                                South Area      Stephanie Smith      916-2783    southrep@hydeparkkc.org
 ings and park clean-ups on the last Saturday of each           Directors       Rikki                515
 month. Check their website for information:                                    Honnold-Helvick      .577.2928

                                                                                 Share your viewpoint
                                                                   email editor@hydeparkkc.org or mglendillon@aol.com

                                                                                                            Kansas City, Mo 64171
                                                                                                            P.O. Box 32551
                                                                                                            Hyde Park Neighborhood Assoc., Inc.

                                                                                by the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, Inc.
                                                                                The Hyde Parker is a monthly newsletter published

PAGE 6                                                 THE HYDE PARKER                                                  VOLUME 37, ISSUE 1

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