Bike Share begins initial rollout
The Johnson County Park and Recreation District has placed 34 orange and white bicycles around the county to get residents acquainted with a new bike-sharing program that will be fully deployed next year.
The three-speed pedal bikes were installed on Oct. 25 and will remain until mid-November, when they will go into storage for the winter. A total of 70 bikes will be available when the JCPRD RideKC Bike Share Program is fully launched next spring.
“By making the bikes available for rent,” said project manager Mark Allen, “we’re hoping for patrons to experience more of their parks, by making it easy and affordable to get on two wheels.”
Another goal, he said, is to create healthier communities.
The hub locations this fall:
▪ Ten bikes south of the clubhouse at Meadowbrook Park, 9101 Nall Ave. in Prairie Village.
▪ Four bikes near the flagpole at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park
▪ Ten bikes in Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road in the Shawnee-Lenexa area: five near the flagpole at the 79th Street entrance, and five near the top of the dam close to the Mill Creek trailhead
▪ Ten bikes in Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road in Olathe: five near the marina parking lot, and five near the Coffee Creek trailhead by Shelter 10
Riders first need to download the Drop Mobility app on their phones and create an account. They will use the app to find a hub, where they can unlock a bike by scanning a QR code on the bicycle. The bike can be returned to any RideKC hub, even those outside the county system. Riders lock and photograph the bike to verify it was returned in good condition.
The general rental rate is 10 cents a minute, but subscriptions and memberships can significantly reduce the cost. Cyclists should bring their own helmets.
These bicycles, outside the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in Overland Park, were installed just days before Mother Nature brought snow to the area.
Merriam to decide sales tax renewal by mail-in vote
Merriam residents will vote by mail in January on whether to renew a quarter-cent sales tax that is used only for street, bridge and stormwater projects in the city.
The current tax expires at the end of 2020, and passage would extend it through 2030. The tax was first passed in 2000 and has been renewed three times already — most recently in 2010. The overall sales tax rate would stay the same, at 9.475 percent.
The tax has generated more than $15 million since 2011, and the city estimates 80 percent of the revenue is paid by people living outside Merriam.
Ballots will be mailed on Jan. 8 to all registered voters, and residents must be registered by Dec. 30 to receive a ballot automatically. Those who haven’t registered by then can still do so until Jan. 7, but then must request a ballot.
All ballots will be due by noon on Jan. 28.
The city has scheduled public meetings on Nov. 12, Dec. 10 and Jan. 9 to brief residents on the proposal. All take place at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 9001 W. 62nd St.
The Blue Valley School District also is conducting a January mail-in election for construction and school upgrades.
County to highlight women veterans
The 2019 Johnson County Veterans Day Observance, which honors all local veterans from all wars, has invited as special guests local women veterans, including a World War II Coast Guard veteran from Olathe with a 105th birthday in November.
The event will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Veterans Memorial Park in Olathe, at Harrison Street and Dennis Avenue. It’s organized in partnership with the city of Olathe and the Olathe American Legion Post 153.
Scheduled speakers include U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, whose mother served two decades in the Army; Lt. Col. Molly Gillock, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a member of the Kansas National Guard and Louise “Lou” Eisenbrandt, a combat nurse/veteran from the Vietnam War.
Veterans event on Sprint Campus
Overland Park will honor the nation’s veterans Nov. 7 at a Sprint Campus event that includes an A-10 Thuderbolt flyover, a helicopter landing and performances by Beechnutz, a local formation flying club.
It will happen from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Paige Field at the Sprint Campus, 6240 Sprint Parkway.
Admission is free and open to the public. You do not have to be a veteran to attend the observance, which is co-sponsored by Sprint, Black & Veatch, YRC Freight, BMO Harris Bank and the city. Food trucks will have items for purchase.
Holiday concert Nov. 17
The Jubilee Singers will present a holiday concert of carols and songs at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.
Tickets for the performance, “What Child is This,” are $5 and available at the door. Jubilee Singers is a Kansas City area women’s ensemble directed by composer/conductor John Leavitt.
Kids’ books for sale
Thousands of gently used children’s books, DVDs and audiobooks will be available in early November at the Big Fall Kids Book Sale at Johnson County’s Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St. in Overland Park.
Sale hours start at 9 a.m. each day and conclude at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 8 and 3 p.m. Nov. 9. Most items are priced at $2 or less.
K-State freshmen on leadership track
Nine Johnson Countians are among the three dozen Kansas State University freshmen chosen this year for the Quest Freshman Honorary, which develops leadership skills.
They are Stacia Mendoza of Lenexa, Greta Bins and Camden Tews from Olathe, Zoe Thompson of Overland Park and Shawnee residents Max Immenschuh, Delaney Kemp, Lexi Knappen, Anika Roy and Zachary Steiger.