All together, the honorees at tonight’s Toast to our Towns Gala, sponsored by the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, have donated thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to helping people in Eastern Jackson County live better lives.

All together, the honorees at tonight’s Toast to our Towns Gala, sponsored by the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, have donated thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to helping people in Eastern Jackson County live better lives.

From Art Phillips, who is founding member of the Blue Springs School District’s adopt-a-school program, to Dale and Sheila Arnold, who actively promote the welfare of Missouri firefighters, to Kenneth Whisler, who has devoted himself to promoting youth sports activities, each has in his or her own way shown that an open heart is one of any community’s greatest assets.


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Now a thumbs down to the creative but Scrooge-like minds behind one of the strangest new products to come along in years.

Have you seen this thing? It’s called the SkyRider, and it promises new levels of public humiliation for air travelers.

It’s a design for aircraft seats that would put you into a half stand, half crouch position, straddling a seat described as being similar to a saddle. In that comfy position – don’t even think about trying to cross your legs – passengers could be crammed up against those in the row in front of them, literally breathing down their necks, with just 23 inches of legroom.

Someone thinks this is a dandy idea. Namely executives at some budget airlines who want to squeeze the most money out of travellers. Like those at one Irish airline that also has pondered letting air passengers stand up – if authorities would let them.

Seriously, you might as well stack passengers like cord wood. And tell them to check their dignity at the gate. For a  fee, of course.