Spring has sprung, and along with the season change, activity is picking up around Independence.

Spring has sprung, and along with the season change, activity is picking up around Independence.

Among my favorite springtime activities are garage and yard sales, both attending them and playing host to one. It’s interesting to see which of your discarded items others might consider as treasure finds.

Even with the gorgeous weather we’ve had in recent days, sadly, this Saturday’s National Weather Service forecast is calling for a 50 percent chance of rain with temperatures in the 40s. I wouldn’t call this the best garage sale weather, but luckily, the sale this weekend is an indoors one.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave., is sponsoring a spring cleaning rummage sale. To pre-register for booth space or for more information, call 816-325-7843.

No matter which avenue you choose to rid your closets of spring-cleaning discards, please don’t automatically throw them out with the garbage.

Instead, donate your gently used items to a local thrift store. Places like the Salvation Army Family Thrift Store on 14700 E. Truman Road consistently have messages on their outdoor marquees that donations are needed.

If you are ridding your shelves of items like outdated medications, motor oil or batteries, check out the annual household hazardous waste collection from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 2 at the parking lot bordered by Osage, Kansas, Liberty and Walnut, just south of the Square. The city also sponsors a drop-off depot on the second Saturday of each month, now through November, at 875 Vista Drive.

On April 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., an electronic recycling event will take place just south of the Square. If none of these events fit your disposal needs, remember that recycling facilities are readily available throughout Independence. Think twice before just tossing it out with the trash.

Declaration for Independence update

In February 2010, as part of his State of the City Address, Mayor Don Reimal had launched the “Declaration for Independence” initiative. The campaign had encouraged residents to provide testimony of their civic, faith-based and community involvement, as well as a method of finding new volunteer opportunities and ways to invest in local businesses.

According to City Manager Robert Heacock, Declaration for Independence was designed to last as an approximately six-month campaign. The website (www.indepmo.org/declare) is still active, and residents may still hear video testimonies of how their neighbors have made their declaration for Independence.

Examples of how you can get involved also are still available through the “Make A Difference” tab. Areas like the environment, faith-based programs, animals, libraries/museums, schools and many others are still – and will always be – looking for your support.

MyARTS building update  

Jackson County Legislator Dennis Waits, D-Independence, provided an update at the March 14 City Council study session on the Independence MyARTS building. Yes, plans still exist for a MyARTS building in the old Gene Cable Chevrolet building north of the Square, on Main Street, just north of Truman Road.

“Very quickly, we’re going to see some work on that,” Waits said. “In fact, I suspect within 90 days, we’re going to be moving full steam on the MyARTS project.”

The nearly 5-year-old MyARTS program serves as “a haven” for at-risk teenagers from all parts of the Kansas City area, its website states. Youth ages 15 through 19 begin the program in a 72-hour unpaid apprenticeship, and once completed, they may interview into a studio of their choice where they become paid, part-time artists.

The artwork will be available for sale, and more information on existing MyARTS spaces is available at www.myartskc.org. Waits said a strong possibility exists that the Independence building would be open during the farmers market on the Square so that patrons could view the artwork.

“Our community is full of kids who really will benefit from this opportunity,” Waits said. “We’ll have mentors right there to help them with educational opportunities. With a lot of this, it’s job-oriented, so the skills that they learn in their training in the arts programs will carry on to help them with their careers.

“It’ll be fun for me to watch them because I have zero creativity and no artistic ability, but as I watch them, it’s always impressive to see the work that they do.”