Nick’s Choices | Vaccines for children, mask mandates and struggles against funding

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Image credit above: Nick Haines, host of “Kansas City Week in Review”. (John McGrath | Flat Earth)

Tens of thousands of children’s COVID vaccines are now on their way to the Kansas City area, just days after the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

The two-shot vaccine vials are intended for pediatricians’ offices, hospitals and public health centers.

These providers cannot yet start administering the doses. There is another checkbox. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to sign. But that is expected to happen in a two-day meeting that begins on Tuesday.

For Kansas City parents, that could mean an appointment for their child’s immunization as early as Thursday.

But just because the vaccine is available does not mean parents will take their child to receive it.

A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in September found that only 34% of parents would immunize their children immediately.

Mandate Mask

Is this the week Kansas City abandons its mandate as a mask?

The order for masks expires Thursday and Mayor Quinton Lucas says as long as COVID cases continue to decline, he is not in favor of an extension of the order. Jackson County is expected to vote on its mask requirement later today.

According to Mid-America Regional Council, daily cases of COVID in the subway are down 4% since last week. They have fallen by more than half in the past two months.

Kansas Universities Call for Vaccine

The conflict over vaccination warrants hits Kansas this week.

The state’s largest universities now require all workers and faculty to be vaccinated or fired.

Administrators at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Wichita State University say they are under pressure from new Biden administration policy that prevents schools to receive federal money for research if employees have not received the COVID vaccine.

What’s going to be interesting to watch this week is the reaction from Kansas lawmakers. Will they retaliate by working to reduce or eliminate public funding for schools that need the vaccine?

In May, lawmakers passed a measure prohibiting any state-funded institution, including universities, from requiring a vaccination passport.

And what does this latest development mean for universities in Missouri?

Last month, the Conservative council voted to ban vaccination warrants for students, faculty and staff.

Does this mean that the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Missouri will no longer be eligible for federal research money?

Election day

Did you know there is an election on Tuesday?

Voters in Missouri, from Independence to Parkville, from Raytown to Lone Jack, will vote on various local tax matters.

But most of the action takes place on the Kansas side. Two major leadership contests dominated media coverage.

Wyandotte County Mayor David Alvey is running for a second four-year term. He’s challenged by Tyrone Garner, a former senior Kansas City, Kansas police official who aspires to be the city’s first black mayor.

In Overland Park, City Councilor Curt Skoog and former AMC Cinema Director Mike Czinege are campaigning to succeed Mayor Carl Gerlach.

What has often been seen as low-key, the “bottom of the ballot” races for school boards are also attracting surprising national attention. The division over mask mandates and the teaching of race in schools has attracted interest from political groups outside the state. He brought in huge amounts of new campaign funds for local candidates.

Police funding

If you’re heading to Kansas City International Airport this week, you might notice a big change. No Kansas City Police.

Chief Rick Smith has chosen to reassign KCI officers amid what he calls an ongoing staff shortage. This is in addition to the decision last week to eliminate the foot patrol unit from the city center.

These changes will be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners.

They will also discuss a request from Smith for a 6% increase in the police department’s budget.

Climate summit

President Joe Biden arrives in Glasgow, Scotland today for the United Nations Climate Summit.

As world leaders gather to consider strategies to limit global warming, look for governments in metropolitan areas to report their climate change plans this week.

Kansas City will discuss a “climate emergency” order at City Hall on Wednesday.

Monday night football

Tonight, the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New York Giants in Monday Night Football.

The match time at Arrowhead Stadium is 7:15 p.m.

As you know, it can be quite stressful watching the Chiefs right now. So if you’re overly anxious or don’t like biting your nails, it might be a great night to go to the grocery store or do some vacation shopping at the mall.

Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC and Current

Alongside the Chiefs hats, Royals caps and Sporting KC jerseys, look for the current swag this week at your local sports store.

Current is the new name for the Kansas City women’s professional soccer team. Just days after the announcement of a brand new riverside stadium, the team’s ownership changed its name and plans to start shipping new team merchandise to stores later this week.

The common name is intended to signify the power of the Missouri River and the current of energy and movement of water.

The planned $ 70 million National Women’s Football League riverside stadium will be privately funded. (Render | Studio Builder)

World Series Champions

Major League Baseball will crown a World Series champion this week.

But we don’t know who, and we still don’t know when.

The Atlanta Braves remain one victory away from their first championship since 1995.

But the Houston Astros are not giving in.

Game 6 is Tuesday night. Game 7 (if it comes to that) is Wednesday night.

The day of the Dead

As you recover from Halloween, get ready for Day of the Dead.

Today marks Dia De Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday where families welcome the souls of their deceased loved ones for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration.

The Disney animated film “Coco” familiarized many Americans with the multi-day vacation.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Today is organizing activities for Day of the Dead, including a traditional altar in collaboration with the Mattie Rhodes Art Center.

Visitors can add their memories and take home a special activity sheet.

This Thursday, Day of the Dead becomes an all-day celebration in Kansas City, Kansas, with food, live music, art and an evening parade.

The KCK Day of the Dead Celebration starts at 2:00 p.m. Thursday at 11:00 a.m.e Street and central avenue.

Holiday lights

Is it too early for the Christmas lights?

Even though we haven’t taken our Halloween decorations apart yet, “Winter magic” returns to Swope Park starting this Tuesday.

This is a 1.5 mile car vacation light show with “the Midwest’s longest bustling light tunnel.”

This is a boon for the Kansas City Parks Department and its summer camp scholarship fund.

It costs money, but you pay by the full car. The price is $ 20 on weekday evenings.

If you can fit a lot of kids in your Toyota Prius, it could be a cheap night out.

A family walks through an illuminated Winter Magic display.
Winter Magic returns to Swope Park this week. (Courtesy | Winter Magic)

Ice Returns

Another winter tradition begins this week in Kansas City.

The Crown Center Ice Terrace opens on Friday.

And if you arrive between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., you can skate for free.

Extra sleep

And finally, some good news.

You get an extra hour in bed this week.

On Saturday evening, we wind the clocks one hour at the end of summer time.

Kansas and Missouri lawmakers have talked about ending the practice of clock shifting, but it never happened.

Just in case you take part in a pub quiz or team quiz competition this week, Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states in the country that don’t mess their clocks. Both states observe standard time throughout the year.

Nick Haines dissects the week’s top local stories, Fridays at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.

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