Locating the Best Franchise Opportunities in Kansas City

Kansas is a very lucrative city for entrepreneurs as it houses the top resources in America. In accordance to 2012 report by CNBC, the city ranks 6th in terms of transportation systems and infrastructure in the entire country. Also, Kansas ranked 10th when it comes to conducting business. Along with all these high rankings, the Kauffman foundation reported in the same year that Kansas is the 9th state in the nation where doing business is the easiest. With all this data, it can be said in confidence that franchise opportunities in Kansas City are abundant. So, if you are interested in doing business in Kansas, you should begin searching great franchise opportunities.

What Are Your Options?

Kansas offers countless franchising opportunities in various categories. Among the largest businesses in the city are those that deal with equipment, machinery, manufacturing, medical and diagnostic laboratories. However, franchises in other fields like beauty, automotive, retail, cleaning, business services, food, sports and travel are also plentiful. Hence, you can get hold of a great business franchise of your liking.

The main locations for beginning a franchise in the state of Kansas are Overland Park, Wichita and Kansas City itself. The last city is most favored as it offers numerous locations where business can be promising. This gives you the idea on where to set up your business franchise. Just make sure that the franchise you wish to acquire is registered and licensed to establish business throughout the city and state.

How to Make a Choice?

When looking for a business franchise in Kansas, your first step is to ask and approach the business administrators. This will require you to take laborious steps just to get the details about the business. In order to speed up the process significantly, you may rely on the Internet in looking for franchise opportunities in Kansas City.

The best thing to do is to search on franchise databases that can be reached in the city or state. Choose about 3 to 5 business opportunities that appeal to you the most. In this way, you do not have to travel from one location to another to inquire for the franchise. Provide the franchise or business with qualifying details and when you qualify, you will be easily connected to all the needed resources in order to begin with your business.

By taking advantage of such services, you will be able to find the best franchise opportunity for you in the fastest, simplest and guaranteed way.

If you are looking for franchise opportunities kansas city [http://www.frannetkc.com/useful/franchise-opportunities/], then you need to know a lot about how much you require to start a franchise and more. Find all such valuable information right here online.

Kansas Wind Farms

While the State of Kansas offers diverse landscapes, it is often noted for its flat landscapes and open prairie lands in several areas of the state. This topography presents ideal conditions for wind farms and the ability to harness wind power for energy use. Wind farms need to be located in areas with consistent wind speeds averaging 10 mph (miles per hour) or greater to be successful. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Kansas places 12th on the list of states for wind capacity.

What are Wind Farms?

Wind farms consist of a group of wind turbines located together that gather energy from the wind as it blows. This energy is transformed into electricity and can provide homeowners and businesses with a “green” form of power to serve their needs. Green power is the preferred method of providing energy, as it does not leave a “carbon footprint” in its wake. Green power is noted as coming from “clean” or “alternative” energy sources. A carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere from utilizing traditional sources of energy, such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. These are also known as fossil fuels and their emissions into the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are detrimental to the Earth’s atmosphere; that is why it is wise to avoid using them as much as possible.

The Great Smoky Hills Wind Farm

The Great Smoky Hills wind farm, located just 19 miles west of Salina, was built by Enel, the Italian renewable energy developer. Enel sells power and gas to a huge market throughout 22 countries, including Europe and Latin America, as well as North America. The plant in Salina is expected to produce 250 MW (megawatts) of wind energy, which is enough to provide power to 85,000 homes.

Phase I of the wind farm became operational in January 2008. This first phase involved 56 turbines that were capable of providing 101 MW of energy. Phase II provided 99 additional turbines, with a further capacity of 149 MW of energy, beginning in December 2008. The plant did experience a setback, however, when a transformer failed at the same time that Phase II was set to become operational. These transformers are unique enough that a replacement was not readily available. It took a few months, therefore, to get the new transformer ready to go. Operations were back online and running smoothly in May 2009.

A New Factory in Hutchinson

Siemens Energy Company, based in Germany, recently announced plans to build a factory to manufacture equipment parts for wind farms in Hutchinson, Kansas. This new factory will bring many employment opportunities for the citizens of Hutchinson as well as the surrounding areas. The estimated $50 million wind turbine parts plant is expected to employ 400 people. The main function of this wind farm will be to manufacture a component of the wind turbine called nacelles. Nacelles are the oblong pieces, located at the top of the wind towers, containing gears, electronics, and generating components.

Siemens chose to place this factory in Hutchinson because of its central geographic location in the United States and its efficient transportation access. The total capacity of the plant is estimated to be 650 nacelles per year, which equates to 1,500 MW. The first nacelle is expected to be shipped from the plant in December 2010.

Other Kansas Wind Farms

Other wind farms in Kansas include Gray County (40.8 percent wind capacity factor), Elk River (44.1 percent wind capacity factor), and Spearville (47.2 wind capacity factor). Gray County Wind Farm was built in 2001 and is located in Montezuma, Kansas. The average wind speed at this farm is 20 mph. The Elk River Wind Farm came online in December 2005, and the Spearville Wind Project had its formal dedication in October 2006.

Kansas is a wise choice to build wind farms and factories producing wind turbine components. The state is poised to be one of the leaders in the nation to utilize and provide renewable energy sources.

Kansas City Smart Port and Future Technologies Considered

Will the Intercontinental Toll Way from Mexico to Canada passing through Texas, Kansas City and then Northward help economic trade with our nearest neighbors? Well that is the plan and it will further strength our position in International Trade and cement the future of an American version of the EU, call it the NAU or North American Union.

As part of the 2005 Omnibus Spending bill there was a Kansas City Smart Port initiative, which includes $750,000 from Congress to plan, these dying and break ground on a special Smart Port. This will help ensure adequate tracking of all trucks and containers moving down the super Intercontinental toll Way between the three countries. This is an economic boom for Kansas City and of course headquartered there is Yellow Roadway Freight Corp.

Such an inland port will be very good for Kansas City’s economy and the Smart Port will keep positive relations between Mexico and Canada and make things easier to clear customs there. This inland port and the Intercontinental toll Way will infect speed freight along significantly and help in the global trade that the United States needs to survive. Additionally with the new Department of Transportation Secretary from Arizona it appears this project and the superhighway will be moving along quicker than expected. Please consider this in 2006.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/. Lance is an online writer in retirement.

The Message Conveyed By Your Car’s Color

Most people purchase cars based on the vehicle’s proposed functionality. For example, drivers of minivans may have children to transport; drivers of compact cars may have longer commutes; and those outdoor-types may opt to drive a Jeep which is known to welcome rugged terrains. It may be understood why the make and model of a particular vehicle is chosen, but what about the color that a buyer chooses? What message does the color of vehicle possibly say about its driver?

The “Color Answer Book” author and color expert Leatrice Eiseman believes she knows the answer. In the book, Eiseman says that a vehicle’s color reveals quite a bit about the personality of its purchaser. A few colors that have been researched and linked to specific personality types are:

Black cars. Black cars are said to be driven by the empowered and leader-type drivers who are typically not easily manipulated. These drivers tend to appreciate elegance and things that are regarded as traditional and classic.

Silver cars. At the time of the writing, silver cars were thought to not only be driven by those with elegant tastes, but also those who are cool and who love a futuristic look. In 2000, silver cars became the most popular color choice by American drivers.

White cars. Drivers of white cars are known for their cleanliness and their attention to detail (perhaps this explain why there are rarely white cars that look like mine with the words “wash me” traced in the sides).

Red cars. Red cars drivers have always been regarded as sexy, speedy, and highly energized. However, it was also discovered through research that those that are less obvious about these traits tend to drive cars that are a deeper shade of red, and those who display more obvious traits drive cars that are a more vibrant red.

Green cars. Dark green cars are driven by those regarded as trustworthy and well balanced, while bright green car drivers tend to be trendy and lively.

Yellow cars. Yellow car drivers are a very loving bunch. Those in bright yellow appear to be trendy and whimsical; yellow-gold drivers are warm, indulging and intelligent; and those bright, sunshine yellow drivers have a very sunny disposition and are joyful and young at heart.

Other colors. Taupe and light brown car drivers are noted for their simpler tastes, while drivers of dark brown car tend to be very down to earth; neutral gray car drivers are more practical; purple car drivers are known for their creative, individualistic ways; and orange seems to be the color of fun loving and trendy drivers.

Car experts may not agree that there is a correlation between a car’s color and its owner, but they can offer suggestions for choosing a car color that will put more money into the buyer’s pocket in the long run. Sound advice is that edgy colors may be great for the moment, but in the long term they can lower your trade-in value, as these colors are more difficult to resell. Traditional colors such as grey, blue, black, and red are seemingly always in-demand from those looking for used vehicles. In the end, the car-color winners will always be those people comfortable enough to take a great car ‘deal’ regardless of the car’s color.

7.5 Ways to Save Time, Trouble and Money When Shipping

If you ship, you more than likely will have questions about shipping. It’s not a vocabulary or an industry that is easily understandable, at first. With practice and research, however, you can be on your way to embodying Aristotle Onassis in your office. OK, maybe that’s a little over the top – but you get the idea. Here are some of the basics of shipping and I hope they help you out.

1. Proper classing & MNFC coding. One way to ensure you’ll pay too much is to class your freight incorrectly. Guessing, assuming it’s the right number, and being unaware of changes can cost you an arm and a leg in the transportation world. For example, one customer of mine had used the exact same NMFC number as long as they had been in business. On occasion, however, NMFTA (who meets normally 3 times per year), may decide to adjust their descriptions to better categorize items. This is exactly what happened to a very good customer of mine. When we told them about it, they were extremely grateful they didn’t run into a re-class fee. If you don’t get the NMFTA updates yourself or if you have a freight broker who doesn’t check these type of things out for you – you are probably paying too much and will get hit with re-class charges. And after you get hit, you’ll feel like hitting someone – and that’s no good for anyone.

2. Work with people who know what they’re doing. As I mentioned above, my customer service team caught a re-class involving one of my top customers. Would your shipping department have caught that? One of the main reasons I wound up working where I did is due to the experience level of our customer service team. Some of these folks have forgotten more about freight than I probably will ever know. People who know what they’re doing can eliminate delays, assessorial fees and making carriers upset. Incompetent people frustrate everyone involved and your freight has a good chance of winding up in Siberia in the dead of winter.

3. Leverage your existing relationships. If you have relationships who provide you with free shipping (outbound and inbound), you truly need to count your blessings. Having someone take care of the financial cost of logistics for your company is amazing. For most of us, however, we have to trust and work to foster relationships with people in the industry who can make things happen for us. I have to rely on my incredible customer service team (actually, I GET to rely on them). They have to rely on their carrier contacts, the carriers rely on the dispatch and the drivers – you get the idea. We all have to rely on someone in this industry, whether we like it or not. Leveraging the relationships you have been given can be a blessing when you treat people well and stay as true to your word as possible.

4. Have a plan B. This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but everything does not always go according to plan in the freight world. Weather, traffic, flat tires, overheated engines, fatigue, and vacations can all have adverse consequences on freight being delivered on time and in good condition. By the way, those are just the reasons off the top of my head – I’m positive I could come up with more. What’s the old saying? Expect the best but prepare for the worst. I’m betting whoever first said that was in the transportation industry.

5. Know what’s reasonable. I once had a customer call me to yell and tell me I was single-handedly holding up their production at a facility. “OK, Shannon (not her real name), how exactly am I doing that?” I asked. “Your driver was supposed to be here 3 days ago and now my plant is at a standstill!” was the loud and harsh reply I received. “OK, I hear you and I understand you’re upset – can I ask you a few questions? Did you guarantee the shipment?” “No.” “OK, it’s 3 days late, give me the details on the shipment.” “It got picked up on the east coast 4 days ago and it should have been here by now.” “Shannon, since we’re on the west coast, standard transit time is 6 days – and that’s without a guarantee. Are you telling me you relied on a driver with a non-guaranteed shipment to make a coast to coast run in 4 days over a holiday weekend?” Know what’s reasonable. That driver was never going to make that run in 4 days, even without the extenuating circumstances. In truth, the production shifted their manufacturing schedule to another product and then caught up after the shipment got there. Not a huge deal – but Shannon looked like an idiot to her boss because she didn’t have a clue what was reasonable and what wasn’t.

6. Getting upset doesn’t help anyone – especially you. Everyone regrets flying off the handle. (Except maybe sociopaths, but that’s a different article… ) When you finally do calm down, you feel childish, ashamed and pretty stupid. The only thing worse than how you’re feeling? How the people you work with view you. Even though your moment of weakness made you feel childish, ashamed and pretty stupid – the people you work with now have this etched in their brains as if it were the 10 Commandments. Your reputation is tarnished and you’re viewed as irritable, irrational, cranky and downright jerky. No one wants you to attend the company picnic now. You are no longer welcome at the annual Holiday party. OK, both of those last two are exaggerations, but you get the point. At the beginning of my transportation career, a seasoned vet pulled me aside when I was getting too uptight and told me something that has served me well: relax. You now have that terrible 80’s song going through your head right now, don’t you? You’re welcome.

7. Look for the Strengths and Weaknesses. Every system – your own trucks, 3pls, carrier direct – has its own inherent strengths and weaknesses given your situation. Perhaps you’re shipping to Colorado. At the time of this writing, carriers are quite hesitant to go to Colorado since they can’t find much backhaul from that particular location. They simply don’t want to run their trucks back empty and burn fuel they aren’t getting paid for. Odds are, you won’t move your business, so geography can be one of your inherent weaknesses. Let’s go the other direction – you are a seasonal shipper who grows and distributes Christmas trees in the state of Oregon. Almost every carrier with trucks available is willing to go the Pacific Northwest since they know they can transport Christmas trees anywhere in the lower 48 during the fourth quarter. Guaranteed backhaul! Carriers love that kind of stuff and will probably be willing to cut you a deal.

7.5. Streamline communication. Make sure you provide all the details for the entity handling your shipment. This includes, but is not limited to, dimensions, weight, origin, destination, class, NMFC, is it stackable, and the list goes on. If your transportation company has an online commodity book you can use to describe your products to carriers – take advantage of it. The commodity book will save you loads of time in the future because you won’t have to retype everything item each time. Finally, ask if you’re missing anything. Even people in the business (myself included on occasion) miss things. It’s not intentional, but it does happen. Anything you can do to eliminate back-and-forth communication helps your transportation company and most important – you.

OK, you might still have some questions. What’s an NMFC code? Who is the NMFTA and why are they important? Is a 3pl some sort of government conspiracy? HELP! Relax (there’s that song again), and reach out to me anytime you like.

Mike Tanner is The Shipping Mogul and can be reached at 360-281-2787 or [email protected] Outside of transportation, he loves hanging out with his family, is a rabid Kansas State Wildcats fan, and enjoys some good sautéed cabbage.

Powell Gardens Weddings – Six Tips to Help You Plan an Amazing Wedding at This Beautiful Place

As a Kansas City wedding photographer, I have photographed several weddings at Powell Gardens, located at 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50 in Kingsville, Mo. We love this place. It is a romantic and beautiful location for a wedding. But what makes it so unique also can pose some unique challenges for a bride and groom, their wedding party and guests. Here are some tips to get the most out of your wedding day experience:

Be on time – the location is a botanical gardens spreading more than 900 acres. The place is very spread out. The bridal dressing room is a good distance from the Chapel and the reception locations. This can present logistical challenges a wedding wouldn’t experience at other venues, therefore, being 20 minutes late getting out of the dressing room can add a ton of stress to your wedding day and really cramp your schedule.
Have a comfortable pair of shoes for walking – As we have stated this place is big. The entire site is loaded with tremendous picture opportunities but it does take some walking to get to the various scenic spots. And let’s face it, most wedding footwear was made with style in mind not comfort. Bring an extra pair of slippers or footwear that you can slip into easily between grabbing pictures and jaunting to the trolley and parking lot. Great pictures are everywhere at Powell Gardens but they all require some walking to get to.
Chapel time is limited – The Marjorie Powell Allen Memorial Chapel is one a kind for Kansas City weddings. Since the chapel is used for multiple events throughout the day and is supposed to be open to visitors wherever possible, the gardens has a strict policy regarding reservation times for the chapel. This means the two hour block you reserved is just that: two hours.
Consider a second photographer – If you have a large wedding party, or are planning an autumn or winter wedding at Powell Gardens these can present challenges to a photography plan that is reliant upon a single photographer. Light can be in short supply in the Fall and Winter making your outdoors photography time more limited. These factors paired with the spread out nature of the venue and the time restrictions of the chapel can make a two-photographer team a smart choice to get your photography done more efficiently.
Develop a checklist for important items – located in Kingsville, Mo., and about 25 minutes drive from Kansas CIty, the gardens are rather remote. So forgetting your garter can pose some serious challenges as far as running back to the hotel, house or to a retail store to replace the lost item. Develop a list of essential items way ahead of time for your big day. Keep these items in a duffle bag stowed away in a car that you know will be transporting stuff to Powell Gardens. Triple check the list prior to leaving.
Keep the guest list under check – For a comfortable ceremony at Powell Gardens’ chapel you’ll need to keep your guest list less than a 100. As beautiful as it is, the chapel was not intended to be a wedding chapel but more of a sanctuary. Space is at a premium there.

Packing Your Garage for a Move

When most people are getting ready for a move, they know they are going to have to pack up all of the rooms inside their house. They know they are going to have to get a bunch of boxes and other moving supplies so they can get their belongings safely from point A to point B. However, they don’t always think about the other spaces in or around the house that they are going to have to pack up. For example, one space that is often neglected until they realize they are running out of time is the garage. Packing up the garage is not an easy chore. In fact, it is significantly tougher than you might first think.

As with packing up the other rooms in your house, you are going to need to decide what you want to keep and what you can do without before you begin your packing. Remember that the more items you move, the more it will cost when you go to pay the moving company. Moving companies usually charge by weight and there are a lot of heavy items in the garage that you might not want to move.

For items that are gas-powered, which are typically heavy, oddly-shaped and awkward, you will want to first drain them of all liquids, including gasoline and oil. There are also protective covers that can be purchased that are specifically designed for lawn mowers, grills and chain saws. These are a great investment to keep those machines from getting damaged by the movers. Take off all attachments and pack them in heavy-duty boxes that are properly labeled.

To pack your tools, gather ones that are of the same length and bind them together in a bundle using a strong cord. Small tools can be kept in the toolbox for the move and tools that are odd-sized can be placed in a heavy-duty box with lots of padding. This will ensure they don’t shift during transport. Any tools that have sharp edges or blades, you will want to use bubble wrap or old rags to protect them during the move. Boxes that contain sharp-edged tools or blades should be properly labeled so that anyone opening those boxes won’t accidentally cut himself on the implements.

Take apart any lawn furniture as much as possible and pack the pieces in strong boxes that are clearly labeled. This way, when you go to reassemble the furniture, you won’t have to search for any parts. If you have a table umbrella, wash it, allow it to dry, then place it in a mattress bag for transport.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7263803

Ten of the Best Places in the USA to Plan a Road Trip

The USA is one the most drivable countries in the world. Interstates connect every major city, even making most of Alaska accessible to anyone with gas in their car. When it comes to the cities in the USA, each one is very different. Some are bus friendly, some are car friendly, some are subway friendly. The best cities in the USA for a road trip are the ones that are easy to get to via car, have ample parking, and are worth the trip into the city. Which ones meet all of these criteria? Read on to see ten of the best places in the USA to plan a road trip, and see if you agree!

1. Boston. Before the Big Dig tunnel, driving into Boston was a nightmare. Now, it’s a little less of a nightmare. Driving into Boston isn’t for the weak of heart, but taking your car into the city is probably the quickest way to see the city. Parking isn’t always plentiful, but the sights are. Try eating in the famous North End, taking a Boston Harbor Islands cruise, or walk the famous Freedom Trail of historic sites in the city.

2. Seattle. This city was created with driving in mind. Unlike many of the older cities on the east coast that fall victim to poorly laid out highways, Seattle has an excellent highway system to get in and out of the city. Like any major city, you’ll have some traffic, but it’s a piece of cake next to traffic in New York or LA. Highlights of Seattle include Pike’s Place fish market, the Space Needle, and sightseeing cruises through the Seattle Locks.

3. San Diego. California’s southernmost major city fairs a little bit better than it’s metropolis to the north, Los Angeles. Yes, the I-5, I-8, I-15, and I-805 all converge within San Diego city limits, but the 8 lane highways are big enough to accommodate most of the traffic, most of the time. If you’re headed to San Diego, try visiting historic Old Town for authentic California style Mexican cuisine and architecture, the Gaslamp Quarter for the best shopping, and whatever you do, don’t miss the San Diego Zoo, the best zoo in the country.

4. San Francisco. On TV, it seems that San Francisco was made for trolley cars and walking. Spend a day there walking up and down the hills and you’ll realize that you’ll soon become exhausted, or broke from the cab fare! Luckily, if you’re staying San Francisco, most of the hotels have inexpensive parking, and sometimes free parking. If you stay along Fisherman’s Wharf, you can easily walk to most of the attractions along the waterfront.

5. Kansas City. Smack dab in the middle of the USA lies Kansas City, spreading itself over two states and the Missouri River. Nicknamed the city of fountains, Kansas City actually has the most fountains in the world outside of Rome. With a revitalized downtown area, and some of the best BBQ you can find in the country, Kansas City is home to some interesting architecture new, like the American Jazz Museum, and historic, like the Liberty Memorial (which houses the World War I Museum). In terms of drivability, the city couldn’t have been set up any simpler. I-70, I-35, and I-69 all are easy routes that head into the city, while I-435 makes a giant loop around the city.

6. San Antonio. Besides flying into San Antonio, you don’t have many other options to see this inland Texas city. San Antonio is located in the epicenter of Texas, and is a true cross section of Texan life. As you approach the city from I-10, the sudden shift from rural landscape to major city is abrupt. The city’s lack of a major metropolitan area sets it apart from many other US cities. Heading to the west of the city, the terrain starts to get rockier and more mountainous. Driving into the city is simple, with I-10 heading east-west, and I-35 heading north to south. San Antonio is home to the historic Alamo, and the beautiful Riverwalk area. Most hotels have free or reasonably priced parking. The best way to see the city’s major attractions are by foot, but you can easily navigate the grid style streets of the city if you need to drive.

7. Portland. One of the most beautiful riverfront cities in America, Portland lies on the banks of the Columbia River and Willamette Rivers in Oregon. The city is known for its fine arts, some of the best art galleries in the country, abundance of microbreweries (they call it “Beertown”), an active bike racing scene, and a booming restaurant scene. While the city has excellent public transportation, you can also easily navigate the backstreets and highways of Portland through the I-5, which heads north towards Vancouver Washington, and south towards coastal Oregon and California. I-84 heads east towards Idaho and Salt Lake City.

8. Denver. Chances are, you don’t live near Denver. That’s precisely why it makes a great road trip destination. Denver isn’t just a great city to stop through, it has some incredible scenery just to the north that make planning a road trip here well worth it. Rocky Mountain National Park, around 52 miles to the northwest, is best seen during the warmer months of the year, when the roads aren’t covered in boulders and snow. At the foot of the Rockies, you can find the booming art town of Boulder, Colorado. Denver itself is home to annual Great American Beer Festival each fall, and has plenty of art museums, clubs, and parks to keep visitors occupied. A road trip to Denver is easy planning. I-70, I-25, and I-76 being the major routes into the city. If you travel to the west of the city on I-70, check your brakes, you’re in for a mountainous journey!

9. Las Vegas. A road trip to Las Vegas might just be the road trip of all road trips. Heading into the secluded, barren landscape that surrounds Las Vegas offers up incredible scenery that seems to wrap itself beyond the horizon. The heat pounds the pavement and produces heat lines (just like you’ve seen in the movies), and the journey seems endless. Without notice, you’ll catch your first glimpse of Las Vegas, if headed north on I-15, tens of miles before you get there. What seems like a dot on the horizon will get bigger and bigger, until you run alongside the famous casinos and towering hotels Vegas is known so well for. It’s next to impossible to get lost in Las Vegas. There’s one major road in, and one out. Once you’re off the highway, you can take the cruise of all cruises, down the Las Vegas Strip. For a truly unforgettable experience, drive the 3.8 mile long strip at night, when the city really comes alive.

10. Salt Lake City. Like Las Vegas, a road trip to Salt Lake City is like an optical illusion. After driving on miles of dry salt beds (Bonneville Salt Flats State Park), heading east on I-80 will run alongside the intriguing Great Salt Lake, and lead to beautiful Salt Lake City. The skyline of Salt Lake City is set strikingly against a backdrop of tall snow capped mountains. The city itself is sloped, and has an interesting feel unlike any other in the country. The city stays relatively cool all year long, and has some world famous skiing nearby. You might recognize the city from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. If you’re staying at any of Salt Lake City’s hotels, parking usually isn’t a problem. However, destinations within the city usually must be driven to, since they are spread far apart.

You’ve probably noticed by now that there aren’t many east coast cities on this list. The east coast has some tremendous sights to see, but many of those are small towns, coastal peninsulas, islands, and hard to navigate cities that were built hundreds of years ago. That makes taking a road trip to cities like New York a little more difficult. The newer cities of the west coast kept driving in mind when the population really started to take off, setting them at a slight advantage for road trip goers.

Bailout Versus Bankruptcy

Late last year, as the presidential campaign rhetoric was still fresh in the background, there was talk from various financial corners of the nation regarding the American automobile industry’s looming financial crisis. Though there were numerous, seemingly differing views proposed, the reality of the situation divided the argument into two primary camps – those that favored some form of government backed financial bailout, and those who wished for the more familiar capitalist mechanism, bankruptcy.

Those in favor of the latter made numerous comparisons to the various occasions in recent history when the airlines were forced to file for bankruptcy protection. On the surface, the comparison might seem like a sound one. After all, both the airlines and auto manufacturers are multi-billion dollar industries related to transportation that employee many thousands of Americans in a multitude of jobs both in the primary and secondary markets.

However, there is one large fundamental difference – the automobile industry’s primary focus is on manufacturing, where the airlines are a service-based industry. This means that while the various airlines were each declaring bankruptcy, they were still able to continue with their publicly visible side of the business – they could keep flying. Their air fleets were already bought and paid for, and their employees incomes were protected by the bankruptcy filing. While things might have seemed like largely business-as-usual to those of us flying, the airlines were largely left to coast. They couldn’t buy new airplanes, couldn’t expand their routes, couldn’t do any innovation while they were technically bankrupt. They were essentially shrinking, one piece at a time, as things ran out.

The automobile industry, on the other hand, is based on growth through the continual production and sales of cars and trucks. Bankruptcy would stop production, forcing the entire industry to a halt while the filing automaker performs a system-wide restructuring, the kind necessary to rise out of bankruptcy. That is, if the automaker does actually come out of bankruptcy, something that is not guaranteed.

The general lack of guarantees is what would hurt the automakers the most. After all, the purchase of a car is not a task most people enter into lightly. A car is a relationship forged between the consumer and the auto manufacturer. The consumer is investing quite a bit of money, and in return expects to have a vehicle that lasts for several years, and for which replacement parts are available. It’s an everyday relationship, and it’s one that’s defined Americans since the dawn of the automobile age.

The loss of trust due to bankruptcy would spell doom for automakers. Few potential customers would be willing to purchase a car without the guarantee that the manufacturer would uphold their end of the bargain. The inability to sell the cars currently on the lot would only exacerbate the situation.

A bailout, on the other hand is not an easy solution. The automobile industry as a whole has some very large changes to make, and it’s a process that’s going to take care and time. But, it’s a necessary change. The money from the bailout allows that change to take place, while maintaining the sense of trust that allows millions of Americans to get to work every day.

Kansas City Schools Serve Unique Students

Every city in every state in this nation has a homeless population. These are people who are “down on their luck”. They may have suffered a series of financial disasters and have been driven from their homes because they simply couldn’t pay the bills. They may suffer from a mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or clinical depression and are unable to care for themselves financially, as well as physically. It is beyond them to provide themselves with adequate food or shelter.

Sadly, many families suffer the first fate – mounting bills force them out of their homes. Many live in their cars, but still more have to depend on charitable organizations to help them meet the needs of their families. Sometimes, the judicial system gets involved, and families are split up; kids are placed in foster care in the hopes that they will get the care they need.

Kansas City Schools officials recognized a unique need for the children of a homeless family – they still need an education. However, with the many obstacles present for a homeless child and his or her family, getting this education is not always possible.

The State of Missouri requires every school district to coordinate homeless student services, including the district which serves Kansas City Public Schools. Homeless Student Services assures that homeless Kansas City Schools students are provided the same free public education as is provided to other children and youth. Kansas City Schools’ services for over 1,000 homeless students include:

Assistance with immediate enrollment of homeless Kansas City Schools

children and youth

Provide assistance with obtaining academic and medical records

Provide/arrange school transportation to Kansas City Schools of choice

Disseminate public notice of educational rights of homeless children and youth

Arrange special tutoring & education services for students outside the school day

Assist families in obtaining medical insurance and services

Coordinate Kansas City Schools related activities with homeless shelters and agencies

What most impresses me is that not only have Kansas City Schools recognized the needs of these very unique Kansas City Schools students, they are doing all they can to ensure they get the education they need, deserve, and are entitled to. One might say that of all students, these are the ones who need a good Kansas City Schools education the most. Graduating from high school is the only way to get into college, and really the only way to move up in the world, even when working a “blue collar” job. Helping these Kansas City Schools kids be successful in school will not only help them ensure a better future than if they didn’t attend school, but will help them build the confidence and self-esteem they need to continue succeeding.

That’s definitely one of the most admirable reasons out there for offering a public education to these deserving Kansas City Schools students