Olathe News Briefs

This Edition of e-News - March 25, 2013:

  • Google Fiber Coming to Olathe
  • Mahaffie, Olathe Libraries Closed for Easter Holiday
  • Cy Middleton Memorial Basketball Tournament March 30

City Council
Released March 25, 2013
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Google Fiber Coming to Olathe
Released March 25, 2013
Ever since Google announced plans to bring ultra-high-speed internet services to the metro area, Olathe residents have eagerly anticipated its availability in Olathe.  The wait is over.

On March 19, the City Council unanimously voted to approve an agreement with Google to deploy Google Fiber, an ultra-high-speed, fiber-to-the-home network. 

“We are excited to work in partnership with Google to bring this next-generation fiber optic system to Olathe homes, schools and businesses,” said Mayor Michael Copeland. 

Google Fiber offers an internet connection speed 100 times faster than today’s average broadband, paired with crystal clear high definition TV.

As in area cities, Google will build the Olathe Google Fiber network by demand, meaning that determined “fiberhoods” will get Google Fiber service once pre-registration goals are met.

To read Google’s Olathe expansion announcement, visit http://googlefiberblog.blogspot.com/. For more about Google Fiber, including a map to track its status in Olathe, visit www.google.com/fiber.


Mahaffie, Olathe Libraries Closed for Easter Holiday
Released March 25, 2013
The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop, 1200 Kansas City Road, will be closed Sunday, March 31 for the Easter holiday.  The site will be open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 for visitors to enjoy exhibits and children’s activities in the Heritage Center. For more information about the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and other spring and summer events, including Spring Home School Day, Brownie Girl Scout Day, and the youth hands-on horse driving clinic, visit www.mahaffie.org.

Both Olathe libraries will close on Sunday, March 31, in observance of the Easter holiday.  Visit www.olathelibrary.org for regular operating hours. 


Cy Middleton Memorial Basketball Tournament March 30
Released March 25, 2013
The Olathe Police Department will sponsor the sixth annual Cy Middleton Memorial Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 30 at Olathe North High School.  The annual event is named in honor of Officer Cy Middleton who served his community as an Olathe Police Officer for seven years until he lost his battle with cancer in December 2007.

A total of eight teams from Johnson and Wyandotte Counties will compete.  The opening ceremony for the tournament starts at 8:00 a.m. in the main gymnasium at Olathe North.  Other activities include a bake sale, silent auction and a barbeque lunch. 

Over the last five years, the event has raised over $45,000 for medical bills, scholarships and a donation to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). This year’s proceeds will benefit three area law enforcement families. Donations can also be sent to:

Cy Middleton Benefit Fund
C/O Enterprise Bank and Trust
P.O. Box 1500
Olathe, KS 66051

For more information about the tournament, contact Sgt. Brian Wessling at (913) 971-7811.


This Edition of e-News - March 18, 2013:

  • Mahaffie Offers Living History Activities for Spring Break
  • Olathe Libraries Hosting Spring Break Activities for Youth of All Ages
  • Mahaffie to Participate in the Passport to Adventure Kick Off
  • Cy Middleton Memorial Basketball Tournament March 30

City Council
Released March 18, 2013
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Mahaffie Offers Living History Activities for Spring Break
Released March 18, 2013
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Road, will offer living history activities Thursday, March 21, Friday March 22 and Saturday March 23. Visitors can tour the Mahaffie house, see what’s cooking on Mrs. Mahaffie’s cookstove, play 19th Century games, visit the blacksmith and a take a stagecoach ride if weather and ground conditions permit.  All activities are included with regular daily admission of $6/adults, $4/kids ages 5-11.  Olathe residents receive $1 off admission with proof of residency.


Olathe Libraries Hosting Spring Break Activities for Youth of All Ages
Released March 18, 2013
The Olathe libraries are offering a number of Spring Break activities March 18-21.

  • Free Family Movies – March 18 at 1:30 p.m., branch library; March 21 at 1:30 p.m., main library
    Wreck-it Ralph (PG – 100 min.) The entire family is welcome, but kindergartners and younger must be accompanied by an adult. No registration required.
  • Teen Library Club – March 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., main library
    Youth in grades 6 – 12 can volunteer to assist and support library services for young adults.  No registration required.
  • Family Chess Night – March 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., branch library
    All ages and playing levels are welcome, but kindergartners and younger must be accompanied by an adult.  No registration required.  Boards and equipment provided at the program.
  • Spring Break Cookie Decorating Program – March 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., branch library; March 20 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.; main library
    All ages are invited to decorate cookies. All supplies are provided and participants may come and go as they please.  No registration required.  Kindergartners and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • LEGO Club – March 19 at 7:00 p.m., main library
    Kindergarten through 5th grade.  A theme will be introduced, and participants can use their creativity to build something out of LEGOs.  Register on-line or call 971-6874.
  • Beginning Internet for Adults – March 20 at 6:30 p.m., branch library
    Learn how to use search engines and view websites in this small hands-on class.  Must be familiar with mouse and keyboard. Register on-line or call 971-6888.
  • Book Munch for Lunch Bunch – March 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sunflower Café, lower level of 111 S. Cherry
    This Informal group setting is for adults to discuss books.  No registration required.
  • Olathe Anime Club – March 21 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., branch library
    Teens in grades 6-12 can meet to discuss anime and manga, play anime computer games, and learn about Japanese culture No registration required.

The Olathe Public Library (Main) is located at 201 E. Park and the Indian Creek Branch Library is located at 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  Both libraries are open 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Visit www.olathelibrary.org for more information.


Mahaffie to Participate in the Passport to Adventure Kick Off
Released March 18, 2013
The Interpretive Site Coalition of Kansas City will host the annual Passport to Adventure Kick-Off Event on Saturday, March 23, from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Bass Pro Shop in Olathe, 12051 Bass Pro Drive.

Discover the adventures that await you at local history, science and nature centers right here in your own backyard!  Admission is free and passports will be available to families at each member site after March 23. For more information about Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure visit www.facebook.com/kcpassport.


Cy Middleton Memorial Basketball Tournament March 30
Released March 18, 2013
The Olathe Police Department will sponsor the sixth annual Cy Middleton Memorial Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 30 at Olathe North High School.  The annual event is named in honor of Officer Cy Middleton who served his community as an Olathe Police Officer for seven years until he lost his battle with cancer in December 2007.

A total of eight teams from Johnson and Wyandotte Counties will compete.  The opening ceremony for the tournament starts at 8:00 a.m. in the main gymnasium at Olathe North.  Other activities include a bake sale, silent auction and a barbeque lunch.

Over the last five years, the event has raised over $45,000 for medical bills, scholarships and a donation to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). This year’s proceeds will benefit three area law enforcement families. Donations can also be sent to:

Cy Middleton Benefit Fund
C/O Enterprise Bank and Trust
P.O. Box 1500
Olathe, KS 66051

For more information about the tournament, contact Sgt. Brian Wessling at (913) 971-7811.


This Edition of e-News - March 11, 2013:

  • 2013 Summer Concert Schedule Announced
  • Survey Says Olathe Still Performing at “Elite” Level
  • Registration Open for Mahaffie Spring Programs
  • Spring Break Activities Abound at the Olathe Libraries
  • Residents Encouraged to Sign Up for New County-wide Emergency Alerts

City Council – Special Session
Released March 11, 2013
The Olathe City Council will next meet Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a special session.  Johnson County Appraiser Paul Welcome will present the 2013 Revaluation Report. To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


2013 Summer Concert Schedule Announced
Released March 11, 2013
The Olathe FREE Summer Concert Series is back for its 14th season and this year’s line-up promises to please the purest of music fans and families alike. Kicking-off the season on Friday, June 7 is the Sam Bush Band. Sam is known as the “King of Newgrass” blending his brand of bluegrass, jazz, blues, rock and funk into his music. Kansas City’s own Monsters ink, a local favorite featuring Janet Jamison, is the opening act.

Friday, June 14 features Exile & Juice Newton with Selby, Mills and LeMaire. These three acts have written a combined 30+ number one hits!  June 28 brings guitar/vocalist extraordinaire Mike Zito with Kansas City native, Samantha Fish, the Blues Music Associations winner for Best New Artist Debut.

The series rounds out in July with Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps and Mingo Fishtrap delighting the audience with their brand of Blues, R&B, Soul and Funk.  The Olathe Free Summer Concert Series will end on July 26 with a crowd favorite, Liverpool, bringing the sounds of the Beatles back to Olathe.

Presented by Olathe Parks and Recreation, the summer concert series is in its fourteenth year of incredible free music for fans of all ages.  All concerts are held in Olathe’s Frontier Park, 15501 Indian Creek Parkway, and begin at 7:00 p.m.  The concerts are free, and guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and/or lawn chair to enjoy the show. Donations will be accepted for local charities with food purchase proceeds benefiting Olathe children’s charities. To download a complete summer concert series schedule, visit Summer Concerts.


Survey Says Olathe Still Performing at “Elite” Level
Released March 11, 2013
Results from the City of Olathe’s annual citizen satisfaction survey were presented to the City Council on Tuesday, March 5, and show the city continues performing at an exceptionally high level.

The survey shows high citizen satisfaction levels for every major category, including 91% satisfaction for quality of city services in Olathe, compared to 54% in the Kansas City area and 57% nationally.  In addition, satisfaction with value for tax dollars stands at 76% percent.  The national average is 45% satisfaction, and the Kansas City area stands at 40%.  Other findings include: 83% satisfaction with customer service (compared to 57% for the Kansas City area/55% nationally), and 82% satisfaction with effectiveness of city communication (48% Kansas City area/46% nationally).  The survey also shows consistently high satisfaction levels throughout the city with no geographic areas noting significantly lower satisfaction levels.

According to residents surveyed, traffic flow continues to be their highest priority (54%) followed by maintenance of city streets/buildings/facilities (51%) and quality of police/fire/ambulance services (42%).

The survey, DirectionFinder, is administered by ETC Institute.  Olathe is one of some 600 city and county governments across the country using it.  Covering all areas of the city, 1,225 residents responded.  The survey has a margin of error of +/-2.8%.

According to ETC Institute’s Chris Tatham, Olathe continues performing at an elite level.  He said, “Olathe’s satisfaction levels continue to be exceptionally high and remain some of the highest numbers not only in this area but in the entire country.” Tatham attributed the high numbers to the City Council’s willingness to listen to residents.  “Olathe continues to use resident feedback to make critical decisions, and to me, it has made a clear difference in satisfaction over the years.”

The City has used DirectionFinder annually since 2000 to track and benchmark city performance.  It has been a critical decision-making tool for service delivery and resource allocation.  According to Olathe City Manager Michael Wilkes, the survey is invaluable for the Council and staff to listen to residents.  He said, “The Council makes it very clear that our revenue belongs to our taxpayers, and DirectionFinder is essential to making sure we invest in in the services and projects they feel most important.”

The complete 2012 DirectionFinder survey is available in the “Accountable Government” section of the City’s website, www.OlatheKS.org.


Registration Open for Mahaffie Spring Programs
Released March 11, 2013
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Road, will host several spring programs in March and April. Registration is now open for Spring Home School Day, Brownie Girl Scout Day, and the Yes I Can Drive! hands-on horse driving clinic for youth ages 8 to 18.

  • Spring Home School Day is Thursday, March 28. Home school students can enjoy a structured school program with other home school families. Spring farm chores will be featured and the programs will run from 10:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Cost is $5/student and accompanying adults are free. Registration is required and the last day to register is Thursday, March 21. Payment is due the day of the program.
  • Brownie Girl Scout Day is Saturday, April 6 or Saturday, April 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Brownie Girl Scouts will learn sewing skills and enjoy 1860s spring farming activities. Cost is $10/Brownie Scout and accompanying adults are free. Registration is required and the last day to register is the Friday prior to the program. Payment is due the day of the program.
  • The Yes I Can Drive! hands-on horse driving clinic is Saturday, April 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This clinic is open to youth ages eight to 18 and no previous horse experience is required. Cost is $10/youth and registration is limited to 50 participants. Payment is due the day of the program.

For details about all spring programs and to register, visit www.mahaffie.org.


Spring Break Activities Abound at the Olathe Libraries
Released March 11, 2013
The Olathe libraries are offering a number of Spring Break activities March 15-21.

  • Savin’ of the Green Book Sale – March 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., March 16 from noon to 4:00 p.m and March 17 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Six Bucks a Sack Sale); branch library
    The book sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Olathe Public Library, features new and nearly new materials sorted by category.  Featured in the sale are new knitting/crocheting books and half-price WWII books.  No strollers or book carts.  Cash and check accepted and all sales are final.
  • R.E.A.D. to a Dog – March 16 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Olathe Public Library (201 E. Park)
    Children of all ages may sign-up to read to a dog provided by Pets for Life, Inc. Stop by children’s services upon arrival and sign up for a reading time available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Free Family Movies – March 18 at 1:30 p.m., branch library; March 21 at 1:30 p.m., main library
    Wreck-it Ralph(PG – 100 min.) The entire family is welcome, but kindergartners and younger must be accompanied by an adult. No registration required.
  • Teen Library Club – March 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., main library
    Youth in grades 6 – 12 can volunteer to assist and support library services for young adults.  No registration required.
  • Family Chess Night – March 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., branch library
    All ages and playing levels are welcome, but kindergartners and younger must be accompanied by an adult.  No registration required.  Boards and equipment provided at the program.
  • Spring Break Cookie Decorating Program – March 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., branch library; March 20 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.; main library
    All ages are invited to decorate cookies. All supplies are provided and participants may come and go as they please.  No registration required.  Kindergartners and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • LEGO Club – March 19 at 7:00 p.m., main library
    Kindergarten through 5th grade.  A theme will be introduced, and participants use their creativity to build something out of LEGOs.  Register on-line or call 971-6874.
  • Beginning Internet for Adults – March 20 at 6:30 p.m., branch library
    Learn how to use search engines and view websites in this small hands-on class.  Must be familiar with mouse and keyboard. Register on-line or call 971-6888.
  • Book Munch for Lunch Bunch – March 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sunflower Café, lower level of 111 S. Cherry
    This Informal group setting is for adults to discuss books.  No registration required.
  • Olathe Anime Club – March 21 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., branch library
    Teens in grades 6-12 can meet to discuss anime and manga, play anime computer games, and learn about Japanese culture No registration required.

The Olathe Public Library (Main) is located at 201 E. Park and the Indian Creek Branch Library is located at 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  Both libraries are open 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Visit www.olathelibrary.org for more information.


Residents Encouraged to Sign Up for New County-wide Emergency Alerts
Released March 11, 2013
Olathe residents can now receive direct messages about impending emergencies in Olathe and surrounding Johnson County with the launch of NotifyJoCo, a free, mass communications system that sends alerts about incidents from evacuations to water outages, via phone, text or email.

The system, which is free to the public, is an unprecedented effort between Johnson County, Water One, and the cities of Lenexa, Mission Hills, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village and Shawnee.

Anyone who lives, works, or plays in Johnson County is encouraged to go to www.NotifyJoCo.org to set up a free NotifyJoCo account and personalize contact preferences.  Account holders can identify multiple locations where they want to receive emergency messages by signing up to receive emails, texts, or phone calls on multiple devices.

For more information, visit www.NotifyJoCo.org.


This Edition of e-News - March 4, 2013:

  • Storm Debris Collection Service
  • Residents Encouraged to Sign Up for New County-wide Emergency Alerts
  • Kansas Severe Weather Awareness Week March 3-9
  • 2013 Budget Award and 2014 Budget Planning Process
  • Olathe Community Garden Prepares for 2013 Season
  • Olathe Parks and Recreation Offers Spring Break Basketball Camp
  • Registration Open for Shamrock Showdown
  • Please Keep Sidewalks Clear and Safe

City Council
Released March 4, 2013
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Storm Debris Collection Service
Released March 4, 2013
Debris from recent winter storms will be collected by the City at no charge through next week.  Residents are required to schedule curbside bulk pickup service at least one day before their regular scheduled solid waste collection day.  Call 971-9311 or visit Citizen Connect.

Storm debris that is cut and securely tied into bundles weighing less than 50 pounds each will also be collected at the curb through Yard Waste service on the regular scheduled collection day.

The City Composting Facility at 127th and Hedge Lane is also open Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., for residents who wish to self-haul their storm debris.


Residents Encouraged to Sign Up for New County-wide Emergency Alerts
Released March 4, 2013
Olathe residents can now receive direct messages about impending emergencies in Olathe and surrounding Johnson County with the launch of NotifyJoCo, a free, mass communications system that sends alerts about incidents from evacuations to water outages, via phone, text or email.

The system, which is free to the public, is an unprecedented effort between Johnson County, Water One, and the cities of Lenexa, Mission Hills, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village and Shawnee.

As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, a test of the NotifyJoCo system will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5.  A test message will be sent to approximately 140,000 residents and businesses in Johnson County who have published phone numbers.  Anyone who lives, works, or plays in Johnson County is encouraged to go to www.NotifyJoCo.org to set up a free NotifyJoCo account and personalize their contact preferences.  Account holders can identify multiple locations they want to receive emergency messages about and they can sign up to receive emails, texts, or phone calls on multiple devices.

For more information, visit www.NotifyJoCo.org.


Kansas Severe Weather Awareness Week March 3-9
Released March 4, 2013
The Olathe Fire Department challenges you to create a family emergency plan during “Kansas Severe Weather Awareness Week,” March 3-9. Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. Be prepared for a disaster and make your personalized family plan now - before disaster strikes.  Visit www.OlatheKS.org/Fire and click on “MAKE A PLAN.”

During Severe Weather Awareness Week, Olathe’s outdoor warning system, made up of 37 state-of-the-art sirens, will activate on Tuesday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the annual statewide tornado safety drill. Visit www.OlatheKS.org and click on “Outdoor warning system” to learn about Olathe’s sirens.

For more information about emergency management in Olathe, please call (913) 971-7900.


2013 Budget Award and 2014 Budget Planning Process
Released March 4, 2013
For the ninth consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the City of Olathe the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2013 budget document. The City also received Special Performance Measures Recognition for the integration of performance measures into the budget document. The awards reflect the commitment of the Olathe City Council and staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting.

Visit the Budget Planning Page to get involved in the 2014 budget process!


Olathe Community Garden Prepares for 2013 Season
Released March 4, 2013
The 2013 community garden season is just weeks away and Olathe Community Garden members are preparing for the first work day on Saturday March 16. This year, the members will maintain two gardens, the current site on E. Santa Fe and the original community garden site at the intersection of Loula & Water Streets. The additional 20-30 garden plots will offer an opportunity for more Olathe residents to become members of the Community Garden.

“The Olathe Community Garden was established in 2004,” said Robin Rayburn, Community Garden president, “Gardening is a great way to get outdoors, meet neighbors and have access to great locally grown produce.”

Membership to the garden is $25 per plot; new members are limited to one plot for the first grow season. Membership includes a plot, water and compost. Members work together to keep the gardens clean and meet on a regular basis to learn more about community gardening. To learn more about membership, visit www.olathecommunitygarden.org or contact Robin Rayburn at robrayburn@yahoo.com.


Olathe Parks and Recreation Offers Spring Break Basketball Camp
Released March 4, 2013
Looking for a great way to keep the kids busy over spring break?  Register your son or daughter for the Olathe Parks and Recreation Spring Break Basketball Camp, March 18-21. Youth in Kindergarten through 8th Grade can enhance existing skills and learn and develop new skills while working to stay fit. According to Vernon Avant, camp instructor and director of Olathe Hoops, “Our goal is to develop leadership and character traits in youth while teaching the game of basketball.”

All sessions will be held at Millcreek Center, 311 E. Park. Call 971-8563 to register.


Registration Open for Shamrock Showdown
Released March 4, 2013
The Olathe Parks and Recreation Shamrock Showdown Basketball Tournament will be held March 8-10. Team registration is open for boys grades 1-8 and girls grades 2-6. Teams will play a minimum of three games throughout the tournament; registration is $160 per team. Contact Parks and Recreation at 971-8563 to register.


Please Keep Sidewalks Clear and Safe
Released March 4, 2013
Property owners in Olathe are required to clear snow from sidewalks in front of and adjacent to their properties.  We can all work together to ensure pedestrians, including children who walk to school, have safe sidewalks on which to travel.  Please consider assisting elderly and disabled neighbors with snow removal on their property.  If you need to report a violation, contact Community Enhancement at 971-9880 or visit Citizen Connect.  A specific address must accompany the report.