Olathe news briefs for the week of Sept. 7

City Council

The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7 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).  For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage.

City of Olathe accepting applications for Civic Academy

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Olathe Civic Academy. Nine interactive sessions will allow participants to:

·         Learn how City government works

·         Meet City staff, elected officials and other Olathe residents

·         Get involved in municipal government

The Civic Academy runs from Thursday, Sept. 17 through Thursday, Nov. 12 meeting weekly on Thursday evenings from 5:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dinner is included in each session and there is no cost to participants.  For more information and to apply, visit OlatheKS.org/CommunityInvolvement/Civic. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 11 and space is limited.

Digital Sandbox event Thursday, Sept. 17 seeks to engage Olathe entrepreneurs

Many cities are trying to attract startups. Now, with a unique partnership between the City of Olathe and the Digital Sandbox KC, residents and businesses in Olathe can apply for grants to help turn their ideas into business starts.

The Digital Sandbox KC and the City of Olathe are hosting an interactive event Thursday, September 17, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Olathe City Hall for early-stage entrepreneurs who want to take the next step. Often, proof-of-concept support is a barrier: typical Sandbox grants are between $20,000 and $25,000.

“The Digital Sandbox is a highly successful proof-of-concept program,” says Michael Wilkes, Olathe city manager. “We know there are some great ideas and entrepreneurs in Olathe that just need a little push in the right direction.”

The Digital Sandbox works because of a strong relationship with community, corporate and business development resources. The partnership with the City of Olathe focuses on continuing the City’s efforts to drive entrepreneurship and new business starts.

“The Sandbox provides support to early-stage entrepreneurs whose ideas have possibility to soar,” says Jeff Shackelford, executive director, Digital Sandbox KC. “We’re looking to find the next Garmin, the next great Olathe company.”

The first company in Olathe to receive Digital Sandbox KC program support is PerfectCube, founded by Mark Calhoun and Jim Starcev. PerfectCube provides business analytics tools – typically available only to large retailers – for small retail business owners. Co-founder Mark Calhoun will share his story at the event to demonstrate the importance of early-stage monies and how that has impacted their business.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Launched in February 2013, the Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area. This is the first time the program will be used to drive increased entrepreneurship for a specific city.

Results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:

·         54 proof-of-concept funded for area startups

·         23 new businesses created

·         181 jobs created

·         $17.8 million in follow-on funding

Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run eight weeks. The Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs. Olathe entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit http://www.digitalsandboxkc.com for more information.

Share your opinions to update the City’s Plan Olathe Comprehensive Plan

In 2010, the City of Olathe developed a comprehensive plan outlining the community’s vision for how Olathe will grow today and in the future. It’s time to update that plan and stakeholder input is critical. Residents, businesses and community partners are invited to talk to City staff at a workshop Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe.

To read the current plan, visit PlanOlathe.org. Feedback is important to ensure the Olathe Comprehensive Plan remains a community-driven effort.

Household Hazardous Waste drop-off event Saturday, Sept. 12

All Johnson County residents have the opportunity to drop off Household Hazardous Waste at the City of Olathe’s drop-off event Saturday, Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the HHW facility, 1420 S. Robinson Drive, behind Public Works and Customer Service. No appointment is necessary.

Residents will be asked to provide a photo ID and a general description of their HHW items. Items that can be dropped off include aerosol cans, automotive fluids, automotive and household batteries, bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, cooking oil, drain cleaners, fertilizers, paint, light bulbs, pesticides, etc. e-Waste (electronics) is not accepted at the drop-off event. For a full list of acceptable items, visit OlatheKS.org.

Celebrate history and culture during Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Latino-Americans with free events and activities from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.  More than 15 organizations joined together to plan the festivities. A competitive grant secured by the Olathe Public Library funds several of the events, building on the City’s first celebration last year. Activities offer Olathe residents and friends from neighboring cities a glimpse at the art, music, culture and history of the nation’s largest minority.

“It seems we have an event nearly every other day,” said Ralph Tomlinson, project director for the $10,000 Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). “For nearly 200 years, first as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, and later as the Midwest link to the NAFTA highway, Olathe has shared a long history with Mexico and the rest of Latin America.” Tomlinson, who authored the grant application, works as an adult services librarian at the Olathe Public Library.

For specific event details, visit OlatheKS.org/HispanicHeritageMonth.

Mahaffie Wild West Days Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27
Enjoy Wild West skits, live entertainment, and children’s games at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s annual Wild West Days, Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27.  This popular event offers visitors a variety of experiences and live entertainment to provide a taste of life in Kansas during the Old West.

Wild West Days will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Olathe historic site, 1200 E. Kansas City Rd. Family friendly admission is $5/person ages 5 & up or five people for $20; youth ages 4 and under are free. Food will be available for purchase. Some games and activities have an additional fee.

Stagecoach rides will be provided at no charge courtesy of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.  On-going entertainment will be presented in view of the stagecoach area including stagecoach robberies and re-enactments.

Performances this year include Wicked Liars, the Whip Guy, the Whip Crackin’ Dare Devils, and Gunsmoke & Petticoats. Buffalo Bill will serve as Master of Ceremonies throughout the weekend. Rose Marie’s Fiesta Mexicana Dancers perform Sunday only. Children’s activities include a shooting gallery (ages 8 and up), gold panning, branding, live entertainment and more. Rocking M Miniatures from Leavenworth, KS will be in the arena both days with their teams of miniature donkeys and horses. Visitors of all ages and horse experience are welcome to try their hand at driving a team.

Enjoy an omelet breakfast by the Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club Saturday only from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Heritage Center. Tickets for the breakfast are $8 and include admission to the event. A chuckwagon cook-off will be held Saturday only, with limited samples and voting opportunities. Samples begin at noon on Saturday with voting in several food categories plus the People’s Choice award.

Free event parking with a shuttle to Mahaffie will be available at nearby Olathe North High School, 600 E. Prairie St. Handicapped accessible parking will be available at Mahaffie.  Please do not park in the Olathe Community Center Parking lot as there is plenty of parking at Olathe North.

For more information, visit Mahaffie.org, or call (913) 971-5111.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club, Olathe Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, Olathe Bass Pro Shops, Olathe Ford, and Olathe Noon Optimists. 

Volunteers needed for Wild West Days at Mahaffie

The popular Wild West Days event will be Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27. Many volunteers are needed for this unique community event. Volunteers can participate in children’s activity booths, help with admission gates, or assist with set up or tear down of the event. Volunteers receive free admission to the event, service hours, and a meal the day they volunteer. There are two shifts and various volunteer options each day. Volunteers over 18 years will need to fill out a background check.  Volunteers who are 17 years or younger must be accompanied by an adult. This event is perfect for groups or corporate partners. For more information  visit Mahaffie.org 

Get Active September challenge

Olathe Parks & Recreation has launched a new round of the “Get Active” challenge. Five activities are included each month’s challenge. Participants who complete specific challenges will be entered into a drawing for monthly prizes and a bi-annual grand prize, a 2016 family swim pass. Submission is made via social media using the tag #OlatheActive. For more information, visit http://www.olatheks.org/parksrec/getactive.

Happy Birthday H.A. Rey: A Curious George Celebration
Drop in and celebrate Curious George at a party for the curious monkey’s creator, H. A. Rey on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Olathe Indian Creek Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Rd.  The birthday party will begin with a reading of Curious George and follow with fun crafts and activities, including “Pin the Banana on the Tree.” All ages are invited to this drop-in event.  Registration is not required.

Featured events at the Olathe Public Library
Storytimes for Kids are listed below.  Tickets will be handed out 15 minutes before each program begins.

·         Rhyme Time, from Monday, Sept. 14 to Thursday, Nov. 19.  Mondays and Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. at the Olathe Indian Creek Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Rd.   Wednesdays at 9:15 a.m at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  Rhyme time is for ages 0 to 2 years with an accompanying adult. No registration is required.

·         Toddler Time from Monday, Sept. 14 to Thursday, Nov. 19.  Mondays and Thursdays at 10:45 a.m. at the  Olathe Indian Creek Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Rd.  Wednesdays at 9:45 a.m. at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  Toddler Time is for ages 2 to 3 years with an accompanying adult. No registration is required.

·         On My Own Storytime from Tuesday, Sept. 15 to Thursday, Nov. 19.  Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m. at the  Olathe Indian Creek Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Rd.  Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  On My Own Storytime is for ages 3 to 5 years with an accompanying adult.

·         Family Storytime from Tuesday, Sept. 15 to Tuesday, Nov. 17.  Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at the Olathe Indian Creek Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Rd.  Family Storytime is for preschoolers and their families.  No registration is required.

·         Health Information & Referral Clinic on Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  Get free blood pressure checks from Olathe Fire Department EMTs and health information from a librarian.  No appointment is necessary.

·         NeedleArts Circle on Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  Bring your latest knitting, crocheting and other needle arts projects to work on, share and discuss.  No registration is required.

·         Book Munch for Lunch Bunch on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sunflower Café, lower level of the County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry St.  Drop-in for this informal get-together to talk about books over lunch.  Bring your own or purchase one.  This program is sponsored by the Olathe Public Library.  No registration is required.

·         Book Munch After Hours on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Jefferson’s of Olathe, 10540 S. Ridgeview Rd.  Book lovers are invited for this informal get-together to talk about books over dinner.  Purchase off the menu or just come and enjoy.  This program is sponsored by the Olathe Public Library.  No registration is required.

·         Make a Memory Box on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 4 p.m. to 4:45 pm at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  Drop in to create a personalized memory box perfect for storing your small treasures and learn about the Santa Fe Trail.  This program is for grades K-5, inspired by the American Girl character Josefina and presented in conjunction with Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.  No registration is required. Come and go as you please.

·         Family History Friday on Friday, Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  Drop in to research your ancestors with the help of the library’s databases (including Ancestry.com) and Kansas Room genealogy books.  No registration is required.

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