Mayor bids for an "Oscar" at the meeting on Thursday
My oh my how the observant learn something with each new encounter. One thing that was made crystal clear on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at City Hall in Kansas City, KS, is that politics are a play of leverage and perception at any level. If the Mayor truly did not know of the concerns and needs of KCK RBI, someone in his camp should be fired for incompetence. That being said, the Mayor played his hand with plausible deniability and was very personable. Just minutes before the meeting with commissioners was to start, the supporters of KCK RBI in attendance were told that there would be no time for anyone representing the league to speak or enter proposals. The meeting proceeded without incident. Nearing the end of business (about 10 minutes later), the Mayor saw the now "significant" gathering assembled in the room and decided to recant his former statement and allowed one person to make a statement. Coach Rich of the "Marlins" was that person. He did a fantastic job. The subject was then tabled until Monday afternoon.
The KCK RBI Baseball League has struggled to acquire and maintain practice and game fields for it's 900+ young men and ladies this season. For those effected, the outright aggressiveness of those opposed to the growth of this league was shocking to experience. The struggles and obstacles encountered this season have been anything but coincidental, and ring of intentional sabotage.
From canvassing the city during the week and seeing multitudes of empty fields, to rumors of KCMO teams occupying KCK fields, the league was commonly denied access and even had to relinquish game fields the night before games (causing the cancellation of several games). When calling about availability, inquirers would receive positive responses... That is until it was revealed that there was an affiliation with KCK RBI. All-of-a-sudden "I'm sorry that field isn't available after all" is the type of response that followed.
Field upkeep was another comedy of errors. Parents on at least one occasion mowed Eisenhower Middle School fields themselves because the grass was literally going to be knee-high for the kids the next day. High grass and overfilled trash cans were standard décor at the fields on which they played, but they played on with heart and passion. KCK RBI had yet another successful season of growth and an even higher evolution of quality baseball, as each age group assembled talented teams. Some of those teams competed in post season tournaments at WYCO (another city league), and enjoyed much success.
I hope that Monday's meeting will result in much needed progress and visibility. I'm hopeful that the city will no longer re-appropriate or divert funds that were intended to come to KCK RBI as donations. I'm also hopeful that the issues can be dealt with without the marring of reputations or the distaste of hard feelings.
This is a photography blog, so on with the image particulars: The intent of today's images was to capture the meeting downtown in a journalistic manner. There are no heavy effects or tricks, just some concerns about exposure and the ever-pervasive etiquette. Prior to the meeting I had to inquire about the legal act of photographing the meeting. That was cleared very quickly. I was even told that I didn't have to remain seated. I was free to roam the room while in session. Before the meeting I used ETTL Flash (Yongnuo yn-568ex) to capture. There were few exposure concerns. As the meeting came into session however, I turned off the flash (even if I didn't have to) to be less of a distraction, which caused me to have to tweak the ISO for a few shots. In hind-sight I wish I had switched my camera into silent mode as well, as my shutter wasn't the quietest thing I've ever heard. All of this post's shots were shot at F4.0 to 5.6 and with the shutters at 1/125. The ISO ranged from 400 to 2000. I won't specify which ones differ. If you can tell, leave me a comment.