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2017 - July

ttn logoJuly, 2017: Welcome to my latest adventure!

Kim Schultz

June was a busy month. I can't wait to see what July has in store! Stay hydrated! #summer2017

Keith the Critic

Keith VansickleKeith the Critic







Rough NightRough Night:

Scarlett Johansson stars in this comedy as Jess who is a politician who is about to be married. Her college best friend, Alice, who is played by Jillian Bell, organizes a bachelorette party in Miami. The party includes her other college firends, Frankie who is played by Ilana Glazer, Blair who is played by Zoe Kravitz, and Pippa who is her Australian friend and played by Kate McKinnon. After a night of dancing and partying, they decide to hire a stripper. When he arrives, Alice takes a run at him knocking him down. What was supposed to be a fun night takes a turn for the worse when he hits his head and dies. I liked some of the scenes in this movie but overall I was pretty disappointed. With this cast, I expected it to be laugh-out-loud funny. The movie has a very strong female presence with even Demi Moore having a small part. However, it wasn't written well and the direction was lackluster. I can only give this movie 1 1/2 out of 4 stars. It's just not very good.




Megan Leavy Megan Leavy

This movie is a true story based on the life of Megan Leavy who is played by Kate Mara. Megan is not at all happy with her life and decides to enlist in the Marines. Once enlisted, Megan's exploits earn her the honor of cleaning out the kennels for the bomb sniffing dogs. After this experience, Megan decides that whe wants to be a handler. She is paired with a German Shepherd named Rex. The two bond as they go about protecting the other soldiers from IED's. This movie is very enjoyable and Kate Mara was terrific. I loved her portrayal as a tough Marine. The movie is very well written and very well directed. This film has not been a hit so far at the box office like the Mummy and others, but I highly recommend it. I think everyone will enjoy but you should take kleenex. I rate this movie 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

47 Meters Down

47 Meters DownMandy Moore and Claire Holt play sisters, Lisa and Kate. Kate is outgoing while Lisa is more quiet and reserved. When Lisa's boyfriend breaks up with her because she has become boring to him, Kate convinces Lisa to join her on a vacation to Mexico. When the girls arrive, they meet a couple of local boys who are divers. The guys are into cage diving with sharks and invite the sisters to join them. The next morning they head out. The guys dove first and now it's Lisa's and Kate's turn. Lisa is hesitant but agrees thinking of her breakup with her boyfriend. The girls will be sent 47 meters down in the cage surrounded by sharks. The cage should keep them safe. I was excited to see this movie but ended up horribly disappointed. Mandy Moore and Claire Holt were OK actresses but were working with a limited script that was poorly written. The sharks looked real if they weren't but that's the best I can say. I gave this movie only 2 out of 4 stars.

Kim's Excellent Adventures

First Friday Art Walk - What if I told you that June, 2017 was my first actually First Friday Art Walk that I actually participated and didn't work, would you believe me? Well, it was. We started in Downtown and made our way to NOTO. The atomosphere was awesome. I wondered why the crowd wasan't something that could happen more than First Friday and special events.


Lake Time - Hanging out on the boat with my friends, is always a great time. After a long day on the water, we went to Jeff and Kandy's to grill hamburgers. Friends are the best!

Lake 1Lake 1Lake 1Lake 1

German Fest: The weather was a bit rainy but the food was still amazing.

German Fest

Florida Vacation:  I love traveling. I had scheduled this trip last winter. I wanted to hang out with my uncle and cousins and take a short trip to Disney World. Well some of these plans happened. My uncle had surgery on his hip and later had to fight off an infection with put him in the hospital for over two weeks. I did not get to spend much time with him this trip. However, my cousin Shana and I still took her kids to Disney and we had a great time! I really didn't get to hang out with my Schultz cousins growing up, so I am glad that I get to now. I spend a couple days just hanging out at my uncles house and spending time at the pool. I am not very high maintance so I was able to keep myself entertained! I might need to go back sooner than later so I can hang out with my uncle Elliott.

Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1Florida 1

Gower Wedding- The day finally arrived when Kandy and Jeff were married. JJ and I spent the afternoon at Sharon's pool then made our way to an outside ceremony. The tempature was hot and faces were melting off but the ceremony was beautiful! Then we headed to Croco Square Dance hall for the dinner and dance. It was fun seeing some many people, I haven't seen in years!

 Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1Wedding 1

Pool Time- If you know me, you know that I love going to the pool. I even will drive to KC to hang out at the pool with friends! My friend Mike joined me for a couple hours to soak up some sun! It was a nice day!

One Heart Project- One more meeting with the awesome people with One Heart Project. I hope to be working with them more in the future.

Def Leopard Concert- When your weekend starts on Wednesday, you know fun is to be had! Frankie had purchased tickets to see Def Leopard at the Sprint Center and decided she wanted a girls night. JJ and Jennifer soon were added to the fun night started and ended with a bang.

For safety, we opted to take an Uber to and from the concert. This would allow us all to have a great time and not worry about how could indulge in adult beverages. We started at Power and Light for dinner. We ended up eating pizza at Serious Pizza. Trust me the four of us tore 2 large pizza apart! Next we headed across the street to the Sprint Center. Here we had a blast at the concert. I even ran into Gary and Martha Piland! After the concert we headed back to Power and Light and there we met some fun guys that work for Cerner. The party continued. Here I ran into my friend Erin. (Small world)

Concert 6Concert 6Concert 6Concert 1 Concert 1Concert 1Concert 1Concert 2Concert 2Concert 2Concert 2

Thursday started out slow but we ended up grabbing lunch at Salty Iguana and then went to see a movie, Wonder Woman, that afternoon! It is a great movie and I plan on seeing it again!  I had to head home Thursday evening since I had to get up early for the Topeka Youth Project Golf Tournament. I am a volunteer not a golfer!

Golf 1Golf 1Golf 1Golf 1Golf 1

Friday, after the tournament, I went home for a bit then headed back to Lenexa were Tom and I went to the Lenexa Great BBQ cook off. It was my first year. After the cook off, we went to Jerry's for a couple beers and then home. We had to get up early on Saturday to head to Kaufman for a 1:15 Royals game. We packed like we were going to be gone for days. Our friends Pete and Sara met us at Jerry's and we headed to tailgate. It was a fun day! We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and played tailgating games. To be honest, I was running on fumes. Sunday, was a relax day!

Jerrys 1Jerrys 1Jerrys 1Jerrys 1

Saying good bye to Bertha - I started working at Let's Help in July of 2011. Bertha started working there in 2000! Due to a change in grants, her position was eliminated. This made me sad, since she is such an awesome person! She was a really hard worker and very nice! We met at El Centenario, downtown for lunch and a going away party. Nothing fun about those when the person didn't really want to go away! Good luck to my friend!!

Bertha 1Bertha 1Bertha 1Bertha 1Bertha 1

New Tires - They have told me the past three oil changes that I needed new tires. I finally gave in and got them. I went to Automotion on Kansas Ave and within one hour, I had new tires! Now I just feel safer driving to Kansas City!

Meetings - Yes, I am having meetings. I hope to find some supporters and collaborators to help keep this website going. I am sort of tired of working for free!       

Talk About Topeka - Is back!! Now recorded in front of a live studio audience in the Break Room! Continuing our mission to help the city of Topeka as much as possible!

 Oh Yeah, my brother, Chris Schultz, is still running for Mayor, so make sure to get out and vote on August 1st!!

Advertise on Everything Topeka! All Star Team

I would like to introduce you to my 2017 All Star Team

My team is made up of amazing people who live and work in Topeka! They are sure to add some fun and knoweledge to The Topeka Newsletter!


Desmond Henry Desmond Henry - Afflora Financial Life Planning

A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance

Desmond Henry is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™& founder of Afflora Financial Life Planning, a fee-only financial planning firm in Topeka, Kansas that specializes in working with women, retirees, & clients in their 20s & 30s. Desmond has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report, Yahoo! News, TK Business Magazine, & recognized as one of Topeka’s ‘Top 20 Under 40 Business Leaders’.



 annette hope billings new Annette Billings - Author/Writer

"In a Flash" - By Annette Hope Billings

Annette Hope Billings is a Topeka ArtsConnect Arty award-winning poet dubbed by her fans as "Maya of the Midwest." Her body of work includes poetry, short stories and plays. A nurse for decades before becoming a full-time writer, her deep penchant for caring comes through clearly in her writing. Her previous books include "A Net Full of Hope" (2015) and her recently published, "Descants for a Daughter." Her work has also been included in several anthologies of poetry and short stories. Website: @annettebilling3Amazon:





 Robin Bonsall

Robin Bonsall - Realtor/Actor/Wife/Mom

Neighborhood News: REALTOR® Robin style

About Realtor Robin

Robin is a born and raised Topekan who, as a youth, always thought she'd go far, far away from Kansas.  As an adult, Robin has discovered so many wonderful things about this community that make her proud to be rooted in Topeka. :)  Ever the performer, Robin spends a fair amount of "free time" volunteering on-stage, backstage, and in other capacities with Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy and with the Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble, a budding grassroots theatre company in the area.  When theatre isn't consuming her free time, Robin enjoys family bike rides, pretending to garden, singing lullabies to her babe, doing laundry (does one really enjoy this?) and supporting her husband in his hobby: UAV & Drone building!  There is never a dull moment in the Bonsall household. :)

Robin and her husband, Graham, have been blissfully married since August of 2009.  In 2013, they successfully brought a tiny human into the world. He has been terrorizing the family chihuahua, Joplin, and changing Robin & Graham's view of "the world" ever since.


Chris Schultz

Chris Schultz - President Tinkham Veale Creative and Founding Partner - Schultz Management, LLC

Being an Entrepreneur

Chris was born and raised in Topeka.  He is a graduate of Shawnee Heights High School and he attended Washburn University where he earned his B.A. in Theatre. In May of 2002, he opened Field Of Greens restaurant in Downtown Topeka. It wasn’t long before his family started getting even more involved in the company, which was the catalyst that grew his dream to include the opening of The Break Room and The Gourmet Cabaret Theater. Chris and his family were recently honored by Topeka Civic Theatre when they were presented with the prestigious Waldo B. Heywood award. In 2011, The Jayhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts named Chris as one of the 20 Under 40 business leaders in Topeka. Chris is the creator of GabLocal.TV and serves as the President & Executive Producer of its parent company, Tinkham Veale Creative.


Chelsea Howe

Chelsea Ellis - Graphic Designer/Artist

Ampathetic Wannabe

Chelsea Howe is an award winning comic strip artist whose work has been published on a collegiate level. Her work has earned her first place in comics in 2013, second for online comic content in 2014, first place in illustrations in 2015, and second in infographics in 2016 at the Kansas Collegiate Media Conference. She was also the 150th Washburn University Yearbook editor-in-chief which took silver at state in 2016 and also won her the Most Outstanding Student Media Award for her hard work and dedication during Washburn's 2015 Mass Media Banquet. Her graphic design talents know no bounds, from designing play/musical posters and programs for well known local establishments, a jazz concert series and an award winning director, to the posters advertising local Topeka fundraisers, such as the 2014 Downtown Adventure Race Topeka. Her vast versatility extends to privately commissioned local business logos, short notice clip art and page layout for the award winning Washburn Review and Bod Magazine, and graphic assets for the local TV show Talk About Topeka. Her work has also been featured in juried shows at the Mulvane Art Museum.

In 2016, for the beginning of TPACs 25th Anniversary season, she won their public logo competition amongst all other entries and is excited to see all the new shows with her reward of season tickets.

When she's not working on graphic work she can be found exercising, sewing, foam armor crafting, playing Destiny, or catching up on her shows on Netflix.


Kristi Pankratz

Kristi Pankratz - Safe Streets

Cathing Up With Kristi

Kristi Pankratz is the Director of Safe Streets and Prevention Services at Prevention and Recovery Services (PARS) in Topeka. Safe Streets is dedicated to creating a healthier community by addressing crime through prevention education and citizen empowerment. Programs include Neighborhood Watch and National Night Out, among others. Kristi is an experienced public relations administrator who has served the Topeka community in public service roles for the past 15 years. She has a background in public safety, public health and prevention. Prior positions she has held include: spokesperson for the Topeka Police Department, Communications Director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Community Prevention Specialist for PARS. She is a Topeka native and graduate of Washburn Rural High School, Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS and Washburn University.



Anthony CayAnthony Cay

Owner: Total Fitness Body Zone

Organized Chaos VS Fitness Confusion

I’d like to say I fell into this business, but the reality is this business called me.
I worked at a local gym here in town as a personal trainer in 2011.
I really enjoyed the training aspect of my job and working with people. I just didn’t appreciate how the company mistreated their clients. The lack of listening of clients need and wants. I chose to provide a service that clientele would be able to benefit from physically and still be economically feasible. In August of 2011 Total Fitness Body was born.
The purpose of this company is to promote healthy lifestyles and provide fitness training and nutritional education to all age groups and all fitness levels including beginner, advanced, and or professional. Our focus is on safety first and always. Provide first class training and face to face customer service, the attention to these details have set this company apart from all the rest.

I am a current Sergeant and Combat Medic in the United States Army. I have been an EMT for 11 years and a Certified Personal trainer for 6yrs. I have played all physical sports and have received advanced training in all of them. Some of the sports would include football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis, softball, track wrestling and Jiu-jitsu just to name a few.  

So while I will definitely kick your butt with a great workout, I will always keep your safety as my number one priority.  
Weight loss and strength conditioning
Post rehab transitional therapy
Body building
Sport Specific Athletic Training


Tricia Peterson


Tricia Peterson

Experience Restaurants with Tricia

Tricia Peterson is a Kansas native and Washburn University graduate who loves living in Topeka. At Washburn she studied Mass Media and from there began her local food review blog, Tasting Topeka. She grew up north of Topeka in the small town of Mayetta where she graduated from Royal Valley.  Now she owns a small catering company, 2 Chefs Catering and runs her blog from home. Tricia enjoys reading fiction, studying history, going to see live music and writing about food and entertainment.




Barbara Waterman Peters

Barbara Waterman-Peters

The View From my NOTO Studio

Local Artist, Owner: Studio 831 (NOTO)

Barbara Waterman-Peters Barbara Waterman-Peters, (BFA, Washburn University, MFA, Kansas State University, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Washburn University) whose award-winning work is in museum, corporate and private collections, is represented by several galleries. She was a founding member of the Collective Art Gallery (1987-2014) and is a charter member of Circle of 7.  She has shown regionally, nationally and internationally in over 250 solo, invitational and juried exhibitions.  
Waterman-Peters taught at Washburn and Kansas State Universities as well as Lassen Community College in California.  Currently, she writes about art and artists for TOPEKA, LAWRENCE and KANSAS! Magazines. She also writes an “Artist of the Month” online for TOPEKA Magazine.
She has received a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement from the State of Kansas and the Monroe Award from the Washburn University Alumni Association. In 2011 she was awarded the ARTY for Distinguished Visual Artist from ARTSConnect in Topeka.
For many years, Waterman-Peters has been the staff artist for the Andrew and Georgia Neese Gray Theater at Washburn University.
She served on the Quality of Life team for Heartland Visioning part of which then became the original NOTO Board.  In addition, she served as co-chair of the CREATe group, another facet of HV. In 2010 she became the first Core Artist in NOTO, founding STUDIO 831.

Keith Vansickle


Keith Van Sickle

Keith the Critic


I began my career as a film critic nearly 25 years ago, inspired by my first viewing of Star Wars in 1977 at the old Sunset Drive in Lawrence, KS. I continue to wonder how Annie Hall beat Star Wars for best picture that year and demand a re-count!

I got into radio by giving reviews on WIBW radio in Topeka. Later came here to Country Legends 106.9 as not only a film critic, but also Promotions Director and the Morning Show Producer.

Joining forces with Randy Guzman, we created the television show “The Aisle Seat”. The show was very successful and aired on KTWU. We not only discussed movies but also local entertainment and held celebrity interviews. Some of the biggest names I got to interview were: Tom Cruise, Billy Bob Thorton, Will Farrell, and Dakota Fanning.

I’m a certified Batman fanatic, die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, and a true blue KU Jayhawk supporter! In 2005 I started creating the “Slash & Bash Horror/Sci-Fi Film Festival” with movie screenings and special guest appearances.

I suffered a series of strokes in February 2010 and a lingering viral infection that landed me in the hospital and several weeks in intensive care, almost costing me my life. After months of recovery at Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital, I regained my ability to speak and write.

West Post

I heard on Saturday of the passing of Adam West. His Batman has been my favorite character all of my life. I got to interview him for Country Legends 106.9 and it was one of the highlights of my career. It was a pleasure and he was kind, down to Earth, and an unequaled family man. He knew of the impact of his work on society and never let his fans down. He will be sorely missed. Thanks Adam for all of the pleasure you have brought to the world.

I will add my stars to the page, as I meet with them! Check back to see who will be helping make this newsletter come alive!

Experience Restaurants With Tricia

Tricia Peterson


Tricia Peterson

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 Finally, a hotdog spot in Topeka. I mean, a lot of places have hotdogs on their menu and some even have Chicago-style hotdogs, but there hasn't been a place that specializes in just hotdogs that I can remember. Top Dog is now open by Gage Bowl on Huntoon and I got over there as soon as I could.



The place looks like an old school drive-in with parking in front, under an awning and a building with large windows and that's where the hotdogs are. You go inside and order, though, so it's not really like a drive-in, but it still looks cool. There are tables inside to eat at, or there is a picnic table outside to sit at, too. It was a beautiful day so I sat outside for my lunch.


Top Dog Potato

The hotdogs are all beef can come off the menu or you can build your own with the toppings you choose. The menu has basic hotdogs like the Perry, which has ketchup, mustard and relish. They even have a Chicago dog and their Sloppy dog is a chili dog with mustard. I decided to be brave and try something different, such as the Elvis dog with peanut butter, crushed corn cereal flakes and bananas. My hubby got the Mexico dog with drunken beans, bacon, lettuce, jalapeno, pico de gallo, tomato, avocado and cheese. Just listing out those ingredients is making my mouth water.

If you order a meal your hotdog comes with a drink and a choice of a baked potato or chips. The baked potato even comes with butter, sour cream and cheese. I got the chips but the hubs got the baked potato and it was fat. I couldn't have eaten one so I'm glad I went with the chips.



Top Dog ElvisThe Elvis dog is definitely something to write home about. I have always loved peanut butter and bananas, so why not on a hotdog? The combination was so good that I ate the entire thing, bun and all. I haven't been eating bread much, but this warranted an exception. The creamy, earthy peanut butter with the sweet banana contrasted with the juicy, salty hotdog perfectly. The peanut butter would kind of coat my mouth but the with the texture of the hotdog and bun and the crunchy cereal flakes, it wasn't hard to eat at all. I would order this again.

Top Dog Mexican


The Mexico dog was loaded with all kinds of stuff and is one that I will have to return and order for myself. It looked pretty good but I was so preoccupied with mine I didn't even taste it. I hear it was tasty and the guy working said it was his favorite hotdog to order. It has avocado on it so you can't really go wrong there.

The people working were very friendly and happy to answer any questions we had. Their hours are pretty awesome, as their drive-thru is going to be open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for all those people leaving the bars across the street who want to eat but don't want to drive all the way across town. I know it's going to be an option for me. I plan to return many times to try other items on the menu, and I saw where they have BYO nachos so those are a must.




A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance

Desmond Henry


A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance




About the Author:

Desmond Henry is a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner & founder of Afflora Financial Life Planning in Topeka, Kansas that specializes in working with independent women, millennial HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet), & the retiring/retired to improve their financial lives.

Desmond has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report, Yahoo! News,, TK Business Magazine, & recognized as one of Topeka’s ‘Top 20 Under 40 Business Leaders’.


How Safe is My Pension?

May 30, 2017 Retirement Financial Planning Investing

Over the last few years we’ve heard about the financial difficulties facing many public and private pension plans.

United Airlines declared bankruptcy in 2002 and a federal judge ruled that the airline’s four pension plans could be turned over the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the government’s backstop for private pension plans. Beneficiaries continued to receive their benefits, but some higher salaried employees saw their monthly payments reduced based on the limits of PBGC coverage.

Several years ago, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy. Among the casualties were recipients of pensions from various city departments. The reductions in their monthly benefit checks varied, but the cuts were widespread. Other underfunded state and municipal pension funds are feeling the pinch, case in point is the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago teacher’s pension.

Here in Kansas, the KPERS system has been in the news with its funding issues.

Here’s what you need to know about your pension’s safety.


Who stands behind my pension?


Pension obligations are a liability of private sector employers who offer them. This is no different than with a bank loan or with bonds issued by the company. Failure to make good on their pension obligations can force a company into bankruptcy.

For private sector pensions for companies such as Westar Energy, Goodyear Tire, and Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Kansas the backstop should something happen is the PBGC. Should a private employer be unable to make good on its pension obligation, in most cases the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), an independent governmental agency, will step in and cover the pension obligations of the company up to their limits. The maximum benefit they will guarantee depends upon the year in which the plan was terminated and your age among other factors.


QUICK STAT: In 2016, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) paid $45,602,854 to 5,651 Kansas retirees in failed plans. (Source: PBGC)


For state and municipal pensions, such as KPERS, it is typically the entity and the taxpayers who ultimately are responsible for making good on the pension obligation. City, county, school, fire, police, and state employees are among those covered by KPERS.

A 2013 article in Think Advisor using data from the Standard and Poors and Fitch rating agencies compiled by CNBC, ranked Kansas in a tie for the 6th worst funded status for it pension plan among all 50 states. This isn’t to say that anyone entitled to a pension won’t receive it, but this is certainly a motivating force behind pension legislation and other proposed adjustments that we’ve all seen in the news over the past couple of years.


Considerations in taking your pension


When the time comes to take your pension benefit, you will have a number of options to choose from. These options will differ from plan to plan, but here are some common choices.

Annuitize. This means taking your benefit as a monthly payment. A single life annuity generally results in the largest benefit. The downside is that all payments cease when you die, your family members receive nothing. A joint and survivor annuity allows your beneficiary (usually a spouse) to receive a percentage of your benefit should you die first, though your benefit will be lower due to the added coverage for your spouse.

Lump-sum payment. Many pensions offer an option to receive a one-time lump-sum payout based upon the amount of your pension. The lump-sum can then be rolled over to an IRA account and invested for your retirement.

In both cases your benefit will be based upon factors like your age, years of service, career earnings, and any other factors used in your employer’s pension formula.

Deciding which option is right for you can be complicated. There are financial considerations. Can you manage a lump-sum payment? Does the monthly payment option provide a level of comfort?

Increasingly a consideration surrounds the safety of your pension. If you work for a private company, is the company financially stable? Do they seem to be on the road to financial difficulties?

If you are covered by a state or municipal pension, concerns about funding and the financial health of the state or municipality are a factor to consider.

It can be beneficial to engage the services of a fee-only financial advisor to help you make the important decision of how to best utilize your pension benefit. The advisor can help you look at the pros and cons of the various options available to you in the overall context of your retirement planning.

I am experienced in helping people maximize their pensions and deciding the best option for their situation. If you're interested in discussing your situation, give me a call or schedule your free initial consultation here. I am a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ that specializes in financial planning for retirees and those approaching retirement.


Getting on track for retirement doesn't have to be confusing. Sign up for helpful tips on how to make your financial life awesome!

Sign Me Up!


The View from My NOTO Studio

Barbara Waterman Peters


View from my Studio

By Barbara Waterman-Peters

Barbara Waterman-Peters

The Topeka Art & Antiques Fair on June 24th kicks off a summer of fun and excitement in NOTO!  Instead of looking out of my studio window, I will be in the information booth on the street! I look forward to visiting with folks who come by. And I hope participants in the NOTO Plein Air Project will take advantage of the opportunity to take photos, do sketches for paintings, write poems, stories, or plays, to compose music or dances while strolling around the district at the fair!

But it’s back to my easel in July as I have shows and commissions to fulfill. Right now about 12 canvases sit around my space in various stages of completion. Most of them are part of my new “Ship of Fools” series. I have actually had people ask to be models for the occupants of the ships! It seems being included in one of my paintings is a feather in one’s cap! Ah, now there is an image: caps with feathers. I never know where or when the next inspiration will come to me, but I like to be open to its arrival!

We always look forward to the arrival of lots of folks in NOTO!


 Barb July KCobb Light on the Past

Our Featured Artist for July is Kathleen Cobb. Kathleen is the newest of our group of artists at STUDIO 831. She is a painter and photographer. Come see her beautiful works in oil and watercolor and images from her travels!

STUDIO 831 is open from 4:00 to 8:30 PM on First Friday, July 7. We are located at 831 North Kansas Avenue in the NOTO Arts District in Topeka!



Catching up with Kristi

Kristi Pankratz

Krisit Pankratz

Safe Streets




I’ve worked with Safe Streets for more than four years and one of my favorite times of year happens is about to happen. The first Saturday of August, we see our community come together to celebrate each other with National Night Out.

Safe Streets is in the midst of our 21st year of coordinating National Night Out for the Topeka/Shawnee County community! This annual event, which will be held Saturday, August 5, brings neighborhoods together to connect with one another and local law enforcement. The simple act of getting to know your neighbors is the best form of crime prevention. 

In Shawnee County, neighborhoods are encouraged to hold individual events. As of late June, we had 80 neighborhoods registered to participate! The cool thing about this event is that the neighborhood events are all as unique as the neighborhoods themselves! Some celebrate with an ice cream social, potluck or pool party. Some events are smaller with around 25 people, and others are larger with more than 300 attending.   

NNO event is coordinated through Safe Streets in partnership with local law enforcement including the Topeka Police Department, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office and Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office and with area businesses, including Westar Energy, Capitol Federal Foundation, Reser’s, Hy-Vee, Alpha Media and many others!

What’s even cooler is that in 2016, Topeka/Shawnee County ranked 7th in the nation for cities of comparable size, for our National Night Out events!

To sign up your neighborhood or to find out if your neighborhood has National Night Out plans, contact Safe Streets at 785.266.4606. You don’t have to have a neighborhood organization to host event, so contact your neighbors and Safe Streets and get involved today!

Farmer's Markets

Downtown Market


Day: Open Every Saturday April - Nov
Time: 7:30AM Until noon.
Location:12th and Harrison, South of the Judicial Building.

Market Manager:
Betty Lane - 785-249-4704

Opens April 8th  - Nov 2017

Capital City Market

 Held in Topeka every Wednesday May 10 - October 18, 2017 from 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on the south side of the Capitol along 10th Avenue

Monday Farmer's Market

Farmers Market


7-11:30 am

Mondays until October 9th 2017

Sports & Recreation



The Archery Club

598 SE 97th St, Wakarusa, KS 66546




Capital City Crushers

Capital City Crushers



Golden Giants



Topeka Train Robbers



Heartland Park

Heartland Park Topeka



Ravenwood Lodge

Ravenwood Lodge



 Sunflower State Games

Sunflower State Games


Topeka Roadrunners

Topeka Roadrunners Hockey


Washburn University



Topeka City of Character

Topeka City of Character


Sponsored by Topeka Capital Journal


 July - Responsiblity

Knowing and doing what is expected of me






New Businesses

Top Dog

Huntoon and Gage


Bluebird Diner

2134 N Kansas Ave.

Topeka, KS 66608

We are committed to cooking, serving and pouring food and beverage that is delicious, homemade (whenever possible) and fairly priced.

Ruth's Floral Designs

Brookwood Shopping Center

2839 SW 29th St

Topeka, KS

Our Floral Artist specializes in Weddings, Special Occasions, Events and Bereavement. Stop in to see our store...we have fresh flowers, plants and gifts.

Ruths Floral

Pizzeria Via Family Dining - Coming Soon!

738 SW Gage Blvd


Pizzeria Via Family Dining offers hand crafted and stone baked pizza, salads, grinders, wraps, wings and we also serve a variety of alcoholic beverages.


BrianChild Animation & Multimedia

818 NE Kansas Ave

Website coming soon

Maricel's has reopened in downtown Topeka

Front Door Catering

(785) 224-0192

Front Door Catering


Goodcents - New Location

4210 SW 21st

Now has a Drive Thru


Bruno's Downtown Grill & Bar

1003 SE Quincy, Topeka, KS 66612

Brunos Downtown Grill Bar

 skys the limit logo topeka kansas video game party

Sky's the Limit Mobile Gaming

(785) 260-2476


Sky Zone Tampoline Park



Coming Soon 29th and Wanamaker



Brightstar Event Services


After years in the event services industry, BrightStar founder Nick Holmes saw its challenges and wanted to create a different kind of event company. After years of hearing about what’s most important to brides from years of bridal shows and weddings, Nick built BrightStar to focus on what matters most.

  • Service and expertise. We’ve seen hundreds of special events and spoken with even more brides and brides-to-be. We’ll listen carefully to your needs and help you navigate the journey to your special day.
  • The extra mile. Sure, we help execute hundreds of events every year. But we know that every one of them could be someone’s event of a lifetime. We take that responsibility very seriously. That means we do what it takes to nail your event.
  • Great execution. Our team is good at what they do. We guarantee your satisfaction.


Interior Design Resources

2109 SW Belle 478-5706

Interior Design Resources Provides Interior Design, Design Services, Cabinets, Flooring Materials, Window Treatments, Countertops And Furniture To The Topeka, KS Area.


Culligan Water

3116 SW 29th Street. Topeka Kansas 66614..

Bottled Water/Coolers for your business or home, Water softeners and Bottle free water coolers and Reverse Osmosis Drinking water systems.. 8:30AM till 5PM MOnday thru Friday.. 785-350-2551.

Free drinking water fillups. Bring your jugs and we will fill them for FREE! 5 Gallon limit per customer.


create\uplift is a multimedia company based in Northeastern Kansas and services Topeka, Lawrence, Kansas City and beyond. We provide professional photography, videography, graphic design, website development, interactive marketing, and creative consulting to brands and businesses. Since 2015 we have operated from our workspace in Downtown Topeka, located in the collaborative makerspace, 712 Innovations.
Topeka Pizza
1630 SW Arvonia
Delivery and Takeout! Topeka Pizza is coming this July, right across from Lowes
Grandpa Rich's Pork
724 SW Gage Blvd
Grandpa Richs Pork
Fuzzy Taco
Fuzzy Tacos - Coming Soon
Old Team Sporting Goods building
Mother Moon Dance
2828 SW Arrowhead Rd
Studio 62 Art Bar
5648 SW 29th St

Midwest Float

Midwest Float

2120 SW Brandywine Ln
Suite 110
Topeka, KS 66614



New Coffee Shop

714 Gage, Topeka, KS


The Healthcare Resort

6300 SW 6th Ave.

Topeka, KS 66615


The Healthcare Resort of Topeka is changing the way that healthcare is being delivered to the Topeka Metropolitan Area. With the fusion of world-class healthcare and personalized hospitality, you encounter an experience that is truly unique and memorable.


IHOP coming soon to North Topeka

551 NW US Highway 24


Colaw Fitness

Colaw Fitness

1935 S.W. Westport Drive

Coming Soon


Things you should know.. Dillons' Fuel Points

Kim Schultz

I would like to begin with, I like shopping at Dillons. I also understand that a businesses first priority is to make a profit. While making a profit, they provide many different services and gimmicks to entice consumers to shop at their stores. One of the biggest gimmicks are their fuel points. The more you buy, the more fuel points you can earn. They even run other deals where these points can be doubled and even quadrupled, depending on the product.

How these points work.

1. Spend money and earn points. EASY!

You can earn unlimited points during the month.

2. Using your points.

Here is where fuel points get tricky.

They only allow you to spend 1000 points maximum at a time. ($1.00/gallon) This makes sense.

You have until the end of the month after you earn the points to use them. This too appears to make sense.

The points you earn in July expire in August. This means that they keep track of two months of fuel points.


July you earn 1000 fuel points.  One Aug 1 you should have 1000 fuel points and then you start accruing points from August for September. This however is not always true. You might get to August and have no points. You are confused. Many customers get mad at your kids or husband/wife for using all your points. You might actully be the reason, there are no points.

Dillons doesn't necessarily use the current month points that expire soon. When you scan your card and points appear, their system brings up the month with the most points.

July you earned 1000 fuel points

As of Aug 25th you have spent 600 July fuel points - this leaves you 400 fuel points.

August 25th you have already earned 500 fuel points for Sept.

On Aug 25th, you get gas and it shows that you have 500 fuel points. You choose to use them all and go on with your day. You take a trip and when you come back you go to get gas, on Sept 3rd, and you have no fuel points.  On August 25th you had 400 fuel points and 500 fuel points. That totals 900 fuel points. You used 500 so you should still have 400?

Here is why you don't.

Dillons does not combine months. However when you go to the pump, the computer brings up the month with the most points. If you use more points then the current month, those points are deducted from the next month and NOT the month that will expire. Some people won't have a problem with this. I however do have a BIG problem with this.

I earn my points to use throughout the month. I try to earn as many as I can, by only shopping at Dillons and taking advantage of the options to double and quadruple my points. I don't go so I can spend money and them can take my points.

Why are they not spending the most current points first? If you have a smart phone, you can use their app to see how many points you have but not everyone has a smart phone. Some have smart phones but don't really know how to use them for these types of things. Some have smart phones that require WIFI.

If I have 400 fuel points left in July, I believe my first option should be to use those points. If I want to see August points, there should be an option that says, see next months points. I don't believe that as a consumer, I should have to continually know my points balance for each month. I find this customer UNfriendly.

My Story

On July 25th, I went to Dillons to get gas. I knew that it was the final time in July that I would be getting gas so when it asked me if I wanted to use 500 points, I selected yes. I wanted to use all the points left in July that I has earned in June.

July 26th, I went to purchase a Regal Gift card to buy movie tickets and I was told I had 400 points to use by Monday. This can't be right, I just got gas and used all my points and I know that I have spent more than $198 in July.  Heck, I had just purchased an $80 gift card which gave me 160 of the 198 points that they show for August. I called the store and they informed me that when I selected 500 points the day before that those points came from my soon to be August points and that I still had 400 points in July. Now, I get that businesses are sometimes sneaky when they use their "Gimmicks."  This however is something I felt that everyone needs to be aware of. I guess Dillons expects their customers to not only pick their stores and buy their products to earn points, they also expect us to do more work to use the points. If I had only spent 400 of the 500 points they offered me, they would have taken those from July and not August. I picked 500 so they took them all from August.

I can't Imagine:

I can't imagine how many people, who don't have or can't afford cell phones, have lost points. They are probably the ones that could really use the savings. I know that in the month of August, I don't have to get my gas at Dillons, since they took my points. I should have had about 700 points to spend and after I do the survey, I will now only have 200.  I spent time trying to earn as many points as I could, just for them to be taken away. Fuel points are not free, I make my list, I scan through their coupons, I drive to the store, I shop, I spend money and now in all my extra free time, I need to keep track of my fuel points.

So before you use your fuel points, know the balance and make sure they don't have the chance to expire. You have earned those points and deserve to use them all. If you don't have the app or a smart phone, make sure to keep your Dillon reciepts because they will show you the balance for each month. This can be a good/quick reference for some.

Earning the most fuel points:

Always fill out the survey, that gives you 50 points.

When you go shopping at the end of the month, review your points. If you have 798 points, you should buy something for $2 so you don't loose the 98 points. They do not round the points. If you are at 745 points, do your survey in the next month since it won't get you to 800. They offer us these deals, we need to know how to benefit from them as best as possible.

Behind the scenes:

Just like any gimmick stores keep track of how many fuel points they issue but they don't care about how many are actually used. This once again goes back to sales at each store. The corporate level recieves tax write offs to help the bottom line. So we all benefit from fuel points.

Even more helpful information:

Fraud is big when it comes to anything fun! This also is true with a Dillons rewards card. Help keep your card safe. You can either use your card or an alternate number. When I signed up, they suggested that this number be my phone number. This means that anyone that knows my phone number, can go to Dillons and use my points. This alternate number can be changed online just like a password. I suggest that if you used your cell phone number and other have that number, you might want to change your alternate number to something else. You can change this number as often as you want on your online account.

Address: Did you know that they will link the same address to your account? If you move, make sure to change your Dillons profile to the new address because the people who move into your old address might get attached to your card and they could use your points or you use their points.

This is not the first time Dillons has heard about this complaint, yet they still keep their system the same and customers keep loosing their points.

I will not stop shopping at Dillons, I will however make sure to not loose any more fuel points in the future.

This is not the first time Dillons has heard about this complaint, yet they still keep their system the same and customers keep loosing their points.

Always keeping you connected!


PS. If you find that you have lost your points you can call the customer service at your local Dillons or call 1-800-362-2813 and see if they can help you!

I want to thank Chad Schmitz for his help with this blog, he worked at Dillons for 13 years and 5 of those were spent in the fuel center. His insight was quite educational. Chad is an aspiring writer/copywriter. You can follow Chad on Facebook and LinkedIn

Update: 7/30/17

I made a call to the 800 number and was disconnected. A friend of mine that works in customer service told me to call her and she would help fix the problem. I called and she reveiwed my account and was able to give me 400 points back to my August account. They can only add 200 points a day. The 800 number could have given more, but it makes you listen to many notices and changes before you can speak to someone. I hope that this page helps other understand how these points work and do not loose any in the future!!


Gab Local


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Check out the new shows that are being recorded LIVE in the Break Room Studio

Will you stand with us to make Topeka and Shawnee County the safest capital community in the country? Kristi Pankratz from the Safe Streets Coalition tells us all how we can get involved in the mission. And it's our first episode filmed in front of a LIVE audience in our new Downtown studio! Talk About Topeka is back! #TopekaProud

You're invited to a 200th birthday party! The Shawnee County Historical Society will be celebrating John Ritchie on July 16th with ice cream, entertainment, crafters and historical interpretations. Chris Schultz discusses the event with SCHS President George Bernheimer.

2016 Arts Connect - Legacy Arts Award - Topeka Art Guild - TOPEKA ART GUILD

2016 Arts Connect - Literary Arts Award - Leah Sewell

Talk About Topeka - Stephanie Mott & Dan Brennan- Capital City Equality Center The new Capital City Equality Center hopes to reduce suicide numbers for some of our most vulnerable and marginalized local residents. Chris Schultz discusses the new facility and the mission with President Stephanie Mott and Executive Director Dan Brennan.

Talk About Topeka - Laura Burton - Midland Care Midland Care provides comfort to many local residents when they least expect it, and most need it. Chris Schultz discusses their mission with Laura Burton.

2016 Arts Connect - Performing Arts Award - Martinez Hillard Last Minute Folk Topeka Blues Society

Talk About Topeka - Tawny Stottlemire – Community Action Poverty is a big problem that plagues many local residents with anxiety and crime. Tawny Stottlemire, Executive Director of Community Action, paints a picture of our local issues with Chris Schultz. They discuss ways in which community members can get involved and take action with a compassionate heart.

Talk About Topeka - Lalo Muñoz - El Centro of Topeka El Centro of Topeka provides a wide range necessary services to some of our most vulnerable residents. Chris Schultz discusses those services with Executive Director Lalo Muñoz.

Talk About Topeka - Nancy Harms - Midland Care Findables Findables is a great way to turn your shopping habits in to compassionate action for Midland Care. Chris Schultz discusses the store with Nancy Harms.

Talk About Topeka - Susan Cantrell - Topeka Capital-Journal Findables is a great way to turn your shopping habits in to compassionate action for Midland Care. Chris Schultz discusses the store with Nancy Harms.

2016 Arts Connect - Visual Arts Award - "John Holcomb Britta McKee Larry Peters (WINNER)"

Safe Streets Neighborhood Night Out There will many great opportunities to meet our neighbors, sprouting up in over 80 neighborhoods, on August 5th all over the city. Chris Schultz discusses the annual Neighborhood Night Out event with Safe Streets Director Kristi Pankratz.

Talk About Topeka - Vince Frye - DTI Things are really taking off in downtown Topeka! There's even an opportunity for one lucky entrepreneur to realize $100,000 toward the dream of owning their own business. Chris Schultz discusses the curent progress with Vince Frye, President and CEO of Downtown Topeka Inc. #TopekaProud

Check back often for more shows from Gab Local or just visit their website


This website is a prototype for an idea that I have been working on for ten years! It is continually changing and I hope to make this the main site for anyone that wants to find something in Topeka to use.

It is being built with those who live in Topeka and the surrounding area but not limited to them.

There are 4 sections to this website.

  1. The Topeka Newsletter is the first part.  It is going through some major overhaul since most of the information can now be found in a better organized manner on the website.  This is free for any locally owned business to use to promote their business.
  2. The Community Calendar is actually the most important part of this website, right now.  Each community should be informed on what is going on. This doesn't just mean the bar scene. When I say informed, I mean fundraisers, sports, daily food and drink specials, sales, entertainment, recreation and anything else going on.  This calendar tries to include anything that the public is invited to. There is no charge to include your events.  We enter all the events so it saves business owners time. They just need to send us the information and we will take it from there.
  3. Everything Topeka is a plethora of information compiled in a map based program.  Here you can search and find different venues in different categories. You can pick one or all categories to search. This search will not find information that is not on the map though so you will need to use the website search function also. It is free to be listed with a simple profile and an affordable way to enhance your listing.
  4. Everything Else is more businesses that are not listed in the Map feature. There is a guide page that actually will lead you in the right direction.  It is free to be listed with a simple profile and an affordable way to enhance your listing.


We have 2 different search bars.  We use a program called Hot Spot and it does not integrate with the rest of the website at this time.  So you will need to use both places if you can't find what you are looking for.  Search Articles option will search everything but the maps. It even includes the calendar.



Thanks for your support!

I am working very hard to try to find out all the great things going on in Topeka  If you know of any event that is open to the public please let me know!  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remember event dates and times can change.  Check out their webiste or give them a call before making plans!

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Please spread the word or forward this email to anyone you believe would be interested in know what is going on in Topeka.  Thanks

Always Keeping You Connected,


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