The developer of Mission Gateway keeps shrinking Johnson County's endlessly stalled development project, but still expects taxpayers to grease its wheels.
Tom Valenti, the man who owns 26 acres of prime real estate upon which the Mission Center mall once stood, returned to Mission this week to speak to that suburb's leaders. The news wasn't good.
The Pitch earlier this year reported that the project's apartments were on the ropes. Valenti wouldn't confirm it at the time and instead complained about this newspaper's pointing out his inability to proceed with construction on land he has owned since 2005.
Last night, he announced that, while the proposed Walmart store at Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway could get slightly bigger, more elements of the project have disappeared.
For a state dominated by a party that extols fiscal conservatism, the Kansas checkbook looks more like bank-account statements belonging to an insane gambling addict.
For one thing, compulsive gamblers tend to mislead themselves and others about the true nature of their financial picture ("I can always win it back").
Gov. Sam Brownback reported last month that Kansas would have $435 million in the state's savings account. Then bean counters revealed in a news dump late last week that Kansas finished out its last fiscal year with $380 million, a $55 million difference from Brownback's projections.
Apparently, when the Fray played the Midland a few weeks back, the opening act was a band called Gravy and the Biscuits. G and the B are from Nashville, and while they were in town, they filmed a music video for their song, "Sauced." The song sounds like Black Keys if they spliced in hip-hop verses, and the video is a jokey dance-competition thing. The footage leans heavily on Plaza landmarks, and the closing scene takes place on the lawn at the Nelson-Atkins. Maybe it's something you're interested in watching; maybe it's not something you're interested in watching. Look, nobody's judging anybody here.
It would be really awesome if the metro had a legitimate claim on any of the artists nominated in the popular Grammy categories this year. Alas, even cheesy and puzzling candidates Lady Antebellum (Album of the Year??!!) and Michael Buble (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) hail from hamlets other than Kansas City and its surrounding areas.
Thankfully, the Recording Academy recognizes the stars of all kinds of music scenes, even opera. And that's where the metro comes in.
Scottish noise-masters Mogwai will follow-up their recent live album and DVD with some tour dates in support of their sublimely titled new album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. The release is due on Feb 15, 2010 on Sub Pop. They're not coming to Kansas City (dammit), but they're coming to Omaha on April 30 to make the Slowdown rumble off its foundation.
Next week kicks off with a historic night for Kansas City football: the New Arrowhead will host the first Monday night football game next week. Looks like the Chiefs have added Billy Ray Cyrus and Train to the festivities. (No Miley? Boo.)
Billy Ray Cyrus will perform the national anthem, and Train will perform the ever-infectious "Soul Sister" -- and a roster of mediocre '90s radio hits -- at halftime. (Cue thousands of Kansas Citians singing that irritating ay-ay-ay-ay refrain from "Drops of Jupiter" in unison.)