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Re: “Is Esmie Evil?

I hope she will recover in years to come, I have to beleive it is what her mother would have wanted for her. I think the drugs were the biggest problem going here. Good luck Esmie.

Posted by Chris on 09/15/2014 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Pioneers Press attempts a radical experiment in literature and living

"It exists in this total bubble. I couldn't take it seriously after a point." Pretty disparaging comment coming from a guy who left town to continue publishing the same kind of material in the same industry that he left behind in Portland. "You move there, and everything you could possibly want is there, and you play and play and play until you turn into a donkey." It sounds as if you're perpetuating the joke that Portland is where 30-somethings go to retire, which is far from the truth. 30-somethings come here looking for change that never comes and wind up bolstering our already burgeoning suicide rates. Gnade, you are very lucky if you truly were able to leave Portland behind with the false impression it's all fun and games. I admit I'm envious that I've lived my entire life here and haven't once made anything of myself until I put my guitar and my craft beer down and made a concerted effort to keep a job and build a skill set. They say success comes with sacrifice and perhaps the bountiful social scene of Portland was the sacrifice you made to find success in sleepy Norfolk, but do we really deserve your disdain? I can only assume you're pandering to the bigoted East Coast perspective that the West Coast is lazy with the convenient support of our radical image. What's your next move? Allow me to guess; Detroit?

Posted by Tony Zielinski on 09/13/2014 at 10:46 PM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

I am truly impressed that The Pitch has brought this out, Kudos to this reporter. I am likewise impressed that so many have openly made educated and founded comments in regard to KCK my hometown and the place that I love!!! We can do better we just have to be brave. Thank you so much!!!

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Janice Witt on 09/11/2014 at 9:36 PM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

When I worked for the newly formed UG in 1996-1999 I presented to my supervisor Ed Smith some research on vacant and tax delinquent properties. Working with the tax assessors office and codes department, we found over 2000 tax delinquent properties between 18th St and 3rd St and between Quindaro and I 70. Some of these properties were tax delinquent for more than 15 years. One was tax delinquent for 70 years. One individual owned over 200 of these properties.

During this analysis we looked at lots that were vacant; which could be combined into "buildable lots" more than 25 ft wide; etc. The idea was to develop plans working with neighborhood groups to foster development and add affordable housing to the area. Title to most of these properties was "clouded" with ownership uncertain and many couldn't be sold by owners because ownership was never transferred to heirs by owners that had died, or heirs couldn't be located. It would required that the properties go through the courts to clear the titles for development.

During the process we looked at utilities, including water, sewer, electrical, streets to evaluate capacity to handle additional loads. It seemed all the utility companies were prepared to buy in to new development with little or no incentives.

I found a developer interested in working to develop a 144 unit apartment complex just north of 7th and Quindaro. Concurrently I was able to get the interest of a grocer for a 50,000 sq ft grocery store at the NE corner of 7th and Quindaro. Working with several neighborhood groups the plan included efforts to retain some of the old facades of the "old town" while new construction could be incorporated.

During the last of my employment with the UG, ED Smith was transferred to another department. Lavert Murray was placed in charge of Community Development and became my direct supervisor. At that point all work on the project ceased. Lavert prohibited me from working or meeting with community organizations and I was prohibited from accessing my files. My desk was moved to a closet on the 6th floor.

I created three binders with all the information accumulated, including addresses and geo-maps of data collected, proposals for up to 1200 new homes, the grocery store and small business development. The software with maps, data, tax information etc was placed on a CD in the binder. One binder was presented to Lavert, a second presented to Mayor Kay Barnes along with my resignation. The third was left at the otherwise empty desk I was assigned.

To find out that Lavert had his hand in the hotel debacle is not surprising.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by A.j. Quigley on 09/11/2014 at 8:17 PM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

From downtown KCK you are a 240 second drive to downtown KCMO. There is no excuse for a lack of corporate office development. The only announcements they make for downtown groundbreakings are for 1-2 story small not for profits, and UG office relocations.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Phil Thomas on 09/11/2014 at 8:49 AM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

OH WAIT?? CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE THOSE 18 Soccer fields are? https://www.facebook.com/notes/janice-witt/their-political-lies-community-gripes-and-my-beefs-this-aint-no-khum-bye-ahh/546447298721417

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Janice Witt on 09/10/2014 at 9:57 PM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

For God sakes don't give the money to the church's, that is a hole nother money pit that never makes it to the people it is intended for. The church's grow and so does the poverty count. Nope!!! not to the church's please.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Janice Witt on 09/10/2014 at 9:53 PM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

What did they expect, this was set up for failure and fodder. The Northend of KCK is a food and fuel desert. Not one grocery store or fuel station. It's crazy to me that on every corner there is a liquor store and a storefront church. They should give away the land to developers for free. Restart a plan Under the Nehemiah HUD Community Block Grants Program, This could support the construction of new modular homes in the NorthEnd sections of KCK, many programs all around the country have MPDU's (Moderate priced Development Units) these would be developed by local Church Congregations, a consortium of over a dozen or so congregations, this would involve churches to contribute donations into a revolving construction fund while HUD provides below-market rate mortgages to keep the homes affordable to occupants. The Unified Government can assemble the land and provide it to the developers at a nominal cost or no cost to facilitate construction. This would put tax money back on the books to pay for city police fire and infrastructure improvements. Something has gone wrong in my Hometown of KCK. Someone is steering these monies into the wrong pockets, and self enriching themselves to the point criminal corruption.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Peter McGhee on 09/10/2014 at 5:37 PM

Re: “Cliff Drive: perfect for running, biking, hiking – and driving your trash

Ive lived in the KC area for 40 years and have never had the guts to venture beyond the gates at Cliff Dr on the Paseo side. @Bryan Stalder: The fact that you ride your bike back there and havent been shot, stabbed, or at least mugged, is really impressive.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by cmcmcm on 09/10/2014 at 2:54 PM
Posted by Corruption on 09/10/2014 at 2:44 PM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

Thank you for this piece. Local politics is so hard to follow and this story sheds light on some really important information.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Billy Brame on 09/10/2014 at 1:08 PM

Re: “KCK got a pile of federal cash to invest in its downtown. Most of it went into a money-pit hotel

When I ran for office I mentioned this corruption. Glad to see someone in media seeking the facts.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Janice Witt on 09/10/2014 at 12:18 PM

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