Letters from the week of December 20, 2001

Blow Dry 

Letters from the week of December 20, 2001

Suck it up: Regarding Kendrick Blackwood's "Unprotected Sex" (December 6): I was horrified to read about Robert Rowe and his promiscuity in exposing his penis in a public bathroom (of all places). It's frightening to think that people might be pulling down their pants and exposing their buttocks, when taking a crap, in bathrooms all across America.

It's shocking. Shocking, I say.
Montgomery Gabrys
Olathe


Blown call: Johnson County has every right to prosecute Robert Rowe for having sex in a public restroom. People should be able to use public bathrooms without worrying about any unwanted or unsavory situations.

Homosexuality will always exist, and I accept that some individuals are born that way. Yet, it's still aberrant behavior; thus the penalties should be harsher. That may not be a popular sentiment in the alternative community, but Rowe's punishment is nothing compared to other countries.' In Saudi Arabia, he'd be executed.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Kansas City, Missouri


The Last Don
Oh give me a home: Regarding Deb Hipp's recent articles about refugee housing ("Housing Heartbreak," July 12, and "American Scheme," November 15): Don Bosco resettles 350 refugees annually in Kansas City. One of our goals is to assist these clients in finding affordable housing and becoming self-sufficient. This is a monumental task; government funding is very limited and only pays the rent for the first three months after a refugee arrives. Many of the refugees speak little or no English and have limited job skills. In most cases there is one adult breadwinner in the household, earning minimum wage for an entry-level position. Finding decent two- to three-bedroom apartments for $400 to $450 a month is very difficult. Unfortunately, many landlords do not want to rent to a tenant with no credit history. Faced with this challenge, Don Bosco's staff does an admirable job in locating affordable apartments on short notice.

Hipp's articles criticized the placement of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" in Plaza-area apartments. She failed to point out that Don Bosco was able to place four working adults in the same apartment with a combined earning capacity that made it possible to rent higher-priced apartments of $650 a month. That rent has now increased to $800 a month. If your readers are aware of two- and three-bedroom apartments in good condition that rent for $400 to $450 a month, please let the Don Bosco staff know at 816-474-0800, as we are in constant need of leads on decent, affordable housing for our clients.
G. William Quatman
Vice Chairman, Don Bosco Nationalities Center
Kansas City, Missouri


Jack Knifed
The Lone ranger: I just finished Allie Johnson's story on the Lone Jack mess ("All Alone in Lone Jack," December 6). She has presented very clearly, and without sensationalism, a story that is complex with characters that could easily be caricatured. Very nice work!

I hope that her article will give strength to the efforts to find truth and justice out there, and I look forward to future revelations.
Douglas Drake
Kansas City, Missouri


Current Affairs
Trial by Jerry: I wish to compliment Deb Hipp for "No Flowers Please" (November 22), regarding the passing of Jerry D. O'Neal.

I first came in contact with J.D. in October 1997, when he hired me as a columnist for the Current News. I often heard him arguing with, and cursing at, individuals on the phone. One Friday, J.D. spent about six hours on the phone with several people from the phone company -- supervisors included. He was cursing and yelling at the top of his lungs, demanding his phone service be reinstalled. I kept thinking to myself, "If you'd only treat these people with some respect, you'd get a lot farther." There were times he could really be fun, however.

I started selling ads for him in February 1998. I must have gotten 25 different businesses to advertise; but after I arranged the terms, he would change them. I was so embarrassed that I lost all interest in that job. Things finally came to a head when my payroll check bounced. It took me nine months to recover because of bank fees he refused to pay. So I quit.

His death hit me hard, and I had a lot of mixed emotions. On the one hand, J.D. was always a gentleman to me, except the payroll check incident. On the other hand, I knew how he treated the rest of the staff, other professionals and members of our local gay and lesbian community, as well as other people with whom he did routine business. I am especially appalled at what he did to Michael Burnes, the owner, and Buddy Taylor (female impersonator Belle Starr) of Missie B's nightclub. I feel for all the people who got burned by this man.
Ted Bryant
Independence

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