Letters from the week of January 30, 2003

Color Blinds 

Letters from the week of January 30, 2003

Color Blinds
His Lott in life: I liked Greg Hall's courageous story on Jason Whitlock ("Black Hawks Down," December 26), but did not like Albert Burton's letter to the editor (January 23), which stated that Jason sells newspapers for the Star and asked how many Trent Lotts are out there.

First, as a former fifteen-year broadcaster, I have to say Jason never looked good on TV and has an awful voice for radio. His columns appear to come just short of racist, and now he's been caught in a racist gaffe. The question, Mr. Burton, is not necessarily how many Trent Lotts there are, but how many Jason Whitlocks there are. In other words, the community has many colors of racists, and we need to work to eliminate racism.
Bill Williams
Kansas City, Missouri

Latino Lover

A Neifi in the back: Greg Hall's column in the December 5 issue on Royals manager Tony Peña is just the tip of the iceberg ("Tony Baloney"). Peña clearly has two sets of clubhouse rules: one for Latino players, and one for the rest of the players.

The Kansas City media danced around the Neifi Perez affair, but it's hard to believe a non-Latino player, catcher A.J. Hinch for instance, wouldn't have been immediately released upon refusing to enter a game. In fact, Hinch was one of the few Royals to publicly express his outrage at Perez's lack of punishment and Peña's clubhouse demeanor, and that led to Hinch's being cut from the team when the season ended.

Both The Kansas City Star and Royals' radio flagship KMBZ 980 have talked about how many meetings -- both on and off the field -- Peña has in Spanish, thus alienating non-Spanish speakers on the team. Does anyone in the KC media, including the Pitch, have the courage to expose, or at least investigate, Peña's different rules for different players, or are we all too politically correct to question a minority manager's apparent racial bias?
Greg Johnson
Kansas City, Missouri

The Sound and the Furry
Pet project: Regarding Allie Johnson's "Animal Control Freak" (January 16): Animal Control Officer Ray Campfield deserves praise for going above and beyond his job description. There are many well-meaning animal lovers who become overextended, financially and physically, to the detriment of their charges. Television investigators then have a field day as they swoop in to film emaciated lions, horses, dogs, cats, etc., living in filth.

It happens over and over throughout the world, and accusing fingers are then pointed at animal inspectors, who are blamed for not doing their jobs. Officer Ray Campfield has the responsibility of making sure these atrocities do not happen in Jackson County. He can't just accept someone's assurances that his facility is perfect. He has to see for himself.

Dana Savorelli and Ray Campfield are both striving to improve animal welfare and, hopefully, can enjoy each other's cooperation in the future.
Kenneth Lee

Bag 'em: The Jackson County officer is typical of our police and animal-control officers. Instead of helping people, they harass them.

If the animal-control officer has nothing better to do than harass this man, then let's get rid of a problem officer and use his salary to pay for some of the things the city has not had the money to pay for, like trash bags or school programs. I'm tired of our county bitching about having no money and how we need to raise taxes so workers can harass the people who pay their salaries. Fed up.
Marty Phillips
Kansas City, Missouri

Dog gone it!: How 'bout we all show up at the animal-control officer's house and ask for a quick inspection? If he says no, we can all camp out in his backyard for a couple years and see how he likes it.

Obvious misuse of "official" power should never be tolerated. I mean, he's a DOGCATCHER, for crissake!
Name Withheld Upon Request

Monkey business: Allie Johnson writes: "Three years ago, an irresponsible pet owner's loose chimpanzee made the news by attacking a teen-age girl near Erotic City, the sex shop and strip club on East Truman Road. Shortly afterward, Jackson County Animal Control Officer Ray Campfield paid his first visit to Dana Savorelli." That's idiotic. Why didn't the officer just approach his honor, give him the story and get a limited warrant to look for the monkey that was causing the problem?

All he had to do was obtain a limited warrant, thereby satisfying the pet owner that this was a legitimate inquiry, and go about his business of protecting the people of the community. Who are these dimwits in the police department?
Jerry Greenberg
El Dorado, Arkansas

Buena Vista
Raya of light: Regarding Joe Miller's "La Familia" (January 23): As I walked into a downtown convenience store yesterday morning for a little breakfast with an acquaintance, I had to do a double take. Was that my niece Lil' Syl on the cover of the latest Pitch? The only thought that crossed my mind was, what now?

You see, la familia suffered a terrible tragedy on December 20, with the murders of Sylvia's cousin and my niece, Olivia Raya, and her fiancé and family friend, Tony "Snap" Rios. Olivia had just graduated from Rockhurst College, and on January 1, Snap had planned on flying them to Las Vegas so he could surprise her with a wedding, Vegas-style. This was covered by the media as well as by a local Hispanic newspaper, and no one has been charged with the murders as of yet. Needless to say, la familia had little to smile about this Christmas, and we can only hope and pray that this new year brings peace, acceptance and justice.

Seeing my niece on the cover with the title "La Familia" touched me in a way you never intended. In our time of tragedy, all that the Raya, Rodriguez, Briones and Rios families have had is each other, las familias, to turn to for comfort and support. The cover and title brought that home for me, as it will for other family members.

While Miller's story has made Kansas City aware of Alta Vista's plight, I can only hope that my niece Sylvia will be given the opportunity to continue to excel in an environment that will allow her to follow in the footsteps of her late, beautiful cousin, Olivia Raya.

Thank you for giving las familias a reason to smile, and thank you for giving a sweet, beautiful and sometimes shy sixteen-year-old girl her fifteen minutes.
Mario Eulalio Rodriguez
Kansas City, Missouri

Blow Up
Heads up: I wanted to express my appreciation for Bruce Rushton's "Head Cases" (January 2). I know that you may probably get some flack about that and its discussion, but I appreciate the kind of research that went into it, and the issues discussed.
Dan Campbell
Kansas City, Missouri

House of Paean
Adam's mark: I am very impressed by Kendrick Blackwood's article about the Church of the Resurrection ("Christmas Eve at Adam's House," December 19). It is truly an amazing church, and I hope that his efforts in writing this story will touch your readers to come check it out.

Thank you for spending so much time getting the facts straight and caring enough to be thorough. I have already shared his article with others.
Lynn Kurr

Joker's Wild
A Royal, elitist flush: In regard to Charles Ferruzza's review of the Ameristar Casino Buffet ("Crap Shoot," January 9): I guess I'm confused as to whether Ferruzza was having a slow week and couldn't find a real restaurant to review or just wanted to write a comedy piece at the expense of the casino patrons.

I mean, since when is buffet food consider haute cuisine? It's always been my experience that a buffet, no matter where it's served, has the sole purpose of feed 'em quick and cheap, and if it's halfway decent, that's a bonus. What is Charles reviewing next? A high school cafeteria?

And didn't anyone ever teach him that if you can't say anything nice about fellow human beings, don't say anything at all? I can't believe the Pitch condones his pissy, elitist, condescending behavior, let alone pays him for it.
Ann Jackson
Kansas City, Missouri

Jackpot!: Charles Ferruzza's "Crap Shoot" is quite possibly the best article I have ever read in my life. I hate to read. But I will read his column. BRAVO!
Corey Novascone

Lettuce entertain you: Oh. My. God. I just read Charles Ferruzza's review of Ameristar's buffet. I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard. I vividly recall the brown lettuce I once had there many years ago.

Thanks for the laugh!
Name Withheld Upon Request

The chips are down: Just in case your readers are wondering if there is anything worse than the food served at a casino buffet, ask yourself this: Who eats the leftovers? Unfortunately, the solution to "what's for dinner" in the hotel and casino industry is known as the employee meal. In my opinion, the roulette tables should be moved to the buffet. Step right up! Spin the wheel and win a food-borne illness!

All of us buffet victims and catering veterans would appreciate it if Charles Ferruzza would issue a public-safety announcement the next time Walt Bodine waxes sentimental about buffets on KCUR 89.3. I hope Charles will tell listeners to ask themselves two questions before wallowing up to the trough: 1. Are the hot foods hot and/or the cold foods cold? 2. How is the food replenished -- is the new batch or pan replaced, or is it dumped on top of the old stuff?

I appreciate Ferruzza's lively reviews in the Pitch (I used to read Dan Savage first) and for being the "unsnob" food critic on Walt Bodine.
Jennifer Mertes

Lush Life
Bar flight: I read Jen Chen's "Aggro Phobia" column (Night Ranger, January 16), and I thought I was the only one suffering from this disease! I hate the Granfalloon and its patrons. I've only been there once, but that was enough for me.

I have a much more progressed form of this disease than she does. Whenever I get an attack of aggro phobia brought on by the pathetic, stupid, phony, fashion-abused crowd, I react. I have shoved people out of my way, and I won't hesitate to tell someone how mismatched their hair and their clothes are. I pick fights with men, and I will throw a drink (not mine) in their faces. Then I leave that bar to find another target.
Lorraine Corso
Kansas City, Missouri


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