Kansas City, Missouri
Worlds apart: I find all the attention Esmie Tseng is getting after killing her mother to be a bit over the top (Nadia Pflaum's "Is Esmie Evil?" January 5). I'm willing to bet that none of her supporters, including Mr. Horwitz, would be making Web sites and going to court dates if Esmie were named Jamal.
Mr. Horwitz probably didn't know that courts have been trying kids as adults for years kids who were poor, black, written off from birth and not a big priority out in Overland Park. For all her supporters who want her tried as a child, welcome to the world of the inner city. Where were you when these laws were being passed to try young black kids as adults?
I have no sympathy for this child, because I have watched kids from broken homes in drug-infested neighborhoods being carted off to adult jail while bleeding hearts like Mr. Horwitz sat silent because those kids didn't come from their neighborhoods. Now I'm supposed to cry for her because "the pressure" got to her? Being told to succeed is pressure? Like seeing a drug dealer in your front yard all the time isn't pressure? Like watching your friends getting killed isn't pressure? Being offered easy money for holding drugs while your mother busts her ass at three jobs? Like not having any hope isn't pressure?
If Mr. Horwitz wants to try to peel back these ignorant laws across the board and see to it that no child is sent away after being tried as an adult, then I'll listen and support. But spare me the soapbox speeches about one of your lost flock while I'm watching a whole generation of my own black youth being destroyed both from within and without.
via the Internet Café Society
Getting saucy: Regarding Charles Ferruzza's "Chronicles of Marinara" (January 12): I, too, am Italian. When I first came to Kansas City, I thought the local non-Italians were just being funny calling me "eye-talian."
I was amused that they assumed that every Italian was in the mob and even more amused that they thought that if they claimed to know one of KC's reputed mob bosses, I'd be impressed or they'd have some special stature.
Of course, they also didn't know that spiedini was created here in KC heart of the Midwest and not in Italy. So when I arrived and was taken quickly to Garozzo's, they were confused that I didn't drool over the dish. (Truth is, I am still trying to figure out why people like it.)
They all thought Italian was spaghetti and meatballs with very sweet, overly garlicky marinara. They like "Italian butter," as Ferruzza describes it. In our house, we dipped bread in olive oil without any added spices. And many KCers thought Italian cooking was supposed to be as spicy as Tex-Mex. Of course, a few years later, a readers' poll in this paper ranked the Olive Garden as the city's second-best Italian restaurant. That explained a lot.
I wish that KC had more Italian restaurants like those in Chicago, New York, Buffalo and many other places.
Kansas City, Missouri
Hard to swallow: Thank you very much for your lengthy article about the La Filipina Café ("Mild Manila," January 19). I have never been insulted so much like you did in my life. You not only insulted us but the whole Filipino culture and people. I know that it is hard for someone to assimilate in the American society, but with the help of people like you, it makes it harder. We will take your criticism to good use. Hopefully with hard work and with the help of God, we will be accepted to the "American culinary society" with our eccentricities and everything.
Kansas City, Missouri
Fox worthy: I just wanted to let you know how much we (my business partner, Marsha, and I, and the rest of the Fox Zoo Crew) enjoyed Jen Chen's review of her recent trip to The Fox (Night Ranger, January 12). I always enjoy her column, and it was nice to see her tongue was planted firmly in cheek, as always.
We're so glad she chose one of our karaoke nights for her visit, because, as she said, "all the weird shit" happens then. (As weird as it gets in the afternoon is Marsha and I yelling Jeopardy answers at the TV.)
FYI, in February we are starting "Fox Idol III" at Wednesday night karaoke. Watch the weird shit come out then (along with some pretty decent singers).
Thanks again for some great publicity, and we hope Chen enjoyed her evening as much as she enjoyed the dog abuse.