Like our mayor in KCK, Carol Marinovich, Barnes plays the government game too well -- they spend the money and don't take care of the little guy! I thought we would change that; unfortunately, my age group were hippies, dopers and musicians. The smart ones followed their parents' footsteps and are conservative.
Guess we'll have to wait for the kids to change it!
Kansas City, Kansas
She formed the Greater Downtown Development Authority, which organized KC's top business and government leaders into a single board focused on downtown development. She spearheaded the Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Act through the Missouri Legislature, which will generate tax revenues to be diverted back into downtown projects. She convinced voters to approve the general obligation bond issue back in November, which allocates $15.7 million toward street improvements, parking garages, infrastructure and other downtown projects. And she cleared the way for specific downtown projects to get underway, such as the loft development in the old Western Auto building, the relocation of KC's second largest law firm to downtown and the relocation of the IRS into the old post office building.
There are numerous other examples. Establishing the behind-the-scenes groundwork for downtown development without raising taxes takes time and effort, and the mayor had to practically start from scratch. The results will reestablish Kansas City as a major urban center.
Don't let populist buzzwords and the Pitch's own mean-spiritedness fool you. Mayor Kay Barnes is the best hope for revitalizing downtown Kansas City.
Tom Davis, President, RevUp K.C.
Kansas City, Missouri
Ray's town: Enjoyed Casey Logan's article on Ray Braswell and his efforts to create a consensus vision for the future of the Van Tuyl properties near the Plaza ("He's the Man!" March 6).
As one who knows Ray and his wife, Marion, I can tell you that their commitment to good things happening in the urban core is long-standing and heartfelt. It is often the case that the equally legitimate, but sometimes conflicting, objectives of preservation on the one hand and redevelopment on the other become so fractious that advocates of each are unable or unwilling to give due consideration to the other.
Resolving these conflicts in a way that can actually result in a true win-win for the community takes more than just patience; it requires a recognition that both perspectives have something to offer, and a conviction that an honest effort to accommodate the best of each is not only virtuous but (oh, by the way) good business. This is not some Pollyannaish drivel -- it is a thoughtful way of doing business that allows urban communities to remain vibrant. Keep it up, Ray!
Kansas City, Missouri
He's probably scared as hell, and prosecutors will use this fear in conjunction with the common practice of "overcharging" a crime to use as leverage in the plea-bargain process.
I am one of those victims of the prosecutor's overzealous efforts to gain a conviction at any cost; the police department's lack of a thorough investigation; and a defense attorney's lackluster efforts. The circumstances made me feel I had to accept a plea bargain to something I'm not guilty of. (I'm awaiting an appeal. Where's MY benefit party, 39th Street?)
The people of Kansas City should know and remember two things: (1.) Never, under ANY circumstances, talk to the cops about shit! If they catch you with a saw in one hand and a bloody stump in the other, they don't need anything you've got to say, right? When they tell you "anything you say CAN and WILL be used against you," they sure as hell mean just that. (2.) If you are charged with a crime you're not sure you're guilty of, find out as much information as possible on the subject. Don't just leave it up to your attorney. They don't have a bad reputation as lying weasels for nothing.
I hope the best for John, and I don't really want to see him here in this place, but right now, it looks inevitable. Trust me, though, there's a BIG difference between the time he'll do for one charge (life without) and another (minimum seven).
Paul R. Graham
Correction: Due to an editor's error, last week's Stage review of Smokey Joe's Café incorrectly noted the duties of Cindy Layton and Kristin Lewis Gorman. The two codirected and cochoreographed the show.