Regarding Mayor Kay Barnes' legacy, I'd like to reflect on areas in which she has affected me, a downtown worker and owner of a two-bedroom bungalow in Brookside. During Mayor Barnes' tenure:
(A) My place of employment was forced to leave the excellent location where it had done business for 47 years to make room for the new arena. In our new location, it has been a struggle rebuilding the level of clientele we formerly enjoyed. It seems our customers preferred the old locale.
(B) While developers are enjoying tax abatements and wealthy individuals can relocate in downtown luxury condos without any tax commitment for 25 years, my real estate taxes have significantly increased yearly. In 2005, they skyrocketed $500, and another $250 was added in 2006. Meanwhile, our sidewalks heave steadily skyward due to trees planted by the city in the easements lining our streets. These trees also need trimming in the worst way. When we have inclement weather, our streets remain untreated.
(C) Our local sales tax has risen to an alarming level. As a lifetime resident of the area, I fear that in the near future, I will no longer be able to afford to continue living here.
I hope to God that Mayor Barnes' glittering renaissance for downtown becomes a success, since it will have been won on the backs of the citizens of Kansas City. Cheryl L. Sortore, Kansas City, Missouri
Feature: "Life Sucks," April 5
Regarding Carolyn Szczepanski's story about Germain Devia: Good to hear someone with Uncle Sam got some balls and sent this piece of crap home! What happens to him is nobody's problem, worry or trouble other than his own. Let the Colombian Army or FARC pay for his brain surgeries. But I refuse to foot this bill.
What still sucks for us is that he left a wife and kid here. That namesake will most likely grow up to hate/terrorize the U.S.A. for what it did to his scumbag daddy.
Those with sympathy/empathy for this lowlife are encouraged to send him a cash donation. I'm sure he'll be more than happy to run back across the border with a couple of kilos of coke for you. Name withheld by request Night & Day, April 12
We were thrilled to see the great coverage of the downtown Kansas City, Kansas, ArtWalk in the Pitch, but were disappointed that the YWCA's Sixth Street Gallery was left out of the article — particularly since the artwork by Elaine Mills highlighted in your paper is on display at our gallery.
Fortunately, if folks want to see this piece and the additional works in our current exhibit, Women of the Bennett/Marak West Bottoms' Art Studio, curated by Philomene Bennett, they still have the opportunity to make a trip to downtown KCK. The show runs through April 30.
This show was held in conjunction with the grand opening of the new YWCA facility, which, in addition to the Sixth Street Gallery, includes a women's health and fitness center and the Corner Coffee Café. The café serves lunch and is open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. The YWCA of Greater Kansas City is located at 1017 North Sixth Street in KCK. The building is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 913-371-1105. Brandi Fisher, Kansas City, Kansas
Buckle Bunny, April 19
In reading Crystal K. Wiebe's "No Static at All," I am amazed at how little research has gone into her article. So many things are just plain wrong, especially the part about royalties.
Indie label or not, royalties are due artists. Current congressional moves have forced Internet broadcasters to pay twice the royalties of terrestrial radio. The vast majority of these stations are hobby stations and take in no money at all, let alone profit.
You would have done well by contacting Whiskey from a Wire, the only Kansas City independent Internet station, to my knowledge, that is listed on iTunes. It is in the alternative section. The broadcaster behind WFAW has been broadcasting on the Internet for more than eight years.
Whiskey's MySpace blog has been tackling the issue of these royalties for months now, and it is something that could have a billowing effect throughout the Internet.
This could have been a great article about Internet radio, what it has done for independent artists and how it will absolutely end in the near future given these changes in Congress. It's a shame that more research was not done. It is not just radio stations like Chronic's or WFAW that are in danger of being shut down due to royalty concerns. If you read the language of this action, it puts in danger any broadcast of music on the Internet. Bethanie Lundy, Kansas City, Missouri
Crystal K. Wiebe responds: Thanks to Lundy and commenters here who have corrected the royalties mistake in my column. Contrary to what I wrote, Pop Free Radio does pay royalties. Thanks also for bringing up Whiskey From a Wire, one of many local Web radio stations and podcasts that I just didn't have room to mention.