I noticed that letter writer Kenneth Lee of Raytown had to mention Bannister Mall. Well, Bannister Mall wasn't falling apart because of white T-shirts. It was falling apart because:
1. Parents have no control over their kids anymore.
2. You can't card people walking into a mall, nor can you apply a dress code to people spending their money in your establishment.
3. Bannister didn't have the stores that black people want to shop at, so we went to the Plaza and malls in Johnson County and Independence. And you didn't see trouble or stores being shut down there.
4. Bannister Mall thrived for years off the black dollar, but it was the management, not the patrons, who let the mall run into the ground.
5. I suppose you are going to blame white tees and black people with long shorts for the Blue Ridge Mall collapse.
My point was made clearly in my last letter: It is a shame that in 2008 we, as human beings, have to still use race or clothing to target a race to keep them down. Wake up, America, and wake up, Power & Light District.
Keith Williams, Kansas City, Missouri
I read your Burnt Ends item on some locally inspired drinks, including the KC Ice Water. I believe the origins of this drink to be Cedar Falls, Iowa — the University of Northern Iowa. A bartender in a place called Tony's was serving these in 1986. He claimed to have created it. He may have been lying, but they tasted as good to me then as they do now.
One additional point: The piece mentioned a bar in Iowa City called the Vine. In 1993, I started graduate school with a friend of mine who also liked KC Ice Waters. At several bars within walking distance of our new school, we taught bartenders how to make the drink. Our graduate school? The University of Iowa in Iowa City. One of our favorite bars was the Vine. Coincidence?
Jay Bunting, Rogers, Minnesota
I loved Carolyn Szczepanski's story on the MR340. It was a great feature, and Szczepanski should be proud of her work. I hope she had a good time out there with all of us crazies. I simply love the paddling community and hope we showed you our good, if not tenacious, side.
Dan Grubbs, Liberty
That young gal, Caroline, who wrote the article about the MR340 race did a really good job. It warmed my heart to see her standing at the starting area with notebook and pencil in hand, right in the mix of all the chaos. In her overalls and tennis shoes, she did what other reporters failed to do during all the coverage of the race: research, actually ask questions and spend time to get the answers. I was interviewed by several large media outlets who had canned questions with preordained answers. Carolyn is a young woman who apparently has her feet firmly planted in the important basics of journalism that are so lacking in more mainstream venues. She'll be going places, so value her efforts while you can. Thanks for the attention and thorough coverage.
P.S. John Bugge did eventually participate in my knock-knock joke.
West Hansen, Austin, Texas
This was the most compelling story about this race ever written. And there have been many, many stories. This was far and away the best, and it's because Szczepanski made a great effort to learn about folks and the race.
Scott Mansker, Olathe
We would like to thank you for Nadia Pflaum's article about the trial of Anthony Mots and the Unified Government in the death of our son.
Everything needed to be told, and you did a great job.
Elida and Hector Becerra, Kansas City, Kansas
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