Letters from the week of February 22 

Burnt Ends, February 8

The Seiden Adventure
I loved the article "Seiden Gone Wild." Joshua Seiden truly is a freedom fighter in the making, and he is a role model all of our children can look up to.

I encourage all of the snooty suburbanites out in Johnson County to hit the polls on February 27 for the primary and April 3 for the general election and vote YES for freedom. Otherwise, the terrorists win. Jon Paris, Chicago

Trustee Issues
A guy like Seiden is just what Johnson County Community College needs. I took classes at JCCC, and I know they would benefit from his perspective.

Andrew Fray, Kansas City, Missouri

Burnt Ends, February 1

Eerie Canal
I was extremely annoyed and frustrated at the recent article pertaining to the ban on T-shirts depicting vaginas. Where do I begin?

First of all, the imagery is technically of the vulva, since the vagina is a canal. Second, sporting a shirt with vaginas on it — whether as a protest against violence or not — is about as progressive and clever as clothing from Hooters. Is this really how the Women's Center at UMKC wants to promote itself and its events? By objectifying women even further? If that point cannot be taken from Brenda Bethman's actions, intentional on her part or not, then I fear these women and anyone who subscribes to this journalistic smear campaign are just plain daft and obtuse.

And well done on your part for promoting Coon's artwork and the lack of integrity that goes along with the "artsy anatomical drawing." Renee Robertson, Kansas City, Missouri

Martin: "Thanks. Now Scram," February 1

Garage Door Opener
I just wanted to thank David Martin for his column about HOK's not-so-public garage downtown. I enjoyed his style of writing, but not as much as the fact that he was able to bring bullshit like this to light — particularly around tax season (you know, the time of year that honest people get to reflect upon the amount of hard-earned money they've coughed up in the previous 12 months).

It's refreshing to see someone else pissed off about the rich getting richer on the middle-class dime. I can only hope that there will be a follow-up to this story in a month or so, when more financial documentation is presented.

Thank you for your article and your hard work. Josh Marsh, Kansas City, Missouri

Martin: "Smiley Face, Sad Face," February 8

the high cost
Thanks to David Martin for his article on the shutdown of the Bannister Wal-Mart. The "pissed-off" woman whose hours were cut when Wal-Mart transferred her from the abandoned Bannister Hypermart to the new Blue Ridge Supercenter was not alone in being hurt. The city's coffers took a hit, too. The Bannister Wal-Mart paid full taxes, but the new Blue Ridge Wal-Mart store got a TIF, meaning 100 percent of property taxes and 50 percent of what's called economic-activity taxes — sales, earnings, profit and utility taxes — get redirected out of the city's general fund back to the developer to reimburse construction costs. So they've replaced a store that paid 100 percent with one that will short-change the city a whopping $27 million — almost one-third the developer's costs over the next 22 years.

Martin mentioned the outrageous findings in a TIF study by UMKC economist Michael Kelsay. Uneven Patchwork: Tax Increment Financing in Kansas City charts the demographics showing that TIF has essentially transferred money from middle-class and poorer people to large corporations and wealthy people.

Mayor Barnes and the City Council delude themselves into believing that the bigger the TIF project, the bigger the benefit to all of Kansas City. Their cozy relationship with wealthy developers and their lack of association with the poor of Kansas City blind them to the bigger picture. Like the pissed-off Wal-Mart worker, Kansas City's poor do not share in the benefit of TIF, but they do share in the risk.

To view or download the study, see: www.ReclaimDemocracy.org/KC. Mary Lindsay, Kansas City, Missouri

Feature: "A Confession From the Other Woman," February 8

Head Rush
I found Anonymous' story about Hair God rather silly. While I commend you on your efforts to warn people not to be so crass in their sexual relationships, it would appear that you were literally sexually assaulted and never realized it. (I do find it interesting that KC produced a UK music darling. I'd like to know more about that!)

These things happen to, it seems, everyone at the age you were. A much scarier reality is that it happens at even younger ages. Why would you so casually explain that this prick forced you to give him head all the time (his only recourse, since you wouldn't, for reasons left out, let him in your pants)?

Bottom line? Of course you should believe in karma; it is too dangerous not to. But hopefully you have learned first and foremost to be a strong, independent woman and that infidelity has its repercussions for life.

Entertaining story, though. Loved the picture. Philip A. Hurley, Topeka

"Hopefully you have learned first and foremost

to be a strong, independent woman and that infidelity has its repercussions for life."

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