Damn! I always seem to be in the wrong place. At least if I had been at the Lenexa barbecue contest, I would have had my camera, and this never-had-any-glory-days-at-the-frat-house, cargo-shorts-wearing guy would have had pictures of the two little hotties. I may not be much — certainly nothing to write home about — but I am a pretty good amateur photographer.
Jim Wright, Kansas City, Missouri
C.J. Janovy's rant concerning Funkhouser's appointment of Frances Semler to our parks board obfuscates a huge underlying concern for many Americans: We would like a more sane approach to the issue of legal immigration. You can't shut us down by insulting and calling us racists. We are entitled.
While our legal citizens' civil liberties are slowly eroded, we're asked to suck it up, keep paying our taxes, and just deal. Our government has us in an unpopular war. Gas prices have almost tripled in the past six years, causing a ripple effect on all goods and services. Our jobs are being outsourced at an unprecedented rate to cheaper labor markets. The grumbling you hear isn't driven solely by racism.
Add to it that we have an immigration program which seems to be followed by only a select few, leaving a gaping hole for our neighbors to the south to walk on through. We may not agree with the Minutemen, but they're doing what our government has failed to do in this one arena: protect our borders. "Homeland Security" begins to look like those Humvees without armor. It's all a sham.
We are a nation of laws. Hispanic or not, if people enter this country and remain without proper papers, they're illegal aliens. Granting amnesty is no different from pardoning a criminal. This activity has a very real impact on our economy and infrastructure.
We have valid concerns that need to be addressed in a sane forum. Trot out the race card and your rant begins to resemble an authoritarian shaming us into apathetic silence. The bottom line is, get legal through the proper channels.
Jewell St. Clair, Kansas City, Missouri
C.J. Janovy's piece on Mark Funkhouser's alleged missteps made some good points. It seems the former Kansas City political establishment is treating Funkhouser the same way that Bill Clinton was treated by the establishment he ousted when he first took office. But the pettiness of the issues that have been raised makes the former establishment look more than a tad silly.
I don't give a damn what the mayor drives. If his wife wants to volunteer her services, good for her. And as for his referring to the former parks board as elitist, does anyone remember how adamantly and publicly they opposed his candidacy? My views on immigration could not be more different from those of Frances Semler. Nevertheless, what Semler believes regarding immigration is her business, and I fail to see how those views would impact her ability to do a good job on the parks board. I hope we never see the day when someone has to pass a political litmus test before they can serve on something as innocuous as the parks board.
I don't know if Frances Semler is or is not a racist, but I do think there's an elephant in the living room that we need to look at. In the last election, 90 percent of the African-American vote went to Mr. Brooks. I wonder what we'd be reading if the reverse had happened. If 90 percent of the white vote had gone for Mark Funkhouser, would that be a scandal? Would we be seeing white voters being encouraged to attend diversity training? Perhaps we should begin looking at racism where it really exists and stop implying it exists where it doesn't.
Larry Roth, Kansas City, Missouri
Night & Day, July 5
I am the owner-operator of Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop. I am writing in regard to the "Custom Art" column in the calendar section.
The author, Chris Glenn, was incorrect when he stated that James Lopez "did" the door of Exile Tattoo and my sign at Lulu's. My husband, Dennis Baughman, is the owner-operator of Midtown Signs. He personally designed and fabricated both signs! Mr. Lopez was an employee at the sign shop when both of the signs were made; however, he had no part in the design of either sign.
Dennis has been in the sign business for more than 14 years (his photo gallery is at midtownsigns.com). The last four years, he has been establishing his own business, Midtown Signs. We all understand how difficult it is to be an independent business, and I believe credit should be given where credit is due!
Malisa "Lisa" Monyakula Kansas City, Missouri