She thought it was bad enough that she had to tell these things to the police officers, the court, and her mother, and now Tony Moton takes them and describes them so explicitly that it shames me even to read it. So how do you think that makes her feel? Now not only the people she had told before know exactly what happened, but so do 300,000 readers.
It would have been more respectful for Moton to just say the words without the descriptions, so she can forget the specifics and try to move on with her life. We would all know what it means if he had written, "He touched her" (after all, we do read Savage Love). However, in something that should actually be making an attempt at real, serious journalism, when he describes it as more than that, it just glorifies teen sex and adds unneeded shock value to his otherwise good story.
-- Zac Davis
First of all, we did something about Westport. Bill Nigro, the Kellys, Greg Lever, myself, and others, with the Westport Merchants Association, have worked hundreds of hours to make the streets of Westport safe. After all, Westport is one of the main entertainment districts in Kansas City. The Kansas City Police Department has answered the call under the leadership of Major Anthony Ell. To that end, a letter was written in response by Mel Carnahan, the governor of Missouri, praising the police department's efforts
I find it odd that just a couple of years ago, the media were clamoring about what should be done with these large crowds. Many of the people who are not going into bars are under 21, and they have chosen Westport to meet and hang out with their friends. This all sounds innocent, but when the people total over 1,000, the language and behavior becomes an obvious problem. This drives the good customers away.
The overwhelming numbers of people are blocking sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. Even with 30 to 50 police officers, crowd control is difficult. Regardless, these officers are taking appropriate action to protect the lives, property, and people of Westport.
I wonder what the reaction would be if these young people were hanging out in front of City Hall, on the Plaza, or, better yet, at Town Center in Johnson County. I believe we know the reaction. I suppose this is the price Westport pays for being a popular entertainment district. Perhaps this is a good thing.
-- Craig Glazer
Stanford and Sons
Kansas City, Missouri
It's obvious that Mary De Shon knows nothing about the riders' motive in life and their culture. I'm 22 years old, and I have been skateboarding in KC for 14 years. I try to be a role model and motivate the young. But when you give away paint to a bunch of kids who aren't even old enough to buy spray paint, then of course you're going to see immature stuff. At my age, the last thing I'm going to write is "Poop is smelly." And I don't have the need for weed.
In time, if you're patient, that will all be painted over by people like me with a veteran-style painting skill. The culture of a lot of riders is body piercings and tattoos of flames, dragons, and skulls (which are part of the human body). Not some Pleasant Valley gang symbol -- lighten up. These things are cool or mean something personal. You don't see guys riding around with tattoos of flowers, rainbows, and butterflies. In the year 2000, people are more graphic than ever. If you can't accept that, then don't look at it, concentrate on your own life, and stop criticizing ours. So there's the 411 on that.
Then De Shon states that some kids were smoking. Although she didn't say that she saw pot, she insisted that if they're smoking, it must be pot. Well, let me tell you something, De Shon. I know kids -- and even adults -- who smoke cigarettes and don't smoke pot. I even know kids who smoke pot and don't smoke cigarettes. Does this De Shon have anything positive to say? And if she does, who wants to listen? So now you know that some of us are trying to do the right thing.
-- Joshua Barrington
We don't get enough of that from the people from the coasts; we have to hear it from our local paper too. Way to go, Pitch.
P.S. I like the squareness of the full-page Dillard's ads too.
-- James Tolen
Kansas City, Missouri