Letters from the week of October 5, 2000


Letters from the week of October 5, 2000

We Love the Nightlife
Groove is in the heart: I've lived a lot of places. Seattle, Phoenix, L.A., NYC ... and even a few cowtowns (literally) in between, and KC is the only one I know of that has a MAJOR entertainment district nestled into an otherwise residential neighborhood.

I have to agree with Bruce Rodgers' article "Move the Clubs" (September 21). Downtown is where the clubs belong, and I don't think anybody else who lives downtown would disagree. Go into any apartment in the downtown area at 5 p.m. on a typical weekday and you'll notice that regardless of the noise level outside, inside the apartment it's as quiet as any Overland Park apartment complex (or quieter in some instances because there are no screaming children running up and down the halls).

Those of us who live (or, like myself, will be living) downtown would welcome moving the clubs there. After all, isn't this the reason we moved downtown to begin with? To be closer to the heart of the city and what's happening? As for the Power & Light District -- HA! Why build new clubs fabricated from the mind of what some bureaucrat thinks is cool (and we all know how cool bureaucrats are) rather than spend the same amount, if not less, moving (or giving incentive to move) established clubs, with established patron bases, out of a neighborhood that doesn't want them into a neighborhood that does?

Until then, downtown will never be the heart of this city. Westport will, and that's a lot like a city wearing its heart on its sleeve.
Judd Fetters
Kansas City, Missouri

Livin' just enough for the city: I loved Bruce Rodgers' column, especially his idea about moving the selected three clubs from Westport to downtown. Unfortunately, it makes too much sense for the people in charge of this city to do.

I e-mailed the column to the city council, and I'm sure none of them will read it, but I tried. Hopefully, others will do the same.
Rick Mathieu

The Enlightenment
Socket to me: I read with interest Allie Johnson's article on Kansas City Power & Light Company ("The White Power Company," September 21). Her article was right on target with the actions of KCPL against its black employees.

I am a white former employee who was fired on June 23, 2000. When I was terminated, KCPL refused to give me a reason for the termination of my employment. Since my termination, I have received notification of the reason for ending my employment. All of the reasons for termination are false and it was a setup by KCPL because I filed an EEOC charge against KCPL.

My EEOC charge consists of age discrimination. I was first suspended for a week, then after agreeing to the terms of continued employment with KCPL, I returned to work and the following week I was terminated. KCPL refused to admit it was because of the EEOC charge.
Name Withheld Upon Request

The Missionary Position
High school confidential: Deb Hipp's article "Shawnee Mission Impossible" (September 14) could have been written about my son. I have repeatedly contacted people in the district, from teachers all the way to Marjorie Kaplan, and they refuse to be accountable for their pattern of discrimination against students with learning differences.

The families can sue the district and force the district to pay for their children's tuition. My only regret is that I didn't do this for my son. He is a senior this year and I worry constantly about his ability to realize success in college. The real tragedy is that he is a National Merit Commended Scholar but he can't complete a simple worksheet in less than 4 to 6 hours. When he is accommodated he can succeed at very high levels.

I would like to know if there are more parents out there and what kind of response you received following this article.
Elizabeth Gore
Prairie Village

Real dirt: Sabra Kline's point is well taken, but I know for a fact Shawnee Mission schools care about providing the best for all students. Shawnee Mission South is a great school. I think that "inclusion" does not work for all special-needs students. Meanwhile, the real threat to our kids goes unheralded: the basic cleanliness of the schools.

In the '80s, they made substantial cuts in the budget for custodians. The building usage has increased 500-fold since then. And yet in a high school that in the '80s had a staff of 23, now there are only 13. Yes, I am a custodian. I am also a graduate and a parent of future graduates of Shawnee Mission schools, and I care. I want to do the best I can. I want my kids to be safe and free to enjoy the quality of education they can receive from one of the better school districts out there. But look closely at your school. Is it safe? Is it healthy? I can only do so much in my eight-hour shift.
Kevin Broyles
Overland Park

Quan, But Not Forgotten
Under the Cherry moon: It seems in the past six months, there has been an absolute rash of things pissing me off. I do not usually consider myself a letter-writing person; in fact, I usually think most people who write ranting and raving letters to various publications, Congress-people, and Better Business Bureaus need to get a life and get off the couch. However, since I started my mini letter-writing campaign with the demise of the Lazer, I have found that I just can't stop. Therefore ...

I knew when you people were bought by the New Times, it would end up being bad, bad, bad. For a while, though, you lured us into submission. "It's much easier to read the Nightlife section now -- aren't you glad the New Times is here to stay?" "Just a few changes to the design format, kiddies, but my, what hard-hitting journalism we have!" But just when we were complacent -- BAM! -- the wolf swallowed Grandma, the flying monkeys snatched up Dorothy, and the Pitch took Quan Tracy Cherry from its pages.

I am certain that, like the Lazer's format change to the Backstreet Sync and KCUR's turncoat jazz rejection, the decision to take Quan Tracy Cherry's fabulously strange "Out of Time and Space Astrology" column from the pages of the Pitch was both "gut-wrenching" and "painful." And, just like the decision-makers of these other former litmus tests of hip, I know you have A Very Good Reason for putting Quan and numerous other local book and film reviewers out of a job in favor of nationally syndicated drivel: It just wasn't cost-effective at this time; we didn't feel that our readership connected with him; blah, blah, blah. But, sweet Jesus, if one more cool thing disappears in Kansas City, I'll have to move to move to Omaha, Nebraska, or Duluth, Minnesota, just to say I'm from someplace more appropriate for a twenty-something urbanite. Quan's column was fun, irreverent, and occasionally informative -- just like the Pitch used to be. Now, perhaps I am harshly jumping to conclusions and Mr. Cherry left of his own accord (or in his own Accord -- hee hee). Or perhaps there are more reasons that whomever I spoke to a few days ago didn't know. Somehow, though, I think not.

Although this slightly cranky and put-out letter does not indicate this, I am a perennial optimist. I keep on turning to the Lazer in the hopes that Britney Aguilera won't come screeching out; I still wait for KCUR to re-wrench its gut; and now, I hope the Pitch brings Quan back. It may be just a little thing, but in the Kansas City community, the little things are all we've got.
Amy Stetzler
Kansas City, Missouri

No Quan-dary here: Kudos to Pitch Weekly for replacing Quan Tracy Cherry's astrology column with the unpretentious, biting wit of Rob Breszny. Even the most determined of Virgos had trouble wading through Cherry's convoluted gobbledygook.
Mary Boyd
Kansas City, Missouri


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