While stopping KDOT's preferred new alignment one mile east of the existing road is a means to our end, it is not the end in itself. Our group draws together people concerned with a variety of issues, including preserving the farming community, native prairies, woodlands, and habitat for various animals, historic sites, and Native American sites. But the one thing we all agree on is that the current Highway 59 is dangerous and must be improved. In fact, one reason we oppose the potential new alignment is that it doesn't address safety concerns. Furthermore, in the name of safety, local and state legislators on every level in both counties have repeatedly voiced their preference for KDOT to improve 59 on its current alignment.
We want safety first, and we want KDOT and the Federal Highway Administration to do a better job of listening to the public and responding to local needs. And we want 59 fixed on 59.
Our little sister a few doors up the street, Josie Ann's Deli & Pub, adds its unique menu and atmosphere to Wyandotte Street. The addition of the club Life to the area has brought in a number of people who have discovered John's recently. The Savoy Grill is around the corner, plus the Phoenix, the Quaff, and Tanner's are a short walk away.
The Pitch has given a lot of attention lately to the lack of activity downtown, with the failure of the Centertainment proposal and the idea of one of your writers of moving the Grand Emporium, Beaumont, and XO downtown (Bruce Rodgers' "Move the Clubs," September 21). The former Lane Blueprint buildings at 9th and Baltimore, the spaces once occupied by the Edge and Callahan's in Lucas Place, or the Old Spaghetti Factory's former home would make great club and dining spots. John's would welcome any move that would bring more entertainment, dining, and people to the downtown loop area.
Kansas City, Missouri
Editor's note: Calling Jermaine Dye "Jerome" wins the award for most stupid mistake in our Best Of, and we regret the error. We also regret the closing of Lawrence's Lotus, which had the Best Vegetarian Sushi until it went out of business as our issue was in production; we found out too late to pull the write-up.
It seems to me this is a case of one liberal cause (canoeing on the Missouri River) trying to ride the coattails of another reasonable and valid cause (wildlife conservation). It's sort of like me insisting that the speed limit on I-435 be reduced to 25 mph so I can ride my bicycle on it and pointing out that fewer deer would be killed by motorists at that lower speed limit. If the Missouri River moves too fast for some recreational canoers, they should canoe the Kaw or the Blue.
Kansas City, Missouri
My family has been in the newspaper business for over 100 years, with a Pulitzer won by my grandfather in 1935 (The Meritorious Service Award) passed down to me. Steve Rose, a newspaperman in his own right, correctly pegged the Pitch as one of the shining stars in local media coverage. The Kansas City Star, in its ongoing effort to appease the masses, is simply too tame to hold any interest for me (except, perhaps, the automotive section).
I would also like to compliment you on your outstanding choice of cartoon strips. Red Meat is always entertaining, This Modern World skewers the political world to perfection, and The City is simply the wildest ride out there. Indeed, a few copies of your latest are winging their way to Canada as I type, having personally rolled on the floor with laughter reading Derf's latest portrayal of fat Americans. His "White Middle Class Suburban Man" is an absolute dead-on commentary of 95 percent of the Johnson Countians I live and work with. An absolute riot.
My only regret is that News of the Weird has left for greener pastures. Rather than gather around the console radio to listen to fireside chats of FDR as my grandfather did, my family enjoyed sitting around and reciting some of the outrageous stories that appeared in that feature. After all, it IS the 2000s ...
Keep up the great work.
This, however, is not my biggest concern, as I understand that everyone is entitled to express his opinion. My true motivation for writing is the fact that Charles referred to chef Jimmy Thompson as "no real chef ... but a yeoman cook ... passionlessly churning out recipes created by the restaurant's talented owner, Brian Briggs."
This comment was rude, degrading, disrespectful, and completely wrong. "Yeoman cook." Translation: servant. Mr. Thompson is no servant. He and Mr. Briggs are a team.
"Passionless." This is a chef who came out from the kitchen to check with me to make sure my chicken was cooked to my liking because "it was such a beautiful piece of meat, I wanted it to be just right." This is a chef who said he knew the cream sauce for my asparagus pasta "was going to be exceptional because of the way it glistened in the pan."
A real chef is so much more than a credential. It is passion defined and comes from the heart -- something that cannot be taught in any culinary institute. He is raw talent, in the purest sense. This makes him a real chef -- a real chef who is also a real man. A real man who has feelings and does not deserve the thoughtless, insensitive comments of a flippant food critic about the livelihood that he loves. Mr. Thompson is very devoted and works extremely hard. He deserves respect and recognition for that, just as I'm sure Charles feels he deserves in his job as a food critic. Which is exactly my point -- he is a food critic, not a people critic.
Jimmy Thompson merits an apology for this blatantly judgmental affront, as do Brian and Shannon Briggs, the owners. I can assure you that with their attention to exquisite quality and minute detail that they would not stand for having a passionless, second-rate cook representing their blood, sweat, and tears.
Ashley Reaves Rochelle
Kansas City, Missouri
Big fuckin' deal, indeed. X was named "Band of the Year" by (a then-viable) Rolling Stone in 1980. Los Angeles was voted album of the year by the L.A. Times, and Wild Gift was tapped for album of the year by both the L.A. Times and the New York Times. Anyone who is into punk/alternative/rock music knows who X was and of its importance and influence.
As Frank Black (of the Pixies) said: "X is in that special club of rock and roll entertainers that sounded a zillion times better than most of the bands before them, and years later is still sounding a zillion times better than most of the bands after them."
Or Moby: "For me, X represented what an unintentionally strange and fecund place America can be for the lovely and joyful perversions of the human spirit."
Mr. Wilson's inability to recognize important artists is rather disconcerting, for depth of knowledge should serve as the foundation of anyone's writing. Flowery prose (well-illustrated by Mr. Wilson's Buzzbox column on The Sea and Cake in the same issue) is no substitute.
Kansas City, Missouri