On the overnight call-in talk show "Wave Station X" at 90.1 KKFI, several listeners called and informed the host that they were against light rail. In various comments on and off the air, they stated that they were not giving "niggers" easier, cheaper access around the city, airport, and eventually the suburbs.
Some callers also stated that they personally didn't like Clay Chastain (Bruce Rodgers' "On a Rail," November 16). They called him a troublemaker, egotistical, and other derogatory names. These are stupid people who couldn't intelligently debate the issue, so they resort to childish ad hominem attacks. Unfortunately, a lot of people make important decisions based on that, and not the issue itself.
On the show Ruckus on KCPT Channel 19, a member of the panel stated one of the reasons he was against light rail was because while it was being built, massive amounts of traffic would have to be rerouted to the "bad" parts of town. Of course, that is a code word for the black and Latino communities.
To Mr. Chastain, thousands of us share your vision. If Kansas City would see how cities like St. Louis and San Francisco benefited, then residents would vote differently. But as long as mass transportation is stigmatized as transportation for the benefit of only minorities and poor people, then Kansas City will never have the status of a progressive city ready for the 21st century.
Kansas City, Kansas
If anyone is being neglected, it has nothing to do with the color of our skin. The ones who are being neglected are the ones who are doing our part to take care of ourselves and control this disease.
We are the ones who are budgeting what monies we have to live. We pay our electric, rent, and buy groceries. If we run out of something, we go to HARCMart and ask for a pound of cheap coffee and are told, "Well, we have it, but you can't have any until next week," then we pick up a loaf of moldy bread and leave! I can tell you for six years I have never had a caseworker call and say, "I haven't heard from you for a while so I was just calling to see if you are OK!"
Yes, the entire Ryan White Program needs to be investigated. If the people on the planning committee could stand up to certain individuals, things would change. Salaries are being paid to people who do not do their jobs; money and assistance are being given to clients who in turn waste it on booze, drugs, and a night at the DB trying to "get off" one last time. I do feel sorry for those people, but they are not doing the rest of us any good. I am very certain that if my apartment needed cleaning I could not depend on any of the barflies, sex addicts, or "drop your pants" types of people to help.
I hope this will generate some other serious people or PWAs to speak out.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Kansas City, Missouri
Having endured Walker's inept reviews for some time now, it is obvious that he really has no education or experience in any aspect of the theater. His reviews only point out his lack of knowledge in what a director contributes to the art form, the responsibility of an actor in the interpretation of the play, and the role of designers in enhancing the intent of the playwright.
We are so convinced of Walker's incompetence that he is no longer included in our Press Nights at the New Theatre. The Pitch only demeans its credibility by continuing to employ Walker as its theater critic.
Dennis D. Hennessy
and Richard Carrothers
New Theatre Restaurant