Funding light rail is the important first step. It gets the needed government money now, not later. After light rail passes, the present "plan" can be modified, then presented as a separate issue to a vote by the citizens. Or three plans can be presented, with the most popular being activated. Kansas City has time to rethink the plan.
Why is it important to get the funding first? Well, construction prices are not going down. Auto emissions and pollution are not receding. Transportation issues are not becoming less complex. To be progressive, Kansas City must fund light rail now, fight out the details soon after, and present its citizens with the best plan for all.
The city cannot follow the lead of an unimaginative chamber of commerce, poking its head in the ground, afraid of the future. Such fuddy-duddy thinking might be fine for some Elmer Fudd cartoon, but not for the Kansas City of the 21st century.
Hipp's article left out the fact that many of those substandard housing units are owned by people who live in suburban KC. Why don't they have to maintain their property in Northeast? They would never be allowed to own substandard rental property on the Plaza.
Northeast has asked Don Bosco to teach the immigrants about American life on numerous occasions -- something as simple as explaining to them what trash day is and educating them on their rights as tenants. I volunteered to teach a "Welcome to America" class and was told that instead, they really needed to get their citizenship so they could get on welfare.
Now, about Bobbi Baker-Hughes: Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association complained so much to Don Bosco about housing so many immigrants in substandard housing that they allowed a representative from the neighborhood to be on the board. Bobbi and her company have turned around many buildings that used to be uninhabitable, and the immigrant community considers her a friend.
Contrary to media portrayals, Northeast is a great neighborhood with a low crime rate. It would be nice if, for once, the media would look at those who live outside of Northeast as the root of many of our problems, not those who live here.
Michelle S. Hensley
Kansas City, Missouri
Washington State tribes, like the Puyallup, had to have "fish-ins" in the mid-1960s and early 1970s to make unapologetic federal and state officials pay attention and to stop the ignorant general public from assaulting Natives who fished and simply exercised their treaty rights. And the thirty or more tribes here have had to deal with the likes of Slade Gorton, a Republican "Indian fighter" who was, thankfully, beaten in the 2000 elections. Others in his party, and a small minority of Connecticut Democrats opposing the Mashantucket Pequots, use "state's rights," not realizing that Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution puts federally recognized tribes on the same footing with states in dealing with the feds. It's appalling but not surprising when politicians have to be "educated" on treaty rights.
The activists who protested the Makahs had no ground to stand on. How can a tribe of 1,200 people do as much damage to gray whales as Euro-Americans did simply out of greed? And ironically, these environmentalists unite with the racist descendants of genocidal pioneers who killed Natives out of jealousy for the land, and now in other Native subsistence rights states, like Minnesota, there have been stickers stating "Save a Walleye, kill an Indian." Great ...
The Pitch's articles used to be thought-provoking (even if you disagreed with the viewpoint), insightful and relevant to local and national happenings. I don't want to be a jerk, but it seems as if the Pitch has lost sight of the integrity of relevant and meaningful topics.
It is weird that there are "furry fanatics" out there, and I will say that it is generally a good idea to be aware of social oddities, but give me a break! I will be waiting patiently for better news. Thanks.
Kansas City, Missouri
I'm also an aspiring writer. After talking to Bear for many months, I fell ill and had to go into the hospital with an infection in my foot. I was two days from gangrene. The leg had blood poisoning, and I was diagnosed as diabetic. He drove from KC to Houston nonstop on those bad Firestone tires to help me. I had no family and no one around me to help or comfort me. He came and let me use his laptop to e-mail to escape the pain and stress.
We talked, we laughed, and I found out only later that his driving down to see me was the first time he'd left his apartment for another person. I have lost my home -- it was foreclosed. Fifteen years of my life's possessions are gone with it. I got away because Bear came and helped me move to fellow furs in California, saving my life from myself. Depression was going to kill me.
I am now in Ohio with another fur, getting my GED and trying to get help from Social Security, as I can't do anything I know how to do because of the damage to my foot. My brother Bear the Healer gave me my hope again. I just wanted to let you know that furs are excellent people. Unlike those who say they help but judge you for your beliefs, furs accept you as you are.
William Morris (Cyberhorn the Dragon)
Last year more than 40 percent of the graduating seniors in ceramics applied to graduate schools, and every one of them was accepted to a top-notch program. Next year KCAI ceramics grads will be in MFA programs at UCLA, LSU, Arizona State, the University of Washington, Utah State, San Jose State, Ohio U., Bowling Green, U. of Miami, U. of Florida and U. of Colorado. These are all highly respected programs, and competition for positions was tough. Another grad from the class of 2001 will be a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, one of the most prestigious residencies in the field. Students from other departments were accepted into highly respected MFA programs at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cranbrook, the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Rutgers, among others.
Those are the facts. Now here is my opinion: Ken Ferguson, George Timock and Victor Babu built the ceramics department into the best undergraduate program in the country and my wife, Cary Esser, has kept the program on top over the last five years.
KCAI kids constantly impress me with their skills, talents and work ethic. My wife's not one to toot her own horn, and she's going to be pissed with me for writing you, but hey, I'm just exercising my right to free expression!
Kansas City, Missouri
Balanca's has one of the most truly diverse crowds in Kansas City. The bar staff makes everyone feel welcome and has an appeal that crosses gender and sexual orientation lines effortlessly. On any night (but especially on weekends) you would be hard-pressed to place any specific label on Balanca's except "fun." In addition, the new ownership has plans to keep the downstairs operating as a "Pyro Room," with music and dance on the weekends.
While I am certain that Mr. Miller meant no harm, an offhanded mislabeling of an establishment as a "gay bar" certainly serves to steer away those people who think they would not be welcome there because they are NOT gay. Perhaps in the future, a simple phone call to the new owner of any business might prevent misleading statements in the press. In other words, assume nothing.
Kansas City, Missouri