Regarding Deb Hipp's "Psych Out" (August 23): I had no idea journalism had a GED program and have always wondered where students from the bottom of the class get employment. For a so-called reporter to do so scant an investigation on a predestined conclusion, and then make such a critical and finite judgement about a subject so foreign to her is laughable. As someone who helped care for a mentally challenged relative for a number of years, I would invite Ms. Hipp to become one of the caregivers she judged to be so vile, inept, unqualified and callous at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center. Try it even as a custodian. That would of course involve activities that Ms. Hipp, a journalist, is totally unaccustomed to. For instance, labor, work, sweat, thought, intellect, structure, following orders, interacting pleasantly with other people and, of course, actually doing something for someone other than herself.
To have visited the facility for, in essence, a few moments, observing only what she chose to see, and then castigating those who deal with these very demanding and frustrating circumstances many hours per day, was literally a joke. On second thought, she shouldn't do that at all. Given her obvious lack of maturity, less-than-perfect-world reality and intellectual strength, she would quickly become one of the care-needers instead of one of the caregivers. But she's perfect for the Pitch world according to Pitch.
Grain Valley, Missouri
"Our own kind" can betray us because of greed, financial or social pressure from colleagues, or social distancing in order to curry favor with new bigoted friends.
Winning a legal case depends mostly on two factors: having evidence that proves you are right, and retaining a lawyer who will zealously represent you. You can obtain evidence by keeping copies of documents, taking pictures, enlisting witnesses and doing your own investigation. Finding a good lawyer is harder. Your lawyer must be a member of the state bar association. You can call the Lawyer Referral Service of your local bar association (in Kansas City: 816-221-9472). For a charge, the service will give you the name of a lawyer who says he wants clients with your type of case.
Even the best lawyer cannot guarantee a positive outcome. But if your lawyer ignores you or makes too many mistakes, look for a different lawyer. Request then that your first lawyer provide your new lawyer with a copy of your file. Then -- and this is important -- file a written complaint with the bar association telling exactly what your first lawyer did wrong. Lawyers have a professional code of ethics that says they must represent clients well, and lawyers are disciplined if they do not. In rare, extreme cases, a client can also file a malpractice suit against a horrible lawyer.
Kansas City, Missouri
Trying to organize somewhere between 12 and 24 performing arts groups has been difficult (lots of right-brain creative folks, few left-brain organizers). Nonetheless, we are not without our successes. We have staged some very fine productions during the past year and have solid plans for productions through the end of 2002.
Our primary challenge is to build an audience. We have taken solid steps to advance in this area. JOB has hired a consultant that is working with the group to increase our visibility and effectiveness by recruiting talented community folks to our board and help the board develop a long-range plan. The board has also: developed an active marketing committee that has developed a season brochure; developed a number of fundraising/profile-raising activities; performed the hard work of merging the mailing lists from member organizations; and developed a package for selling program ads for JOB. The board also has an active membership committee to work on several organizational policy issues. But creating a higher profile in the community depends heavily on coverage from community publications such as the Pitch.
Kansas City, Missouri