Letters from the week of January 3, 2002

Man of the Year 

Letters from the week of January 3, 2002

In your faith: I noticed in your Year in Review article ("Sad but True," December 27) that you excoriate (get your dictionaries out, kids) John Ashcroft for praising a German law that allows the forfeiture of assets of a religious institution fronting for a terrorist organization.

Funny, but I missed your outrage when Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center rightly attached and sold the assets of the Church of Jesus Christian, a front for the racist Aryan Nations. Where was your self-righteous outrage then?

Try raising your journalistic standards and perhaps someday you can charge people a quarter for your paper.
Jim Homberg
Kansas City, Kansas


Plaza Slights
Just the facts: I had difficulty comprehending C.J. Janovy's "Lights Out" (December 6). Was this article about the lack of police action on the Plaza and surrounding areas, or was it about exposing a mentally ill man who assaulted someone?

If the purpose of the article was to expose a lack of police activity, your "journalist" would do better by including statistics, police report summaries and objective data. A story of one man's assault coupled with another resident's subjective perspective on the problem fails to justify what the article "pretends" to advocate for.

If the purpose of the article was to paint mentally ill individuals as dangerous, your "journalist" may have been slightly more successful. Yes, what this man did was wrong and against the law and should produce appropriate consequences (court-mandated treatment is an option). Yet the only thing Janovy's article succeeded in doing was to promote an "urban legend" that people with mental illnesses are dangerous and should be feared. The cheap-shot statement, "keep your heads up, Plaza shoppers" is the perfect example of this.

It might be interesting for your readers to know that research continually suggests that mental illness does not make someone more dangerous or more violent than the general public. Oh, I forgot. I'm writing to the Pitch ... facts like that would not be newsworthy; they're simply not sensationalistic enough!
Randall Staton
Independence


Jack Frost
The blunder years: Regarding Allie Johnson's "All Alone in Lone Jack" (December 6): It's impossible to express a suitable expression of sympathy to Bernie and Jean Standiford and their family for the loss of their son, let alone all the additional grief they have endured from local law enforcement officers in Lone Jack, Missouri.

It is the responsibility of all citizens to ensure that the truth about this incident be revealed and the guilty parties be held accountable. As for the unprofessional methods of the Lone Jack police department, it sounds like police chief Jeff Jewell should be barred from law enforcement activities. Further, a housecleaning of their fire department staff sounds in order.
Kenny Burford
Lexington, Missouri


Lone strangers: I found the Standifords' situation to be true of most small towns. You must be a part of the "acceptable" way of the townspeople before you earn cooperative relationships in that town. Mr. Standiford's position on his son's death is extremely commendable. I find most respectable their pursuit of the truth and their persistence with justice.

The laxness of ethics in the small towns surrounding Kansas City is improving daily because of the honorable strength the Standiford family exemplified. Lone Jack needs to do some housecleaning before more Standifords move in!
Name Withheld Upon Request
Kingsville, Missouri


Pasta la Vista, Baby
The server is down: As the "dimwitted" server from Charles Ferruzza's review of Buca di Beppo ("Basta, Already," December 13), I want to take full responsibility for the neglect he received that evening. (He incorrectly cited "lackadaisical management" as the cause.) In reality, the management has worked long hours for months to make this an outstanding restaurant that people flock to and rave about. It's a discredit to his professionalism to make such an uninformed and off-the-cuff claim.

Admittedly, I was a little overwhelmed by the number of guests I had at that moment, but inexplicably, everyone else in the crowded room was having a great time despite my inadequacies: all smiles and giggles from the child's birthday party, as well as the delightfully rowdy group passing their jugs of wine and sampling each others' dishes. This mild mayhem is part of Buca's huge appeal.

I think Ferruzza's biggest beef with Buca is that it's not an appropriate platform to role-play like characters from a Woody Allen picture. I was almost embarrassed for this foursome as they smugly skimmed the surface of scripted, pseudointellectual topics in a room full of commoners just having a good time.

Otherwise, thanks to the Pitch for a consistently great publication.
Klee Young
Kansas City, Missouri


Editor's note: Some parts of last week's "The Best of Music 2001" section were left out. To read the full text, log onto pitch.com.

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