I have to point out my favorite feature the staple. Although that metal clasp is something hated by many males who might be perusing other alternative-like publications, it's a very welcome addition to the Pitch. It makes reading easier, not to mention making it easier to avoid the Pitch at top of the stack.
Kansas City, Missouri
Backwash, August 24
Besides Clay Chastain, who I am trying hard to improve, there appear to be two primary concerns that critics of my light proposal have:
No. 1: It is too big, too expensive and will not likely secure enough federal matching funds to construct. A defeatist attitude has never powered any human progress. Rather, we must get started building light rail even if there are some risks involved. At the worst, we could start building the first stage from the Plaza to downtown and then, as funds permit, expand the line toward the zoo and the airport. I designed this initiative to be flexible in its implementation.
No. 2: We have billions of dollars in repairs to sewers and roads that need our tax dollars more than light rail. A valid concern. However, providing the people a modern public transportation system is every bit a basic service, as are good roads and functioning sewers. Light rail has one huge benefit that cannot be overlooked. Unlike diesel buses, light rail has the attractiveness and, thus, economic power to draw new development, business, tourists, and people back to the city. This means new city revenues, which means new funds to help pay for sewers and roads.
Clay Chastain is not the issue. Helping people, preserving the environment, and making Kansas City a better place to live are the issues.
Where's the Love?
Justin Kendall's article seems to be lacking reality. Its entire view is that the Sprint Center will not be able to lure a major tenant. On the contrary: The deal to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh relies on the taxpayers of Allegheny County to pass a measure that will basically throw the potential new arena in bed with the casinos. Not likely. Sam Fingold has said time and time again he would move the Penguins to Kansas City if the bond issues to build a new arena do not pass. A "50-50 chance," he was quoted as saying. That sure sounds more optimistic than your article.
Regarding your caption of Mayor Kay Barnes announcing a restaurant instead of a sports team: The Cordish Group and the city will be announcing gradually the new tenants of the Kansas City Live entertainment district. It seems the Pitch could do an article on the $800 million development revitalizing the downtown area. Why so negative? The new Sprint Center will attract potentially 200 nights a year of entertainment acts, not including a sports franchise.
I hope in the future the Pitch can find the time and space to publish articles about the success of the downtown area and the millions of dollars of tax revenue that will pump into the city due to the rebirth of downtown Kansas City.
Hilton President, Kansas City, Missouri
Kick in the Head
First of all, great story. I've been wondering about this subject since I started driving by this behemoth each day to and from work. Did Kay forget to do some research into sports leagues "on the rise" and sports leagues "past their prime"?
The rise of professional soccer in the United States over the past 10 years outshines the rise of every other popular sports league in the history of America. It is growing quickly, and the soccer-specific stadiums sprouting up across the land are a real testament of its long-term growth. Los Angeles is strongly supporting two pro soccer teams and has no NFL. Did Kay think a town with barely any youth hockey or basketball would be interested in these two past-their-prime sports?
Walk into any retail box chain in the metro area, and I doubt you'll see even one little Gretzky or LeBron, but you'll see dozens of little Beckhams and Peles on any given weekend shopping between matches with their parents.
Johnson County, along with the wise big boys at Cerner, have made a monumental and future-thinking choice by getting involved with keeping a "league on the rise" in the metro. It goes to show that big business always out-thinks big government when it comes to big spending. Go, Wizards.
Hock One Up
"We're Pucked" is a great wake-up call to Kansas Citians, and hopefully it will help persuade those who are making the big decisions at the Sprint Center to follow more realistic paths.
I play hockey and attended and followed the Blades and the Outlaws, so I have a feel for hockey in KC. When talk of the NHL arose, I got a thousand questions about it. We cannot support an NHL team here.
We could, however, do quite well by having an AHL team here. It is a great league where NHLers come and go all of the time. People here like hockey, but not enough to get involved unless there's something special, like a winning team and a new arena. The other minor leagues simply aren't exciting enough.
Additionally, the KC Brigade in the AFL will do wonderfully in the Sprint Center because this is a football town. They will rot in Kemper, but again, fans' ability to see them at a new facility will breathe new life into them. I foresee it doubling attendance right away.
So my question is, could the Sprint Center survive on an AHL team, an AFL team and the many events that could come through KC indoors? Thanks for the front-page attention to this issue.
Kansas City voters have thrown money at a football team that hasn't been to the Super Bowl in decades, a baseball team that loses 100 games a year and, now, an empty stadium.
At least we have one consolation. We sure showed Enterprise Leasing and those St. Louis people that they dare not tell us what to do.
One reader aptly put it when he told The Kansas City Star: "I believe that I live in the dumbest county in America."
I love the Pitch. I always go directly to the film section and then read more if I feel like it. However, some writers try to fit in as many weird words as possible and it gets really annoying. Like J. Hoberman's review of Hollywoodland. I couldn't wade through a short article because it was thick as syrup with this crap: "Somehow, he gloms onto the case in an effort to establish his own super bona fides."
What the hell is that? This guy should read the article about Richard Tolbert, the guy with all the derelict houses (Nadia Pflaum's "The Blight King," August
17). It was, like, five pages long and I barely noticed. Really well-written.
Ron Rooks dead! I can't believe it. It seems like just yesterday he was greeting me with an arm around the shoulder and that little-boy grin of his. We had an unlikely meeting, way back in the '80s when his store was still located on Westport Road. We argued over the pricing of a record, and I stormed out, expecting never to come back. But I did come back, and I got friendly with him and his wonderful, colorful staff: Daryl, Charles, Dave, Mark and, of course, his wife, Nancy, who was the backbone of the Music Exchange. I can't even count how many special discounts they gave me on record purchases!
They helped me enormously on several writing projects, but especially an article on Cuban music I wrote for Discoveries Magazine and a 1996 Polydor Records box set called Connie Francis Souvenirs. I co-produced, compiled and wrote liner notes for that set, and most of my research material came courtesy of Music Exchange's staff. Ron's and Nancy's names appear in the credits.
Ron was a lovable, unpredictable, sometimes painfully human man whose love of rock and roll brought beaucoups joy into a lot of people's lives. Because he brought joy to people, I know he's in heaven now, spinning platters for Jesus. My condolences to his friends, family and, especially, to Fancy Miss Nancy.
Kansas City, Missouri
Ron was an amazing source of hope and comfort to those who knew him well. He knew that it could all happen. Just believe. I've found that method to be handy on more than one occasion.
Fuck you, Ron. Love, Glenn
Joshua Tree, California