Among this week’s existential questions: If a construction company tithes, does that entitle it to tax breaks?

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Among this week’s existential questions: If a construction company tithes, does that entitle it to tax breaks?

Burnt Ends: October 11 and September 27

Rack 'Em Up

Thank you for raising the issue of bicycle parking in recent pieces about Arrowhead Stadium and the Leawood Town Center mall. Recently, many local leaders and politicians have made grand pronouncements about green this and green that, but so far our community has seen few actions to back up the words and plans.

Something as simple as a bicycle rack can be one of the greenest things in the world. If we are really serious about being green, then we need to reduce our reliance on the single-occupant automobile. And one of the best ways to encourage those who are able to use the bicycle as a form of transportation is to provide safe, secure and convenient bicycle parking.

Anyplace that needs automobile parking is also a place that needs bicycle parking — shopping centers, video stores, restaurants, bars, office buildings, and even arenas and stadiums.

Kansas City is considering just such a policy as it rewrites its planning and zoning laws. If this idea makes it into law, then hopefully someday The Pitch won't have to write stories about "where's the bike lane?" or "where's the bike rack?"

Eric Rogers, Kansas City, Missouri

Martin: "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme," October 11

Dunn and Dunned

I have not had the opportunity to work with the J.D. Dunn Construction Group. However, I'm very familiar with the Dunn family's community work. That experience stands in stark contrast to the portrait painted by David Martin's article "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme."

There's no family or company more committed to Kansas City's well-being than the Dunn family. Terry and Peggy Dunn recently served as the chairs for UMKC's capital campaign, which brought in a record-breaking $203 million for our hometown university. Whether it's the Boy Scouts, the Children's Miracle Network, the Truman Medical Center, the Jewish Community Relations Bureau or a dozen other community groups, the Dunn family contributes not only money but also its considerable leadership and time. Its private company tithes by contributing 10 percent of its profits to charities.

In my experience, it's Kansas City that often says, "Gimme, gimme, gimme" to the Dunns ... and they never seem to say no.

Chuck Curtis, Kansas City, Missouri

Feature: "The Real Mrs. Semler," October 11

Garden State

I was pleased to read Carolyn Szczepanski's article about Frances Semler in The Pitch. There were no personal attacks. No polemics. Just good reporting. I learned a lot about Mrs. Semler.

Thanks for a readable, in-depth reporting job.

Richard Fatherley, Kansas City, Kansas

Don't Blame Her

Frances Semler is a nice lady. I know because I've met her. If there is blame for anyone having unnecessarily caused controversy over her appointment to the Kansas City Parks & Recreation Board of Commissioners, it is the people on the 29th floor of City Hall.

Kansas City's mayor started his term in the worst possible way — by abandoning a fundamental principle he had pledged throughout his election campaign. That principle is a commitment to transparency and professionalism. It is a determination to make decisions in the open. It is a determination to set professional goals and standards — then abide by them.

Carolyn Szezepanski's article re­vealed that Frances Semler had not sought an appointment to the parks board. Rather, she was picked for the job. There was no openness in the selection of appointees. The mayor decided to put her there. There was no guiding principle other than the mayor can do what he wants.

It may be his definition of professionalism and transparency, but it's not mine. All the talk about other "principles" is meaningless unless the mayor lives by the principles he pledged before he got the job. Other "principles" are political "spin."

That's what is so deeply disappointing about a man whom I formerly held in high regard.

David Peironnet, Gladstone

Feature: "My Secret Life in the Klan," September 27

Trust Fall

I just wanted to say nice job with this article. I found it interesting how, although Peter Rugg was unable to agree with the opinions and views of the Klan, he managed to develop some sort of empathetic bond with Trentadue. I think it's humbling that Rugg recognized this: Deceit is hard whenever anyone trusts what we tell them is true, regardless of who it is. Keep it up!

Liesel Fischer, Chicago

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