While I am a frequent customer at both Pierpont's and the Union Café, I remain disappointed that part of the Union Station restoration did not include a re-creation of the Westport Room, with its Victorian décor, costumed waitresses (they wore floor-length black dresses with white starched aprons), seven-piece silver flatware settings, white table linens, fresh flowers, and a menu that included such specialties as table-side carved prime rib and curried chicken Maciel (the latter dish created by Joe Maciel, the Westport Room's almost legendary maitre d'). Only a restaurant of such grandeur can complement Union Station's grand architecture.
Yes, by all means, I would favor the return of a 24-hour coffee shop at Union Station in the tradition of the Harvey House, a restaurant where one could be assured of good food, good service, and courteous behavior from both the staff and one's fellow customers, regardless of the time of day.
Timothy M. Degnan
Kansas City, Missouri
Pound for pound: Regarding Andrew Miller's " Kingdom of Heavin " (August 26): Why am I not surprised that something like this would come up? I didn't know the founder of Curves was a man, though.
I belonged to it for a year. When I found out about this, I stopped the automatic payments. I'm spreading the word through Miller's article to others I know who belong.
Kansas City, Missouri
Joint chiefs of staff: I just got done reading Nadia Pflaum's article, and I enjoyed it very much. I'm a freshman at KU, and I felt obligated to read it because I could relate to it. She hit the nail directly on the head when she mentioned that a high amount of drug use comes from the suburbs -- that's completely true.
Based on the things I've seen, been around and participated in, I think the best way to reach kids like that is in the early years of high school when they start working, and tell them how much money you can spend on pot in a year. I grew up in Lenexa, but I'm not a rich asshole, and even though I have a job, the amount of money I spend on pot can add up. I'm not venting; I thought I'd just share my view on this with Pflaum because she seems like a pretty cool person to take on a story like this. She actually said the truth about drugs and who uses them the most.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Straight dope: I'm writing about Nadia Pflaum's outstanding story: " Buzzkill! "
Common sense tells us that the DARE program should deter our youth from using illegal drugs. But it doesn't. DARE graduates are more likely to use illegal drugs -- not less.
Common sense tells us that the Earth is the center of the universe and our solar system. But it's not.
Common sense tells us that prohibiting a product should substantially reduce the use of the product that's prohibited. Actually, prohibition tends to substantially increase the desire for the product that's prohibited.
Before marijuana was criminalized in the U.S. via the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, the vast majority of Americans had never heard of marijuana. Now everybody in the U.S. knows what marijuana is, and the U.S. government estimates that at least 76 million Americans have used it. About half of all high school students will use marijuana before they graduate.
People want what they are told they cannot have -- especially children. The lure of the "forbidden fruit" is very powerful.