What ever happened to personal accountability? There is a notice posted in my office that says, "The maximum annual percentage rate that is currently being charged on loans at the office is 395 percent." I hate to see people in financial turmoil, but how can you victimize someone who is willfully and knowingly entering into a legal contract? Being below the poverty line does not absolve anyone of responsibility for his or her own situation.
One more thing on the subject of responsibility: There are at least two sides to every story, and presenting only one side as news is clearly irresponsible.
Kansas City, Missouri
He deserves a break. He's not asking for freedom from prison but freedom from his little rathole. I just don't see how people in higher positions can't see anything wrong with this picture. It's really scary.
Just wondering if maybe this might be a movie someday. I think it would be a great story for both sides of the picture.
Thanks, this was a great article.
Kansas City, Missouri
I'm a member of the arts community and fully support the Crossroads development in the so-called "SoLo" area Mayor Kay Barnes is trying to co-opt. This thriving area was developed by small businesses, not large corporations.
A thriving urban community cannot consist of just one or the other. There needs to be a diverse strata of development, where everyone is given an equal opportunity to contribute. I commend Mike Gouddou for his efforts, and I hope he doesn't give up. Perhaps other small businesses could lease space in the building -- the residents in the area desperately need a downtown market. It doesn't have to be a megastore, just a friendly, clean place to buy bread and milk, like Gouddou said.
Generally in urban areas, street-level shops are occupied by small businesses, with larger companies whose business doesn't rely on street traffic occupying upper levels of tall buildings. This is common sense. We need a dose of common sense when it comes to downtown development. The Kempers know nothing about the street, so they should stay out of it.
Kansas City Missouri
However, I'm sure that what the bigwigs are trying to avoid are the many varieties of irresponsibility and general madness that can come about when large groups of people abandon sobriety. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for a night of old-fashioned guzzlin' at your favorite dive, but anyone who's spent a summer night in Westport knows how easily the mix of liquor and raging hormones can lead to all sorts of nasty things after the bars close. Fun things like vandalism, street brawls, heart-plugging consumption of greasy food, gunshots, etc. You know, the same sort of booze-induced carelessness that led Robert Ray to doze off and kill five people on a New York subway train.
So, as you can see, I'm torn between my sympathies for the little guy and the realities of the situation. Hey, at least he chose an appropriate name. After all, sparks glow for a short time and then disappear.
Casey Logan's article accurately described the opinions of twentysomethings in this city. I certainly don't believe that nightlife is what makes a city thrive, but to stifle business, whether big or small, is counterproductive. If and when downtown Kansas City is brought back to life, it will more than likely be done with megamillion-dollar deals such as Union Station. We need that, but it would be nice to see the small guy make it, too. That's what gives a city some individuality.
If I paid attention to the media consistently, I would probably have a more educated opinion on the subject. It's articles like this that made me a Thursday-morning Pitch reader, and it's publications like the Pitch that will cause me to become more involved and educated on our city issues. Please keep this issue going. Keep up the good work.
Let's touch base on a couple of facts. Any venue that wants to stay in business needs to have about three times the number of shows that the Madrid has had over the last year. Even in light of the above situation, Kerry Duffin has turned down several shows due to his concern about the neighborhood; he has also limited his seating to 700 people or less.
I've been doing shows in that neighborhood for years, and trust me, there is less trash on the street than ever before. To my knowledge, the Madrid is the first business to have real police officers provide security. Kerry has done almost everything that's been asked of him by the city and the few neighbors who have been supportive of his efforts.
There is no reason why police can't have a presence on Friday and Saturday nights or why the area can't be stickered to allow resident-only parking.
It is common knowledge that certain individuals in the Midtown neighborhood have a vendetta against the Madrid. It disappoints me that the two sides can't come to terms over what are obviously personal issues. What is needed here is a meeting called by the city to bring everyone together and create realistic solutions. For our part, House of Blues will wait patiently until they have worked through this silly nonsense.
General Manager, House of Blues Tours and Talent