One of the reasons I left my hometown for Minneapolis was the lack of a strong downtown community. My father, Robert Vollrath, had been telling me for years how Science City and Union Station could be improved without spending a load of cash. His position at Science City was terminated alongside that of family friend Richard Hirsch after their dedication and hard work were ignored.
I also have had the privilege to work under the Hawley family at the Arabia Steamboat Museum. The Hawleys, as well as my father and Mr. Hirsch, are honest, hardworking Kansas Citians who have down-to-earth, practical ideas for the future of this city. Now why is it that these men without business degrees have such a hard time getting anyone to listen to them? Bob Hawley and his two sons, Greg and David, run the city's best attraction -- the only one I direct out-of-town visitors to -- on a skeleton crew without any formal business degree. They have continued to draw visitors and prove successful.
Let hardworking area residents have a chance at controlling the use of tax dollars. Hell, set my father up with a $20,000 a year budget and he'll make you a science museum out of toothpicks that'll make Science City look like a first-grader's diorama.
Sign off: Regarding C.J. Janovy's " Tit for Tat" (April 29): First of all, we appreciate having our program, This American Life, mentioned in your article -- so, thank you!
However, in the article, reference is made to "NPR's This American Life," which is incorrect. NPR (National Public Radio) has never produced or distributed this very popular program. This American Life is produced by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio and distributed to public radio stations nationwide by Public Radio International (PRI).
Linda Sue Anderson
Public Radio International
Sweet and Low
Leg work: Regarding Kendrick Blackwood's " An Arm and a Leg" (May 27): Thank you for once again spotlighting an area of concern for the metropolitan area. I personally received my diabetes education from this center several years ago. This opportunity has helped me maintain control over my disease.
Just a quick update: The center is being entirely closed as of July 31. The remaining staff is scrambling to find similar positions at other medical facilities. What seems ironic is that this center, which serves Research and Research Belton, was chosen to be closed, but several other centers that serve fewer patients will stay open. The centers staying open are MCI, which also serves the Lee's Summit area; Overland Park Regional; and Menorah.
Without these dedicated diabetes educators and dietitians, more diabetes patients will suffer eye damage and nerve damage and other complications of this disease. So more low-income patients will suffer, and perhaps Research will suffer as well. Few people have the insurance coverage necessary or financial resources to have a $100,000 pancreas transplant.
Please keep us up to date on what is happening at Research.
Something's burning: Charles Ferruzza's article on the departure of chef Jason Bowers from Café Trocadero painted an incorrect picture of the situation, owners and the young chef ("Troc Walk," May 27). As an employee of the parent company and the owners for the past nine years, I can tell you that the inaccuracies in the article are multiple and that using information provided by a disgruntled ex-employee can prove to be unreliable.
I am surprised that Mr. Ferruzza, with as much restaurant experience as he has, didn't recognize Bowers' attempt to cover his own hide. This was the second executive chef position Bowers was fired from in the past 18 months. The situation is simple: When an employee refuses to perform a reasonable request from his employer, there isn't much of a choice left. If Mr. Ferruzza refused to write his weekly article, I assume that the Pitch management would have to sever its relationship with him and find another food critic.
And throwing in the final negative paragraph regarding the closing of DiPardo's Wine and Spirits is completely unnecessary. While referring to the business as a failure, Mr. Ferruzza failed to mention the fact that Chris Seferyn and Vince Rook have renovated nearly 10 vacant properties, built 2 brand-new buildings and employ nearly 100 people along the 31st Street properties, which they own.
Velvet Dog/Empire Room/ Café Trocadero/Spy Agency Salon
Kansas City, Missouri
Charles Ferruzza responds: What pertinent facts were missing? The single fact is that Bowers was fired. Bowers said he believed he was fired for financial reasons; the restaurant's co-owner and manager both told me that Bowers didn't follow orders and was difficult, and that's what I wrote.
Music seen: I am not quite sure how Nathan Dinsdale got his job writing for the Pitch, but I can assure you that it probably wasn't the best of ideas to hire him.
In a recent review of the Kansas City Rock & Metal Fest that Dinsdale "took a lot of time on," ( Prairie Dogg, May 27), one can only wonder how many bands he actually listened to before he decided to write about phrases the bands said while playing. I don't think he realizes how hard these bands work only to be dragged down.
Where was the review from the next three nights? Is Mr. Dinsdale a part-time writer, or does he have something better to do than his job? This was a chance for the local rock and metal bands to get noticed, especially with the lack of respect KC radio stations show these aspiring musicians. The other three nights consisted of one venue per night -- was that too tough to attend?
It's a shame to see the Pitch throw away a chance to be a magazine that would interest KC musicians the way it used to when Andrew Miller did the majority of the music reviews. Hopefully, we will see better coverage of music here in KC, and by someone who isn't afraid to write reviews based on the music and performance rather than a phrase here and there of what musicians said during a break in songs.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Fat's in the fire: I am nearly impossible to offend. But Jesus Christ, man ... fat jokes? What in the fuck is the matter with you? I was going to write you a few weeks ago, when you wrote the Dandercroft article ( Prairie Dogg, April 15), but I thought I'd let it slide. But I can't now. Your article on the Metalfest was garbage.
I don't know if you were trying to be cute or clever or what, but neither does anybody else, and you have seriously pissed off a lot of people in this town. The Galactic Celt is one of the most hardworking, open-minded, supportive people in music in this town. There are ways to express a dislike or disapproval of something that don't involve insults, and I can't even begin to imagine what made you think it was OK to take shots at a guy's weight. What does that have to do with music or the show or anything for that matter? It was petty and yellow.
Ya know, while I've got my dander up, I'm gonna go ahead and unload on you about that Dandercroft thing after all. Here's the thing about John Bersuch and his degrees of separation to the bands featured in his magazine. With so little support and coverage of local music in this town (because God knows that we sure can't count on it from you), John Bersuch is an oasis in the desert. Nobody supports the local scene in this town except for the scene itself, and if one of us has to put up his own money and start writing about his own friends to get the ball rolling and to get someone -- anyone --talking and reading about what's going on in music in this town, then that's the way it's gotta be.
I'm done with you. You need to be fired, and you should deliver a public apology.
You are a douche bag.
Kansas City, Missouri