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King Me

Letters from the week of

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Martin city: Regarding C.J. Janovy's keen commentary on Katheryn Shields' bombastic diatribe at the St. Stephen's MLK celebration (Janovy, January 26): I was there! Oh, geez; it was awful and appalling, and I, too, was embarrassed for all of us honkies in the audience. Groundbreaking, historically monumental social justice work; imprisonment; being shot down in cold blood — all of that versus filling potholes, financial audits, children's playground name-calling ... HUH? Shields' insensitivity and stupidity were only outweighed by the size of her ego and her cajones.

Regarding Nadia Pflaum's fascinating "Is Esmie Evil?" (January 5): Finally this week somebody (Thomas McCormick, Letters, January 26) wrote in to express outrage about the out-of-touch fanatics who seem hell-bent on viewing everything inside the JoCo biodome as unique and disconnected from the rest of humanity. Do these myopic "supporters" also realize they are perpetuating a negative racial stereotype of Asians? Their focus and insistence that Tseng was the victim of over-controlling, hardass, cold and unfeeling Chinese parents supersede the recognition of blatant symptoms (bizarre behavior, drug abuse and, of course, the tragic violence) of severe mental illness.

Sarah J. Beasley
Kansas City, Missouri

Kill Switch
Girl group: I have read Nadia Pflaum's "Is Esmie Evil?" (January 5) and been following up on the response from the general public.

This girl is accused of killing her own mother. I hope they try her as an adult and put her to death. We are sending the wrong message to our children here by feeling pity for a girl who is old enough to know right from wrong. I was 16 once and never would have done such an unspeakable thing!

Why don't we just allow all children who wish to kill their parents to do so? So they can feel better! "Not be so pressured"! And when we do, all you do-good bleeding hearts should start sleeping with one eye open!

Timothy Whorton
Kansas City, Missouri

Teenage wasteland: I found Nadia Pflaum's article on Esmie Tseng interesting. As I understand, many of the comments are actually from strangers who support her. Those people who have said that this is a confused girl seem not to have met her.

This is not a case of "boys being boys, girls being girls and child's play." This is not about juvenile indiscretions such as graffiti or joy riding. This is about a killing. If our justice system is to have any merit, she needs to be tried as an adult.

I read your story the same week that I heard about two teenagers who videotaped themselves beating up homeless men, causing one of the homeless men to die. Certainly, these teenagers need to be held accountable for their actions. Why not Miss Tseng? She might be considered a spoiled kid from Johnson County who is charged with murder. I am sure that the youths in Florida can find supporters, too.

If there are reasons, underlying causes, chemical or psychological reasons for her actions, a good defense lawyer can bring those points out in court. Instead of hoping that she gets some sort of juvenile detention when being tried as a minor, a full jury might convict her, and that conviction might provide her with the mental, psychological and medical help that will allow her to re-enter society. Otherwise, she might not get any treatment that her supporters say she needs, and return to society worse.

Miss Tseng's supporters might be sympathetic because she just lost her mother, but her father lost a wife and has a daughter in jail accused of murder. Let the family work through this time in their life. Those who know the family can have an opinion on Miss Tseng's guilt or innocence. Strangers need to steer clear.

Anthony Mark Morningstar
Overland Park

Just Desserts
Ladle it out: I have listened to Charles Ferruzza for years on Walt Bodine's show. I was really disappointed in his review for the new La Filipina Café ("Mild Manila," January 19).

The sisters are new to the restaurant business. They are still learning, and one month isn't enough time to perfect the art of running a restaurant. Why couldn't he offer some constructive criticism? Leila Busch works three 12-hour shifts in the hospital and four days at the restaurant. Lina Sequerra is there for six days and works the other at the store. Any advice would have been appreciated.

Take care and may God bless.

Michael Busch
Kansas City, Missouri

Memorial Day
Wake board: Regarding Jen Chen's great piece about Craig Strayer's wake (Night Ranger, January 19): He was my father's best friend. I do have to say that I take offense to referring to my father's sweater as "Bill Cosby-style." That sucker cost me $300.

Anyway, I wanted to let her know that it meant a lot to Daddy and our entire family. Daddy spent a lot of time on that obituary, and the fact that it attracted some attention made him feel really good. This has been so hard on him, so this was something that was special to him. Thank you from me and my father.

Elisabeth Hisle
Stillwell

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