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Letters from the week of April 19

Burnt Ends, April 5

Zap To It
I was the first person in Kansas City to buy a Zap car (from a bad dealer in Colorado). You can read about me on the blog at, a Web site set up to help people find electric vehicles. My experience is noted under the category "Range Myths and Realities": "Of course EVs won't work for everyone. Janice Woolery was one of the first people to buy a Xebra Sedan. She bought this as her only vehicle based on claims of a 40-mile range. It turned out that the range on a Xebra is somewhat less in real-world driving and the car just didn't have enough range to support her commute and she ended up trading it in for a Toyota Yaris."

I had a good experience with Mark Higley and wish him the best. I just wish your column and everyone else would not promote the 40-mph-for-35 miles myth any longer. Plus, there are a lot of limitations to an electric vehicle in the price range of the Zap vehicles. Buyers should know to get as much information as they can before purchasing.

Janice Woolery, Kansas City, Kansas

Martin, "Devil's Advocates," April 5

Smoked Out
David Martin's piece on Missouri Reps. Brian Yates and Bryan Pratt was quite compelling. I was getting the impression that the Pitch was losing its way, but Martin demonstrated that the paper still can deliver original, fact-based reporting. The Kansas City Star should be embarrassed that Martin has taken the lead in consideration of the dark side of Shook Hardy. How ironic that the city fathers are clamoring to make Kansas City a leader in medical research when its biggest law firm has built a dynasty in defending one of the biggest killers.

At the same time, I sensed irony in the Pitch running Martin's piece when the paper is (was?) a regular carrier of cigarette ads. Then, I looked through that edition and a few others and saw no tobacco ads. Did I miss something?

Bob Campbell, Lawrence

Film, April 5

Road Hard
Not to bitch for bitching's sake, but Scott Foundas' review of Grindhouse was very subpar. I'm not saying he can't say he liked or disliked the movie; it's more of the matter that he doesn't know what he's talking about when he tries to compare movies to other movies. It's almost as if he just looked up popular genre directors and randomly picked one of their movies and typed it into his review to sound intelligent.

John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 and George Romero's The Crazies compare to Planet Terror? I would love to hear how he came to those conclusions. Same thing with calling Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof a road movie. Look up what a road movie is — it's not Death Proof, I'll tell you that much. Road movies involve traveling. Just because it has a car in it doesn't make it a road movie. It's a car-chase film at best. If he would have done any research on the film at all, he would have seen countless interviews with Tarantino that state it's a slasher movie. It's his take on the '80s slasher, but instead of using a knife, it's a car.

Not trying to be a dick here, but your reviewers are trusted to inform people about how a certain movie is. A lot of people don't care if he's getting his genre definitions correct or that he's making totally bogus comparisons, but I do. It's really annoying that people in KC seem to talk as if they know what's going on but really don't. It's even more disturbing that it happens in the Pitch.

Justin Ishmael, Mission Stage, March 29

Troupe Surge
Members of the improv group the Trip Fives have been "pushing" themselves for more than 10 years. Their brand of comedy has matured, but collectively, they've been the driving force of Kansas City improv for much longer than Alan Scherstuhl realizes. They didn't just pop onto the scene at Scherstuhl's discovery.

Also, the fabulous female pictured with the Fives in this article is not Jenny Roser but Megan Mercer.

Lisa Geraghty, Overland Park

Café, April 12

Hit the Hi-Way
I just read your review of The Hi-Way House. I have been one of those regulars at Harold's for 20-plus years. It was never my spot for fancy or upscale, but it was always good. In fact, the prime rib at Harold's on weekends was as good as it came in KC — best value, right-sized, extreme flavor. You could not arrive too late if you wanted this, or the blue-haired, early-bird crowd would already have consumed it all. And on Thursdays for lunch, he always served ribs. They were the ribs from last weekend's prime rib. You needed to arrive before noon to get some of these, too. They went fast! I loved the messy and fatty-flavored belly filler for only $4.95. Hi-Way has destroyed Harold's fantastic french fries. Remember the big old greasy ones, kind of like Bryant's? Who else serves fries like that?

I've missed Harold since he passed away. Bless his wife for doing her best to hold down the fort in his absence. It was still very good and a far cry better than the place you reviewed. My experiences on a couple of recent visits have also been consistently erratic. When I want that Harold's kind of food now, I guess I will have to drive all the way to the Bamboo Hut on 40 Highway. It's about the only one of those left.

Dean Hampton, Kansas City, Missouri

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