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Letters from the week of November 6


Burnt Ends: "Mentors In Failure," October 16

Bad Business Tips

I was very excited to read the Burnt Ends item about seminars at Metro North Mall, "Get Motivated! Bad Business Seminars." Might I suggest one additional speaker, however: former Liberty Public School Superintendent Scott Taveau. Not only did Taveau and his cronies allegedly swindle and financially ruin one of the best school systems in the state, but he also nearly dragged down the Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City to boot. Support the local economy by charging booze to the school district credit card! You don't have to say "no" to your friends' favorite public projects — just borrow against future bond issues! Can't wait to retire? Double dip by being a school district consultant and getting your state retirement money!

Ray Weikal, Kansas City, Missouri

Feature: "The Ghosts of St. Elizabeth," October 9; Letters to the Editor: October 23

Don't Blame the Building

Your "The Ghosts of St. Elizabeth" feature had no merit, but it did produce some good follow-up letters, especially one from Jim Dougherty about forgiveness and healing.

It was strange that the cover for the feature showed a photo of the church at 75th Street and Main, but the story concluded with a push to tear down the rectory that is at 74th Street and Main. In the 1940s, when I moved to Kansas City, I was hired by the architectural firm that designed the rectory, at that time under construction. Later, I became a partner in the firm and was honored to design and manage the construction contract for the church building in the 1960s. Your use of the church building photo corresponds to the idea that the church is guilty of allowing more of its ministers to abuse young people. The ministers are members of the church, as were the victims and their families. By all accounts, the victims were old enough to recognize the abuse but chose to continue contact with the abusers and to go on trips away from the residence with the abusers. After years and years of disclosures and apologies and now a lot of financial payment, we still see a letter in your paper talking about "millions of victims" and a call that "not just St. Elizabeth's rectory should be torn down." Stupid hate.

Dougherty says it all: "Only through forgiveness can deep healing occur." Apologies and money don't heal, and tearing down architectural landmarks doesn't heal anything, either.

Frank Grimaldi, Kansas City, Missouri

Café: "Frittered Away," October 14

Not his Father's Apple Farm

I feel like I have an obligation to respond to Charles Ferruzza's review of J.L. Stephenson's Santa Fe Inn.

I was disappointed by the negativity in his review. I just don't think he understands what we are trying to accomplish. Let me explain. It was never my intention to attempt to imitate the experience that guests had at the original Stephenson's restaurant. My father and his brother established that restaurant with the goal of being one of the most outstanding culinary destinations in the United States. They intended for it to be a special-occasion place, a place you could take out-of-town guests to impress them, a destination restaurant. They built a facility to accommodate this concept. They were in business for more than 60 years.

When I decided to open Stephenson's Santa Fe Inn, my goal was to open a facility and neighborhood bar and grill that offered good food at reasonable prices in a fun and friendly setting. I was limited on space and had to work with what was available at this location. I decided to take advantage of some of the Santa Fe favorites and blend in a taste of some of what had been successful for more than 60 years. Again, we were limited on space, so we had to limit our menu.

We want to offer diners a place that is fun, where the food is good and the price is affordable, in a comfortable setting. A place not just for special occasions but a place you can afford to enjoy two or three times a week. This is our goal. This is our concept.

J.L. Stephenson, Kansas City, Missouri

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