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Paper Chase

Letters from the week of August 8, 2002

Pitch in: Bruce Hibbs wrote that he lives in "sterile Johnson County and [doesn't] see the Pitch often" (Letters, July 4). Since I was reading a copy of the Pitch I picked up at the Sahara Café (8125 Metcalf), I can only assume that Mr. Hibbs doesn't venture north of 119th Street in Johnson County.
J. Kannard
Overland Park
Child Labor
The kid's table: I just finished reading the
letter to the editor from Debbie Gold (July 18). I, for one, will not be seeking their new restaurant out simply for the reason that I want a good dinning experience, not one where a small child answers the phone or where they play hostess.

With the background that Debbie and Michael Smith have, you would think that they would also want to run a professional place which, I think, includes not having your "cute" kid running around trying to help. If you're going to do this, wait until she is at least old enough to answer the phone properly and professionally.

So, in closing, I would like to tell 40 Sardines that I will not be a patron at their restaurant anytime in the near future.
John Shaft
Overland Park

Chuck E. Sardines: Regarding the letter about the new 40 Sardines restaurant and their request for diners spending their hard-earned money to "be patient with our children": My wife and I were planning to check it out, but no way now. If restaurant owners attempting to provide patrons a nice night out actually expect them to be charmed by their kids, well ... I think they'll be surprised in the long run by just what a turnoff the presence of children can be to diners.

In fact, the busiest "nice" restaurants I know do not provide highchairs or booster seats for kids. It sounds illogical, but the theory is that kids are a nuisance to other patrons, and the business they lose via this inconvenience is more than offset by the business they gain from maintaining a non-Chuck E. Cheese atmosphere. (Though it should be said that even at Chuck E. Cheese, kids can't answer the phone.) It seems to work, and while I truly wish 40 Sardines a great deal of success, it sure won't be because I helped them.
Name Withheld Upon Request

Stripper Search
Lap it up: I just got done reading Casey Logan's "Booby Trap" (July 25). I can't believe my tax dollars are being spent on man hours busting dancers for dancing too close to the pubic areas of men or women. The police should be out busting the real criminals for worse crimes.

This is a really poor attempt to drum up money for the city. The whole sting operation probably came about by some goody-goody complaint to the city or some bored vice commander with nothing better to do at night. What's worse is the tax money also being wasted in court plugging up real cases being fought and won.

Let's find better ways to spend our tax dollars, such as funding the light rail system for Kansas City or feeding the homeless.
Matt Cambern
Kansas City, Missouri

Barnes Burning
Oh, Kay: I find it interesting that Kay Barnes has exaggerated the achievement of the 18th and Vine district to leaders from other cities (Kansas City Strip, July 25). Like everything else in Kansas City, the Jazz and Blues Museum was started on a political whim and has fallen prey to poor marketing and low attendance.

I've lived here my whole life and have made the simple observation that Kay Barnes is one of the least productive leaders that Kansas City has seen in generations. What right does this woman have to either call herself a "leader" or to play tour guide to visitors from other cities? If it were all left up to her, Kansas City would be a full-blown boomtown collection of abandoned buildings and crumbling landmarks. I wonder if she gave a close-up tour of our scenic downtown.
Jay Bendure
Kansas City, Missouri

Monkey Business
Human intelligence: Shame on Allie Johnson for writing "Zoo De-Wourmed" (Kansas City Strip, July 18).

Most people do not know that the zoo does not house Asian elephants or emperor penguins. Three separate times, people asked me if I heard that the zoo director had been arrested for killing all of the animals. Different people told me that he had poisoned the snow leopard with arsenic (well, one person said "snow jaguar" because she, like most people who read the Pitch, isn't that smart) and that he stabbed an elephant to death. I was thinking that it would take an awful lot of effort and time to stab a 3-ton elephant to death.

I also heard that the "lady in charge of the orangutans said the animals were using sign language to tell her the director is a 'badman.'" I know that the KC Zoo is not advanced enough in its animal training to accomplish something like that. I told all of these people that the story can't possibly be true, mainly because it doesn't even make sense.

You cannot possibly expect the average person to be responsible enough to read far enough to see the fine print telling them that the story is fake. Just because Johnson is intelligent and creative enough to fantasize this story doesn't mean that your readers will see the humor, or even get the point. Granted, the zoo has its problems, but every zoo does. I happen to like the zoo; with enough funding, it could easily be world-class.

If Ms. Johnson has ethical issues with the zoo, or zoos in general, she should write about that instead. It would be a more persuasive form of argument that the average reader would understand.
Susan McDoogle
Kansas City, Missouri

People for the ethical treatment of Wourms: I am appalled and outraged by Allie Johnson's "fake" story about Mark Wourms and the KC Zoological Park's dying animals. It was sick, not at all funny and unprofessional.

I hope the zoo director sues her for slander, dead geese or no dead geese. I was fully prepared to write all the local news stations, CNN and CNBC about her findings, only to find she was "just kidding." Even sicker than the possible animal abuse is her flippant attitude on the issue.

You have lost me and several of my friends as readers. You were on a slippery slope with us anyway, given the declining quality of your paper over the past several months. Thanks for finally putting us out of our misery.
Tammy Lowery
Kansas City, Missouri

Beasts of Burden
The bear market: I am not certain why C.J. Janovy is so upset about the March of the Teddy Bears. I am not a writer nor a past English major, so I do not understand why she was upset with the editorial in the Star's July 1 issue about the bears. Lighten up. I usually enjoy reading the Pitch when it hits the unappealing-to-the-eye red-and-yellow stands every Wednesday, but the July 4 and July 11 Kansas City Strip section really put me off. "Who wrote this crap?" is a more apt question for both of these editorials.

A nonprofit group that I help direct is using the bears to generate publicity for an event that we are holding in the fall. Some of our activities will involve local scout groups, home-schoolers and other children's groups. We hope that this has a positive influence on these young people, unlike the hatefulness that Janovy and Mark Kind spewed forth in the last two Kansas City Strip editorials.

I am certain that Kind succeeded in trying to be hurtful to Christians by asserting that the picture that he wrote about was homoerotic, but he also slapped every person of Mideastern origin in the face by asserting that anyone who wears garments similar to the person in the picture is another Osama bin Laden. As for Janovy's hatred of the bears, it baffles me. I see them as a means to do something positive for young and old. That's not a bad thing.
Scott Couch
Kansas City, Missouri

The bad news bears: Once again, thanks to the city for proving that its backwards provincialism is only surpassed by its bad taste. This bear project is truly the worst kind of sentimental garbage parading as art that I have ever seen. The cow project was bad enough, but unfortunately we can always count on administrators to take a bad idea and make it worse.

These stupid sappy attempts to cater to the masses will undoubtedly go on forever. Give the public a little more credit, won't you?
David S. Smith

Doctor's Orders
Prescription for change: With regard to Deb Hipp's article "No Contest" (August 1), it appears that Dr. Louis Culp allowed himself the unforgivable luxury of stopping his emotional clock in the era of the Rat Pack.

Yes, there was a time when patients would allow a doctor to exhibit warmth and humor in an effort to put them at ease. Today, however, more people are asserting themselves when it comes to protecting their "personal space." They prefer a doctor to divorce himself completely from any emotion or levity, and maintain as professional a manner as possible throughout an entire procedure. If Dr. Culp could not accept this as a cold, hard fact of life, then it should come as no surprise to anyone that he refused to accept the notion that he had any problem to be addressed, according to the courts.

Certainly it's a shame that he may very well die in jail. But he won't be alone. (Ask any lifer!) Further, perhaps he should have listened to his wife when she suggested he should retire. If he couldn't make an effort to adjust his attitude, then he might not have been so exposed to trouble if he had gone into some other type of activity after taking down his shingle.
Kim S. Schinkel
Kansas City, Missouri

Home health care: I enjoyed Deb Hipp's article about Dr. Culp. He was our family doctor for many years; we were one of the early Hispanic families to see him.

He was one of the best doctors that I have been to, and it is unfortunate to see him in this situation. I think in these times, with everyone suing for just about anything, these women victimized my doctor. I have seen him for 29 years; he told jokes, yes, but that's it. I have three sisters and my mother, and he never tried anything with them.
Robert Marquez
Kansas City, Kansas

The Scarlet Letter
Seeing red: Regarding Steve Walker's "Red Flag" (July 25): You narrow-minded, indolent fool! How in hell could you write such a terrible review for the amazing Scarlet Pimpernel?! I am astounded by your lack of tact and professionalism in the review.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of the best productions to have come out of Broadway. In no way are the lyrics or the music by Knighton and Wildhorn bombastic or "gaze-haze" (whatever that means). I know for a fact that Walker's mindless and witless article will not be taken for fact (no matter how often he tried to be witty or "gay it up" -- oh, how more juvenile and obnoxious could he be?!). This show has a far better life of accomplishments than probably Walker's entire career to date.

Read this and think twice before you bash something that does not deserve the bash that you have given.
Name Withheld Upon Request

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