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Plaza Blights

Letters from the week of March 21, 2002

Plaza Blights
Highwoods high jinks: As participants in the ongoing struggle to preserve the 1925 Park Lane Apartment building, we appreciated Casey Logan's thorough and revealing coverage of the issues surrounding Highwoods' proposed plans to demolish the building that has sat gracefully on J.C. Nichols Parkway since the early days of the Plaza ("Truce or Consequences," March 7). The facts outlined by Logan and in C.J. Janovy's editorial ("The Pork Authority," March 7) indicate how well-greased the political machine has become in favor of developers -- at the expense of taxpayers, neighborhoods and our heritage.

Highwoods' withdrawal of their most recent proposal is an attempt to squash the growing dissent among concerned citizens, neighborhood leaders and some city officials who are unwilling to sit idle while their misguided "concept" destroys the Plaza neighborhood to create an office park. Protect Park Lane will remain vigilant in our pursuit of preserving the Park Lane building and the architectural integrity of the Plaza. You can contact Protect Park Lane by e-mail at
Jennifer and Edward Larson
Kansas City, Missouri

Plaza enlightening ceremony: All the various angles Logan presented were well-researched and brought to light some facts that are little known to the reading public. It is because of people like Logan and other interested parties "outside of Park Lane" that the consciousness is raised to the general citizenry and results are realized that no one could ever think were possible.

I hope that the Pitch continues to cover this subject closely as the months ahead involve the to-be-determined plans for the building. We will do all we can to protect the building, but it is going to re--quire continuing interest from people who want to see potential historical sites preserved, as well as preservation of the Plaza community.
Honey Keck
Kansas City, Missouri

Peace of Mind
Respect your elders: What article did Lew Hughes read (Letters, March 7)? It certainly wasn't Joe Miller's "Peacemakers" (February 28). Hughes accuses Floyd Hermann of "demanding" the rights and privileges of a citizen while refusing to contribute. Hermann demanded nothing. He did, however, volunteer to serve as a medic with the concomitant risk of being killed. But that would have required his submission to being trained to kill, which he couldn't do because of a fundamental opposition to violence. Hughes attributes certain ignoble character traits to Hermann with no basis at all -- much less fact.

Where is the relevancy in heaping dishonor on a ninety-year-old man? We have successfully maintained all-volunteer armed forces for over 25 years. It is legal and morally acceptable to avoid service. A majority of us elected a draft dodger to the highest office in the land!

I suspect that some are simply so inured to violence that they will always find an excuse to advocate its use.
Kelley Ryberg
Kansas City, Missouri

Killing machines: I read with interest the article on the pacifists who claimed conscientious-objector status in WWII. I can appreciate their distaste for violence.

I think it is horrible that there were people who tried to force violence on them. Fortunately, my father and my uncles killed them.
Kevin L. Jamison

A Small Oversight
Administrative assistance: I read with interest Deb Hipp's story on Norma Hunsucker ("Sudden Death," February 14). Though I find the story to have a tragic ending, I think a follow-up is in order to explain a little more about the Public Administrator's Office.

When there are seven case managers to handle 1,200 people, problems will fall through the "cracks," unfortunate as it may be. I have worked closely with the office and at times was very frustrated with the response I have received, but on most occasions, the PA office has responded quickly. The case managers always readily accepted family involvement.

I do not agree with everything that Rebecca Wood has said, and I would certainly question why records could not be found. I think, in all fairness, the other side should be researched more thoroughly and reported.

The statements about the facilities being less than desirable should throw a red flag to the state survey process, which licenses these facilities. I have found many state surveys to be very subjective. There is no requirement for a state surveyor to have any working experience in a residential or skilled nursing home.

There are bad facilities in the metro area, and there are some good. Basically, they provide food, shelter and minimal protective oversight. Many problems exist beyond the Public Administrator's Office.
Name Withheld Upon Request

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