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Twice as Vice

Letters from the week of July 10, 2003

Hook, line and sinker: Regarding C.J. Janovy's Kansas City Strip (June 26): Don't you guys have DANGEROUS criminals on your streets? What a waste of money entrapping escorts and their clients!

Why not just go door to door and search people's homes? Surely they'd find dangerous criminals that way, too, but Gestapo tactics are not the American way. Leaving consenting adults alone when they are in private IS the American way.

This "vice squad" is a threat to freedom, a waste of taxpayer money and an enemy of America.
Ronald Heiman
Las Vegas

Train of Thought
Grand railroad funk: Regarding Casey Logan's piece on Clay Chastain (Kansas City Strip, June 19): I believe that Clay has been underappreciated and not taken seriously enough.

I am 21 years old and have no vehicle, due to my lack of funds. Though I have the option of riding the city bus (and have ridden it), I loathe the bus. It's never on time, it doesn't go to a variety of places, and you have to schedule your day around what time you think the bus will arrive -- or, in many cases, not arrive.

Being from the western side of KCK, I would have to hop on and off of several buses to take the bus downtown. If light rail were to connect KCK, Johnson County and downtown KCMO, I believe people would ride and there would be a flow of people into downtown and elsewhere. People need to stop looking at the financial picture and look at the idea of light rail, street cars or any other type of transportation that isn't a bus.

It is time for this area to get a shake-up in the way it lives. The residents of Kansas City, Missouri, have voted to raise taxes to support better roads more times than I can count, and lord if I can see any road improvements. I think people should try light rail, and if it does fail miserably, then they can get the satisfaction of saying "I told you so" and can get back in their nice little cars, waste more money on roads and proceed to fall into another pothole.
Name Withheld Upon Request

Repo Depot
Drive me crazy: Allie Johnson's "Repo Men" (July 3) reminds me of her article on Shawnee Mission Ford and their corrupt dealings with car buyers ("Hell on Wheels," September 5, 2002). I hear Shawnee Mission Ford has turned over a new leaf. YEAH, RIGHT.

Is this Neil's Finance Plaza the same one that advertises on TV with the three kids assisting the father in telling how easy it is to buy a car? If it is, then the father should be real proud of himself. In my opinion, this is bordering on the grounds of child abuse. Just like parents who do drugs or are criminals, the chance that their kids will turn out the same is quite high. Similarly, the children shown in the TV ad will probably grow up to be used-car salesmen(women).

This Steve Coffin guy is a peach, too -- no wonder used-car salesmen and attorneys all come from the same mold. It is very evident that these customers are people who are down on their luck, and charging them 19 percent to 22 percent interest when in today's market you're lucky to get 2 percent on a CD ... I will bet that the Neil's folks are living high on the hog, at the expense of people who need a break, not a hosing.
Name Withheld Upon Request

Broken Home
Good deeds done dirt cheap: Regarding Allie Johnson's "Unnatural Habitat" (June 26): The problems experienced by the Habitat for Humanity folks in dealing with dissatisfied clients is proof positive that "No good deed goes unpunished." Kelly Willoughby is learning this valuable lesson the hard way.
Kenneth Lee

Off the wall: From the perspective of a Habitat volunteer, I read Allie Johnson's article with interest. I am disappointed that Ms. Madison has chosen such a difficult path. I am sure had she been more objective, a solution would have been achieved. At this point, she will never be satisfied.

At any rate, my objective for this writing is to pose a question preceded by a witnessed scenario: Cleaning homes part time afforded me the opportunity to be inside a myriad of price levels, from a two-bedroom apartment to a million-dollar home. Routinely in the price range of $300,000-$400,000 homes, I observe paint chips on windows and doors and cracks in the 90 degree wall angles. Questions: Are there any statistics about customer dissatisfaction with the expensive, for-hire builders? And if so, what is the final outcome?
Mae Harbor
Kansas City, Kansas

Hitting the ceiling: I thought the title of "Unnatural Habitat" was a poor choice given the content of the story. At first glance, it throws Habitat for Humanity, an organization that has benefited our community greatly, into a negative light.

What bothered me even more was that there didn't really seem to be a point to the story at all. So Habitat built budget homes as a better alternative to the Section 8 hovels low-income families were living in? And then residents actually have the nerve to complain?

I quote: "If we're paying money, we deserve a nice house, and we deserve it to be complete, and we expect things not to break down in the first year we move in." I have one thing to say to these recently initiated homeowners: Welcome to the joys of home ownership.

I'm not rich. Large repairs to my own home stretch my budget all the time. But I sure wouldn't expect the people I bought the house from to come fix every little thing that's wrong with it. And I'm paying a hell of a lot more than $300 a month.

Maybe instead of squandering her meager income on a new mirrored hallway, Patricia Madison should get off her butt and invest in a few tools, a box of nails, a bottle of wood glue and a bag of grass seed -- and quit looking a gift horse in the mouth.
Peter Koche
Kansas City, Missouri

DB Dilemma
Blew his mind: I realize that a goal should be to catch the attention of the reader. But I was a little set back on the overall topic of "Blown Away" (Night Ranger, June 19). As I read it, I thought it was a good representation of the Warehouse experience. I was with her as I read: the progression of the night, the aroma of the parking lot. The drink comparison and the seizure-inducing lighting. Even the bachelorette party. Once she hit upon the fellatio, she lost me. Not in an "Oh, gawd -- she's talking about pee-pees!" way, but in a good/ bad judgment-call way.

I have been around the community long enough -- as I'm sure she has -- and even hung out at the old DB enough (let alone the new Warehouse) to know what goes on. As a straight guy, I just accept it as part of the scenery and go on. I have also hung around other bars and clubs in Westport and downtown, and each has "understood" issues of its own. As with the Warehouse, those issues are just accepted as part of the establishment.

I support her literary freedoms and enjoyed the article, even though y'all threw ol' boy off his game. But given the gay/lesbian/trans community's troubles in a primarily pseudo-Christian, Bible-thumping, anti-anything-progressive city, was it the right thing to focus the majority of the article on the DB Warehouse as a den of public party blow jobs?

All that aside, still love ya, 'cuz you rule!
Stuart Griswold
Kansas City, Missouri

Buzz Cut
Boi toy: Thank you for Andrew Miller's article on KRBZ 96.5 the Buzz ("Buzz Off," July 3); they are my favorite radio station, and I think it's cool you are trying to help save them.

Also, thanks for the picture of Danny Boi. He is very yummy.
Dana Collins

Don't turn that dial: First of all, I want to let you know that I look forward to reading your paper every week. However, I now love you even more for running the story on 96.5.

My friend and I are doing our best to help save the Buzz. We're making a video of listeners saying they love the Buzz, and we plan on sending it to Entercom. But two girls cannot save the Buzz alone.

It's nice to see the publicity the Pitch has brought to the whole situation, and hopefully this will show the suits that this station is worth keeping.
Angie Horner

Mixed Signals
World of funds: Regarding Andrew Miller's "Around Hear" (May 8): Is it not the premise of noncommercial public radio to be for information, leaving entertainment as a fill-in? Yet when I called KKFI 90.1 to suggest that they do the Jim Hightower spot just prior to Democracy Now, the manager was very offended at my suggestion, letting me know that for income purposes, his listeners were not into that kind of thing and would prefer not to have it, etc. (that is, information formats).

Yet his music stalwarts must not have been too loyal, as the station had to engage in an "emergency" fund drive, since the pledges did not arrive. Maybe the station needs a new manager, who appeals to more principled folk. Not to fault the choice of music in toto.
Joe Nichols
Kansas City, Kansas

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