Hair Spray

Peace of the action: Bryan Stalder’s “I believe we can only achieve peace through military action” statement (Letters, February 27) reminds me of the one timeless line from the play Hair. To wit: “Fighting for peace is like fucking for chastity”!

John C. Lipscomb II

Kansas City, Missouri

Letter Imperfect

Bar-B-Q: Regarding the “Missed Q” letter from the February 27 issue of the Pitch: I feel that giving an honest opinion of a show or performance does not warrant an attack on the author of the letter.

When one takes on an endeavor of performing, one should also be prepared that there will be people who will not always have something good to say. Whether the person who wrote these letters knows the performer(s) personally or not, they do have a right to give an honest opinion. And it should not be assumed that it is a personal attack on said performer(s). I read nothing in the letters in the issue for February 13 that made me think that the letter was written toward any specific person(s) but toward the quality of the show itself.

I hope those of the Burly-Q show succeed in their endeavors and will take criticism constructively in the future and use it to improve their art. Thank you for your time.

Lilia Black

Portland, Oregon

Primary Color

Long division: Race is irrelevant in sports. The recent article by Greg Hall about white players being passed over for Division I scholarships is irritating at best and wrong at worst (“A Rocky Road,” February 20). These players should not have been misled by being recruited by the local D-I schools. If a player can play, then he should get that opportunity, no matter what his ethnic group is.

Our society has come so far, yet a lot of us have much further to go as it pertains to our attitudes. If D-I schools want players who are bigger, stronger and faster, as the article indicated, then they should recruit those players, even if they are white.

Rudolph Pieters

Kansas City, Missouri

Code Warrior

Building complex: Regarding Kendrick Blackwood’s “A Fines Mess: A State Court says an owner can let his downtown building rot” (February 20): Sorry, I read the court ruling, and it does not say that.

It did make some commonsense ruling on just what should be considered dangerous and torn down, just because it didn’t look pretty to someone. The politics of code enforcement, redevelopment and zoning is a bureaucracy that is something to deal with beyond common sense.

I am rehabbing a warehouse at 33rd and Troost. This building came vacant about ten years ago because a city inspector advised the owners that the building was not zoned for welding and shut them down. So the owners moved their operation to Lee’s Summit.

The city lost a business, a tax income and a payroll income and the building drifted into disrepair. Why? Bureaucracy! A city inspector wanted to play god.

The politics of money — of other entities drawing business to their area with enticing giveaways, the tax-increment financing, the politics of getting a new building — tore down good, usable buildings, as opposed to using existing buildings.

The feds are broke, the state is broke, the city is broke. Maybe we need to leave some things alone and let the marketplace handle itself.

Maybe if we weren’t building new buildings with TIF money and tax credits, this building at 1103 Grand would have been in demand and might have been fixed before now. And our tax bill might be lower.

Charlie Williard

Kansas City, Missouri

Low Rider

Wheelie dealer: Regarding T.R. Witcher’s “Rough Riders” (February 27): So Dan Jackson is the “third best sport bike rider” in the country. Best at what? Impressing a vanload of dickheads? As far as “best” at what a sport bike is designed for — road racing — Jackson is probably far enough down the food chain to rate as algae. You want to be a stunter? Fine. Just keep your sorry ass off of public streets. There’s a venue for the crowd that thinks wheelies and stoppies are hot shit, as Witcher points out.

Actually, I don’t give a flying rat’s ass whether Jackson ends up as “best” at anything or a grim statistic. What does piss me off is that the street activities of Jackson and his moron ilk make the law-enforcement community real anxious to jump into the middle of my shit while I’m out on the Sunday morning ride. Not to mention the guy that Jackson enraged in traffic by riding his loud, hammered piece of shit past the guy’s open car window on the rear wheel — that driver will be perfectly happy to run the next sport bike rider he encounters into a ditch. That next rider may be me.

Keep your bullshit off the street, Jackson.

John Eckhardt

Lake Waukomis, Missouri

Easy rider: T.R Witcher quoted a stunt-riding motorcyclist in last week’s “Rough Riders” as saying, “We pioneered a new sport. It’s borderline illegal.” How about standing on the side of the road in the presence of a similar stunt-riding team?

On September 21, eight other individuals and I were arrested in Kansas City, Kansas, because we were doing just that. The charge: “racing on roadway … participation by observation.” We had pulled to the side of the road for less than five minutes (one member of our group was injured and had needed to rest frequently that day, plus the stunt riders were taking up both sides of the roadway with their tricks) and were nowhere near our motorcycles when the police entered the scene. We stayed standing on the side of the road as the stunt riders evaded.

Now the sketchy part: Our arresting officers informed us that a judge in the area had changed the ordinance to make “participation by observation” a chargeable offense and to arrest accordingly. It gets better — the judge who presided over our case tells us that he lives in the area and is hoping to make anything associated with these stunt riders extremely distasteful. Our attorney (who is a PROSECUTER in a neighboring county) is shocked (and a bit angry) about this manipulation and interpretation of the law. We are, too.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Time Bomb

Cut the mustard gas: What a touching story about Sam Stepp’s rise from mindless Republican to mindless peacenik (Allie Johnson’s “Young Blood,” February 20). Let me help this young man out: No one really wants war. No matter what you think you have heard about oil, defense contractors, etc., everyone would rather go about their day-to-day business of being rich without having to think about world destruction.

With billions of dollars, thousands of tons of unaccounted-for chemical agents, and people who very much want to kill us (yes, it’s true Sam, they are out there), something very ugly is probably going to happen. Hopefully it’s a mustard-gas bomb at a Germany v. France soccer match. When it does, World War Three is on — no more Starbucks, skateboarding or cool overnights to Washington, D.C.

That’s great to believe in something, but don’t just listen to whomever is the most convincing or whatever gets you the most chicks. I’ve got a lot to live for. I don’t want war at all! I do want a place for my kid to live ten years from now. Continue to bury your head in the sand, and soon that is all that will be left.

Curtis Anderson

Kansas City, Missouri

Tie die: After listening to the radio today, I realized that, contrary to public opinion, the war effort is fueled not by the oil-burning spirit of George W. Bush but is secretly funded by a highly organized group of aging hippies longing for a widespread Phil Ochs revival.

Don’t underestimate the conspiratorial nature of so-called “peace advocates,” or you’ll soon be singing “What’s That I Hear” in spite of yourself.

Adam Wright

Mission Hills

Stepp it up: My name is Renee Wood. I am writing in regard to Allie Johnson’s article “Young Blood,” which features the story of Sam Stepp. I met him during a National Leadership Camp in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where a small delegation of Australian leaders, including me, joined the 100 or so budding leaders of the America of tomorrow.

Sam Stepp sent me this article to let me know his mission for peace. I attended the peace protest in Sydney, where over 400 ,000 people in a city of 3 million attended to oppose this war on Iraq. Sam Stepp inspires me to do more, as I’m sure he does to many other people as well. I will pass on Sam’s and the others’ views through my school and make it more of an issue in my community. Sam and fellow peacemakers must be doing something right to have gotten their message heard over oceans. War is murder and is a sin. Saddam Hussein must be stopped — there’s no denying that — but war is not the answer.

Renee Wood

Sydney, Australia

Street Talk

Voice mail: Deb Hipp’s “Independence Days” was great (January 30). Having knowledge of these two women and their excellent work with Veronica’s Voice, the time for their recognition is long overdue.

The same applies to the Micah Ministry at Independence Boulevard Christian Church. It is a great effort to reach out and heal the community.

Pj Sullivan

Kansas City, Missouri

Sky High

On the Matt: I have read three different reviews of Guys and Dolls, including Steve Walker’s (“Nicely-Nicely Done,” February 6), and all three said that Matt Farnsworth’s portrayal of Sky Masterson was bad. I saw the show on a class field trip, and as a fan of musicals, I thought that he was wonderful. He has an incredible voice, and his acting was great.

So, as far as Walker’s review and the other two I read, I think it is crap that Walker thought he wasn’t the right man for the part. But I guess he is entitled to his own opinion.

Heather Laughlin


Card Sharp

Bringing down the house: Charles Ferruzza is right on about the Ameristar Casino buffet — awful (“Crap Shoot,” January 9). Once more, KC gets stuck on mediocre-to-poor, and there are people here who think that it is to be expected.

His reviews on restaurants that I have eaten at are right on. Keep up the good work.

Muriel Daniels


Night Writer

Bar girl: I have thoroughly enjoyed every installment of Jen Chen’s Night Ranger column. She always makes me laugh. I bet she is hell on wheels to drink with.

Keep it up.

John Gunter

Kansas City, Missouri