Letters from the week of January 7

Feature: “Fantasyland,” December 17

Nailed It

Thanks for David Martin’s article on Crown Center. It did a lot to shed light on what has always been a mysterious area of Kansas City. I think it’s easy for developers to isolate themselves from the community for which they are building and forget that the people decide in the end. I laughed recently as I bought dryer sheets at the Target at Ward Parkway mall: As we walked past cheap nail polish, I remembered that I was standing not too far from the old Woolworth’s shop that was in Ward Parkway Shopping Center when I was a kid in the early ’80s. Looks like developers came full circle on trying to fancy that place up, too. Target is the only reason I go to that mall these days. The people decide what will work. And sometimes, it’s the people who buy the cheap nail polish who decide.

Kip Ludwigs
Kansas City, Missouri

Crying Over Crayola?

Your recent hit job on Crown Center is just sad.

No corporate citizen has been more in tune with the citizens of Kansas City and its visitors than Crown Center Redevelopment. My first memories of Kansas City are that of ethnic festivals on the Crown Center Square in the ’70s, and my fondest memories of Kansas City are of the Elders rocking the house on the Ice Terrace in this decade. Friday-night movies on the lawn are priceless, as are the countless free events this organization produces on the grounds and inside the atrium of what might be considered KC’s community family room. These events may be designed to draw traffic for Crown Center retailers, but they create a sense of community that other, heavily subsidized public developments do not.

Furthermore, no public citizen has been a more visible advocate of the theatrical arts. The three stages at Crown Center serve every strata of the live-theater community, in a way that no other development can or will.

The tax-avoidance conversation should center on whether Crown Center is paying its share as agreed without repeated trips to the tax-subsidization trough. A comparison with other TIF/353 abatement districts’ appetite for tax dollars would be a much fairer analysis than was provided. It would also require legwork and research. Which is the conceptual opposite of a journalistic hit job. Which is why we should all wonder if David Martin wrote this pathetic article after he was refused service at the Crayola Café for failing to wear pants.

I think Joyce Hall would be proud of Crown Center’s maturation.

Lance Loewenstein
Kansas City, Missouri

He Cares Enough to File the Very Best

“Fantasyland” is the latest evidence that David Martin is a treasure. With a moribund daily putting its best reporters out on the street while cultivating the banality of a Jenee Osterheldt, and a public TV station seemingly able to produce only cartoons and self-parody (hello, Mike Shanin), Kansas City would go essentially unexamined if not for the work of Mr. Martin. Week in and week out, he pokes, prods and finds his way behind the curtains, then holds them open for all of us to see. Please keep him happy for the benefit of our community.

Paul Hanson
Kansas City, Kansas

A Hallmark Moment

Seems the only businesses that The Pitch is interested in pushing are the tattoo and escort services that buy ads in your paper. The story bashing Crown Center from its creation to picking over every bit of minuscule fault your writer could find was pretty much one-sided and tongue-in-cheek praise for minor faults. From my perspective it’s just one more limb of the big business bashing from a left wing free rag that’s primarily read by people waiting for service at the number of greasy spoon cafés who dole out this free waste paper each week.

Try to be positive of the city that supports you why don’t you?

And Crown Center pays more in taxes than the empty blighted buildings it replaced and has overall done more good for the city than The Pitch has in its years here.

Roy Graham

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