Letters from the week of September 16

Studies in Crap: “Fin De Scalpel,”
September 9

Dr. Dad

I was surprised to see my dad’s dad quoted in this week’s column. The 1909 Scalpel included a quote from Axel Isadore Anderson. It’s quite a story because his mom came from Sweden. Family lore is, she got pregnant on the ship here. She was to meet the father at the KC train station, which was then in the West Bottoms. “Dad” never showed up. So Axel grew up in poverty in the basement of a downtown church. He’d go out and collect coal that fell off trains for a little income and food. But he ended up working his way through medical school and became the first basketball coach at Mizzou. He moved back to KC, married and had seven girls and one boy. That boy was my dad.

Robert Anderson
Kansas City, Missouri

Martin: “All Aboard,” August 5

Weather Wusses

One word clearly provides the reason that no form of light rail would be successful in the KC metropolitan area, and that word is climate. The harsh winters and 100-plus-degree heat indices in the summer would prevent potential riders from walking to the stations and, after exiting a rail car, walking to their places of employment.

Please do not tell me that Denver and Indianapolis rail planners and politicians claim success with their rail systems. They are reluctant to admit that plans they backed did not meet expectations or failed. Local examples would be the millions of tax dollars spent on Kemper Arena updates for a building that now sits rarely used. The millions of bi-state tax dollars spent on Science City at Union Station, the ongoing 18th and Vine project — these too have failed to meet expectations. Construction of yet another area white elephant would take millions of tax dollars and cause major traffic delays (because people would still have to drive to stations to be picked up) instead of preventing them.

Francis Shannon
Kansas City, Kansas

Martin: “People’s Plaza,” September 2


Folks, this is not going to end well. The law firm and the landlord are tag-teaming the Plaza into a project straight from the bowels of institutionalized mediocrity. The structure looks like any trashy third-tier hotel that dots the periphery of anywhere USA. The volume of that building in that location will destroy forever the unique ambience that now exists on that part of 47th Street. Polsinelli knew that there would be a great howling with the first proposal. The second is no better. There is a profound lack of imagination on the part of Highwoods and Polsinelli. These proposals are from a certain class of Americans with academic degrees but no real educations. They fail upward and they poison the world. They are the champions of ugly. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

John Hastings
Kansas City, Missouri

One Coupon Per Customer

Polsinelli has already used up its “tear down a historic building” coupon. Remember the beautiful apartments that were there before they put up the current building? Not sure why they are so intent on tearing down history. Oh, right. It’s ego and greed. I forgot.

Lisa Coleman
Overland Park

Feature: “Dog Beat Dog,” September 2

Street-Fighting Dog

As the owner of two pit bulls, I’m grateful that they are trying to stop the fighting. But on the other hand, these two cops put their dog through hell, training it to fight. Now there is only one thing left for this dog: Put it down. It can never be trusted around another dog.

Paul Jones
Kansas City, Missouri