Letters From the Week of September 25

Feature: “Trail Nuts,” September 11

That’s Footwork!

Carolyn Szczepanski’s story on the Kansas City Trail Nerds is participatory journal­ism at its best. We’ve had stories written about us before, but to my knowledge, Szczepanski is the first writer to actually toe the line with us. She has gone where no other writer dared and taken The Pitch‘s readers along for the ride. Brilliant, insightful, colorful, vivid, verbal writing. Sure would like to see what she could do with a participatory story about one of our 100-mile races.

Gary Henry, Lawrence

Feature: “Home Sweet Parking Lot,” September 4

It Happened to Me

Nadia Pflaum’s “Home Sweet Parking Lot” was a great and much-needed article. People who live on the streets need help, and too often they are judged by other people who think poverty could never happen to them. I had a great job. When I was no longer able to work because of a long-term illness, I got on Medicaid and food stamps while I tried to find a job I was able to do. But because I got behind on child support, the state took me to court, raised my child support, took away my license and most of my visitation rights. This is all illegal for the state to do, but without money for a lawyer, a person literally has no rights in court. Without health insurance, I can’t get the help I need, and doctors who accept Medicaid are worse than doctors who work pro bono. It really is easy to lose everything, and if I weren’t blessed with the greatest girlfriend and friends a person could ever ask for, I would probably be living in a box on the streets and jealous of people living in cars.

Name withheld by request

Feature: “Capitol Bully,” March 29, 2007

Never Too Late

Although it was published in 2007, I just discovered and read every word of Justin Kendall’s “Capitol Bully” online. Jim Barone has always been a bully, and I appreciate the depth of your reporting. The tone and tenor of the article was perfect.

I was forced to work with Barone as our state senator for Crawford County. It was always about Jim Barone and never about what was best for our communities and state.

Your staff has my congratulations for excellent reporting.

Mike Hall

Chief of Police (retired, Pittsburg, Kansas)

Manhattan Beach, California

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