Net Profit

Not his type: I want to thank Tony Ortega for writing “Jail Baited” (March 11). I was appalled by the unfairness the station showed toward John Doe.

I went to school with John Doe, and he was in my fraternity. He was always playing elaborate pranks on other guys in the house, and elaborate pranks were often played on him. Once, we tricked another guy into thinking a girl wanted to meet him for sex. When John Doe says he was curious, I think he may have suspected it was some of his friends playing a prank, and he probably expected to meet them and drink a few beers while they razzed him about being tricked.

Anyway, keep up the great work. Thank you again for writing the article.

Michael Kelley

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Take five: I found KCTV Channel 5’s tactics completely ridiculous; it was more like creating a crime where none existed. I hope John Doe gets some justice and the little pecker who portrays himself as a journalist gets the boot.

Dave Schulz

Sunrise Beach, Missouri


The name gain: Regarding David Martin’s “What’s in a Name?” (March 11): The new memorandums that gave away the naming rights are just sweetheart leases. Before a vote on Bi-State II, the taxpayers need a detailed discussion of the financial implications of the new memorandums. The current investigation of the administration of COMBAT should only serve as a lesson of the problems of not having full and open disclosure of the finances. The county executive, the Royals and the Chiefs do not want to answer questions about what was agreed to in the sweetheart leases.

I personally contacted the county executive’s office, the Chiefs and HOK Sports Design from December 2003 to the end of January 2004, trying to get a list of the $225 million in projects agreed to for the Chiefs in the memorandums, and I was told that they could not provide the list. This list should have been in the memorandums. The memorandums are a one-sided welfare program for billionaires!

Terrence Nash

Kansas City, Missouri

Rich Man

Hats off: Just back home to New Hampshire from visiting an old friend in KC, who recently almost lost her life in a shootout. I picked up the Pitch while there and stowed it in a bag to read when I had time. I was glad to see it’s still being published.

I just finished reading Andrew Miller’s article on young Richie Restivo (“Rude Boy, Dead Man,” March 4). What a great loss for the world and especially for the KC music scene. Wanted Miller to know I thought this was a very well-written article. He did a nice job letting the reader learn about this fellow, what he stood for and his passion for ska.

Larry “Lars” Mester

Springfield, New Hampshire

Note worthy: Thank you so much for writing such a beautiful article. I think it captured Richie’s persona, and it’s such a nice change from the uninformed newspaper stories I’ve been reading over the weeks. Richie was truly an original, and he will be sadly missed.

Abby Heft

Kansas City, Missouri

Fight clubbed: I felt like I should write after reading Andrew Miller’s article. I went to Center High School from 1989 to 1992 and was a big part in the Center-Rockhurst problem. But I can say this: After about 300 fights at Taco Bell or McDonald’s, I never once was stabbed or shot, nor did I ever see a gun or knife. It was a violent time, and I even went to jail over fighting Rockhurst dudes, but it’s too bad it’s come down to this, where kids are losing their lives. I almost feel sorta responsible in a fucked-up way.

Guys fight in high school — hell, guys fight in bars every night — but this is a very sad story, and it breaks my heart to hear that someone got stabbed to death in the Rockhurst parking lot. Wow. Good article. I hope those Catholic boys get their heads on straight.

Dave Ritthaler

Kansas City, Missouri

Piano man: I spent just over a year doing a documentary on the Sloppy Popsicles. During that time, Richie and I became friends. One night I had a party, and he ended up sleeping on my bedroom floor. When we woke up in the morning, I made him coffee and oatmeal and brought it to him while he watched cartoons. He gave me a thousand-watt smile and told me I was like his mom. That smile lit up my heart.

He used to come to my house and play my piano for hours. He wrote “Truth” at my house. We sat outside on my porch and smoked cigarettes, just talking all afternoon. He used to drive me to Sloppy Popsicle band practices, because at the time, I was still fifteen.

On his 18th birthday, the Uprights played for the very first time for a crowd. I gave him my keyboard. He was moving into the dorms, which meant he’d be without his parents’ piano. When I pulled it out of my trunk, Richie practically tackled me to the ground in a hug. We almost broke the keyboard.

Flash forward a year and a half later … I’m standing in line at his wake with one of my best friends, who was his date to the Klammies. When I saw his body, he looked like a wax doll. There was no thousand-watt grin. My heart was broken.

The point of all this is that Richie really was everything Andrew Miller said he was in that article. Thank you for not being The Kansas City Star or Fox News, out to exploit him. Thank you for capturing who he was. Thank you for all the little stories about him. I went to grade school with Jacob Kruger. I put two dollars in that bucket. Completely forgot about it.

This is such a devastating loss for the community, for everyone. He touched so many people. Sichko was right. He lived a thousand lives. And I just wanted to say how much it means to me for someone to capture that with words.

“George” Thorman

Kansas City, Missouri

Tummy Trouble

Weight game: I loved the article (Allie Johnson’s “The Deepest Cut,” February 26)! I am an employee of Shawnee Mission Medical Center, and I am glad to hear that the truth is getting out about Dr. Timothy Sifers. The nursing staff dreads taking care of Sifers’ patients because they do so poorly. It is a very vulnerable population that he has targeted. We have numerous patients of his return after this procedure with life-threatening complications. It is very sad because these people are desperate for an answer to their problem and he has taken advantage of them.

KMBC Channel 9 news aired a story a few weeks ago about the picketers that gave Shawnee Mission a bad rap for “just canceling the surgeries” without notice. Channel 9 and The Kansas City Star need to have a copy of your article to better inform the public. Shawnee Mission actually may have saved much grief and possibly lives.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Have patients: Allie Johnson’s article was very well-written and well-researched, but I thought you might like to know that there is a local support group that meets once a month that helps educate people prior to making such a huge decision. The Web site for the Kansas City Weight Loss Surgery Support Group is: KCWLSFriends/.

Brenda Heidenreich


Belly up: Thank you for writing this story. I am the fortunate patient of an outstanding duodenal-switch surgeon in California, Ara Keshishian. I am one year postop and 100 pounds lighter. More important, I no longer take blood-pressure meds, no longer have type 2 diabetes and no longer use a CPAP machine. My knees no longer pain me, I’m not winded after climbing stairs — and life is good.

Bobbe Douglass

Paso Robles, California

March Hare

Velveteen gold mine: I was delighted to read Steve Walker’s review of The Velveteen Rabbit ( “Hare Today,” March 4). Jessalyn Kincaid is my niece, and although that allows for some familial bias, I just want you to know that “something extra” you saw in her performance has been there since her first roles in high school.

Spencer Tracy said the great actors “have no hands,” meaning that they are so totally part of the role that they are invisible inside it. Lesser actors always “have hands.” Jessalyn is one of those rare handless ones, and she is a joy to watch at work. She is also a delightful human being, but that may be beside the immediate point.

In any case, thanks for your review and appreciation of her work.

Cynthia Boles

Tyler, Texas