Offensive Line

It’s all a slur: I have to take exception to the letter from Amy Heithoff-Dominguez (August 15) in response to Allie Johnson’s “All Wet” cover story (August 8). I am an American of Latin (Mexican) descent and a regular Pitch reader. I can assure you, it never occurred to me that any sort of racial slur was intended or implied on that week’s story title or cover.

And to Ms. Heithoff-Dominguez, I’m 99.9 percent sure that I speak for most Latinos when I ask that you please keep your insecure, racially oriented whining to yourself. I, for one, am very proud of my heritage, and I resent you trivializing it by taking offense where none was clearly intended. Thanks.

David Salas

Overland Park

Ho Down

Putting the ass in assault: Regarding Deb Hipp’s “School Broad” (August 8): Former school board member Michelle Hensley finds a new line of work on Independence Avenue, like demonstrating to her nephew how to use a motor vehicle as a lethal weapon to challenge the dress code of presumed prostitutes! This from a degreed social worker/law student? WOW!

Wonder if the Missouri Division of Social Services and the attorney general read of this self-declaration of attempted assault and child-endangerment by one of their own yet?

Name Withheld Upon Request

Meals with heels: My first reaction after reading Deb Hipp’s article on Michelle Hensley was, this can’t be true. Unfortunately, I fear that Hipp did not have to exaggerate, because this is the kind of stuff you can’t make up.

Thank you for making me aware of the progress that is being made in that area of town. I teach at the middle school, and I sometimes wonder how much this affects the kids as they walk past this every day on their way home from school. I was also not aware of the Christian church’s effort to provide meals for these people. I think my favorite line from the story is when Ms. Hensley, referring to what the church provides, states, “Why would one of us go eat dinner with a hooker?” Well, I guess since it’s in a church, we should remember that’s the kind of stuff Jesus did.

I don’t know what the final answer is to help these people and the city, but it definitely can’t be the path that Ms. Hensley is taking.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Urban Warfare

All the President’s men: The excellent Pitch articles detailing the President Hotel controversy illustrate how all the people associated with downtown development can be right and wrong at the same time (Casey Logan’s “No-Tell Hotel,” August 22; “Legal Vacancy,” July 18; “Little Blight Lies,” July 11).

EDC Director Andi Udris is right that the proposal is a bad deal for taxpayers and pits one city-subsidized project against another. He’s wrong, though, that the building should be torn down. The developer and preservationists are right that this landmark should be restored. They are wrong that the city should do so at any cost. If one bad deal prevents ten good ones from occurring, it is not good for preservation.

Convention/tourism promoters are right that downtown needs street life. They are wrong in thinking that more hotels and larger convention spaces will bring people here. People don’t visit New Orleans, Boston, New York or San Francisco because of the convention amenities but because they have great urban neighborhoods.

A common criticism of Kansas City is that “we don’t do any planning.” In fact, the opposite is true. We have a Sasaki plan that some civic and business leaders have bought into, but not all; FOCUS Kansas City, which has planning recommendations for downtown (though city ordinances largely collide with FOCUS principles); property owners with their own plans; the EDC with its often-conflicting goals; MODOT and Public Works with plans for highway and street changes; and advocacy groups, such as preservation organizations, with their own agendas.

Until there can be a meeting of the minds of all of the various groups that influence downtown, we will continue to fight a site-by-site battle, with the chaos evident in the President Hotel saga.

Kevin Klinkenberg

Kansas City, Missouri

Food Fight

Service with a smile: Recently, I read a comment you printed from a reader about Sidney’s Diner (“Mouthing Off,” July 25). It sounded so outrageous that I had to go there to see if it was true.

I don’t know where that person went, but I don’t think it was to the same Sidney’s that I went to (although the address was the same). First, the waitress that we had, Carrie, was there as soon as we went in. Our drinks and chips and salsa came quickly (and the chips were freshly fried, to order), and our drinks were quickly refilled if they got low. Our waitress knew the menu by heart and took our orders by memory and got everything right! I was impressed because there were five of us and each of us had special orders for our food.

Our dinner came in a reasonable time, and they never pushed us to hurry and vacate our table. We all received our napkins before our food arrived and had extra brought with our food, which was delicious, I might add.

I had to wonder about the reader. Has he harassed the restaurant in any way to receive treatment like that? I tend to think that maybe he is one of those people who isn’t pleased by anything, no matter where he goes! Anyway, I do owe him a note of thanks for bringing my attention to Sidney’s Diner. I’m sure I’ll enjoy many more dinners there.

Karen Osborn

Kansas City, Missouri

Karma Chameleon

Disposable diapers: Regarding J.J. Hensley’s “Good Karma” (July 25): Are times so tough that you have to go into the daily breakup of club bands that are a dime a dozen? Nothing against Karma, but we the readers would like to have something interesting, not the changing of band diapers.

Zoe McKinley

Kansas City, Kansas