Reuse for King Louie
As I was driving down Metcalf Avenue past the building once occupied by the King Louie bowling and skating business, it crossed my mind, “What a prime location that property sits on.”
Nearly three years ago Johnson County paid $2 million to purchase the building, ostensibly to provide a home for a struggling suburbia museum. When that idea lost traction, several other proposed uses for the building came forward, but none of those ideas thus far has appeared viable.
Then a July 30 article, “Kansas lawmakers call out commissioners over county’s proposed tax increase” in 913 came to mind, wherein Johnson County commissioners commented that they would put a portion of the $700,00 to $800,000 reserves balance toward a National Museum of Suburbia. Where have I heard that before?
It seems almost too simple, but with the economy on the mend and real estate values climbing, why not sell the property to a developer? My bet is that a savvy developer could come up with an idea for that property that would not only put instant cash in the county coffers but would contribute favorably to the local tax base.
Royals KC gift
The Kansas City Royals recently released their post-season ticket prices. Sure, they were outrageously priced — as expected.
Instead of trying to make a killing on ticket prices, how about Royals management have a raffle for every Royals fan who has endured the years and years of suffering through awful seasons and give these folks free tickets as thanks for actually supporting the ball club?
As my wife and I approached our precinct to vote in the primary election recently, there was an elderly gentleman approaching with a walker. We both deferred to him, as it took him several minutes to travel the necessary 30 feet to the polling table.
After that struggle, he was informed that he would have to vote provisionally and have his vote sent to the black hole of 15,000 other provisional votes in Kansas. After his apparent struggle to even cast a vote, this older gentleman was crestfallen, discouraged and justifiably disappointed.
This hasn’t been the electoral process that he enjoyed in past elections. This guy is probably a veteran of America’s wars and probably a good citizen, as evidenced by his effort to even cast his ballot.
But obviously, none of it was good enough for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Thanks, Kris. You’ve disenfranchised yet another “suspicious” voter and protected us against ourselves. And the world continues to wonder, “What’s the matter with Kansas?”
Kansas as Oz
This month is the 75th anniversary of the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” and everything imaginable is being done here to celebrate (naming other Dorothys, finding the ruby slippers, performances, exhibits, etc.). Kansas is the eye of the storm, and that indelible legend is our legacy.
A friend, Jack Martin, celebrated his birthday recently, and his wife, Carol, threw him a party, renting the Powell Observatory. We all went to the dark, silent farmland outside Louisburg, Kan., where the Martins set up a proper buffet, engaged the observatory’s volunteer astronomers to give us a lecture and then, pressing a button, to open the top of the observatory, track the dome around and, using a computer entry, to focus the huge telescope on Saturn.
We knew ahead of time what celestial objects we might see, learning that Andromeda, approximately two times the size of our Milky Way, will come crashing through the Milky Way “soon” (not to worry) in some 4.5 billion years. I also learned that we will get incinerated by our own sun later (an argument for cremation) and that, while we are reflected in the light of our sun, the stars chemically create their own light.
As the lecture on the entire universe was going on, without looking up, Andrew, whom I had met at the Martins’ before, blurted out a correction to what was being said in wholly scientific terms. In his 20s, Andrew doesn’t settle much, yet I found his knowledge of the solar system there under the stars as interesting as the lecture by the astronomers.
So no Dorothy and no witch, but for the first time I saw Saturn and its rings with my own eyes. Because of Andrew’s added dimension, and Saturn, there in starlit outer space from the emerald green Kansas farmland, this has to be Oz.
Whether it is old sepia photographs of company goons attacking striking miners in the early 1900s, or 400 U.S. troops using tanks and tear gas under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur dispersing protesting World War I veterans in 1932, or fire hoses and dogs used against civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s, or camo-clad police officers brandishing military weapons on city streets, we are witnessing the difference between “law and order” and justice.
The former is an institution created by a majority to benefit that majority. The latter are the demands of those who do not fall under this “umbrella” because of race, religion, politics, lack of wealth or social status.
Laws address the demands of those seeking power and resources. Justice is for those seeking the common life.
I’m confused. The border between Mexico and the United States is close to 2,000 miles long. We, as a nation in 2014, cannot build a nearly 2,000-mile fence that protects our border.
The Great Wall of China was built hundreds of years ago and spans thousands of miles.
Hmm? Maybe politics is involved here?