I enjoyed the article in the July 16 Spirit section about Marianne and Steve Noll’s collection of Kansas City memorabilia. (1E, “Couple needed second house to hold their KC collection”) But I must take issue with the paragraph regarding the River Quay.
As a former partner of a popular music club there in the 1970s, I reject Mr. Noll’s contention that the “entire area was owned and operated by the mob, which they blew up. … The mob blew up the entire area in the ’70s.”
I don’t argue the fact that members of the mob were responsible for the River Quay’s demise, but I want to make it clear: They neither owned nor blew up the entire area. I knew most of the merchants there, and not one, including myself and my partners at Madame Lovejoy’s, was a mobster.
I have been fighting these misconceptions for decades.
Were businesses blown up? Yes, but only those few owned by rival factions. The rest of us were victims of collateral damage.
The story of the River Quay is a sad saga, ending with the tragic news of the suicide of a courageous Freddie Bonadonna in 2002. But let’s stick with the real facts.
Why aren’t automatic brakes required on semi trucks? The technology is available and affordable. The risk to others is too great to have these trucks weighing 80,000 pounds left to the abilities of one driver.
The accident July 11 on Interstate 70 might have been avoided with automatic braking, saving five lives. (July 15, 1A, “Authorities: Truck in fatal wreck was going too fast”)
More than chance?
It may be that chance is a divine consort of determinism or a member of the harem.
After my hometown Kansas City Royals’ bottom-of-the-ninth-inning win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday, when the fiery bright sun obscured Texas’ right fielder’s view of and ability to catch the ball that blindly dropped off the tip of his glove, I am now more convinced than ever that chance is active as a force in life: determinism.
Now, to what degree chance factors in life relative to determinism — whether as one-sixty-fourth as the ancient Egyptian sages claimed and depicted in the eye of Horus — I do not know. But I do know the Royals won. Their losing streak ended at five games, and their losing streak against Texas at 12 games.
Insights come to us in many ways, on different days, if we peer into outer appearances.
It’s a robbery
I’ve been ruminating on the diabolical policies of Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri.
As one example, a bill came before him with bipartisan support that would have continued funding for nursing-home and in-home nursing care for 8,000 elderly or disabled Missourians. Greitens vetoed it and kicked grandma to the curb. (July 1, 1A, “Greitens signs Missouri budget, allows cuts to nursing care for 8,000 people”)
Move over Jesse James. Missouri now has a bigger villain than you in town.
Kevin Joel Kelly
Slay the beast
A replacement for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is before the Senate, and I only wish Republicans had spent more time in committees. The octopus that is Obamacare spread its arms throughout society, medicine, employment and taxes. Each part should have been looked at individually, and only then should a law be designed to fit all the parts.
Is this a country of a single payer or a democracy? Is it the responsibility of individuals or the government that some citizens are addicted to opioids?
If they are going to fix Obamacare, fix it and cut off the arms.
Christopher J. Leu
Health care vote
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put off plans to hold a vote on the bill to repeal Obamacare. (July 17, 1A, “Vote delay may benefit GOP foes of health bill in Senate”)
The delay will allow Sen. John McCain, who is at home recovering from the removal of a blood clot above his left eye, time to recover from surgery presumably covered by Obamacare (unless he gets his care from the Veterans Affairs).
When McCain returns to Washington, D.C., he could be the swing vote needed to end the very plan that just saved his eyesight. The irony is delicious.
And I can only imagine what the surgery would have cost if McCain had one of those junk insurance policies proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz.