GM case may once again undermine confidence

With evidence that the carmaker knew about the ignition problem for at least a decade and suppressed damning documents for years, the case is mounting that something was rotten in General Motors’ castle. It’s reminiscent of automotive debacles of the past, events that undermined American consumers’ faith in the quality and safety of American cars.

Recalling Curt Flood’s legal case and baseball legacy

When Curt Flood, a gold-glove centerfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, refused to be traded to Philadelphia in 1969 and thus challenged major-league baseball’s reserve clause, he stood virtually alone. Within a few years, baseball adopted the concept of free agency.

Riding the bitcoin wave is nothing short of wild

Every time I see the word “Bitcoin,” I think of tulips and housing bubbles and the kind of multilevel marketing schemes that push overpriced cleaning agents and nutrition supplements onto friends and neighbors with hyperactive, quasi-evangelical fervor. Call me cynical, but recent events in the Bitcoin world appear to signal the whoosh of a bubble bursting.

Thinking big and small on the KCI airport debate

Anecdotes will not solve what is arguably the most significant design issue facing the metro area. The long civic conversation, which could go on for another two years, has had the benefit of making us think seriously about what we need and what we want.

Cuba’s fine arts museum loses nearly 100 works to theft

It was both disspiriting and unsurprising to hear the other day that nearly 100 artworks had been stolen from storage at Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts. Disspiriting because there are hints that the heist was an inside job and possibly accomplished with the knowledge of the government. Unsurprising for the very same reasons.

Toxic incidents, drought put real focus on water

As recent events in North Carolina, Texas, the Cheasepeake Bay region, California and West Virginia demonstrate, precious water is a core issue — for individuals and governments. And individuals should keep watch on their water, their weather and what their governments do about all of it.

Eisenhower Memorial needs to get over Frank Gehry

Four years after the release of architect Frank Gehry’s plan for a memorial plaza in Washington, D.C., devoted to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the controverial project seems destined for change. It’s sad that this worthy project has become such a prolonged circus. It’s time to start over.

Folk Alliance spreads the binding spirit of music

The Folk Alliance and its annual conference are vibrant additions to Kansas City’s cultural scene. And, if the first night of the conference was any indication, it inflicts a welcome spirit of ebullience, creative values and musical bonding.

It might be time to say so long to Kemper Arena

A tug of war is underway to determine whether the wobbling elephant that is Kemper Arena can or should be revived. The city, which owns and maintains the underused facility in the West Bottoms, is in the middle, and apparently leaning toward demolition.

A people’s small crusade may succeed in City Hall

A well-meaning citizen, an artist no less, went before a city board to answer for a civic infraction. He had a hard-luck story. He didn’t pay attention to the law. He wasn’t sure what to do. He was trying to do the right thing, but you know, sometimes the right thing takes time. Welcome to the world and the difficulty of Israel Garcia.

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