Star Search: Star Sends ‘Thirsty’ Reporter to Jardine’s to Tell the Rest of the Story

Can I get a drumroll?

After two weeks of watching from the sidelines, the Kansas City Star is poised to enter the finger-pointing, media circus and soap opera surrounding embattled Plaza area jazz club Jardine’s.

Unlike Fox 4‘s fox hunt, count on the Star story being balanced. In other words, rather than just loading up on pissed off servers and a single musician who’s check got caught in a bank account freeze, the Star will weigh in with both sides of the story.

That being said, this is going to be a delicate tightrope walk for Star music man Tim Finn.

Let me assure you, Finn’s a music writer who doesn’t like wading into prickly situations like this one. It’s a news story he probably should have excused himself from owing to his – until now – rather friendly relationship with club owner Beena Raja. But instead the Finn Man strapped on his badge of courage and walked into Jardine’s Tuesday night to get Raja’s side of the story.

We’ll be reading Finn’s story later today probably, meanwhile here’s Raja’s take on it.

"Tim came in and I offered to buy him a Pale Ale like I usually do and he said, ‘No,’ " Raja says. "He had a different game face on. He had a ‘holy shit, serious’ game face on. Usually when he comes in he’s friendly, gives me a hug and always lets me buy him a drink or two.

"So I put the same (serious) game face on and said, ‘Hi, Tim.’ And he said, ‘I’m here to interview you for a story that’s going to come out (Friday).’ And then he said, ‘I’m going to have to tape you.’ And then I looked in his eyes and answered everything he asked and we talked for about 20 minutes."

There’s more.

"He said, ‘Are you open?’ And I said, ‘As of yesterday, yes.’ And he said, ‘Who do you have booked?’ And I told him, it’s one day at a time for me. And he asked me if I was going to turn the place into something else (besides jazz) and I said, ‘No, nothing is changing.’ And he was just floored – he was pale.

"And he said, ‘I hear horrible things from musicians and that they’re not going to work with you.’ And I said, ‘They are not.’ And I said, ‘For 18 years I have worked here’ and I told him everything is going to be the same. Except everything is going to be bigger and better and I’m moving forward."

Raja says she also told Finn she hoped things would blow over with the musicians who were upset.

"My number’s still the same, they can come talk to me," Raja says. "And Tim said, ‘You’ve got a big battle to fight.’ He said he’d talked to a number of musicians."

The between the lines on all of this is that the Star has very strict standards when it comes to reporters.

For example, when FYI editor and Jardine’s regular "Steve Paul comes in, he’s friendly but very reserved," Raja says. "He does not accept a free drink at all. But Tim Finn – I’ve never seen him this way – all of a sudden he’s like a police reporter, coming in and trying to intimidate me. His story will be out Friday, he said. He was the politically correct Star reporter, but guess what? I’ve seen the unpolitical side of him. I’ve never seen him like that."

Stay tuned….
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33 Responses to Star Search: Star Sends ‘Thirsty’ Reporter to Jardine’s to Tell the Rest of the Story

  1. smartman says:

    Nothing Could be Finner
    Whoa Nellie! Tim Finn, the inquisited of the greatest query in the history of the internet as put forth by Anthony Botello….”Hey Tim Finn, how do Hearne’s balls taste?” taking FREE DRINKS from a person and venue he covers?

    Looks like it was a pattern of behavior as well and not a one off event.

    Under even the most minimum of journalistic standards certainly a conflict of interest and right up there as far as transgressions go with Steve Penn’s plagiarism.

    To the victor go the spoils!


    Yeah, that’s a pretty interesting tidbit, considering what the ol’ Star Code of Ethics says.


    Employees should never accept cash, gifts or gratuities such as food, flowers, alcoholic beverages and so forth from an individual or organization with which a staff member has or might someday have professional dealings.

    When returning an unsolicited gift is not practical (if it is perishable, for example) or when returning an insignificant gift would be awkward, it should be given to the recipient’s supervisor for donation to charity. When the value of a gift exceeds $50, the reporter or supervisor should send a letter to the giver explaining the newspaper’s policy and the disposition of the gift.

    MEALS AND REFRESHMENTS: For a soft drink, coffee, etc., of nominal value, staffers should use their best judgment. No staffer can be bought for a soft drink. However, it’s a good practice to pass up meals at events you’re covering (such as school board meetings) or, if refusing the meal is impractical or exceedingly impolite, make arrangements to pay for the meal later. On source lunches, insist on picking up the tab at the next meeting. In short, don’t let yourself be wined and dined. Pay your own way.

    Read more:

  3. harley says:

    the joint is in trouble
    from the looks of this article…from the looks of what fox 4 is planning..
    i’ed say its time to seriously get a pr agency in to hanlde this emergency.
    The way hearne and beenie have handled it has not been good.
    Have the people been paid? Have the musicians realy boycotting
    the place banded toghether.
    heres what i suggest to beenie.
    Hold a benefit night next week. Open the place up. So much at the door.
    all proceeds go to a charity for the holidays. I don’t care if its toys for tots
    or harvesters…you need some good pr fast. Maybe offer the bands to play one
    night for the charity…and meet with them individually and talk about the
    problems. Musicians are used to being stiffed. Its part of their job.
    They’re used to being denied gigs…losing gigs and not being paid so this is
    just another one of their occupational hazards. This is not that big a happens
    to these guys. Explain that things are going to be corrected…and maybe beenie leaves the
    place and an interim manager comes in to clean up the crap.
    Have the who’s who or whoever you know come down and find someone
    to play. Get glaze as stand up comedy….i don
    t care get some one to put on some music..or get a dj system in there…
    but do something positive.
    The stations will have to cover it…its fair play.
    Most importatnly beenie should keep hearne away. Sorry but hearne has
    so muc h heat on hiim that all this tv stuff may be in response to his
    stories last week. Don’t know for sure but they are mad as hell
    that their reputations were trashed.
    But beenie…you have to separate yourself from hearne asap.
    I ‘ve done years of p.r….and if he’s the gas taht keeps these stories
    being done you need to not have him write more stories and stay away..
    for a long time.
    I’ve done this type of work before. Its getting total control of the talking points
    and making sure that you don’t allow interviews. If i was handling the situation
    I wold have said no to the star interview..point blank. You get nothing out of it
    that will be positive..and from the manner displayed it could just add more
    fire to the situation.
    No more interviews…peoples memory is very short…you might close for
    anotehr week then open on new years….but the damage is pretty serious
    and thank mr. hearne…had he not come out and printed this story noone
    wouldh ave cared. good freind you are hearne.
    I hate to see people affected this time of year.
    Merry xmas everyone.

  4. Hearne Christopher says:

    You know Harley, I owe you. And I really don’t know what to get you because sometimes I have to ask myself if you’re just a figment of my imagination. Am I dreaming that I’m scanning your agonizingly long comments? Did I hit my head or somebody slipped me something and maybe I’m the one who wrote them to myself?

    Sometimes I wonder.

    But on the chance that you really do exist – you know, in real life – here’s what I’d like to give you. And that’s some advice. One word; brevity.

    I know, I know. I could stant a bit of it myself, and I’ll take it under consideration as well. But if you could dial back to about a third or fourth of what you generally put out, a lot more of us would read what you have to say.

    Which when you’re not trying to poison Craig or my food, can be interesting and / or entertaining at times. I read as far as “what Fox 4 is planning to do,” for example.

    And let me tell you that Fox 4 is going to have some explaining to do in fairly short order. Let’s leave it at that.

  5. Finn Fan says:

    Tim Finn is the man
    Tim Finn is THE MAN!!

    Kansas City is lucky to have him as a concert reviewer. There are so many things wrong with this chicken shit town, KC is so minor league in so many way…… but there are few bright spots and Mr Tim Finn is one of them. He has way with words that brings alive a concert if one might have missed it…. or brings back good memories if one is lucky enough to have Mr Finn reivew a show one attended.

    Mr Finn,
    For all the words ignorant pieces of shit (here, there… anywahere) may shoot your way, please know that there are many mnay many more of us whom greatly respect your words and efforts. Please ignore the ignorant, they not not what they post. Thank you Sir.

  6. paulwilsonkc says:

    Try to answer this directly ,
    Not like Newt on Sunday morning talking head shows so blood doesn’t shoot out my eyes, please? Beena stated she is ready to pay up now. That’s a fact, its in your blog. Her ONLY rub, she has to know what she owes. Once determined, she will write the check. Fact, you said so in your blog. She knows what she owes Dave. Fact, she already wrote the check once. She has record of that. In writing and in a phone call, he asked her directly to pay him. Not by voice mail, but in a real time conversation. He has NOT been paid. All this being fact….Beena is, at best, not telling the truth, is she? That covers it. She’s willing to pay up. Amount owed is documented. He had asked on at least three occasions, two in writing, one via voice mail, one in real time. No check. Hearne, just once agree….she isn’t following through with her commitment to, at least, Dave. Would an ounce of straightforward, naked honesty kill you?

  7. Hearne Christopher says:

    An ounce? I dunno, if it was naked it might.

    Look Paul, and I like that you’re (presumably) using your real name here. You need to understand that I don’t have a dog in this fight. From a journalistic standpoint, I’ve always been drawn to the side who’s story is not getting out. Especially when other media are gang banging them.

    Carol Coe, Clay Chastain, Funkhouser – it’s what I do.

    The reason being is there is always another side. That I’m the one helping tell it, doesn’t mean I’m in for a piece of the action. Where else, for example would you have gotten all of your above talking points were I not able to get Beena on the record?

    That I’ve known her and we dated is public knowledge. But, as I’ve hinted, breaking up seldom strengthens a friendship. And it’s safe to say that other than the new people, Jardine’s staffers are well aware of my many difficulties with her and would totally expect me to bag on her at every opportunity as well.

    Now back to your inquisition…

    Frankly, I really don’t much care about Dave Stephens situation. I know too much about his “relationship” with Beena. And he knows that, which is maybe why he’s not returning calls.

    The longer this mess goes on, the more unlikely it is that she will be in a position to pay all these people off. If I were them, I’d make damn sure she had whatever records former manager Jim has that she needs and take the money and run.

    It’s silly picketing with two servers and four friends so you can get on TV.

    There’s another likely reason they’re getting on TV and I’m close to spilling those beans.

    In all likelihood, Dave should and will get paid, but I have no hand in that. He didn’t do himself any favors by trashing her right off the bat. He knows what he’s been told. But right or wrong, this is a piling on situation.

    Who knows how it will sort out?

    But in my opinion, none of the players involved are doing themselves any favors. However many wrongs do not equal a right.

    How’s that?

  8. paulwilsonkc says:

    I give up
    Yes, its my real name. I, unlike spineless, anonymous contributors, have nothing to hide. But if Dave appeared, and he did, played two and a half hours, and he did, has not been paid, which he has not, and you don’t care about HIS situation, you clearly have a dog in the fight. Apparently you don’t think he was wronged by that. Taken to its logical conclusion, I assume you don’t care about the ex employees situation either? Why would you? They are just another example of people who delivered a service they were employed to do….but were not paid. I get it. Everyone; stop the picketing. Stop the posting. Everyone go home, there is no longer a story here. I apologize for taking up your time with my comments.

  9. harley says:

    Go back to my orioginal comments when you first came out with your unsubstantiated and unfounded
    rumours about the weatherman. My comment was that you were going to get plenty of heat…and you;ve
    gotten it…more than you ever expected along with glaze. I can tell you now that you are facing some serious
    backlash that will very uncomfortable to you and glaze.
    As far as my writings…they are superior to yours..glazes..and smartman and chuck. Check for facts…check
    for reliability. Check for the ability to take on the writers on here who have no idea what they are talking about.
    For you to talk of brevity…i think if you were to publish your google analytics or whatever you can to show
    whats being read..i definitely get better readerership than most of your own writers…more than the other
    commenters who strcitly move right into personal attacks and have no questioning nor facts to dispute
    my facts and comments.
    I’m not a journalist. I write/type quickly and I have more knowledge than you or any of your scribes.
    You and your hobos only generalize without an strong facts or items that prove their points. And thats
    what aggravates those who try to confront me. They have no facts..they have no vision…they have no
    backbone to what they write. And you give them the authority to threaten…harass…and you specifically
    have used those same tactics…added to the fact that you can’t let go of your personal issues you have with
    those around you.
    Brevity…okay i write alot. But i have the points to back it up. I told you first that from the first article you wrote on
    harmon that it was going to create severe problems for you. I told you that you had no facts to back up your
    stories..that your headlines were tabloid and over the top…that you were insulting people with long outstanding
    careers in this market…that this was not a medium to defend people like beenie who after article after article
    became this horrible person. Never met her…but from the responses on here she has been portrayed as
    horrible. and that it was not your job…not your position to defend her after the actions that she’s been
    accused of. Thats not journalism. To allow writers to threaten..harass..insult…and mention criminal activity
    on the site is not journalism. Thats not allowed in any media form. If you put your name on a story you better
    be ready to take the heat. How many times did whitlock or sam…or yael or any other writer get the opportunity to
    threaten …harass..swear at…insult…describe criminal activity that would come to any of their reade?
    Yours is the only medium that allows it. and its disgusting.
    Many people have suggeste4d the way to clean this up. You’ve had stories about sordid potentially criminal
    activities…where do these come from.
    Now its become personal with you and fox 4…you use this venue to fight your personal battles. Do other
    medium do that? and you’ve come out and publicly threatened them on this site with further information.
    This should not be a venue for you to fight your personal battles. Thts not what this is about.
    I wrote and have been correct in that you have ventured into no mans land with your writinngs over hte
    last few weeks and in my comments uneer that story I pointed out that you were going to be a target
    of those you wrote about. Its coming true now. Your anger at 4 is evident.
    If you use this as your personal site to destroy people you better be able to take the heat.
    I don’t think you c an take it…because I said you are dangerously close to being other peoples target.
    I never said i would spike your food..thats from the servers you bad mouthed on. Your picture (according to
    the server) would be put on cash registers and you would be handled accordingly. Thats their opinion.
    UI think you need to reevaluate your column. At the star you were shielded from the respoonses that you
    now face. And i think you are going to have to get tougher skin because you answer every negative comment
    with some of the most outrageous comment ever.
    Get ready. If youthought it was hot before…i ‘m guessing its going to get hotter. You’ve created a serious
    fued with some powerful and persistent people. And as the saying goes “if you can’t stand the heat…get out of the
    sorry for the long writing…i’m bored with the republican clown show on tv…

  10. harley says:

    channel 4 is going to have some explaining to do…
    okay..another threat…be careful…and no more articles with pure b.s. If you’re going to write have some
    facts and figures to back up what you say.
    Or face the wrath of harley.
    and please…get some better writers….the ones now are getting stale.

  11. Sam says:

    or…… “face the wrath of harley”….. really?

    hehehehe that is funny… LOL

  12. Dena says:

    Step away from the Thesaurus…and go change your adult diaper. It’s obviously getting “ripe” because the fumes have obviously affected the function of your frontal cortex. Plus, you’re a grouch. Could it be the chafing? They’ve got ointment for that, you know.

  13. balbonis moleskine says:

    there is a hole in the ‘story’
    The only problem with this situation is that the excuses Beena is making don’t make sense.
    She wrote a check to a musician that bounced. Which leaves her open to criminal prosecution in the county of Jackson.

    Now that, as you say, everything is ‘unfrozen’ it would just be a matter of sending out a copy of the exact check that was NSF.

    As for the servers, take home hourly pay for a server is half minimum wage per hour, most severs take home about 50 bucks a week, max. If there are only 6 servers that worked there, she COULD, in theory, square with them for 300 bucks.

    UNLESS that is, she was illegally holding onto their credit card tips. Or that she was paying them under the table.

    It seems like she should square up people ASAP. The longer she waits, the more attention the IRS will have in her interesting accounting.

    If she was telling the truth, this would be a non-story.

  14. paulwilsonkc says:

    Moleskine, let me stand up for Beena here
    Hearne, you can pick yourself up off the floor now. She DID NOT write a hot or NSF check to a musician. That, at the amount the check was, would be a felony in MO. She did not do that. She stopped payment after it was written. Very different.

  15. Hearne Christopher says:

    Maybe I was a little harsh, but I placed calls to Stephens that were not returned.

    Still, no dog in the fight. It’s simply not my place to interject myself into other people’s problems.

    Understand that this is a story to me. If you wish to involve yourself in it emotionally, more power to you. I’m reporting what I learn and sharing that with readers. And that’s pretty much it.

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    Uh, thanks for taking my advice

  17. Hearne Christopher says:

    Look, you and I are on the outside looking in. You more than I, but I’m out there too.

    We don’t know exactly what happened and your reasoned logic is only as good as the assumptions behind it. But you really have no hard facts to back it up.

    I suggest you put it back in your pants, I’ll keep reporting what I can find out and let’s see where this all goes. I will tell you this – and I think I said it in the comments section the other day – there are very few halos on the many people who are involved in this drama.

    There are many sordid details that frankly will never be publicly told. Probably.

  18. Hearne Christopher says:

    Don’t worry about me, wild man. I’m just fine. I don’t even think she cancelled it. I believe she made whatever move the bank advised her to make to insure that the manager who quit unexpectedly but still had checks and check writing privileges would not be able to write any checks on the account.

  19. Jim says:

    Harley, get a clue
    Harley, do you realize this is a relatively obscure blog? Absolutely NO offense to Hern, but what percentage of people in the KC metro area know this website even EXISTS? That’s not a dig at anyone. I enjoy the hell out of reading it daily. I’m just saying that it isn’t exactly mainstream media. Ask 100 random people from the Northland to Johnson county to eastern Jackson county if they have EVER heard of KC Confidential. My guess is that 10% to 15% of the people MIGHT have heard about it. Another guess is that most of them read The Pitch on a semi-regular basis. It’s that “type” of person that is going to be drawn to this type of forum.

    My point? I doubt that Hern has any “heat” coming down on him, Harley. Your threats of something happening are freaking laughable. Bottom line? This whole Jardine’s thing is a TOTAL non-issue to about 99% of the city. I suppose Hern should be on the look-out for that 1% though.

  20. Hearne Christopher says:

    Hern, here. I mean, Hearne.

    You’re right, most people in KC don’t read KCC. Nor do they come close to watching Fox 4 or even reading the Star.

    But tens of thousands do read us each day and they include the very influential people of Kansas City. With one of the consistently highest read columns in the Star for 16 years, three years of weekly promotion on KCUR FM and other radio stations Stanford’s tags on his weekly ads, a year in the Joco Sun, weekly in the Platte County Landmark, every issue of The Hills magazine that goes to the Plaza, Sunset Hill and Mission Hills and a pretty good rotating cast of writers, we’ve made our mark and are growing rapidly.

    And much as I’d like to say there’s no heat, you’re missing on that point too. We get heat.

    You did cut me down to size pretty good on my name spelling though.

  21. Jim says:

    Hern…………….errrr, I mean Hearne
    Jesus Christ! Total brain cramp, Hearne! Sorry about channeling Harley and his grammatical homicide.

    Thanks for your resume’………….oops, I mean response. I submit to your journalistic chops.

  22. paulwilsonkc says:

    Hearne, email me
    Yeah, thats me real name.

  23. paulwilsonkc says:

    One other thing……
    Where can I go to get one of those shadowy, tuff-guy promo shots like Finn has? Thats hot.
    I’m officially done, its time for a cigar.

  24. balbonis moleskine says:

    hearne says:
    I don’t even think she cancelled it. I believe she made whatever move the bank advised her to make to insure that the manager who quit unexpectedly but still had checks and check writing privileges would not be able to write any checks on the account.

    uh, so she cancelled it? AKA made the checks uncashable. Because when this started you had said that she had written a check and it had been out when she had to cancel the business account checks. That was the excuse she was using as to why the servers weren’t paid.

    It just seems like the story isn’t adding up. Every time there is a question on why it doesn’t add up, we are given a slightly different story. That’s always a classic sign that the party is not being honest.

    That being said, Harley needs to take a chill pill. He’s getting so weird it makes me uncomfortable posting here sometimes. This is just some 2nd rate kc live music venue that is barely frequented by anyone under 50 years old. The amount of people fired were less than 10. Its small potatoes, it just makes good gossip. I don’t think hearne is going to need a food taster. From that picture where he looks all tweaky with the tiny

  25. balbonis moleskine says:

    dog though I don’t know if they will get much work.

  26. paulwilsonkc says:

    Moleskine, the check was CANCELLED
    I know first hand, the bank told Dave it had a STOP PAYMENT put on it. I gave up trying to make that clear to Hearne, he was stuck on “it was deposited on a Wednesday at 1;30, after being held for 3.5 days before the deposit, no one in their right mind deposits a check like that!!”

    Jardines isnt really all that marginal. Its got an iconic history and while I may fit what you see the demo as, we are there a lot and theres a wild age swing that comes there. A few weeks back there was even an experimental hip hop show at 11pm. NO ONE in the house over 25 except Dave, Chelle and myself. Amazing equipment and talen, so dont sell the place short. Its a wonderful venue for live music on a smaller scale.

    And… from Mark to Dave, Barclay, Ida, just great artists. So, not really small potatoes, at least not for KC. Is it Blues Alley? No, but no other place is either.

  27. Hearne Christopher says:

    Why don’t you relax and let this thing play out. I’m glad that people are interested and following this story. Jardine’s is an important part of the Kansas City nightlife scene. But I don’t think it does any good to try and micro examine and play guessing games on every subtle detail of what did or didn’t go down.

    The manager had checks and check writing privileges. Something had to be done with the account and Stephens’ check got caught in the process.

    I will tell you that MANY younger jazz fans frequented Jardine’s, drawn to artists like Mark Lowrey, Shay Estes and Mark Southerland. It wasn’t just a geezer fest anymore.

  28. Hearne Christopher says:

    Sorry Paul, you’re not an authoritative source on what did or didn’t happen to the check. Nor am I. But when the entire account has to be closed to checks, maybe that’s the way it is done. You don’t know. Dave Stephens sure doesn’t know. And nor do I.

    Why don’t you call the bank and ask them to explain it to you since you’re so obsessed with this nuance. And report back, of course.

    I’m with you on the quality of the venue and artists though

  29. paulwilsonkc says:

    Im OBSESSED with the fact that….
    you can’t seem to come to terms with a common banking function that takes place daily in every bank in the Nation. If I write you a check, you deposit it and some time down the road, the charges get reversed, you’re going to call customer service and see what happened. You ask Susie Bank Clerk, “I got a check from Paul, I deposited it, now it looks like you reversed the deposit, what up wit dat?” (Excuse me, that may not be exactly what you ask, Im sure you have your own way of approaching issues)

    The bank is going to reply, “Mr Hearne, it was insufficient funds, Paul’s account has a negative balance and it has since the late 50’s”, or “Mr Hearne, Paul STOPPED PAYMENT on the check”, or “Mr Hearne, Paul was cleaned out by his undocumented maids and thought he needed to change his account numbers, Im sure as soon as he figures out what he really OWES YOU, he’ll write you another check. You may need to meet with his attorney first, but Im sure you’ll get the money. If you dont, you sure should. Next time, deposit Pauls check FASTER than you did!!”

    Dave’s bank told him…. she STOPPED PAYMENT. My “obsession” is over the fact you try to leave this as a mystery… no one really KNOWS what happened. I’ll admit, I dont know it all, but on this point, its a point of fact. And on this ONE fact, I AM an authoritative source. I wouldnt trust anything else that comes out of my mouth, but Im good on this one and a few others. Youre willing to trust her not so lucid thoughts, but if thats what Dave said happened…. you dont place any weight in it at all, for the man to know what his own bank told him as to why the check was reveresed on him. Its nothing more than that.

    I suppose I would still be a Director at Sprint if I was willing to live in a world of political responses, but Im not. Im much happier calling a spade a spade.

    Paul: Hearne, do you think Beena is a LIAR?
    Hearne: Paul, Beena has run Jardines for 18 years. Thats a long time to run a club, to support Jazz and make is successful in this market is not an easy task, but shes done it. I think that speaks for itself, now doesnt it? I think she’s done well and I’m sure you’d agree. Thanks for the question.

    Nope.. I cant do that.

  30. Merle Tagladucci says:

    I’ve never seen more people get so worked up over a deadbeat cokehead club owner. If you’re not one of the people she owes money to, get a life. This story has been boring since last weekend.

  31. Hearne Christopher says:

    I gotta hand it to you Merle; who really cares what the exact process was for the check not clearing. There are some way bigger jazz fish to fry

  32. chuck says:

    Drop the hammer Hearne.
    Ok. All comes to he who waits.

  33. Lance the Intern says:

    The bands that Beena says betrayed her.

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