Paul Wilson: USPS About to go Postal on Staples

500_pony_express_recruitmntThink Pony Express revisited…

Last fall former postal clerk Mark Dimondstein was elected President of the American Postal Workers Union on a platform of killing Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s downsizing plan and stopping Staples in its tracks.

The issue?

Since 2008 the Post Office has seen its volume plummet more than 25 percent. Think about it; how vital is your mail box these days?

Donahoe’s plan: think outside the envelope.

That’s a rare and dangerous action for a bureaucratic behemoth – especially the part about opening mail centers inside Staples stores.

So what’s not to like about that?

Staples mail centers would be staffed by its workers, not PO union members. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 7 Comments

Valentine: ‘Obscene Oil’ is Back

Original art by Mark Valentine

Original art by Mark Valentine

Here we go again…

AAA just announced that gas prices nationwide have spiked. What’s more, they’re higher even than last year at this time. No surprise. It’s just part of a “new normal” that’s left us all numb. Like finally old gas has been replaced by new higher priced gas.

Let’s do a little math.

Gas prices six years ago were $1.85 – nearly $2.00 a gallon lower than today. The average American drives more than 12,000 miles per year and averages about 25 miles per gallon. And most Americans have more than two cars and two drivers per household, meaning households have paid more than $11,000 extra to get nothing extra. Continue reading

Posted in Mark Valentine | 4 Comments

Paul Wilson: Mr. Wilson Contemplates True Meaning of Life

99257716128882439273Cue the mysterious music…

Having been trapped last week inside the luxurious confines of Olathe Medical Center - from early Monday until 10:00pm Saturday – I had plenty of time to contemplate all manner of topics in the white noise of my head.

I was reminded of a Bible verse that declares a mountain can be moved with the faith of a mustard seed as I thought about my wife’s kidney stone.

Hard to believe the rigors we put our bodies through only to have a grain of misplaced sand bring everything to a screeching halt.

With that back drop, I began to think of what we as humans can and can’t do. And how we’re taught at an early age that we only use 10% of our brains – one percent maybe for Harley.

However that’s false – except for harley – because most of us use it all. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 15 Comments

New Jack City: About Walmart’s Claim of Lower Grocery Prices

wal-mart-image-335x334Perhaps you’ve seen those Walmart grocery ads…

You know, the ones in which the Bentonville-based, retail powerhouse claims to beat the prices at hometown grocer Price Chopper.

Well, I had some time on my hands Sunday and decided to conduct my own unscientific survey between three nearby Overland Park markets - Walmart Neighborhood Market, Price Chopper and Hy-Vee.

Here are the items surveyed and the prices found: Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 15 Comments

Donnelly: Sporting Brings the Wood, Blasts Montreal 4-0

photo by Kayla Meppelink

It took about a half hour for Sporting Kansas City to get on the board against the visiting Montreal Impact on Saturday.  But once they did, the floodgates opened and KC put 4 in the back of the net.

Prior to that first KC goal, though, Montreal had the better chances even though they were getting dominated in possession.  In the 13th minute Montreal broke free on a 2 v 1, and the ball was laid off to Marco DiVaio who hit a one timer right at Aurelien Collin, covering the line for Eric Kronberg, who was forced to come out.

That was the best chance of the night for the visitors, and a huge effort play from Collin.  If Montreal score that goal, it changes the complexion of the whole game.  A bit unlucky for DiVaio, but more bad luck came his team’s way just a minute later. 

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Edelman: KC Rep’s “A Little More Alive” Hits the Right Notes

ALMA_389_1397658476There’s a talented new voice to be heard at KC Rep‘s production of “A Little More Alive,” now thru May 11 at the Copaken Stage downtown…

It belongs to Nick Blaemire, who penned the book, music and lyrics to this charming new musical, enjoying its world premier in Kansas City. While “Alive” doesn’t fire on all cylinders, there’s enough dramatic horsepower here to make for an entertaining evening in the theater.

Check it out.

Blaemire’s story revolves around stoner Nathan (Van Hughes, late of the Broadway production of Green Day’s “American Idiot”) and his fast lane younger brother Jeremy (Michael Tacconi), back together in the house where they grew up. It’s the afternoon following their mom’s funeral; and, while Jeremy dutifully makes nice with the guests,  Nathan won’t come out of the basement, preferring chats with a stuffed teddy bear and the grass stashed under the couch pillow to coming to grips with reality. Dad (Broadway vet Daniel H. Jenkins), lost in his loss, isn’t much help. Continue reading

Posted in Mark Edelman | 1 Comment

Hearne: Chris Tucker Comeback Saga Unfolds @ Stanford’s

2014 Trumpet AwardsMake no mistake, Hollywood heavyweight Chris Tucker’s appearance at Stanford’s this weekend is a very big deal…

Say what you will about Tucker’s tax problems with the Internal Revenue Service and the 42 year-old “actor, comedian and humanitarian’s” somewhat stalled movie career, from the moment he hit the stage last night it was evident that this was no run of the mill comedy club show.

“Look at me. Look at me! I am the captain now,” Tucker told the audience in a nod to Tom Hanks hit movie Captain Phillips.

Dressed immaculately – unlike 99.9 percent of the comics who’ve graced Stanford’s stage, including heavyweights like Lewis Black – Tucker appeared larger-than-life in a black dress shirt and tie, black slacks, a burgundy silk brocade sport jacket and ultra-glossy, black patent leather shoes.

To say nothing of Tucker’s posse, consisting of a burly bodyguard and yes men.

“Thank you for supporting all the Rush Hour movies but Jackie Chan can get on my nerves,” he told the sold out crowd. “Calling me collect from Hong Kong…I love working with Charlie Sheen. Charlie Sheen makes me look good. Because I’d show up late for work and Charlie Sheen wouldn’t show up at all.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Leftridge: Royals Look Like Royals After 15 Games

bretthorse

George Brett riding horse

So the Royals are above .500 again, and all of the nut-jobs that were predicting a World Series victory (or at the very least, a WS appearance) are back from the ledge…

This is good, as I hate to see people off themselves over under-developed sports standings.

I didn’t expect the Royals to win the World Series this year—or even get to the playoffs—and so far, an 8-7 record feels just about right. I don’t know that I would have had this exact record on the books, necessarily, but I figured they’d be up-and-down,  pretty frustrating and occasionally fun to watch.

In my preseason piece, I made a couple of salient points. I suggested that:

1) The bullpen would regress.

2) The rotation would regress.

3) The offense would improve, mostly due to the additions of OF Nori Aoki and 2B  Omar Infante.

4) Eric Hosmer would be huge offensively, Mike Moustakas would finally have his cherry-busting, “break-out” season and elder statesman Bill Butler would have a big bounce back, power-wise.

5) Lorenzo Cain would need to stay healthy to make this team a contender. (But I also suggested that he wouldn’t.)

I was wrong on some things, right on others, but mostly, the cake I baked has been contentedly edible. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Sutherland: Checking in with the Romance Writers of America

a2de7786975c0ad8986c14.L._V162924600_SY470_ I was at a party with my son and his wife two years ago when a young couple came up and introduced themselves. Their names were Sydney and Beatriz Williams.  Beatriz told us about a book she’d just finished and was about to publish. The book, “Overseas,” published by G.P. Putnam, is about a girl in her 20s working in 2007 as an analyst at a New York investment banking firm.  She meets a mysterious billionaire hedge fund operator who’s working on a deal with her firm.

The heroine, Kate, falls in love with the billionaire Englishman, Julian Ashford, little suspecting they have a shared past.  In fact she had a prior existence during the First World War and Julian is a time traveler from 1916, seeking to reconnect with “the enchanting woman who emerged from the shadows of the Great War to save his life.”

Six months later I saw a promotional poster for the book in the window of Rainy Day Books in Fairway, which included a photo of Mrs. Williams.

In the meantime, “Overseas” had become a runaway success and Mrs. Williams, a stay-at-home-mom with four young children, was headed for the New York Times Best Sellers List. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Mancow: ‘Diamond Dogs’ – David Bowie & Linda McCartney

IMG_2752I was listening to “Diamond Dogs” recently and came across this pic that David Bowie took for the album cover photo shoot circa 1974… 

And I was pretty blown away by how much it resembles Linda McCartney‘s androgynous stage persona of the same era which appears to be blatantly intentional.

Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” was well recieved. He was a critical darling but was not embraced in the states till the big success of the companion tour for the album.

Blind to most everyone else, Bowie Had grown tired of Ziggy Stardust at this point, but was unaware how to move forward creatively into a paranoid future. A lot like Paul McCartney and his vision for his new band WingsContinue reading

Posted in Mancow | 6 Comments

Sounds Good: 420 Fest @ Riot Room, Ben Kweller @ Riot Room, Dead Mockingbirds @ Replay

Might be a good weekend for a road trip…KC's 8th Annual 420 Fest

Yep, this weekend is the annual 4/20 Fest in Denver, featuring a solid lineup of hip-hop, reggae, and rock, with headliner Wyclef.  But don’t head out there thinking it’s just a free-for-all, in terms of blazing in public.

“Our main concern is the safety of everyone involved,” police spokesman Sonny Jackson told the Denver Post, “both participating in the event and in the area, as well as officers.”

Um, OK, so maybe it is a free-for-all, so long as you blaze safely.  If you can’t do the drive, check out the Riot Room‘s version on Saturday. Continue reading

Posted in Matthew_Donnelly | 2 Comments

New Jack City: KC’s Summer Screen Sizzlers

 UnknownIt may not seem like it but as far as Hollywood is concerned we’re two weeks away from the official kick off to the 2014 summer movie season…

It all unfolds on Friday, May 2 as the Spider-Man legacy focuses on an untold story that tells a different side of Peter Parker’s beginnings.

Summer at the movies in Kansas City comes in two parts.

The first goes through June – the second, July through Labor Day.

Today I’m focusing on highlights from the first part of K.C.’s big screen summer sizzle: 

* May 2THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (Andrew Garfield-Emma Stone)

* May 9NEIGHBORS (Seth Rogen-Zac Efron)

* May 16GODZILLA (Bryan Cranston-Juliette Binoche)

and

MILLION DOLLAR ARM (Jon Hamm)  Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 2 Comments

Hearne: March Radio Ratings Madness

Rockfest-Kansas-CityHere we go again, boys and grrrls…

Hot off the presses, the latest radio ratings for the merry month of March.

And again country is king with a nearly 18 percent share of  listeners.

Yep, the days of urban station KPRS FM ruling the roost are in the rearview mirror. Because forget the Christmas music factor, once again KFKF FM is large and in charge at the top of the heap.

And while The Rock 98.9 FM may still be able to draw 50,000 beer swilling headbangers to Liberty Memorial, the station’s reign atop the ratings slag heap are yesterday’s news. The station barely made the Top 5.

And speaking of nosedives, highway shootings and zoo riots aside, News Radio KMBZ fell out of the Top 10, despite the fact that it’s heard both on the AM and FM dials.

Oh and remember that station – what was it called – oh yeah, Alice? The Adult Album Alternative signal at 102.1 FM that sold its soul two months back for a nondescript slogan and a run at the adult contemporary market.

Well, looks like it’s starting to pay off as the station climbed more than half a share point (a 28 percent increase) avoiding a spot just shy of the bottom end of the Top 20.

So did Channel 19′s new baby The Bridge 90.9 FM finally make it into the ratings with its spiffy, new tower and a monopoly now on the Triple A format locally?

In a word, no.

Not only that, KTBG didn’t even garner a mention on the also ran list of unrated local stations that range in formats from “Religious Teaching” to “Regional Mexican.”

Not exactly a good sign, but let’s give ‘em a bit more time.

And now, on with the March ratings show… Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 32 Comments

Hearne: Ward Parkway Lowers Boom on ‘Walking Dead’

senior-citizen-mall-walking-in-shopping-mallFrom one extreme the other…

It’s no secret that for years Ward Parkway Shopping Center has had an on-again, off again problem with urban teens hanging around its movie theaters. Much like Cinemark’s Palace on the Plaza today and Crown Center and Cinemark in Merriam in the not too distant past.

For now however, the coast is clear at Ward Parkway

That according to nearby neighbor Jeff Glazer.

“The movie theater’s been improved – they cleaned it up – and you just don’t see any of that anymore,” Glazer says. “Not at all – zero – they completely got rid of the entire issue. I would say the last two years it’s just completely disappeared.”

That’s a lot bit for a dude who four years ago felt like he was in a race war.

“My home was vandalized a little over a year ago,” Glazer told me at the time. “The black kids congregate there at Ward Parkway after the movies – about 500 to 600 deep – and our neighborhood association complained and they put in a police officer there afterwards.”

Unlike Cinemark on the Plaza, that seemed to do the trick, Glazer says.

Because before the post movie action at night had been intense.  Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 39 Comments

Valentine: Kansas City in B Reel of a Batman Movie

kcbatIs Kansas City trapped in a Batman movie?

Suddenly, villains and mayhem are at every turn. The vile stream began with the wild shoot out at The Zoo. It was a nice day in a peaceful setting when evil erupted upon an unsuspecting populous. Shaken, but believing it was an isolated incident, the metropolis moved on.

Then before the citizens could catch their breath, news of random highway shootings put them in the national spotlight again. How many shootings? Was it 12 or 20? Are they connected? The pompous local mayor took to the airwaves to try to restore the calm.

“It is nothing unusual. This is going on right now in other cities,”the mayor told  innocent city dwellers as they awaited a plan from the mayor that never was spoken. Continue reading

Posted in Mark Valentine | 3 Comments

Paul Wilson: Finding Meaning & Purpose in the Face of Ignorance & Hate

images

Adam Hamilton

This past Sunday Kansas City and the nation saw another needless outpouring of hate…

When Frazier Glenn Cross - a white supremacist from Aurora, MO –  shot and killed three people, one at Village Shalom, a Jewish run nursing home, and two in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center a few blocks away..

Most of us have moments in our lives when we reexamine or change previously held fundamental tenets of faith or our belief system – interracial marriage, homosexuality, religious viewpoints and any number of other social norms that evolves with time.

No such nuance existed in Cross.

He’s held fast to his beliefs for decades and it’s a pretty safe bet what was on his mind when he got in his car and made the three hour drive to his own personal killing fields. Seems Cross has had basically but one motivation his entire life, that of racial and religious bigotry. Clearly, he’s no garden variety disgruntled man, merely testy about a few things that rubbed him the wrong way.

No, there simply was no room in Cross’ world for blacks, Jews, “mud people,” or anyone that was not white or didn’t see the world through his horribly clouded vision. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 52 Comments

Sutherland: Predictable Round Up of the Usual (Conservative) Suspects

bqRvbfOI was wondering how long it would take the Kansas City Star to place the blame for Sunday’s shootings at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park on conservatives…

Forty-eight hours after its first story appeared the Star ran an story under the by-line of Dave Helling and Judy Thomas which talked about alleged shooter F. Glenn Miller’s prominence in “ultra-conservative” political circles.  It’s not that big a jump to blame it on conservatives in general, as well as the Republican Party and its adherents in particular.

I went on-line and found dozens of images posted by Occupy Wall Street on its website.

The movement clearly has an open and pronounced anti-Semitic aspect but has been publicly embraced by prominent Democratic office holders, including President Obama and former Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi.  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee even solicited petitions expressing their party’s solidarity with the Occupy movement. Continue reading

Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | 23 Comments

Hearne: A Moment of Silence for Kanrocksas Promoter Who Cared

984259_607980282546128_1903669953_nLet’s give credit where credit is due…

Nobody gets in business to fail or go broke – including now-former Kanrocksas promoter Bill Brandmeyer.

Brandmeyer went down hard last summer after failing ticket sales forced him to cancel what would have been his second huge summer spectacle at the Kansas Speedway. And while he was on the receiving end of some ultra harsh criticism from both music fans and the very industry insiders who encouraged him to absorb yet another multi-million dollar hit, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that Brandmeyer’s heart was in the right place.

Was he naive to think he could come out of nowhere and swack one out of the park?

Obviously. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 26 Comments

Starbeams: Miley Beams

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Miley Cyrus cancelled her Tuesday night concert at Sprint Center due to an allergic reaction to antibiotics.  Actually, it was the antibiotics that had an allergic reaction to HER!

     *******

I guess this is what happens when you lickeverything.

*******  Continue reading

Posted in Starbeams | 1 Comment

Hearne: Life After Kanrocksas – Crossroads Gears Up for Biggest Concert Season Yet

kanrocksas-headerTalk about the Top 40

With Vampire Weekend, O.A.R., Pat Metheny, 311,  Ziggy Marley, The Rainmakers, Robert Randolph and 33 more acts – and still counting – this summer at Crossroads KC promises to be the biggest and brightest yet at the 8 year-old outdoor venue in downtown Kansas City.

“Yeah, there are way more bigger shows this year and there’s a reason for that – no Kanrocksas”  says promoter Brett Mosiman. ”We’re barely into April and we already have 40 shows booked and we’ll probably have another 5 or 6 shows.”

kanrocksas

Joss Stone

For example, yet to be announced are shows featuring acclaimed British soul singer Joss Stone (September 7th), Bruce Hornsby (July 26th) and the Under the Sun tour with Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 22 Comments