Leftridge: How to Cater Your Super Bowl Party

NFL: Super Bowl XLVIII-Denver Broncos vs Seattle SeahawksHeads up—the Super Bowl is on Sunday. Bill Belichick and his Saggy Balled Boys will take on Marshawn “The Mute Madman” Lynch. Here are some things we know will likely happen:

-The game will be terrible because theoretically, it SHOULD be a pretty evenly matched contest between two really good teams and these games never happen the way they’re supposed to.

-There will be commercials that people will talk about the next day at work, and you’ll pretend to remember them but you won’t on account of how drunk you were.

-You’ll repeatedly wonder how it came to be that you’re THIS drunk at 6:30PM when you’re not vacationing at the lake. You’ll remark on this more than once, and by the third time, someone will point out that, “dude, you’ve already said that” and you’ll sulk.

-Some idiot at the party you’re attending will make at least three (3) “jokes” pining for a “wardrobe malfunction” involving this year’s halftime performer Katy Perry. (And it’s not that we all wouldn’t mind seeing it; it’s that his attempts at being clever will fail miserably.)

The most important thing is the football, of course, but a close second are food and drinks. So, submitted for your approval, here’s a list of Super Bowl Party Foods, ranked from last to first. If you’re hosting a party, please use this list as a guideline; if you’re attending someone else’s party, please forward this list to them and demand that they follow it. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Sprint’s Super Bowl Apology, KC Streetcars & Kelly’s Dog

mqdefaultOverland Park based Sprint will return to the Super Bowl with an ad that will run during the 3rd quarter. If Sprint wants to get really popular, they need to invent the UNSEND MY TEXT service.

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Over $1 billion has been invested in downtown Kansas City since the streetcar initiative was passed in 2012.  Most of that money has been spent on metal street plates.

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Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick will tour together this summer.  “I want youuuu….to show me the way to my chiropractor.” Continue reading

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Steele: KCTV Risks PC Blowback, Praises City Union Mission

Dan Doty

Dan Doty

In a recent piece on the City Union Mission, KCTV5 did a positive story about the excellent work the Mission has been doing for the last 90 years with the area’s homeless…

Notably, KCTV5 did so without mentioning the Mission’s policy on housing gay couples.

In a November story–“Legally married same-sex couples won’t be allowed to stay together at City Union Mission”–that’s all the Kansas City Star wanted to talk about.

Anticipating the possibility that same sex marriage might one day become legal in Kansas and Missouri–if it does, almost assuredly by judicial fiat–the Star apparently wanted the Mission’s liberal donors to know that this deeply Christian non-profit would not house gay couples as couples.

“We want to stay true to our biblical convictions,” executive director Dan Doty told the Star. “Yet we do love all people. We do shelter men who are gay, and lesbian women, and transgender people.”

The Star then highlighted all the local charities that would house gay couples. Continue reading

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Steele: Is The Star Getting the ‘Teen’ Message?

Robert Caldwell

Robert Caldwell

In a refreshing change, nowhere in the article on the abduction of a south Kansas City man does Kansas City Star reporter Matt Campbell refer to the accused, De’zahn James Carey, as a “teen.”

He’s referred to only as a “suspect” or one of “two men.”

This is particularly noteworthy since Carey is only 17, young enough to be considered a juvenile in Federal Court.

If violence were the gauge, Carey deserves his adult status.

He and his buddy, Robert Caldwell, are accused of confronting the 67 year-old victim in the 12200 block of Prospect Avenue, pistol-whipping him, forcing him to withdraw money from his ATMs, driving him across the state of Missouri, and fleeing to Kentucky.

If intelligence were the gauge, Carey and Caldwell seem like good candidates for the Darwin awards. Continue reading

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Hearne: Pitch Publisher Bites the Dust Sans Explanation

Joel Linked In 1-23-15 lateWere the publisher of the Kansas City Star to mysteriously step down, you can bet your bottom dollar The Pitch would be all over covering the story-behind-the story…

So while it’s understandable, it’s still a little odd that the alternative newsweekly has been so tight lipped about what did or didn’t happen when longtime Pitch publisher Joel Hornbostel bought the farm last week.

After all, when you live in a glass house is it unreasonable to expect at least a small measure of candor from a publication that demands it from others?

Apparently that’s the case.

Because about all we got on the subject from Pitch editor Scott Wilson was a bit of mumbo-jumbo about Jolting Joel resigning and a “statement” that Hornbostel shared with the Pitch and on his Facebook page.

A statement former Pitch editor CJ Janovy would have described as a “tap dance.”

You know the drill, thanks for 18 wonderful years, good times, great friends, change is never easy and Hornbostel’s gonna miss everyone and continue to watch the alt weekly  grow and “prosper.”

Seriously, prosper? Continue reading

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Hearne: Legendary KC Radio Host Now An Internet Cabbie

facebook_ad_large_1How about a quick game of, “Where are they now?”

Today’s subject is none other than longtime WDAF 61 Country morning host David Lawrence. 

Lawrence parted company with Entercom Kansas City in 2006 following a ceremony honoring him by naming WDAF FM‘s new studio after him.

And after unloading his sprawling Prairie Village abode a few years back, Lawrence and his wife joined some former Navy buddies in a quiet San Antonio neighborhood for a life of leisure.

At least for awhile.

“I’m going down to San Antonio for a plumbing convention board meeting,” says Roger Peugeot of Roger the Plumber fame. “And I signed up for Uber and guess who’s picking me up at the airport, David Lawrence?”

That’s right, the legendary morning show host has gone cabbie. Continue reading

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Hearne: Westport to Unleash “Gangsta Cam’ on Bad Guys

champ-plate2Coming soon to an entertainment district near you…

It may be the Age of the Drone, but Kansas City’s premier entertainment district is going to stick with the tried and the true in its ongoing battle to keep bad guys out of Westport.

“Pretty soon we’ll be putting some signs up that say, ‘You’re being recorded,’ ” a source says. “We have a camera system now, but it’s like six or seven years old. So we have a really good camera system that will be in by summer. And with the new one we’ll be able to read license plates really good.”

Westport suffered through a handful of shootings and gun battles this past year, accompanied by reports like one about a blue SUV with tinted windows speeding away. Continue reading

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Hearne: The 4 C’s of Kansas City Radio & Ratings

MI0003045343When it comes to the local radio, there are Four C’s…

Classic Rock, Chiefs, Country Music & Christmas

Everything else comes in second – or last, depending upon how you want to look at it. And nowhere is that point better made than in the recently released Holiday 2014 ratings book for listeners 12 and older, Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight.

In other words, the marketplace as a whole.

And speaking of the 4 C’s, once again classic rocker KCFX FM topped the rankings, with oldies powerhouse-turned-Christmas music powerhouse KCMO FM coming in second,  followed by country music stations KFKF FM and WDAF FM in third and fourth.

Kansas City Chiefs.And lest you forget, Numero Uno just happens to be the local home of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Pretty simple, huh?

Oh and, for the record, KCMO FM cleaned KFKF’s clock in the two station’s first ever holiday music hoedown. Judging from the numbers, it looks like KFKF listeners looking for more country migrated to WDAF and Q104, that were both up sharply.

Now let’s take a look at the numbers… Continue reading

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Steele: Am I the OP Abduction Suspect?

mystery-man-300x200According to KCTV5, the suspect in an attempted kidnapping last week in Overland Park was “described as 6′ tall, heavy-set, and was wearing a ball cap and a dark heavy coat.” 

Let’s see, 6′ tall? That’s me. Ball cap? Me. Dark coat? Me. Heavy set? Okay, now we’re getting personal. Sure, I could lose 10 or 20 pounds, but who couldn’t?

These kind of maddeningly incomplete descriptions are something of the norm in Kansas City.

In local reporting and  just about everywhere for that matter. Although we’re told that the suspect is a “man”–male anti-discrimination organizations need to step up their lobbying efforts–It would, of course, help to know whether the suspect was young or old, black or white, Hispanic or non-Hispanic. Continue reading

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Steele: Oh No, ‘Lobbyists’ See Brownback Budget

ahabpgThe Sam Brownback budget is to the editors at the Kansas City Star what Moby Dick was to Ahab, what Bill Clinton was to Monica, what snow is to CNN (Juno, anyone?)–an unhealthy obsession bordering on mania…

The latest breathtaking revelation from the Star is that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s budget director emailed a working version of the proposed budget to two “lobbyists”–cries of despair, please–three weeks before it was unveiled to lawmakers. How the Star got ahold of emails sent on a private email account is left largely to the imagination.

Left to the end of the article is the less than breathtaking revelation that nine other current staffers received the same email, and all of the names seem to have been cc’ed.

One of the two lobbyists in question had been Brownback’s chief of staff.

Another had been his campaign manager. Would it not seem helpful to get outside input, presumably free of charge, from people who just might know something about the budget process? Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Trouble With ‘Oldsters’

MI0000629197They talk on the phone, turn on the television for news and poke at touch screens…

We went to SUCH a good restaurant yesterday!

I found Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe on Yelp.

Save me the criticism. That’s the new America, backlash. That’s how people establish their identity, by criticizing success and going against norms, especially the supposedly smart and educated. Kind of like this measles thing. You didn’t vaccinate your kid because Jenny McCarthy shook her booty on MTV and told you shots made her kid autistic?

Do you get your financial advice from a prostitute? Do you quiz your caddie about quantum mechanics? Then why would you believe nonsense that has no basis in facts? Oh, that’s right. Get sick today and these same people tell you to take zinc and all kinds of over the counter remedies because western medicine is a criminal syndicate out to kill you.

Hogwash. Continue reading

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Glazer: Calling All Player Haters, You Know Who You Are

Kevin MazurNew England quarterback Tom Brady is considered the best in modern NFL history…

In fact,  a win Sunday in Super Bowl 49 will insure Brady that title. It will be his sixth Super Bowl and maybe win number 4. More impressive is the fact that Brady will have done this over a 12 year period. Most quarterbacks – in fact all of them – won their championships in much shorter career spans. This would be a title 12 years after Brady’s first and nobody has come close to that mark.

On top of all that, Brady is as handsome as any movie star out there.

He’s nearing 40 but looks 30. His wife is supermodel mega millionaire Gisele Bundchen and she’s just three years younger than her husband. The Brady’s built a $22 million dollar mansion in Brentwood California last year. In many ways they’re the perfect celebrity couple.

Yet the hating on Tom and Gisele online is brutal. Why? Continue reading

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Steele: Missouri Dem Office Squabble Gets Nasty

keith-english-primary-signAs reported in the Missouri Torch, Democratic State Rep Keith English of Florissant got a new office and made some new enemies…

Apparently, English was awarded the office after crossing party lines to help Republicans overturn a Jay Nixon tax cut veto.

When Republicans cross over, they are said to be “growing” in office. When Democrats do the same, they’re betraying their friends. Rep. Karla May of St. Louis called English out in front of the Democratic Caucus for allegedly breaking the rules.

Unafraid of skewering a sacred cow, English reportedly said that if Michael Brown hadn’t been breaking the rules, he’d be alive today. While his colleagues swooned, English turned and left the meeting.

This retort prompted Joshua Peters, another St. Louis Rep, to send a letter to Caucus Chair Gina Mitten. He accused English of making an “insulting and racially charged remark.” He explained that “racist remarks” are supposed to be the province of Republicans, not Democrats. The solution: “condemning his remarks and expelling him.” Continue reading

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Hearne: Details Emerge on Needless Shawnee Shootout That Cost Owner His Life

shoot-em-up-movie-poster-2007-1010446612In the immortal words of the great Jimmy C:

“A lifetime of having been advised not to resist people pointing weapons at me would have told me to come out slowly, with my hands up and palms facing forward. I would like to think I would have said something like, “OK, we’re not making any trouble for you. Take whatever you want — guns, money and anything else — and, please, be on your way.”

That’s what intrepid former Kansas City Star reporter and editor Jim Fitzpatrick wrote here on KC Confidential not two weeks back in reference to a January 9 gun battle inside a small Shawnee business in which its owner was shot and killed.

Of course, thanks to the needless paranoia of the Shawnee Police and Johnson County District Attorney locals were left for weeks to wonder how it all went down.

Did ladies gun boutique co-owner Jon Bieker save his wife’s life by coming out of the back room armed and ready for a shootout with the four bad guys who already had the drop on his wife and were in the middle of a daylight robbery?

Did Bieker needlessly place himself and his wife in harm’s way costing him his life?
Continue reading

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Star beams: Tom Brady Hot Air, Billy Wear & Drone Gate

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A locker room attendant is a person of interest in the Deflate Gate controversy.  The guy says he thinks the media is blowing this way under proportion.

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New England quarterback Tom Brady‘s kids say they’re afraid to play in a bounce house when their dad is nearby.

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Former Royals star Billy Butler says he wouldn’t mind wearing a Royals uniform again.  Apparently, the A’s don’t make plus sizes. Continue reading

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Sutherland: The Hunting of the Snark

Tribute in LightThe foregoing was the title of a non-sense poem for children by Lewis Carroll, the 19th century Englishman who also wrote Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass

My grandfather was active in a fraternal group for the lumber business called “The Royal Order of The Hoo-Hoos”.  Its titular head was called “Grand Snark of The Universe.”.Although the meaning of the word “snark” has changed in the last century, from “silly” to “snide”, or “cutting”, Carroll’s title still has a nice ring to it.

If it’s snark you want (in the latter day sense) you need go no further than the critic Daniel Mendelsohn, who writes for The New Yorker.  I came across this toxic muse when checking the reviews of a book I very much enjoyed, “The Parthenon Enigma” by Joan Connelly.  Connelly is a professor of Archaeology at New York University.

In her new book, Connelly makes a persuasive case for a new explanation of one of the salient features of the ancient building.  9-11 got Connelly thinking about the striking parallels between that event and the disaster that happened to Athens in the fifth century B.C., when the city fell to the Persians and was destroyed by the invaders.  Connelly wrote an essay published in the Wall Street Journal in 2002 about the points of resemblance between the two national calamities and how both nations could come back from the tragedies by rebuilding and by reaffirming their national identity with a fitting memorial.

The events of 9-11 also caused the author to revisit the conclusions she’d reached in a scholarly article she’d written five years before. Continue reading

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Steele: More of Those Mischievous “Teens”

Three_teens_charged_in_death_of_Alexis_K_2504560000_12798885_ver1.0_640_480The Kansas City Star headlined its story on the recent water park death of a young black girl, “Three KC teens charged with murder in slaying of 14-year-old Alexis Kane.”

The Star is hardly unique in its use of the word “teen.”

For the media in general, the word serves two functions. One is to diminish the severity of the crime. If “teens” do it, even if the teens are old enough to be charged as adults as these three are, it cannot be all that serious.

The second function is to make the age of the perpetrators the most important identifier.

By classifying the three killers as “teens,” the Star does not need to touch on the subject of race, about which its editors are positively squeamish unless, of course, the perpetrator is white or at least a “white Hispanic.” Continue reading

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Steele: Reverend Cleaver, “Repent” Thyself

NA-novote

Emanuel Cleaver

“My hope is that they will come out tomorrow and repent,” the right reverend Emanuel Cleaver told his fellow reverend Al Sharpton last week…

The “they” in question are Republicans. Apparently, they need to “repent” for criticizing Obama.

Repentance begins at home, and our favorite Missouri congressman has much to repent for, the car wash scam being the least of his sins. Much uglier was Cleaver’s role in “Spittlegate,” a racial incident he helped manufacture to defame the tea party and further divide the nation.

In March 2010, protestors gathered on Capitol Hill to protest the impending passage of Obamacare. That afternoon a few members of the Black Caucus, including Andre Carson of Indiana and civil rights icon John Lewis, chose to skip the tunnel and walk through the gathered crowds.

As Carson told reporters, he and Lewis were “walking down the steps” of the Cannon Office Building when they heard ‘n-word, n-word,’ at least fifteen times, hundreds of people.” This was nuts. When questioned on specifics, Carson reduced the hundreds of people to “maybe fifteen,” who were shouting “Kill the bill, then the n-word.”

This was still nuts. Continue reading

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Hearne: Here’s Why Barack Crashed @ Lawrence’s Holiday Inn

IMG_5344The reason President Obama stayed at the Lawrence Holiday Inn?

It’s really quite simple, he had no choice.

With an entourage of more than 100 people, no way could arguably ritzier hotels like the historic Eldridge in downtown Lawrence (48 rooms) or shiny, new Oread overlooking the KU campus (99 rooms) get the job done.

Whereas as a convention hotel, Holiday Inn was up to the task.

And even at that, “They had to move a lot of people out,” says one Lawrence retailer who asked not to be named. “So when (Obama) stayed there, everybody else had to leave – they moved everybody to different hotels. We had people in the store here talking about that they had to move.”

On a more positive note, Holiday Inn Lawrence VP of sales Ivan Simac says the hotel was more than happy to accommodate the prez, albeit on less than a week’s notice.

“It was a lot of work for us to pull all this together, but of course it was a privilege,” Simac says. “I think that due to our size and our location right off the highway, we were the perfect location to fit their needs.”

And for those who may be wondering, yes indeed, the Holiday Inn Lawrence has a Presidential Suite. Continue reading

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Steele: Have Kansas Teachers Become The Rural Aristocracy?

a7331bbf9350bbf9de35f12c83eddcb0Although rural Kansas school districts do not have anything like the seventy-four $100K-plus employees of the Blue Valley District or the sixty-two $100K-plus employees in Shawnee Mission, they don’t do half bad – especially compared to the people paying their salaries…

Ford County, for instance, ranks 94th out of 105 Kansas counties in median per capita income at $19,348 per year. Median household income in Ford County is just $46,621 a year. The county seat of Ford County is Dodge City. At least 300 employees of the Dodge City School District earn more than the median HOUSEHOLD in Ford County. And that does not include generous benefits that range up to 35 percent of salary.

Some 442 employees in that district make more than $40,000 a year, and not many teachers make much less than that. This may not seem like a lot to Johnson Countians, but in rural Kansas that salary goes a long way, especially considering that teachers typically get their summers off.

Or do they? Continue reading

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