Hearne: Lezak Calls Royals Game, Weather & Forecasts Chiefs Season

gary lezak royalsgame_1405135406153_6780569_ver1-1.0_640_480In another life KSHB TV weather wonk Gary Lezak might be knee deep in a sports media career…

As evidenced earlier this month by his play-by-play radio cameo during a Kansas City Royals – Detroit Tigers baseball game at Kauffman Stadium.

“It was an incredible experience,” Lezak says. “They knew I wanted to do it but they didn’t know I was going to do it until I just broke into it. They were asking me some questions about the weather and then I just started doing the play-by-play. So I satisfied one of my lifelong dreams. I used to practice doing it all the time when I was a little kid. It’s something I would have loved to do. It’s almost like weather.”

Speaking of the weather, July has gone down as a much cooler month, as Lezak predicted sealer this year. However despite a couple of pretty good storms, KC remains about three inches short of its usual 4 1/2 inches of rainfall.

“We get about 12 inches of rain during the summer,” Lezak says. “And we’ve had about 81/2 inches already, so we should make it.”

As for this year’s Royals… Continue reading

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Hearne: Stanford’s Hire Chef, Books Opening Headliner

f pot craigThis just in from the coming-soon Stanford’s comedy club at 119th & Metcalf…

All systems are go, but construction delays have pushed back the grand opening of the new restaurant and comedy club at Rosana Square in Overland Park to the second weekend of September.

“The first official comic we have scheduled is Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame, September 11-13,” says Stanford’s main man Craig Glazer. “But we’d love to have a pre-grand opening walk through with local comics prior to that.”

In the meantime, Stanford’s has hired Hope Dillon – formerly of the Grill on Broadway – as its chef, to run the new kitchen with an expanded food service. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Obama @ The Uptown Wednesday, Fox 4 Fox Kerri Stowell Takes a Fall

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President Obama will be at the Uptown in Kansas City this Wednesday. His staff has yet to inform him the Uptown is not a golf course.

                                                 *******

Police fogged teenagers after problems broke out on the Country Club Plaza Saturday night.  When I was a teenager, the thing that kept me away from the Plaza was the price of food.

                                                 ******* Continue reading

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Stomper: Blame it on Mom – Keeping the Rock Em, Sock Em Out of Youth Sports

o-BASEBALL-BAT-facebookOur esteemed administrator has been on me to offer another piece and I fear that my obsession with politics is painting me into a corner so…

Time to branch out. And while I’m confident Chuck will take issue with this, I try to limit my writing to topics I feel somewhat competent  to offer opinions on.  This is why you never – or at least rarely – see me comment on the Royals, Chiefs, Sporting, radio station ratings, concerts or Dwight Sutherland‘s movie and book review pieces and the numerous other topics that KCC brings to the forefront.

Then it hit me.

Why not share some of my experiences with my life apart from work? My kids are now well into their 20s, so it’s been a while since they were involved in youth sports.

But being a hands on dad, and living with the misconception that I was qualified and had something to offer, I got them involved in youth sports when they hit kindergarten or first grade and became their coach in most of those sports.

I coached them in baseball, basketball, and football.  They participated in wrestling and soccer as well, but I let others more competent than myself (even though I wrestled in college) take the lead there.  Youth sports very quickly became a passion with me.

And when it’s handled correctly – and adults don’t screw it up – youth sports really can do a lot for a young person.  It all revolves around the head coach that has his or her head screwed on correctly.  Continue reading

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New Jack City: Star Adds Insult To Delivery Injury with Phony Cruise Scam

cruisingSomething for nothing, anybody?

To say my newspaper delivery has been irregular at best would be charitable.

I’ve been keeping the phone numbers to the customer service departments of both the Kansas City Star and USA Today handy because I know I’ll be needing them again and again and again in coming days and weeks.

And no, I don’t live in the boonies, I live in mainstream Overland Park.

However a recent policy by the Star to no longer give a credit for newspapers not delivered during a vacation hold really ticked me off. I was told that all papers held while on vacation would be delivered in one large bundle upon my return.

But I didn’t want those old papers and truth be told, I wasn’t shopping for another vacation either. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Quick, Cheap Family Vacation Ideas

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 9.13.18 PMWe’re approaching August which means a few things. It means that everyone’s attention is quickly being directed to the Chiefs and their pre-preseason activities and the Royals are once again becoming a sad footnote. It means that the heat is becoming oppressive and the lawns are quickly yellowing and dying. It means that kids are getting ready to head back to school, which, bringing me to the point of this piece, means the following: families everywhere are ready for their final summer vacation.

But what to do?

Times are tough. Despite Obumbler’s suggestion of an economic recovery and the DOW being in historic places, we’re still all broke and haggard.

We need to conserve, economically. Gone are the Salad Days of steak stuffed with caviar that just got done fucking a veal-lobster. We are a nation of Dollar Menu Minions, and our vacations must be adjusted accordingly. So before you pack your money-sucking shitbag children into the fam-wagon and head out to Six Flags Over Paris, take heed; you probably can’t afford it.

Therefore, I present you with some very easy, very cheap options for the final summer shindig. Give it a shot, won’t you? Continue reading

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Hearne: Layoffs Fever Sweeps Kansas City Star…Again

MiriamPepper044_JR F-1

Miriam Pepper

So much for a nice, calm, body bag free year at the Kansas City Star

Return with me now for a moment to my July 8, 2014 column about the somber state of affairs at 18th and Grand.

“There have been no layoffs this year, but there’s been lots of meetings lately, so we don’t know if there’s going to be anymore cuts. They say there won’t be anymore furloughs this year, but they’re still not filling any jobs and they’re not giving any cost-of-living increases. Did you see how thin today’s paper was?”

That was one Star staffer’s assessment heading into the heart of the summer after six months of relative calm.

Fortunately for the denizens of the newsroom, a number of unforced exits by heavy hitters such as Mike McGraw, Kevin Collison and Richard Espinoza had lessened the need for layoffs.

However that uneasy calm went away rather abruptly late last week.

That’s when the Reaper revisited the Star to the tune of an estimated 8 to 12 layoffs. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 7 Comments

Paul Wilson: Fifty Shades of Dysfunction, Coming to a Screen Near You

fiftyshades14f-1-webFifty Shades of Grey, the huge best seller by author E.L James is coming to the big screen and I wanted to get ahead of Jack on this one before he does his review…

The trailer is out; I just watched it and it’s nothing short of disturbing.

Often referred to as “mommy porn,” Fifty Shades has been compared to “9 ½ Weeks” and “The Story of O” – all three examples of female characters being sexually manipulated or abused by the men.

What could possibly be more entertaining for your $12 ticket than that?

In the trailer a voice utters the words, “I don’t do romance, my interests are very singular,” whereupon it goes into rapid fire scenes, clearly depicting a BDSM playroom.

For those of you, including me, who haven’t read the book, Ana is a 21 year old, introverted virgin, covering an interview for her college paper featuring Grey, a benefactor. Ana’s father died when she was young, mom had a revolving door of husbands and her childhood years a mess. Grey is 27, devastatingly handsome and was found at age four next to his dead, crack whore mother’s body; his chest covered in cigarette burns. Grey’s sex life started at 15 at the hands of his mother’s friend who seduced and regularly “beat the shit out of him.” That loving relationship lasted for 10 years. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘And So It Goes’ – Geriatric Dramedy Aiming for the Social Security Set

michaeldouglas_dianekeaton_andsoitgoesThe pickings have been slim for older audiences so far this year…

Sure we’ve had LAST VEGAS, CHEF and JERSEY BOYS, but nothing to match previous geriatric breakout hits like THE BUCKET LIST and THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL.

This weekend marks yet another attempt at super serving the Social Security crowd.

In director Rob Reiner’s new dramedy AND SO IT GOES, Michael Douglas plays a self centered, cynical former real estate hot shot, But now widowed, he unloads most of his upper crust holdings and moves into one of his own apartment units in Vermont.

His neighbor? Also widowed and now aspiring lounge singer Diane Keaton.

Irritation all the way around—coming especially from Douglas’ grumpy side.

That is until his estranged son suddenly shows up trying to drop off his young daughter before serving a drug related nine month jail term.

Of course Douglas had no idea that he even had a grand daughter and now tries desperately to get Keaton to help with the forced-upon-him parenting.

Do we see a romance in the making here? What do YOU think? Continue reading

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Whinery: Why I Must Defend Israel

Putin Views Russian Arms On Display At ExpoLet me get this out of the way…

I’m a Jew that has Zionist sympathies. I’m also a “recovering” Neocon.

In other words, I’m biased…just like a lot of you.

However, looking at the current mess in Israel – and applying a classic legal test – given the Palestinian’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist, what is there really to talk about that might prevent this carnage from taking place?

So I’m backing Israel in this conflict until further notice.

What’s really going to be funny here is when Israel cuts a deal with Russia. Continue reading

Posted in David Scott Whinery | 17 Comments

Leftridge: Crap for Sale on Craigslist, Back to School Edition

Back to schoolBelieve it or not, it’s almost back-to-school-time, a magical epoch at which parents are freed from the shackles of their godforsaken heathens and once again, almost fully functional people. Gone are the days of expensive summer sitters and Vacation Bible Schools; in their stead are restrictive periods of warehoused dullardry and uninspired days that blessedly grow ever-shortened.

As a not-yet-parent, I don’t fully understand this glee, but I surmise. I’m already dreading the prohibitive costs of full-time child care and fantasizing about a time when I can ship my daughter off to an industrialized learning complex for little more than the cost of a breaded chicken patty and a carton of hormonally-rotten milk.

Don’t get me wrong, I love her. Even so, daycare is ridiculous. For the price it’ll take to have someone stare at her for eight hours, I could lease a brand-new Jaguar or rent a small, fancy house in a reasonably-decent suburb.

So I’m all about saving money. And what better way to save a few duckets than by buying your child’s back-to-school materials on Craigslist? Let’s see what they’ve got. Continue reading

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Hearne: In Case You Haven’t Figured it Out Yet…

IMG_4493I’ve been on vacation this past week…

Which isn’t to say, “Hurry up and burgle me before I get back.”

That base is covered – life goes on at KC Confidential Central - even in my absence. Besides, I’ll be home shortly and we can resume sorting out the issues of the day and Brandon can return to his alternate life as a mild manned, suburban JOCO family man.

And undoubtedly, we’ll be getting an update from Craig Glazer on how bad the Chiefs and Royals suck (and always will). I know many of you are waiting for that shoe to drop.

You know and Paul Wilson bought a house finally – can you believe he’s been renting all these years? – and just texted a pic of his splendid new writing area there while vowing to getting back to writing three times a week.

We’ll see. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 16 Comments

Leftridge: The Pointlessness of NFL Training Camp Reporting

coverreporterAh, Training Camp. Are there any two words in the English language more apt to illicit sexual squeals from NFL beat writers across the land? (Perhaps “free sandwiches,” but my point stands.)

It’s clear that we’re firmly in late July when:

1) The Royals are holding “players only” meetings because they’re starting their inevitable swoon. (But hey, it worked everyone! ROYS ARE FIXED.)

2) Here’s sports director “Handsome” Henry Ballsack in his best summer Polo, standing in the parking lot of a college football facility in Elsewhere, MO. His eyes are bugging out as he sprays the camera lens with a fine spittle while explaining how “BACKUP TIGHT-END D’CARTRIDGE JACKSON HAS LOOKED AMAZING CATCHING WELL-LOFTED BALLS FROM A THIRD-STRING QB… OR MAYBE IT WAS THE EQUIPMENT MANAGER. IT’S TOO EARLY TO TELL, BUT THIS LOOKS LIKE A SUPER BOWL CONTENDER. BACK TO YOU, PLORT.”

Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Leftridge: TV Time: The Strain is the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Seen

The-Strain-coverIf you were considering watching FX’s new original series The Strain, I’ve got some advice: DROP WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING AND DON’T WATCH IT, EVER.

It’s just… terrible.

See, I had reasonably high hopes, I guess. FX has a pretty good batting average with original programming; I find The Bridge, Justified, Fargo and The Americans to all be quality programming. Plenty of people like Sons of Anarchy and I guess they do some well-received comedies, too.

Not to mention, the first season has several episodes written and directed by respectable horror filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

And that’s just splendid.

But The Strain is akin to fastening clothespins to your testicles. I mean, it’s something to do, but why? Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Entertainment | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Whinery: The End of the World as We Know It – Jews, Russia, Rick Perry & McCartney

Protest in Manhattan over Israel's action in GazaYou may not have noticed but…

In the confusion and cacophony of everyday life we’re careening towards disaster. Go ahead, go about your business if you must, but chaos of the unbridled variety is just around the corner.

Right now, in the world we inhabit, the Israeli’s- MY PEOPLE- are at war in the Gaza Strip which is a disaster. And if the Israel defense forces are to be believed, 5 of their0 troops have already been killed. So its probably really five times that number.  And we’re ready for 23-1

What people fail to appreciate where this situation is concerned, is that after the Holocaust- all bets are off.

The Jews will resort to nuclear weaponry if pushed too far.  Continue reading

Posted in David Scott Whinery | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

New Jack City: Coming Soon—Spirit Airlines—Release the Hate

imagesBuckle up!

The wait’s almost over and we’re in for new, ultra-cheap fares in a couple weeks.

Because on August 7th SPIRIT AIRLINES spreads its wings to KCI with a single daily non-stop departure to four cities (Service to the 5th—Houston—begins August 8.)

Think ultra-cheap.

Get a load of these all-in, sample fares I found for Friday, August 15′s Bare Fare departures: Continue reading

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Hearne: The Case for Not Tearing Down Metcalf South

largeFull Disclosure: Wade Williams definitely has a dog in this fight…

The writer-producer-director-exhibitor who owns the largest independent library of science-fiction film rights, distributes his product worldwide and also lives in Kansas City, is the checkbook behind the Fine Arts Theatre Group. The group that operates the Rio, Glenwood and Leawood movie theaters.

So when new owners of the Metcalf South Shopping Center announced in March that the 1960s era mall would likely be razed, Williams was bummed.

That’s because his group operates a mini movie plex there called The Glenwood Arts. The three holer – formerly the Metcalf Theatre - is the titular successor to Dickinson’s Theatres once proud Glenwood Theatre at 91st and Metcalf.

Williams’ take on tearing down Metcalf South? Continue reading

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Donnelly: Sporting KC Blaze Trail to Keep Top American Talent at Home

Photo by Jamila St. Ann

Sporting Kansas City took a big swing recently by signing both Matt Besler and Graham Zusi to long-term, Designated Player contracts.

DP contracts are the ones that pay the big money, and up until now had been utilized mainly to attract aging, foreign talent, like Thierry Henry and David Beckham.

Kansas City has signed several DPs over the years, with limited success.  Their other DP currently on the roster is Claudio Bieler, a guy that has struggled to even find playing time this season.  He’ll be gone soon, probably before the season’s end.  Then there was Omar Bravo, who fizzled out before returning to Mexico, and before that Claudio Lopez.

But this is different.   Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Leftridge: Will the Royals Blow the Trade Deadline by Pretending to be Contenders?

Billy+ButlerlBecause it is mid-to-late July, I am obligated by the Internet Sportswriter Code to talk about whether my city’s baseball team should be A) buyers, B) sellers, or C) do nothingers as the league’s trade deadline approaches.

The Royals are doing their part by 1) floating rumors about the departure of Billy Butler, 2) making dink-and-dunk moves like the signing of two old bullpen guys, and 3) hovering in a gray area of, “maybe they’re contenders, maybe they’re not,” which is the worst thing of all because SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT.

And this is only a discussion—whether they’re buyers, sellers or neither, I mean—because they’re a .500 baseball team who has had a ten-game winning streak this season, and is also in the “time to win is NOW” mindset. If you took this very same team and moved them back five years, I think you’re sellers, for sure. Four years ago, same. Three? Probably. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Hearne: Police State Takes Care of Country Club Plaza’s ‘Urban’ Problem

a plaza security st pat'sSo many urban teens, so few entertainment districts…

With Westport engaged in a turf war to keep underage urban youth of a certain persuasion at bay, inquiring minds want to know how’s the situation on the Country Club Plaza progressing?

“The Plaza seems to be doing okay crime-wise but it’s run all the business off,” says a source familiar with both the Plaza and Westport kid kerfuffles. “The Plaza’s probably the safest place in town. It’s made a definite statement that it’s not messing around.”

So none of the so-called “flash mob” rioting then? Continue reading

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