Leftridge: KC Voters Approve Tax Increase for Terrible Streetcar Idea

The downtown streetcar is a miserable idea.

There, I said it. And I stand by it, despite the barrage of verbal grenades that the urban core hipsters might see fit to lob in my direction. And they’re entitled to their opinion. But they’re wrong. Because this project is destined to be a $100 million failure.

Look, I LOVE public transportation. I think it’s a vital cog in any real-life big city. But this isn’t real public transportation. This is a slow, hulking nuisance that will serve to shuttle people for a two mile stretch of Main, and, when the novelty wears off (which won’t take long, I promise), it will become a chariot of the down-trodden and indigent. The floor will become sticky with urine and fortified wine and young jackasses will etch their gang name (“TEDDY WAS HURR”) into the body of car while only nobody who cares is looking. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge | Tagged , , | 41 Comments

Glazer: Y2K Killed New Year’s Eve in KC — Have Fun Watching TV

New Years Eve used to be the holiday night in Kansas City…

Remember?

Hell, even as a tweenager we’d save up fireworks from the 4th of July and blast them off at midnight as the year advanced into the next. If you were a wild 14 year-old maybe you and your pals would sneak into mom and dad’s booze locker and grab a beer or two.

You’d get sick, but you’d be happy. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 14 Comments

Hearne: No Spin Zone or No Spine Zone? Star Publisher Spins ‘Hunger Games’ Layoff Strategy

This just in from Ground Zero at 18th and Grand…

Kansas City Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish‘s” memo to co-workers re widespread reports and commentary on the controversial decision to make two reporters – Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann – duke it out or hug it out to decide which of them takes a layoff bullet.

“Some of you have seen online reports regarding the recent layoffs at The Star,” Parrish begins. “We want to be clear that we did not ask our employees to work out any decisions amongst themselves.

“As most of you know, The Star has tried to make voluntary options available on many occasions when it has been necessary to make reductions in our workforce, in order to lessen the impact of involuntary eliminations. In fact, the feedback we’ve received from employees has been overwhelmingly in favor of making the voluntary option available. For this particular severance program, for any group of two or more employees in which a reduction is to occur we did offer a voluntary option. However, if there are no volunteers, as is our past practice, the employee with the least tenure will be included in the reduction. This information was clearly indicated to those employees affected by the severance program.”

Hold it right there. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 8 Comments

Hearne: Star Morale at All-Time Low as Editor Tries to Sell ‘Hunger Games’ Plan to Staff

As to be expected, the preholiday forecast is dour to partly gloomy…

The morale at the Kansas City Star in the wake of Monday’s layoffs debacle:

“Morale? If the staff had any morale, it’d probably be lower, I’m sure,” says a staffer. “But there is no morale left after five years of this. How could there be?”

Let’s see, heads rolling. Unpaid job furloughs. Star stores shutting down. Practically the entire country’s media focused on the uncaring, unwise way two woman reporters were pitted against one another to see which gets to keep her job.

Toss in the so-called “fiscal cliff” and the downward spiral of print newspapers and it’s difficult to be buoyant.

And now news staffers at the Star are playing out “Hunger Games” scenarios among themselves. As in, “What would we do if it happened to us?” Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 12 Comments

Starbeams: New Zoo Bear, The War on Meth, Interstate Blues, The Pope, Craig Glazer & Sporting Who?

It’s official.  The Kansas City Zoo will be getting a 23-year-old polar bear from a zoo in Minnesota.  The bear’s name is Berlin. Upon hearing the news the city of Leawood started exploring tax incentives to lure the bear to Kansas.

*******

Liberty Memorial has a good shot at becoming the official World War I Museum and Memorial.  The measure has passed the U.S. House and has support in the Senate.  Missouri will also be designated the official state for the War on Meth Memorial.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Starbeams: New Zoo Bear, The War on Meth, Interstate Blues, The Pope, Craig Glazer & Sporting Who?

Jack Goes Confidential: ‘THE HOBBIT’ Sets Captivating New Technical Standards

I’ll be the first to admit J.R.R. Tolkien‘s fantasy world doesn’t stimulate me into cinematic ecstasy

It never has.

The hocus pocus of Middle Earth doesn’t do much for me. I guess I’m not a geek.

So why am I writing about THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY? Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 5 Comments

Hearne: Star Cops to ‘Hunger Games’ – Gets Thumbs Down from Experts, NBC

It’s hard to hide out when you’re a journalist and the entire media world’s watching?

So it is that Kansas City Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish came out from underneath her desk last night long enough to kinda-sorta set the record straight while inadvertantly digging herself into yet a deeper hole.

“In a statement e-mailed to NBC News late Wednesday, Parrish said the paper was cutting its workforce by 17 positions,” the explanation begins in nbcnews.com’s business section. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 7 Comments

Whinery: Who Cares About The Fiscal Cliff?

I don’t care about the so-called fiscal cliff and neither should you…

If anything, you should be bored to death hearing about it over and over and over. The Worse case scenario is taxes go up and government spending gets cut.

That’s the great calamity, and it will be painful, but you know what? The economy and this country are going down the toilet anyway. And until the Government collapses under its own weight, what hope do we have that anything vaguely resembling freedom or economic sanity will return? Continue reading

Posted in David Scott Whinery | 4 Comments

Hearne: ‘Hunger Games’ Death Watch Continues @ The Star

Seems the word of her death was greatly exaggerated…

Sources at the Kansas City Star say reporter Dawn Bormann may not be well, but she’s still alive. That in the wake of news that the newspaper has asked Bormann and fellow reporter Karen Dillon to decide which of them must go in this week’s round of layoffs.

If push comes to shove, Dillon with seniority, is reportedly in the position to make the call, and quit or send Bormann packing. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 2 Comments

Hearne: KC Confidential’s ‘Hunger Games’ Star Story Goes Viral

 

They say what comes around goes around…

In the case of Tuesday’s breaking news by KC Confidential about the Kansas City Star pitting two reporters – Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormannagainst one another to see which gets to keep her job, the story circulated just about everywhere.

The consensus among readers being that forcing co-workers to decide which one’s career must end is cruel and unusual punishment.

Things started heating up Wednesday after respected media blogger Jim Romenesko picked up on KC Confidential’s story and laid the matter bare for journalists around the world to marvel at. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 52 Comments

Donnelly: Sporting Makes Two Good Moves

Just this morning it was announced that Sporting Kansas City re-signed MLS Defender of the year and KC native, Matt Besler

Besler became a free agent at season’s end and admitted on 810 WHB this morning that he had several different opportunities to go overseas, including an offer in the EPL.  Besler said that there was more money for him in Europe than that offered by Robb Heineman, but the decision came down to the situation here in KC – the stadium, the other players on the team, management, coaching staff, and of course the opportunity to win immediately.

Most of the teams interested in Besler in Europe were bottom feeder types, though they were probably as good or better of a squad than Sporting will field in 2013.

That being said, it’s great to have The Rock back in the middle for the upcoming season.  Continue reading

Posted in Matthew_Donnelly, Sporting_Kansas_City, Sports | 5 Comments

Sounds Good: Dweezil@VooDoo, Rev Gusto@Barnyard, Of Monsters and Men@Midland

We’re entering the doldrums period for live music…

That period of time that starts around finals week and stretches until nearly February, with New Year’s Eve excluded of course.

But unlike years past, there’s actually some really interesting shows still going down as we creep towards Fat Man Day.

Check it… Continue reading

Posted in Matthew_Donnelly, Sporting_Kansas_City | 6 Comments

Glazer: 610 Sports New Afternoon Drive Team On a Roll

610 Sports afternoon hosts Josh Verneir, Jay Binkley and J.C. Pearson have gotten stronger in the wake of superstar Nick Wright‘s departure earlier this year…

The crew has had several months to get comfortable with each other and it’s working with their ratings on the rise.

One reason it works so well is they try to be very frank and candid with listeners.

“I was wrong, I had the Chiefs at 10-6 and now I admit they’re terrible,” Binkley says.

Even former Chiefs star Bill Maas has been on a roll lately.

“Yes, I am aware of what Chiefs defensive end Shaun Smith said on Twitter, that ‘the Brownies suck and we’ll beat them by 10 points.'”

The Chiefs lost to Cleveland by 23 this past Sunday. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 14 Comments

Leftridge: The Royals Make Huge Trade, Will Probably be Good or Bad Thing

Like Los Angeles Lakers great James Worthy, they call him “Big Game James” due in no small part to his propensity for clutch performances. He owns every major pitching record for the Tampa Bay Rays, has a World Series victory, finished 3rd in 2011’s American League Cy Young voting, and struck out 15 batters in his final performance for the only team he has ever known.

Wil Myers has no nickname (at least, none that I am aware of), was this year’s Minor League Player of the year, and, according to his Twitter feed, has a real fondness for Olive Garden.

James Shields is 31 and now under Royals’ control for two years. (He HAS stated that he’d be interested in signing an extension, but, well, he’s been here 2 days. Let’s see how all that pans out.)

Myers is 22 and will likely be with the Rays for at least 6 years and, given their proclivity for handing out long-term extensions to their young players, probably longer than that.

It was an interesting trade to say the least, an all-out, balls-on-the-cutting-board move perpetrated by general manager Dayton Moore that will either leave him a Grand Kansas City Hero, or cause elderly women to spit on the sidewalk whenever his name gets mentioned. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Hearne: Star Unleashes ‘Hunger Games’ on Two Joco Reporters

This is the original story, but there’s so much more:

The journalism world notices 18th and Grand, but not for beef
Experts give thumbs down to Hunger Games scheme
Star Morale at all-time low
The publisher responds

How cold can you get?

Check out this startling tale involving a pair of Kansas City Star reporters reportedly presented with a proposition – a variation on Sophie’s Choice – that only one position remained for the two of their jobs.

“They brought in two reporters – Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann – and told them that one of them had to go,” says a staffer. “And that they had to decide which one would stay and they had until next week to figure it out. Sort of like ‘The Hunger Games.’ That’s the scuttlebutt anyway.”

There’s more.

“Karen Dillon has seniority, so she has the option of taking it or not taking it,” says the source. “And if she does, Dawn gets laid off. Dawn’s a great person but I think Karen will vote in favor of herself because she’s got teenage kids at home.” Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 45 Comments

Hearne: Plaza, Union Station Star Stores Casualties of Cutbacks

This just in from sources at the Kansas City Star

Another casualty of Monday’s layoffs and cutbacks at 18th and Grand: Would you believe the newspaper’s Kansas City Store?

“I just heard both Star stores are closing,” says one newspaper insider. “The one on the Plaza and the one at Union Station.”

Exact closing dates of the stores and the fate of the two staffers who head their respective retail operations remain unclear, but the betting money is they’ll be taking a bullet with six months going away paychecks.

There’s a rub though. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 5 Comments

New Jack City: Beware—Right City—Wrong Airport!

 Did this ever happen to you?

It happened to a travel client of mine on a recent New York City trip who flew into LaGuardia (LGA). Two days later his return flight was booked out of Newark (EWR) airport which had the last flight of the day to K.C. (MCI).

Not only did he know that two airports were involved, he’d requested it.

But when it actually came to his return trip he forgot and promptly directed his cab to take him back to LGA. He didn’t realize his mistake until reaching the UNITED counter and there was no way of cabbing it to EWR in time to reach his actual flight.

Instead it was back to his Manhattan hotel and another night at $300. Continue reading

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | 8 Comments

Hearne: Star Drops Pre Holiday Layoffs Bomb on News Staff

Geez, is nothing sacred anymore?

A scant two weeks before Christmas and the Grim Reapers at 18th and Grand are up to their old tricks. As in laying off staff right before America’s Holiday.

“MEMO TO: Co-workers,” the internal notice begins.

“FROM: Mi-Ai Parrish.

“RE: Reduction in force

“As we continue to be challenged by uncertain economic news, I have decided to restructure and realign some pieces of the business, eliminating several positions, as well as some open positions.

“The employees affected by the reductions have been notified.”

The name that jumps out in the early returns is Star librarian Eric Winkler. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 29 Comments

Glazer: It’s Time for the NFL to Take Steps to Clean Up Player’s Acts

Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was on national TV after the Skins won a come from behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens Sunday…

“I screamed when I got hit – well -screamed like a man,” Griffin said afterwards. “But it was important to me to get back to the huddle and win this game.”

Griffin is one of the best quarterbacks ever to come out of college and start in the NFL.

He’s now rich and will make hundreds of millions of dollars and do tons of commercials. He’s also respected – and oh by the way – well educated, well spoken and a class role model for the millions who watch him play.

Robert Griffin III is black and I promise you Mr. Griffin won’t be getting in trouble at “De Club.” Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 80 Comments

Leftridge: MLB Winter Meetings Come, Go; Royals Refuse to Even Let Other Teams Feel Them Up

In my dreams, the Royals won the Winter Meetings. General Manager Dayton Moore, acutely aware of the importance this particular off season brings, fleeced his colleagues with hidden snake-oil tactics and slick talking. After the dust settled, and the Royals were quantifiably better than they were the previous week, everyone threw Moore atop their shoulders and paraded him out of the conference room, across the lobby and into a waiting limousine where he was given a fine champagne and a big hug from owner David Glass, who wasn’t such an asshole after all, unlike what we all thought all along.

 None of this happened, of course.

Glass might be a bigger eagle-faced dick than any of us had ever imagined and Moore, well, Moore mostly stood pat during the proceedings. He sat at his nice table in his swanky suit, his flattop perfectly even atop his tanned head, he sipped his mineral water from the nice glass and he nodded and smiled and looked stoic when appropriate, and he walked away having accomplished nothing. Continue reading

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