As many of you probably suspect (or know), I don’t have a smartphone, a laptop or an iPad. Many times when I’m away, as a result, I don’t have regular access to the Internet and don’t get my full quotient of news.
So, what I sometimes do is have someone save all our home-delivered copies of The Star and The New York Times. Then, when I get back, I go through them at my leisure.
And so it went with last week’s trip to the Bay Area: A big stack of orange (The Star) and blue (NYT) bags were perched on the kitchen counter when we returned Sunday night, and I’ve spent parts of the last few days leafing through the papers. I focused on The Star because the national and international news are more readily available on the road.
As I read, I made note of several stories that caught my attention for one reason or another.
Here, then, are few JimmyC-tagged stories from editions of last week’s KC Star:
Monday, March 18: “As red-light citations drop, speeders may be next target.”
The gist of this story, written by City Hall reporter Lynn Horsley was that the red-light-camera system installed at various intersections over the last several years has been so successful at reducing red-light running and T-bone crashes that city officials are thinking about deploying cameras aimed at catching people speeding.
The irony of this story is that in January 2012, The Star let itself get swept up in an effort by the Police Department to undercut the red-light-camera program. The Star ran — as an A-1, centerpiece — a story in which police officials essentially contended that the program was a failure because it had triggered an increase in rear-end crashes because of people supposedly jamming on the brakes to avoid running lights.
The story was way off base, and The Star was forced to clarify it in a follow-up a day or two after the first story…And what, you ask, could have motivated the Police Department to try to jettison the program? Simple, it takes department employees a lot of time to process the images and send out the thousands of citations the system generates. In other words, it’s a big inconvenience.
Now, the whole truth and nothing but has come out: The system has worked and people driving the streets of Kansas City are a lot safer than they were before the program began.
Tuesday, March 19: “Brookside Berbiglia”
This subhead appeared above a story that is more about the evolving tenor of the Brookside shops than it is about changes at the Berbiglia store a block west of 63rd and Main.
Here’s the scoop, as brought to us by The Star’s Joyce Smith: Joe Zwillenberg, owner of the Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill, has purchased the Berbiglia building. After renovation, Berbiglia will move to the south part of the building, and a Jimmy John’s will open on the north side of the building.
Do you remember about 10 years ago when Brookside residents raised a hue and cry when reports surfaced that a Starbucks might open on Brookside Boulevard just north of 63rd Street? The locals managed to beat back the threat, and a Roasterie coffee store moved in instead.
But then, a year or two ago, a Panera was erected on the corner of 63rd and Brookside Plaza, tripping the wire for the invasion of the franchises.
So now we get a nice, black and red Jimmy John’s, which produces the worst sandwiches in the nation, in my opinion. If you take away the shredded lettuce, all you have is a thin layer of salami (or whatever), a thin slice of cheese and a slice of mealy tomato — all wedged into a disemboweled sandwich roll.
Friday, March 22: “Two Jump Off Bond Bridge”
A man in his 50s and his 29-year-old daughter committed suicide by jumping off the Bond Bridge over the Missouri River. They were holding hands. In her other arm, the daughter cradled the family’s Chihuahua.
Now I understand how depression can push people into such a state that they want to take their own lives. But why in the world would someone want to take the family dog with them? Was the dog suffering from terminal cancer? I doubt it. I wish that dog could have swum to shore and lived out his life with a new, more appreciative owner.
Friday, March 22: “Man gave tainted gum to women, police say.”
Uhhh, tainted…How shall I say this in a primarily family friendly blog? OK, the guy jerked off and spread his cum over pieces of chewing gum and then distributed them — on a platter — to female co-workers at a Northland grocery.
Now there’s a novel way of exerting control over women, eh?
Oh, yeah, and, like me, he’s a blogger. He goes by the handle “BlueMidnighter.” Blue, as in dirty, filthy, nasty.
No further comment.
Saturday, March 23: “Suit filed in JJ’s explosion”
A Jackson County Circuit Court lawsuit filed on behalf of six JJ’s employees named five defendants:
— Missouri Gas Energy, whose workers assured Kansas City fire fighters an hour before the explosion that they had the gas leak “under control”
— Heartland Midwest, the contractor that was digging in the area and punctured the gas line
— Time Warner Cable, which had contracted Heartland Midwest to install fiber optic cable to the new Plaza Vista project across the street from JJ’s
— Missouri One Call, a utility-sponsored service that anyone planning to dig in the vicinity of gas lines must call before proceeding
— USIC Locating Services, a company that does the marking for most of the utilities in the Kansas City area.
Obviously, the plaintiffs are casting a broad net, as City Councilman Jim Glover told me would happen a few weeks ago.
The surprise, at least to me, is that neither the city nor the Fire Department was named. What that tells me is that the plaintiffs’ attorney, Grant L. Davis, concluded that the Fire Department was not legally culpable, even though a fire fighting crew left the scene after MGE workers assured the crew that everything was A-OK.
I’ll bet city officials emitted a communal sigh of relief after they heard the news of the filing.
I don’t think that means, however, that the city is completely off the hook: I imagine that any of the named defendants could attempt to bring the city into the lawsuit as a defendant.
It promises to be an interesting legal case to follow, so stay awake, readers!