Chuck0's KC Diary: Summertime in the City
Several months ago I posted "Chuck0's KC Diary: Introduction" to the newswire with the intention of contributing a regular series of columns to this newswire. It's been a while since I posted my introduction, but now I intend to post this column to Kansas City Indymedia on a regular basis. I'm also working on more news stories for KC IMC in hopes that one day we can surpass the Kansas City Star when it comes to local news reporting.
Crossroads Infoshop: Many local activists are excited about the new infoshop and radical bookstore that is being opened in the Crossroads Arts District. The bookstore is being called the Crossroads Infoshop and Radical Bookstore. It will be opening on July 2nd at 19th and Locust Street (in KCMO). I'm excited about this because I'm involved and because this space sould make a big impact on politics in Kansas City, as well as community activism and the arts. The Crossroads Infoshop will be worker-owned, unionized, and run by volunteers. We hope to sponsor many awesome events, including art shows. But the main focus of the space will be radical and progressive books, magazines, and other materials. Please make an effort to visit the store this summer and tell your friends about it.
KC Indymedia: Some of the folks involved with the Kansas City Indymedia project had a meeting last week. Now that this website and the IMC is an official part of the international Indymedia network, there is increased interest in creating more features for the website. I shared some of my ideas, including critical pieces on the proposed sports arena, the homeless situation at the new main Kansas City library, and the new "New Urbanism" development in North Kansas City. Kansas City Indymedia could turn into a crucial, muckraking source for local and community news, but we will have to get more folks involved in order of those dreams to be realized. One of the projects we talked about last week was a series of training events which would show people how to contribute news to this website.
Whirlwind in the Northland: A mighty wing blew through Liberty today and we're not talking about the recent series of violent thunderstorms. The so-called "President of the United States," George W. Bush, blew through Liberty today, ostensibly to talk about the new Medicare discount drug cards. When the primary purpose of a Bush appearance is to spread propaganda (or campaign in a contested state), he usually speaks in front of a special backdrop. Most people are familiar with the infamous "Mission Accomplished" backdrop from May of last year. Today the backdrop's theme was "Keeping Our Promise to Seniors." It should be noted that Bush consciously avoided speaking in Independence, where the text of the backdrop should have read: "THE BUCK STOPS HERE."
Local corporate media: The ombudswoman for the Kansas City Star penned a column that purported to offer a glimpse into the difficult editorial decisions that the Star made during "Longest State Funeral Week." Believe it or not, but the Star worked very hard not to turn the paper into a pro-Reagan propaganda sheet. At least according to the ombudswoman who checked the Newseum's website to see how other newspapers played the Reagan coverage (please don't tell the Star's ombudswoman that the Newseum is a tourist trap which bills itself as a musuem to journalism). Perhaps the Star was feeling defensive about all the complaints directed at the Star from local brainwashed fans of Reagan. Letters to the Star complained about Lee Judge cartoons and a few tame columns critical of Reagan. If you read the paper last week, you probably saw the balanced coverage, which included full page timelines of Reagan administration misdeeds and a color pull out section filled with infographics on the Iran-Contra scandal. My favorite part of that page were the little icons used to represent the number of weapons sent to Iran, moneybags sent to the Nicaraguan Contras, and kilos of cocaine shipped to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Did you know that the only people of color that were present for Reagan's lying in state at the Capitol were the uniformed guard? Of the thousands of people who passed by Reagan's coffin, only a handful were people of color, which tells you something about the true legacy of the "Great Communicator."
Johnson County: Capitalism continues its unimpeded march across Johnson County. We're getting all of the problems caused by sprawl. Lots of traffic. Ugly development. And the class war that has the rich and middle class living in JOCO, while the working class servants drive everyday through the Grandview Triangle to their service jobs in JOCO. Massive shopping developments continue to be built, mostly near the intersections of Metcalf and 135th and Antioch Road and 135th. The sprawl at State Line Road and 135th which brought us Wal-Mart, Lowes, and a Super Target, will soon bring us a new Taco Bell and other smallpad stores of similar ilk. The Wal-Mart store here was featured in a recent Kansas City Star article on street racing. Illegal street racing fans use the State Line Road Wal-Mart as one of their meeting spots. Which baffles me, because there are more security cameras trained on that parking lot than around the FBI nuilding in Washington, DC.
There is some opposition in Johnson County to the proposed bi-state cultural tax. KC Indymedia will hopefully cover this issue in coming months.
Local website of the week: Art-insurgency.net