Daily Archives: July 3, 2013

Neighbors oppose Simon Property Group’s request for CUP amendment to allow outdoor events at malls

WICHITA – Simon Property Group has applied for an amendment to the community unit plans for Towne East Square and Towne West Square so it can hold outdoor events at both malls, but neighbors near Towne East are fighting it.

“They want to do a bunch of things in an outdoor forum, which we think means more traffic and more trash and more noise,” says Larry Duntz, president of the Rockwood Homes Association.

“We already have a significant problem with trash … blowing over on our property that they’ve been unwilling to do anything about.”

Area mall manager Michael Payton says what’s blowing is the issue blowing out of proportion.

“This isn’t really a big deal, really,” he says. “We’re going to have a meeting with them to address this.”

Payton won’t address what events the malls would have.

“We’re not necessarily filling in the blanks on that right now,” he says.

“They’re not being very forthright with telling us what exactly they want to do,” Duntz says. “Our entire board has agreed that what they’re talking about is not a good thing.”

Vice Mayor Pete Meitzner says most other retail developments already have approval for holding outdoor events, so he thinks it makes sense for Simon, too.

“They do a lot of good things … for the community,” he says. “It would level the field, so to speak.”

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You don’t say

“Holy Ship! Cutest . . .  Wichita State bookstore promo ever.”

– A tweet from student Nathan Miller on WSU’s takeoff of a Kmart commercial, which it’s using to promote shipping during the campus bookstore’s temporary move

Mayor Carl Brewer gets a new car along with some unwanted law enforcement attention

WICHITA — Car shopping can be a frustrating experience, but it’s generally not so bad that the police are called.

That’s what happened recently to Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, though.

It’s a reluctant Brewer who discusses the incident, which happened at Parks Motors in Augusta recently.

“It’s already embarrassing enough for this company,” Brewer says. “They have just apologized and apologized and apologized.”

The mayor has been looking for a new car since his Dodge Magnum was totaled in a recent storm. On the night of June 20, Brewer says he was shopping at some Wichita dealerships when he decided to drive to Parks Motors where he was scheduled to do a ribbon cutting a couple of days later.

Brewer, who was dressed in casual clothes and not his traditional work suit, snapped pictures of cars on the lot so he could then go home and check them out online. It was about 11 p.m.

As he was leaving, Brewer saw someone in a pickup truck at the other end of the lot. That person, who was associated with the dealership, had already seen him and made a call.

“Next thing I know … I see the lights and the sheriff’s officer’s there,” Brewer says. A second deputy then arrived in another vehicle, he says.

A deputy asked for his identification.

“She told me that I looked familiar … and she asked me about where did I work,” Brewer says. “I told her for the city of Wichita.”

The deputy continued to press him about his employment. Brewer says he was reluctant to say.

“I wasn’t there as the mayor,” he says. Brewer says, though, he “finally just went ahead and told her.”

He says the deputy then remembered she’d heard him speak at a diversity panel for one of her Wichita State University classes.

“It was funny to me,” Brewer says. “I wasn’t too concerned about it.”

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More than $1 million and counting this year, but Steven isn’t playing poker for the money

WICHITA — The money Brandon Steven has won playing poker so far this year is somewhat surprising, but how he feels about it is even more difficult to believe.

The businessman has won more than $1 million in about a dozen tournaments, but Steven says he’s not playing for the money.

“I have the most respect for money, but I’m not playing for money,” he says. “I’m playing for different reasons than everyone else.”

The car dealer – just one of his lines of work – says he almost went broke in the business at age 22.

“I opened up some stuff, and it didn’t work,” he says. “I just kept plugging away. … Got back on my feet.”

Steven says he’s extremely competitive and always looking for the next challenge, which is what poker has been for him.

Though he’s placed high in a couple of tournaments recently and placed 10th out of more than 7,000 people in the main event at the World Series of Poker in 2010, Steven says he won’t be satisfied until he’s won a major tournament.

“I just want to finish one out.”

Steven says he’d never consider playing poker for a living.

“Poker’s not a career,” he says. “I don’t like so many things about poker.”

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