You don’t say: Our favorites from 2013

Some were newsy, some were shocking, but most were simply fun or funny. Here are some of our favorite “You don’t say” quotes from 2013.

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“I said, ‘You must know a lot of angry people.’ (They) said, ‘I work at Spirit.’”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on a person who bought 10 Dammit Dolls, the soft dolls angry people can safely slam on any surface to blow off steam on bad days

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“My first place that I am not going to get married at is the Grand Chapel.”

– Sedgwick County Chairman Jim Skelton, whose upcoming marriage to Stacy Luke won’t take place at the facility he sued over his daughter’s wedding

“That’s correct, he’s not.”

– Grand Chapel owner Dennis Wilkie, who says Skelton is “a troublemaker, and I just don’t want to deal with troublemakers.”

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“Women pilots don’t land at the wrong airport. We ask for directions!”

– A tweet from Seattle-based pilot Karlene Petitt (‏@KarlenePetitt) about the Dreamlifter incident at Colonel James Jabara Airport

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“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

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“I thought I’d get in line right behind him.”

– Outgoing Chamber chairwoman Debbie Gann, who “about choked” at the group’s annual dinner Tuesday when possible mayoral candidate Jeff Turner suggested she would make a great mayor

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“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

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“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

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“We know you’re a Democrat.”

– Park City administrator Jack Whitson, teasing the city’s chamber president, registered Republican Dean Frankenbery, about a misprint that said Rep. Mike Pompom, not Pompeo, would be the group’s next speaker

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“I know you are all wondering if that beautiful new red car parked over there is a door prize. It’s not. It’s the speaker’s gift.”

Delta Dental of Kansas vice president of human resources Kara Hunt, speaking at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler about a car that Davis-Moore had at the event

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“I thought that Davis-Moore . . . has been hurting so bad that they needed a sale, so I thought I’d help them out.”

– Car dealer Brandon Steven, joking about why he bought a Viper at his competitor’s dealership

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“I think it’s awesome that he bought himself a nice car.”

– Davis-Moore’s Dawson Grimsley, retorting with a teasing implication that Steven couldn’t find a nice car at his own lot

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“The @WichitaOrpheum could use a little Jesus after @RealTracyMorgan’s performance there. #itwaspurefilth”

— A tweet from comedian Ron Shively, aka @FunnyMrBiggs, after hearing City Life Church is going to rent the Orpheum Theatre every Sunday morning for services

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“Puppies and people all over town are sad today.”

—Accountant David Jabara on the death of Doggy Day Care owner Marilyn Walk

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Hotel at Old Town borrows Neiman Marcus gift idea

WICHITA — If you’re desperately seeking that special last-minute gift, perhaps for the person who already has everything, Michael Frimel wants to talk to you.

The vice president of sales and marketing at the Hotel at Old Town is taking a page from the annual Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, which offers what it calls “fantasy gifts” that are outrageously priced, one-of-a-kind presents.

Frimel’s idea is to sell the entire hotel and its banquet space for New Year’s Eve 2014 – that’s next New Year’s.

“It’s the ultimate Christmas gift, which is why I think now is the perfect time,” he says.

He’s selling it for $123,120.14.

Fourteen cents? Does that really matter on a $123,000 tab?

“Look at it from a date perspective,” Frimel says.

That’s Dec. 31, 2014.

“So that’s the price tag,” Frimel says. “That includes guest room accommodations for 114 of your favorite couples. It includes all of your food and beverages.”

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You don’t say

“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

DeBoer says he was close to settling lawsuit with former employees, but now that’s off

WICHITA — Hotel developer Jack DeBoer says he was close to settling the lawsuit his Hotel at Old Town filed against two former employees who left for the Ambassador Hotel, but he says that’s now changed.

“They’ve made an offer to settle, and finally I was ready to do it,” DeBoer says of his former general manager Sheila Cole and former director of sales Amy Grossman, who now have the same positions at the Ambassador.

The lawsuit, which was filed in June, alleges breach of fiduciary duty, the destruction of evidence and the misappropriation of trade secrets, among other things.

DeBoer says Cole has now hired his head of housekeeping, front desk manager and one other employee.

“Sheila to do that, it’s unconscionable,” DeBoer says. “Hell, the lawsuit’s still out there.”

That’s why DeBoer says he changed his mind about settling.

“I said, ‘To hell with it. Let’s leave it out there.’ People don’t think.”

Terry Malone, the attorney who represents Cole and Grossman, says he wasn’t aware DeBoer was ever close to settling.

“As is typical of all lawsuits, there has been some … settlement negotiation and discussion,” he says. “I’ve had no indication that they’re close.”

Malone says he has been dealing with DeBoer’s attorney and not DeBoer, but he says what’s been suggested in negotiations is that everything should remain confidential. He says that’s how he’d like to keep it.

To say much more, he says, “Frankly, I think it would be inappropriate.”

Malone says he’s not sure about other employees Cole may have hired.

Regardless, he says Cole has done nothing “that is wrong or in violation of any law or contract.”

“I do not know why he would be angry,” Malone says of DeBoer. “People change jobs all of the time.”

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Jack DeBoer creates new VP position for former Ambassador GM Michael Frimel

UPDATED — The new vice president of sales and marketing for the Hotel at Old Town and the Hotel at WaterWalk is a familiar face in the Wichita hotel world.

Michael Frimel, who was the former general manager of the Ambassador Hotel, has the newly created job.

“He reports directly to me,” says hotelier Jack DeBoer.

Former Hotel at Old Town general manager Sheila Cole and former director of sales Amy Grossman now hold the same positions at the 6-month old Ambassador. DeBoer is suing them for alleged breach of fiduciary duty, the destruction of evidence and the misappropriation of trade secrets, among other things.

DeBoer says Frimel’s hiring has nothing to do with Cole and Grossman or where they went.

“It has absolutely no connection,” he says. “I met him after all that confusion.”

He says Frimel wanted to stay in Wichita and contacted him about a job. DeBoer says he’d already hired Jennifer Finlay as general manager for the Hotel at Old Town. He says she’s worked for the hotel for a decade.

“That was easy,” DeBoer says of hiring her. “She’s terrific.”

Frimel says he didn’t immediately call DeBoer after resigning from the Ambassador at the end of May because he considered getting out of the hotel business.

“This allowed me to, number one, keep my family here,” says Frimel, who has a son going into high school.

He says this position will allow him to focus more on sales and marketing, which he says is something he loves.

“I will talk to anybody about anything,” he says.

Frimel hasn’t discussed his departure from the Ambassador publicly yet, but he says there’s no story beyond his choice to do something else with a new company.

“There’s really not,” he says. “It was definitely my decision.”

DeBoer says he’s still looking for a few more sales people.

“We’re just beefing up.”

Although the lawsuit is yet to be resolved, DeBoer says he doesn’t want his staff at the Hotel at Old Town or at the Hotel at WaterWalk dwelling on what happened with the hotel departures.

“It’s forbidden at both hotels to talk about that whole issue,” he says. “It’s over. It’s done with. … Our job is to get on with it.”

Hotel at Old Town sues two managers who left for positions at the Ambassador Hotel

UPDATED — The Hotel at Old Town has filed a lawsuit against former general manager Sheila Cole and former director of sales Amy Grossman, who now hold the same positions at the 6-month-old Ambassador Hotel.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Sedgwick County District Court on Tuesday, Cole faxed Jack DeBoer, the principal owner of the Hotel at Old Town, resignations for herself and Grossman on May 30. The suit says Cole offered Grossman a job at the Ambassador and that Cole faxed a note that Grossman “accepted the challenge of helping turn the hotel around.”

The suit alleges breach of fiduciary duty, the destruction of evidence and the misappropriation of trade secrets, among other things.

“I think I was treated very poorly,” DeBoer says. “I’m just protecting my asset. That’s what my attorneys counseled me to do to protect it. So that’s my story.”

Neither Cole nor Grossman returned calls for comment.

The suit alleges that prior to her resignation, “Cole accessed her office computer and deleted significant portions of the Microsoft Outlook ‘In Box,’ deleted her ‘Sent Box,’ deleted her Microsoft Outlook ‘Trash’ or ‘Recycle Bin,’ and ran a program called CCleaner to erase the evidence of the ‘link files’ showing Defendant Cole’s links to documents recently accessed by her. By running CCleaner, Cole also permanently erased the evidence of all temporary files and histories, the download history, and the evidence of what was downloaded to her Flash Drive and then erased from her computer and placed in the trash/recycle bin.”

DeBoer says he doesn’t want to comment further on the lawsuit.

“I want to stay out of it.”

The 82-year-old businessman has one thing to say, though.

“The only thing I can say is I’ve never sued anybody. How ’bout that?” DeBoer says. “I’m a lover, not a fighter.”

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Labor Party to open in Old Town for collaborative creative office space

WICHITA — A lot of independent creative professionals, such as writers, graphic artists and web designers, either work from home or in area coffee shops.

The Labor Party is looking to change that.

“We’re trying to provide kind of another alternative to that,” says Todd Ramsey, a brand strategist.

Ramsey is part of a group that has leased almost 5,000 square feet in a two-story building at 216 N. Mosley, which is north of the Hotel at Old Town’s banquet space, and will sublease space to creative individuals who’d like to share working space.

“The real benefit to people is more than just a desk or office,” Ramsey says.

“It’s more of a collaborative environment that can be created.”

Ramsey will work out of the space along with graphic designer Chris Parks, Jarrett Green of Blink Interactive and Kenton Hansen of Go Banana, who also is Blink’s collective director.

There are five offices left to lease that are $450 a month, which includes Internet and utilities.

For $150 a month, there also are an unlimited number of subleases for a large, open area that includes Wi-Fi and access to desks and other seating.

“It’s kind of like a coffee shop almost,” Ramsey says.

Hansen says the space will allow a lot of sharing of ideas and work.

“This is going to give us the opportunity to be the hub, to facilitate the community,” he says. “That’s really what we’re interested in.”

Ramsey says the definition of creative types will be fairly loose. For instance, he’s talking with an interior designer about subleasing space.

There’s no website yet, but if you’re interested in finding out more, you can reach Ramsey on Twitter (@toddramsey). The space should be ready in January.

If the Machinists get thirsty, the PumpHouse is ready

WICHITA — Last year, PumpHouse owner Jim Ross was a tad unprepared for what to expect when Machinists union members rallied in front of the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town, which happens to be across from his bar and restaurant.

“It was a very busy, loud day,” Ross says. “Most of our beer was gone at the end of the day.”

So this year, he’s ready.

There’s a Machinists rally at 4 p.m. Friday in the same spot since contract negotiations have been ongoing at the Marriott and the Hotel at Old Town.

“This year, we’ve kind of geared up a little better.”

Ross prefers not to talk shop about unions or anything related to the rally.

“I’m just selling beer. That’s all I do.”

Olive Tree Bistro and Chelsea’s Bar and Grill will be gone by the end of the month

WICHITA — The Olive Tree Bistro and Chelsea’s Bar and Grill will be gone from 29th and Rock by the end of November.

Latour Management is being evicted from the space, where it’s been since Antoine Toubia, the late founder of the company, moved there in 1987.

Latour is being evicted for what the landlord says is nonpayment of rent.

Latour president Joumana Toubia, Antoine’s sister, says she stopped paying because of maintenance issues.

Toubia is throwing a party for customers from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“We’re inviting our patrons to come and celebrate our legacy,” she says.

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