You don’t say

keeper“Watch out, there’s a new renegade Riverfest button very soon … .”

– An e-mail from Wichita hair stylist Michael Robertson, who created a renegade Wichita River Festival button in 2012 and is doing another one to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Keeper of the Plains (e-mail protesttheriverfest@yahoo.com if you want one)

GLMV Architecture lays off about a dozen employees in second round of layoffs

WICHITA — For the second time in less than a year, GLMV Architecture has laid off employees.

In August, the cutbacks affected a half dozen employees. This time, it’s about a dozen. Some employees also will now be working reduced hours.

“Nobody saw this coming,” says one laid-off worker. “Everybody’s so shocked.”

Neither Chairman Bill Livingston nor CEO Jeff Van Sickle returned calls for comment.

Sources say that in some ways, the company seems to have had more work lately. The issue may be that some of GLMV’s clients have had difficult first quarters.

The layoffs affected GLMV’s Wichita, Kansas City and Houston offices.

In January 2010, Gossen Livingston merged with McCluggage Van Sickle and Perry. In 2012, GLMV moved into a prominent new home in the Douglas Design District at 1525 E. Douglas.

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce recently awarded GLMV the Keeper of the Plains award during its annual Honors Night for the firm’s work restoring the 30,000-square-foot 1930 building that originally was home to J. Arch Butts’ Packard dealership.

“If you have two of the longest firms in Wichita merge (and) they just won an award for a building, and now you’re laying off another round … it doesn’t add up,” one former employee says.

“That plus the last round is a pretty big hit.”

New York Times review surprises Minh Hoa Restaurant & Cajun Seafood owner; Wichita surprises restaurant reviewer

UPDATED — Wichitans were surprised to find a New York Times review over the weekend of Minh Hoa Restaurant & Cajun Seafood. No one was more surprised than Sarah Vo, who owns the Wichita restaurant at 1556 N. Broadway.

“Everybody asks me the same question,” Vo says. “Do I have connections?”

She doesn’t, but Bonnie Bing does.

Bing, The Eagle’s recently retired fashion writer, is friends with freelance writer Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, who wrote the review and also is the author of “A Tiger in the Kitchen.”

“I went to Wichita for one reason: Bonnie Bing,” Tan says.

She and Houston Chronicle food editor Greg Morago know Bing from when she used to cover Fashion Week in New York, and for years they said they planned to visit Wichita.

“When I heard she retired this year, I thought this is finally the year,” Tan says.

Bonnie Bing (center) with friends Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Greg Morago.

She spent a week just “to kind of get away from New York” and work on her second book. Tan says it was an especially productive week.

“I guess whenever that book comes out I will have Wichita to thank.”

Tan still had plenty of time to tour and dine around Wichita, and she was impressed.

“This is going to sound probably bizarre,” she says, but, “I loved your grocery stores.” She was floored at how large Thai Binh is and says Wichita has some items New York doesn’t have outside of Chinatown.

Tan thinks the Wichita Art Museum is “just beautiful” and Watermark Books and Cafe, where signed copies of her book are on sale, is “darling” and she’s thrilled to see it thriving. She also enjoyed the Keeper of the Plains, the original Pizza Hut building, Riverside and Delano, where she shot pool at Club Billiards.

Sam Taylor, a poet who teaches English and creative writing at Wichita State University, is a friend of Tan’s and was one of her tour guides. (He also snapped the photo above.)

Tan loves the big sky in Kansas and all the space here, particularly because in New York “I live in a box pretty much.”

Read More »