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Pedro Rodriguez.
Finding a New Home
Gracey Saavedra, Staff Writer • November 17, 2023

  UMKC senior and finance major Pedro Rodiguez knows first-hand how difficult it can be to assimilate into a new university.    As a...

The Epperson House is closed to visitors, but can be seen from the distance around campus.
The Spooky History of the Castle on Campus
Aurora Wilson, Lifestyle and Culture Editor • October 31, 2023

  Located at the corner of Cherry and 52 St., the Epperson House looms over UMKC’s campus, haunting students who dare to walk past it.    Construction...

Dr. Villamandos and Dr. Grieco in front of Sancho Panza in the Twentieth Century
UC Berkeley Art Historian To Speak on Historic Haag Murals
Lauren Zoller, Staff Writer • October 30, 2023

  A University of California Berkeley art historian will present her research on Luis Quintanilla, a world-renowned artist whose murals have...

Tayler and the cast sit as they prepare for more filming.
You Are Now Leaving Godly
Lydia Schneider, Staff Writer • October 20, 2023

  Tayler Gilbert, UMKC senior and professional photographer, is putting the final touches on his new film, “Welcome to Godly.”    Gilbert...

Abigail Weiler holds her business card.
Clayful by Abbie
Gracey Saavedra, Staff Writer • October 18, 2023

 Abigail Weiler, fourth-year political science and French major at UMKC, delivers confidence in the form of handmade polymer clay jewelry.    Her...

Observe This: We Don’t Need an ‘Observation Wheel’

Does Kansas City really need a new Ferris wheel?
Julia Kapros
The newly under-construction Pennway Point Observation Wheel.

  Welcome to Kansas City! We are a diverse, widespread town filled with deep culture that is growing every year. 

  Here are a few things only KC natives know that will help you fit right in: I-435 is always under construction, the Independence Bridge will eat semi trucks and avoid zipper merging at all costs. 

  Oh, I almost forgot–we also have an observation wheel that no one asked for overlooking three major highways with a vague view of downtown.

  Let’s be honest, we aren’t lacking any sort of entertainment value. With the Power and Light district, Westport neighborhood, plenty of concert venues, Worlds of Fun and even a planned construction of the Rock Island Bridge, it’s hard to have a boring Friday night. 

  The question stands: why is a giant unnecessary wheel being built right off of I-35 and Southwest Boulevard? What is being observed–traffic and crime? Not only is the observation wheel hilariously small, with the highest peak sitting at 150 feet tall (for reference, the Liberty Memorial at the WWI museum is 217 feet tall and has a much better view of the city), the location makes it a quick way to huff exhaust fumes for 15 minutes in the comfort of your own hot box in the sky.

  According to City Scene KC, a $3.9 million building permit was filed for the observation wheel and “other associated amenities,” including a neon sign museum, a “tailgate park,” luxury housing and restaurant space. 

  The cherry on top: the wheel will light up–perfect for blinding not only the drivers on I-35, but those living in the brand new “luxury” apartments that were recently built directly next to the new construction.

  The location is in a historically Hispanic neighborhood that has been widely underrepresented for many years. If the city wanted to benefit its citizens, shouldn’t money be put towards maintaining the area instead of gentrifying it? While the development of “Pennway Point” is privately funded, the city had to approve the proposal.

  I am not the only one that shares the belief that this construction is wildly unneeded (and stupidly placed). On the Kansas City Reddit page there is a post from one week ago with over 230 comments, a majority questioning the build. 

  One user commented, “Ahhh the ambient sounds of traffic as I ride a mediocre Ferris wheel.”

  Kansas City, let’s be honest– the kitsch-ness of Vegas really only works for Vegas. We are starting to look like an annoying little sister who copies everything the bigger cities do. Next time, work on better public transport infrastructure. 

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Julia Kapros, Photography Editor/Social Media Manager
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