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Banner and KC skyline at Boulevardia.
Boulevardia 2024: Kansas City's ultimate urban music fest rocks Crown Center
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Kansas City partied last weekend on Grand Boulevard at Crown Center for Boulevardia 2024, KC’s largest urban street music festival. The...

Taking place from June 7-9, the event featured performers, businesses and other organizations.
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Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
Remembering G. Fred Wickman: Journalist, Professor and Mentor
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On April 27, 2024, former Kansas City Star columnist, UMKC professor and U-News (now called Roo News) advisor G. Fred Wickman passed away after...

Kansas City has a chance to advance to the Summit League Championship for the first time since 2011.
Roos Softball Advances to Championship Semifinal
Zach Gunter, Sports Editor • May 10, 2024

  Kansas City has thrilled viewers in the first three games of the Summit League Softball Championship.   Entering as the third seed,...

A picture of the posters on the University Walkway.
UMKC Students Received University Pushback at Pro-Palestine Protest
Aurora Wilson and Maisy BlantonApril 29, 2024

  Over 150 students showed up to participate in a protest in solidarity with Palestine and other protests across the nation on Monday.   Around...

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

Does Kansas City really need a new Ferris wheel?
The+newly+under-construction+Pennway+Point+Observation+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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About the Contributors
Zoe Strohm
Zoe Strohm, Graphic Designer
Julia Kapros
Julia Kapros, Photography Editor/Social Media Manager
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