Big Stink 

Letters published August 2, 2006

Home-grown scam covers a lot of manure: Thank you, Jared Klaus ["Breaking the Bank," July 5]. You have touched the top of a pile of shit, which has crusted over. Dig deeper and it really smells.

Not only did National City know completely that it was selling a "lease" for phone and internet service -- which itself is improper and probably illegal -- it manipulated the contracts to make them look like equipment leases in legal filings.

In addition, NCB has no lessees in Ohio. The other banks in this scam did the same thing, leasing only to suckers out of state, so they would never face legal problems in their home courts. They get to sue in Ohio, and small companies all over the U.S. have to find lawyers and mount a legal defense in a distant venue. Does this smell?

The bank knew full well that these "matrix" boxes were worth only about $1,200, and the leases varied in value from $35,000 to $150,000 -- what a great deal, huh? When the farmer leases a backhoe, is the lease worth 100 times the cost of the backhoe?

Keep digging, Mr. Klaus. You may be the only reporter in Ohio willing to write the truth about a hometown company and its criminal behavior.

Barbara McCormack
Los Angeles

Glitched Out
Partyers got the wrong kind of kick:
I'm sure that it can't be easy to put on an event such as the Cleveland Music Awards without a glitch or two, but I have to say that I was very disappointed with the show.

First of all, the crappy national pop-cover act completely diluted the spirit of the show. I'm sure many of the local artists who were being honored looked at that as a kick in the balls.

Second, the clips from comedy films made no sense whatsoever. I can watch that crap at home. You could have used the money to pay for better snacks and more drink tickets. (You did pay to use those movie clips, right? There are laws pertaining to such things.)

Finally, there was no presentation of awards. I understand this was because winners (in the past) didn't show up, and it made you look bad.

The event wasn't supposed to be about Scene -- it was for the artists, and the artists love to see each other being drunk and silly on stage, having their moment in the sun.

There were a couple of good things I will now mention. Uncle Scratch was amazing. The wings were good too. And the free vitamin water.

Boo Rambino

Looks Bad for Vu
But the no-confidence vote is strong:
Michael Vu, his top staff and the whole Board of Elections should resign immediately. Not one of them did the jobs they were paid to do -- make sure that voters in Cuyahoga County voted in fair elections. Polls opened late, ballots were lost, and the cause was ineptness by the Board of Elections staff, because Michael Vu decided that they did not need five days of training on the electronic voting machines offered by Diebold. This makes Cuyahoga County look far worse than Third-World nations holding their very first elections.

As far as I can see, the May 2 primary election was the most corrupt election ever conducted by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The results should all be thrown out -- along with those responsible, who chose to be irresponsible.

Vel Rice

Go Easy on Chapin
He goes down easier than you might think:
I want to offer a rebuttal to one sentence in Christine Howey's Lies and Legends review ["Extra Harry," June 28]. The sentence in question: "But ultimately, one has to be a stone-cold Chapin fanatic to happily endure 22 of these folksy musings laid end to end."

I took a friend to Lies and Legends. He was familiar with only one or two of Harry Chapin's songs, but he had a wonderful time. He told me later that he hadn't realized how many of Chapin's songs and/or lyrics had so much meaning, and that he had truly enjoyed watching the cast having so much fun while putting so much of themselves into this show.

Lies and Legends is a fun and endearing evening of theater. Go see it. I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself.

Cindi Verbelun
South Euclid

It's Not About Midwives
Tragedy strikes in hospitals too:
While it is heartbreaking to read the horror that Kelly Moscarello and her husband, Mark, endured on the day of Bella's birth ["Midwife Crisis," June 28], this article is wrong to assume that a hospital birth is safer than one at home.

In an ideal world, one would be admitted to a hospital to deliver a baby and be released a day or two later with a brand-new son or daughter. This is not an ideal world.

My daughter Kaitlyn was born in a hospital. She spent her first three weeks in intensive care. It would be neither her longest hospital stay nor her last. She, like Bella, suffered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy at birth. Were we at home? No. We were in a fully functioning hospital.

In her three years, Kaitlyn was not able to experience life the way she should have. Ultimately, her birth injury took her from us. We lost her on February 20.

I wanted to say only that I do not believe the statistics stated in this article on home births vs. hospital births. I know a number of families who have children like Kaitlyn and Bella who were born in hospitals. I know of only a few who were home births.

Jessica Frider
Chisholm, Minnesota


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