That would be telling: Congratulations on scooping The Plain Dealer with "City for Sale." As a reporter at another alt-weekly that competes with a Newhouse daily (The Oregonian), I have followed the news from Cleveland and found The PD's message, "We've got secrets that we won't tell," a puzzling one to send to readers. Although I have no insight into The PD's rationale beyond its published explanations, I found the information you chose to publish of overwhelming public interest. As a news junkie, I applaud your enterprising spirit. As a journalist, I wonder how any paper could withhold such a compelling story.
Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week
Another scoop, please: Thank you so much for scooping The Plain Dealer. I know you probably get a lot more letters of complaint than praise, so I thought I'd take a minute to let you know how much I appreciate your willingness to do good journalism -- something that most newspapers don't know much about these days.
The PD should be embarrassed about holding that story for fear of some imaginary subpoena, and you should be even more proud that you turned around a great story -- and forced The PD to publish a terrible one, with its tail between its legs.
It's great to see publications competing again and the public winning. I know it's not usually the alt-weekly's role to take charge, but you really rose to the occasion when it counted. Great work. A very well-done story, with plenty of honest disclosure (whom you called, why they bailed halfway through the interview, why the FBI's anonymous sources were scared to reveal themselves). And your analysis at the end was much more informational than The PD's disorganized spurting of quotes from the affidavit.
Thanks so much for saving the day. Can't wait for Scoop No. 2.
Out of the frying pan into the fire: So Scene managed to find one poorly run charter school, and that merits a full exposé ["Dream Killer," July 27]. If anecdotal evidence is the new bar of proof, then I expect to be reading a similar piece on the Cleveland public schools soon.
The truth is, there are bad apples in the charter schools, and there are bad apples in the public schools. The difference is, students can choose to leave a charter school. If not for these alternatives, students in public schools would have nowhere to turn to. If you're advocating a return to the halcyon days of Cleveland Municipal, with the lowest graduation and achievement rates in the country, at least have the honesty to say so up front.
Tragedy has many faces: Let me begin by thanking you for writing your article about Amy Mihaljevic ["The Coldest Case," July 20]. As a friend of Amy's, I appreciate your efforts not to let Amy's memory fade.
However, I do not think it was necessary to present Margaret Mihaljevic as nothing more than a raging alcoholic and a neglectful mother. She had to live with the horror of seeing her youngest daughter vanish in thin air, and after three months of painful searching, find her body partially decomposed in a field -- a fate less imaginable than death. I can only assume that losing a child is worse than death for a mother.
Personally, I recall that Margaret was responsible when it came to her children. Tearing down a woman who is no longer around to defend herself is inappropriate and irresponsible. I hope that in the future you will consider writing facts about the case, instead of opinions about Margaret.
Painting the portrait: Thank you so much for your investigative and unwavering hard work in putting together the article about Amy. You have been true to your word. You didn't put anyone at risk, and you captured Amy's beautiful spirit. Thank you for not letting it die.
You have been one of the few who have given her memory what it deserves.
Family consensus: Hey, just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your story on Amy Mihaljevic. It was well written, and I told my friends and family to read it, and they all agreed. Keep up the good work.
It's a power thing: Your article was fantastic ["Bitter Pill," July 13]! I applaud your sassy statements, such as when you compared the difficulty in obtaining emergency contraception to "scoring crack in Pepper Pike." But what I found most compelling is the connection of personal politics underlying this issue -- that when an individual is able to deny another basic health care, it is an illegitimate form of power abuse.
I encourage you to keep writing about issues that affect our community and our hearts so strongly.