He Begs to Differ 

Letters published June 7, 2001

Mother Hough's favorite son tells his side of the story

This letter is written in response to Laura Putre's article about Councilwoman Fannie Lewis ["Hangin' With Mother Hough," March 29]. Putre wrote a number of erroneous statements about me, and because of their potential to do damage, I am requesting that these false statements be retracted.

Incorrect statement #1: "But as head of the council, Fayne led an ill-fated bus trip intended to introduce schoolchildren to African American historical sites in the South. Fayne had the buses bypass the monuments in favor of an excursion to Disney World. When word got out, the city refused to fund the trip, and Lewis was left holding the bill."

Correction #1: The trip to the South, and the summer program, were planned to be both educational and recreational. It must be noted that the buses taking the group on the trip were more than three hours late leaving the parking lot of Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center. One of the parents was in the process of being arrested by Cleveland police for blocking the exit and threatening to blow up the bus, because her child's behavior made him ineligible for the trip.

Once we arrived in Atlanta, we visited a historic African American church and participated in the worship service. Because of our late arrival and the fact that it was dark when we arrived at the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, I decided that it was unsafe to unload two buses with more than 100 kids in an unsafe environment. Hoodlums were hanging around the monument. I followed this same procedure for all of the other scheduled historical site visits. The children did not exit the bus for foot visits; however, we did drive by the sites and gave the kids a lecture from inside the buses. There was no intent to bypass the monument in favor of Disney World, which was scheduled as a final destination to reward those children who excelled in the summer program.

Incorrect statement #2: "The city temporarily cut Fayne's salary while investigating claims of financial mismanagement. With his paycheck in limbo, Fayne was about to default on his brand-new $175,000 home in Hough. To help the family, Lewis hired Fayne's wife, Gina, as her assistant."

Correction #2: The city cut off my salary because they were investigating Hough Area Partners in Progress, which served as the fiduciary agent for the Hough Community Council, which, in turn, handled our payroll. It was not due to claims of financial mismanagement on my part or on the part of Hough Community Council, as your article would leave readers to believe. Also, my wife Gina was not hired because of the potential default on our home; Gina was hired specifically because of her abilities and skills, and because Councilwoman Lewis needed an assistant.

Incorrect Statement #3: "Fayne has also been accused in a federal lawsuit of missing more than 100 days of work in a single year."

Correction #3: There is not, nor has there ever been, a federal lawsuit that accuses me of missing more than 100 days of work in a single year. However, I (along with other employees) have taken leaves of absence to seek temporary employment, because the city continues its escapade of freezing Hough Area Partners in Progress funds. These leaves were taken with the blessing of the Hough Community Council board. If I had missed that many days in a single year, the board would have fired me long ago.

Incorrect statement #4: "But probably the most direct embarrassment Lewis absorbed on Fayne's account happened when he failed to pay a delinquent $4,000 water and sewer bill. Although Lewis owned the house, Fayne managed it and was responsible for paying the bill. His lapse resulted in a front-page headline in The Plain Dealer's Metro section that read 'Lewis Behind on Water Bill.'"

Correction #4: The house in question was once owned by Fannie Lewis; however, I purchased the house and took over paying the mortgage in July 1993. Due to liens in her name, the title did not officially transfer to me until after the incident with the water bill. I never managed the house for her, because I owned the house.

Incorrect statement #5: "Fayne has since lost his house. He says he is taking a job at Ford Motor Co. in Cincinnati."

Correction #5: Attached you will find a copy of the Satisfaction of Mortgage deed from Third Federal Savings and Loan Company, stating that our house was paid off because we sold it -- not because we lost it. The statement should have been that I work for a company that has a contract with Ford Motor Co.

Arthur Fayne

Editor's note: Scene erred in writing that a federal lawsuit accused Fayne of missing 100 days of work. Those allegations were contained in a state ethics complaint. Also, after the story ran, Fayne did supply proof that he sold his home. However, because he did not return a reporter's phone calls, Scene was unable to get his version of these events prior to publication.

We should all concede to normalcy so brilliantly

I almost barfed up a lung when I read Rob Harvilla's comments about U2 [Nightwatch, May 3]. He wrote that All That You Can't Leave Behind "essentially provides 11 uninspired pop tunes with forgettable soft-rock arrangements and unnaturally lame lyrics."

Rob, the next time you critique an album, it's probably a good idea to listen to it first. Obviously, you never heard a note. The album, like Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree, is a true masterpiece -- a brilliant concession to the normalcy that Bono feels as he turns 40 in a world that has ignored rock-and-roll for the last five years. I've got news for you, Rob: There's not a bad lyric or note on the album. What amazes me is that your music editor lets you get away with writing crap like that.

As for you, Jeff Niesel, I read one letter to the editor that said you showed mediocrity as a writer in ripping AC/DC. That's actually a compliment to you. You could only dream of mediocrity. You drown in stupidity and ignorance, and never more so than during your asinine U2 concert review ["Soundbites," May 10]. Sounds to me like you had your mind made up long before Bono strutted onstage.

For you to suggest the new songs don't deliver like the War album is like saying Sgt. Pepper couldn't live up to Please Please Me. Bono isn't 23 years old anymore. The white flag has long been laid to rest. Early U2 was political and inspiring, but real music fans know Bono's best work has come in the last 10 years. U2 has reinvented itself to tackle deception, chaos, postmodernist theories, and everything else they avoided as kids rising to superstardom in the 1980s.

You missed the point of the new album. It's hardly, as you say, "an ode to complacency." It's Bono trying to talk Michael Hutchence out of suicide. It's Edge posing as the anti-guitar hero with a minimalist approach that fuels U2 classics like "Walk On" and "Beautiful Day." It's the band figuring out they don't need the lemon from PopMart to put on a truly spectacular show.

The problem with Niesel and "indie" newspapers like the Scene is this: In their quest to never betray the "alternative" and rebel against mainstream beliefs, they end up selling out as writers.

Sam Sherwin
Mayfield Heights

Even if it does send an ICC chill down their spines

As parents of a daughter who was involved with the International Churches of Christ some years ago, we were pleased to see the informative, very well done article by David Martin in Scene ["The Jesus Pyramid," May 10]. I am sure it will help educate the public about such destructive "religions."

We know a lot of time and research went into this article. Once again, many thanks.

Everett and Shirley Hoover


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