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Letters to the Editor 

Letters published April 9, 2003

It's not romance, it's rape:

"Authority Problem" [March 12] was an opportunity to accurately describe one example of a pervasive problem in our society: sexual assault. Unfortunately, Kevin Hoffman missed the mark. The power imbalance between a prison guard and an inmate does not allow for an equal relationship, period. It's a third-degree felony. When one person has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other, a consensual relationship is not possible.

The author's comment that "just as in any other workplace, romance is bound to kindle" is offensive. The prison guard and inmate are not co-workers who find attraction through discussions at the water cooler. The guard has control over everything the inmate does, from making a phone call to eating lunch.

The cover photo depicting a woman trying to kiss a man only reinforces the stereotype that women ask to be sexually assaulted. The main story line involves a woman who was forcibly raped while in "the hole." I wonder if the person who chose the cover photo thinks that it was the way she was dressed (that sexy prison jumpsuit) that brought about the violent attack.

The cover text -- "Guards are finding romance at the city's women's prison. That's not a good thing." -- would lead the reader to believe that these relationships are about sexual attraction, when in reality they are about power and control. I would like to see the media work to stop perpetuating the myths about sexual assault.

Debi Donelan
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

A question of leadership:

Warden Benny Kelly's frustration with the ability of corrections officers to effectively stall, suppress, and in many cases, thwart investigations into employee misconduct is understandable. Perhaps what Kelly needs to realize is that attitude and behavior in the workplace are directly reflected by leadership.

This is the same Benny Kelly who pulled out the stops to protect Captain Edward Heyward after his dismissal in 1999 amid sexual misconduct allegations. Conspicuously missing at Heyward's sentencing was an impact statement from his former employers. Their excuse was "We were unaware of the responsibility to provide this."

The problems at NEPRC directly mirror its problems of inept and ineffective leadership, and -- just this once -- maybe you should start with the man in the mirror.

Cheryl McArthur,
former corrections staff

Cleveland Heights

From April fools to weekly idiots:

When I saw Scene bashing a great public servant like Dennis Kucinich, a fine discount store like Marc's ["Deeper Discount Wages," March 19], and excellent writers like Tom Feran, Dick Feagler, Pete Kotz, and Roldo ["March Blandness," March 19], I thought: "I get it, it's their first annual April Fool's Day Edition!"

Then I checked my Anna Kournikova wall calendar and realized that April first wasn't for another week. Apparently Scene was the victim of a software glitch, resulting in a reverse-order sort of its "Worthy of Criticism" database. Please check the other end of your list -- the one with Mike Trivisonno, Tim Taylor, Bob Serpentini, Bill Martin, Trapper Jack, and the hundreds of Clevelanders who write letters to the editor and call talk shows to parrot the moronic nonsense of Rush LIE-baugh and friends.

Jeff Fritz
Lakewood

Kucinich: He's no worse than Clinton:

I was saddened by David Martin's "Hollow Man [March 19]." It seemed like Martin's article was issued from some conservative elitist publication like National Review instead of the once-progressive Scene.

A Kucinich presidency, perhaps a pipe dream to many, would be truly refreshing. Unlike the current Big Oil administration, Kucinich would not have gotten us into this mess in the Middle East. And unlike Bill Clinton, he would not have used taxpayer billions to bail out banker buddies who got burned by bad loans to Mexico and Russia. And keeping the skies clear of new and high-tech wonder weapons is not such a bad idea.

Kucinich would be beholden only to his constituents, the blue-collar working class that both conservative and liberal elites disdain. So go to it, Dennis. We've had a lot worse people run for President.

Stanley J. Niemiec
Cleveland

No more than a low-rent councilman:

Yes, there are echoes within Dennis Kucinich. He is, as your article stated, a "Hollow Man." Dennis had a choice to make when he was reelected to Congress. He could serve his constituents, or he could make an egocentric run for the presidency. He chose to feed his ego.

As a presidential candidate, he could choose to maintain his principles -- especially those concerning the rights of the unborn -- or he could choose to abandon his long-held position to appeal to a wider liberal constituency. He chose potential votes over young lives.

At his best, Dennis was only a glorified councilman, saving hospitals and traffic lights, etc. -- anything that would get him publicity. Now, he's not even that -- having betrayed those who put him in office.

Mel Maurer
Westlake

Good ol' Catholic liberalism:

Being a liberal pro-lifer, I was stunned to learn of Dennis Kucinich's flip-flop on the abortion issue. His liberalism heretofore had paralleled the "Seamless Garment" concept articulated by the late Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who spoke of embracing a consistent, non-discriminatory respect for all human life, ranging from the unborn to Death Row inmates.

Scene is correct. Kucinich is for the little guy: himself. He has totally lost my respect, revealing himself to be a crass, self-serving opportunist who will do anything to have a forum.

Louis H. Pumphrey
Shaker Heights

Offending readers since 1970:

I chose to pick up Scene's March 19 issue because I saw the cover picture of Congressman Kucinich. Are you for real in calling Dennis a "Hollow Man"?

I respect Dennis for his passionate service to "little people" other than himself. I certainly support Dennis's fight against the bullies in Washington who support the war.

Muny Light not only makes money for Cleveland, but saves money for its residents, so why shouldn't Dennis have been its champion? How dare you compare Dennis to Jerry Springer, who is so tacky and unsavory that a Cleveland rabbi has told his parishioners not to watch Springer's TV program. David Martin's article is most offensive to me.

Molly Brudnick
Cleveland Heights

Don't dog the discounter:

I work at Marc's, and most of the things Pete Kotz said in "Deeper Discount Wages" are not true. There has never been a racial slur toward anyone at our store. Everyone is treated the way they should be.

Maybe Kotz doesn't understand, but if Marc's goes to a union, the prices will go up, and no one will want to shop there anymore. Marc's will go out of business.

I have worked at Marc's for three years, and I love it. Everyone's opinions are different, but overall it's not a bad place to work. Part-time people don't get benefits because they are 16 to 19 years old, or Marc's is just their side job. It's not fair to judge Marc's before getting more than one opinion.

Amanda Mueller
Rocky River

No stinking unions:

I was shocked and angry when I read the article about Marc's. You obviously did not do a lot of research before you wrote this piece. I found it to be inflammatory and extremely biased.

I've worked for Marc's for over 13 years. I've researched salaries; I find I'm paid a very competitive wage by Marc's. As to your statement that unionizing is a "no-brainer," I wholeheartedly disagree. Do you, or any of the folks pushing for a union, realize what this will cost us? Newer part-time employees can say goodbye to their next paycheck. That will go to the union for initiation fees. And what about the dues? Say goodbye to more of your money.

You said that raises were often sporadic and tended to be a dime. Perhaps these employees need to look to themselves. If you have a positive attitude, do your job well, and follow company rules, your raises will be much higher. Marc's raises are based on merit.

The union can't guarantee that part-timers will have health care after they come in. They have to negotiate a contract. The union also won't do anything about the working conditions or the hours you work. That's not part of their function.

I would appreciate it if you would do more thorough research in the future, before you write such obviously biased articles.

Karla Ponsart
Eastlake

Brave reporting of old news:

I just read the last article in Scene magazine I will ever read. I believe it is vital for our city to have several sources of alternative press available to its citizens, but Scene seems to be providing nothing better than tabloid trash.

As an employee of the Free Clinic, I found your recent article ["Clinical Depression," February 19] very offensive. Instead of focusing on all the progress made at the Free Clinic and the tremendous service it provides, Andrew Putz chose to focus on old news. It appears as though all that you're looking for is the sensational story. I believe that providing quality health care to countless numbers of people in need through the dedication of hundreds of volunteers is pretty sensational.

I feel very fortunate to have been under the guidance of Marty Hiller. Marty stood for the incredible history of the Free Clinic and understood the need to grow. There will always be controversy and gossip in any workplace, so I chose not to waste my time with rumors.

How about printing positive stories about the good people and organizations of our community instead of the negative?

Cathy Covey
Cleveland

Why America's going to hell:

Typical New World Order bullshit ["Where Does This Baby Belong?" March 26]. America is a piece of shit now. Freedom has been taken and things will get worse.

This lady needs to get a small army together to retrieve her child. It does not belong to "the village." The state has no business getting involved in the affairs of families. The government comes up with too many illegal laws. There's going to come a time in the not too distant future where everyone's children will be taken and parents will be sent to work camps that are already in place (all the closed military bases). Marshal law declared. Public executions of those who don't go along. Thanks mostly to the Bush gang.

Rick Ray
Perry

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