Local Yokel 

"Whites Trashed?", Letters, November 7

Only a varmint would call blacks animals: This letter is in response to the racist remarks made by Mark Lattimer of Akron concerning the racist mayor. He states that blacks kill whites almost every day or at least try to — also that reverse racism hurts the white male, and that he's moving away from Akron to get away from black people, who he describes as "animals," very much the same way the Europeans described us upon first arriving in Africa.

First of all, Mr. Charley, if the white man is hurting, it is by his own hand. Who in America makes all rules and policies? It certainly isn't people of color.

Secondly, if you read anything with a truthful value, you would be able to ascertain that among the crime figures, sadly, blacks are killing blacks in inner-city neighborhoods, not whites. I won't go into crime statistics, but this guy's comment seems to be made by a hillbilly couch potato, who doesn't realize that slavery is over and there are people of color everywhere, so the only place that I can think of for him to move in order to get away from the "animals" would be someplace in Klan county, and even then he would probably be taking up with someone of mixed race who can pass for white.

Lastly, he believes the Jena Six are guilty, period. The problem with America is idiots like him, who haven't graduated from sixth grade and are stuck on dehumanizing values. Why does he have to wonder about the state of racism, when it is ignorant-ass people exactly like himself who keep it alive?

Tonya Duquense
Cleveland

"Concertmaster Meltdown," First Punch, October 31

A Little Chin Music
Viola player says tune out the rumors: The most telling thing about this article is that there was no byline. I too would be ashamed to put my name to this mean-spirited gossip. I've gone on tour with the Metropolitan Opera for 25 years, and would hope that my having a few drinks on the plane to Europe would not be reported by some rag tabloid like Scene. Relaxing on the trip over does not affect how you perform on the concert stage.

I think it is extremely unfair and vicious also to say "Lexi did not make the cut." You have no idea how hard it is to win one of these auditions. She might very well be the best person for the job, but in every audition there is a lot of luck involved, and believe me, we don't always hire the best person for the job, try as we may.

Bill Preucil is one of the best concertmasters in the world, and any orchestra would be delighted to have him. Cleveland doesn't want him? Fine. Send him to New York. We are big fans of him here.

Craig Mumm
Associate Principal Viola
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
New York, New York

"Racism Reversed," October 24

Pleasantville, Sorta
Woodmere's a real white-picket town: Everyone has their flaws, and so does every city. I grew up in Woodmere, and heard stories of corruption with the police and have seen unfairness with higher-ups in the city. What do you expect from people who are the products of their environment? I am not surprised at this crap going on in the city I love because of private encounters.

Woodmere is a wonderful city, peaceful and loving, full of wonderful, friendly people, both black and white. I am sure that the police chief was not perfect, but I am confident that he did not earn the treatment that he received. The city is very good to its residents and the residents love the city, but we should not treat anybody a certain way because of color, period. It's wrong.

Mark Norris
Strongsville

"Middle East Marathon," August 22

Taza Mania
Visitor goes bonkers for Mideastern fare: We were in Cleveland to meet our son and went for dinner at Taza. What a find. From the fresh warm pita to the kibbeh nayyeh, all our food was delicious. We are no stranger to Middle Eastern cuisine, and Taza was a winner. When in Cleveland, we will return. Wonderful.

Bonnie and Frank Attea
Buffalo, New York

"Buzz Kill," November 7

Buzzer Puzzler
Reader questions cause of bee kills: I became very concerned after I read your article about beekeepers across the country "reporting losses of 30 to 90 percent of their hives," and that "the food chain was under attack."

This summer I saw a film titled The Future of Food presented by a vegetarian group at the Euclid Public Library. The film showed that Monsanto is creating vegetables for human consumption that are genetically altered so that only certain pesticides can be used on them. Monsanto holds the patents on the seeds of these genetically altered vegetables (corn and potatoes) and also on the new pesticides.

I have some questions about why the bees could be dying: Do genetically altered vegetables produce genetically altered pollen? Would this affect the bees' ability to produce or eat honey? Have there been studies about the time each bee colony died? Did it start in one state and then progress to other states? (If there is a pattern, then this could show that it might be caused by something carried in the wind.)

I also believe that deforestation might be responsible for this, because it could be releasing previously dormant or location-specific viruses into the global environment.

Jeanne Coppola
Cleveland

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