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Reality Check 

Letters published April 6, 2005

Shining a light on the night-riders: As of today, and as a result of your article ["Crime Fighters Inc.," March 23], the Ohio Association of Security & Investigation Services will be filing a formal complaint with the Division of Homeland Security against the unlicensed entities and individuals listed in this story. Great reporting. Thank you.

Jim Silvania, Executive Director
Ohio Association of Security & Investigation Services

Enough with the bogus threads: I speak here as a licensed security officer. When, at long last, will a safety director finally crack down appropriately hard on guard-service companies that use uniforms too closely resembling those of the police? If I had the full 650 hours of police-officer curriculum to my credit, I would not object so strenuously. But since all I have is the Peace Officer Basic and firearm-proficiency courses, I think imitation passes beyond the boundaries of flattery to disrespect.

Most of all, I object to giving "wannabes" material with which to build their fantasies, which a dark blue uniform does abundantly. If someone who impersonates a federal officer gets a cold, what medication should he take? Obviously, pseudo-Fed.

Robert Pinkerton
Cleveland

Never Say Die
Keep the Ford lawsuit alive:
Mr. Cheeks, you really should consider opting out of the settlement with Ford and EEOC ["Ford Tough Luck," March 16]. Take a good look at just how much money Ford makes in a single day -- or how much money the CEO of Ford makes in a six-year period. Then decide if the penalty did anything more than lightly slap Ford on the pinky.

It sounds to me as though the test given to Cheeks was a simple quiz and meant to imply that blacks could not even pass a simple sixth-grade math quiz. I bet they laughed as they read through the garbage.

Ask to see your exam, Mr. Cheeks, and ask to see the exams that others took who received promotions. I bet they are not the same. Come on, you've held out for six years, and they are still laughing and nothing has changed!

Do yourself a favor -- push it to the limit. What have you got to lose?

Bernie Cleverley
Dillon, Montana

Monopoly Matters
They'd just bring in hungry green-carders:
Your story about FirstEnergy ["Same As Ever," March 23] shows that the company continues to live up to the moniker "WorstEnergy." It will be interesting to see, while the company is "terrorizing employees out of reporting injuries and accidents," how well WorstEnergy does in attracting the 3,000 employees it just announced it needs to replace the thousands of employees who are leaving.

Lee Batdorff
Cleveland Heights

Knew 'Em When
And they were just swell folks:
I must say that this article was devastating to read ["Titan on a Hot Seat," March 16]. I grew up next to David Jacobs and was best friends with John for years. I knew the man (granted, I was a child), but he was a wonderful person, and so are his children.

Carter Craft
Charles Town, West Virginia

Good Call
Cicora scores again:
I pick up Scene for your restaurant reviews. I always find them to be very detailed, and so far you have never steered me wrong. Last night was no exception ["No More Noodling," February 9]. Bella Lucca was fantastic! I was amazed that the place was so empty; the staff said they weren't doing that well.

I have started a small e-mail campaign to spread the word about this place, as I would hate to see it close. Thank you again for the tip. Keep up the excellent work.

Kara A. Vlach-Lasher
Lakewood

Forget Wal-Mart
Think small, and keep it local:
Here we go again. Why do our elected officials continue to undermine us?

When I heard that Wal-Mart had backed out of the proposed shopping center in the Flats, I was thrilled ["Leeches at the Gate," January 19]. The last thing we need is another slap in the face. Do we really want to bring in a business that thrives on the suffering of other small businesses? Not to mention the fact that we are inviting unlimited foreign products to be sold on the very land that our parents and grandparents forged steel on! It's even gone beyond inviting; the mayor has stated that she will fight (or beg) to get Wal-Mart back in the deal.

What are we going to end up giving Wal-Mart to entice them back to the bargaining table? Wal-Mart will end up receiving ridiculous incentives. Want to talk about bringing gambling to Cleveland? Wal-Mart playing against this mayor isn't a gamble that we can afford.

If you want to build retail in the Flats, forget Wal-Mart; offer the incentives to local merchants. Let's slow down and make wise choices. If this center is going to be a draw to bring people into our city, should Wal-Mart even be an option? I can go to a Wal-Mart anywhere.

I believe that if we are going to beg and bargain with anyone, it should be local business owners or at least smaller businesses that are willing to compete fairly. Again, we are building this on land that was used to make the steel that helped build this country. The least we can do is use the land for fair trade and competition. That still is the American way -- isn't it?

Mike Schlund
Northfield

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