Blame One, Blame All

Letters published August 30, 2006

To each his own lawsuit: By your reasoning, anyone anywhere should be held responsible, even after decades, for the costs of fixing anything, if the product is eventually banned as dangerous ["The Poison Kids," August 16]. Even if the product and process were completely legal when it happened. None of these companies did anything illegal, yet now they are being chastised and asked to pay billions.

The newspaper and printing industries used metal-based ink for decades -- some magazines still do. It is toxic, yet it's still legal. Should newspapers have to pay billions in 20 years for the health of paperboys who claim to have been poisoned?

Do you fertilize your lawn? You are putting toxic chemicals on your lawn. They are legal. If they are eventually banned, should you be forced to pay for hospitalization for anyone who claims to be a neighbor poisoned by your fertilizer? The entire agricultural industry thrives by using legal toxins to kill pests.

The plastics used in cars, toys, and airline seats create toxic fumes if burned. If these are eventually ruled illegal, should their manufacturers have to pay, 100 years down the road?

It's not just the paint industries -- it's everything. There is no law that mandates sweeping industrial changes over possible moral issues. If it's legal, the companies can do it. If it becomes illegal and they stop, they are in compliance. If this Rhode Island decision holds, you will see manufacturers bolting overseas faster than you can count.

This is not a paint-industry issue -- it is an issue of business fairness and the economy. As usual, the reporters jump on the bad news because it makes good press and sells, but where is the unbiased, deep investigation into the other side of this?

Maybe I should sue you for not printing fair coverage. Maybe in fifty years?

Kim Falk

A smear job: Wow. Was Ms. Rab paid to write that article vilifying Sherwin-Williams? Because the alleged protesters who showed up to protest the Sherwin-Williams stockholders' meeting were.

Most of the protesters who showed up at Sherwin-Williams headquarters to protest several months ago admitted that they were paid $100 and did not know what they were protesting. More than likely, they were paid by the lawyers who want to file class-action lawsuits against Sherwin-Williams and other paint companies. Did Ms. Rab bother to mention that?

Does she have a death wish for Cleveland? Does she want Sherwin-Williams -- one of Cleveland's largest employers -- to go bankrupt or leave the city? Does she want the thousands of people employed by Sherwin-Williams to start losing their jobs because of incendiary articles like this one? And the ludicrously biased cover photo and lurid caption showed that, clearly, Scene had no intention of writing an objective article.

Thank you, Scene, for being no better than the mainstream newspapers in your quest for more readers.

Eric Oswald

Smells Like a Hack
Something stinks, and it's not in Madison:
The article written by Jared Klaus ["Up in Smoke," August 9] was so unprofessional, I was surprised it was printed.

Madison Village consists of hard-working people who care about family and country. Some enjoy a few beers or possibly a joint or two. They deserve it. Life is too short not to enjoy it once in a while. We all know that pot should be decriminalized.

For Mr. Klaus to walk into local bars and make fun of the patrons' stuttering or lack of hair is just immature. Maybe Klaus could write for a junior high school paper, but he isn't ready for a major publication.

I'm glad Steve farted on him. I would have done much worse.

Jim Longbons

Try asking someone besides a barfly: "People in Madison love their councilman." Who says? You listened to a lot of citizens in bars -- many youthful, many uninformed, and some who have not been here long enough to see the positive things that John Sample has done.

I would be interested to hear comments from some old-timers and maybe even some of the folks emerging from the churches on Sunday. You certainly wouldn't hear the vitriol that you are hearing from some quarters.

Try listening to a few of the people who have given the best they can to our village. Don't presume that we approve of selling dope to our children just because we aren't publicly shouting for Mr. Buck's blood.

Ruth B. Kuhn

Go Easy on Joe
He came late to the party:
One fact that seems to get lost when people start screaming at Councilman Joe Santiago about Modä is this: He was councilman for only the last six or seven months of the club's life.

Dave O'Neill's August 16 letter misses that point and a whole lot of others. Nelson Cintron was the councilman who allowed crack to be smoked in front of O'Neill's door for most of Modä's existence, and it probably doesn't help that CMHA's buildings are right across Bridge Avenue. The projects where West 25th ends are a destination for people looking to buy drugs.

As for people in Tremont and Ohio City not being homophobic, he says to look at the restaurants in those neighborhoods. I say to look at the churches -- there are Catholics who kick their own children out of the house for being gay and young thugs who beat up gay people. There is no neighborhood where there aren't homophobes. Mr. O'Neill simply doesn't wish to see them, instead looking at the gentrification.

Anthony Glassman