Cracks in the Crackdown

Letters published 06-20-2007

Business is booming on Korman Avenue: I live in the 79th Street area. It's a real shame that they think they really did something ["The Crackdown," June 13]. The 7-All gang consists of 15-to-20-year-olds and doesn't have anything to do with the older guys who were arrested.

If they want to do something, put a camera in front of the 8100 block of Korman Avenue. The police ran over there one day and arrested one or two people, but what they didn't know is that the tenant is the one actually selling drugs out of the house. Her name is Shawna. All night long cars pull up and go to the back porch. I have been living on this street for 15 years and noticed within two days of her moving in. The little 7-All boys even have a hoop in her backyard, where they play when they're on lunch breaks. Every day I come home, and they're standing outside the Abco's store on Ansel Road. Send some utility trucks out, and put some cameras up. Get a van, and park outside Korman and watch them.

Yvonne Thomas

A word from The Man: I saw your article today. I thought it was well written, but I disagree with the general premise. I truly believe that taking 53 violent repeat offenders out of that neighborhood has made it a safer and better place to live.

No single case can make all the crime go away, but this was sure a good start, and we are not leaving that neighborhood anytime soon. If the summer is going to be "crazy," like LeMarr Moore says, then we will be there to stop it. Thanks for your attention to an important issue.

Joseph Pinjuh
United States Attorney's Office

Barenaked Wrong
Give those Ladies props: Apparently Mr. Imburgia hasn't listened to any Barenaked Ladies music since the late 1990s, since his review [Nightwatch, June 13] is so completely off base. The band has had two successful record releases in the last year and last fall toured at large arenas during their continent-wide "Barenaked Ladies Are Me" Tour.

If your critic isn't willing to put in the time to write an educated review about a band with a wide following and more intelligent music than most pop bands can aspire to (that they actually write themselves), perhaps you should find someone who knows how to do proper research.

Emma Eaton
Coventry, Connecticut

Fix the broken record, Girls: So you hate the Barenaked Ladies' album. You didn't even describe what you hate about it (other than "happy little disc, its giggle-inducing, fast-singing, lyric-slinging . . . ," etc.), so other people could hate it too. Their album sounds the same as their other albums, just like Paul McCartney's new album sounds like his 20 others. Have a good weekend.

Cherie Pothier
Boston, Massachusetts

Mo' Meat
Carnivore Kotz, the he-man-vocabulary hater: [Kotz] speaks of the Nordic tradition -- aggression, a disinterest in real estate, a love for the Vikings -- yet starts his shtick against the food Nazis ["The New Terrorists," May 23] with the word "crestfallen."

Crestfallen? Are you friggin' kidding me? Did he learn that vocab word from his personal trainer, when he was getting his body-fat percentage? Judging from his sometimes pixie-like vocab, Kotz sounds like he could be a Packer fan. Loved the column.

Cory Zurowski
Stevensville, Maryland

Run Before You're Hit
Is racial injustice a just-us issue?
In his June 13 letter, Phil Dennison dismisses the idea of whites being forced out of their neighborhoods by blacks. But the only reason my parents (along with hundreds of other white families) moved from their homes in the 131st and Miles area was because of blacks roaming in gangs, attacking lone white people. And look at the case of the white Hetman family, who resided in the predominantly black St. Clair and East 72nd Street area.

Anne Hetman, driving on the street she lived on, hit and killed a three-year-old black child who was crossing the street. The child was crossing without an adult. An investigation by the Cleveland Police found no indication that Hetman was speeding or had ever before received a speeding ticket. In fact, the Hetmans had previously called Councilwoman Fannie Lewis hundreds of times, asking her to do something about children playing in the street.

Hetman was charged with manslaughter. The judge took 15 minutes to throw the case out. But the Hetmans received death threats, and bullets were fired into their home. Police advised them to move, and they did.

What if such an incident had taken place in a white suburb with a black motorist, traveling at the speed limit, hitting an unsupervised white three-year-old child who had run into the street? And then, after the police department had cleared the black motorist, manslaughter charges were brought against the motorist? There would be an outcry from both blacks and whites against the injustice. And if bullets had been fired into the motorist's home, there would be demands for an FBI investigation.

But when whites are abused and threatened by blacks, the voices of the racial activists are silent. That's why whites fear to live around blacks, Mr. Dennison, and why whites flee their neighborhoods when blacks start moving in. And if whites should complain about this double standard, they are accused of having an agenda.

Bob Gross
Garfield Heights