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After the Massacre 

Letters published September 13, 2006

The Beacon Journal deserves its fate: Denise Grollmus reports that the Akron Beacon Journal is going down the shitter ["Beacon Massacre," August 30], to which I say: "So what?" The ABJ has only itself to blame for its shrinking revenue and circulation, by never caring that it has alienated many potential readers and advertisers by shamelessly prostituting itself as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.

The paper is located in the one-party city of Akron, but has seldom if ever seriously critiqued the long reign of Mayor Don Plusquellic. Are we to believe that Plusquellic is the Mother Teresa of politics? Come on.

Even worse, the ABJ has played chief apologist for the dysfunctional Akron public schools. When it comes time to vote on school levies, the editorial staff can always be relied on to bang the pots and pans to try and shame the public into passing these tax increases, no matter how large or inappropriate.

Newspapers are supposed to be the watchdogs for the public, not lapdogs of the establishment. This is one of the reasons why the ABJ has such a low level of credibility.

Since being bought by the Black family of Canada, the ABJ has a new publisher, Ed Moss. If this guy doesn't bring objectivity and a measure of common sense to the paper, then he or his successor will be writing the Beacon Journal's obituary sooner rather than later, no matter how many staffers he cuts.

Peter Skurkiss

A long time coming: I worked at the Beacon Journal from 1997 to 1999. It pained me to leave. I loved Akron and the newspaper, which had a great tradition of news and writing.

Still, back in 1999, the signs were there that trouble was brewing, so I jumped ship. Over the years, I've often wanted to return, but did not. The layoffs prove I made a good decision. Still, there are days where I would like to come "home" again.

Richard Thompson

Where to go from here: Thank you for a well-written and sensible story on the grim situation at the Beacon Journal. Your reporter avoided the usual traps that too often turn alt-weekly stories about competing metro dailies into smug catalogs of anonymous attacks on editors. I would like to read more about what Mr. Black is planning for his papers and who's advising him.

Joe DiStefano

Starving Artistry
How to be miserably anorexic:
I have been a tube-fed anorexic and I am bipolar. My life has been anything but average. I am disgusted with the lack of insight and understanding in your article ["The Vanishing Act," August 30].

People who suffer from anorexia are struggling to feel accepted and understood. For me, anorexia was an opportunity to gain control over my misplaced emotions. There is no mention of that in your article.

And it's so important that people understand that anorexia is not about being thin. It is very frustrating; I am constantly trying to educate people in my profession (mental health) about eating disorders, and just when I feel like people are actually getting it, I read something like this and feel as if I am back in the '70s.

I dare you to fast for a day, feel what it is like to intentionally lie to those you love and say you aren't hungry. Wear something that hides your body, because even the slightest drop in temperature affects you, and you don't want to raise suspicion that you are losing weight. Drink lots of caffeine, to the point of having diarrhea. Wake yourself up throughout the night (because when you're anorexic, your body wakes itself up, screaming for food). Wear high heels just to add that extra edge to your day -- one last thing to be perfect. And then tell me it's about weight.

Meghan E. Rowland

Picketing for Dollars?
Anger, not money, drove protesters:
The protest held at Sherwin-Williams several months ago was organized by ACORN, a grass-roots community group.

As an ACORN leader, as well as a mother who has firsthand experience with the toxic effects of lead paint even decades after it was banned, I am insulted by the suggestion that protesters were paid to be there [Letters, August 30]. ACORN members were the protesters -- we decide which issues are important to us. We are never paid to protest. Maybe you were paid by Sherwin-Williams and/or their trade association to write such lies.

Just because it was legal to knowingly poison the environment doesn't make it morally or ethically right to do so. I don't understand why taxpayers now have to foot the bill to clean up the homes that paint companies profited from contaminating.

It is also economically correct that those who made the profit pay for any damage that they knowingly caused. These companies will never be able to pay enough to make up for the potential lost by my son and so many other children. However, they can contribute to the cleanup efforts and keep this from happening to any other parents and their children.

Julie Smith

First Off, We Suck
Influence? It's all in your mind:
First of all, you are just one opinion. Secondly, what do you know about good music anyways? Don't use your influence with Scene to portray your own view of a band, Who Killed Marilyn? [Regional Beat, August 9], which obviously has a great following. These guys work extremely hard and put on a great show. Put your tiny opinion where your mouth is and shove it.

Jason Stephan

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