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Crying Fowl 

Letters published August 15, 2007

Rural folks jacked up about city folks' hypocrisy: I agree with Erik Duncan's letter about "Chicken Wars" [July 4]. I thought the article was condescending to rural people.

I think NFL football is much more barbaric than chicken fighting, but Scene glorifies the violence in pro football ["Human Grenade," June 27]. Players are coached to inflict pain and punish opponents. In the July 30 Sports Illustrated, All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis says in regard to football fans: "They look at us like we're animals for entertainment." And who can argue with him? After all, the essence of pro football is the big hit, separating a player from his consciousness, which usually occurs when one player has left himself unprotected and distracted while another player, at a full sprint, smashes into him. Spectators cheer in a psychopathic frenzy as the affected player quivers on the ground, trying to figure out who and where he is.

Yes, the civilized, cosmopolitan members of our society can't get enough of the big hits. During football season, on ESPN, there's a segment -- called "Jacked Up" -- which celebrates the five biggest hits of the week.

At least fans of chicken fighting don't force taxpayers to pay for $300 million stadiums. It was the civilized, cosmopolitan people of Cleveland, living in the most impoverished city in the country, who spent all that money for a stadium on prime real estate, which could be generating tax dollars that could be used for civic improvements.

Bob Gross
Garfield Heights

McFailures
Screw it. She's getting a gun:
The woman who turned up dead in a trunk was my aunt, Donna Dashner Olszko [First Punch, July 25]. Kevin McFaul knows what happened to her, but his dear old daddy got him off on that. He's the sheriff, after all, and cops know how to look the other way to protect the spawn of one of their own.

In the case of my aunt and the rest of my family, it's always there hurting, haunting you. It just doesn't go away. My message for the police: I have no faith in our judicial systems nor in the tools that call themselves policemen. I'm getting a gun. (Legally, of course.) They're never around when you need them.

Adriane Olszko
Garfield Heights

Planet Hypocrite
Public servant says spacey ideas won't fly:
In the August 1 issue, Dan Schneider of Garfield Heights wrote a letter claiming that residency requirements for police officers and firefighters are good, because the cities want taxes and the police officers and firefighters should build relationships with the people they serve.

Well, Dan -- first off, even if we decide to live elsewhere, the city gets its share of our taxes. If they want all the taxes, they should make the city attractive enough for us to want to stay, instead of attempting to keep an unfair employment requirement that the vast majority of the working public would not tolerate, should it be forced upon them.

Secondly, we do build relationships with the people we serve -- while we are on duty and being paid to do it. In Cleveland's situation, we do it while being one of the lowest-paid big-city police departments in this part of the country. When we're off duty, we deserve time to relax with our friends and families, and to be free from all but the most urgent responsibilities that come to our attention. Community policing and building police/citizen relationships are not among the leisure activities we want to undertake when off duty.

Thirdly, you want us to start up our own charter school? What planet do you live on? Between our full-time and part-time jobs, most of us must work to make ends meet -- when do you think we have the time, let alone the expertise, to do that? The private schools we are forced to send our kids to already exist -- we don't need new schools. We need a choice of school systems to send them to, via our choice of where to live -- like the overwhelming majority of people in this country gets to do.

Lastly, the city in which you live, Garfield Heights, does not have a residency requirement forcing their police officers and firefighters. Last time I looked, those police and firefighters did a fine job. Quit being a hypocrite.

Robert Nagy
Cleveland

Unsafe Harbor
Is finger-wagging more toxic than Alkali's waste?
So, let me get this straight. All of these people from Fairport Harbor want us to feel sorry that the people in their families who worked for Diamond Alkali knew how to dispose of the toxic chemicals correctly, and just chose not to ["Badlands," August 1]? They blame the health problems on a situation that could have been avoided, had these people just followed the rules. Of course, former employees want to remain nameless when they know too much, because no one gave a shit about the rules.

And now everyone is up in arms about this hazardous place being redeveloped into something that could ultimately benefit the community and bring in new jobs, new people, and help to turn this deteriorating city around? Please.

My heart goes out to these families. And by no means do I think these people were asking for whatever illness they inherited from their family members or the chemicals. But maybe if we all stopped wagging our fingers at the developers trying to save the economy of this dying city and took some action to clean the city up ourselves, we'd all be happier with the outcome.

Blaire Bommer
Cleveland Heights

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