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Expose the Jerks 

Letters published February 11, 2004

Expose the Jerks
They give used-car dealers a bad name: Scene should be rewarded for having the courage to finally tell the truth about Avi Stern and Dennis Dunagan ["The Lemon Merchant," January 21]. Way to go, Aina Hunter and everyone at Scene, for exposing of these jerks to the public. Now hopefully the FBI, IRS, and bank investigators will get the other business records as well.

Gregory Schindler

Hunter should've looked under more rocks: As an attorney practicing law -- primarily in enforcing the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act -- and seeing firsthand what dirty tricks Mr. Stern and other car dealers pull, I believe that Aina Hunter's article, "The Lemon Merchant" [January 21], does not do justice to this plight that is affecting the poor in our city.

The CSPA is geared toward giving individuals taken advantage of by unscrupulous businessmen and -women a leg to stand on. The statutes give consumers a means to get back what they paid up front for these pieces of junk, slap underhanded dealers with heavy penalties, and provide for the dealers to cover the cost of bringing the suit. The CSPA was specifically enacted to help people bring suit without having to front those enormous legal costs that many of those Hunter interviewed said they couldn't afford.

Although "The Lemon Merchant" uncovered the dealings of one con man, there are hundreds of other dealers out there who are running their dealerships in a similar fashion.

Joseph M. Romano

The real meal deal: Bravo to the January 21 Side Dish column ["Danger: Dinner Ahead"]. Cleveland has such an active group of consumers, chefs, and advocates for local food sources like Farmer's Market. It is refreshing to see Scene bring this to light on such a regular basis. This issue of supporting local food resources touches many topics: health, cuisine, keeping dollars in the local economy. The environmental aspects alone are endless. Hope to see more on this subject. Food is life.

Steve Parris

For H. Pete's Sake
Steal big, get your own road: I really liked Pete Kotz's "Tale of Two Thieves" [January 21]. I have been saying that for years about the power companies.

I used to travel in my work. While going through Tennessee, I noticed a lot of streets and roads with the name of Ellington. While on a lunch break one day, I asked a man from the Teledyne company, "Who is Ellington?" His response: "Well, if you are a little crook, you go to prison. If you are a big crook, they name roads after you."

Dave Riemenschneider

And those millions came from . . . : I just read Pete Kotz's article about H. Peter Burg. How do you compare a guy that gets in trouble for taking "gifts" from vendors with a man who gave millions back to the community? Why did you forget to mention the millions that H. Peter raised for the United Way and the American Red Cross? Why didn't you say anything about how hard H. Peter was working to pull our region out of its crummy economic state?

Maybe it's because you, Mr. Kotz, didn't grow up with his family. Maybe it's because you probably never met him. Maybe it's because you just wanted to add a little more grief to a family that's already been through enough.

Thanks for the great article, Pete. I look forward to future articles where you criticize other people who have recently died.

Sean Bilovecky

Lay Off Clay
The review was scarier than the song: I just finished reading Jason Bracelin's article about Clay Aiken. It literally made me sick to my stomach ["Soundbites," January 28]. What made it worse was the fact that I had just finished reading a USA Today story about Aiken's work with kids who have developmental disabilities and autism.

Clay Aiken did not write the music, but you took something innocent and made it dirty! Aiken would be horrified by Bracelin's article, and I hope he never sees it. While he lives in L.A., he wears a bracelet as a continual reminder: WWJD (What would Jesus Do?). He's just a small-town guy who's not used to the Hollywood lifestyle. He had plans to be a special education teacher.

Listening to Clay singing "Invisible" never gave me the creeps, but reading your article did! I would be proud to have him as a son. He is no lovelorn loon, as you mentioned, but you, sir, are very scary!

June Schmidt
Hinesville, GA

Aiken's not the sicko: Jason Bracelin's review of "Invisible" is really scary. You obviously don't care for Clay Aiken, because you made a few opening hits on his looks and then went on to dissect him as a sicko! He isn't the writer, just the artist. I agree that the song is edgy, but it's just expressing what someone is thinking when they are pining for someone who doesn't notice them. Young girls do this all the time!

There is far more harmful garbage out there. Get a grip! This song is teenyboppish-awestruck-kid stuff. The pathology of Bracelin's thought process is really scary!

Gina Paolino
Ronkonkoma, NY

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