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Honoring the Slain 

Letters published July 27-August 2, 2000

School keeps the word alive: I just wanted to let you know it was really awesome that you did a huge article on the murder of the four missionaries in El Salvador ["Unforgiven," July 13]. I also wanted you to know that, in the article, you named some places in Cleveland that are dedicated to them. Trinity High School in Garfield Heights happens to be one of them. Half of junior-year theology is spent teaching the kids about the four missionaries and about Oscar Romero and many others who were sacrificed in El Salvador. Trinity has a chapel dedicated to them. I think some credit should go to the school for much of the information that is passed to the students, because you can look at pictures of martyrs hanging somewhere downtown and just think it was another important person who died. It's the teachers who inform the students and work with them, so that they can pass it on to others, which is important.
Alexandria Miziker

Akron knows of Cleveland cops' woes: Mike Tobin's July 6 article "Cop Land No More?" brought home the damage that lack of a true school choice is doing to our cities.

The report told of a small strip of Cleveland that is part of the Shaker Heights school system being heavily populated by City of Cleveland employees. Here in Akron, too, municipal employees must live within the city. And here we also have a neighborhood filling up with police and firefighters and other municipal employees -- a city neighborhood that is part of the Coventry School District.

The press of late has many reports on urban sprawl that never mention the prime engine of flight from the cities and now the suburbs too -- the search for better schools. Rather than suggest the obvious solution -- instituting school choice through the granting of education vouchers to all parents -- we see proposals that would restrict the freedom of us all to move.

Actually, I think it reasonable to require city employees to live in the community they serve. That should make them more zealous in carrying out their duties. But why then are public school teachers not required to live in the districts they serve? Actually, our federal courts have ruled that a school district may not require its employees to send their children to the district's school -- because the freedom of parents to educate their children in accord with their own beliefs is a transcendent liberty.

Alas, this de jure right cannot be de facto exercised by millions of our citizens. America is almost alone among the democracies in not ensuring that all parents can exercise this right through public support of their choices through education vouchers.

Our land of the free is laggard in ensuring a basic liberty. Thus, I have more sympathy than I otherwise would for the plight of municipal employees in Cleveland and Akron who want to move.
Robert J. Wise Jr.

Patti Smith still seeking able shoe-wiper: Concerning the Patti Smith show [The Edge, July 13], I have been a bouncer in Cleveland for three and a half years, and wanted to clarify to you what our job is. I am employed to:

1. Prevent the crowd from hurting itself.

2. Clear the club of spectators (whether or not there is a curfew), so that the cleaning crew, who work long and hard hours, can do their job and go home.

3. Protect the privacy of the artist from autograph-grubbing, egotistical media people like yourself, who have absolutely no respect for an artist's performance.

I am a professional, and I do my job to the best of my ability, unlike certain individuals who would forgo their job of writing a review of a monumental show like Ms. Smith's in order to whine about not being able to "rub elbows" with a legendary artist, whose shoes you are not fit to wipe. You have no respect for her privacy and care more about fulfilling your own selfish, unprofessional needs!

I've done my job when no one goes home hurt and an artist can relax after putting on an amazing performance. I am satisfied that I provided an important service for my clients. I suggest you try the same.
Marty Young

It doesn't get any better than "close to awesome": Where did you exhume Robert Wilonsky [author of "Zzzzzz-Men," July 13]? He must be an evil mutant -- half-brother to Toad, perhaps. X-Men was a terrific movie. I saw the pre-opening with WNCX passes with my teenage son. We both loved it. Great visuals. Strong score to support the story. An almost perfect action/fantasy flick. Beat Episode 1 hands down. It was close to awesome.
W. Logan Fry

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