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Whither the Y? 

Letters published September 22, 2004

Whither the Y?
A downtown perspective:
In response to Chris Maag's YMCA article ["Tough Sell," September 15], I am writing to challenge two conclusions. Maag wrote: "For the Y to grow, first it must shrink. The only long-term source of new money is to build branches in the suburbs." We can all agree that the Y needs a financial plan that includes substantial service cutbacks. Where we differ is on the Y's belief that a cookie-cutter inner-city-closure plan based on Detroit/Milwaukee models -- cities that lack Cleveland's strong neighborhood organizations -- is the only solution for Cleveland. If the owners of Dave's Supermarkets had bought this simplistic redlining approach, they never would have invested in their thriving Ohio City grocery store, which has proved to be a catalyst for neighborhood development since the store's 1997 opening.

Maag wrote: "But the Ohio City Y has friends in high places . . . In Cleveland, politics trumps logic." The city has annually donated substantial funds for Y operating expenses. Additionally, the city earmarked substantial sums to the West Side branch ($210,000) and Miles Avenue branch ($58,000) in exchange for covenants that certain services would be maintained over time.

The Y has responded to this generosity by asserting that City Hall is "threatening" the Y by 1) insisting that existing city contracts be honored according to their terms and 2) refraining from approving whole new subsidies for the Y's 3200 Franklin building -- such as mortgage releases, rezoning, and tax incentives -- for a speculative condominium redevelopment that no one in the neighborhood needs or supports.

These city positions aren't called threats; they're called sound and prudent business practices. Mayor Campbell and City Council haven't "politicized" this issue. Rather, they've protected city investments in a logical manner that every taxpayer should appreciate.

Ken Silliman
Cleveland

A Lot to Swallow
Sucking up to the judge:
I am sorry I cannot give my real name, but I could lose my job. I just read Pete Kotz's column "Feed the Machine" [August 18], after seeing a letter in the most recent edition of Scene.

I have been a paralegal for 15 years. My job requires me to deal with Judge Celebrezze's staff several times a week. Like trickle-down economics, the air of self-importance flows down to the judge's staff. If you are not part of the "in crowd," you are shit. The "in crowd" is composed of attorneys who have sufficiently sucked up to the judge in order to get their cases moving.

Celebrezze is but one weak link in a rusted, dilapidated, old-boy chain that extends to Cuyahoga Support Enforcement Agency and beyond. His office is famous for failure to send child-support orders over to CSEA, and this leaves children with no money until the error is detected weeks later.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Name withheld upon request

Sex-Obsessed
But they know a few chords:
I am disgusted by your item bringing down Bad Acid Trip [Nightwatch, May 19]. Have you ever heard of a band being different? I'm extremely sorry if you only listen to mainstream metal shit, but do not rip on great underground bands such as Bad Acid Trip. Have you personally seen them in concert? They are amazing. Don't say they don't have any talent just because there is a female orgasm when you first pop in the CD. They're just obsessed with sex. Is there anything wrong with that?

Chris Marchant
White Lake, Michigan

Off With Her Head
Sounds like somebody else got screwed:
If the lady filed the suit, she should have known the consequences ["Jack the Wife," September 15]. You really should not question whether the attorney will get into heaven. That is between the attorney and his higher power.

Screw the widow. Her suit is the reason that insurance premiums are so high. In fact, we should bring back debtor's prisons and require the plaintiffs or their attorneys to post large bonds before they seek remedy. If they have a case without merit, they should lose the bond money.

Dan Gibbons
St. George, Utah

No Respect
Gotta start somewhere:
I appreciate Kevin Hoffman's article on Jeff Seemann's run for Congress ["The Soul of the New Machine," August 25]. It shows that an outside source like Scene can recognize Jeff's determination. It also shows the local Canton paper's lack of gratitude and respect for Jeff's agenda (e.g., jobs, affordable medicine, etc.).

I also appreciated the recognition of those not only from Canton, but from out of town who are willing to sacrifice and contribute their time, energy, and support for Jeff.

Raymond Brahler
Canton

Blitz's a Hit
Local dude makes good:
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Blitz ["Out of Africa," September 1]. It's nice to see someone who is a part of the community making a difference. I can't wait till the album drops.

David Edwards
Northfield

The Write Thing
Miss Manners would approve:
Thank you so much for the cool article on me ["Stuart Brittle," September 8] in your mag! I really appreciate your support of my work!

Jason Stuart
Hollywood, California

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