Bums of Steel

Letters published September 5, 2007

Mittal Steel Peter Lawson Jones great hummus Fairport Harbor toxic waste Lakewood Hustler Club
Do Mittal and others hitch a free ride from the EPA? Regarding Jared Klaus' great story on Mittal Steel ["Battling the Steel Baron," August 22]: I too have experienced the Environmental Protection Agency's selective enforcement of their own laws, so it's no surprise to me that they're incapable of doing anything about Mittal Steel.

I bought a car that had its catalytic converters removed. It was a direct violation of federal law for anyone to sell me that car, and according to federal anti-tampering law, the dealer was required to rescind the sale and refund my money. But as the Environmental Persecution Agency's own David Alspaugh told me: "If it involves going after a car dealer, the EPA won't do anything."

All of this can be found on the Ohio EPA's e-check website. This is not Summit County or Ohio law -- this is federal law, with a $10,000 fine. And if this fine was levied against Double-J Auto Sales, I've never heard about it.

It's not that the Environmental Persecution Agency is incapable of doing anything about Mittal Steel -- it is that they refuse to do anything about these two and other corporate violators of their own laws. But they are perfectly willing to persecute us private citizens.

Ray Crim

We doubt this bike path's Lance Armstrong-approved: Cleveland had a golden opportunity to turn a large portion of the Cuyahoga Valley into parkland when LTV Steel decided to close shop. Instead, Dennis Kucinich -- acting more like an industrial Republican baron -- came to the steel mill's rescue. Now Clevelanders can look forward to getting their exercise on a planned bike path that passes near a large polluter.

It is apparent that some local politicians have an inability to look at what is best for our city. Besides harming the health of residents and future recreational users of the bike path, how many Fortune 500 companies have decided not to set up camp in Cleveland, when they observe a large polluter so close to downtown?

Josh Emmet

Feta Up
It's not a marathon without a stop at Nate's:
Anyone who professes to be a knowledgeable food critic and does an article on where to get the best hummus in town ["Middle East Marathon," August 22], but neglects to mention Nate's Deli, doesn't have a clue.

Tom Stevens

He Said, He Said
Get real -- or get the facts:
There were a few false claims made by Mike Wypasek in his August 22 letter, which attacked me and my letter. Wypasek misleadingly states the Lakewood Public Library computer center -- which closed weeks ago -- is now open in the newly built library. Not true. He falsely denies the very visible fact that the basketball hoops were removed by Lakewood City Hall from Madison Park several weeks ago to prevent people -- almost all African Americans -- from playing there.

Despite Wypasek's denial, that was clearly racist. Not all of us can afford memberships at the expensive YMCA to play basketball, as Wypasek smugly advises us to do. He says he is glad to pay high Lakewood property taxes. Is he nuts? What do we get for it? Closed basketball courts.

Last week, the new library had to close for a day due to the basement flooding, causing at least $20,000 damage, because of an error by irresponsible library director Kenneth Warren -- who, incidentally, totally demolished the perfectly good main library building a few weeks ago, costing Lakewood taxpayers even more money to replace it.

Even Lakewood City Councilman Edward FitzGerald states on his website that Lakewood has wasted millions of its taxpayers' dollars. Get real, Wypasek.

Joe Carter

Jonesing for Jones
Props for Peter the "peopletician":
I hope the citizens of Cuyahoga County are proud of Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones for standing up for the taxpayers by opposing the sales-tax increase to pay for a new convention center. And we are equally proud of him for opposing a $7.4 million contract for Precision Environmental, which was $915,000 above the lowest bidder [First Punch, August 15].

Seems Commissioners Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora, who voted for the taxpayer rip-off, give priority to the corporate community over their obligation to protect the interests of the grassroots community that voted them into office.

Thank goodness Jones hasn't forgotten where his loyalty and priorities are based. He has demonstrated commendable honesty and character in protecting the interests of taxpayers.

I'm sure Hagan and Dimora are fuming over Jones not playing the role of the good 'ol boy, go-along-get-along politician and yes-man. No, Jones is his own man. If I may coin a word, he's more of a "peopletician" than a politician, because he looks out for the people first without self-serving concern for corporations.

Bert Jennings
The Carl Stokes Brigade
Shaker Heights

Scared Straight
Downtown? Not even for naked ladies:
I've got a fistful of passes for the Hustler Club, but dodging bullets and beggars puts a damper on a fun time [First Punch, August 8]. I think I'll just wait until they move to a new location.

Jeffery Coleman

Noxious Weed
Shamrock plants blight our landscape:
If you think Fairport Harbor is bad ["Badlands," August 1], Diamond Shamrock's plant in Ashtabula is either a tie or worse, just on a smaller scale -- to say nothing of the Concord area. Me? I worked in all of them.

Al Schuman
Laurelville, Ohio

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