In a Hough

Letters published July 25, 2007

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West Park neighborhood residency rules neo-Nazis Iraq war vets
Neighborhood burned; resident flaming: I am a fairly aggressive booster for my neighborhood, but I see no journalistic merit in your recent article ["West Park Story," July 11], which seems negative for the sake of negativity. What goal is served by propagandizing for the decline of the only good neighborhood in Cleveland is a mystery to me, unless it is schadenfreude from a suburbanite or someone with no design to make her city a better place to live.

I am particularly troubled by the hyperbole. And I reject any suggestion that it was intended to inspire people to fix the problem. It was clearly designed to frighten the non-city worker with the prospect that they will be abandoned in the next Hough. Very poor work.

Ross Babbitt

Why not block-party with LeBron? Again a local pundit discusses ending residency requirements from two standard viewpoints: Only police or firefighters are worth discussing, and the sky will fall.

Garbagemen, street sweepers, secretaries, school janitors, and numerous others will also be excused from these requirements. Every employee will be able to live where they want -- which, believe it or not, includes the city of Cleveland. A startling exercise of individual rights.

As to the sky-falling theory, are we the first state or city to prohibit or limit residency requirements? Hardly. Are we the first to declare doom and gloom? Of course not. Just ask the former mayors of Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore, Wilmington, Providence, Minneapolis, Detroit, and St. Louis. Are the cities surrounding us without residency requirements falling apart? You bet they are. The Section 8 gravy train guarantees it.

Finally, a simple question for any Cleveland resident: Are we better off today than in 1982, when residency requirements were established? Anyone who answers yes is delusional.

Perhaps citizens should simply pass a new law disallowing anyone who lives in Cleveland from moving out and forcing anyone who works in Cleveland to move in (then I could have a Cavalier or Indian living next to me -- cool!), a sort of "super residency" requirement that would once and for all fix everything.

Thom Dillon

She's no fly-by-night townie: We have lived in West Park since 1971, and believe me, we have seen the changes. When we moved in, every house was a St. Pat's parishioner. There was a waiting list to get your child in. There were three classrooms for each grade. Now they have combined all grades into one building. How sad. The airport has played a big part in the massive exodus, among other reasons.

I plan on staying here as long as I am living. What my children do with the house is up to them, but I love my house and I refuse to leave it.

Teresa Crowley

Criminally Incensed
Neo-Nazi has some kind of nerve:
Bill White, an idiot neo-Nazi, is denigrating John Patrick Lee and harassing his family [First Punch, July 11]. He is calling Lee a war criminal. That infuriates me.

Lee and company did not go berserk. They exercised justice on the smug people who caused the deplorable conditions that Lee and his men witnessed. If I'd have been in Lee's shoes, I'd have done the same. What kind of bastards do this to people? Look at the corpses. Look at the starving children.

And what kind of coward bothers a widow? The same kind of cowards who orchestrated the Holocaust.

Stephanie Tomazic

Re-visioning the Rhineland: Re: Dachau: There were more than 500 guards killed by U.S. soldiers and liberated inmates. But that pales in comparison to the million and a half German soldiers who died in Eisenhower's P.O.W. death camps on the Rhine River. Most of the inmates in Dachau died from disease and lack of adequate food. The Allies bombed out their supplies to force Germany to surrender. The plan worked, and people in Germany starved and died like the concentration-camp inmates.

Ed Walsh

Dove or chicken?
Real men wear Kevlar:
It's obvious that you are an uneducated liberal, thinking that Timothy Coil speaks the truth about the military ["Disturbing for Peace," July 4]. This is a guy who became scared and wanted to find an easy way out when he realized he had to do his job in a real-world situation.

I find it amusing that he claims he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. I too am a veteran of Desert Storm. But I was a cavalry scout, not some gravy maintenance guy looking after helicopters. In one battle, my platoon lost a third of our Bradleys and took casualties. I would bet my life that this guy never even saw an Iraqi soldier, yet you publish his anti-whatever article.

Instead of wasting paper on some coward, why don't you print something positive that our military is doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan? Sure, you have freedom of the press -- and I will die in a second so you continue to have that right -- but maybe next time you'll exercise your constitutional right for something worth reading.

Ron Fergeson

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