Cyberthumbs Up
Congrats on the "new look" online. I'm a longtime "onliner," and I really appreciate what you guys do! I love the Livewire and Playback sections. I also enjoy the Letters section (in which a couple of mine have appeared). I make it a point to read every Thursday. Thanks a lot for your work, and keep doing what you're doing!

Your biggest Texas fan,
Chris Hughes
Plano, Texas

Comic Relief
Hey, The Free Times has a new logo--no wait, it's the new Scene! Wow, what a bastion of originality!

Hmm, but rather than insult you on what is obviously a sincere form of flattery to the Times, I'd like to compliment you on printing a bunch of great comics that up until now Cleveland has been missing out on, especially the great and wonderful Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer--but please spell artist Ben Katchor's name correctly in the future--and get better scans of his comic to print from!

Looks like you're headed in a nice direction--the tabloid size is easier to handle at the lunch counter than your previous format too.

Kudos (or Kit Kats or whatever).
Jeff Curtis

Now for the Bad News
How fitting that the band Garbage is on the cover of the "new" Scene, when that is exactly what it has become. This is just what I like to see--another company from out of town (Arizona) decided that it will come in and make it all "better." If it isn't broke, don't fix it! It was great when you could actually tell Scene and The Free Times apart from each other. It was fine when The Free Times did their own thing and Scene did theirs. Now Scene, being around as long as it has, looks like the kid sibling trying to play catch up. If I wanted to read The Free Times, I would be reading it in the first place.

Thank you New Times Inc. for furthering the notion that Cleveland (and Northeast Ohio) really doesn't have much to call its own anymore--be it the radio stations, TV stations, sports teams, and so on. It has gone on for way too long, and we inhabitants of Northeast Ohio have been too passive for too long. We have to stop letting these invaders come in and run all over us. Now we must take a stand, and let the heads roll.

Jennifer Miller

Got Them Old Scene Blues
Yuck! I want my old Scene back! I don't want any more stupid cartoons or Q&A columns by some strange Chicagoan. Put Makin' the Scene back up front. Re-expand the regional music coverage. Put the musicians' classifieds before the ads for escort services. (I realize musicians are second-class citizens, but come on!) I am very disappointed. You now resemble every other two-bit rag in America. I want my old Scene back!

Paul Kingston
Mayfield Hts.

Sowd Crosses the Line
Once again, I am offended by David Sowd's column. I cannot tell if he is trying to be funny or if he is just trying to push the envelope on how disturbed he can be in print. In the past, I have been offended by his column because of implied racism and anti-women attitudes that he proudly trumpets.

This time, I feel that he has gone too far. He says Michael Shepard brought on his brutal beating and crucifixion on a fence post by trying to pick up tough guys in a bar. Not only does he make up the facts in this case, he places the blame on the victim of murder and excuses his attackers. This is very offensive to me and many of your readers. No one but David Sowd has said that Michael actively picked up these men, and even if he did, this is absolutely no excuse for beating and killing him. Yet, I do believe he was killed, in part, because he is gay. This was no common robbery. Flirting is not a crime punishable by death, however David Sowd thinks of it.

I am getting sick of reading David's hateful rants. Maybe you could talk to him about his mean-spirited attitude toward blacks, gays, and women. Maybe you could spend a little more time editing his column next week. I enjoy reading your magazine, but I will discontinue that pleasure if I have to read offensive articles in each issue. Your magazine should be about music and entertainment, not about bashing gays who have been murdered.

Fred Pierre

Buzzard Beater
I'd like to publicly thank the "Buzzard" for disrespecting their listeners. A radio station with such a great history in Cleveland decided to play a ridiculous trick on listeners. Since the start of the '90s, WMMS seemed to change format every year--from the classics to compete with WNCX, to alternative to challenge WENZ; they could never find a stable format or personalities. I was looking forward to a fresh station, a new format, and a morning show. The popular standard tunes from acts such as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Rush, and the like--and now an assault of Pearl Jam's greatest hits being played over and over--are not appealing to people who probably own the music anyway.

Rick Lowe

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