Letters to the Editor

Letters published March 14, 2002

Democrats can make their own decisions:

The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party has reached an all-time low since the county commissioner's race began ["Winner Takes All Brawl," January 31]. This party lacks leadership. As a black Democrat, I find it disconcerting that Cuyahoga County Democratic Chairman Jimmy Dimora's concern about diversity comes at a time that appears to suit him instead of the citizens. The chairman has stated that if the Democratic Party does not appoint a minority to the commissioner's seat vacated by Jane Campbell, voters would walk away from the party (and well they should).

The attacks against Patrick O'Malley from his own party are distasteful. In September 2001, Dimora and Russo were willing to back O'Malley. Only after learning that blacks were demanding the seat did Dimora and Russo back Peter Lawson Jones. If Dimora feels so strongly about minorities having a voice, why didn't he support Raymond Pierce for mayor of Cleveland, a city where African Americans constitute a majority of 52 percent? Why did he run against an African American in the Democratic primary for commissioner in 1998?

Precinct committee persons: Don't be fooled by Dimora. We don't need him or anyone else picking our commissioner. We are capable of thinking for ourselves.

Eunice Jones
Cleveland Heights

Cleveland has talent, but not at WENZ:

During the week of January 10, my radio was tuned to WENZ. I literally slammed on my brakes when I heard Sam Sylk state, "I would play Cleveland artists, if any were hot enough." He then continued in unintelligible jargon about a Scene article [Soundbites, January 3] that he felt attacked the radio station. It still continues to be a hot topic.

Most of the conversation involves the continued disrespect that non-Clevelanders show Clevelanders. Sam would not make a comment like this in Atlanta, Detroit, Oakland, or even in Chicago. Why? Because heads would've been waiting for him outside once he got off the air. Only in Cleveland could he get away with such a harsh comment. Well, Sam, here's my rebuttal.

The lack of talent in this city begins and ends with you. We happen to be home to the first Grammy-winning rap group in history. We have talent in every facet of entertainment. This includes the O'Jays (Gerald Levert), Halle Berry, and athletes too numerous to name. Our underground is as strong as any city's, with the sounds of Romey Rome, FADE Entertainment, Brothers 4 the Struggle, Smooth Approach, and Family Affiliated.

Sam, your lack of professionalism is evident in your corny video show and the silly-to-ridiculous humor you try to pull off on your radio show. If Clevelanders were wise, we'd all boycott your video and radio shows. Cleveland does have a long way to go for national prominence in music, but it has nothing to do with talent. It has more to do with a lack of local support. Sam has insulted every independent label, aspiring artist, and hardworking producer. Are we going to sit idle, or do we hold him accountable by boycotting his shows and flooding the media with letters of discontent for this Cleveland basher? My dial will never again be tuned to 107.9 FM.

David "Madd Dawg" Jefferies

Hey, where'd the music go?

Whatever happened to the Scene? It used to be this cool newspaper about the music scene in Cleveland and surrounding areas. There is still a newspaper out there that goes by the name Scene, but it's not about music. It's more about old political news that you probably read the week before in The Plain Dealer.

John Smith

Start with equal treatment:

Jason Bracelin's article on the Cleveland Music Fest [Soundbites, February 14] was very fair, since he presented all sides of the story. During this year's festival, I was annoyed because it seemed like Peabody's "regular" acts were given preferential treatment, while other bands (mine included) were treated as less than worthy. The promoters did not provide information to anyone about the bands, even though bios, photos, and CDs were submitted. I know for a fact that the media weren't given any information about the performers. It appeared that only the performances selected for the Odeon and Peabody's were promoted and talked up to any label people who attended.

What about the bands at other clubs? Were they even given an opportunity to be seen, or were they sold empty promises and lured by the fact that label reps would be in town, even though these reps were never going to make it to the event? Did the proprietor of the Pit know that he got the bands that didn't make the cut for the Odeon? Did the Rhythm Room know it was purgatory for those who didn't make the Grog Shop cut? For the fee required, was it too much to ask that you inform bands where and when they would be playing, so they could promote their own shows?

Here are some ways to improve the festival: Inform bands that they have to sell tickets before they submit. Assign the bands to a showcase at least one month before the event. Create a program that details the bands involved, so they can network and the audience can discover new bands. Dispense with ticket selling; even Undercurrents didn't stoop that low. Consider having fewer bands. I feel that a lot of crap participated. Finally: no more 6 p.m. shows.

The potential is there for a great event, but it seems someone's greed got in the way.

Derek Poindexter

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