Revolting Developments

Letters published July 12, 2006

Examining the Rysar business model: Cleveland is lucky to have you ["Man With a Past," June 28]. Thank you for putting up with Mr. Lurie's very unprofessional verbal abuse to get the truth out: political contributions, felons on the payroll, a lack of customer satisfaction and follow-through, ridiculous subsidy for an unworthy product, and unfinished projects that fester for years.

How desperate must the citizens of Cleveland be to buy from such a man? Surely we care enough about ourselves and our standards to put this man out of business.

Howard Brown

Celebrating 36 years of racist propaganda: What about those flooding subdivisions in Solon and Brecksville? Maybe the people should move into a Rysar home -- at least the basements do not leak and Channel 5 could stop their dumb telethon for "poor" rich white people. What did these people think would happen when they tore down the trees? Oh, but two customers have cracks in the cement.

You are a racist paper and should change your name to Scene White Power. I dare you to print this.

Michael Levin

The charms of Ken Lurie: This inarticulate stupid man is the man Frank Jackson chose to sit on his committee to work on economic development? No wonder the city is a mess. I wouldn't trust this man to put together the jungle gym in my backyard, let alone buy a house from him. With such a pleasant demeanor, he must be a dream to work for.

Lisa Stein
Shaker Heights

Great Rock Debate No. 593
People vs. David Lee Roth:
Might be time to check the Kool-Aid in Sound Off ["Hagar the Horrible," June 28]. Whoever bashed Sammy Hagar knows very little about rock singers.

Some like David Lee Roth because he had a lot of bravado and the band was more fun and fresh early on. That's fine, but I don't agree. To say that Roth was a match to Eddie's playing is, of course, an obvious joke. Eddie's guitar influenced an entire generation. Roth's singing inspired jokes.

Van Halen grew up musically after 1984, adding not just a much better singer, but a real musician to replace Roth. Roth swaggered off with his nine-note range, his Charo costumes, and his adolescent humor to do what? "Yankee Rose"? A lame radio gig? A shot at the medical profession?

Hagar's roots go all the way back to Montrose, when there were real bands. His solo career includes solid hits like "I Can't Drive 55," "Only One Way to Rock," and "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy," among others. He wrote, played, and sang these songs as Roth only wishes he could. Roth did "Just a Gigolo."

Sorry, it's just not much of a matchup -- not only just as singers, but as writers and performers too. Hagar is actually a musician who writes. Roth is a clumsy comedian.

You bash Cabo Wabo, but you should know that there is a pretty impressive shrine to Van Halen there. Hagar cared about Van Halen. What does Roth do today to honor the group that carried his no-talent butt? Very little.

Your writers need to know the difference between fleeting hipness and lasting talent. Hagar has the talent in this matchup.

Gerry Schultz

A Sibling's Pain
Traumatic births leave scars for life:
I am Isabella Moscarello's oldest sister. I am 21, and I remember that day vividly; it haunts me still ["Midwife Crisis," June 28].

I have struggled to remain strong for my family because seeing my baby sister fight for life every day as well as the tribulations that lie ahead for her is extremely upsetting. Ever since that cold day in January, I have vowed to help prevent these things from happening to others, so I share our family's story with all who will listen.

Brain damage does not just happen -- it is caused.

Juliana Jenkins

Midwives are not the problem: As terrible and traumatic as Isabella's situation is, I find it disturbing that her family felt the need to blame a midwife whom they chose and trusted after having had a previous positive birth experience. Couples should make educated decisions about whom they choose to have in attendance at their home births and must then take personal responsibility for the outcome.

This does not mean that a negative outcome is the fault of either parent, but there must be an understanding that sometimes in life things happen -- and there is not always someone to blame. It may make us feel better to blame someone, but it does not ultimately change anything, and in the end it ruins yet another life to slap a lawsuit on a humble lay midwife who has no insurance or money to her name (most midwives work for a very small amount).

More midwives should have been interviewed to produce a more balanced look at this ancient and respected profession.

The opinions of doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, who have probably never encountered a lay midwife in their entire careers, should not be put on a pedestal. Midwifery is licensed and legal in almost half the states. Also, planned home birth attended by a trained caregiver is just as safe as -- if not safer than -- hospital births; this has been proved in numerous studies far larger and better documented than the terribly flawed Washington study that was mentioned.

Every country with the lowest infant and maternal mortality rates has midwives attending the majority of births. Our highly medicalized society is nowhere near the top of the list of industrialized nations when it comes to neonatal and infant survival. We actually rank a sad 21st.

I guess the gross medicalization of birth and the complete shutdown of midwifery services haven't gotten us much better when it comes to saving babies and moms.

Megan Karas

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