Seeing Through the Fog

Letters published August 16, 2001

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Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Don't fear mosquitoes -- fear pesticides:

David Martin's article on mosquito control ["The Mosquito Hunter," July 19] omits important information on the very real dangers of toxic pesticides to human health. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health's (CCBH) policy of fogging residential areas with these chemicals is bad risk management.

According to the New York Board of Health, the chance of developing any West Nile virus symptoms from infected mosquitoes is much more rare than stated in the article: The chance is actually 1 in 300,000. The very same statement the CCBH repeatedly uses as a scare tactic to promote such fogging strongly asserts the minimal dangers of the West Nile virus. Most people have mild or no symptoms and recover completely, without the need for medical treatment. Last year, more people reported getting sick from the pesticides used to combat the virus than from the West Nile virus itself.

Furthermore, no pesticides can be considered safe, and it is illegal to make such a claim. A recent Mt. Sinai study possibly has linked pesticides with breast cancer. Children, seniors, and people with asthma are most at risk from pesticide exposure. Ironically, broadcast spraying of pesticides for mosquito control is notoriously ineffective. Cornell University entomologist Dr. David Pimmel reports that the chemicals kill only 1 percent of the mosquitoes. Clearly, the Board of Health should follow the lead of Connecticut and stop fogging our neighborhoods with toxic pesticides.

Jennifer A. Humphrey,
Co-Chair, Ohio Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides

Traficant's opinion of voters is clear:

My thanks to Scene for publishing and Jacqueline Marino for writing the most excellent article on Congressman Jim Traficant ["Beam Me Out," July 26]. That article should become an educational tool used in all high school civics classes and college political science classes. Why? Because of Traficant's statement, "I will win because there are more non-thinkers . . . than there are thinkers."

Traficant's statement shows his low opinion of voters. It is unfortunate that many other politicians share Traficant's opinion. Another version of going after the non-thinking voter is when politicians refuse to debate their opponents, as Representative Dennis Kucinich did during his 2000 congressional race. Any challenger or office holder who takes the Kucinich approach essentially takes the Traficant approach.

Bill Smith

Who hooks up in bathrooms, anyway?

Of course Ohio's importuning law is absurd and prejudicial ["Name That 'Tuning," August 2]. If you ask someone of the same sex in an offensive manner for sex, you can get six months. But if it's hetero sex you're asking for, you get disorderly conduct and pay a few bucks.

However, what the hell are these guys doing hanging out in public bathrooms, passing notes on toilet paper, or cruising the Metroparks johns? Are they ugly, desperate, or married? There are two gay bathhouses in this city, numerous bars, AOL, and personal ads. If you can't get laid using those, you simply have a large problem.

What about the kid who walks into a park restroom and sees a guy getting sucked off? I don't think that is very nice. Or what about the guy at the mall who needs to use the stall and can't get in, because you have some freak in it passing notes and waving his dick all over the place? The "last call in the Flats" argument does not wash. There is a huge difference between telling a woman, "Let's go back to my place and fuck" and following her into the restroom and sticking your dick under the divider. The law is wrong, of course, but I suppose the actions of some people are equally wrong. Sex is easy, boys. Take it out of the public bathrooms and keep it in your bedroom. It's a whole lot more fun there.

Randy Sindelar Corturillo

A Solon woman vents for the vendor:

I read your article about the poor man who just wants to make a living selling hot dogs in Solon [The Edge, July 26]. I live in Solon, and Solon doesn't want anyone to make a living! I would like to sign his petition or whatever else he may need.

Kathy Rubio

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