Struck a Nerve

Letters published May 24, 2006

A flurry of Luries: Oops! Lisa Rab slams a reputable builder ["Building the Ghetto of the Future," May 10], but forgot to investigate 98 percent of the story. There is no excuse for such incompetence, even in an unsophisticated paper.

I called Lisa Rab to ask how many customers she talked to while researching her story on Rysar Properties. Her answer was astonishing: "Six people."

When a company has built 2,500 great homes in a city, and she talked to only six customers, that screams unethical journalism. It's obvious the young and inexperienced Lisa is not good at doing homework.

Lisa acknowledged that she did not check Rysar's policy for handling customer service or find out about its numerous prestigious awards -- including the Weatherhead 100 and national Harvard Business Inner City 100 Rysar received in 1999 and 2004.

Lisa Rab, when you smear one of the city's honest and decent builders, you are no friend to Cleveland.

Sunny Lurie

Satisfied in Bedford: Our November 2005 Rysar home purchase is the fourth new house that we have moved into, and to date we are pleased with the overall experience of our purchase and Rysar's responsiveness.

We have been more than satisfied with our Rysar home. After we moved in and as we had experienced in previous new home purchases, we saw probably a dozen relatively common and minor construction problems. All of them were covered under Rysar's warranty, and all were corrected on a timely basis and to our satisfaction.

John and Geraldine Cubbal

Builder of dream homes: I was overwhelmed with disgust as I read your recent article on Rysar. Having purchased a townhouse from Rysar, I have found them to be the ultimate professionals. Rysar has performed for me in a way that is completely contradictory to the article. Any problem that occurred was addressed promptly and in a most professional manner.

This article is irresponsible journalism that creates confusion and havoc, and is very misleading to the public. I was appalled.

I have already referred several friends to Rysar Properties in the hopes that they can find the dream home that I have found!

Sharon Carr
Warrensville Heights

No trouble in Bratenahl: Regarding your cover article slamming Rysar and Ken Lurie ["Building the Ghetto of the Future"]: Ken and his company have built more than 3,000 homes in the last 15 years and not had one lawsuit until now!

I understand that this buyer was not satisfied with her purchase, so Ken Lurie offered to fix it and buy the house back if she wasn't satisfied.

Rysar is an honorable company. How many people do you know that even want to build homes in the inner city? Why slam a guy when he is trying to do a very good thing? To attack this man's integrity and character is an embarrassment to your publication.

Come on, Scene, stick to posting what movies to see and where to hear a good band. Clearly, you are in over your head on this one.

Sandy Coakley

Docketful of lawsuits: Out of curiosity, I checked Rysar on the Common Pleas Court docket. Looks like the company has been pretty busy defending lawsuits over the past few years. Seems like that ought to raise a few red flags for government officials engaging in large ventures to build homes with Rysar.

Phil Althouse

GOP Then and Now
Brewer's head is in the past:
Regarding Eric Brewer's May 17 letter: Here we go again -- another "history lesson" from the East Cleveland mayor.

Listen, Brewer: Whatever the Republican Party was 150 years ago, it sure as hell isn't that now. Anyone who's paying attention knows this.

I'll say it again: Uncle Tom Blackwell serves the Republican Party. The Republican Party serves the rich and the privileged at the expense of us all. Used-to-be's don't count. Never mind all the irrelevant crap. Never mind the race or skin color of the Scene staff. Just explain why you would support a politician who went to such great lengths to void minority votes during the last presidential election. Nothing is more racist than that.

A.C. Scott

Cartoon Criticism
What you see depends on where you stand:
I just read your article about Kent State ["Sisterly Love," May 10]. It is very interesting. When I saw the story on the news, either the details of the sororities involved were not relayed, or I did not hear them.

However, as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, I thought the cartoon was misleading. Your artist depicted the Zeta member as an angry monster and the Chi-O member as an innocent victim. After reading the article, I can come to the conclusion that those are the faces of an offended Zeta member and an apologetic Chi-O member. However, I truly believe that perception is everything in the news. If you are portraying the story in a nonpartisan manner, then the accompanying image should also be nonpartisan.

Also, I did notice that in the story, the Chi Omega and those affiliated were depicted as "confused," "innocent" in their "safe, cozy homes," and "naive" to some extent. The Zeta Phi Beta and other affiliates of African American descent were portrayed as "angry," "ratting out," "violent"; they "overreacted" and were retaliatory.

Insensitivity is unacceptable, no matter what the situation. I'm sure the members of Chi Omega did not want to offend people, but they didn't think about how this would make people feel and didn't even consider the repercussions.

Samantha Williams

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