Tales of Voter Suppression

Letters published November 30, 2005


The challenger nets a Muslim: In response to Lou Bartulovic's letter [November 9] asking Scene to provide a list of suppressed voters, I can contribute at least one name: Antesar. I'm not sure if this is the correct spelling, or if it is a first or last name; all I know is that this is the name of a woman who was denied the right to vote in Lakewood's 2nd District last November.

After voting myself, I was on my way out when I noticed a man with a clipboard having a cigarette outside. Curious, I asked him about his role in the elections, and he told me that he was the Democratic "challenger." He wasn't there to challenge any votes, but rather to make sure that the Republican "challenger" didn't overstep her boundaries.

I asked him if anyone had been "challenged," and he pointed to a woman, who identified herself as Antesar, standing nearby in Muslim-style garments with her daughter. While we stood outside chatting in the rain, she told me about earning her citizenship earlier in the year and about the pride she felt when she registered to vote. She told me that she believed she had been turned away because of her religion, and she told me of friends and neighbors who had also been turned away, and of others who simply didn't bother to go to the polls, so certain were they of being denied. She told me that she was not offered a provisional ballot, but simply ordered to leave.

I know that it's not a huge list of names, but, unfortunately, I was not able to stick around to find out if any other voters were being turned away, because moments later the Lakewood Police arrived and, after taking down my name and address, informed me that I would be arrested unless I stayed away from the polling location.

Jessica Ferrato

Steaming Hot Plate of BS
Hail the food, not the chef:
Finally, someone who cares about the food more than being a "celebrity" chef ["Hail to the Chef," November 9].

I can relate to Parker Bosley's attitude about being a chef. It is one my father (also a chef, but not a "celebrity") shares as well.

Whatever happened to the good old days when dining out was about the meal and service, and not about the BS pretense? I think we'd all be better off worrying more about quality than dining at the latest hot-spot/trendy/celebrity-chef restaurant. I say kudos to Bosley for his honesty and integrity.

Alma Vega
Mateo's California Mexican Restaurant

He's Got Lollapalooza Hair
By definition, not an indie snob:
I just wanted to clear up the statement by Violet H from Lakewood [Sound Off, November 23]. When asked by Scene, "Who is the most over-hyped band in Cleveland?" she named Roué and the Boatzz. She also said we were a bunch of uptight indie snobs.

I just wanted to clear up the reputation of the drummer of Roué. Steve Mehlman, said drummer, is clearly early '90s grunge, I'm guessin' '92. The dude has the best Lollapalooza hair seen in over a decade, not to mention the combat boots and camouflage cutoffs. I assure you, one cannot be an uptight indie snob while sporting Lollapalooza hair.

Justin Coulter
Lead Snob of Roué

We Take Down Thugs
And with spiffy bar listings too:
I have noticed in the past few weeks several readers' complaints of your investigative journalism direction of the past few years. They seem to long for the days when Scene was basically a list of who was playing at what bar, with a few movie reviews and band reviews thrown in.

I don't get it. Investigative journalism is a dying art in this country, and I think you do it pretty well. I guess it's a reflection of a population that's too self-involved and lazy to look beyond their own desires for more than two minutes. Democracy takes work, people. Investigative journalism is a last defense against corporate and state corruption. We spend way too much time on things that ultimately don't matter, while the thugs steal the last of our freedom.

Steve Lull

Looking for Crabs
Nelson Ledges deserves better:
I can only hope that your choice to disclose so much about a drug subculture (emphasis on the "sub") does not adversely affect Evan or the thousands of visitors to Nelson Ledges who are not there for drugs ["Finding Neverland," November 2]. There are many of us out there, and it would be tragic if your article helped dismantle the Neverland you decided to dissect.

I go to Nelson Ledges for beautiful scenery, moving music, and positive social interaction. My eyes are never as wide as "coat buttons," I'm not interested in buying "swirling glass pipes and bongs," and I don't have any friends who would allow themselves to be called "Crabs." Why wasn't I or those like me mentioned in your article? Maybe if you had focused on the daylight hours, when children and dogs play on the beach, when vendors sell pizza instead of "classic white-fluff," your article would have painted a different picture.

You probably sought Crabs out because he looked like he'd make a good story. While you were traipsing around with him at four in the morning, I'm sure there were people like me sleeping peacefully in tents, perfectly content to have enjoyed a drug-free evening.

Kimberly Byce

Drug-free friends also welcome: What an awful and inaccurate article about Nelson Ledges. This is a place I take my children to swim and camp, a place I have attended many music festivals with drug-free friends. How is it that you managed to find the handful of incredibly screwed-up people in the park, then assume everyone who goes there is like that?

Liz Maher

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