The 411 on the 911

Letters published August 1, 2007

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chicken fighting residency rules Dish Deli Cleveland Police Lakewood
Slo-mo police force just a symptom: Your piece on the slow response by Cleveland Police to 911 calls about the West Sixth Street melee [First Punch, July 11] is symptomatic of the ineptitude that has helped to cripple the city since the days cops drove ugly pea-soup-colored cars. And in the aftermath of the shooting, it was the same old finger-pointing and hand-wringing by police and public officials. Where's Tom Johnson when you need him?

Philip Althouse

He Won't Eat Crow
Judge not -- and spit out that Kentucky Fried:
So when will big-city liberals who preach "multiculturalism" start living the crap they spout? For people who fight chickens ["Chicken Wars," July 4], it's their culture and their choice. You say you're tolerant? Well, fucking show it for once in your overprivileged lives.

Erik Duncan

Boxed In
Rigid thinking may doom a neighborhood:
Thank you for putting out a story that is reflective of how our safety forces are dealing with the residency issues ["West Park Story," July 11].

My husband is a Cleveland fireman, and we fought with Sam DeVito on this issue. The city could have settled with its employees by giving us 10 years and out, but they thought they would win. This issue would have never arisen had they given Sam an exemption. They disregarded the passion he had for his son and his fight for what he believed in. You call any representative in Columbus and ask him or her about Sam DeVito, and they will know his name and his story.

At first I thought it was going to be negative by its title, but it turned out to be a very good story. With a family of four, I do not want to leave my neighborhood, but they might give me no choice. Just give us a reason to stay. They should be thinking about that right now, instead of waiting for the courts to decide. We need to get people thinking outside the box at City Hall, and I really don't see Frank Jackson's people doing that.

Colleen Vargo

Cops should charter their own territory: There are plenty of good reasons for a city to demand that its employees live within city limits. They want to keep residents' taxes and build relationships between the public servants and the people they serve. If the police and firefighters are worried about their children's educations, why don't they start a charter school?

From the way Scene has complained about the spread of these institutions, they must not be hard to start. If they set their standards high, they should get a quality education for their kids in an environment they can control.

Dan Schneider
Garfield Heights

Dishing It Out
One huge slab of humble pie, coming up:
Just wanted to comment on Dish Deli [Café, July 11]. I was a frequent customer of Take-a-Bite for a few good reasons: close to work, good food, and reasonably priced. Both Tom and Joy were friendly and down-to-earth.

I have since been to Dish a few times and was really impressed with the makeover. The food is delicious and priced about the same. Still, Ms. Criszt was a bit aloof (snobbish) during the few encounters I've had with her.

The first time I visited, I commented to the counter help and within earshot of Ms. Criszt how nice the place looked. She was sitting five feet in front of me at her desk and never acknowledged the compliment. Maybe she still retains some cockiness, as she admits she harbors resentment and bitterness for not being where she thought she would be in 10 years. Woe is me. Who wants to hear her whining about Michael Symon getting all the accolades for his well-deserved success?

Another thing Michael has going for him is his charisma, personality, and charm. I've waited on both him and Rocco Whalen at Civilization in Tremont, and both guys are down-to-earth, friendly, and like to laugh. I'm guessing some of Ms. Criszt's lack of success could be her personality. If she's aloof to customers, I can only imagine how she treats her staff. I think she needs to take a big bite of humble pie.

Mary Dekleva

Shh! Rich people reading!
Libraries widen the racial divide:
Lisa Rab's story about blacks increasingly moving into Lakewood ["Real World Lakewood," July 18] misses a few important points. Blacks are not just living around West 117th, but also in the middle of Lakewood. The city has been less than welcoming.

They've taken down city-park basketball hoops, where mostly blacks played. They closed the computer center a few weeks ago at the Detroit Avenue library, where many -- black and white -- spend time constructively on the computers. Many poor Lakewood residents, including numerous black youths, now have to walk a very long distance to another library to use computers.

Just like City Hall, the well-paid library director Kenneth Warren and upper-class library board of trustees (who no doubt own computers and cars) do not care about poor people, yet our taxes finance their salaries.

Joe Carter

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