The Day Old Sparky Died

Letters published March 21, 2002

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Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy
Ron Young lost a friend:

The article "The Good, the Bad & the Irritating" [February 14] by David W. Martin made for enjoyable reading, though I was more than a little dismayed upon reading about Republican state Representative Ron Young from my hometown of Painesville. While I'm supportive of Young's pro-life legislation that would have given Ohio motorists an option to purchase license plates with the words "Choose Life" on them (with proceeds aiding a crisis pregnancy center), I was offended to read that Young supports capital punishment, including the barbaric, torturous electrocution method.

It is not our place on earth to decide who shall live and who shall die -- either in utero or ex utero -- except in cases of self-defense, when one's own life is in obvious peril. Capital punishment of born or unborn human beings has no place in a civilized society. It might be appropriate for alleged Christians who support capital punishment to reflect on the question "What would Christ do?"

Louis H. Pumphrey
Shaker Heights

Get your reps in:

This letter is in response to "The Good, the Bad & the Irritating." Since I've lived under the rule of C.J. Prentiss, the amicability of Ed Jerse, and the leadership of Ron Young, I'm probably more qualified to comment on them than paid lobbyists hidden under cover of anonymity.

I was amazed at the sarcastic tone of the lobbyists. Most of the printed comments would have been better left unprinted. It really isn't important that lobbyists are happy. We are the people who the legislators represent. Ms. Prentiss does have a reputation of fighting for her constituents, as long as she agrees with them. I observed her in a town hall meeting years ago, and she struck me as someone who didn't understand and didn't care that many of her ideas would place undue burdens on small businesses. She seemed to be very consumed with businesses making more public toilets available and ignoring more important issues that were brought up for discussion.

Ed Jerse is a pleasant man. Ron Young was unfairly and sarcastically attacked in the article. I like the guy because of his efforts to rid us of E-check. Martin criticized Young for sponsoring a "Choose Life" license plate. Don't you think the person who would buy the plates might just think that's where they want their money to go? Or would it make Martin happier if the proceeds went to Planned Parenthood? The comments about who would show up at Young's funeral were unnecessary. And making statements about his thoughts on blacks based on the fact that he is married to a black woman was in poor taste and untrue. Young obviously enjoys the respect of the people he represents.

David Rogers
LeRoy, Ohio

True Irish people live in Ireland:

"Micks and Match" [March 7] showed your ignorance of things Irish. First of all, you have no idea what you are saying by writing "in the orange corner . . . the Chieftains." Being "orange" would mean being a supporter of the British occupation of the north of Ireland. The Chieftains are anything but that. You made a mistake by thinking that assigning the colors of the flag to musical groups and likening it to a boxing match was clever, when in fact it was insulting and misleading. Second, please stop with the green beer comments. True Irish people do not drink green beer, eat green bagels, or any of this other nonsense. You will not find green beer at any Irish American clubs or any true Irish bars, and I dare you to go in and ask for it. This is a religious holiday and a time to celebrate our heritage, not the drunken fest that "poser Irish" make it out to be.

Meghan Maloney-Craig

Celebrating Mike White's accomplishments:

One of the reasons I enjoy your rag is the variety of political opinion and the tiny counterweight you give to the ponderous PD. But you are so unrelentingly negative about the legacy of Mike White that your credibility suffers ["Wolf With No Fangs," February 7]. I don't know him well enough to critique his personal relationships with city employees and politicians. But I happen to like smart, forthright politicians who can articulate a coherent vision.

White took office shortly after I returned to Cleveland in 1986 after a 20-year absence overseas. What have I seen since? Three new sports palaces downtown that guarantee (to the extent possible in the twisted economic world of professional sports) that we will retain a major league football, baseball, and basketball team for years to come. This accomplishment is important to a few million of your potential readers and to the attractiveness of the region to talented people and business investors, and will be seen as a bargain in terms of cost in tax revenue a few years down the line. And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whatever its faults, is the only world-class attraction Cleveland has besides the Cleveland Orchestra.

How about the most new housing the city has seen in decades? Are any of your columnists old enough to see the contrast of areas like Chester Avenue between East 55th and 105th before and after White's incumbency? Can they contrast the thousands of middle-class apartments to the time, 20 or 30 years ago, when no one lived downtown if they had any other choice?

White had the guts and vision to commit Cleveland to export expansion by co-founding the Cleveland International Trade Alliance. I realize freer trade is anathema to your editorial views, but I spent 30 years promoting exports, and I can assure you that you are wrong. Northern Ohio's economic base is doomed without freer trade. Or to put it in your vernacular: "It's too late to build a 100-foot brick wall around America, dude."

Toby Zettler

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