I was born and raised in Garfield Heights. My mother still lives on Hathaway Road in Valley View. I grew up next to the middle school. On a hot day the smell would be so horrible that you wanted to throw up. In the mid-'90s, we formed an environmental group in school and ventured down the hill behind K-Mart to take pictures of the orange rivers and of various wastes seeping into our environment ["Tomb With a View,"
January 10]. My parents always knew, too, but they just didn't think it would matter.
My mother had parathyroid cancer. I now have a thyroid disease and have been treated for rare fertility issues since I was 13. In 2000, we sold our house on Thraves Avenue. I now live in Tampa, Florida.
Since moving, I look back at the corruption and palm-greasing back home in disgust. The governments in Cuyahoga County and much of the Great Lakes region cannot handle honesty and the changing infrastructure in America. We are an environmentally aware country, and until Garfield Heights realizes this, nobody will purchase a house in the city. The residents left will die out.
Thank you for a wonderful and insightful story, hopefully there will be strides made on this issue.