Trashing Grandpa

Letters published April 27, 2005

Share on Nextdoor
The Forty-Fives Beachland Ballroom Friday, April 22
Trashing Grandpa
It was the system that was delinquent:
This article showed just how screwed up America has become ["Ghost in the House," April 13]. All the youths who entered the house were subject to punishment by our "outstanding" judicial system, yet a frail, elderly man, who obviously is in need of the basic elements to survive, is left to finish his days in his own filth. The idea that social services closed this case, instead of seeing to the welfare of this gentleman, is atrocious!

I think there has been a huge disservice to all involved, and those responsible for the outcome should be prosecuted! Maybe the police, prosecutor, judge, and social worker involved should be sentenced to live out the remainder of their lives in this house. The youths brought this man food and money! What did others do for him? Leave him cold, hungry, and wallowing in his own filth! Way to take care of our elderly!

Tammy Green

Making a good kid look bad: I would just like to thank you for "Ghost in the House." My son, David Stefaniak, was one of the kids involved in this whole mess. My son was on house arrest for 42 days, had his license suspended for six months, and is on probation for trespassing! He didn't even go into this man's home.

This is the young man who is the junior class president, gets decent grades, holds a job, runs track, and has only missed one day of school this year -- and that was only due to the trial. This whole thing was blown so out of proportion, in order to make that ass of a judge look good!

Thanks again for the truth in your article. The truth is something that the Canton Repository and Akron Beacon Journal neglect to print.

Cathy Stefaniak
Canal Fulton

The minors were not the major issue: How could they correct the minors, but not the issue? The issue was a 91-year-old man living in his own feces. Gross! No water, no gas. But instead, they go completely around the issue and head straight to the punishment, shielding the truth to make the punishment more punishing. Wow, hats off to you guys -- not!

That was the most unkind act to the old guy, who should have gotten proper shelter due to all the exposure. But he didn't, which truly hurts my heart. To think, he may die tomorrow. Will Massillon even bury him? No, they won't, because his feces will!

Angela Smith

Just trying to help: Awesome job on "Ghost in the House." Thanks so much for doing it! It helped a lot of people see what actually happened. Maybe now people will see that all we were really trying to do was help out this guy, and they will realize that we were nothing but nice and friendly to him. Things seem to be going a lot better now, since the story came out! Thanks again for all that you have done!

Alyssa Vaughn
Canal Fulton

Unknown malice behind rural decay: Fantastic story. Perhaps the best I've yet to read in Scene. I grew up in Medina and moved away for school, but I continued to wonder about the past and present inhabitants of the decrepit homes that dot the Ohio countryside. Entire villages seem abandoned, even haunted. This abandonment seems even more supernatural when contrasted with the rapid pace of building in other burgs.

Why do some towns prosper and others rot? Is some unknown, malicious force at work? Great to see the subtle allusion to this contrast early in your article. Again, congrats.

John Jakob
New York City

Poor teens vs. greedy, selfish officials: I read the very well-researched and -presented article on what happened to those poor teenagers exploring a house and being sentenced to jail time with trumped-up charges. I was quite angry at the injustice they faced at the hands of opportunistic, greedy, and selfish officials in the prosecutor's office and on the judge's bench in Stark County.

I had a similar situation occur to me with Cuyahoga Falls officials, but thank God, it wasn't as bad as what those featured in your article went through. Keep up the good work of exposing these hypocrites for what they really are.

Shamsuddin Waheed

The old man needs help: After reading "Ghost in the House," what struck me as most disturbing was not the teenagers breaking into a house, the hungry investigators biting at a lead, or the hypocritical representatives of our justice system, but the mere fact that, after all this, a man still sleeps amid his own feces.

What action has been taken to provide this gentle soul with the basic necessities our social service programs have the resources to provide?

What can we, as concerned and compassionate citizens, do to ensure that Mr. Ohms' well-being is not ignored?

Kelli Butler

A Tasty Read
Cicora's reviews make the best appetizer:
I want to congratulate you on the wonderful article you wrote about the Udupi Cafe in Parma Heights ["The Other India," March 2]. Being from the south of India, I truly love the place and couldn't have done a better job at explaining the food. When I took a bunch of my friends there, I just printed out your article in advance and asked them to read it to get acquainted with the food. I always look forward to reading your reviews at to check out new and great places to eat in Cleveland.

Ramakrishnan Vijayakumar
Cleveland Heights

Scroll to read more Letters articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.