Letters To The Editor
When I agreed to serve as a member of Lakewood City Council, I vowed to strive to do the right thing for our residents, not necessarily the popular thing. Since introducing legislation to ban those dogs know as “pit bulls” from Lakewood, all members of Council have been deluged with e-mails arguing against such a ban, mostly from out-of-towners. Sadly, the pit bull ban is receiving an inordinate amount of public attention, even though it is but a small part of the broader effort by the Mayor and Council to make Lakewood a safer place to live. We should be focusing on the recent decision to add four new full-time and ten part-time police officers, but we are instead flooded with advice from out-of-state special interest groups about dogs...
Lately, whenever I tell someone that I live in Lakewood, and that I volunteer for the Lakewood Animal Shelter, I usually get blasted about the ban on pit bulls. I have heard many thoughts, rants and commentary concerning the law, from people both for and against it. Rarely have I been asked to voice my own opinions. I’d like to take the opportunity to do so now.
When it comes to pit bulls, I sit on a very broad fence. My fence does not have just two sides – rather, it sits at the juncture of several fields of thought, and from my perch, I can see each field. Let me tell you about them...
My purposes for writing this are twofold: it is intended first as a rebuttal to Councilman Brian Powers’ article from the May 27th Lakewood Observer; second, I write this as an open letter to all citizens of Lakewood, so that both sides of the issue may be understood.
Let me start by saying that I do truly believe that Councilman Powers has the best interest of Lakewood citizens at heart. I appreciate what he is trying to accomplish, specifically ensuring the safety of our residents. I wouldn’t wish it any other way. I do believe, however, that his proposal to ban “pit bulls” and other breeds, though well-intended, is misguided...
Following the tragedy of 9/11, evidence was slowly uncovered explaining the causes and effects of the events that took place. Following this period of scantily documented speculation, the 9/11 Commission published its report. Some time after that event, various theories which contradicted this explanation began to emerge. And, following that, several groups, including the magazine “Popular Mechanics,” began publishing counterarguments to these contradictory claims. Unless I’m mistaken, that is where we stand today. And, if you recall, that was the initial nature of my inquiry. My question stands: “Do you have anything new to add or anything that refutes the scientific evidence that has been used to disprove your theories?” The ball is in your court.
Why do we live in Lakewood? I can honestly say, as a native to upstate New York and having lived in several other states, that Ohio – specifically Lakewood – has some of the friendliest, kindest, best people I have met. It was definitely a good choice for my wife and me to purchase a house in Lakewood and start a family. The schools are great; the teachers are caring and kind.
I'd like to begin by commending the staff of the Lakewood Observer for the fine publication they produce. As a Lakewood resident, I look forward to reading the Lakewood Observer, and always appreciate the information provided in this publication.
Although I enjoy the publication, I was dismayed with some issues related to the articles on the Fry Avenue stand off.
Often, during my weekly call to my mother, the conversation turns to some aspect of Lakewood that is missing in her community an hour to the west. After St. Patrick’s Day we chatted about the special fried green tomato and havarti sandwiches from Melt (her town is more of a Bob Evans type of place). On numerous occasions she’s talked about moving to the bottom floor of a Lakewood duplex once she retires, and while I’m sure she looks forward to truffled corn bisque from Souper Market, it is Lakewood’s services that she really admires and that I consider a keystone of this community.
For the protection of our environment and our health, I want to encourage every Lakewood resident this Election Day to vote YES for Issue 2, which will continue the Clean Ohio Fund without raising taxes. Simply put, the Clean Ohio Fund pays for protecting green space and cleaning up brownfields...
The article entitled "Journy Back in Time with the Beck Center", which ran in our June 24 issue, was not atributed to the proper author. By my error, Fran Stroch's name was printed in place of the proper author, Kelly Kutler.
I apologize to Kelly and Fran for this oversight.
I am appalled by the proposed cuts to our city services in Lakewood.I have been a property owner in Lakewood for over thirty years. I have also owned property outside of Lakewood and had dealings with the county health and
building departments. On the city level I receive one on one contact, with the county I was lost in the crowd. It is comforting to have city inspectors to keep me informed and prevent health and safety issues before they occur...
Our police, fire and EMS departments are all second to none and we have a congressman, Dennis Kucinich, who chose Lakewood for his Congressional district office site with a staff whose reason for being is constituent service.
I recently read that Lakewood will hold a council meeting next week to consider banning the Pit Bull breed in Lakewood, Ohio. As a citizen of Lakewood and an animal lover, I would like to voice my concern on the passing of this bill...
The economic decline of the County is blamed (in part) on corruption and the lack of transparency under the current system. As you might expect, Mr. Kaufman names no names, lists no specific projects, and details no dollar amounts. Who is corrupt? What projects spent money in a questionable fashion? Don’t ask. The County’s decline is attributed to some mysterious “they”...
You have likely seen the commercial by now: a mom and dairy farmer, Brenda Hastings is shown on her farm in Geauga county. She promotes, “safe and affordable local food” and “fair treatment” of livestock. She touts Issue 2 as beneficial for both farmers and the people. The lobbyists behind these advertisements have been very creative with their word choices to capitalize on votes, targeting their advertising towards people interested in the popular local food movement. But, let’s take a closer look. Issue 2 writers and lobbyists include the Ohio Pork Producers Council, the Ohio Livestock Commission and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. These associations have restaurant and factory farmers’ bottom lines as their primary focus, not the humane treatment of animals, food safety, the health of Ohioans or the environment.
I have fought for decades to keep casino gambling out of Ohio, and Ohioans have seen through the casino gambling sham time-and-time again – voting it down four times. We are once again being forced to defend against an attack on Ohio’s families. This attack is being brought on by a familiar foe: the selfish out-of-state backers of Las Vegas-style casinos in Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus.
I am especially concerned this time around because I know Ohioans are struggling and are desperate for a quick fix, which the promoters of Issue 3 are exploiting with their commercials. But, more gambling is not the kind of help Ohio needs to revitalize its economy. It takes money away from local businesses, restaurants, churches and families, and gives it to the wealthy owners of the casinos who need it the least. Ballot Issue 3 intentionally preys on human weakness to line the pockets of the promoters. Meanwhile crime, bankruptcies and devastated families take a toll on everyone, even those who avoid the slot machines.
To the editor:
When I was carrying my third child more than 22 years ago, I met Sarah Lemmer. You can usually find Sarah working hard as a waitress at The Place to Be. Everyone knows Sarah. Chances are she knows your name and everyone else in the restaurant. Sarah has been serving good, hot food seven days a week to make ends meet. That was, up until about six weeks ago.
The issue here is not about dogs. It is about PEOPLE! People’s safety, children’s safety, and the unfortunate inability for pit bull owners to abide by the present law...
Regina Brett’s outrageous column in the Aug. 10 Plain Dealer, which comes out against Lakewood’s dog park and slanders the entire canine species, might merely be consigned to the annals of journalistic atrocities were it not for the fact that it provides ammunition for Rocky River’s legal aggression.
To the Editor:
Proposed legislation in the U.S. House would weaken existing protections against mercury pollution emitted by industrial boilers. While I urge our lawmakers to strengthen, not weaken, regulations around boilers, another major source of mercury and other air pollutants is coal-fired power plants. Many power companies are taking steps to upgrade their facilities to minimize pollution--or better yet, investing in efficiency or clean technologies.
With the cost of food and the transportation costs of foodstuffs constantly rising and the likelihood of a deepening, world wide recession, it is time for the City of Lakewood to reconsider its prohibition on the keeping small livestock, such as rabbits and chickens. I have lived in Lakewood for 26 years, and I do not make this suggestion lightly. We are entering a time of great economic crisis, not unlike the World Wars and the Great Depression, when citizens turned their yards into gardens, and those living on functioning family farms and the wealthy were the only ones who could depend on a constant supply of fresh food.
To the editor:
Many thanks to the wonderful people who put together the Jerry Gruss Baseball Marathon Tribute on Aug. 11. Words cannot say how grateful my family and I are to have such an honor.
I had the opportunity to spend some time in Seneca Falls, New York this summer. It was my third visit to this “must do” destination for all feminist pilgrims in search of a few hours of inspiration and immersion in our women's rights history. Seneca Falls is home to the Women's Rights National Historic Park, National Women's Hall of Fame, and the historic home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, human rights activist and convener of the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls back in July of 1848.
Participants and contributors to the Observer project wear many hats in the community. There are different roles that we all have of employment, service on a board or commission, and civic involvement. Sometimes, the identification of one’s role when writing an article for publication is important to a reader’s evaluation of that article. The Lakewood Observer must establish a transparency policy.
I would like to thank all of the citizens and business owners of Ward 3 (south of Madison) who attended our August 8th Block Watch meeting at Roosevelt School. Despite the heat, over 100 people attended the meeting from a variety of streets and most signed up to initiate a Block Watch Program on their street. You are to be congratulated on taking the first step towards being part of the solution to our neighborhood problems.
Was Bret Callentine just trying to stir up controversy when he wrote about the U.S. health care system in the March 4 Observer? I can't believe he was really serious. If so, he certainly doesn't accept the principle that a nation's status is best judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens...
I would like to applaud Mayor FitGerald for his recent Green Refuse Initiative that he proposed to city council in November. He is certainly thinking in the right direction as we enter the new year with a million dollar budget deficit. I am especially enthused that part of the Green Initiative will eliminate the outdated and costly back yard service that has grown to be a 'sacred-cow' with many residents.
However, if the Mayor and City Council are serious about reducing the upcoming budget deficit, they need to take a hard look at privatizing our waste collection and recycling services.
To the Editor:
As Class of 1960 graduates from Lakewood High School, we continue to be grateful for the excellent education we received throughout our years in the Lakewood City Schools. As nearly lifelong Lakewood residents, we were proud to watch our two daughters graduate from the same Civic Auditorium stage more than 30 years later. The exceptional educational opportunities offered to all of us enabled pursuit of advanced degrees and successful professional careers.
Our decision to remain, and to retire in Lakewood, has been easy. Outstanding city services, business offerings, restaurants, churches, and our treasured schools provide daily confirmation of the strength and vitality of our community.
Lakewood City Schools Levy, Issue 14, provides us with a special opportunity to "Pay it forward " for those who follow us. We heartily endorse and support a vote FOR Issue 14.
Anne and Jack Palomaki
After again reading more comments on the proposed CVS building on Detroit, the rumors of McDonalds and all the concern, I pose this question to the residents of Lakewood- "Do I support Lakewood businesses?"
Fran Hayhurst Bott, Lakewood High Class of 1966 (or thereabouts), your brother Phil is looking for you.
Fran married Hank Bott after high school.
She worked at Gregory's Originals Hair Salon on Detroit as a receptionist.
Her brother Phil, who she has not seen in more than 20 years, would love to re-connect.
Call Karen (Phil's caregiver) at (216) 973-2633 if you can help.
On January 17, the Obama Administration announced that it was pushing to get the 50 state attorneys general to agree to a mortgage fraud settlement with America’s largest banking institutions. However, a key fraudulent practice will not be part of that proposed settlement--the “robo-signing” scandal. This ongoing scandal involves bank employees signing names not their own, under titles they did not have, attesting to the veracity of documents they had not seen or reviewed. Much evidence exists that it was an industry-wide practice, dating back to 1998 at the earliest, and that it has, in fact, clouded the titles of millions of homes. If the settlement is agreed to, it will let bankers off the hook for crimes that would land you and me behind bars--fraud, forgery, securities violations and tax evasion.
The various books, magazines and websites I read often contain various charts that include statistical and scientific data on the economy and the environment. The foundation of such charts begins with vertical and horizontal lines used to graph the trajectory over time of the arc, bend or curve of important research facts and findings.
Each fall for the past few years, bright yellow tree-lawn signs have proliferated throughout Lakewood, indicating that we should “BRAKE 4 KIDS”. Though a well-intentioned slogan and suggestion, designed to protect our children from the harm imposed by reckless and irresponsible drivers, I feel we may be missing the mark. A small percentage of Lakewood’s population is affected by traffic mishaps, and is certainly something to be avoided, but a much larger disservice is done to our children through parent non-involvement with a child’s education. If we compare the number of children that are hit by a car, versus the number of children who have no motivation for success in the classroom, I am sure the second scenario would have the overwhelming numbers. There are plenty of studies that indicate parent involvement in a child’s education does have an impact. Encouragement, support, help, and direction to our children’s success in school should bring favorable results, if everyone would participate. The article below was written 22 years ago, but the message is the same today.
I am writing regarding the article, "Can the Worst Be Avoided," published in the July 12, 2011 Lakewood Observer.
I attended Emerson Junior High School 1942- 1944 and rode my bike there every day, including on winter snow days. No problem. My route originated at 1494 Cohassett Avenue, (where my sister still resides- she mailed me the article), then north on Cohassett to Detroit, west on Detroit to the crossing in front of Garfield School, crossed Detroit with crossing guard (a regular cop at times), west on the north side of Detroit to Clarence Place, north to Hazelwood, west on Hazelwood to Nicholson, north on Nicholson to Emerson, crossing Nickel Plate Road Tracks where there was a crossing watchman weekdays and finally, west on Emerson to Emerson Junior High School.
To the Editor:
January 10, 2012
Dear Lakewood Observer Editor,
I have been going to the Convenient store on Madison Avenue for years. Service is always good.
The owner, Neil McReynolds, showed me a letter he got from Chief of Police Timothy J. Malley. The letter said the police Narcotics/Vice unit did "compliance inspections" on December 2, 2012, trying to identify stores that sold alcohol to underage kids.
The letter said Neil's store was among those that refused to sell to underage buyers, and the Chief thanked Neil.
To the Editor:
The Opinion piece, "Lakewood Citizens Will Bear At Least 2% Of Cost For Arthur Avenue Decorative Light Project" (April 3, 2013), tells only part of the story. While installation of fourteen LED streetlights would make our block prettier and safer, the cost to light our street every night would be significantly reduced for ALL Lakewood residents.