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Cleveland Needs Plain Relief


The newly merged Scene and Free Times should continue to expose our local Democratic and Republican party duopoly politicians who are selling out to the legalized bribery of their funders, wealthy big business and, it is said, some labor unions. It is organized crime, but they are our corrupt government and will not put each other in jail. The wealthy Plain Dealer is a major part of the problem by censoring and slanting news and editorials to help the wealthy control Cleveland and Cuyahoga County government. The weekly Sun newspapers are owned by the Plain Dealer's parent company.

The August 30, 2007 Plain Dealer reported that rich local businessmen Malachi Mixon, Tony George and Ed Crawford want Cleveland City Council reduced. Why? To more easily buy off council members? The Plain Dealer is not satisfied that Clevelanders lost their right to elect the school board and is now trying to reduce democracy further by reducing city council and eliminating the election of some county government officials. It is not about right wing or left wing. It is about "wealthy wing." The Plain Dealer was the main cheerleader when county commissioners enacted the recent sales tax increase to practically give their buddies, the politically powerful Democratic Kennedy family and the big funder of local politicians, Tower City owner Sam Miller, the Medical Mart and new convention center (apparently going on Miller's land behind Tower City) as corporate welfare, with our tax money. Average Clevelanders are working two jobs just to survive.

The Plain Dealer and its long-time aristocratic editorial director Brent Larkin should call upon the Cleveland Charter Review Commission — composed of ruling-class cronies city council appointed — to recommend the following city charter improvements to make City Hall accountable to the public: Let Cleveland residents speak at city council meetings. Limit election giving to $100 from any person, to reduce legalized bribery. Return to electing council members every two years, like Congress, not every four years. Make recalling council members easier, not more difficult. Prohibit using tax money to avoid legal action, as Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney did by getting $80,000 in tax money from his buddy Mayor Frank Jackson to settle with former Council Clerk Emily Lipovan rather than face accusations of sexual harassment and computer spying.

These are just a few examples of our local politicians abusing the public for their own gain. Reducing city council does not solve any of this. The corruption is the problem. Our leaders are sold-out misleaders and slackers. That is why Clevetown has been going downhill.

Steve Gannis



So, is Chubby Checker the most delusional person you have ever interviewed? (Soundcheck, Free Times, July 1). This guy's head is so far up his own ass it's unbelievable. Doesn't he realize he bastardized "The Twist" with such songs as "Slow Twist," "Let's Twist Again," "Twistin' USA," "Twist It Up," "Twist Around the World," "Mexican Hat Twist," "Mister Twister" and the ever-popular song "Surf Party" (which doesn't have the word twist in the title but mentions twistin' to some degree). And the fact that he didn't even write the song is hilarious. I wonder why he never came up with a patriotic twist song, like "Twistin' for the Troops" or "Let's Slow Twist for the Victims of 9/11." What a d-bag. Everyone knows the best song about twisting was sung by Sam Cooke anyways.Sad to see the Free Times and Scene merge into one.

Jeff Sierputowski



Did Mark Naymik win awards for the Free Times in the mid-'90s and write City Chatter when it was actually worth reading, or am I mistaken? How could you devote an entire issue to the history of the paper and omit Naymik's name? Please tell me it's in here and I just missed it. I've really enjoyed your paper over the past 16 years and I will miss it. Good luck to all of you.

Jay Casey

Editor's note: Mark Naymik did write an essay for the last issue of Free Times, but due to e-mail problems we did not receive it before press time.And on a related note: Due to technical difficulties related to the merger of Scene and Free Times, e-mails sent to were not received. If you sent an e-mail to that address recently, please resend it.


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