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Cow Town Conniption

Letters published April 25, 2007

Shecks! That thar's a helluva good point! What is this, Kick Lorain County Month?

Jared Klaus' mean-spirited story about South Amherst's thwarted plans to turn an abandoned quarry into useful land ["Fantasy Island," March 28] was nastily contorted, to say the least. Why be so quick to belittle the benign village 30 miles from Cleveland and call it a "cow town?" And what, for heaven's sake, was that subsequent letter-writer smoking when he damned Lorain County for being so bigoted as to vote down gambling [Letters, April 11]? Lorain County has one of the highest percentage of pro-gambling voters in Ohio, and it initiated the state's first gambling initiative almost 20 years ago.

As far as I could tell, all South Amherst and Lorain County did was entertain a genuine proposal for tourism development -- not such a far stretch, considering nearby Sandusky is the biggest Mecca for indoor-outdoor, year-round tourism in the Midwest. From what I've read, the decision-making for South Amherst was guided by background checks and research -- not Klaus' small-town brand of easy incredulity.

South Amherst and Lorain County powers-that-be would be more remiss if they summarily dismissed those British businessmen wielding big plans and big pockets. Did those Brits invest thousands of their own money flying back and forth to South Amherst and commission architectural firms for pricey drawings as a practical joke?

Alas, the quarry project, like so many big ideas nearer to our non-cow-town of Cleveland, seems to have fallen through for now. But take heart, and don't get so angry -- South Amherst and its Lorain County coffers would need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars for land preparation in hopes of doing anything with the abandoned quarry other than letting it sit and rot. That may make people like Klaus and the letter-writer shout, "Shecks! That thar is a helluvalotta dern money!" But, even according to Klaus' own reporting, the town and county that actually invested it seem to be taking it all in stride much better than Scene has.

Howard Gollop

Opportunity Ain't Knockin'
Diversity deferred is the sad reality:
I just wanted to commend you on bringing to light what is a well-known but rarely discussed problem in the world of blue-collar employment here in Northeast Ohio ["Lone Ranger," April 11]. Too often we see situations where, despite diversity-enforcement regulations, the balance is just not there.

You can see it every day on major highways and construction sites throughout the area, come summer: few if any faces of color behind those orange vests and yellow hard hats. We see it every day, but we turn a blind eye to it because of the inconvenience of making a change. That would mean having to deal with the noise, dirt, heat, and humidity that's common with modern construction.

But you can't say that those in authority aren't aware of it. Bob Dean is to be commended for his continuous efforts to expose this situation. Unfortunately, Cleveland is the site of many valiant efforts that have gone down in vain. Perhaps it's just part of our nature now. It's disgraceful that there were those willing to take advantage of the lax enforcement and do nothing more than make a quick, empty profit for themselves. Their profits come at the cost of others' ability to feed their families. If nothing else, we as consumers and taxpayers should learn from this and make use of the listing compiled by the Port Authority and the Office for Equal Opportunity, taking note of which companies to avoid doing business with until real changes are made for the better.

Joel Warren
Parma Heights

Samuel L. Jackson as the Lone Ranger? I really enjoyed your article on Bob Dean. I am so sick of what politicians have done to our city. I think many people are, but are not fully aware or don't know what to do. Cleveland is located in an enviable geographic area, and yet we are the poorest city in the nation.

When I look at Chicago, which is in a similar setting, I know there's no good excuse to be in our situation. I hate how the public schools have been raped, which I consider a government-funded form of child abuse. I was around when the Ohio Lottery was supposed to solve our schools' financial problems, but where does the cash go?

Thanks for reporting on this issue. Keep it up. This story would make a great movie and maybe embarrass those in charge enough to do something.

Peggy Kranyak

The Skinny on Dipping
Her specialty? Freestyle, of course:
I have never been to the [Northcoast Naturists'] bowling ["Gutter Balls," April 4], but I have been to their swims in Rocky River. This is a wonderful group and a fabulous way to relax.

Being nude has helped me become more comfortable in my own skin. I miss it terribly. I haven't been to a swim all winter, but look forward to getting out and naked this summer. I am a 39-year-old female and have been a social nudist for just two years.

Dee Radford

Taylored for Your Pleasure
Yet in La La Land, they mysteriously dis:
I would like to thank you for the very nice article on Taylor Hicks ["Idol's Workshop," March 28]. He has taken the high road consistently since winning the American Idol crown, despite all of the disrespect shown him by the show's producers. That is still a mystery to me. I would encourage everyone to see a live performance -- he is a great entertainer.

Ginger Edgar
Mobile, Alabama

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