Cleveland, love it or leave it: Keep Ron Rajecki and fire Elaine Cicora. Why? Because Mr. Rajecki knows the truth ["Dear Cleveland," March 1]. I know about the people who wish that Cleveland were like New York or Chicago. However, the people who are supposed to be our city's biggest champions -- the members of our local media -- seem to be the ones who complain the most. Seeing all those disgusting comments made by local "journalists" about various haunts reminiscent of New York City depresses me.
If all these Clevelanders want the local scene to be like the Big Apple's, why don't they just move there? Cleveland needs a media that will celebrate our uniqueness, our history, and where we're going, as well as the people who will get us there. If Trattner, Cicora, McEnery, Piai, Taxel, and the others can't embrace a "Cleveland feel," then they can get the hell out.
Thank you, Ron Rajecki, for a damn good article.
Let Cleveland be Cleveland: I think Ron Rajecki's article is right on the money.
As a Tremont resident and unrepentant Cleveland booster, I don't think we need to channel anyone else's vibe -- not even that too-cool New York City vibe to which some Clevelanders aspire.
Cleveland doesn't have to play second fiddle to New York, Chicago, or any other city. The only thing standing in our way is the wrongheaded attitude -- perpetuated by some local politicians and media outlets -- that our city is "down and out" and can never be as good as New York or Chicago, or even as good as it was 30 years ago. I wish they'd all move to New York and Chicago, and let us get on with the business of being Cleveland.
Don't go to New York for happy hour: From a New Yorker who got married in Cleveland and loves Cleveland: funny stuff.
F.Y.I., Cleveland media: New York is almost famous for having a notoriously weak happy-hour scene. Everyone works till eight or nine and goes out at midnight. Plenty of tumbleweed at six p.m. That's why the East Village bars give away booze till eight.
Brooklyn, New York
We'll take the beer and steak: We get the same bullshit comparisons to New York all the time here. Console yourself with this thought: In New York they pay four times the price for the same beer and steak you enjoy, and think it's something special. Plus, their sports teams suck egg meal.
Have we got unique: I just had to drop you a line about Ron Rajecki's article. This is so true. I have never seen a city with such low self-esteem.
Why do we need to try and be cool by imitating everyone else? Cleveland is such a unique town, with so many different cultures that could make it great if we just allowed them to shine, instead of shunning them. Why do we continually take pride in being slovenly losers?
In the past, Cleveland actually was a cutting-edge town. We can do it again. We don't have to rebuild everything, like the new Flats project. We just need to promote what we have that makes us a great place.
We can be trendsetters just like New York, L.A., and Chicago, if we'd just try.
Don't take pride in being an imitative loser. Take pride in what makes us Cleveland.
Betcha 50,000 Frenchmen aren't laughing: For a change, I'm not pissing and moaning about this or that . . . just a brief message to say how much I enjoy the writing in First Punch. I love the wry, creative humor so often manifested, and on more than one occasion, I have laughed out loud.
The most recent LOL was prompted by the first 10 words in the last paragraph of "Alcoholics Anonymous" [February 15]: "Since liquor is to Cleveland what surrender is to France . . ."
Very, very funny.
Louis H. Pumphrey
Body bags are the measure of sacrifice: While your article ["Discarded Heroes," January 18] was tragic, it was far from unexpected. George W. Bush has created far too many Rick Clasens. The truly sad part is that America, deep down, really doesn't seem to care.
This is a war being fought on the cheap, without any sacrifice from most people. The only people Bush and the Republicans have asked to sacrifice are the more than 2,200 men and women who have given their lives. But far too many stupid white male chickenhawks view this war as nothing more than a videogame in which they can flaunt their supposed manhood. As long as they don't have to do anything but run their mouths or worry about their lazy and spoiled suburban white kids, the Rick Clasens of this world mean nothing to them.
Bush's robotic supporters in suburbia need a long-overdue shock to the system. What is needed is the immediate resumption of an unqualified universal military draft. A draft that includes all men and women between the ages of 18 and 35, without any exemption or deferment, might cause the common folks to rethink their blind cheerleading of Bush's obscene little adventure.
Maybe when enough of their precious Scotts and Susies come home in body bags, the Bushies might finally open their eyes and demand an end to this madness. Only then will Rick Clasen and the rest of our troops be fully appreciated for the true heroes they are.