The decline and fall of inner-ring civilization
East Cleveland is afflicted with the 3 D's: Disinvestment, Decay, and Demolition ["Welcome to East Cleveland," February 8]. For whatever reason, wealthier residents leave, and buildings fall to neglect and eventually have to be demolished. Sure, over a 40- to 50-year period, enough buildings are demolished to free up land to redevelop, but the social and economic costs are enormous.
East Cleveland is not the only community facing this. Cleveland and all its inner-ring communities face the three D's to some degree. Much of the blame must rest on the state of Ohio. The economic playing field is tilted against every older community. When Mentor and Solon can offer the same tax abatements that East Cleveland can, it is not a neutral playing field -- it is stacked against East Cleveland. When the state's transportation policy subsidizes development at the urban fringe, the incentive is to move. Now if GE threatened to leave Nela Park, the state would trip all over itself by offering tax breaks and incentives for them to stay.
What every older community in this state needs is state monetary incentives that encourage homeowners to invest in distressed communities. If the state doesn't act, we'll continue to see the 3 D's across Ohio.
Less care than a cat's meow
I enjoy reading your main articles on different subjects. Your article on East Cleveland tells what can happen when homes are broken and people have no respect for persons or property, when there are single-parent homes and moral decay. This did not happen overnight. It should have been stopped in its tracks years ago. Pride left that fine city with all its great history. People moved in who did not care a cat's meow. There is not a decent tax base from commercial enterprise or industry to make improvements. Just so sad.
Old Man Bearcat heaps the praise
I, without a hint of obsequiousness, truly enjoy Jeff Niesels articles. Actually, a lot. Especially the ones about local bands. Its even more fun when he busts those 80s shredder guys, even though he looks as though that would be his shit. You know, that sorta NASCAR mullet thing hes got going?
Seriously, though, I do like that stuff Jeff writes. Hey, Heaton is a friend of mine (I think he is anyway), and you were right on the mark about that mothafuka. I know I'm kinda new on the music scene here, but I have an idea that Jeff -- and the rest of you Scene boys and girls -- should occasionally talk to a musician, instead of giving ink to computer programmers, lawyers, and bank tellers. Or do we have to sober up and get fucking day jobs before somebody at a local paper (I use the term loosely) does a story on an actual musician around here? Anyway, Scene is great. Free Times really blows.
Critiquing the critic
Boy, Jeff Niesel must have had a really bad day when reviewing the High School Rock Off [Soundbites, February 1]. Rather than note the fact Cleveland's next generation has this great opportunity to explore and expose their music, he chose to put down not only these young bands, but also the very event itself.
How many opportunities do aspiring musicians get? And why make such gruff comments about veteran PD reporter Michael Heaton? What was the point? It's a shame that, with all the talent and diversity that has always been associated with Cleveland music, this reviewer felt the need to only harp on the negative. Niesel's attempt to destroy the enthusiasm of our youth (after all, every band has to start somewhere) not only was unfair, it was simply unnecessary. Rock on, kids, and don't let the reviewers get you down.
J.C.C. topped N.Y.C.
We thoroughly admired and appreciated Visiting Mr. Green at the Jewish Community Center's Halle Theatre. We can't say the same about Keith Joseph's review of the play ["Something for Everyone?", February 8]. If he thinks that author Jeff Baron didn't touch genuine emotions in the audiences, he should have talked to some in the audience. I first saw the show in New York, and it was wonderful. Reuben Silver and Scott Plate under Dorothy Silver's direction were equal to or better than the leads in the original New York production. Critic Joseph should lose his "visiting" rights.