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Klan Fan Boosts Maligned Mayor

For his spirited defense of the First Amendment, Mayor Michael White has earned the admiration of no less a personage than Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon Reverend James Hogg. "He's upholding the Constitution," the appropriately named Hogg says of White's efforts to safeguard an August 21 Klan demonstration. "I've got a lot of respect for Mayor White. I'm going to tell all my [Cleveland] members to vote for him." Part of the Klan&supl;s summer tour, the Cleveland rally was slated not to coincide with the Browns exhibition game, according to Hogg, but to accommodate the schedule of Imperial Wizard Jeff Berry, who will be making a personal appearance. A former Clevelander himself, Hogg says he "hates to see anyone fighting" and is pained to hear the rally has caused a rift between White and Cleveland NAACP President George Forbes. Is there anything the Klan can do to help? Hogg laughs and offers, "Maybe we'll all go to dinner."

It's not a dearth of local police manpower that has drawn the FBI in on the case of Raycine Smith, the hairdresser who got acid thrown into her face at an East Cleveland salon earlier this month. Contrary to claims made over the weekend, there are suspects and a motive related to Smith's potential appearance as a witness in a federal drug case. "This was not as random as [investigators] are acting," confides one law enforcement official. "When you throw acid in somebody's face, you're sending a signal."

Friends of '60s counterculture writer d.a. levy are aghast over the suggestion that levy was murdered, raised by New York author Mike Golden in his new book The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle: The Art and Poetry of d.a. levy. Apropos of starving artists, levy's 1968 death was ruled a suicide. But Golden suggests — on the strength of no more than a letter from one of levy's neighbors — that he was murdered by a close friend, Robert Sigmund. "Everything in there is quotes. The book itself has no opinion," says Golden, who did all his research by phone from New York, neglecting to interview such basic sources as the coroner and East Cleveland police. "There's no indication or evidence that levy was murdered," says Cleveland attorney Tony Walsh, a close friend of levy who dismisses the theory as "full of shit." Mac's Backs bookstore co-owner Suzanne DeGaetano, who organized a reading for Golden at the Barking Spider before she read the book, is dispensing disclaimers with each sale. "Whenever someone asks for the book, I launch into this speech," she says. "I'm trying to make people aware there's a big problem." It's called libel.

The early results are in, and the deer are down. They're also considerably thinner than they were before last winter's controlled hunt at the overpopulated Bedford and Brecksville reservations, which culled 150 deer from each. Bedford has dropped from 120 to 82 deer per square mile, and the northern portion of Brecksville from 52 to 34. "Those numbers are still higher than they should be," says Metroparks spokeswoman Jane Christyson, noting that the ideal deer density is 25 per square mile. Animal symps can take heart in neighboring towns like Walton Hills and Brecksville, where aerial surveys indicate the ravenous deer population has grown. "Some people thought that, once the Metroparks take care of the deer, it will solve the problem for everybody," Christyson says. "Well, it's not." Venison steaks, anyone?

Raw meat and hot tips to edge@clevescene.com.

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