Dimora holds down two tough jobs: In many cities across the country, "alternative" weekly newspapers meet high journalistic standards, filling a void not served by the dailies, to improve the quality of life and enhance their cities' reputations. Unfortunately, Scene will never serve any of those roles, so long as it eschews real investigative reporting in favor of sophomoric hatchet jobs such as the recent cover story "King Cuyahoga" [January 31].
Ha-ha. We get it -- Commissioner Dimora is a large man. How clever. From the title, I assumed that the story would focus on real problems in our county, and presumably some evidence as to how the commissioner's alleged dereliction of duty is fueling the same. The article contained nothing of the sort. To the contrary, it rehashed a litany of unsubstantiated rumors, tired gossip, and old gripes. About the only facts in the article were that Mr. Dimora apparently has a ribald sense of humor and uses salty language. Gee, there's a scoop.
After spewing forth for several pages, writer Jared Klaus concluded, "There's nothing illegal about [Dimora's conduct], and nobody can prove anything." So what is the point of the story?
I am not an apologist for Jimmy Dimora. He can be maddeningly tough to reach and is perpetually late for appointments. But he happens to hold down two of the toughest jobs in Cleveland -- Cuyahoga County commissioner and chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, the latter of which he does without pay.
Jimmy Dimora apparently fell into a vat of sewage while working at a waste-treatment plant as a kid. After reading this article, I certainly know how he must have felt.
Scene -- now fortified with articles! Wow, Scene. I used to play in an all-girl rock band, Lipstick, in the '80s, and I remember reading Scene inside and out every week until the mid-'90s, when I became a mother. If someone would have told me in the '80s that I would one day be reading Scene for the articles, I would have laughed hysterically.
"Tomb With a View" [January 10] and now "King Cuyahoga" -- I am thrilled to be back as an avid Scene reader. The substance and quality I have read is so refreshing -- by far the best read in town. And it's free. Wow.
Great magazine. Cleveland needs you. I need you.
Corruption never goes out of style: Just before I read Jared Klaus' excellent in-depth profile of Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, I watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Frank Capra's timeless 1939 tale of graft, greed, and corruption. After reading Klaus' story, it was like, as Yogi Berra would say, "déjà vu all over again."
The Oscar-winning film should be required viewing for businessman Sam Miller and for all elected officials -- not just Dimora -- who have shown signs of a compromised conscience and atrophied ethics. The clear message in the movie: Take actions that benefit the powerless, rather than yourselves and your power-abusing cronies.
Louis H. Pumphrey
What's a regular person to do? I must tell you the more I read of your article, the madder I became. Hard to believe that this type of corruption, graft, etc. is going on with basically no consequences, when our community is facing an uphill battle to stay afloat.
Have you had any response from the commissioners' office? They're all complicit in Jimmy's crimes, if you ask me.
Scene truly has some of the best investigative reports on this type of issue. What would you suggest a regular person do to combat this type of activity? Regular people have to do something, and I believe it can be fixed.
The Bishop: Extended Cut
Another sad little man: First Punch [January 31] exposes Bishop Richard Lennon's nastiness in the documentary Hand of God, about a clergy sexual abuse survivor. It was a disgusting display of clerical arrogance to insult the filmmaker. But it gives a vivid clue as to what Lennon is really like, and therein lies the true benefit. Forget the niceties -- Clevelanders see the unvarnished man.
Your readers may be interested in a fuller description of the encounter with Paul Cultrera in a chat session on The Washington Post website. When Lennon says, "Sir, if you think you're going to make me feel bad about this, you're not," he refers to the abuse itself.
Then Paul spoke of his fund-raising for the church. His films help raise millions of dollars, and the money and soul his parents put into the Church are valuable too. Whereupon came Lennon's reply: "You have given nothing, your parents have given nothing, it is all in your head, sir, you're a sad little man -- sad little man."
And Lennon is supposedly a descendant of the Apostles. He is a disgrace to his office and to Catholics everywhere. Please continue to ensure he gets that message at every turn.
Merrimack, New Hampshire
Cut from the same cloth: Thank you for your great article about the real small man, Bishop Richard Lennon. Lennon is a carbon copy of every hollow bishop in this country. Your article and the documentary Hand of God give a voice to all sexual abuse survivors in this country. Keep up the good work.