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Here's to Tradition

Letters published March 2, 2005

Anyone vaguely familiar with the history of banishment can put two and two together. Segregation = failure; prohibition = failure; gun control = failure (thank God for the first two).

People simply don't take kindly to being manipulated by overzealous councilpersons -- or any authority figure, for that matter. It has been proved that if the law is reasonable, the vast majority will honor it.

Demro should worry less about his self-righteous (and fruitless) attempt to moralize Lakewood, like his fellow holier-than-thou party members, and tend to the failing businesses and crumbling infrastructure rampant throughout our town.

Banning smoking in Lakewood, of all places, is neither reasonable nor an economically sharp decision. Not that I expect much more from Demro.

Kyle Weigand
Lakewood

The Scene path to financial security: I had to drop my daughter off for drum lessons before my wife and I could drive down to the car dealership and sign the final papers for a used SUV. As I traditionally do when I wait for her, I read the Scene. My heart about jumped out of my chest when I read your story ["Shark Tales," February 16].

I really didn't challenge the finance people about the rate they were getting for us. I assumed it was the best they could do. I had my wife read the article as soon as I got home. Because of your story, we were able to confidently challenge the dealership and bring the rate down enough to save us a couple thousand dollars over the next six years.

We have four kids and have no money to burn. I just want you to know that what you do does affect people in a positive way sometimes. I'm sure others have benefited from this story, and on their behalf, I want to say thank you!

David Rousculp
Brunswick

Bring us your weak, your stupid, your ignorant . . .: "Shark Tales" is a well-researched piece of journalism. It is sad to read how people are taken advantage of by unscrupulous car dealers bumping loans with finance institutions. If anything, this proves the old saw of "Let the buyer beware."

People must read and understand any lease agreement or loan application they sign. Although the public is generally protected from shady business practices, it's a Darwinian commercial world out there where the weak, the stupid, the ignorant, the spoiled, the lazy, and even the unlucky will get scalped.

Adding to the problem is the fact that too many people are woefully ignorant of elementary math, not to mention economics. Then there are those who read only at the comic book level. (Thank you, public schools.)

There's no magic bullet to solve this problem. Overly zealous consumer laws are counterproductive; they put restrictions on business that the rest of us end up paying for. My humble advice is this: When there's money on the table, trust nobody.

Peter Skurkiss
Stow

Alabama Slammed
That explains the Limey accent:
So you think Steel Pulse is from Birmingham, Alabama, that hotbed of reggae [Nightwatch, February 16]? Maybe the rest of that sentence, which refers to Steel Pulse finding its early audience playing with the Clash and the Police, should have clued you in that they are from Birmingham, England.

Jim Valentine
South Euclid

Smoking: It's All Good
Rise up against outlaw councilmen:
It's encouraging to see that Pete Kotz, along with 95 percent of Lakewood and those in surrounding suburbs, understands that removing smoking from bars will have not one positive effect on our aging suburb, including our even more quickly aging tax base ["Dead Men Drinking," February 9]. By closing down bars one by one, which is what will happen, city officials are just asking for less revenue, taxes, and visitors to the city.

Out of Film
Chris Carmody does a tough job well:
I think you missed the most important point about filming in Cleveland and Ohio ["Last Picture Show," January 26]. A movie or TV show can go where it wants to. It is completely mobile. If it's cheaper to film in Canada than Defiance, Ohio, then let's make Canada look like Defiance. It takes about 10 minutes to change the location in a script from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. Gangs of New York was filmed in Italy. Cold Mountain was mostly filmed in Romania. Why? It was cheaper.

If Ford or GM thought about moving to Cleveland, the first thing they would talk about would be what the city, county, and state would give them. Other states have passed major tax incentives to attract films. Ohio has not. Because of these deals over the last 18 months, $200 million worth of production has been done in Louisiana. The Greater Cleveland Media Development Corp. has tried to work with the legislature, but the words "movie" and "tax break" appear to be Greek in Columbus.

I think kudos should go out to Chris Carmody and his staff for fighting the uphill battle. It's a miracle that any production happens in Cleveland.

Jim Gelarden
Cleveland

Recalling the Cleveland classics: You forgot to mention my favorite Cleveland movie, Antwone Fisher. There was even a big premiere. All the Cleveland bigwigs were there -- Antwone Fisher, many actors from the movie, Mayor Jane, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, etc. That was a big night for a little adopted boy from Cleveland! I thought it should at least be mentioned.

Ann Bentley
Cleveland

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