An insider's observations:
Just a quick note to thank you for including me in your recent "March Blandness" bracket of local columnists [March 19]. It was very amusing, and I appreciate the mention. Thanks for reading my column.
By the way, I'm very much looking forward to your next story on the amazing athletic exploits of "SheBron."
The Plain Dealer
The I's have it:
I'm answering Connie Schultz's plea to move her from 2nd to 1st place as "Worst Columnist in Northeastern Ohio." Here's why: I would have nominated Sam Fulwood for top spot after his PD column of March 18, in which he referred to himself 30 times above the fold. That, at the time, I thought a record.
Then along comes Connie Schultz on March 27, with that personal pronoun "I" and its buddies "me" and "my" scattered 47 times from the very first sentence to the very last sentence of her 16-column-inch effort. So, Sam the Third lost out in this ignoble race, because he added only four more personal references below the fold, for a total of 34. Not bad, but no cigar.
The "I-Me-My" concentric circles of ego-floss-spinning around these two journalists detract from their considerable writing skills and cloud the intended purposes of their creative efforts. Unless, that is, the purpose is simply a person(ality) parade.
I nominate Dick Feagler as the best (he'd better lose your contest big time) columnist in Northeast Ohio. In his columns, you feel the presence of Feagler without his dotting his own "I." That's the mark of a writer who thinks it through before he reasons his facts and opinions into hard copy. Give Connie a break -- move her into first place. I think she deserves it.
The PD as liberal rag:
Can I only pick one? I've had it up to here with every one of the female columnists at The Plain Dealer (I should include Sam Fulwood, too). Every one of them represents an out-of-touch liberal viewpoint. Isn't there a writer out there with a realistic, conservative, and sensible point of view? And I thought The New York Times was supposed to be liberal. The Plain Dealer is nothing but a propaganda sheet.
Connie-Roldo double bill:
Upon the urging of my pal Dave Giffels, I'll vote for Connie Schultz. His support of her was both accurate and inspiring. When he quoted her as saying, "And that's Ms. Bitch to you," that sealed the deal.
If I had to place a vote for second place, it would have to be for Roldo. Doesn't this crotchety old curmudgeon have any life at all, other than to sit on the throne in his self-proclaimed kingdom and complain about things that nobody but a dried-up old has-been like himself would care about?
Eddie "The Geek" Vidmar
I find it ironic that you will run personal attacks on Northeast Ohio's columnists, yet your piece is unsigned ["First Punch," April 2]. The irony goes further, considering that the writer would probably drop to his or her knees in a heartbeat to have any of their jobs.
If you feel these local columnists are wasting opportunities to explore the lives and concerns of Northeast Ohio, you should write a piece to that effect. However, the low-rent cheap shots you published don't illustrate the smallness of their journalism. They illustrates the smallness of yours.
Another view of Riverview:
As a resident of Riverview Towers in Ohio City, I want to express my disappointment in "Bum Deal" [March 5]. I feel Sarah Fenske went out of her way to present Riverview as a bad place.
Riverview is like a small neighborhood made up of lots of different individuals. Some get involved. Some don't or can't. Most residents are good, and a few aren't. But that's no different from anywhere else.
If a resident causes problems and doesn't follow the lease, that resident will be moved out. We share common areas. Sometimes there are spills or accidents, but building maintenance and residents work together to clean these up as soon as they're notified. We wouldn't live at Riverview if it weren't a good home.
Your article also made it look as if there isn't much here for residents to do. The truth is, we have free lunches and activities like billiards, bingo, and movies. Vegetables, fruit, and bakery goods are distributed weekly. There is a clinic on the second floor, and our exercise room hours change, depending on when residents want to use it and when monitors are available.
Most important, we work together with management and look out for each other. That makes Riverview a very good place to live. You didn't need to make it look bad to tell the story about the homeless proposal.
Clara E. Bell, President
Riverview Local Advisory Board
The Brooks family is legit:
In regard to "Art of the Flip" [February 26]: The Brookses should sue Scene for defamation of character. They are people with legitimate businesses and real families. Real journalism is factual, researched with the utmost care, and done without malicious intentions. Sarah Fenske's article is a product of hearsay and an abundance of haters.
Would Fenske care about issues of integrity and public concern if her checks were as big as some of the numbers reported in the article?
Employees are shortchanged:
Great job on the Marc's article ["Deeper Discount Wages," March 19]. We have a close friend who is a manager at a store. While remaining neutral, think of this: Marc's pays low wages (and they shouldn't), but they charge less for their products than Giant Eagle and other union stores. Also, they don't take credit cards, so they keep costs down by not giving kickbacks to the banks.
I think they should unionize, because they seem to treat employees like they're a dime a dozen. Keep up the good work.
Joe Janosik Jr.
Don't discount the facts:
Before I was employed at Marc's, I worked for the Giant Eagle in Streetsboro, where you were forced to become a union member or lose your job. Every week the union took $7.95 out of my paycheck for dues. But do you think I ever received my benefits? Of course not.
With no chance for advancement and a lousy $6.50 an hour, I couldn't afford to walk away, but I still couldn't afford to pay my medical bills that the union promised to take care of. I didn't qualify for union benefits until after I had been with the company for nine months. Giant Eagle never considered how their employees would pay their bills during those long nine months.
After Giant Eagle, I was employed at the Marc's in Ravenna, where benefits weren't an option; we simply didn't have them. I was told that Marc's couldn't provide its employees with benefits and had decided against unionizing because it would no longer be able to price its items so cheaply. I figured that Marc Glassman was just too cheap. I would rather go without benefits and know where my money is really going than belong to a union and lose what little money I make.
Unfortunately, working for both companies was a terrible experience. It seems that working for a union company benefits you just as much as a non-union company. You still can't pay your bills, you still don't make enough money, and you're always treated with disrespect. But that's what company policy is all about.
But not always funnier:
First you admit to completely making up the story about SheBron, the female LeBron. And now you admit to faking anti-drug ads. How can anyone ever believe what is written in your magazine?
With everything that's going on in the world today, there is absolutely no reason to make up fake stories. In case you haven't heard, the truth is stranger than fiction.