DRAWING THE BATTLE LINES
Just from this story ["The End of Innovation?" May 19, 2010], it seems like the lines are drawn at the Cleveland public schools: veterans against newbies, so-called innovators against so-called traditionalists. Simply put, Cleveland students are hard to teach for a variety of reasons. If the layoffs don't happen, it seems there's still going to be bad blood at this school. That's not good for the students or the staff.
As for folks complaining about seniority rules? I want to know where they work. Merit doesn't always protect you, even when times are good. When employers are considering layoffs, usually the folks who make the most money are the ones who get the boot. If you're a good employee who has had lots of raises and bonuses, you're in a precarious position.
NO USE FOR SENIORITY RULE
Why should seniority rule? In the business world, if you do not do your job you are fired. This should be true in all jobs. The union president forgets that the teachers in the innovative schools are members of the union too. It is time to do away with the law about seniority. Superintendent Sanders has the right idea.
THE CHIEF'S HUMBLE, BOGUS ORIGINS
Ken Gill [Letters, May 19, 2010] says "Correct me if I'm wrong..." Well, here goes: There is a plaque at Progressive Field honoring Louis Sockalexis, stating that he was the "inspiration" for changing the team name to the Cleveland Indians. That is what the plaque says, but it's wrong. The team name was chosen, in 1915, by a group of sportswriters. They were "inspired" by the success of the Boston Braves at the time, not by Sockalexis; in all the newspaper accounts of the name change, he was never mentioned.
But the Sockalexis myth has become very useful to the Cleveland Indians over the years, so they never bothered to correct the official record. The myth is essential to justify the name itself, the Chief Wahoo logo, the facepaint, the war whoops, and all the rest. All of this is meant to "honor" the American Indians, even though the Sockalexis family, his Penobscot tribe, and even the State of Maine have all rejected this honor. But since we never intended to offend anyone with our beloved Red Sambo, how can it be offensive?
So if they don't accept this honor, that's their problem, not ours. Go Tribe!
David G. Currie
MOST OF ALL, HE ROCKED
It's hard to believe a voice as powerful as Ronnie James Dio's has been silenced ["RIP Dio: Cleveland Metalheads Salute Singer," at C-Notes, the clevescene.com music blog]. Heavy metal has truly lost one of its greatest vocalists.
I first saw him in concert with Rainbow in 1978 at the Coliseum. That was the beginning of decades of memorable Cleveland appearances. Dio was the star of every band he was in, and that's some pretty awesome company. Like Paul Rodgers, Dio is a prime example of an artist who should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his entire body of work. I'm so lucky I witnessed him as many times as I did, and those memories will forever be cherished. Long live Ronnie James Dio!