Not all charters are rotten: I am writing in response to your article on charter schools ["Dream Killer," July 29] and the letter by Martha Moore. Ms. Moore states that "charter schools are evil," "run for profit," and "provide a false promise of hope." Scene has made it clear that it agrees with her. Unfortunately, neither of you has all the facts.
Not all charter schools are run for profit and unaccredited. Those run for profit are evil predators and should be shut down, but there are accredited nonprofit charters providing a fabulous education. Hope Academies and White Hat Management are the most repulsive corporations I can think of. However, they are not the only charter schools in Ohio. Why don't you talk to the teachers and parents of high-scoring nonprofit schools like the one my daughter attends? I'd be glad to forward their info.
Not all children attending charters do so because their parents are poor or gullilble. Many parents chose their schools after thorough research. Hope/White Hat takes terrible advantage of parents' hopes and fears for their children. But places like the Greater Cleveland Academy for Gifted Students and Old Brooklyn Montessori (both nonprofit) provide excellent specialized educations.
I think it's a shame that the media are so lazy that they use the term "charter" without making any distinctions. Barbara Byrd-Bennett did the same thing when she tried to pass the levy. She blamed the charters, rather than her own failures or Cleveland's numerous property abatements that give away millions a year to upper-middle-class folks and strip the schools of much-needed funds -- which are surely more than is needed to hire back all the laid-off teachers.
Sure, go after the bad guys like Hope. But tell the complete story, and leave my little girl's school alone.
If the reviews suck, don't buy into 'em: I am convinced that film reviewer Robert Wilonsky is 12 years old. Often the films I'm most interested in seeing are reviewed by Robert, and that's pretty much the reason I haven't seen anything in six months.
For Robert, any film that spends time on dialogue or a decent plot line just slows down what he wants to see: shit blowing up. His big complaint with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was how Burton seemed compelled to add a moralistic ending and ruined the whole, dark, creepy feel of the film. Gee, sorry that a kids' movie had to have any moral values. [Editor's note: That movie was actually reviewed by Bill Gallo, but he's pretty shallow too.]
The same was said for Lord of War, described by Wilonsky as "absofuckinglutely kick-ass" ["Good Shot," September 14]. Robert thought it was great how Nick Cage's character had no morals, but he choked on the director's inclusion of values. Evidently, Robert's satanism clearly defines his film reviews.
When I was a kid, I loved to see stuff explode, people get shot, etc., but I would love to see a film reviewed in Scene that didn't have some childish, sadistic angle to it. Give me the job! I'll sit through films and actually pay attention to the dialogue, rather than waiting for the next bloody event.
A Two-Edged Sword
Regional cuts both ways: I am responding to your September 7 article in First Punch regarding my contribution of $25,000 Neighborhood Equity Funds to the Lee Memorial AME Church. As you indicated, council members have funds available to provide for myriad neighborhood improvements, which are used for both infrastructure and social programs. It is sometimes necessary to overlook the boundary of a ward and look at those projects or institutions which serve the needs of those neighborhoods. In this case, while the church is not in Ward 10, its social activities serve the greater Ward 10 area.
I would suggest that it may be hypocritical to support regionalism and then also be critical of expenditures that do not neatly fit into some defined geographic area. I will continue to use my best judgment to support those projects and institutions which best serve the needs of Ward 10, as I always have.
Councilman Roosevelt Coats
The Bloomberg Model
Get a zillionaire for mayor: It's about the economy, stupid! I'm convinced that the judge is a very nice, honest, smart man ["Judging Triozzi," September 14]. But what will he do to get people with no skills a job? What would he do about the runaway real-estate taxes in Cleveland?
Then there are all the tax abatements to bribe people to move to Cleveland. Then there are the schools! Do you think the judge could teach people how to be real parents and care about their children's progress in school? Do you think he could get them to sit down with their kids after school and help them with their homework?
I am not saying a judge cannot do the job, but he needs to know what the priorities are. Do any of you realize how much money comes through City Hall, the school board, RTA, the Port Authority? The decisions are made in the finance department and City Council. Does anyone realize how much money has been badly invested in the hope of getting more jobs into the city?
Politicians and social workers are not businesspeople, and neither are judges. My vote is for Peter Lewis!