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Niesel Is Exactly Nobody

Letters published January 11, 2001

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And Creed is damn well insufferable: Questions: Who exactly is Jeff Niesel anyway? What are his credentials? And most important, has he ever actually seen the Zachary Walker Band perform?

Answers: Nobody. Nothing. Never. How else could one explain the senseless trashing of one of the best bands on the local scene today [Soundbites, December 28]? Maybe it's jealousy or CD envy, or maybe even a John Lennon-type love/hate obsession with the band members that provokes the "columnist" to refer to ZWB as "insufferable" while at the same time comparing them to Matchbox Twenty, Creed, and Counting Crows.

Don't look now, Jeffrey Dearest, but millions of listeners (and consumers) find those bands far from "insufferable," and judging by the following ZWB has, local fans would agree. While Jeffrey is sitting on his pretentious tight ass in his pristine little corner of the world, waiting to see what band will finally break out of Cleveland, the Zachary Walker Band is on its way!

Here's hoping that, in the coming year, Jeffrey will get a clue, get a grip, and get a life, and that the Scene will realize that his brand of poison is counterproductive to all local musicians.

Barbara Pritt
Chardon

Another dart in Niesel's tight ass: Well, Cleveland, as this new year is starting, I feel compelled to award a very deserving person for his lack of professional ability and his constant damage to and criticism of the local music scene.

This person, who is the missing link between a poison pill and a slow death, has shown no literary talent or creative vision at his profession. His snarling reviews are pompous and pretentious and godawful at best. His reviews and columns provide weekly embarrassment to this newspaper, as readers cringe at his truly painful needling and his insufferable writing style, which lacks any substance and is sappy and arrogant.

His lackadaisical writing combines the worst elements of journalism with a condescending attitude toward up-and-coming musicians. Not only has this person sunk to unparalleled levels of incompetence and mean-spiritedness in this last year, he stands alone in infamy in the longstanding history of this fine newspaper.

Since I am not a mean-spirited person, I was forced to use his own adjectives from last week's edition to present this person in the correct spirit of this well-deserved award. Here's to you, Jeff Niesel! You have truly earned "The Weasel Award for Incompetence in Journalism." My hope for the new year is that the next review and column that you write will be your last.

Bill Sanders
Berea

Stop bitching and start hitching rides on the rapid: Can it be, a story in a Cleveland weekly that actually sheds favorable light on mass rail transit? Bless you. As the article "Derailed" [December 21] pointed out, there's a dangerous knee-jerk reaction in this town against developing such big-city amenities as rail transit; all the while, the same knee-jerks (a lot of them who seem to work at another Cleveland weekly) bemoan the quality of big-city life in Cleveland.

We all have to realize that Cleveland has to undo decades of bad planning and growth (remember the do-nothing approach in the 1970s? Didn't work). So let's get a little more positive. If we happen to spot a sparsely populated Waterfront Line car, we shouldn't be so myopic as to damn RTA. We should damn high-priced parking garages and realize that, in the long run, the line can and should be developed into a vital transportation asset for a growing downtown. We should also just shut up, get out of our SUVs, and hop aboard to any number of popular Cleveland destinations for a paltry $1.50.

Name withheld upon request
Lakewood

Cutting class takes a slice out of the system: The juvenile truancy law is a complicated issue. Jacqueline Marino did a good job of breaking it down for the average citizen ["Unexcused," December 21]. I think Scene got the main message exactly right -- it is not that advocates are philosophically opposed to the law; rather, they are afraid of the impact on the already overburdened systems. The need for additional dollars to implement the law is obvious. Now it is our job as advocates to educate and convince the General Assembly of that fact, starting in February, when the Governor's budget is introduced.

Melissa Saladonis, Manager
Coalition for Greater Cleveland's Children

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