Parole-board move unpardonable: I found Sarah Fenske's September 10 article, "Brother's Keeper," quite inspiring. It motivated me to find the two novels Michael Swiger wrote (A Trial of Innocents and A Murder of Innocents). Both were written under the pen name Michael Andrew. I was stunned to find John Grisham-like works of fiction addressing controversial issues like partial-birth abortion.
I have followed the progress of Swiger's case through letters your readers have sent, and I was appalled to learn that the parole board gave him an additional 14 months. Instead of touting Swiger as a prison success story and the first talented author the Ohio prison system has produced since O. Henry, the parole board demonstrated once again why the public has lost confidence in its ability to make common-sense decisions.
Save Ohio's right to know: As the mother of a 1983 River Valley High School graduate who nearly lost her life to leukemia, I feel it's imperative for us to retain our right to know, when it comes to health issues ["Stonewall," April 23].
The Ohio Department of Health should not be given carte blanche as to what and when it informs the public about hazardous health situations. Throughout the environmental investigation at River Valley Schools, it was diligent parents and concerned citizens who drove the investigation, in large part through the Right-to-Know Act, which enabled us to review the files of the state agencies involved.
It allowed us to obtain aerial photographs of the River Valley grounds through time, transcripts, and reports that were not being shared by the state agencies. It also gave us the necessary knowledge to ask the hard questions.
If this right is taken away by House Bill 6, which is awaiting the signature of Governor Taft, Ohioans will be left defenseless and unable to obtain health-critical information on a timely basis. Without this right, the River Valley investigation most likely would have been dismissed, and new, safe schools would not have been an option. Readers should let Taft know that they want our right to know preserved. Our health and well-being could depend on it.
A Modest Proposal
Making one thing perfectly clear: Jimi Izrael's article "Booty Queens" [October 29] is all right, if you're black and like black women. But the majority of white people don't. I believe white people of both sexes should marry or date each other, not be in mixed relationships. That goes for all races.
I wouldn't join the Ku Klux Klan, but I do go along with some of their ideas. The only way I would get involved with a black woman for marriage or sex is if she were mulatto. Now maybe I would meet a black woman at a dance or nightclub and slow-dance or ballroom dance, cheek-to-cheek, but not groping all over her like a good beer. Even black strippers I would not tip or get a table dance from, just because they're black. I will admit there are many salt-and-pepper people or just plain white trash, but if I were president, I would ship all blacks, Cubans, Vietnamese, Colombians, and Jamaicans back to their own countries. Mexicans and Puerto Ricans -- most of them are all right. The only thing they are guilty of is trying to sneak into America.
Glad to be in civilized Miami: I received the October 22 issue of Scene that included the scathing article "House of Horrors." Animal-rights groups and county employees documented shocking cruelty, falsified drug records, dog fighting, and county employees pocketing taxpayer money, all while county government turns a blind eye and seems to support these abuses. The article made me sick inside. I never thought I would say it, but I am glad I left Akron and I'm living in a more civil society.
P.S. Nobody ever sends me anything from the Akron Beacon Journal except recipes.
Protecting the warden, not the animals: I would like to congratulate Aina Hunter on an excellent story and on having the guts to write it. Sounds like "the good ol' boy" type of government. The warden must have friends in high places. Can you tell me if this warden is still in charge of the shelter, or if there's anything the public can do to remedy this situation? Letters or complaints to city officials? Anything?
Tell the world: I picked up a copy of Scene at the smoke shop and was so happy to see the article "House of Horrors." What a fine job Aina Hunter did. I was hoping you have a way of sending me the article by e-mail, so I can forward it to everyone in the county that I know, including judges, lawyers, and city officials.
Somebody do something: "House of Horrors" really bothered me. I'm an avid pet lover, and reading about the stuff that the director gets away with made me sick. I hope and pray that there are caring individuals in this community who will see to it that justice is done.
Editor's note: Hunter's story can be downloaded from www.clevescene.com. You can register complaints with Summit County Executive James McCarthy by calling 330-643-2627. For information on how to support the welfare of animals, go to www.summitcare.org.