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Three Big Hits

Letters published April 26, 2001

April 5, our dream issue:

Your recent article titled "Law Schooled" [April 5] is excellent. As a teacher in an inclusion setting, and one who has experienced all sides of these issues, I found your article balanced and complete. Thank you!

The struggle continues here in the classroom to always remember the child, and when the various factions who also have vested interest in him or her get together, meetings become complex. The legislature could help by owning up to its commitment of 40 percent in federal funds to help pay for necessary services for those students who need more. But I do not think that our country cares very much about its children. We here at the school level do all that we can and, for the most part, succeed with the resources we do have.

I also enjoyed the Kent story ["Kent Before the Storm," April 5] and the one on Bill Kap ["Keeper of the Keys," April 5]. We bought a piano from him years ago, and I knew then that he was a character. That encounter makes the piano much more valuable to this family. He not only gave us a "sound" to take home, but he gave us a story as well. Such a deal!

Colleen Lanning
Bay Village

Kinda like sports-talk radio:

I've been reading the Scene for many years and have generally enjoyed most of the articles, but your April 5 story on John Karliak ["Tears of a Clone"] really has me stumped. Why would you waste good newsprint on this guy? He's obviously some loser with no life to speak of. You mean you couldn't find anything else to write about? The only thing I can think of is that this guy must be friends with or related to someone on your staff. I can think of no legitimate reason to write such an inane article.

William Taylor
Parma

It's time to challenge party leadership:

In his letter to the editor ["Grist for the Mills," April 12], Dave Kolpak implies that LTV's plight is, for the most part, due to bad management. In part that may be true; however, that cannot be stated as the case for the other 10 steel companies that are in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Those other companies are in Chapter 11 because of a domestic steel market that has been eroded by steel being dumped onto America's shores and into its market by foreign competitors -- a dumping that was allowed under the stewardship of President Bill Clinton and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the "Hero of Labor" and "Friend of the Working Man."

What is really sad is that labor and the working man think of Dennis as their hero. They give him an "E" for effort, when they should give him an "F" for failure. Dennis failed to challenge Clinton when he let foreign countries flood the American market with illegally produced steel. Dennis should have taken on the Democratic administration to defend, protect, and save the jobs of America's steelworkers in general and those at LTV in particular. What is sadder is that, in 2001, labor and the working class still consider Dennis their hero. They still fly his flag, and his bumper sticker is still displayed on the walls of their union halls and the bumpers of their cars.

Maybe in 2002, labor's leaders and its rank and file will take a close look at how the wind has blown and what has and has not been accomplished. After the 900 former LTV employees have found new jobs and sobered from the wine of Dennis's efforts as their congressman, labor may decide to forgo blind allegiance to the Democratic Party and its candidates by voting for candidates who will challenge their own party's leadership.

It is said that love is blind, and so is allegiance to any political party. Perhaps the meltdown of LTV will cause labor to question the leadership of the Democrats and its icons. What must be done is this: Illegally priced steel and other goods must be kept from America's shores and markets. The government must guarantee recovery loans to carry the steel mills through this crisis. And labor's rank and file should contact the Bush team for help in this crisis. I will. I am labor, a steelworker, a member of the United Steelworkers of America Local 188, and an LTV employee. I am lucky: I survived Bill and Dennis's stoking of the meltdown of LTV steel.

Bill Smith
Lakewood

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