Mustn't celebrate a bleeding scab: Again we have Scene trashing those who work during a labor dispute, this time at the Toledo Blade [First Punch, March 28], and again I have to speak up for the freedom of contract. Last time -- about two years ago -- replacement workers went to work at Youngstown's Vindicator during a strike, and First Punch lobbied for cracking skulls or something.
Now First Punch reports with amusement that a worker's car at the Blade was vandalized, with a slur painted on it and cinder block thrown through its window. This isn't funny. The replacement workers at the Blade were offered favorable employment, and they took it. It was no one else's business, they needed no one's permission, and they've done nothing wrong.
Unions are free to organize and withhold their labor, and that's it. They shouldn't expect the rest of us to observe their picket lines. Scene is celebrating the kind of thuggish behavior associated with the Klan or the mob. Again, this stuff just isn't funny.
Michael G. McFeely
One-armed bandit beats British flimflam: It was truly sad to see how pathetic a once-proud Lorain County has become ["Fantasy Island," March 28]. To read how supposed grown adults have fallen for a group of British flimflam men would be laughable, if it weren't so nauseating.
When reading this article, one comes to the conclusion that most people in Lorain County are either very naive or just flat-out stupid. This probably explains why a fraud and loser like Craig Foltin could be elected mayor of Lorain. It also explains why he tried to cut and run to Washington, D.C. as fast as he did.
Nothing is going to be settled in Ohio until the majority of people stop being covered by the Bible-thumping bigots and finally approve casino gambling. If gambling is an answer for every single state surrounding us, why not Ohio?
Wake up, people of Lorain County. You need more Betty Suttons and fewer Craig Foltins as your elected officials. Until you achieve that, you are doomed.
Catch a Falling Starz
Relevance is as relevance does: Scene writer Michael Gallucci wrote of Starz: "They appear to believe they still matter after 25 years of irrelevance." That's an interesting put-down from a man who writes for a free weekly. If you asked any of the Starz members, "Are you relevant?," they'd say absolutely not.
Then why are they playing? Because it's fun, they still love to play together, and they love seeing their old fans (300 of whom showed up, some from as far away as England).
However, they'd be wrong about the relevance question also. Mark Leddy and Bob Basone, who run the most relevant rock clubs in Northeast Ohio -- the Beachland and the Lime Spider -- both grew up listening to Starz.
I grew up with Rich Ranno, lead guitarist for Starz, and have been listening to his passion for rock and roll for 45 years. I saw him rise, and I saw his descent. And when my own son, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, needed my support, I thought of Rich, and I was happy to do whatever Dan needed.
So you see, Mr. Gallucci, if it wasn't for Rich Ranno and Starz, you might not have a job. How's that for relevant?
Good Man, Best Wishes
Scofinsky story is real news, fit to print: Thank you for the article "Good Man Down" [March 21] -- just another reason to read your paper. Thank you for publishing real news. Hopefully, Mr. Scofinsky will heal soon, and he and his loving family will be able to put this all behind them. We can only hope that the justice system works better than the mainstream news media to put this defendant out of commission.
Back to the Future
Schools' CEO needs a DeLorean -- but bad: Pete Kotz's article "Sanders' Sales Job" [February 14] was interesting.
It is true that the Cleveland Public Schools are frightfully underperforming. I once had a high-school student in a class of mine from Cleveland who could not write his name.
Yet 60 years ago, Cleveland had one of the best public-school systems in the world. My father graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949. He could read and write German and Latin, and had taken three or four science courses, plus a lot of mathematics.
In those days Cleveland had an aggressive system of teaching drafting and shop to all male students, as well as a separate system of vocational high schools. To put things in perspective, if one Cleveland high school taught just welding and the basic "Three Rs" for four years, graduates could get jobs starting at $20 an hour. In a year they could make $35 an hour in the shipyards in New Orleans.
Hicks No Rube
Respect, he gets . . . at least sometimes: I just want to commend you for a most interesting and well-written article about Taylor Hicks. It is not often that we read an entire interview without it comparing him to Chris Daughtry or someone else. I liked your respect for him, and I am sure he appreciated your expertise and the fact that you were not biased.
He's truly a rare man, a splendid entertainer, and a gifted singer and songwriter. I've had the pleasure of seeing five of his concerts so far, and they are undoubtedly the best I've ever witnessed.