Tending the Soil
When I first saw the attractive cover with the city farming scene, I thought Wow, great Photoshop ["Downtown on the Farm," August 11, 2010]. But then I remembered seeing the farmers at work near the West Side Market and realized it was real. Kudos to Scene and Anastasia Pantsios for one of the best stories of the year about Cleveland and an amazing photo.
Rewrite the Constitution
Politicians are an interesting bunch ["Good Government Gone Bad?" August 18, 2010]. Their primary objective is self-promotion for the express purpose of rewarding themselves and their financial supporters. With incumbent reelection at nearly 95 percent, there are very limited popular checks and balances on what they do and little incentive for them to do the right thing.
Barring a major scandal, legislators could occupy the office until they decide to retire. The founding fathers certainly did not intend to allow absolute power to corrupt absolutely, but they also knew that any social experiment always sows the seeds of its own destruction.
Our political system has been corrupted by greed, and there is once again the need to amend the United States Constitution as well as all state constitutions. Legislators from city council to U.S. Congress should be limited to two consecutive terms in office. That would promote greater democracy by ensuring more occupants of the elected office, and it would promote a greater republic because the elected would not be loyal to any particular constituency over a long period. Term limits would be a start toward reclaiming the values this country was founded on by allowing more people, not fewer, to participate.
A Hungry Clevelander's Best Hope
Being fairly new to the non-profit pantry network in Cleveland, I was reluctant to chime in, but Arch Stevenson's letter ["Sometimes the Cupboards Are Bare," July 21, 2010] has kind of forced the issue.
I work with a pantry that's an agency of the Cleveland Foodbank. Never once in the year and a half that I've been a part of our program have we had to rely on a source other than the Foodbank to fill our warehouse.
Being the inventory coordinator and someone who checks the Foodbank's "shopping list" three or four times a week, I fail to see how any agency in this town could not fill its warehouse to capacity with enough food from the Foodbank to feed all of its clients — unless they were working from a "specific menu" of "necessary foods" that they were unwilling to deviate from. This does happen frequently, and the language of Mr. Stevenson's letter leads me to believe that is what's happening at his agency. But that's not the fault of the Foodbank; nor does it prove the Foodbank to be insufficient.
The Foodbank has more than enough food to feed the hungry in this city. The agencies that distribute it, from what I've seen, just need to expand their ideas of what are "necessary foods."
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