I just wanted to thank you for a really terrific, thought-provoking issue. I loved that you tackled the East-West thing ["East vs. West: Get Over It!"]. My husband, originally from South Carolina, is totally baffled by this and it's wonderful to see it explored in depth.
I also liked the "attitude" of this issue — it seems punchy and opinionated to me, and rightly so.I personally appreciate your pointing out the disconnect with "moral values" in the latest election (it's all right for poor black children to go uneducated, as long as gay couples are not allowed to marry) and highlighting the similarities between what Japanese-Americans went through during World War II and what's happening these days with the Patriot Act. These are important subjects and deserve to be explored.
I grew up in Cleveland and after living for 15 years in NYC and its suburbs, came home to raise my family. I love it here but am often dismayed at the close-mindedness of my neighbors, who seem to assume that everyone lives and sees the world as they do (that is, the life of the white, middle-class, Christian heterosexual family) … and if they don't, they should.
Points of disagreement
As an unemployed writer who saw his last permanent job fly off to India in June 2003, I was appalled to read editor Steve Gleydura's characterization of the loss of more than 100,000 jobs in Northeast Ohio since 2000 as being akin to a "blemish" ["The Real Battle Is Ahead," December 2004].
A blemish? The enormous hemorrhaging of jobs in our body politic calls for tourniquets — not Clearasil.
Gleydura's insensitivity and obvious lack of empathy for the unemployed reveals he was writing from the perspective of one who has been securely ensconced in a permanent job for several years.
Louis H. Pumphrey
With regard to Steve Gleydura's column in the December issue, I have several observations.
I don't live in the city of Cleveland, so I didn't vote on the school issue, but I can see why it was defeated. The Cleveland School Board already has a budget of $670 million, yet the board was asking for an increase exceeding 10 percent. How much is enough? Had the levy passed, the spending on schools would be well on its way to $1 billion.
What is missing here is a reality check. The more money you throw at the educational establishment, the more they will devour with no discernible benefit. The biggest benefactors of school leviesare administrators, teachers, custodians, union craft trades, bus drivers,vendors and just about anybody but the students.
The state's funding formula was found to be unconstitutional, but it was deemed so by activist judges who bring their own social agenda to the bench. Having schools funded by local property taxes voted on in the district is the fairest and most voter-responsivesystem there is. It is the only system that ensures fiscal prudence. It worked for 200 years and now, all of a sudden, it is deemed to be "unfair."
Ohio has accounted for about a third of all jobs lost since 2000. Yet the Pacific Research Institute's U.S. Economic Freedom Index, whichrates how conducive a state's taxes and regulatory climateare to conductingbusiness, ranks Ohio 43rd out of 50 states in terms of overall economic freedom. Despitethe tax incentives granted to major corporations to remain or expand in Ohio, our state just isn't a good place to do business, and that is hard to pin on bad moves being made by voters. Any politician trying to create a goodeconomic climate is accused of caving in to "big business."
Finally, with regard to Issue 1, how do you come by the assumption that the people whom it is "pushing" away are creative and talented? Most of the people writing letters to the editor saying they now find Ohio an unwelcome placeand claiming to be creative and talented types have bestowed that compliment upon themselves. There is no evidence that they are, in fact, truly more creative or talented than the population as a whole.
One degree of separation
Imagine my surprise when I saw the December issue and the story on Beverly ["On the (Cold) Case"]. I immediately sent a copy to my sister in Perrysburg. Why am I so interested? My grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Mihal, lived at 11301 Linnet Ave. We were living with them until my parents could afford their own home (this was the '50s). My sister, Jeanette, was supposed to go with Beverly early in the evening but she was not finished with dinner, so Beverly went without her. Jeanette and I went about 20 minutes later. I was only 5 1/2 and my sister 7, but I still remember the police interviewing us as we sat on the piano bench in the living room. I will be most interested when the book comes out as well as the PBS version.
I'd like to express my disappointment at seeing the cover model in your December issue wearing a mink-trimmed jacket. With such widespread awareness about the cruelty behind fur coats and trim, I find it unconscionable that your magazine views fur as an appropriate fashion statement.
Please consider making it a policy to no longer do business with stores that sell fur and show that your magazine is capable of making compassion one of its priorities. Until that time, cancel my subscription.
What pure joy it was to read the article about Mr. Jingeling
[" ‘Jingeling' All the Way," December 2004]. He was and always will be the Christmas icon of my childhood. It was with anticipation that I patiently waited for Capt. Penny to bring Mr. Jingeling and the Play Lady on each afternoon. I, too, can sing the entire Mr. Jingeling song, which I now sing to my grandsons, who breakinto giggles!
I remember so clearly the day my mother, grandmother and I took the bus from Painesville to Cleveland so that I could go to "Halle's seventh floor." I was more excited to see Mr. Jingeling than Santa! I was so disappointed because he was not the "real" Mr. Jingeling, but I did get a cardboard "key."
Thank you and thanks, Mr. Jingeling, for the treasured memories!