Blood donors save lives

This weekend I rolled up my sleeve to participate in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Cleveland Browns, annual American Red Cross blood drive. As mayor, I think it is essential for those who are qualified to donate.

To date, I have given the equivalent of 3 gallons of blood supporting people suffering with sickle cell anemia. It is beneficial for patients to receive a compatible blood match that comes from someone of the same race or ethnicity.

African Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but less than 3 percent of blood donors. By donating you make a difference in the lives of patients with sickle cell as well as people battling cancer, accidents or trauma; a single blood donation can save more than one life.

Trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries deplete the blood supply. The Red Cross needs all blood types, especially Type O during this blood emergency. Someone needs blood every 2-3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime. True leadership commands leadership by example.

Mayor Benjamin Holbert

Village of Woodmere

Issue with trail survey

It appears that the mayor of Pepper Pike has questionable priorities for communicating with residents. The latest examples are the posted signs throughout the city announcing a movie in the park (which we like) but no mention of a critical survey with an Aug. 1 deadline regarding the $1.2 million trail (1.3 miles long) down the median of Gates Mills Boulevard.

The mayor’s July 20 survey cover letter states, “We do value your perspectives and thereby solicit the views of the residents…” However, the mayor has identified he has set a policy in place not to hard-mail notifications to residents who have not registered to receive city emails. The mayor has not considered, nor does he seem to care, that there are residents who do not use computers or email. This is another glaring example of his questionable priorities for communicating with residents.

In a public city meeting, the mayor stated that “he is not a survey kind of guy” yet he felt qualified to write a survey regarding spending significant taxpayers’ dollars ($700,000 to start the project) for a trail in front of the homes on Gates Mills Boulevard. He did not solicit critiques from both sides of the issue before publication.

All residents need to communicate now with city officials that they want a master plan and options on how to allocate available recreation dollars. The current survey does not identify or prioritize other options. City officials need to develop a master plan on parks, trails and sidewalks before any action is taken. On March 15, 2021, the mayor issued a letter with the trail grant application that states, “City staff has been planning this project for many years and we are pleased it is finally ready for implementaion.” Hopefully, city council will set aside this pre-existing bias as they evaluate the survey inputs and will, once again, encourage the mayor to improve his communications with residents.

Before making any final commitment for $1.2 million to this trail, with no parking or bathroom facilities, city officials need to seriously entertain joining the movement to put together a consortium of groups to present a formal offer to purchase the 68-acre Beech Brook. We need a real park that could preserve green space and accommodate a trail, parking and bathrooms.

Manny and Judi Naft

Pepper Pike

‘Out of many, one’

Anyone read the “Critical Race” article in the Times last week? What a joke. David Miguel Gray gets listed as a guest columnist to give conjecture and opinion on the meaning of critical race theory. He is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Memphis, which gives him as much background and experience in this topic as a groundskeeper at the Metroparks Zoo. So, as quickly as possible, I will summarize it for you since I have a comprehensive science degree from John Carroll University, which apparently, makes me qualified as well.

First, you must disregard all the generalizations given by the author. Dr. Gray states as fact, pure opinion, such as, “given the pervasiveness of racism in our legal system and institutions, racism is not aberrant, but a normal part of life.” Yes, you can find racist behaviors by some people but to say it is rampant in the legal system, the educational (and other) institutions and is a normal part of life, is just plain wrong. It’s a great way to incite people and to divide and conquer, but the average person knows, the vast majority of people are not racists.

Second, Dr. Gray loves “the victim” mentality of Kimberle Crenshaw (founder of the critical race theory) as she argues “double discrimination for being black and a woman,” whereas I prefer Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker. Dr. Walker was the co-founder of CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality), chief of staff to Martin Luther King, Jr., and was with Dr. King for the march on Washington. He stated, “Today, too many ‘remedies’ – such as Critical Race Theory, the increasingly fashionable post-Marxist/postmodernist approach that analyzes society as institutional group power structures rather than on a spiritual or one-to-one human level – are taking us in the wrong direction: separating even elementary school children into explicit racial groups and emphasizing differences instead of similarities.”

Finally, think back to when you were in school and learning basic history. Did you think the United States was perfect? Probably not. If you did, did you suffer later in life because of it? Did you hate the fact that you lived in the greatest country on earth? Probably not. Do your children and grandchildren benefit more by trying to find out what makes someone different (color of their skin, gender, etc.) or by looking at what makes us the same? My guess is the similarities are more important. What’s wrong with living in a nation where you are “not judged by the color of [your] skin but by the content of [your] character”? What’s wrong with loving your country, even if it has faults? The first Great Seal of the United States says it all, “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one).

Phil Paradise, Jr.


Editor’s note: Dr. Gray received his Ph.D. and master’s degrees from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University. His areas of specialization include Philosophy of Race and Racism, Philosophy of Psychology, African American Philosophy and Philosophy of Mind. 

Long live Tribe

Last year I was disappointed when Paul Dolan announced the Cleveland Indians team name would be dropped after stating in 2018 it wouldn’t be. Local sports columnist Terry Pluto recently wrote that Dolan decided to change the name after the death of George Floyd. What do the circumstances of Floyd’s death possibly have to do with the changing the name of the franchise?

The new Guardians name spin is just that. How many Greater Clevelanders even knew what those bridge statues represented?  They were designed in 1932 as guardians of modes of transportation not guardians of Cleveland. For years that structure was called the Lorain-Carnegie and later the Hope Memorial bridge.

The business side of the team’s front office claims there were 40,000 surveys and they spoke to numerous “stakeholders” about the name change. However, they consider this data proprietary with no obligation to share it during or after this controversial decision.  What percentage of those surveyed actually preferred to keep the name Indians?    

A letter dated July 23 from the Native American’s Guardian’s Association in North Dakota expresses their “profound disappointment” in the name change.  It states that a few years ago they spoke with team officials about working with a Native American artist to design a logo to replace Chief Wahoo.  They also spoke with the team about retaining the Indians name.  Their motto is “Educate not Eradicate.”

I am one lifelong Cleveland baseball fan who will never “just get over” this illogical decision. While there is nothing wrong with continuing to appreciate the game, the only way to send a strong message of displeasure to this franchise is with your wallets. Long live the Tribe, a nickname that certainly would have been an acceptable alternative to almost everyone except this ownership.

Bob Paulson


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