To the Editor:
West Life often adds Editor’s Notes to letters to point out the truth as you see it (which is certainly understandable) or just revises the letters to eliminate things you don't agree with.
But on June 30 you printed a letter which stated "We have objective evidence that former president Trump was a congenital liar, that he incited an insurrection … and that his own personal, unsubstantiated beliefs about COVID-19 delayed planning for administering vaccines resulting in the genocide of almost 400,000 people." You printed that letter without an Editor’s Note explaining that the word genocide means "the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group." Does that mean you really believe Trump committed genocide? Do you also give him no credit for the vaccines that critics said would take many years to develop that were actually ready in about a year and undoubtedly saved thousands of lives?
There were also other comments in the letter that were very egregious, but they don’t surpass the unbelievable genocide claim.
I recognize that your policy is not to run letters that argue/rebut other letter writers. However, the inclusion of that letter in your newspaper was so irresponsible, I believe it warrants a rebuttal. Moreover, I didn’t mention the other letter writer’s name. (I wouldn’t expect you to include this paragraph unless you choose to.)
Jim Johnston Avon Lake
Editor’s Note: West Life does not rewrite letters to eliminate things we don’t agree with. We delete verified falsehoods.
To the Editor:
With regard to the West Life Staff Report of June 16th “Avon Lake Power plant faces closing,” The article quotes Mayor Zilka that “any short-term impact on our homeowners, businesses and schools will be lessened…”
In another publication District Superintendent Scott said to a reporter that the district is stable enough financially “that the loss of revenue wouldn’t be immediately damaging” is a total misrepresentation.
I need to bring to your attention that the close of the power plant will have a zero (0) revenue impact on the Avon Lake Schools.
On November 6, 2012, the Avon Lake School District presented and it was passed by the voters Emergency Levy 32 for $7.5 million which included the expected loss of power plant revenue. While there was a slight reduction in revenue during the ensuing years from the power plant, the school district actually received a revenue windfall as the levy revenue far exceeded any loss due to the fact the plant continued to operate and pay taxes.
In November 2018, the Avon Lake School District combined three emergency levies into one permanent general fund Levy Issue 4, which collects $14.4 million for the Avon Lake School District and NEVER expires. One levy was to collect taxes of $3.4 million through 2019, one was to collect taxes for $4.5 million through 2022 and one was for $6.5 million that included the power plant revenue that it had been collecting under Emergency Levy 32 and would have continued to collect taxes through 2027.
While two of the three levies mentioned previously were for specific capital investments, e.g., the bus garage that would have had a “sunset,” all three of the levies combined under Levy Issue 4 go permanently into the General Fund of the Avon Lake School District. In fact, all three represent a general revenue bonanza, which is why the school district gave themselves a 41.4 percent increase in benefits and a 19.2 percent increase in already very competitive salaries and benefits in the 5 Year Forecast Financial Report 2017-2022.
Based on the Avon Lake School District’s May 2021 5 Year Forecast Financial Report, there will be a projected deficit of $981,065 in 2021. Losses are projected to continue through 2025, which is projected to have a deficit (of) $5,599,782 (reference p3 of the document.)
In summary, although the school financial performance does not appear to be positive over the next 5 years, the power plant closing will have absolutely no revenue impact on the Avon Lake School District and any suggestion that it will is simply not true.
To the Editor:
I was disappointed in your coverage of the Trump rally in your June 30 newspaper.
I understand the need to do a story on a political rally in our area; however, you could have covered the rally without giving space to the idea that the 2020 election was stolen. Instead, you let the lie breathe in your coverage without rebutting it with facts. You let proven falsehoods be stated without calling them out as such.
Coverage like yours allows disinformation to spread, allows distrust in government to spread, and sows division among citizens. It is a grave disservice to your readers, and it is a dangerous turn for a community newspaper to take.
As a trusted source of information for residents of Lorain and Cuyahoga counties, you have the responsibility to print the truth and confront falsehoods being spread, especially by those in power. I don’t expect “hard hitting” news coverage from a community newspaper, but I do expect the truth to be represented in the words that are printed.
At a time when my subscription is up for renewal, this was a frustrating article to find in West Life.