Letter to the Editor: Intolerance Paving 'Hopeless' Future for Cuyahoga Falls

The following was submitted by Cuyahoga Falls Patch reader Mary Anne Kolton.

Dear people of Cuyahoga Falls,

As I read through these letters to the editor, I see a sad and hopeless future for this city. For a city to grow and prosper it needs new residents. People who will make the decision to move here because they are openly welcomed and can find the services and spirit of growth and community representing the ideas of today. These opinions show me that, for the most part, this is an unwelcoming, cold, tightly-knit, closed minded group who are not open to change of any kind.

They long for the old days when Cuyahoga Falls proudly called itself Caucasian Falls. When gays and lesbians were invisible. They want the same kind of lifestyle they grew up in.

Sad, because I see young people here who are wiser than their parents in their acceptance of all ethnicities, races, religions (or not), and sexual orientations. But they won't stay here. They will move to cities that mirror their views. Cities that are vibrant and welcome their participation in making a hospitable place to raise families and nurture the elderly.

I know most of you don't or won't understand what I am saying. And that's too bad. Because you are living in a city run by a and other officials without the vision and capabilities to build this town into something wonderful. And peopled primarily by those who agree with them.

There are a few forward thinking people here, but not enough to make a difference. They are belittled, called names and shouted down by the others who like Cuyahoga Falls, "just the way it is." I would never choose to live here if I didn't have to. Please, all of you, try to remember "there is no growth without change." Open your hearts, listen, and learn to respect the opinions of others.

You just might learn something.

-Mary Anne Kolton

Email your letters to the editor to john.deike@patch.com.

MaryAnne Kolton July 09, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Many people still fondly refer to this city as Caucasian Falls. . .If you don't get that, I can't make it any clearer to you.
MaryAnne Kolton July 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM
As for the comments about Stow or Hudson. First, this isn't a conversation about Stow or Hudson. Second, yes, you should be afraid of CF turning into Stow or Hudson. Certainly, more economically progressive and forward thinking than Cuyahoga Falls. I know people in those towns who actually understand what I am talking about. They are the kind of places your children will move to, if they can't get farther away. . .
MaryAnne Kolton July 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
@Mary Thanks, Mary.
mary beck July 09, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Well Adam I'm happy for you!! But I've been here since 1963 and yes grew up around African Americans then when I moved here it was the n word across the board. My father invited his black friends over just to tick off the neighbors!! There is definitely a stuck up attitude in this city. If u aren't a bully your not a part of!! I knew the minute I moved here it was different. I could tell u all about the schools back then and I can tell you all about them now!! I can tell you the story my daughters shared about their experience at rockin a couple weeks ago while enjoying the music!! A cop pounding his finger in their shoulder or my friend who got pushed in the back of the head and he wanted them to move. Do you think that treatment was necessary? I think not!! Or how about my daughter sitting with black students and getting told why don't you sit with your own kind. Or my own experience about being thrown across a class room in Jr high and having that teacher dig his finger nails in my ARM till it doubled in size. Right now I live rent free! If I had to pay forget it I'd be gone! So thanks Mary for having the guts to give your opinion! I stand behind u 110%!!
MaryAnne Kolton July 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
@ Mary Sorry about your daughter's experience. She wasn't, by any chance, wearing the "gothic clothing" or perhaps had some of those "piercings" our mayor is so afraid of, was she? I don't want anyone to think this discussion is just about race. It started out as my opinions regarding the total lack of vision and fear of progress exhibited by the city government and most of the citizens - and my concern for Good Neighbors and the wonderful work they do. Without any help from the city. My views are expressed on several other threads on this forum. What a shame the mayor and others will never take the time to read them.
mary beck July 09, 2012 at 09:15 PM
@ Mary No my daughter is not color blind. She's not gothic just has black friends. No being prejudice its not the only issue but it is huge! This city has major issues!! And for the mayor to read this he doesn't care!! I hope he comes back black or gay someday!!
Mike Penta July 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
@MaryAnne, your views are heard and people in our city do read the comments posted here and elsewhere. Unfortunately all too often they hide behind fake names and belittle or insult anyone who expresses disagreement or a difference of opinion. The recent letter to the editor about Portage Crossing is an excellent recent example of this. Instead of easing/addressing concerns it was one attack after another. I do want to stress that not every politician or community leader in Cuyahoga Falls lack vision or behaves in this manner. Many people are working very hard to change things so that our city is seen as more inclusive, more transparent, and more attractive for future generations. They don't like the direction are city is going and they are working very hard to change it.
Mike Penta July 09, 2012 at 09:20 PM
@MaryAnne, there are many more like me who want to see Cuyahoga Falls reach its full potential.
MaryAnne Kolton July 09, 2012 at 09:43 PM
@Mike Penta Re: the Portage Crossing responses. Yes. Quite a few had to be deleted for inappropriate comments. However, I got them before deletion and I saw a tremendous amount of hate and ignorance in those letters. It's good to know there are people with vision and compassion in Cuyahoga Falls. Sad that I have yet to meet any in person. There is a famous saying used by a politician recently: "The fish always begins to rot from the head." I couldn't agree more. Good luck in your efforts. PS Let's begin by finding an appropriate place for Good Neighbors to help those in need in our community!
Earl Elevant July 10, 2012 at 07:13 AM
There's so much here to talk about, but let's dive right in with probably the most important thing: Your hypocrisy. You want everyone else to see, value, and accept your beliefs and opinions--even going so far as to end it with "learn to respect the opinions of others"--yet this entire letter does nothing but bash, insult, and degrade people for doing nothing more than having an opinion you disagree with. Where's your open heart? Where's your listening ability? Where's your respect for the opinions of others? Needless to say, I'm nowhere near a fan of the mayor nor most parts of his administration. I think he's waaaaay off-base with most of what he does. I think it's been time for a change for a long time. But for you to sit back and criticize the city for not kowtowing to the opinion and want of every single person in this city is shortsighted at best. A line has to be drawn somewhere. Funny, but you seem to have drawn your own lines as well, excluding those whose opinions you refuse to open up to. I guess the simple point for this post is that you can't complain about others not listening to your opinions when you're not willing to listen to theirs.
Lisa Beech July 10, 2012 at 01:15 PM
That's it, Earl. Something about this article seemed off to me. You described the position of this letter as hypocrisy, but perhaps Mary said it best. The letter's tone is intolerant.,
Tom Tucker July 10, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Spare the 'tude, MaryAnne. You submitted a letter to be posted publicly. Meaning it will be criticized. If you can't handle the comments, then you shouldn't have submitted one. So, spare your attitude in your last sentence.
John Deike July 10, 2012 at 01:45 PM
The last message was deleted because it violated Patch's Terms of Use. http://cuyahogafalls.patch.com/terms. Good morning Tom, I moderate the comments. Your comments are deleted because they're typically either personal attacks or contain fowl language. To create a civil discourse, we ask that readers exercise tact when speaking their minds. I encourage you to voice your opinion, but please do so in a more constructive manner.
MaryAnne Kolton July 10, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I have read and responded to every response in this thread and others. I have heard your opinions and respected them even when we don't agree. I have not responded to hate-filled rhetoric, ignorance, taunts or name calling. I have made suggestions for improvement as well as criticized. I will say I am stunned by the level of vitriol in your responses. If you are happy here and see no need for change, especially in the services for those who are in need, and the prejudicial attitudes, I'm glad for you. Do nothing and things will stay just as they are. . .
Adam C. Miller July 10, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Adam C. Miller July 10, 2012 at 05:04 PM
It's the TAX-PAYERS Natatorium... NEVER forget that!
Tom Tucker July 10, 2012 at 07:18 PM
"Second, yes, you should be afraid of CF turning into Stow or Hudson" Uhh...MaryAnne -- I'm calling you out! Explain what in the (expletive) you mean by this. I live in Stow and before buying a house here, we looked at Cuyahoga Falls and Hudson, and quite frankly, someone like you -- if that was meant as a slam -- is only showing your ignorance and probably jealousy because, unlike Cuyahoga Falls, property in Stow is worth something. So, for someone living in the Falls, you certainly don't have ANY room to throw stones. AND TO TOM: IF someone is taking a personal shot at a city, then that is a personal attack and should be deleted. If you're going to let (what appears to be a rather ignorant) personal attack (comment) by someone like MaryAnne stand, then any attack towards her (in the form of being called out) should stand as well. Patch needs to knock off the double-standard. So -- MaryAnne -- back up your talk. NOW!
Patty Worrells July 10, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Please Mary Beck, the gay community does not want the mayor!!
Adam C. Miller July 11, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Just because you happen to be gay doesn't mean you represent the 'gay community' on this thread... We get it, you HATE the mayor of C-Falls!
Kate Bigam July 11, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Hey, Patch, here's another one that needs to be moderated. It seems that Tom can't help himself.
Kate Bigam July 11, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Mary, I feel much the same as you do; I am, for better or for worse, one of those young people who has left the area & will never return, save to visit friends & family. Cuyahoga Falls was a nice place to grow up, but I am horrified at the place it has become, & particularly at the hatefulness espoused on these pages by commenters who prove your point as soon as they hit "submit." I fear nothing will ever change here. I love Cuyahoga Falls for the 18 good years it gave me, but as an adult, I cannot fathom having to deal with such small-mindedness on a daily basis.
Earl Elevant July 11, 2012 at 04:42 AM
I'm curious... Besides the Natatorium issue, what other issues have you had with the city that have made you feel marginalized as a part of the GLBT community?
Earl Elevant July 11, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Um, the Falls is ***FAR*** from being Caucasian Falls. Another example?
MaryAnne Kolton July 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
@Adam If you are referring to me, I am not gay, but am the proud parent of a daughter who is. I don't claim to represent anybody, i speak for myself. I don't hate anyone. I just think it is time for a change. As mayor he is supposed to represent all the citizens here. Not just the people that agree with him. As for intolerance, once again, I give you, our mayor at work. http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2011/04/05/cuyahoga-falls-mayor-is-scared-of-goth-kids-piercings
MaryAnne Kolton July 11, 2012 at 02:49 PM
And if the police chief is correct, and I don't doubt he is, what kind of city planner would put a senior citizen housing development one block away from this kind of "gang" activity???
MaryAnne Kolton July 11, 2012 at 03:17 PM
@Kate, thank you for validating my opinion. @Tom, so you think because you live in Stow, I'm jealous of you? This is one of the reasons I don't respond to you and Earl. Clueless. @Earl, nice to know you are keeping track of the African-American and other minority populations for us. . . Let's get back to finding a handicapped accessible place for the wonderful people at Good Neighbors that is on a bus route. Because of the layoffs, foreclosures and near poverty level incomes, they find themselves operating in crisis mode. Please donate whatever food or money you can to help your neighbors and their families. The thought of children in this city going to bed hungry should motivate each and every one of us of us to give whatever we can.
Adam C. Miller July 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Doesn't see like a good idea lol
Adam C. Miller July 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I agree!
Jeff February 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Tom - It is an observation. Asking for documented examples is idiotic. Give me examples of tolerance or prejudice in the area. I stated "it seems". not "it is". I stand by my opinion. If yours is different, then just say so. If you have "specific, documented examples" then state those as well. Otherwise your opinion and stated observations are just as valid or invalid as mine.
Jeff February 23, 2013 at 10:14 PM
@Tom - I've lived in Stow, and moved to The Falls. Proud to be here, and so are my neighbors. An actual city that lights their streets rather than a dark bedroom community. Stow is a noce place, but considering the property taxes, I don't understand what Stow is doing with that money, especially considering the community benefits and improvements I've seen in CF for my tax dollar. I really don't think your opinion about another community is worth $.02 if you haven't lived there. Glad you enjoy your overpriced housing, and are getting your money's worth. So am I.


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