WSEM seniors shuffled off to a new center

(Plain Press, January 2007) To the editor: I was very surprised by the article on the West Side Community House  (December Plain Press) The article neglected to say if it was open for business.

I am mainly writing this in regards to the seniors that have once again been shuffled off to a new center whether they want to go or not.  Of course they don't "have" to go, but what choice do they now have?

I remember around 10 years ago when the Cudell Recreation Senior Center closed. The seniors were told they could go to Gunning Recreation Center out by the airport, but weren't given any way to get there. No buses would be sent to pick them up, and most seniors stopped going. I drove my mother and 4 of her friends from this area of Cudell to Gunning for 4 years so they could be with the friends they had for 20 years.

Now the seniors at the West Side Ecumenical Ministry (WSEM) senior program were told that at the end of December they will have to go to the new West Side Community House on Lorain Rd.  Will they be picked up by a van like they were at WSEM? They have no idea, they were told nothing except that WSEM’s senior program is closing. Once again, their concerns were not even thought of when the powers that be decide their fate.

I find it offensive that the Plain Press stated that Jay Westbrook said, "Representatives of community organizations, residents, merchants--all of us in the community have embraced the move of the West Side Community House.” Obviously the seniors were once again not asked what THEY thought of the move - probably because they are the ones who will be affected.

The seniors at WSEM at W.54th and Detroit were given 4 alternative choices of senior sites available.  3 of the 4 are on the South Side of the City by Deaconess. That leaves the West Side Community House as the only one on the “actual” West Side of the City, which should make it a hit, or at least the most attended.

What a coup for Cudell Improvement for manipulating more poor people and making it look like they are doing a good thing.  They will be able to say that it is the most attended senior center on the West Side, but I'm sure they'll neglect to say it's the "only" one left on the West Side.

Also, I would like to note that I live less than 1/4 of a mile away from the new site and never was asked about it, never even knew it was being built and never was invited to an open house.

I wonder how many area residents were.  Unless, once again, the residents around W. 98th between Madison and Lorain were "forgotten" again.

Frank Caffrey
The Forgotten Zone/W. 98th & Madison area


Thanks for coverage on IRTF vigil

To the editor: I would like to thank you for your article on the InterReligious Task Force on Central America's (IRTF) vigil to close down the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia in the December issue.

For 25 years the IRTF has been educating and organizing Northeast Ohioans for peace, human rights, and economic justice in Central America and Colombia - and changes in government policies, corporate actions, and consumer behaviors that undermine this vision of nonviolent social change.
I invite all to learn more about these issues and join us on Saturday, January 20th for our Annual Social Justice Teach-In from 10am until 5pm at St. Joseph Academy. For more information call 216-961-0003.

Thanks again for your coverage of this important issue.

Paula Miller
Near West Side Resident


Reader praises coverage

To the editor: The Plain Press’ value to the Tremont area is manifest in describing “A tale of two businesses” in the December issue. You serve that constituency well, and I enjoy reading all the news!

Charles Byrne


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