Letters to the editor

Have something on your mind? Write a letter to the editor! Submit yours to www.columbusmessenger.com.


Campaign media driven

As this farce of a political campaign continues, the people (“sheeple”) are still as gullible as ever, unaware they have been disenfranchised for years. Again we are experiencing a media driven campaign.

The media has always promoted John McCain and the Clintons, no matter how disingenuous and egregious they can be or have become. Watching the debates from time to time, the monitors, either by plan, or consequential pas faux (which is doubtful) have ignored Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, Tom Tancredo, and hammered Mitt Romeny. Eventually, they will maneuver with words, deeds and lies to position McCain as front runner, leaving the “sheeple” with a choice of either voting for McCain or Hillary (and Bill). This time, it is not the lesser of two evils, more like which evil.

If there is a space on the ballot for a write in candidate, I urge the voters who show up to write in Donald Duck, or any other Disney character they wish. Even Britney Spears would be preferable to the choices we have now.

Dale E. Lauffer,



The Westside is the best side

I write in response to a letter printed in the Feb. 11 edition of the Westside Messenger from Rick Miller. I understand Mr. Miller’s anger, based on the fact that he is losing his job. This anger resonates through his letter.

While Mr. Miller does not say where he lives on the Westside, I assume he resides somewhere in the Greater Hilltop area. He recounts a number of unfortunate incidents that he is aware of that have occurred in close proximity to his home. I lived in the heart of the historic Hilltop for a decade and never experienced anything like what Mr. Miller describes. He assumes the entire Westside is “lawless.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

After painting our Westside with these very broad brush strokes, he proceeds to question our sanity by writing, “…nobody in his or her right mind, or able to afford housing somewhere better, would willingly live in an area such as the barbaric and lawless Westside.” I have news for Mr. Miller. There are thousands of us who choose to live here. I would not live anywhere other than the Greater Hilltop area. I do not usually think of myself as out of my mind.

Mr. Miller goes on to tell us about how “criminal elements” made the parking lot at Meijer unsafe. I have been a frequent customer at this Meijer for more than a decade. I have been at the store at all hours of the day and night. I have never felt unsafe or even seen or heard any indication from anyone or anything that would suggest the parking lot was anything other than safe. The safety of any retail store parking lot is the responsibility of the retailer. Retailers all around the city have security, even in the areas Mr. Miller might consider “better.” It is a cost of doing business.

As if Mr. Miller had not already shared enough of his opinions of our part of town, he goes on to indicate that the “Westside is a cheap place to live for a reason.” It seems clear he has not done his homework.

However, it is Mr. Miller’s attack on our long time Westsiders and their memories of the heyday of the Westside that I have heard the most about. Folks have called and e-mailed each other and talked openly about this cheap shot. There is one good thing about people’s outrage and disgust after reading ill informed tripe – it gets them talking about their community. While some say the Hilltop’s golden age is behind it, there are many laboring every day to bring about the “Hilltop Renaissance.” I believe the best is yet to come. I also believe the Westside is the best side. That is why I am here.

While Mr. Miller waits to be able to sell his house “for a dollar figure even remotely close to what” he owes on his mortgage, I would encourage him to become involved in one of the more than two dozen different groups working to keep our community one I am proud to call home. Although I could be mistaken, I do not recall ever meeting him at a meeting of the Greater Hilltop Area Commission, Friends of the Hilltop, the Greater Hilltop Area League for the Arts, the Hilltop Business Association, or any other community organization. One can either be a part of the solution or a part of the problem. Long live Hilltop, USA.

Gary L. Baker, II

President, Friends of the Hilltop


Safety is your responsibility

This is in response to all the letters from the people that believe the  Westside is such a horrible place to live.

It is not new information that crime is everywhere.  We can each do our part to deter it. 

Be a nosey neighbor.  Your neighbors will actually look out for you and they will appreciate you also.  Talk to your neighbors when you are outside. Be proud to let your neighbors see you looking outside. You don’t have to invite them to dinner. 

It is the responsibility of the residents to watch out for ourselves and our neighbors. There are not enough police to watch every street.

Make it a point to familiarize yourself with your surroundings, broken windows etc.  If the rental homes on your street are empty with no curtains, get your neighbors together and keep calling the owners until it looks occupied. Be a whiner. 

Call the police if you see something suspicious, ie; an unfamiliar occupied or unoccupied car/truck sitting on your street for an unusual period of time, kids running in and out of yards,  loud suspiciouse noises. 

And finally, teach your kids not to litter. Clean up your street. Trashy neighborhoods attract trashy people.

I am disappointed that the Westside is losing businesses, and I am committed to helping bring back a new and better Westside.

Nancy Derenberger,




Hilltop history not a “fairy tale”

I’m responding to Rick Miller’s letter in the Feb. 11 edition of the Westside Messenger.

As a lifelong resident of the “Hilltop, USA” on the Westside, I take issue to his reference that we on the Westside live in a “fairy tale.” The dictionary defines a fairy tales as “something imaginary or incredible.”

I read with disdain his opinion. I feel many others share my view. How disrespectful to tramp on our past. My parents built their home on North Powell Avenue – the tree-lined street where I grew up.

Here was a city within a city. To quote the old adage, “Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief.”

All walks were represented within walking distance.

The Hilltop had schools, banks, libraries, churches, grocery stores, pharmacies, florists, beauty shops, pools, parks, restaurants, donut shops, dress shops, movie theatres, dance studios, bowling alleys, etc. I would be remiss not to mention that the woods provided hills for children to sled  in the winter and a place for picking flowers and having picnics in the spring.

Good luck to Mr. Miller in finding a “safer environment,” as he suggests. I’m sorry for his mosfortunes (robberies, etc.). Granted, crime and drugs have infiltrated our entire city. Is no place sacred?

Spare me the reference that we live in a “fairy tale.”

Jeannette Maxwell,



Westside not so bad

This letter is in response to Rick Miller’s letter in the Feb. 11 edition of the Westside Messenger. He has indeed had a terrible experience living on the Westside. How can I or anyone explain that? I might try here.

But first, since he is here, I might try a few things. Attending these recent meetings (such as the ones at Parkview United Methodist Church) is fine. I haven’t been to one yet, but I might in the future. Mostly, I see the meetings as a show of concern – a show – and a beginning.

he can work to make his place safer by getting aquianted with his immediate neighbors and getting involved with his blockwatch. He will forge an aquiantance this way with the police working his area.

Neighbors on the Westside vary, sometimes block by block. This helps to give the neighborhood a sense of pride and ownership.

People on the Westside are just like anyone else for the most part. Some are nice, some are hostile and angry, some are snooty, some are “low lifes.” It could be the Westside is worse off than some areas because rent is cheaper, but some are not cheaper than units in higher priced cities.

It’s up to Rick Miller to maintain his own property and encourage or enforce others in his area through code enforcement.

People burglarize because there is opportunity. Keep your car in the garage, behind fences, or monitored by lights and alarms. They burglarize for many reasons. Catch ‘em. Lock ‘em up. Provide food kitchens and shelters.

I’ve lived in Dublin, but now I live on the Westside. We know our neighbors and mind our business. We beautify our yard. We know who to look for if damage is done. I feel safe here.

I do business at Central Point – not much to look at but good enough for me. I’d like to see that area beautified.  Beautifying the area – cleaning it up, planting, repairing sidewalks and gutters, painting and washing, picking up debris – raises pride and spirit and good will.

Other areas have problems as well, like too much traffic and too high taxes. We on the Westside are more stable economically and affordable. Traffic is more manageable but could use more traffic lights and road widenings.

Code enforcement and property cleanliness would be nice. Residents can look out for this. Helping to drive out the “druggies” and prostitutes and monitoring bar fights would be helpful. Eventually, with owner responsibilty maybe we could improve our image.

Meijer and Hilltop Mraketplace – those closings can’t be helped. If they can’t make it profitable, who can blame them? It’s happening everywhere. Radio Shack, Wendy’s, K-Mart, Big Bear, Macys, General Motors – they’re all having trouble. It’s the recession. I hope a new president will get us turned around.

Joan Morrison,


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