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Re: “Scold Thy Neighbor” (City Desk, 1/8):

The only one who deserves a good scolding is City Paper reporter Amanda Ripley. First, she neglected to inform me that our conversation was for publication. (I couldn’t imagine there was anything newsworthy about it. Now I see that she intended to use it as fodder for a story that lambastes me and makes light of community e-mail chat groups). She also twisted the facts, misquoted me, and took things out of context. This kind of reporting is not only capricious, but potentially inflammatory.

When my license plates were stolen, I did not “[zap] a letter to the Cardozo-Shaw Neighborhood Association newsletter” in complaint—I posted a message to those on the CSNA list so as to let my neighbors know that I had been ripped off. The message board is used to keep those of us who live in the neighborhood informed about what goes on here.

In my posting, I’ll concede that I imprudently voiced my suspicions of a neighbor. However, what Ms. Ripley omitted to mention was that this neighbor operates an illegal auto repair business. There is a steady stream of vehicles moving on and off the property (and almost always without plates). Who wouldn’t be suspicious, under the circumstances? I told Ms. Ripley that I had since heard from a reliable source that the neighbor is an upstanding character (even though he chooses to ignore zoning regulations), so I shouldn’t have suspected him after all.

I do not consider the mosque in our neighborhood to be an “imposition.” I think it’s one of the things that makes our neighborhood a dynamic place to live. That being said, I’ll confess that I don’t especially appreciate being awakened at 5 a.m. by a call to prayer, but it’s not wrecking my life. If this were a big deal, believe me, I would muster up the courage to go and speak to those in charge about my concerns. I posted a message in the mail because I thought readers might agree that this was an interesting conflict of interests. I hoped it might generate some thoughtful discussion.

I’m happy to report that I do know a great many of my neighbors and am on great terms with them all (with the exception of the one running an illegal business). Incidentally, last night, the hubcaps were removed from my car. But I’ll not be naming the suspected culprit here or anywhere else, you can be sure.

Thanks for teaching me a valuable lesson about keeping my mouth shut, City Paper. I hope I’ve taught y’all a little something too, about telling the truth and playing by the rules.

Cardozo-Shaw

via the Internet