Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Luken offers support to damaged areas

Mayor tours Findlay Market

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Gary Mallin, co-owner of Leader Furniture on West Elder Street, looks at damage to his display windows.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken walked through violence-ravaged Findlay Market today, stepping over broken glass and shaking hands with shell-shocked store owners.

        “This is all just senseless, random vandalism,” Mr. Luken said, standing a few feet from a boarded-up storefront.

        The neighborhood around the market was hit hard by rioters Tuesday, prompting the mayor's visit. He was joined by several city council members and community leaders, including the leaders of several churches with large African-American memberships.

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        The streets and sidewalks around the market were still littered with glass and debris when the mayor arrived around noon.

Workmen board up broken windows at Mediterranean Foods in Findlay Market.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Some store owners stopped their cleaning and repairs to talk briefly with Mr. Luken. One of his first stops was the Heist Fish & Poultry store. Huge plywood boards covered the shattered windows and glass covered the entrance.

        “Are all the windows gone?” Mayor Luken asked, extending a hand to co-owner Barb Heist.

        “Oh, yeah. They hit everything,” she said. “But we're going to still be here. We've been here since 1880. This neighborhood is our family.”

        Those who joined Mayor Luken's tour urged protesters to vent their anger in more constructive ways.

        “The hardest thing to do is think,” said Rev. Freddie Piphus, pastor of the Lincoln Heights Baptist Church. “The easiest thing to do is react.”

        Before leaving the neighborhood, Mayor Luken assured residents and store owners that the area remains a priority for the city. He said more than $10 million in development, including improvements to the market, are planned in the near future.

        “This is an important neighborhood,” the mayor said. “I tell people in speeches all the time about the revitalization of Over-the-Rhine.

        “Of course, that sounds a little hollow today.”


Violence worsens, spreads
Grand jury will probe shooting
NAACP's Mfume, city leaders meet today
Citizens terrorized by violence
Some business owners, residents felt targeted
- Luken offers support to damaged areas
Ministers rally, then walk the streets
Panel's view: What should the city do next?
PULFER: Refusing to give up on the city
Residents try to comprehend destruction
Violence a sign of unsolved problems
Arrests mostly of young males
Bengal Basnight wants to help stop violence
Reds urge end to violence
Parker: Problems have better solutions
Image worries downtown merchants
School activities address unrest
Report on Tuesday's violence
Photo gallery
Map of affected area