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Cleveland Suburbs: Too Close for Comfort?

<p>After black teenagers from Cleveland severely beat a white man, Shaker Heights residents reconsider the safety of their community.</p>
January 21, 2008, 5am PST | maryereynolds
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"The Ludlow neighborhood, where the beating occurred, is located partly in Cleveland and partly in the affluent suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 'Children on both sides of the neighborhood attend Shaker Heights public schools. The only way to know which city you are in is to look for the street signs, which in Cleveland are blue and in Shaker Heights are white.'"

"Shaker Heights residents fear the encroaching urban decay from Cleveland, America's fourth poorest city. For many years, Shaker Heights was one of the richest cities in the United States. As presidents of Cleveland's largest companies, a few Shaker Heights citizens were bosses to generations of Clevelanders. Today, Shaker Heights actively encourages integration. Of the town's 27,245 residents, 61 percent are white and 34 percent are black, according to the census."

"Many Ludlow residents plan to stay, be vigilant and get organized. 'You can't run forever,' said Tom Chelimsky, co-president of the Ludlow Community Association. The beating occurred on Mr. Chelimsky's front lawn. 'We're not naïve. We're tough, and we're going to stand together.'"

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Published on Thursday, January 17, 2008 in The New York Times
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