Be careful when you open your voice mail. Somebody may see Broadway Commons as the perfect place to pick a fight.
''A ballpark at Broadway Commons would be the best thing for Cincinnati.'' - Ann Richards, Hyde Park.
''Broadway Commons is a crazy notion.'' - Al Smithson, Corryville.
''Broadway Commons is a first-class place for a ballpark. It's a winner.'' - Angela Thomas, Florence.
''Broadway is a second-class location. It stinks. Anyone who likes it is a loser.'' - Alfred Simms, Cleves.
See what happens when you write a column in favor of building the Reds' new stadium on Broadway.
''I'm sick and tired of you people pushing that stadium up there in the middle of nowhere. The hell with that end of town.'' - Grace Johnstone, Batavia.
''Put another jail up there. Put the Reds on the riverfront. And, put a cork in your mouth.'' - Jim Schultz, Westwood.
At the risk of offending Mr. Schultz, I did not take his advice. I took Matt Green's instead.
''Keep pushing the Commons,'' he said. The Walnut Hills man likes baseball on Broadway because ''our riverfront is too valuable to have two huge, ugly ashtrays on it. Look at Detroit. They don't have stadiums on their riverfront. It's beautiful and people go there all the time.''
Don Hild of Mount Adams made another out-of-town comparison. He sees Broadway Commons as Cincinnati's answer to Chicago's Wrigley Field. ''That old park is a dividend that continues to repay that area year after year. We need to take advantage of our wonderful urban areas in this town.''
Christine Parker has been to Chicago, too. The Madeira woman has seen that city's stadium-free lakeshore and found it ''open and green. And filled with people. Put the Reds' ballpark on Broadway. It'd be a bold move. It would open up our riverfront. It's a no-brainer.''
Jim Bingham of Grandview wants the Reds to move to Newport. ''Tell Marge to forget about Cincinnati and Broadway Commons,'' he said. ''Remind her, there are riverfronts on both sides of the Ohio.''
Will do the next time I take Marge to tea.
Joe Brock Jr. of Dillonvale can see baseball at Broadway Commons. But he can't envision home plate facing Mount Adams. ''Turn it around so it faces the skyline. I love to drive down I-71 and see those beautiful buildings,'' he said. ''They're so New York-ish, so Chicago-ish. Imagine what that skyline would look like at night when the Reds are in the World Series.''
Mary Meyers called from Delhi to toss this idea into the Broadway Commons mix.
''Put the Underground Railroad museum up there,'' she said, swearing up and down that she was serious. ''A museum is a year-round venture. It would help the area every day of the week instead of just when a bunch of rich, spoiled millionaires decide it's time to play ball.''
You be the judge
In January, Judge Lee Hildebrandt Jr. was fined and put on probation for ethics violations in his campaign advertising.
A panel of judges appointed by Ohio's Supreme Court reached this decision. I felt the judges should have removed him from the bench. In my readers' court of appeals, that opinion was upheld by a 2-1 margin.
''Hildebrandt is a rat. When the judges' report came out, he should have curled up his tail and resigned.'' - Charles Richardson, East Walnut Hills.
''Judges are just as crooked as the rest of us.'' - Larry Compton, Adams County.
Some people feel the same way about newspaper columnists.
''Your column stinks.'' - Ray Carvell, Wyoming.
''This guy lied. And he calls himself a judge?'' - Stan Mannheim, Norwood.
''Hildebrandt must be a bonehead,'' insisted Ed Wilson of Middletown. ''Why mess with anything unethical? He's a Republican in Hamilton County. If his IQ is over 50, he was a shoe-in to get elected.''
Susan Plageman of Anderson found a lesson to be learned from the judge's troubles. ''This judge can get off by buying his way out. Newt Gingrich can get off by buying his way out. What is this teaching our children? If you have enough money, you can buy your way out of just about any situation.''
Cliff Radel's column appears in The Enquirer Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Available to speak to groups. Tips and comments most welcome. Call 768-8379 or fax at 768-8340.