Saturday, September 20, 2003

Readers' Views

Why do businesses get all the tax breaks?


The Enquirer and Post "Home Finders Weekly" of Sept. 17 featured the new condominiums for sale in Clifton Heights, or rather Fairview Heights to be correct. On the inside page giving the details of the Ravine Street Condominiums, it stated they were being sold for $179,900 with no property taxes for 15 years.

We have a 100-year-old frame house one block away from these condominiums with a lot that measures 25 feet by 93.5 feet, and with property taxes costing $1,545 per year. We have lived here for 59 years and have tried several times to have our taxes reduced with nothing but rebuttals. We have no renters.

Why are so many businesses getting tax cuts? Why do the struggling residents of Hamilton County get stuck with added taxes? What does it take to get a tax reduction from our all-giving, generous, phony politicians?

Clifford Breitenstein, Fairview Heights


Rail crossings don't kill; bad drivers do

A recent full-page ad depicting a human skull above a railroad crossbuck captioned as "bad crossings kill good drivers" promoted abdicating personal responsibility. Operation Lifesaver, a national non-profit education group encourages drivers to make good choices at highway-rail intersections.

Any intersection regardless of configuration is dangerous if drivers choose to make imprudent decisions. Motorists who drive around gates take needless risks. In reality, the massive size and angle of an approaching train creates an optical illusion of moving slower than it actually is. When vehicles and trains collide, motorists are 40 times more likely to perish as compared to a typical highway intersection crash. Trains traveling 55 mph may take a mile or more to stop. The 1998-2002 average, 43 percent of Ohio's railroad crossing fatalities, occurred at locations where active warning devices were in operation at the time of the crash. That's unacceptable driving behavior.

Operation Lifesaver supports the State PUCO and ORDC pro-active safety enhancement intervention at railroad crossings. However, the best-designed active warning systems are no substitute for drivers taking personal responsibility to exercise caution and making good choices. Look, listen and live.

Sheldon Senek, State coordinator, Ohio Operation Lifesaver


Yoga class for kids? Give them a break!

Does anyone else see the irony in "Hooray for yoga: Classes growing in Greater Cincinnati" (Sept. 16)? It says, parents looking for ways to ease stress for over-scheduled, peer-pressured children are finding that yoga classes tailored for kids and teenagers are a good fit. "Over-scheduled" and "needing some form of exercise and relaxation," 3- to 5-year-old-children are finding relief apparently in being scheduled for yet another class by zealous parents.

I'm all for yoga, Tai-Chi, pilates, exercise in general, but when it comes to our young children, our generation of middle- to upper-middle-class parents gets the award in over-scheduling our kids into stressed-out whirling dervishes.

Has anyone tried a park, riding Big Wheels, a game of tag, hopscotch or jumping rope? I know the coffee breaks at Starbucks, kids in tow, are by no means as fun when you can't impress your friends with "Cameron and Madison are off Blue this month; they're taking a yoga class - it's the stress, you know."

Jane Browe, Finneytown


St. X, Walnut Hills stats need perspective

It is always good news to read about school success, but it can be misleading to report merit semifinalists by number. Students enter schools such as St. Xavier and Walnut Hills only after passing rigorous entrance exams. Both schools are large and should be expected to have larger numbers passing the Preliminary SAT with honors. Giving the percentage of those students from each school that achieved merit status would evidence a truer picture.

Linda Farrenkopf, Indian Hill

Forcing budget restraint
Thumbs Up: Big O
Thumbs up: Big oom-pah
Miami U. reading program gets students to think critically
Readers' Views