Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Readers' Views

Learn from past urban renewal


Regarding Norwood's "blighted" neighborhood, which stands on the site where the city would like to build a new development: since urban renewal began on a large-scale in 1949, blight has always seemed to be a euphemism for undesirable or just in the way ["Norwood holdouts fight back," Sept. 24].

Rather than relying on studies or statistics, one need only walk around this neighborhood to see that it is, in fact, a healthy neighborhood, with well-built houses and happy residents. Indeed, what many of the residents have done with their homes along Edwards Road is quite pleasant compared to the massive parking lots just beyond. It seems terribly myopic to tear down a good neighborhood to build what is currently fashionable in development. This is surely one lesson that has been learned from urban renewal.

As sociologist Jane Jacobs said in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, "As in the pseudoscience of bloodletting, just so in the pseudoscience of city rebuilding ... years of learning and a plethora of subtle and complicated dogma have arisen on a foundation of nonsense."

This use of eminent domain leaves me wondering: Who is the public that benefits from this?

Brian Goldstein, Wyoming


Highway barriers actually amplify noise

While I sympathize with people who live at I-71's edge in Blue Ash, and the roar associated with Interstate traffic, I can testify that the monstrous sound barriers that line the highway are not a Godsend. The walls ensure that anyone living in sight of the barriers hear what people living next to the highway hear.

As a nine-year resident of Kenwood, I remember life "pre-wall." Though I live just two blocks from I-71, it was, for the most part, quiet outside my front door. Then the wall went up. At times during morning rush hour, the traffic noise would have you believe that an extra stretch of I-71 had been put in your front yard overnight. The wall, besides being unsightly and causing claustrophobic feelings, is a noise amplifier. Whoever designed these concrete slabs should be made to live in a neighborhood surrounded by them as punishment.

Todd Remmy, Kenwood


Timing of Blackwell proposal is suspicious

Recent reports of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's initiative promoting a statewide referendum to repeal the recent 1 percent sales tax increase prompted me to write. Blackwell should be upfront about what simultaneous measures he would take to cut state expenses if the measure passed. Does he want to cut highway maintenance? Does he want to reduce state aid to schools and universities? Does he want to reduce state Medicaid support? Does he want to close prisons? Does he want to grant early parole to more felons?

I doubt Blackwell wants to take such measures. The timing is very suspicious. It would require a tax rollback before the next governor's election. Gov. Bob Taft would have to preside over a series of politically unpopular measures if it passed. Blackwell is reportedly interested in being Ohio's next governor. Should it succeed, Blackwell could present himself as the taxpayer's champion while doing nothing himself to reduce state expenses.

Michael Hamill, Forest Park


Locals won't fly high-priced Delta

In regards to the front-page article ("Delta tries to make customers love to fly," Sept. 21), what a joke. I "high five" Louisville and Dayton, as a lot of other people in this area do, because it's cheaper to fly out of there than Cincinnati.

Update and redesign the airport by installing automated self-service kiosks. But, you still have one huge problem, Delta. Until Delta lowers its prices, Cincinnatians "don't love to fly out of Cincinnati," and we won't.

Ann Krogmeier, Fort Mitchell


Ohio simply needs legalized gambling

Gov. Gray Davis of California is a saint compared to Gov. Bob Taft of Ohio. Taft has totally mismanaged the state. So, he comes up with all new taxes to bail himself out. An easier way to raise money would be to tallow gambling.

Former Indians owner Dick Jacobs in July got approval to build a $150 million casino in Mississippi. Why not Ohio?

His handling of the instant bingo tickets in bars and private clubs has totally backfired. Private clubs have had to lay people off and shorten their hours. I know of one club whose beer order went from 30 cases a week to five. How does this help the economy? Ohioans want to gamble. Go to the Mountaineer in West Virginia and all you see are Ohio plates. They are spending a lot of money that could be spent in Ohio

Why not tax the gambling establishment and put the money toward education?

We need big brother to stop telling us what is good for us.

Ernie Lorenzo, Massillon, Ohio


Cheney's Halliburton connections stink

I am dismayed after reading the article ["Halliburton under fire again for $2 billion Iraq contracts," Sept. 19] about Vice President Dick Cheney still being on the payroll of Halliburton, the Texas oil and military contracting company, and their no-bid contracts potentially worth $7 billion due to our government's involvement in Iraq. It is not right that he should personally profit. Many people are dying over there, and he is making money because of it. It absolutely stinks. An investigation is in order.

Harlan Peck, Indian Hill

We have some questions
Intimidated witnesses
Job well done
Cincinnati cared, made a difference
Readers' Views