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Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Readers' Views


Light rail won't work in suburbs

TO THE EDITOR:

In regards to the article ("$1.8 billion I-75 fix proposed," Sept. 30), it's funny how the light rail project in Cincinnati was first proposed for the Eastern Avenue corridor and points closer to I-71. Whose transportation agenda is the public to fall for this time?

What happens after Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments bankrupt our society? We have a nation of children that can't walk or ride bikes to school in any significant numbers. We can barely afford to get from point A to point B, let alone point C. Society has a lot to think about before it pays for another administration claiming that it's for our transportation needs. Light rail in suburban sprawling areas like ours doesn't mix.

Brad D. Berman, Deerfield Township

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No wonder Bush's popularity is sinking

It really is no wonder that Bush's popularity is waning in the "swing state" of Ohio. Those of us born without privilege are finding it hard to forgive a man who has lied about evidence so he could invade a nearly Third World country, sent our sons and daughters into limitless tours of duty and possible death, handed out no-bid contracts to corporate cronies, established "tax reform" that benefits only the richest 5 percent of Americans, and vowed to end the overtime pay that feeds millions of hard-working families.

I'm surprised his approval rating remains above 50 percent. Recent reports indicate it is even lower among the "freed" Iraqis.

Scott Nass, Hyde Park

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Chairman supports Democratic hopefuls

I am firmly supporting all our candidates running this fall in Cincinnati city races. The ("Inside City Hall," Sept. 23) column insinuates otherwise.

An Enquirer reporter paraphrased comments I made at Alicia Reece's rally that may have left readers with the wrong impression. It surprised me to see my thoughts repackaged to appear I was pitting our elected Democratic leaders against each other.

While labor leaders may disagree with some city officials on critical issues, I did not urge our unions to "Treat your elected officials like children," as the paper reported. I told them I would not reward my children with candy if they disrespected my wishes. I told our labor members they have the right to withhold support from elected leaders who disagree with their position.

The newspaper reports accurately that I do tell those critical of my close relationship to organized labor to "Get over it." But the story fails to tell you why. It is because I support the hard-working union men and women that built this country, and fight for the rights of not only those workers represented by unions, but for all workers and their families. My comments about supporting labor have nothing to do with current issues surrounding "managed competition" at Cincinnati City Hall, but that is the impression last week's column attempted to leave with readers.

I am proud of our officeholders and candidates in Cincinnati, and expect they will continue to fight for the rights of middle-class and working families. In the Bush economy, where more than 3.3 million American jobs have been lost, standing up for the rights of workers is more important than ever.

Dennis L. White, Chairman, Ohio Democratic Party

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Building trucks-only bypass helps all

Regarding the widening of Interstate 75, anyone who has seen the 16 lanes on one stretch around Atlanta knows you can't build a road big enough.

What would help? Build a trucks-only bypass from Butler County to Northern Kentucky, with its own bridge, to relieve through traffic on I-75 and I-275. As pointed out in a recent article, one truck equals five cars. Commuters would be glad to get the scary trucks off their "expressway"; truckers would be glad to bypass city traffic; the highway-construction industry would get just as rich building this bypass as they would widening lanes. Neighborhoods along I-75 would be undisturbed and traffic could flow without the congestion caused by endless construction. A tie-in to I-71 would be even better. Everybody wins!

Anita Murphy, Sycamore Township

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Candidate confused about finance rule

Peter Witte, a candidate for Cincinnati City Council, is suing the city because he says Article XIII violates his rights to free speech by prohibiting contributions from one candidate to another ("Candidate sues over campaign finance," Sept. 23). Actually, this is not the case at all. Article XIII is the campaign finance reform passed by the voters in 2001 to limit contributions to Cincinnati council candidates.

The particular item of this reform to which Witte objects only prohibits contributions from one candidate's campaign fund to another City Council candidate's campaign fund. This was enacted to prevent abuse of campaign funds. Witte, as an individual, can contribute to other candidates, just not from his campaign's funds. If you donate to his campaign fund, be sure to ask him where the money is going, it may be going to another candidate you don't like.

Alice Schneider, Campaign manager, Citizens for Fair Elections

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Firing shouldn't surprise teacher

When does it become front-page news that an organization fires an employee who publicly thumbs his or her nose at the organization? ("Teacher fired; she wed outside Church," Sept. 20) The answer: When the organization is the Roman Catholic Church.

Can anyone seriously suggest that this bit of "news," the firing of a teacher from a Catholic school, would have made any page of the Enquirer, much less the first page, before the scandals laid at the Church's door by a few pitiful priests? The Church claims to have the power, as the representative of Christ on Earth, to forgive eternal consequences to the sinner who confesses to his or her guilt. But the confession must include a promise by the sinner of "a firm purpose of amendment."

The matter of the confession is a secret, never to be revealed. That's why the institutional church was not able to publicize the confessed sins of some of its clergy.

Now to the matter of the fired teacher. You have an institution professing certain beliefs - one among them having to do with the sacrament of marriage. Once married in the church it is "until death do us part." The church has never to my knowledge recognized a civil divorce as dissolution of the bonds of a marriage sanctified by the church.Yet here you have a teacher in that very church announcing in the church's own school her plans to remarry outside the church.

The teacher is surprised at her firing? She's got to be kidding! Would the Girl Scouts retain a counselor who advocated setting fire to the stars and stripes?

Gene Wolters, Anderson Township

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In tough year, at least there's Marty and Joe

As Reds fans, we have had quite a few curveballs thrown our way in the past couple of months. Some of the changes make you wonder what the ultimate goal for the team might be. Thank God for Marty and Joe, who continue to entertain us with their great rapport and honest assessment of the games.

My 11-year-old daughter and I attended a game recently and were lucky enough to see Joe Nuxhall. He graciously posed for a picture and was very friendly. Baseball is bigger than just the games and Joe is an excellent ambassador to the fans. Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall are the epitome of Cincinnati Reds baseball, and I hope that it continues that way for a long time.

Jim Meyer, Cleves

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Vouchers should make us nervous

I am writing in response to the letter ("School vouchers offer more freedom," Sept. 6). The letter writer argued that vouchers appear so subjective and precipitate that I felt compelled to respond.

Practically speaking, vouchers would help few students while actually harming others. Contrary to the letter writer's assertion, it is those children with special needs who are either denied admission or expelled when problems arises private schools do not have any obligation to accept anyone. Simple math shows that the amounts currently provided by taxes to educate our children cannot provide every student with the amount needed for tuition at a private school. Children from lower- or no-income families do not have the money to supplement. So much for no child left behind.

It is one thing to choose to send your child to a school in which he or she will receive some religious influence. It is another to ask someone else, especially someone who does not believe as you do, to pay for it through tax dollars. Let us put our resources toward bettering the public schools, which leave the religious training to the family and accept every child.

Gretchen E. Fisher, West Chester

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Miami's attempt to lure fans was lowbrow

I read the article ("MU invites XU students to root against UC," Sept. 24) in the Enquirer stating Miami University student body president Michael Chapman's initiative to invite XU fans to come to MU's Yager Stadium and root against the University of Cincinnati.

Miami athletic director Brad Bates amazingly OK'd this idea. What a poor and classless decision. How desperate does that make MU look? Obviously, they can't fill their own venue for a classic rivalry. MU should be above such tacky and lowbrow tactics to cheer on their own teams. Believe me, most XU alums/fans I know dislike Miami as much as they do UC. Moves like this have a way of coming back to bite.

Nick Gliebe, Anderson Township

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Private sector seized power in Norwood

If the city of Norwood is truly taking these properties for an urban renewal purpose, "the clearing of blight," why didn't they take this property following the cut-through of Interstate 71? The interstate cutting through was cited as a major contributing factor of blight. Or did developer Jeffrey R. Anderson purchase blight for a monetary sum? I believe it to be the latter of the two as blight sprouted overnight like a weed.

Two private entities, Anderson Real Estate and the Miller-Valentine Group have successfully dictated the use of a power, which is solely that of the government. They are the unknown government, which has grasped this takings' power. We all fear the day when the private sector carries this power to appropriate against another's will. Sadly, that day has come. No property owner lives under the safety that the government once provided. The American dream of owning property has turned into a nightmare.

Joe Horney, Norwood

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Norwood holdouts need to move on

I am sick and tired of hearing about the poor few individuals and the greedy businesses being preyed upon by the developers of the triangle in Norwood. I've owned a home on Atlantic Avenue for 14 years and applaud the new development, because it brings hope to this already dying neighborhood. The holdouts are mainly businesses and individuals who have delayed an attractive offer from the developers for the properties.

The area being developed stopped being a quiet neighborhood over five years ago when the first development was built and cars started coming. What about the majority of the people who want to get on with their lives? The few holdout individuals and their plight have had their 15 minutes of fame.

Steve Inglis, West Chester




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