Saturday, October 4, 2003

Readers' Views

Gidding Building sets new standard


Bravo, to Norm Wasserman, owner of the former Gidding Building in downtown Cincinnati, who is preserving the priceless Rookwood terra cotta tile facade of the Gidding Building that now houses T.J. Maxx ["Cost of repairs: Priceless," Oct. 1]. This building is not protected by historic designation nationally or locally, yet this building owner's community attitude is one of historic significance and is to be admired. It greatly contributes to the vitality of Cincinnati's downtown.

May others who acquire properties with historic significance take note and recognize the true value of our heritage and the importance and the economic advantages to preserve it. This is a gift to a community that lasts far beyond one's generation. We have lost three historic buildings in Montgomery in the past year or so and feel the impact of the loss. While we realize we win some and lose some in historic preservation, it is with pleasure that we salute those who preserve.

Mary Lou Rose, Montgomery

Some teens have plenty of homework

This letter is in response to the front-page article "Homework only takes hour or so" [Oct. 1]. The article was ridiculous. Yes, perhaps there are many students who have only one hour of homework each night. However, you neglected to discuss the other one-third of students (according to the article) who actually work on homework for "an hour or more" every night.

I am a senior at Princeton High School; I am enrolled in all international baccalaureate classes. This is the most challenging curriculum at the high school, and we are bombarded with assignments. I, along with the majority of my peers, spend an average of five hours every night on homework. Most of us participate in and hold offices in many extracurricular activities in addition to our immense homework load, so to read an article saying that most teenagers have a minute amount of homework and simply exaggerate their feeling of being overwhelmed was insulting to me. The article made it sound as if teenagers do not work hard and merely hang out with their friends. What about the other one-third of the people in your sample group? Please, give those of us who work so hard some credit.

Ashley Burkert, Sycamore Township

Freedom, liberty not anarchistic ideas

In the article "New Hampshire chosen as Libertarian 'free state'" [Oct. 2] New Hampshire Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan said project members, "can best be described as anarchists." She is wrong: Libertarians are not anarchists.

Anarchists believe in no government whatsoever; libertarians believe in limited government. This means that government power should be used only to protect a person's life, liberty and property; nor should it interfere in people's lives. Indeed, that is the type of government laid out in the Constitution, which was written specifically to limit government power. Unfortunately, America has strayed far from the founding fathers' ideals. Today, those on the political left believe that government should control one's economic life, while those on the right believe that government should control one's personal life. Only libertarians still believe that people are capable of making decisions without government interference.

Individual liberty and limited government are not anarchistic ideas, and libertarians are proud to support both.

Paul Green, Chairman, Hamilton County Libertarian Party, Northside

We're not free until Rush et al can speak

In a sane country, what Rush Limbaugh said about Donovan McNabb would have been discussed as an opinion ["McNabb won't get Limbaugh apology," Oct. 2]. But politically correct America has lost its mind. What has happened with Rush? If it isn't about race or sensitivity, it's about political correctness and its totalitarian dictates.

Before 9-11, I considered political correctness to be silly, but now that terrorists have declared war on us, its foolishness has become a dangerous and costly dementia. For example, additional people probably died from the D.C. sniper attacks because authorities were profiling white men and were letting everyone else leaving the scene go unchallenged. Conversely, we are all being treated as possible terrorists at airports at great expense to the taxpayer and inconvenience to the traveler because political correctness prohibits profiling people of all other hues.

People are people, and sensitivity isn't sensitivity if it is not sensibly and rationally applied to all people and groups of people. Nor is this a free country if we can't equally express our opinions.

Janice Feldstein, North Avondale

NIH budget must maintain status quo

The University of Cincinnati should be exceptionally proud of its rise in research funding over the past year ["Research at UC pulls in $309M," Oct. 1]. Over the past five years, leaders in the White House and Congress heard the voices of their constituents and doubled the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the primary federal agency responsible for funding of medical and health research. UC is one of the beneficiaries of that doubling. But while the success of UC's research funding is being touted, the NIH is facing a proposed budget increase of only 2-3 percent for the coming year.

Such a meager budgetary increase will threaten cutting-edge research and life-saving research on cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease, to name a few. Such a meager increase in the NIH budget would also threaten the robust research funding that is helping to drive UC's research engine. The voice of the public can make all the difference on this issue, but only if that voice is spoken loud enough to be heard. Now is the time for residents of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana - who reap both direct and indirect economic benefits from the success of the university's research funding - to call on Congress to support a minimum 8-10 percent increase in the NIH budget for fiscal year 2004.

Matthew Bowdy, Lexington, Ky.

Condominium project raises many questions

I have been following news stories on the proposed Mount Hope condos. The disinformation machine is running and the truth is getting run over.

"A $20 million project that would enhance East Price Hill tremendously has been turned down because subjective architectural criteria were not met," according to Joseph Trauth, the developer's lawyer. Really? Given the size of the units, the value is probably half that amount. More importantly, Trauth is ignoring the landslide issues raised and the other legal criteria the hearing examiner correctly applied. Trauth went on to say, "This is why the city is losing population. This is why homeownership is in decline." Oh, yeah! If an outrageous crime rate in Price Hill and lax code enforcement are not addressed, we will continue to lose homeownership. The 100-condo units built in Price Hill since 1980 have not stemmed the tide.

I own three properties in Cincinnati, including my permanent home when my husband retires. I have far more invested in that home than the developer actually has at stake. By the way, does he live in Cincinnati?

Mary Croft, Wilmington, Del.

Governor's ex-lover's guilty plea
Thumbs up: Gidding's Rookwood
Thumbs down: Cost of suing
Rape victims often afraid to speak up
Readers' Views