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Sunday, October 5, 2003

Readers' Views


Wife must halt spouse's gambling

TO THE EDITOR:

I was flabbergasted to read the denial in the words of Johnnie Brown ("Wife sues to make casino ban husband," Sept. 28) regarding her "inability" to protect the couple's retirement funds from being lost at the hands of her husband at Argosy Casino. This has been going on for four years, and she claims she can't stop it without filing a lawsuit?

Johnnie is a classic enabler; just as a wife with an alcoholic husband would keep beer in the fridge, she is permitting his conduct to continue by allowing him access to their finances. She is "letting him use her money to gamble with," not the casino.

The answer is not in the courts; it is in herself. She needs to take control of the situation by immediately removing his name from all joint accounts, take charge of paying the bills, and refusing to allow him access to any funds. She may say this is not the way for a marriage to be, but in her own words she says her husband "Has turned into a stranger to her." Would she not hesitate to protect herself from a stranger on the street taking her life savings?

She says she sees "no way out of it." The way out is simple. It's not the responsibility of the casinos to protect you from your husband's gambling problem, it's your problem. If she needs need help doing this, there are organizations that are a phone call away. If her husband refuses to get help, she can call for herself. If she rely on this lawsuit to solve her problem, she is living in a costly fantasy. There are hundreds of ways to gamble - at bars, online, etc. He will find a way, because he has an addiction that no court is going to cure. Is she going to sue every gambling entity he can find?

Linda Bauer, Hamilton

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Pilarczyk needs to earn respect

I am writing in response to the letter ("Pilarczyk deserves our support, respect," Sept. 27). It is my opinion that respect is earned and should not simply be given to a person because he is "highly regarded" by the U.S. Church. Is he not part of the same institution that covered up the sexual abuse of children for several decades?

I spent 12 years receiving a Catholic education, including eight years at Guardian Angels, where several of my classmates were abused by Father George Cooley, a man who worked hard to earn the respect and trust of children with lies and deceit, only to shatter their lives forever by betraying that very trust. In our 8- to 12-year-old minds George Cooley deserved our support and respect. He used puppets during homilies to grab our attention. Some of the boys talked about playing video games with him in the rectory after school. At recess he would come outside and we would flock to him because he had connected with our young minds. Our parents sent us off to school each day believing we were safe and protected. Pilarczyk knew exactly what kinds of problems Cooley had and he placed him in our school anyway.

The letter writer said, "The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is not Boston." I would like to know exactly how many of my peers, who were victims of horrible acts of abuse, need to come forward before you escalate Cincinnati's crisis to that of Boston's. I did not realize that the sexual abuse of minors, by men who had earned their trust and respect, was a competition.

Colleen McDonald, White Oak

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Clarett's behavior needs no reward

Now that suspended Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett has screwed up his college career by refusing to follow the rules laid down by the NCAA, he is filing a lawsuit against the NFL to have the NFL rule requiring players to be out of high school for three years changed so he can enter the NFL draft early ["Clarett files suit against NFL," Sept. 24]. Hopefully, the judge will laughingly dismiss this suit from court.

Allowing Clarett to change the rules in the NFL so he can benefit from his refusal to follow the rules in the NCAA is tantamount to allowing the inmates to run the asylum. He needs to learn that bad behavior has consequences, not be rewarded an NFL contract worth millions of dollars as a result of his bad behavior.

Andy Spaeth, Groesbeck

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Running back needs to get an education

I am shocked and saddened that the Enquirer would write such an article about the right to make money. Maurice Clarett has the right to pursue happiness. We are not guaranteed the right of happiness. The worst part of the article is that the editorial is saying, "Oh well, getting a good education isn't worth anything, so go ahead and earn some money." What happens when a child has all kinds of money and no education to make sure that he can make good choices with his money? He is going to have all kinds of unscrupulous people banging down his door for his money through shady financial advice and all kinds of other scams.

If these kids are not at least exposed to some higher education, then we are in a dangerous spot in our society. Better yet, what happens when that child is cut from the pro team and has burned all his bridges to get an education? We should rescind the rules in other sports and make those kids go to school as well. We have gotten our priorities so far out of whack as a society.

Tom McOwen, Jr., Anderson Township

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Wants freedom not to listen

I am glad I live in a free country, a country where we have freedom of speech. But under the same freedom, don't we also have the freedom not to listen to a speaker?

I have a lock on the doors of my house to keep out the people that are not welcome to come in. The "Do Not Call" bill that has been passed by Congress is like a lock on my telephone to keep out unwanted solicitation. If I don't want to hear what solicitors have to say, I shouldn't be forced to. That violates my freedom. I fail to see why this bill is unconstitutional ["No-call listing found invalid," Sept. 25].

Judy Ohliger, Liberty Township

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Baltimore thankful for Cincy's help

We are just recovering from the terrible effects of Hurricane Isabel. My neighborhood was without electricity for five days, but we were thrilled beyond belief when the trucks from Cincinnati rolled through and restored our power this week.

Our local movie theater had a big "Go Bengals" on the marquee in honor of the workers who came here and worked so hard.

Thanks, Cincinnati.

Mary Skeen, Baltimore, Md.

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Howard Dean no knockoff of Newt

I am responding to the Hotcorner item in Sept. 28 Forum section of the Enquirer titled, "Newt Knockoffs?"

I can't tell you how happy I am you feel Howard Dean is no Newt Gingrich, and no wonder because Dean "turned red in the face"(Although the New York Times must have a better set than mine, I did not see red, personally). With the changes Gingrich helped bring about, the average American will be a long time trying to recover. Only the rich are still crowing.

Gerry Lykins, Fort Thomas

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Forget sports ranking; this list is what counts

I am more impressed with St. Ursula's seven scholars than I am with their two nationally ranked teams. Now for Cincinnati's only important Top 10 lists, based on the number of scholars each high school had:

1. St. Xavier (28)
2. Sycamore (16)
3. Seven Hills (15)
4. Walnut Hills (14)
5 (Tie) Wyoming and Cincinnati Country Day (9)
7. Ursuline (8)
8 (Tie) Princeton and St. Ursula (7)
10 (Tie) Kings and Summit Country Day (6)

Randy Palmer, Maineville

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Sights and sounds of ballpark enjoyable

Recently, I was treated to a baseball game at the Great American Ball Park. Even though the Reds lost I thoroughly enjoyed myself with friends and the new surroundings. It is a friendly place. I especially enjoy the flutes in center field with the steam for reality and the paddle wheel in the background. To complete the ambiance, why not have a calliope playing the music instead of an everyday organ? It would be a great reminder of our proud river history.

Robert B. Buening, Mount Healthy

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Bush's Cincinnati love is based on money

Hat's off to President Bush, who in the spirit of uniting-not-dividing, public service, and talking straight to the people, spent a grueling day gnashing artichoke truffles amidst cash-tossing groupies who willingly don the titles "pioneer and ranger," at a fundraiser closed to the media in Indian Hill ["Bush drops in, nets $1.7 M," Oct. 1]. Perhaps, on his next trip through the town he so adores, he could host a community benefit in neighboring Madisonville, where Jerry Markley leads his Citizens On Patrol ["Bush visit - Anti-crime volunteer," Oct. 1]. Then again, that would probably be too expensive.

John S. Hutton, Mount Adams

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One more reason to not report rape

Judge Patrick Dinkelacker, a Hamilton County Common Pleas judge, was misguided in sentencing a rape victim to 10 days for refusing to testify ("Rape victim jailed; accused freed," Sept. 27). If he is truly interested in justice being served, then he should look at what makes it so difficult for rape victims to come forward to report and testify in these crimes.

Rape is one of the most underreported of all crimes according to the Department of Justice. National reporting rates estimate that only 10-17 percent of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement. Even fewer cases make it to a trial. Does the judge know what this woman (and other victims) go through to get a case to trial? Something is seriously wrong with our criminal justice system when rape victims do not feel they can come forward to testify against their attackers. Of those who do report the crime, far too many are turned away because the case lacks sufficient evidence (his word against her word). Prosecutors will agree that rape and child sexual abuse cases are the most difficult crimes to convict.

Maybe the judge should take a good look at what is going on in his courtroom (and in courtrooms around the country) that create such barriers for rape victims and such low conviction rates for rapists. Additionally, in this case Judge Dinkelacker did have another option since threatening or intimidating a witness is a crime. Did the judge look into the allegations that led to this women's decision not to testify in order to protect herself or her children? Perhaps the people who were threatening the witness should be behind bars, not the witness who was intimidated.

Unfortunately, Judge Dinkelacker missed the point and he did more harm than good for sexual assault victims in Hamilton County. With that one decision, Judge Dinkelacker has given more rape victims another reason not to report their assault. I do hope this was an isolated incident and the judge has a more favorable history in rape cases. When it is time to re-elect Judge Dinkelacker, his record will speak volumes.

Terri Spahr Nelson, Oxford




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