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Monday, October 6, 2003

Readers' Views


Cancer research is saving lives

TO THE EDITOR:

As a cancer survivor and a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, I want to thank Sen. Mike DeWine for recognizing the importance of investing in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by voting for a measure that would have brought additional, and much needed, funds to its budget. The Society believes an increase is needed to further build on the progress being made in the fight against cancer.

At the same time, I would like to express my disappointment in Sen. George Voinovich for casting a vote that could set the clock back on cancer research. This year, 60,300 people will be newly diagnosed and 25,200 will die in Ohio alone from cancer. When lives are at stake, there is no time to lose.

I am living proof that the federal investment in medical research is paying off. More people are surviving cancer today than ever before thanks to federally funded cancer research. But, we still have a lot of work to do.

The promise of more medical breakthroughs will fade without sustained and consistent investments. We cannot afford to let research languish when we are on the brink of advancing medicines and new treatments for patients. Lives depend on it.

Philip "P.J." Long, Colerain Township

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Concealed-carry ban offends good citizens

I'm offended, and every law-abiding citizen in Ohio should be too. Why? There were 45 states with some kind of concealed-carry law and the crime has gone down in most of those states.

Either our lawmakers don't want crime to go down or they think the citizens of Ohio are more dangerous than people of the other 45 states.

Jim Ferrell, Mason

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Girlfriends keep ties strong for 63 years

The article ["Hey, Girlfriend!"Sept. 26] interested me. I graduated from Western College (now part of Miami University) in Oxford, Ohio, in 1940. Our group promised to keep in touch and started a round-robin letter, which is still going - 63 years later.

We vowed that if it came at a very busy time for us that we would send it on with a note, not lay it on the desk hoping to get it on its way "tomorrow." This has kept it going, I am sure. There were 17 of us in 1940. Now there are nine. The letter moves more slowly but still makes the rounds. It is full of clippings, snapshots, and travel news, etc. We think it is unique and are proud of our letter. It is always welcome.

Four of us graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1936, so we go back a lot of years. Maybe this will inspire another group to do likewise.

Marjory Wallingford Meanwell, Covington

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Bush frittered away international support

The $87 billion President Bush is asking Congress must, should, and in the end will be appropriated. There is now no other choice. It should, however, be noted that the need for that $87 billion appropriation is not the result of the present situation on the ground in Iraq. The beginning of that need originated immediately after 9-11. At that time, the president and the nation had the sympathy and support of the governments of the entire civilized world.

Rather than cultivate those emotions, President Bush chose to adopt a "Speak loudly and carry a big stick" diplomacy which managed, in a few months, to fritter away a large part of that sympathy and support. That sympathy and support turned into a "To heck with us; then to heck with you" worldwide attitude. President Bush had told the world "We don't need you," and it appears he now has the opportunity to prove his premise.

Gerald Schwartz, Amberley Village

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Stay alive; stay off Turkeyfoot Road hill

When I turned 16 and began learning to drive, my biggest fear was the Turkeyfoot Road hill. It's so steep and treacherous and nowhere to go for safety. There is nothing but a guardrail to keep you from tipping off either side of the road.

I have always lived in the neighborhood at the top of the hill. I can remember from 27 years ago until last week the sounds of the sirens racing to yet another accident on that hill.

A good friend of my family was recently in a horrific accident on that hill. A tractor-trailer dipped into the oncoming lane and when our friend couldn't move out of the way, his car went under the truck. Because there is no shoulder, nowhere to go for safety, he was injured.

Those trucks are too big to be on such a narrow hill, especially when they can't control their trucks.

What if it had been a bus with your kids? What if it had been your husband? Would it matter to you then?

I vow from this day on that I will no longer drive on that hill. And for your safety, I hope you will do the same. Hug your kids. Hug your spouse. Hug your parents. Tell them all that you love them, because it may just be the last time you see them.

Jennifer Toerner, Erlanger

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National Guard units are prepared to serve

In response to "Army changing rules on National Guard" (Sept. 19), by Carl Uebelacker, I have been a member of the United States Army Reserve, Ohio Army National Guard for over 32 years. Once the unit is federalized or called to federal active duty, they are no longer under the control of the adjutant general of Ohio and are a member of the United States Army, being reimbursed with pay and allowances just like their counterparts who enlisted into the active service.

These men and women knew when they enlisted that there was a possibility that they could be called to active duty at any time. If the young men and women only enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard for the free college tuition offered, with no thought of fulfilling their federal obligation, then maybe the Ohio Attorney General's Office should investigate them and file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all of the citizens of the United States who rely on the "citizen soldiers" as part of their defense. There is no bait-and-switch tactic on the part of the United States Army. Nowhere in the enlistment contract or the oath does it guarantee that any soldier, whether active, reserve, or National Guard, will not have to go into harm's way to protect our American way of life and our freedoms, or to only serve in a war zone for a period of one year.

Michael A. Brill, Felicity

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'Social promotion' does occur in sports

I am writing in regards to the memo on Rush Limbaugh's recent controversy ["Limbaugh/Low road," Oct. 3]. The writer said the following, "NFL teams don't engage in social promotion based on race." I don't disagree with the memo, but that line is patently false in professional sports, the NFL included.

In all sports, the NAACP and other organizations have complained about the lack of minorities in coaching and the front office to the extent that a specified number of minorities must be interviewed for a position before you can hire someone. In baseball, if you don't, you are subject to a fine.

William Vorbroker, Aurora, Ind.

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Go to funerals, not fundraisers

How nice, Bush was in town Oct. 1 dining on a $2,000 a plate dinner, raising $1.7 million at a fundraiser. On the very same day, four U.S. soldiers are killed in Iraq. Bush never misses a fundraiser but he should be going to has soldiers' funerals.

Bush may as well donate that $1.7 million to the rebuilding of Iraq, along with the millions in his re-election fund because even that amount of money may be enough to win him the election in 2004. I seriously doubt Bush will be able to garner even a million votes 13 months from now as America suffers the worst economy since the Great Depression under his leadership, not to mention presiding over the worst attack on America soil, a needless war for profit with thousands of deaths based on lies.

This fundraiser epitomizes the Bush's presidency as one of absolute arrogance, ignorance, and above all excessive greed, which most Americans are sick of. How this president remains in office after lying about everything, but sex, is beyond me.

Teresa Noe, Fort Wright

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Keep big trucks in the right lane

With all the talk about congestion and safety problems on I-75 and the huge cost and number of years required to implement solutions, I'm surprised I haven't seen a proposal for an immediate, low-cost, stop-gap measure whose success has already been proved in many other states - restrict trucks with three or more axles to the two right lanes. I'm sure many readers, like myself, have already experienced the benefits of this remedy on similarly overcrowded interstates:

• It can be implemented quickly with only the cost of some signs.

• It measurably improves safety and visibility for automobile and motorcycle traffic.

• It limits pavement damage from heavy trucks to the two right lanes.

• It tends to slow the speed of truck traffic, protecting other motorists from often-fatal encounters with speeding behemoths.

• It is relatively easy for police to enforce.

I would think truckers would prefer this alternative to being forced to go around the city on I-275, a more drastic measure that also requires law enforcement to spend much more time and money stopping trucks with delivery manifests inside the city to determine their legitimacy. Of course, we can probably still expect the usual outcry from the powerful trucking lobby against any restrictions at all.

Thomas J. Lippert, Evendale

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It is cruel to use animals on stage

On Sept. 2 the Enquirer published the article "Study: Zoos bad for polar bears, lions." The next day, Roy Horn, of Siegfried & Roy act in Las Vegas was mauled by one of the tigers that he uses in his magic performance.Animal rights activists have pleaded with Siegfried & Roy to stop using live animals in their magic acts.This reminded me again of the Sept. 2 article, which included the statement, "animals that roam widely in nature fare poorly when they are fenced in at zoos." Tigers and other exotic animals belong in their natural habitat, not on stages or in cages. What we can do to help is not support the circus, magic acts, rodeos etc., where animals are trained and forced to act in unnatural ways. It's called cruelty to animals.

Alicia Witt, Hyde Park

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'Attendance day' is a bad idea

When will Cincinnati Public Schools wise up? Students who attend CPS know when "official attendance day"begins. For years there has been the hype from the school board to encourage good attendance during the week when the State of Ohio determines the average daily attendance numbers which decides the amount of funding each school receives. ("Oct. attendance determines funding," Oct. 3). Many students believe that individual attendance records for each student also begins that week, so why should they attend school earlier in the year? In early September I read articles stating small percentages of attendance. No wonder!

Thelma Emery, Blue Ash




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