Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Readers' Views

MLK interchange is worth a look


John Bossert's observations ["New I-71 exit is unneeded," Oct. 7] could stand a second look. The Dana Avenue exit going west is about three-fourths of a mile "two blocks?" from Xavier University, and Dana dissolves into local streets thereafter. The exit at W.H. Taft is a southbound exit only and is about three miles from the Dana full-service exchange. It serves, I presume, the University of Cincinnati and some fast-food emporiums on Calhoun, but it provides no egress, as does Dana. Three miles in the urban convolution of Cincinnati's 19th-century streets is a long world apart for uptown trying to revive and nurture itself. I cannot argue with Mr. Bossert's observation as to Councilman John Cranley's political motivations, but I think the proposal for an MLK interchange is worth another look or two, in time.

Thomas A. Vonderahe, Clifton


Limbaugh spews divisive venom

In 2003, how can Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing radio geeks still try to provoke "an angry white male" with negative racial comments? He knows or should know that there have been many successful black quarterbacks. Donovan McNabb is getting no more press than any quarterback who had a winning team. True football fans want all quarterbacks to be successful, except against the home team.

In Cincinnati, we want Coach Marvin Lewis to be successful, because if he's a winner, then the Bengals are winners. I would have been just as happy had Dave Shula or Dick LeBeau been winners, and I think the media hype would just as enormous either way.

Mike McConnell and silly Bill Cunningham are having a field day with this because it's the same venom they spew daily. Much of this nonsense by these conservative jocks is an attempt to keep Cincinnati and similar cities divided by color and class, and they're doing an excellent job.

Jerome Byrd, Springfield Township


The NFL is racist, not Rush Limbaugh

While I strongly suspect that the Philadelphia Eagles keep Donovan McNabb on the field because of his talent, past performance, and maybe the fact that no one currently decorating their bench is likely to do better, I have to fire a shot or two at associate editorial page editor Byron McCauley for his insinuation that Rush Limbaugh's statements last Sunday were racist ["Limbaugh: Low Road," Oct. 3]. They were nothing of the sort, and McCauley and all those who are stretching their over-sensitive necks in righteous indignation over a perceived insult need to start growing up.

McCauley's charge approaches the ridiculous. He complains that the "archetypal NFL quarterback has remained white because of racism and exclusion," goes on to claim that "talented black quarterbacks were converted to other positions because of racism," then spends two paragraphs giving us a list of successful black quarterbacks spanning nearly 30 years, one of whom won a Super Bowl and another who won a Pro Bowl most valuable player.

His comment that these players didn't achieve their lofty positions by social promotion is absolutely correct, but that wasn't what Limbaugh was claiming, as anyone who understands simple English should know. He did not say McNabb is a lesser talent for the quarterback position because he's black. He asserted that McNabb is still starting despite his current performance because of league and media pressure to not bench him because of his race, and he has a valid point.

I can think of no more visible evidence for such a charge than the league requirement that a team must interview at least one black applicant for head coach regardless of whether or not a qualified black candidate is available at the time one is needed. If one is not available, they must then interview someone who may not be qualified by any factor beyond race - and if that isn't an expression of institutional racism, I'm the Easter Bunny.

Dennis Fishel, Alexandria, Ky.


Team's gift helped deployed soldier

My son, Doug Wolfe, has been serving in Iraq since March after spending two months waiting to be deployed at Fort Knox. Doug is an avid Bengal fan, through the good years and the bad, and he never falters. He is a season-ticket holder. Even though he knew he would not be here for the season, he still paid for his seat.

Doug's birthday is in November and there's not much you can send him to lift his morale or cheer him up. Those wonderful guys on the Bengals helped.

I sent Coach Marvin Lewis a letter, asking him if the team could sign a piece of paper and send to Doug. I know how busy they are and didn't expect anything until after the season. Well, Doug received a wonderful letter, picture and autographs last week. Coach Lewis didn't waste any time. I want the Bengals to know how excited and happy my son was. He may be 28, but he sounded like a kid again.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me give him a birthday present to remember. Good luck in your season and God bless every one of you. You will always be winners in our eyes.

Barbara Wells, Oxford


Dowlin has acted as an obstructionist

Over the past few days; the Enquirer has published two articles on urgent transportation and infrastructure issues facing our region. In both cases, Hamilton County Commissioner John Dowlin has played an obstructionist role by both politicizing and casting the sole dissenting votes against proposals to solve these pressing problems.

In his article, "$1.8 billion I-75 fix proposed," [Sept. 30] James Pilcher reports on a plan endorsed by a 28-member non-partisan committee that combines highway expansion and light rail to alleviate severe congestion and hazardous conditions on Interstate 75.

Dowlin, by casting the only negative vote, chose to ignore the conclusions of transportation experts and engineers arrived at after an exhaustive three-year study. Instead, Dowlin defers to the contrary findings of a pharmaceutical salesman belonging to the extreme ideological group known as COAST (the same group that opposed recent school construction, senior citizen and mental heath levies that were endorsed by the county Republican and Democratic parties).

In "MSD to pay to fix sewer backups," [Oct. 2] Cindi Andrews writes that Dowlin cast the lone vote against allowing the Metropolitan Sewer District to pay the costs of repairing sewage systems in thousands of Cincinnati and older suburban homes in communities such as Cheviot and North College Hill. This comes at a time when Dowlin is supporting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for new development to extend roadways, trunk sewers and water lines in undeveloped areas in Western Hamilton County.

Many people in Green Township are wondering why a 130-acre heavily wooded hillside was recently bulldozed for new strip malls when they could easily shop in neighboring Western Hills and Colerain. Many people in Cincinnati and the first-ring suburbs are wondering why gallons of raw sewage pour into their basements when it rains. And many people traveling I-75 wonder why they must lose time they could be spending with their families due to being stuck in traffic. They should look no further than Dowlin.

Citizens deserve solutions to highway overcrowding and crumbling infrastructure, not ideological grandstanding.

Greg Harris, Clifton

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