Friday, October 10, 2003

Readers' Views

Don't regulate helmet wearing


When is too much too much? Is the government going to control every aspect of our lives from the time we are infants until the time we die? The proposed child helmet law in Blue Ash is just another example of the government overstepping its bounds and trying to regulate every moment of our lives.

Don't get me wrong, I am in support of wearing helmets 100 percent. Plus, why limit the law to children and young teens? Shouldn't they make it mandatory that adults set a good example and require them to wear helmets as well? Having parents and adults wear helmets will go a lot farther in convincing kids to wear helmets than the law will.

I have no children, but always wear my helmet when I ride my mountain bike. Wearing helmets isn't the real issue here. The issue is that the government feels like it can and needs to regulate every part of our lives. I rode a bike all through my younger years and into high school and never once wore a helmet. I had some pretty bad spills and survived. Get the government out of every little part of our lives. I thought we lived in a free country. Let us be free to live our lives as we see fit.

Tom McOwen Jr., Anderson Township

Helmets can save children's lives

I read with interest the article ["Blue Ash may require helmets," Oct. 9] about a proposed bicycle helmet ordinance in Blue Ash. As a pediatrician and resident of Centerville, I approached our city council in 1999 and convinced them to pass a bicycle helmet ordinance that has been in effect since then. Our experience since passage of our ordinance has been very positive.

Very few children ride bicycles in Centerville without a helmet, our police department has received several grants to provide free helmets to residents of Centerville and, most importantly, one young man's life was saved because he was wearing a helmet provided by our police after he had received a warning from the police for not wearing a helmet.

I hope other communities in the Cincinnati area will follow the lead of Blue Ash, and protect their most precious asset, their children.

Paul M. Gresham, M.D., Centerville City Councilmember

Most priests too busy to offend

Stories about Catholic priest wrongdoing appear in the paper often. The latest stories appeared on Oct. 3. ("Woman: Priest molested me too") and ("21 men join lawsuit against accused priest"). Now, let me tell you my story.

During grades 5 through 9, I was an alter boy. On many mornings, I was in the Sacristy of my parish at church at 5:30 a.m. Either the pastor and me or one of his assistant priests were there preparing for 6 a.m. mass. He meditated and put on his vestments and I put stuff on the alter and lit candles. Never in those five years did I hear, see or experience any wrongdoing on the part of the priest.

All of the priests I was ever associated with had to say three masses a day, read vespers every day, take communion to the sick, run the parish and teach catechism classes in the elementary school. They never had time to commit such offenses.

Harold Schuler, College Hill

Offensive priests should be punished

As a former seminarian of five years, I have tremendous respect for the individual sacrifice and dedication of the priests and religious personnel in the church who devote their lives to the well-being and education of us all in the church and community.

I believe, however, that those priests who have violated the trust and respect bestowed on them by the faithful as pedophiles and sex offenders should not only be charged and convicted by the civil courts, but should be punished more severely than other criminals. From the very first time they touched a child in an improper way, they lost their privileges to be called Father and to administer the sacraments of the church to anyone. And as for the clerics who move these offenders around to harm others or hide them within the veil of the church, they should be punished as accomplices to their crimes. When will we see justice?

Dick Reuss, Delhi Township

Accommodate disabled at football games

From personal experience there seems to be a lack of consideration for the disabled to attend local football games. Parking is usually poorly located and there is such a distance from the field with no easy way to access with a wheel chair.

Handrails to the bleachers are not available and if you sit at the lowest level, students stand in front of you blocking the view. On one occasion, I called the school we were attending to ask about consideration in getting to the field and was told, "I'll tell you what I've been telling folks for 20 years. There are a few handicapped parking spaces and they are a distance from the field.

Designers of these fields should plan for the disabled and not exclude them. I am certain there are many students as well as elderly who are being shut out because of indifference and poor planning.

Rosemary Burns, Florence

Down tests will harm mother later

This letter is in referral to the article titled "Down syndrome tests show promise" [Oct. 9] The article gleefully announced the effectiveness of a test that can detect Down Syndrome in the first trimester: "The absolute biggest advantage is this allows women to make private decisions before they are visibly pregnant."

How wonderful that mother's will not have to face the judgment of our society. How wonderful that we as a society will no longer have to share in this mother's agony. How wonderful that we as a society will no longer have to look on as these children struggle to find a place in this world.

Our parents' generation placed the mentally retarded and mentally ill in institutions. The results were sometimes horrific and we criticized them mightily. Our generation has apparently found the perfect solution. Kill them before we have to acknowledge they exist and that way our collective conscience can rest easy.

The only one who has to suffer is the mother, but didn't we as a society relieve her of a terrible burden? We will never have to know, because she will bear this horrible reality by herself.

May God have mercy on us.

Kristen Mullen, Independence, Ky.

Commuters don't own interstates

Regarding the Oct. 5 letter "Building trucks-only bypass helps all," which rock did the writer crawl out from under? The writer referred to a recent article regarding the size comparison between a truck and cars. A semi is not equivalent to the length of five cars, unless we drive mini Coopers. I would rather drive around those "scary" trucks.

They don't cut across three lanes to exit or dart in and out of lanes to get ahead. Does the writer realize that sending all through-truck traffic more miles around a bypass would result in an increase in consumer goods? When did commuters take solitary possession of the expressways?

Maggie Surharski, Delhi Township

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