Saturday, October 18, 2003

Readers' Views

Teens can drive after high school


I am a mother of three teenage children, and I feel that teenagers should not get their driver's license until the age of 18 or so. I believe that these children should show a high school diploma before they can get the privilege to drive. At the age of 16, children are not mature enough to handle such a responsibility. Having a high school diploma shows that they have some responsibility.

I think that there is peer pressure to get a driver's license and to drive fast cars. I believe that some parents want their babies to have a car and a permit to drive, so that they do not have to handle the responsibilities of getting their children to and from activities. It is now time for parents and society as a whole to stop the senseless acts triggered by underdeveloped minds of children.

Bonnie Faw, Mason

Reds should nurture players like Boone

Aaron Boone hitting the game-winning home run in the 11th inning of the American League Championship Series has Reds fans everywhere wondering, "What could have been?"

Boone was absolutely speechless after the home run, with thousands of fans in a frenzy in baseball's most famous stadium, realizing he was the hero of one of the greatest games in ALCS history. Every boy's dream comes true - the moment was what baseball is supposed to be.

Unfortunately, Boone was in a Yankee uniform. Hopefully, the Reds will realize that you cannot easily place a dollar figure on moments like these or young players with bright futures. Holding a fire sale and ridding your team of talented youth in order to budget will only come back to haunt the Reds. They will find glory anyway, just with another team.

Players such as Boone don't come around everyday, and moments like Game 7 certainly can't be purchased during free agency or found by cutting payroll. Only by nurturing these players, not the wallet, will moments like Game 7 become a reality for Reds fans in years to come.

Uday Khosla, Madeira

Blue Ash deserves praise for helmet law

I commend Blue Ash Mayor Rick Bryan and the Blue Ash City Council for unanimously approving an ordinance that requires bicyclists under age 16 to wear helmets ("Blue Ash enacts bike helmet law," Oct. 10). Blue Ash now joins Glendale and Madeira as communities in Hamilton County with bicycle helmet laws. I also thank Dr. Jennifer Ringel for her efforts in bringing the issue to the forefront.

I am very aware of the dangers associated with riding a bicycle without a helmet, especially for children. Statistics gathered by the Hamilton County General Health District's Injury Surveillance System show more than 4,000 bicycle-related injuries in Hamilton County from 1999-2001.

With the knowledge and technology available regarding injury prevention, it only makes sense that we require kids to wear a helmet when they ride their bikes, just as we insist they wear a seatbelt when riding in a car. Any inconvenience is far outweighed by the lives saved and injuries prevented.

Tim Ingram, Health Commissioner
Hamilton County General Health District

Good riddance to an ugly pile of rubbish

I am glad that Hyde Park's ambiguous pile of bricks on Erie Avenue, the ugliest eyesore in Cincinnati, is being removed. My dictionary says it is anything but a sculpture.

When it was built I was told that if one flies over it you could make out the outline of a star. Who sees it from the air except a police helicopter?

Citizens could have recognized a brick barbecue if placed there years ago, and maybe used it.

Dave Sharp, Oakley

Oppose Issue 1, and send Taft a message

Ohioans should unite to vote against Issue 1 on the Nov. 4 ballot. James McNair's article ["Caveat issued for Ohio ballot issue"] in the Oct. 10 Enquirer spells out Gov. Bob Taft's proposal to have Ohio incur debt of $500 million in an attempt to bring new businesses to the state.

May I remind you that only seven months ago - February 2003 - the same Gov. Taft was crying about the state's budgetary problems and threatening to make drastic cuts in services, most serious of which was to Medicaid.

The increased sales tax offers an option. If you don't buy, you don't pay it. Medicaid is not an option; it is a necessity for the many elderly, in particular, which are faced with inflated medical and prescription costs which must be met despite limited income.

By all means vote, by absentee ballot if necessary, and send Gov. Taft a message that we Ohioans strongly oppose his "pie-in-the-sky" investment venture. He should spend the money where it is needed most, for Ohio's own citizens.

Jean T. Nagle, Anderson Township

At $150K a year, we are not rich

Democrat Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut wants to hike taxes on the "very rich"[Oct. 14]. I think Sen. Lieberman should take a hike instead. My family earns more than $150,000, which, Sen. Lieberman says, makes us wealthy and he thinks we don't pay our fair share of taxes. Nonsense!

We are not rich. We do not have a vacation home, a maid or a nanny; our son mows our lawn. We do not belong to a country club. We drive a 9-year-old pickup truck and a 5-year-old Ford station wagon. (Paid for, finally!) I shop at Wal-Mart and Kohl's, clip coupons and watch for sales. We save for vacations and for luxuries.

I am an hourly worker and lose 40 percent of my salary to taxes. My husband works hard for his salary and has no guarantee it will be there tomorrow. We save what we can for college because it is important and it is our responsibility.

We are not poor. We are not rich. We are middle class. We feel blessed to be able to afford private school for two of our three sons whose needs were not met in public school. This is a choice we made, but not lightly, or easily.

I am not complaining about our lifestyle. We work hard for what we have and we are comfortable, we are happy, we are lucky, but we are not rich.

Julie MacKenzie, Deerfield Township

Tall Stacks didn't impress this visitor

Tall Stacks has been way over-hyped. We were excited for weeks about celebrating our anniversary by going on a romantic and nostalgic night dinner cruise on the General Jackson and seeing the sights at Tall Stacks. First, getting there was difficult. We took the GE shuttle to avoid traffic, but we were not prepared for the almost mile walk in our dress shoes from the drop point to the entrance to Tall Stacks.

The booths we saw were a disappointment. It seemed they were all just companies trying to promote their businesses and selling overpriced beer and souvenirs. Then after standing in line for more than an hour, we boarded the General Jackson only to find there were far too few seats for everyone.

The stairways were soon crowded with people wanting to sit down and the boat crew had to ask them to keep the stairs clear. We ended up sitting on the metal deck where we got a fine view of everyone's' ankles as they went by. When we were seated for the buffet dinner we were quite disappointed. We had paid an extra $45 per person for what we thought was going to be a lavish buffet. Instead, in my opinion, the variety of food was scant and of poor quality. The only good thing we experienced on the cruise was Tim Watson's show.

The only "heritage and art" we experienced at the Tall Stacks Heritage and Art Festival was the heritage of American business exercising the art of squeezing the dollar out of the public.

Mark Helling, Okeana

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Readers' Views