Sunday, October 19, 2003

Readers' Views

Learn more about different cultures


I am deeply saddened by the letter ["Teach Islam, but other religious, too," Oct. 15] concerning the article ["Educate yourself in Islam" Oct. 11]. The reader seemed infuriated at the Islamic Center of Cincinnati's efforts to dispel stereotypes about their faith. The reader felt that voluntary classes on Islam open the "door for the left wing to push this on our students." I don't think that learning about different cultures and belief systems is something that is only for the "left." Tolerance is a non-partisan ideal, a building block of American values.

I think the reader missed the point - of course people should be educated about Christianity and Judaism, any religion for that matter. It is by way of educating ourselves that we relinquish prejudices and become community-minded citizens.

Natalie Kuhl, Pleasant Ridge

Don't support Taft's Issue 1 proposal

I can think of at least three very good reasons to vote "no" on Issue 1 in November. First, Bob Taft tells us it will not involve a tax increase. He also told us he would not raise taxes, he would give Ohioans a concealed-carry gun law and he would end the hated E-Check. We are still waiting. These loans will have to be paid back with interest. Where will the money come from? Do you believe it will not come from taxpayers?

Second, the state could become an investor in very risky businesses. State officials have done a very poor job recently in investing the precious pension funds of Ohio's teachers, police officers and government workers. They have proven that politicians make very poor investment managers. When they last had this type of authority in the 1840s they drove the state into virtual bankruptcy.

Lastly, this is the pet project of Bob Taft. He will not be on the ballot. If you are dissatisfied with his "leadership," a "no" vote on Issue 1 is a very good way to send him a message.

Tom Hagedorn, Anderson Township

Why not try curfew in Tikrit?

I believe there should be a curfew enforced in Tikrit ["U.S. says Saddam may be in Tikrit," Oct. 14]. You've got al-Qaida and others mixing with the locals setting land mines and plotting against our servicemen. With a curfew, our troops could go door to door to disarm them. We should not be watching American protests in Tikrit on the nightly news. We should not be loosing our boys every day to snipers and hostile groups.

I am a staunch Republican, and I don't like what I see in Iraq. We need to protect our boys and get them home as soon as possible.

Mark Giuseffi, West Chester

Try sign language for saying 'sorry'

There is a wonderful one-handed sign for "I'm sorry." It's the American Sign Language sign which is the finger spelled letter "s" rubbed in a small circle on the chest. The "s" sign is a fist with the thumb across the knuckles of the other fingers. Give it a try.

Barbara C. Burton, Mason

Support Children Services levy

Professionally, I am clear on the need to pass the 2-mill replacement Children's Services Levy for Butler County. Financial cuts across systems this past year (juvenile justice, mental health, children services) has dramatically impacted the ability to provide local and timely services to children and families in need. Personally, I have struggled with some of the operational and administrative decisions made in the last few years at the Butler County Children Services Board. The board has exceedingly difficult mandated responsibilities and limited resources to handle complex problems. As a taxpayer, I want the board to utilize my tax dollars wisely and effectively and for their intended purpose: serving children. The passage of this levy is critical to the well being of our community.

With new leadership, streamlined operations, and board oversight (not interference), the Butler County Children Services Board is putting into practice important reforms. But all change takes time - time waiting for intervention and necessary services adversely affects children. Children and their families should have services available to them locally and without three-month waiting lists.

I want to see my tax dollars utilized to provide treatment, resources, and skill training that will help families stay together or when necessary to reunify those families where mental health, abuse, and substance abuse issues have been resolved. Child abuse impacts all of us. Please join me in voting for the passage of the Children's Services Levy on Nov. 4.

Shelly Wallpe, Hamilton

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