I read about the campaign for support of a $28 million bond issue for Madeira schools (Meetings to detail Madeira bond issue," Feb. 2). The article explained that the owner of a $100,000 house would pay an extra $240 per year in real estate taxes. I don't know what the average dollar value is for homes in Madeira, but it's not $100,000.
According to the Cincinnati Board of Realtors, the average price of homes sold in Madeira was $247,532 in 2002. That would mean an annual increase of $594 - couple that with the exorbitant increases in utilities bills, and many of my friends will be forced to move out of Madeira. Many folks bought their homes decades ago, now live on fixed incomes and cannot manage these kinds of increases.
Kathryn L. O'Connell, Blue Ash
Social Security facts clarified
The writer of the letter "Hands off my Social Security money" (Feb. 12) operates under the mistaken assumption that he is getting back what he paid in. In fact, the opposite is true. The benefits you and other Social Security recipients now receive are being paid from FICA (Social Security) tax being withheld from paychecks of current workers. So, yes, the more these benefits grow, and unless a reasonable solution can be found, your grandchildren will face a huge burden as the boomer generation ages.
When Social Security was proposed the assumption was there would be 65 people working for every one person receiving benefits. That ratio is now said to be 2 to 1. I don't necessarily agree with those who suggest means testing as a solution, but this "third rail of politics" cannot be addressed successfully when people don't know the basic facts of how the system works.
Emmett Cooper, Lockland
We should at least appear to be tolerant
Regarding the article "Gay-lifestyle laws could backfire" (Feb. 8), I agree that laws like the Defense of Marriage Act and Article XII give an air of intolerance for some of the people that would like to live and work in our city, while the governor is also trying to bring jobs back to the state and retain young professionals. It is paradoxical that while Taft is trying to keep young people in the state and to attract new talent to the area, he is also making it harder for some of those people to pursue their lifestyle.
Taft should have realized that in order for Ohio to attract the talent it is looking for, we at least need to appear to tolerate them, no matter the lifestyle.
Becky Martin, Covedale
Don't shame us into compromising values
In the article "Gay-lifestyle laws could backfire" (Feb. 8), we are presented with economic threats to legitimize the repeal of Article XII. The gays in Cincinnati are on the offensive using our beliefs in the heterosexual culture - God, family and marriage - as weapons against us.
Here's a reality check. U.S. citizens are already guaranteed equal protection under the law regardless of sexual orientation. Therefore, the only thing the repeal of Article XII achieves is the laying of the groundwork in Cincinnati for the legalization of gay marriage. None of us should be shamed into doing this.
Dan Gettelfinger, Finneytown
Luken misrepresents what Article XII says
I offer the following response to "Luken says intolerance hurts city" (Feb. 3): Mayor Luken, you are making things worse. You are quoted as saying that Article XII discriminates against homosexuals. This is not so. Please read it again. It clearly states that those who voluntarily engage in certain sexual practices are not to be given special rights because of these practices. They already have the same equal rights that everyone else has.
John C. Willke, Finneytown
'Hate' is too extreme for fan to use
Regarding the letter "Someone buy Reds who wants to win" (Feb. 10): It was disturbing to read the harsh words about Carl Lindner as owner of the Reds. The writer certainly has the right to his opinion, but please, the words hate and Carl Lindner should never be used in the same sentence.
While we have all undoubtedly seen his name on the grand projects he has funded, we rarely hear about the quiet four- and five-figure donations he makes in our communities on a nonstop basis. Please do not bash this gracious man; on my behalf, this Reds fan is proud that "Uncle Carl" is in the front office.
Linda Smith, Sycamore Township
Let Clarett be eligible, then let him just sit
So the courts ruled that Maurice Clarett is eligible for the NFL draft.
That does not mean he has to be chosen.
Let him be eligible. And then let him sit. That would be the best lesson the young man could be taught.
Marie-Dolores Anderson, Deer Park
Questioning our own intelligence
The federal commission investigating 9-11 will be asking two administrations why they did not believe intelligence that could have predicted the attack. ("9-11 panel asks Clinton, Bush input," Feb. 13).
Then, the commission investigating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be asking why the administration did believe their intelligence!
Out of this may come the permanent federal "Hindsight commission."
John Myers, Springdale
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