Friday, February 20, 2004

Letters to the editor

Bond Hill needs jobs, not just housing

I read about the proposal to convert Huntington Meadows into 300 single-family homes and condominiums with prices starting around $125,000 ("City backs Bond Hill housing," Feb. 5). It sounds like a good plan, and I found it interesting that several area churches are planning the project.

However, what I didn't read was what this proposal will mean to the people of that area - and if the plan called for bringing much-needed employment opportunities to them. Even though we rebuild and try to make things all nice and neat, the root problems that people of our city face will still exist without providing the basic necessities.

I know there are good people who could use those 300 houses, but I also know that the money spent on this project could be used to help our society as a whole, as opposed to just 300 families.

Booker Patrick Avondale

Relatives can get aid caring for elderly

We were pleased to see the article "Old, infirm turn to children/Strains can take heavy toll, experts warn" (Feb. 10). Thank you for paying attention to family members, who provide more than 85 percent of all home care provided in the United States.

In the Tristate area, many caregivers find support, relief and resources through free support groups, educational programs and volunteer opportunities. Your readers are invited to call the CAREline (929-4483) in Cincinnati and Hamilton County or (800) 606-2560 in Butler, Warren and Clinton counties. We appreciate support from the Ohio Department of Aging through the council on aging of Southwestern Ohio and our many community partners.

Gene McClory Caregiver Assistance Network coordinator

Give property owners break on fees

I would like to add my comments to the letter "Get county levies under control" (Feb. 10) regarding the property taxes Hamilton County residents pay, which include the levies to keep our regional attractions operating for our pleasure and the pleasure of visitors from surrounding areas. I object to the fact that property owners pay more to visit the parks, zoo, museum center, etc., than our neighbors who go there because we not only pay with our tax increases but also pay the same admission price.

I think property owners should receive a wallet-size card (one similar to my car insurance, which is on heavy paper and not expensive to issue) showing their residency, and in return get a cover price for admission to the great places we love to visit. Add extra admission for those non-residents to equalize the burden of operating costs.

Marilyn Gunn Harrison

Tax more fairly to fund attractions

It started with the billion dollars for the public schools. Next came the zoo levy, and now the Cincinnati Museum Center wants a levy. The schools do need support, but if these other activities cannot support themselves, they should raise the price of admission or close up shop.

I wish someone could tell me what a homeowner gets for his tax money that all other residents of the city and county do not get for nothing. Also, homeowners get an automatic raise in taxes every three years through the little game of revaluation.

Everyone should have to pay taxes for running the city and county. These taxes would be income tax and sales tax. These are taxes of choice. A person not wanting to pay income or sales tax has a choice of not living or shopping in the city or county by moving, but a homeowner must go to the bother of selling his or her home before they can move.

William A. Schmitz Mount Airy

Bronson wrong on courts' rulings

Columnist Peter Bronson has a very colorful way with words, but he's also afflicted with selective memory. On Feb. 12 he declared of Cincinnati's anti-gay Issue 3 (Article XII), "Courts ruled in its favor." He conveniently forgets that a federal court ruled against it in 1993 and issued a permanent injunction. In l996, in Romer vs. Evans, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Colorado's Amendment 2 that used the same language as Issue 3.

When Cincinnati's Article XII showed up next at the Supreme Court, in 1998, the justices sent it back to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Bronson mentioned, telling them to change their ruling in light of Romer. The Sixth Circuit essentially thumbed their collective noses at the Supreme Court and refused. Their rationale was that this is a city and Colorado is a state.

You seldom see a lower court defy the highest one, but so far they have gotten away with it. All this is public record.

Kathy Helmbock Oakley

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Letters to the editor