Sunday, February 22, 2004

Letters to the editor

Tall Stacks planners should allow for rain

Last year's Tall Stacks reportedly had record high attendance numbers, yet they are still facing a $500,000 deficit. I would have thought that event organizers would have budgeted for a somewhat conservative turnout since there is a high possibility of rainy weather during that time of year. What would the event's deficits have been had rain kept festivalgoers away? Did the organizers have a working budget?

Jim Flaherty, Dayton, Ky.


Convention not nearly equal to justice

Mayor Charlie Luken calls persuading the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc. - best known for its historic opposition to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - to schedule its conference in 2008 for Cincinnati as victory over those who support a boycott as a means to achieve justice in Cincinnati ("Black Baptists pick city for '08," Feb. 17).

But justice is not a schoolyard game, and using incentive bribes isn't convincing; it is just bribery.

One wonders what the results would have been over the past three years if even one-tenth of the energy spent on this project had been spent on talking and working together on improving economic and political justice.

Ned Hamson, Mount Healthy


Norwood citizens, arise against board

As a longtime resident of Norwood, as well as the parent of a Norwood High School student, I am beyond outraged with the findings of the recent Channel 9 News report concerning the blatant misappropriation of taxpayer money by the Norwood Board of Education. Also, the conduct seen on that tape of some of the school board members was quite embarrassing, not to mention rude, uppity and childlike, to say the least.

Listen up, school board members: You may be able to stick your necks in the sand with the media. However, I can guarantee that I and many other residents of Norwood will demand and receive full accountability on how our money has been spent - not for the good of the students in this district, nor for their best interest, but for frivolous garbage that you chose to spend it on, never remotely dreaming that some of us "inbred" citizens would be too stupid to find out. I urge every Norwood resident, whether you have children in the public schools here or not, to get involved and fight this.

Marsha Cox Lingo, Norwood


Athletes, be heroes: Don't use steroids

Since I am an athlete, I believe that steroids are immoral and make everything our national pastime stands for corrupt. I would like to play baseball and pitch to a hitter who is as good as I am and not enhanced by some supplement he or she bought.

President Bush's State of the Union address included a statement on steroids: "The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message - that there are shortcuts to accomplishment and that performance is more important than character."

Growing up, I admired many of the star athletes who are being accused of steroid use now. They used to be my heroes, but now they are far from it. So, if any athletes read this letter, please consider being a good role model for the kids and refrain from using steroids.

Benjamin Robinson, Pleasant Ridge


Put priest numbers in perspective

In the interest of fairness, several points need to be made in regard to the article "Estimates of priests way low" (Feb. 11). First, without citing previous estimates, it is hard to say whether the 1,341 clergy so far counted indicate that the previous estimates have been way low. In any case, the figures should be kept in perspective. The total may well turn out to be 3,000 or 4,000. But we must remember these occurred over a period of 60 or so years. With possibly 150,000 priests active during that period, that would come out to some 3 to 4 percent of priests guilty.

Secondly, study shows these cases were mainly clustered in the '60s and early '70s. There have been relatively few cases reported since 1990, which shows that the efforts of the bishops to root out the wrongdoers are having an effect. As someone has said, the Catholic Church will become the squeakiest clean organization going in regard to child abuse.

Finally, once again, I must insist that the problem is by no means a specifically Catholic one. As an article in the New York Times (April 13, 2002) pointed out, experts say clerical sexual abuse exists in every religious group. But quantifying the problem is almost impossible.

Rev. Thomas Bokenkotter, Assumption Church, Walnut Hills


Cool car, Jr.: Now, go have a great season

Congratulations to Ken Griffey Jr. for waiting two years to get his new Aston Martin automobile ("An optimistic Griffey ready for fresh start," Feb. 19). The Reds' fans have been waiting three years for him to be healthy and productive. We hope he is this year. That may entitle him to now wear the number 007, and we'll all be happy.

Don Williams, Mason


Baseball sorely lacks parity

So Reds general manager Dan O'Brien is "looking to turn it around" (Feb. 15). And yet the moves he's made aren't likely to yield results at the big-league level for three or four years. On the same day as your article on the Reds' future, the article "Bronx bombshell in works" told how the evil empire Yankees have struck again by putting Alex Rodriguez on their $200 million payroll. Without parity, Major League Baseball is broken.

John Telintelo, Loveland


Jellybeans not harmful

I am deeply concerned with the article "Religious jellybeans lead to lawsuit" (Feb. 8). I realize that it is a difficult task to balance both the separation of church and state with the freedoms that every American possesses, but I must wonder where we will finally draw the line.

If the kindergartner decided to give away candy from an alternative extracurricular activity or attached with a poem of truth and freedom, there would have been no objections. That raises the question of why her jellybeans were so different. Since there was no mention of any particular religious affiliation, was it not a simple expression of her identity?

I plead that you don't underestimate the comprehension of children. The gift was obviously not from the school, and those classmates knew it. What other opinions and values will they feel forbidden to express in the future?

Lisa Schmidtgoessling, Green Township


Ohio should keep E-check

Northern Kentucky maybe trying to get rid of the E-check, but I don't think Ohio should ("N.Ky. poised to end emissions testing," Feb. 20). The E-check is supposed to check and reduce air pollution. Cincinnati is smoggy enough. Why are we trying to get rid of something that helps reduce the pollution? If we don't do something, we are going to suffocate ourselves with our own waste. So, tell me, why get rid of something that helps?

Amy Schoenig, Mount Airy


St. Louis Symphony fine

I was surprised to read "Symphony deficit triples" (Feb. 20) about the Cincinnati Symphony's cash flow problems that cited St. Louis, too. That was true until two years ago when a St. Louis philanthropist gave a $40 million matching grant and several years to obtain the match. As a 15-year St. Louis Symphony season ticket holder, I assure you the matching-donation solicitations are proceeding just fine.

Martin P. Walsh, St. Louis (formerly of Mount Washington)


Voters should know, too

Peter Bronson's column "Neither Dowlin nor DeWine wins respect" (Feb. 19) was clever, insightful and well-formed.

Does Bronson think the character and moral values of a candidate are irrelevant to the ordinary voter? Are voters who are not on the inside of the press and the political establishment to be denied information that might be weighed by him or her while considering a candidate for public office?

Are character and values less relevant than tax policies and other political issues?

Quentin Nesbitt, College Hill


Epilepsy article a blessing

I want to thank reporter Tim Bonfield for the article "Children's lands epilepsy grant" (Feb. 18) about Children's Hospital and the research study for childhood epilepsy. I am registered nurse in the department of psychiatry at Children's, and I can say that absence-type seizures are troublesome for a great many children. This seizure activity is not well understood, nor is seizure activity in general. I am excited at the possibility of helping these children have success in the classroom, as well as at home.

Georgia Estridge, Clifton


Caring heart helps world

Regarding "Loveland: Mission of mercy" (Feb. 8), it's amazing to see people volunteering their time for the well-being of others, just like Dr. Gretchen Stone. She is receiving full support from her family and colleagues to go to an isolated village in the West Upper Nile region of Sudan. Stone is a true example of someone giving her life to better those of others.

I think all of us can take after her willingness to lend a hand and have an impact on the world. She is helping the sick overcome their illnesses and to work their way back to health. It just goes to show that people with caring hearts can have an effect on the world.

Anna Gray, Western Hills

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Letters to the editor