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Saturday, March 6, 2004

Winners and losers: How we see it



Winners

Jackie Robinson, the player who broke the color line of Major League Baseball, was a legendary winner on the field and remains a winner in the hearts of baseball fans everywhere. He will be honored by his sport every April 15, starting this year with a celebration at New York's Shea Stadium.

"We are further ensuring that the incredible contributions and sacrifices that he made - for baseball and society - will not be forgotten," Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday in announcing the tribute. Every year a similar celebration will be held on April 15 at all major league ballparks hosting home games. April 15 is the date Robinson broke into the majors in 1947, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Tributes this year will be in 13 cities, including Philadelphia, where the Reds will be playing that day.

Douglas the 900-pound manatee and all those at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens and elsewhere who helped him return to the wild off the coast of Florida this week. Douglas, orphaned and injured, was rescued near the Florida Keys in 1995. He was rehabilitated at the Cincinnati Zoo before being returned the Miami Seaquarium last year. He was released on Wednesday.

Losers

William Westerkamp, an employee in Cincinnati's radio and telephone services department, who went on a lengthy tirade spewing racial slurs over the city's fire and police channels on Feb. 22. Westerkamp was placed on administrative leave pending a disciplinary hearing next week. He also faces criminal charges of disrupting public service and unauthorized use of city equipment. Westerkamp's comments were "highly racist and dehumanizing," said City Manager Valerie Lemmie.

Westerkamp's job involves repairing and maintaining city communications equipment. He also is a part-time Elmwood Place police officer.

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This feature appears every Saturday. Is there someone or something you think deserves to be designated as a winner or a loser based on the week's news? Send a name and a brief explanation of why you think they deserve the label to Ray Cooklis at rcooklis@enquirer.com




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