Sunday, March 14, 2004

Letters to the editor

Some structures prove worth the cost

On our riverfront in Cincinnati, we have a structure that used the latest technology and forward design elements. While it has been controversial and did cost more than originally thought, it has garnered praise throughout the United States and even internationally in some circles. The decision has been made to make updates, some rather costly, to this structure to keep it from becoming outmoded.

I guess we can blame the society of the time for not suing over this in 1865. The Roebling Suspension Bridge started other frivolous ideas like gifts of a fountain, creation of an art museum and a symphony in a lavish building.

Oh, did you think I was talking about something else on our riverfront?

Mark Horine, Evendale


Symphony's problems need deeper look

I read with concern that apparently the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's only response to its current financial plight has been to raise ticket prices. There are systemic, strategic questions the CSO needs to address over and above ticket pricing.

I hope I am wrong, but unless the CSO finds itself a year from now in markedly improved condition, that the trustees will take a broader, deeper and more candid look at the organization's situation. The CSO is one of the assets that keep Cincinnati from becoming a whistle stop, and it would be a terrible shame to compromise it.

Richard Mashburn, Hyde Park


Biblical scholar's views worthwhile

I was deeply disappointed that the Enquirer would print the letter "'Passion' lecture was disappointing" (March 1), in which the writer criticized Michael Cook, a professor at Cincinnati Hebrew Union College. I've heard Cook speak on this subject twice, once to lay people and once at an interfaith clergy meeting, and the writer's criticism is both unfounded and of questionable motivation.

Cook is widely regarded as an international scholar on the New Testament. That he is a rabbi makes his credentials all the more impressive. He was one of the few clergy asked by Mel Gibson's people to review the script of The Passion of The Christ during production. While I am sorry that his lecture found a detractor, hundreds more in Cincinnati have been educated through this scholar's remarkable gifts.

Sandford R. Kopnick, Wyoming


Forest decision poses long-term threat

Less than 3 percent of U.S. forests are old-growth, most in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, a place of 1,000-year-old trees and flourishing wildlife.

On Dec. 23, President Bush reversed restrictions on Tongass, allowing the clear-cutting of our most pristine forest. Entire ecosystems are being wiped out for junk mail, our natural heritage ending up in landfills.

The war, elections and gay marriage are important for today and the next 50 years. But our natural resources, the very things that ensure our survival, are in trouble. Please, let's all pay attention.

Loree Hollander, Mount Washington


Abuse scandal echoes a national crisis

As a lifelong Catholic, I have been appalled by the abuse scandal within our church. The recently released report has only refocused the complete collapse of the leadership to quickly, aggressively address this terrible problem.

But, let us not forget that these abuses are only the tip of the iceberg. While these abuses cast a dark cloud over the Catholic Church, they also cast a similar cloud over all of America. Statistics tell us one out of four girls and one out of seven boys in the United States will be abused.

While everyone wants to jump on the problems within the Catholic Church, I'd suggest we take a hard look at ourselves and what kind of country we've become - frightening.

Andrew A. Egloff, Kenwood


Church-birth control ruling is profanity

Regarding the article "Court to charity: Offer birth-control coverage" (March 2), the California Supreme Court ruling that Roman Catholic charities must pay for birth-control coverage insurance for employees is sinful violation of religious freedom. It is profanity.

To claim God and religion can be separated from education philosophy, civic life or from government is not only atheistic secularism, it is blasphemy. It violates both the First and Second Commandments, along with the First Amendment of our U.S. Constitution.

It would also be sinful for church officials to pay for such evil insurance.

Robert J. Conlon, Loveland


Rusty truck is art? Then Bubba's rich!

After seeing the front-page photo of a rusted truck lying on its side as part of the "Beautiful Losers" street-art exhibit ("You break it, you buy it," March 11), I suddenly realized my cousin Bubba had four similar works of art sitting in his own front yard.

Unfortunately, the county where he resides didn't realize how valuable these pieces were and made him haul them to the dump at his own expense.

If he had only known, he might have been able to contact the folks at the Aronoff Center and had them hauled to Cincinnati for free. I'm sure my cousin would have been glad to donate his "art" to the city.

Alas, poor Bubba wouldn't know what art was if it ran him over like a rusty truck.

Dennie Skaggs, Hebron


If Cunningham's free, so is WEBN

I have been a WEBN listener since the late 1960s. In regard to Peter Bronson's column "WEBN radio's slight cleanup unlikely to last"(March 9), I am not really fond of the strippers on WEBN almost every Friday. But to compare the "Dawn Patrol" to the Columbine killer's bedroom is nonsense.

I am not happy about the ranting and raving of Bill Cunningham on WEBN's sister WLW - but I change the channel. I may not like what they say, but I think they still have the right to say it, unless the U.S. Constitution has changed in the last three years.

Chris Kerber of West Chester Township and a volunteer with Citizens for Community Values must be kind of bored to tape the show every day when she could just turn it off. I don't need people like this looking after my family.

I will continue to listen to the "Dawn Patrol," except on Friday.

Steve McAdams, Union Township


Rich pay most taxes, should get most cuts

Day after day I read articles and letters to the editor attacking last year's tax cuts as the reason for our soaring federal deficit. I, too, share their concern for these problems, but I fail to see the logic behind their usual proposed solutions.

The most common complaint is that the tax cuts mostly benefit the wealthy. In dollar amounts, that is true, because in dollar amounts the wealthy are liable for much higher taxes, as well as a lopsided percentage of total taxes paid. It only makes sense that the people who pay the most would get the biggest break from a reduction in the rate.

If one person owes $100,000 in taxes and gets a 5 percent break, that's $5,000. If another owes $5,000, the same 5 percent is $250. Are we saying this isn't fair because the refund checks aren't the same amount?

It used to be that the incentive for being productive was financial reward. More and more, it seems that success is something to be punished.

How about reducing the deficit by spending less? It seems no politician, from the president down, is willing to go there.

William Bissinger, Anderson Township


Freeway drivers, please be careful

To all interstate drivers: I drive southbound Interstate 75 and northbound Interstate 75 at least twice a day. I put my life in your hands from 9 a.m. until about 10 a.m. every morning.

My complaint is about the speeders, the weavers and the people who express their first and second amendments with their fingers. I drive the speed limit.

There are not enough cops in the world to control our traffic problems, so we need to control ourselves. Violators range from trucks to motorcycles; from city, state and government vehicles; to guys like me.

These speeders, weavers, drunks and expressionists not only endanger their own lives, but those of others. I don't want to become road kill.

Words of wisdom are to check your speed and check it often. Do not weave and do not use your hand holding your cell phone. The life you save will be mine.

Rev. Jim Helton, Northside

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Letters to the editor