Thursday, June 24, 2004

Letters: Real housing issue is where residents go

The squabble between City Council and the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority is not whether the property at English Woods be razed and rebuilt like the City West Development. The real argument centers around where CMHA will place the residents of the 210 units still occupied on the English Woods site. Ask any west sider, and they can tell you where the former residents of the West End and the empty 490 units at English woods reside.

If federally subsidized housing is truly a regional program, then the recipients of housing vouchers should be distributed throughout the region, not merely dumped on Harrison Avenue or in Price Hill. CMHA has no plan to equitably distribute these vouchers throughout the region.

As west siders, we have done our fair share of carrying the burden of unrestricted housing vouchers. Councilman John Cranley's impaction ordinance was a good first step, but if it cannot be enforced, then drastic measures must be taken. If that means holding up federal dollars to force CMHA to deal with the city, then so be it.

John Eby, Westwood


Smoking ban could cost Cincinnati

In the article "Smoking ban won't waft far" (June 22), the writer notes that City Council is considering the rule while it is not even an issue in surrounding municipalities. I would hope council members would think things through to their logical conclusion before enacting a ban.

The Main Street bar district and dance clubs seem to be the only businesses thriving downtown in the wake of the 2001 riots. As a former smoker who goes to the bars occasionally, I know that smokers outnumber nonsmokers in bar/club environments, probably 70 percent to 30 percent.

With thriving bar districts also being located in Covington and Newport, which are not considering this ban, a council ban on smoking would foolishly drive 70 percent of the patrons of these businesses south of the river. How much in lost tax revenue will this cost the city in an area that is otherwise a blight economically?

Andy Spaeth, Groesbeck


Note that Clinton backed Iraq war

In this week's interview with Time magazine, former President Clinton defended President Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq. He stated that the war was neither about power nor oil. He continued that "After 9-11 ... you couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks." Yet some people keep arguing that Bush was pursuing this war for oil or imperialism. If Clinton backed the war in Iraq, then I can only assume these individuals arguing against it are uninformed or blinded by their leftist ideology.

Jonathan Bifro, West Chester Township


Forced marriages are bad marriages

President Bush came to Cincinnati on Monday to promote his $400 million plan to strengthen families. As reported in Tuesday's Enquirer, Bush said, "Government can hand out money, but it cannot put a purpose in a person's soul."

I find that statement ironic because his plan does, in fact, try to impose its purpose on people. Specifically, this program coerces people to get married by reducing benefits for children of single parents.

Bush makes the point that children in two-parent families are better off. But coercing people to get married won't create stable homes. What it will do is create bad marriages.

If the president wants healthy families for our children, he should support Head Start and affordable, quality day care programs, and he should work to protect and develop jobs that pay a decent living wage.

Carol Lapin, Burlington


Many have rooted for Junior all along

I usually agree 100 percent with Paul Daugherty. His June 21 column on Ken Griffey Jr.'s 500th home run ("Chase ends with promise of anew start for Griffey") was great - except when he said "we" didn't believe all Griffey ever wanted was to be healthy enough to play baseball.

Thousands of us did! Bandwagon jumpers jammed Great American last week, but more of us were not "Junior-come-latelys." Many attended all three home games and already have tickets to give Junior a grand welcome home Friday.

Junior's No. 500 is just a leg on a wonderful Griffey tour.

Great kid! Great dad! Great future Hall of Famer.

Rita Fisher, Milford


Franklin's tough words on security

In response to the letter "Security needs outweigh civil rights" (June 22) concerning giving up privacy for security, I offer this quote from Ben Franklin: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Dave Waits, Eastgate

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Letters: Real housing issue is where residents go