Saturday, December 08, 2001

Sidewalk ramp relief coming

        The Wheelchair Man of Dayton, Ky., may be getting some relief.

        Perry Burgess has been spray-painting his initials on street corners in Dayton to highlight a pitiful situation: Residents in wheelchairs have to travel in the streets because of a lack of sidewalk ramps.

        After Kentucky state Sen. Katie Stine, R—Fort Thomas, whose mother is paralyzed, heard about it, she did some checking.

        “I know what a headache it is when you're trying to wheel someone in a wheelchair and there are no handicapped ramps,” she says. “It's awful.”

        It turns out the state highway department has a special fund for sloping curbs on state roads, Ms. Stine says. One of the Wheelchair Man's nemeses is Ky. 8, the state road that cuts through the heart of Dayton.

        Ms. Stine told City Manager Dan Groth about the money, and he immediately applied. He expects to get $10,000, which Dayton will promptly use to slope the curbs at four or five key intersections, he says.

Clutter unavoidable?

        In other feedback, readers offered their own opinions on smoking, clutter and problem cops.

        A recent column explored the world of people who can't throw anything away. Some have formed Cincinnati's first chapter of Clutterers Anonymous.

        Writes Janet Moser of Bond Hill: “I think you're missing the point on clutter. People of a certain age do not have file boxes, they do not have computers, they don't have CPAs on their right hand and lawyers on their left. They don't know what to keep of their financial records because of the tax laws, and also they probably haven't moved in 35 years.”

Reader fumes

        Another column suggested that we leave smokers alone, because they all want to quit and badgering doesn't help. Besides, smoking relaxes some people and seems to help others write great music and books, I wrote.

        “Your article in defense of smoking is irresponsible,” says David Rogers of Fort Mitchell. “I smoked from age 6 to age 30 and am now 44. Now I run about four to five miles six times a week. Smoking is not a positive, life-enhancing activity and for you to rationalize it is an encouragement to kids to think that the negative effects are OK.”

        On another subject — the lengthy “visioning” process of a Northern Kentucky health committee — Tal Abell of Forest Park chimed in to poke fun at made-up words.

        “I noticed some time ago that folks with children now engage in "parenting' while priests and pastors spend their time "ministering,'” he writes.

        “Creating touchy-feely verbs from nouns causes me to begin "upset-stomaching.' The problem is that those who spend their time "visioning' never seem to arrive at a vision, let alone achieve one.”

        Finally, a column on the troubling record of Cincinnati Police Officer Patrick Caton drew an equal amount of criticism and appreciation.

        Before his acquittal this fall in the assault of Roger Owensby Jr., Mr. Caton was investigated several times for his handling of encounters with black suspects.

        Some readers seem to think police should never be criticized, since their jobs include rescuing people. But those callers didn't leave their names, and an equal number said they were glad to know more about Officer Caton's record.

        E-mail Past columns at


Accused molester out of hospital
Girl Scouts get bridge to pin their name on
UC budget may call for tuition hike
Roadwork complete on I-471
Funding denied for roadwork
Cash-strapped state to close Orient prison
County balks at Banks' financing plan
Fire chief hopes to hire planner
Guns, chemicals sought in Waagner car
Half pass 4th-grade reading
Israel trip emotional ride for area Jews
Tristate's Olympic torchbearers
Business wants school to move
DeWitt helps out Loveland
Local Digest
Obituary: Aldrich Kossuth Paul, led department at UC
Obituary: Lawrence Hoffman, former Enquirer employee
THOMPSON: Congregation home for Hanukkah
Banner symbolizes nonviolence
Building sites being plundered
Council members question pay raises
Fairfield may ease credits to graduate
Husband sought after shooting
McNUTT: Students plan gift collection
NKU arena isn't likely
Year-round school has foes
County attorney seeks re-election
Kentucky Digest
- SAMPLES: Sidewalk ramp relief
Artificial heart patient memorialized
Business interests gave $3.3M to candidates
Man faces 267 felony counts
Ticket surcharge proposed to lure NBA team