Saturday, February 15, 2003

Readers' Views

Monorail is answer to our transit needs

It is apparent that the Greater Cincinnati area needs some form of light rail transportation. However, because of the public's mistrust of the Hamilton County commissioners and their sales tax shenanigans around the new sports stadiums, none will be forthcoming.

Neither the (Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments) nor the county of Hamilton nor the city of Cincinnati will be able to overcome the public cynicism on light rail plans. These bodies are mired in a "streetcar" mentality. Their plan looks backward, not ahead, and requires a surface route that would divide neighborhoods and impede traffic with a set of tracks, which must be fenced on both sides and roofed with overhead power lines. Just like the light rail of the early 1900s, if the area is ever to have a light rail transportation system, the public must be sold on a forward-looking light-rail plan. Therefore, I propose that the Greater Cincinnati area agencies hire an engineering firm with a proven record of designing and installing a very forward-looking light rail system that since 1973 has moved millions of people efficiently, quietly and with a minimum of ground traffic disruption. I am referring to the engineers of the Disney World monorail. The advantages of a monorail design for our area are obvious. It will require a minimum of right-a-way; allow easier accommodation to our topography; require little fencing; run on rubber tires, not steel wheels; hide its power lines out of sight and out of public reach, and not block local traffic on existing roads.

It will be much easier to sell the public on the need for light rail if they see a modern, forward-looking light rail system, not a backward-looking "streetcar" system.

David Edwards, Newport

Susan B. Anthony opposed abortion

Today marks the birthday of Susan B. Anthony, pioneer of the women's rights movement in this country. While women's studies programs have become a staple at colleges and universities all across the nation, most students in these programs never even hear or read about the views of the early women's rights campaigners when it comes to abortion. They would be understandably shocked to see how far today's feminist establishment has drifted from its roots.

One need only read Anthony's original works to discover that "Miss A," as she was affectionately known, not only opposed abortion, but also celebrated motherhood. She editorialized against abortion in her publication, The Revolution, referring to it as "child murder" and "infanticide." Miss A was equally adamant in refusing lucrative advertising income from promoters of a patent-medicine abortifacient. Her uncompromising stand led to significant revenue loss for her paper.

Miss A's colleague, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, reflected the collective sentiment of that early women's movement when she wrote: "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Susan B. Anthony and her compatriots had it right - they were pro-woman and pro-life. The Susan B. Anthony List, which proudly bears her name, works to elect pro-life women to office all across America. See www.sba-list.org or www.feministsforlife.org.

Kathleen Banaszak, Liberty Township

Terror hysteria reminiscent of Y2K

Here we go again. People are buying gas masks and duct tape and other expensive items in case of an attack. Get real, people - you have a better chance of being hit by lightning. This is the same hype that emptied the pockets of people with the Y2K scare.

William Graff, Norwood

Start cuts with administrators' pay

Is anyone so naive to believe there is such a thing as a "temporary tax" in a politician's vocabulary? And isn't it sad that the governor chooses to threaten our children's education to balance the budget? I have worked with budgets, and believe me, there are ways to further cut. Start with administrators' salaries.

John Wintz, Springfield Township

Slain man's case should beg questions

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the grieving family and friends of Andre Sherrer. Although I did not know Sherrer or his family and am in no position to comment on his character, I think many media outlets have lost sight of the fact that a man has died. All that I have heard about this man is that he was a criminal that spent time in jail. By portraying him in this way I feel like the media is trying to imply that this man somehow deserved to die.

I would like the media to take a serious look at why Sherrer and so many other individuals are put in such a desperate situation. For example, the lack of job opportunities for individuals with a criminal background, or the history of violence against African-American males by the police force.

Peggy Place, Norwood

Fairfax school district grateful for support

On behalf of our Fairfax residents and the committee to "Save our School," we would like to thank everyone in the district for listening to the concerns of the Fairfax community and their support for keeping Fairfax Elementary School open.

We would also like to thank Gary Harris and the members of the Mariemont School Board for taking the time to attend various meetings with concerned parents, as well as meeting with Fairfax officials about the efforts the village is making to keep Fairfax a great place to live and work. We now have a core group of residents that are willing to help the school board in planning for the future. This will be a win-win situation for all involved. Our goal remains the same as the school district's goal: to provide the best education possible for our children. This will certainly be accomplished by continuing to work together.

Theodore W. Shannon, Jr., Mayor, Village of Fairfax

`Temporary' tax from '30s thrives yet

I was intrigued by the headline in the Feb. 12 Enquirer, "Taft weighs temporary sales-tax rise." I remember growing up in Batavia in the '30s when the sales tax was adopted as a temporary measure. House Bill No. 134 was adopted on Dec. 31, 1934, providing for a temporary sales tax of 3 percent beginning Jan. 1, 1935, and expiring Dec. 31, 1935.

House Bill No. 572 was adopted Dec. 20, 1935, providing for a temporary sales tax of 3 percent beginning Jan. 1, 1935, and expiring March 31, 1937. House Bill No. 694, adopted Dec. 30, 1936, made the sales tax permanent.

So much for "temporary" tax increases.

Hugh L. Nichols II, Batavia

Michigan admissions practices preposterous

I read with pleasure Walter Williams' Feb. 9 column ("The real path to academic excellence"). When I first was introduced to this case, concerning the University of Michigan's admissions practices, in past articles from the Enquirer, I was deeply frustrated. It is preposterous, in my perspective, that this university was actually awarding points to blacks and Hispanics based solely on race, and that "whites were turned away to admit blacks and Hispanics with much lower academic qualifications." I am a white female who has worked very hard to get a good education, and I am currently applying for colleges. To think, I potentially could have been a victim of this discrimination against eligible applicants, just so the college boards could fill their ridiculous percentages. Education reform should include updated books, teachers who know how to discipline their students, maybe requiring students to wear uniforms - anything that will challenge and improve the overall learning and environment in all of our schools. An equal education will eliminate the need for college quotas.

Becky Kramer , Senior, Mother of Mercy High School

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