Monday, February 17, 2003

Readers' Views

Gas jumps gouging buyers on hint of war

TO THE EDITOR: The American people have endured the weekly price gouging of 10 cents, 15 cents or 20 cents per gallon for years. Now with the possible onslaught of war, big oil has fired the first volley of their barrage. When the oil price at the wellhead increases, they immediately pass this increase on at the pump. In this way, they can gouge and pad their profits for months in advance.

With war looming, the economy faltering and people hurting, they are going to exact their pound of flesh with exorbitant profits. It's simply a form of economic terrorism driven by greed. Big oil is no better than the Enron's or WorldComs of this world. However, the really sad part is that no Democrat, no Republican, nor Bush says anything. Fines, sanctions and or controls are truly warranted in this case.

Gary J. Lind, Delhi Township

City taking action in latest shooting

Along with many others, I was very upset to hear about the recent police shooting of Andre Sherrer. At a time when we are trying to mend our city, we have an incident that could set us back.

After watching the reports on television and reading the newspaper, I have come to the conclusion that the city has taken reasonable action in reporting the incident. I believe it is doing what needs to be done in order for our city to work through this without violence.

Hopefully, others feel the same way and will continue supporting the police force through the investigation.

Alicia Marvin, Senior, Mother of Mercy High School

Testing helps diagnose sickle cell disease

The Enquirer's excellent article on newborn screening (Tempo, Feb. 13) focused on metabolic disorders and the success of state screening programs to reduce the impact of these diseases.

I would like to highlight the fact that the Ohio screening program for sickle cell disease identifies 65-75 infants each year with significant hemoglobin disorders and more than 2500 infants who are "carriers" of the disease.

Carriers are not affected by sickle cell disease, but can pass it on to their children. It is important for parents to know that when an infant has a positive sickle cell screen - detecting either disease or carrier state - the test should be repeated to confirm the diagnosis.

Their infant's doctor will receive these results from the state and can arrange a follow-up test. The Cincinnati Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center (513-636-4541) is available to families and physicians for testing, counseling or consultation about newborn hemoglobin screening results.

The article referred to sickle cell disease as "a usually fatal form of anemia." This is often true for individuals who have no access to medical care. But fortunately, this is not the case with modern treatment approaches. More than 95 percent of children with sickle cell disease grow to adulthood, and with modern therapies, many affected individuals survive into their sixth and seventh decades. Newborn screening is a cornerstone of this success story; by allowing us to identify infants early and making sure they get the care they need to lead long and fulfilling lives.

Nona R. Calhoun-Mumia, M.S., C.H.E.S., Newborn Screening Coordinator; Clinton H. Joiner, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

One George to another: 'I'll take care of it'

Regarding Bush's cut-it-before-it-burns "Healthy Forests Initiative" and the many administration-supported riders in the current federal budget, including prohibiting legal challenges to timber sales, I envision a President's Day interchange: George Washington, head bowed, says, "I cut down the cherry tree." To which George W. Bush replies, giggling, "Don't worry, G.W., I'll take care of the rest."

John S. Hutton, Mount Adams

I-74 'swing arm' doesn't fix congestion problem

As reported by Angela Koenig, the Hamilton County Engineer's new plan to "ease the traffic problem" at the Interstate 74/Harrison Avenue interchange at Rybolt Road is moving forward. It will add a quarter-mile long, five-lane road called a "swing arm" to this troubled Green Township intersection.

And what an expensive plan it is, costing $4 million from the county/state, and up to $1 million from township residents.

This might be good news if this so-called solution would actually address the problem of rush hour traffic to and from I-74. This controversial new road simply moves congestion 930 feet up Harrison Avenue and delivers it to the new Meijer/Kohl's entrance opposite Hearne Road. It opens up more land for development and invites more traffic. As Koenig reports, there are no changes to the I-74 interchange.

It's like the patient who seeks treatment for a broken right arm and gets a cast on the left one.

I support Trustee Steve Grote's opposition to the flawed plan. In my opinion, it is about providing more development opportunities, rather than alleviating traffic problems. I urge all county residents to let officials know that this is a poor use of your tax dollars.

Bob Schilling, Green Township

Quilt celebrates spirit that created America

In the Feb. 12 Reader's Views, a letter writer ("Diversity quilt not made for everyone") asked someone from Mariemont to explain the "diversity" in what she felt should be titled our "Black Celebrity Quilt." We are happy to clarify this issue.

We feel that one of the saddest results of racism is its attempt to paint a group of people with one brush, as if they are indistinguishable from one another. Consequently, in the last few months, Mariemont High School students, teachers and community members of all races, ages, and genders united to celebrate the contributions of 25 African Americans. Students selected honorees from diverse backgrounds whose contributions enhanced American life in a variety of ways:

Rosa Parks, featured on the quilt, was not initially a celebrity, but simply a woman trying to get to work; Jackie Robinson's contribution had less to do with his being a celebrity in baseball than with his quiet dignity in the face of racial slurs; and Sidney Poitier will be remembered because his art enabled many to see universal truths that extend far beyond color lines through the medium of film.

Those who worked on our diversity quilt understood the heart of this project: a celebration of the varied and beautiful human spirits that help create America. In fact, our quilt is more reminiscent of Walt Whitman's poem "I Hear America Singing" than an issue of People magazine. Therefore, we feel the title of our quilt is as appropriate as the fact that it will hang as a permanent display in our high school, long after Black History Month is over. Our intent in creating this beautiful tapestry was never to "irk" the letter writer, or anyone else for that matter, but we are aware, as I teach my students in English class, that understanding poetry takes more than decoding words.

Cheryl Toepfer, Mariemont High School

211: The Care Connection
The Banks: OKI approval
Readers' Views