Friday, April 4, 2003

Readers' Views

Positives outweigh negatives at ballpark

TO THE EDITOR: Here is a real critique of Great American Ball Park after attending Saturday's game. First the negatives. Waste of scoreboard space. The advertisement scoreboards down the lines should have been where the actual scoreboard is. The ads, while impressive with the video aspects of it, were too large compared to the scoreboards.

Second negative was the new Mr. Red Race. It was simply too high-tech and confusing. No longer was it 1, 2, 3, but some strange names and one in fact was not a Mr. Red at all but a Mrs. Red instead. The old Mr. Red was simply better. Changing that was like when they re-released Pong for Playstation, it was now high tech but had lost all its flavor that made it fun.

Third negative - Food lines are still long but do move quickly though the one stand that was named Frank's were missing Big Red Smokey's and that is not acceptable.

Fourth negative - Food prices. The cost of a hot dog and a pop should be enough to bring in Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling and have money for profit off the food costs alone.

Positives - Atmosphere is great, the audience participation is better this year, and nothing beats the Kiss Cam. And while food prices are high, ticket prices did stay reasonable. Just be sure to bring a glove if you are sitting field level. The positives do far outweigh the negatives, however.

Scott Evans, Fort Thomas


Lawson says he did not ask for demonstration

Thursday's editorial ("Committed partners"), like the "Inside City Hall" column written by reporter Gregory Korte on Wednesday, states that I went on radio and called for people to come to City Hall. That is a lie.

When I did my radio program, several individuals, after attending Council last week, said they were going to organize a protest at City Hall. I told every person who said they would be there that I appreciate their support.

Part of the reason we see so much division in this city is that we all say things before we know all of the facts.

Also, the judge will decide if City Council's frivolous motion is correct. Finally, it was reported in the Enquirer Saturday that it was obvious that City Council's motion was directed at me.

Your readers should not get distracted. The monitor's report makes clear and the Justice Department makes it clear in its response the city has been doing nothing to change despite what they say and what the Enquirer writes. If the collaborative is to work we all must change.When will the city's elected officials direct the Cincinnati Police Department command staff to follow the collaborative. If you want to see a city with reduced crime, reduced police misconduct, where beat officers and the black community show each other mutual respect, it is in the collaborative.

But everyone, including plaintiffs, must make substantial changes. Read what the independent monitor says and write about how the city must stop dragging its feet and then blaming everyone else.

Kenneth Lawson, Downtown


Coverage of protesters still harmful speech

I may be one of the few who feels that the freedom to express our views has to be earned by each and every person. It might be that I come from that group that served in Vietnam.

It appears those who were antiwar then are now the editors and managers of the reporters for newspapers, TV and radio today. Your beliefs did substantial harm to those who fought, because they felt that to serve your country was honorable and right.

Personally, I am not impressed with the way that the protests are presented in the papers. However I am more disgusted by the coverage that the airwaves have given these groups. I would not take away their rights, but I would not give them automatic credibility by the publishing and republishing of their views. It appears to me that the press and media feed on anything for the sole purpose of filling time and sucking up to certain groups.

I think it is time that all Americans stood behind those in the service of our country. Stand behind those willing to give the ultimate sacrifice so that you have the freedom of expression. Not everyone was willing in the 1960s and 1970s to be a part of the military during Vietnam. Those people who protested and those who fled the draft have not earned the right to speak against those who stand up for the USA.

Perry Buffington, Milford, Former U.S. Marine


Letter disrespectful to Bush, troops in Iraq

During a time in our country when I am so proud to be an American, so proud of our commander in chief and our troops, letters such as the one by Thomas A. Roll ("War against Iraq illegal and immoral," April 2) just infuriate me.

I'd like to ask Roll to think of this: When our country was without a commander in chief for eight years, when we could wake up to another scandal each and every day, when our military was decimated beyond comprehension, were you proud then? Were you proud when top secret submarine parts were sold to foreign countries? Were you proud when a known justice stated, "The most corrupt government administration this nation has ever known." How tall did you stand during the impeachment hearings and how proud were you then?

Today, in Iraq, your letter is being supported fully, and that support is not from our fighting men and women. If you want to be ashamed, be ashamed about the disrespect you just stated toward the president of the United States and the support you just gave the enemy.

Ron Klinebriel, Colerain Township


Truck driver not the only one to condemn

Of course David Wells' column, "What we're fighting for" (March 28) is correct in condemning Jim Watters, the truck driver who nearly ran over a crowd protesting the Iraq war. The op-ed cartoon had the same message. So why has Jim Watters become "some kind of folk hero" as Wells laments? Perhaps the unwillingness of authorities, applauded by those in the media and elsewhere, to take any action against people who truly do commit acts of treason makes it difficult for the rest of us to make the proper distinctions.

For example, over the past months, Jim McDermott, D-Wash., various Hollywood celebrities and others have journeyed to Iraq and committed acts that would have not escaped punishment and universal condemnation had they occurred anytime in our history prior to 1945. Indeed many in the media, the Enquirer is an exception, have attempted to turn these people into folk heroes of sorts. This diminishes the ability of your average person to make the necessary critical distinctions between legitimate protest and acts of treason.

So yes, let us condemn people like Jim Watters, but let us also condemn with equal vigor Congressman McDermott and the others who have truly committed reprehensible acts against the United States.

D. Thomas Terwilliger, Amberley Village


'Boondocks' stretches limits of tolerance

I am a firm believer in the First Amendment. I am heartened by the fact that The Enquirer is, as well. However, the Saturday, March 29, "Protest" edition of "Boondocks" in the cartoon section of Tempo stretched the limits of my tolerance. The time for opposing things that are occurring in the Middle-East is past; we are there.

Also, please allow Cuba Gooding Jr. to make a journeyman's living at his trade (whatever his transgressions) in the acting profession. "Boondocks?" When is your next comic poll?

Peter Freeman, Anderson Township


U.S. on a pedestal - but what about others?

In response to Nikki Hoffmann's letter "Protesters cause hurt to soldiers' families," (March 29), I'm sure Hoffmann knows there are Iraqi newborn babies, 5-year-olds and teens in harm's way right now. Now that is truly a parent's living hell. Possibly, the feelings that protesters awaken is guilt rather than hurt. Possibly, we feel guilty putting those children in danger.

Pope John Paul II said "It should be clear that a large part of humanity ... has repudiated war as an instrument of resolving conflicts between nations."

Iraq has never attacked the United States. Do we honestly believe that U.S. safety is more important than any other country's safety? Do we mean to say obey the United States or die? Are we waving the flag and loudly singing patriotic songs to silence that quiet, inner voice which says, "This war is wrong?"

Alana Johnson, Loveland


Charge of grade inflation off target

Charlie Winburn's recent accusations of grade inflation, grade changes and lax entrance requirements at Walnut Hills High School made me laugh when I read them in the Enquirer ("Parents charge grade inflation," March 26).

I graduated from Walnut Hills in 2001 and have never heard such complaints from any students, teachers or parents. His claim that many graduates have to take remedial college classes was especially surprising, since most of my friends and I entered college with up to a year and a half of college credit, earned in Walnut Hills' vigorous Advanced Placement classes. Many of my friends have even transferred schools because they find that the workload at many universities is less challenging than the work they did at Walnut Hills.

Before you question the administration, take a look at the students' outstanding AP scores, or the percent of graduates who attend college. Take a look at the dedicated alumni who felt so loyal to Walnut Hills that they gave it a $13 million Arts and Sciences wing and continue to contribute today. Take a look at the jobs that Walnut Hills alumni hold, or take a stroll through the halls to see what the current students are capable of without grade inflation.

We need to question Winburn's motives. It seems to me he is more concerned with hearing himself talk than with what is really going on at the one of the best schools in Cincinnati.

Sara Bedinghaus, Clifton Heights


Borgman cartoon takes Iraq's side

I agree with the letter ("Borgman cartoon offensive, vicious" March 26), in regards to Borgman's March 25 cartoon ("Shock and awe/shuck and jive"). Instead of the vicious depiction of President Bush to the right of a smug Saddam Hussein sitting on his throne, Borgman should have shown a true depiction of Saddam smiling down on his henchmen as they ran his people, who spoke out against him through one of his plastic shredding machines.

It seems hard to imagine the Enquirer running such a pro-Iraqi cartoon when we are at war with this brutal dictator.

Frederick L. Payne, Mount Washington

Freedom to bark: Howler of a law
Bishops: Warning against evils
Language police: Gone amok

Readers' Views