Sunday, April 6, 2003

Readers' Views

Pitch in to help annual food, clothing drive

TO THE EDITOR: Today, the Greater Cincinnati community will again participate in the annual "Scouting For Food and Clothing Drive." The event is now in its 51st year.

Goodwill Industries has been actively involved in the drive since its inception, helping to turn donations into jobs for people with disabilities. The sale of these goods provides the income needed to offer training and support programs for men and women with disabilities.

Several years ago the collection of food was added to the drive, and it now helps support the needs of local food pantries. Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls lend their support by picking up donations from homes. This "good turn" helps promote a sense of community spirit for the volunteers.

Collection is made at homes only. Pick-up cannot be made from apartments or condo complexes. All area Kroger stores will have collection barrels available from Sunday through April 12. Help support the drive Sunday and lend a hand by placing clothing and food near your front door for collection. It's just that easy. We thank the community for its support.

George D. Palmer, Director, Public Relations and Marketing, Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries


Delta needs exec diet before any bailout

Hey, Cincinnati, if you think you're being ripped off by Delta because their fares are too high, wait until Congress takes billions of tax dollars to pay for the ridiculous raises, $17 million bonuses and $25 million bankruptcy fund Delta executives gave themselves last year. This comes at a time when Delta's most recent loss totaled $1.3 billion, laid off more than 10,000 workers and imposed medical-premium pay cuts on its employees.

Is the airline industry reeling and in desperate shape? Yes, but how can the airlines ask the American people to bail them out when their greedy executives continue to stuff their pockets full of money?

When these executives come to Washington with their crocodile tears and hands out, Congress should be willing to help only if the airlines agree to have their executives' pay and compensation regulated and brought back to reality.

Stan Barczak, Richwood, Ky.


Architects' review of ballpark sour grapes

The architects' critique of Great American Ball Park belonged in the food section. It's "sour grapes" all the way. For any professional to pontificate as they did, not with their critique but with their dogmatic criticism, on a design project provided by a specialist in ballpark design is unfortunate. This type of work is not in their "ballpark" anyway. None of those opinionated architects have ever designed a stadium.

What's true is if you design a building to please a panel of architects, your building will be as popular as a menu designed to please a panel of chefs. Your ballpark should satisfy your fans. That's the goal. I believe that goal was achieved.

Jeff Ruby, Cincinnati


Great American will not stand test of time

I attended the unofficial opening day Friday night. I arrived wanting to fall in love with the new ballpark, but overall I would have to say I'm very unimpressed.

There are some definite improvements over Riverfront, which was not hard to do, but the new ballpark is too small and cramped. There was not enough room to build it on the river, and it shows.

Of course, parking in that area is always a challenge.

The outer concourse is too small and not very friendly shoved up next to the highway.

Inside the park, the concession aisles are too narrow, causing constant gridlock with massive steel beams blocking your way every 25 feet.

The inner concourses are roomy but lack any charm or aesthetic quality - more stark white steel beams.

It will not stand the test of time. Within three to five years, if not sooner, it will be relegated to ho-hum status by the rest of the baseball world.

Eric Vaughn, Mount Lookout


Profile of peace advocates appreciated

Thank you for your coverage of Mary Schoen and Peggy Gish in Sunday's Enquirer ("Different paths," March 30) by Kristina Goetz. In the cause of peace for humanity, these committed local women have put themselves courageously on the line in Iraq and here at home. Their story is part of the whole picture. I'm glad to see the Enquirer has begun to list local peace-related activities. More coverage of these events and the people involved would provide fuller news about what is happening in the Tristate.

Mary-Cabrini Durkin, Walnut Hills


Travel to Paris now? No, thanks, mon ami

Unbelievable. Just when one thinks the Travel section in the Sunday Enquirer might prove to be a useful diversion from politics, someone writes a piece of propaganda promoting travel to the anti-American center of the universe ("Undercover Americans in Paris," March 30). The excuse of a nonrefundable cheap ticket is used to once again stab the United States in the back.

The French have repeatedly shown their true face - boycott them. If you really feel the need to see a rusting antenna tower/national monument, go to Kings Island. Keep the money here. God bless America.

Robert Santoro, Pierce Township


Wishy-washy pols cause voter apathy

Today a co-worker told me he doesn't vote because he feels disenfranchised. It is an alarming trend, as politicians become so middle-of-the-road on issues that the public feels it is not worthwhile to vote. The polling percentages prove this.

This is more of an embarrassment to our country than the opinion of a Dixie Chick. I want to know why our politicians are being so wishy-washy? Are they personally threatened from taking a solid stand on issues? Or is it that those who would actually vote for them, if they did take a solid stand, have already burned out?

I thought Americans are supposed to be proud to voice their opinions. Now that we are at war, it is becoming clearer to me. This disenfranchisement that a lot of us feel, this lack of voice, is becoming more prevalent. People are actually feeling afraid to express anti-war opinions. We already know we did not have a say as to whether we should go to war or not. And our politicians are afraid to disagree with the current administration.

When a person feels he has the right to drive his truck into a group of protesters to inhibit their freedom of expression, I ask who are the terrorists and what is happening to the land of the free and the brave?

Constance Lighthall, New Richmond


Phillip Morris default would hurt economy

Phillip Morris lost another lawsuit. This time, they must pay another $10 billion to smokers in Illinois. ("Tobacco snag may cost state" April 3). Ohio is expecting to receive another payment of $126 million from Phillip Morris on April 15 as part of their $10 billion share of the tobacco settlement. Phillip Morris may default. This would have dramatic fiscal consequences for our current budget in Ohio.

Find me the person who predicted in 1980 that Ohio's state budget would be dependent upon smokers buying cigarettes. I want to hire him or her as my mentor and my stock analyst.

John R. Myers, Springdale


Lack of respect shown at marathon

I ran in the Heart Mini Marathon on March 30. I am ashamed and disgusted at the numbers of people who, during this time of national conflict, could not manage to remain silent during the singing of our national anthem.

Kip Dunagan, Colerain Township


Not afraid of gays, but their choice is wrong

In response to the letter by Nancy Mullen, let it be known that no one is afraid of gays or what they represent. We very well understand their lifestyle but disagree that it is not a chosen lifestyle.

God doesn't create perversion, but man chooses to be that way. God does love unconditionally all people and wants them to turn from evil ways. It is the city leaders, judges and politicians who are afraid of gays and lesbians, not we who pray for their souls.

Neil A. Geyer, Hamilton


Negatives outweigh any casino positives

I was appalled when I read that Hamilton City Councilman Richard Holzberger is trying to find a loophole that would allow a riverboat casino in our county ("Hamilton gambling idea has fans," March 31). I agree with Ray Riddick and say: I'm disappointed that our leaders would stoop to that level to find funding options for Hamilton and Butler County.

Sure it would bring in more tax money, but with that comes a mass of irresponsible people who gamble away the money that would be better spent supporting their families.

Bringing a casino boat into Hamilton County would, in fact, bring in more tax money, but the positives do not even begin to compare with the negatives - such as less family time, more thievery and other types of crime.

Jonathan Ayars, Mount Auburn


When will sacrifices start to help troops?

The same politicians who abdicated the constitutional responsibility to wage war to the executive branch refuse to call for any sacrifice at home. They mask their cowardice with constant affirmations of "supporting the troops." How can we claim to support the troops while funding terrorists with oil gluttony? How long will "war as reality TV" hide what we are not doing: supporting the troops with sacrifices here at home.

Maurice Peck, Madeira

Collaborative: All ahead slow
Monitor's report: Disappointing
Texas case: Justice delayed
Jessica Lynch: Iraqi tip

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Steel tariffs: Unintended effects cost U.S. jobs
Steel tariffs help U.S. companies level field
Readers' Views