Sunday, May 25, 2003

Readers' Views

Settlement doesn't salve any racial sores

TO THE EDITOR: The city of Cincinnati has happily agreed to pay almost $5 million to a group of its African-American citizens known as the coalition. The coalition got their way by applying economic pressure that included, among other things, threatening whites and others who happened to visit the downtown area after dark during the last year or two.

The city and the coalition are talking nice and saying the right things, but neither side likes the other side and neither side trusts the other side. Part of the reason is there are racists on both sides. It's kind of like the Cincinnati Police Department - there is the Fraternal Order of Police, which is open to all cops and the Sentinels, which is totally African American. I can only imagine if the white police officers refused to go to FOP meetings and tried to form a separate group called the guardsmen.

How can we ever expect to "reform" the Cincinnati Police Department and move forward as a city when the police force is polarized along racial lines and there is absolutely no inclination on either side to come together as one group and solve whatever problems and differences that exist? Tom Sander, Westwood


We must stay focused on value of education

I agree with the letter ("Teachers motivate against tough odds," May 22). It is amazing how a kid who hasn't even graduated from high school is going to gain almost $100 million for signing his name on a shoe contract. Only a small percentage of people will be professional athletes or rock stars, but anyone can make a difference in society and do something great for humanity by staying focused on school.

We need to get our priorities straight and make sure we're doing something for tomorrow's world, while we fine-tune today's.

Kieron Richardson

Colerain Township


Applaud the city for the riverfront

The city of Cincinnati should be commended for their patient and long-term vision for our riverfront. In Monday's Enquirer (Ted Berry - A park in his honor" May 19), the details of our new park's dedication were detailed. This article contrasts with the letter ( "N.Ky. wins, where Cincy loses" May 18), where the writer believes we are losing out to Kentucky's riverfront development.

I would argue that Kentucky has done a fine job of allowing commercial development of their riverfront, but does that equate to good development? Any governmental agency is able to attract the big box chain eateries and retailers to such a prestigious location. Our suburbs, which are littered with these homogenous and ubiquitous establishments, have lost the unique character that use to define individual communities. It takes a greater vision of the future of our community to develop two miles of public space, rather than allowing the highest bidder to determine our riverfront development.

The city of Cincinnati should be applauded for taking the high road and developing our riverfront so that it serves and greets all our citizens and guests regardless of economic status or place of residence.

Tom Earls

Anderson Township


More care needed in death sentences

I just finished reading the piece by Jane Eisner, "Proud to be in a minority" (May 22) and must say I strongly agree with her opinions. I feel that often our judicial system is swayed by political influences. It seems that the best case is the quick case. In a time where science and technology have allowed for more effective crime fighting, it is disheartening that innocent people are still put to death in this country. Eisner's discussion of the John Thompson case is a prime example of the flawed judicial system under which America operates.

Why were there witnesses that were not able to testify in the initial trial? If the state of Louisiana (or any state) intends to put someone to death, shouldn't they make every effort to ensure the person's guilt? The death penalty can be an effective punishment. Persons that are guilty of horrible, violent crimes are very deserving of such punishment.

I feel it is a shame that innocent people could be sent to their deaths because of an ineffective (or lackadaisical) judicial system.

Jason Simcoe

Colerain Township


Walkers amazing; media coverage wasn't

I am writing for two reasons. One to express my gratitude for the more than 200 people who walked more than 39 miles to raise money and awareness for breast cancer in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. My wife, Jill, and four of her best friends walked in this amazing event and raised more than $10,000 for the fight against breast cancer.

I am especially proud because my students at Bethel-Tate High School managed to raise more than $1,100 of that money, and that is one serious accomplishment! The second reason that I am writing is to express my extreme disappointment in the lack of by the newspapers and the TV media. While there were a few cameras at the closing ceremony, there were exactly two articles in the paper and no spots on the TV that I saw leading up to the event. How could a city that is so great fail so miserably in promoting and supporting this type of event?

Tom McOwen

Anderson Township


Bankemper perfect for athletic director post

The Campbell County Board of Education has weighed in with its decision to create a position of a district athletic director. I'm specifically writing to support Mike Bankemper for that position.

I've known Mike for several years as our kids have become involved in many of the sports programs our school system offers. In the busy athletic season, you will find Mike going from venue to venue, coordinating the activities that need to happen to organize and hold high-school-level sporting events. There is consistency here because Mike stays involved and on the job. The school board has also mandated that anyone who is the district athletic director not be permitted to hold a coaching position. It's important to remember here, this decision is only a "policy." The board created the position, and it can also revise the policy to allow Mike to coach the Campbell County High School wrestling team for at least one more season. Mike was very instrumental in bringing the CCHS wrestling program the statewide recognition it has. It would be less than fair to force a father to make a decision between a job and the opportunity to coach his son in his senior year.

Chuck Heilman



Crum protests war not peace as stated

This is in response to Greg Korte's May 21 article. When reporting possibilities for the upcoming City Council run, he referred to Brian Crum as a "perennial peace protester." Interesting choice of words, but isn't peace protester an oxymoron?

If Brian protested peace, as the phrase suggests, he would have supported and not opposed President Bush's Oct. 2 visit promoting war. Brian was acquitted of the fabricated charge against him. Korte was right on target when referring to Brian as "perennial." He is as refreshing to Cincinnati politics as the first smell of Spring after a long frigid winter. I hope Brian does run for City Council.

Suzanne Stath



Some tablet PCs are better than others

The article you published by Kim Komando ("Much-hyped tablet PCs not for mainstream" May 20) did not do justice to the new tablet PCs. Perhaps Komando has been listening to the hype rather than talking to users.

For one thing, she states that her comments apply to all tablet PCs, even though the only one she tested was the Fujitsu Stylistic ST4110. Tablets actually are of two very different types: "slates," which provide only a handwriting area for the user (such as the Fujitsu), and "combos," which are full-fledged laptops that, by rotating the screen, provide an area on which to write by hand. Reviews that have appeared in most of the journals over the last six months have made it clear that even the combos are very different from each other, much more so the slate from the combo. Ms. Komando needs to be more diligent about doing her homework.

Journals have favored the Toshiba Tablet (eight Editors' Choice Awards), a combo machine and the one we have chosen for our students and teachers at Cincinnati Country Day School. Tablets do not, of course, satisfy every computer need, but Komando surely knows, as we all do, that few things do.

Our experience with the handwriting recognition in Microsoft's excellent new version of their Office suite, is highly satisfactory in a school setting. However, what excites us most about the Toshiba Tablet, and the new technology that these computers represent, is the increase in functionality over mere laptops. Tablets have opened for us a whole range of right-brained options that our students have been using with enormous benefit.

Komando admits the advantage of the new functionality for graphic designers but has failed to see that this same functionality makes it an ideal machine for students.

Joe Hofmeister

Indian Hill


City's great hockey stars go unnoticed

I believe that the Enquirer's Sport's department is missing out on a great story. For the second year in a row, the NHL hockey finals are flush with former Cincinnati players.

Last year, the underdog Carolina Hurricanes had at least six players from Cinci and this year the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have surprised everyone by taking out the top seeded teams to reach the finals. In fact, the biggest star and MVP of the playoffs has been J.S. Giguerre, a goalie that was brought up with Cincinnati's Ducks.

If we can't get much pride from the Bungles or the Reds, why not give these guys some well deserved credit?

Warren McDonald



Take fingers out of ears, and listen

"Blaming American-Democrats' flawed reasoning" by Richard Cohen on May 11 stunned me with its moronic mythology about the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He says, "Some people reacted to the terrorist attacks here by blaming American policy in the Middle East ... "The attacks were not in self-defense or, even, in revenge for something America had done, but a fanatical, insane and futile blow directed at modernity."

Modernity, that's our crime. Has this man ever listened to a single Arab? Or does he, out of loyalty to George W. Bush, refuse to listen because Arab rhetoric may contain hidden messages to terrorist splinter cells?

People like Cohen must put fingers in their ears and sing la-la-la when they hear that America toppled Iran's democracy in the '50s. They change the channel when it's pointed out that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida were trained and equipped by the CIA. They challenge your patriotism if you point out that Saddam is a construct of the Reagan and first Bush administrations that provided him with biowarfare agents, and shielded him from U.N. sanctions while he gassed his enemies. They defend these policies on the basis of expediencies. We needed to stop the Soviets, and we needed to stop Iran.

When will these people learn that when you surrender your principles for expedience you only win in the short run? A foreign policy based on principle rather than greed is what America needs. It will lead to a better future for the world and us. It's not "blaming America," it's having a conscience.

Bob Reckers



City settlement a waste of tax money

I was shocked to see that this city settled the lawsuit for $4.5 million. Who said crime doesn't pay? It's a shame hard-earned tax money was wasted.

Glad I moved out of Hamilton County.

Anita Williams



Hold charter schools accountable, too

I have no problem with alternatives to Ohio's public schools. As a retired businessman, I am quite familiar with the incentives provided by competition.

But any program like vouchers, which uses tax dollars, needs to be accountable to the taxing authorities. Public charter schools must be held accountable to the public in exactly the same way public schools are.

The May 11 article in the Forum section cheering David Brennan onward, makes no mention of accountability for either money or student performance. Let's find out how well all charter schools are doing on both counts. I believe that there are some surprises for us in such an evaluation.

David Black

Price Hill


Democrats were right to resist 'The Hammer'

Ray Cooklis' editorial ("Lone Star Standoff" May 16), characterized the situation in the Texas legislature as one in which Democrats were petulant by leaving the state to avoid a vote on a second redistricting plan by Republicans as directed by House Majority leader, Tom DeLay, a.k.a. "The Hammer."

The Democrats, in my view, were doing exactly what they were supposed to. Since when should Washington tell state legislators what to do and direct their agendas? Seems that there is enough to do in Washington without interfering in state politics. DeLay was actually pushing the redistricting plan to assure his own future as majority leader. After the 2000 Census was taken, the Democrats of Texas were denied their redistricting plan even though they were the majority party. A plan was eventually written by a Texas Court. DeLay didn't like it, so now he wants to change it to fit his agenda. It appears he even went so far as to ask Homeland Security to find the missing Dems.

Marty Hanon

Delhi Township


I can handle telemarkerters

When did it become the job of the federal government to see to it that I'm not annoyed at mealtime by a telemarketer? Have we become such a nation that we can't handle such a trivial inconvenience as an unwanted telephone call?

Personally, I love it when they call. They are a source of limitless entertainment to me. I see to it that any telemarketer who calls is far more annoyed by me than I am by them.

Let the boys in Washington concentrate on tracking down al-Qaida, and I'll take care of any and all annoying telephone calls that come to my home. Heck, I'm even able to feed myself and use pointed scissors all by myself without federal assistance.

Joe McKibben

Springfield Township

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Readers' Views