Thursday, May 29, 2003

Readers' Views

Vouchers could erode Catholic education

This is in regards to the article in the Editorial section ( "Vouchers II: Offering school choice" May 27). As the parent of three children that go to private Catholic school and a parent that pays the bill in full myself without the help of any voucher I say this.

My wife and I work very hard to pay our tuition payments. We do this so that other children whose parents care about the quality of their education surround our children. I put my children through private school because I want them to learn about God and Jesus, something they cannot do in public schools. We do without so that our children actually learn every day instead of fearing for their lives. We set aside some of the extra things so our children don't have to walk through metal detectors every day. We do all this without the help of a voucher and our children, and many others who go to Catholic schools, go on to college.

As a parent of children that go to Catholic schools, I say this to those who think that my tax dollars should now go to pay for some other child to go to private school. I do not want children with bad behavior in the same classroom as our children. We do not want children who carry no books to school. I do not want children with anti-Christian views next to our children. I certainly don't want such children there if I have to pay for it. Get your own second job and put your own children through private schools. If you can't do this then keep them in the public school system, which I am also paying for.

Paul Jones, Green Township

Umpire hand signals used in 1886 game

In the letter ("Hoy did not invent hand signals" May 20), the letter writer contested an Enquirer article (Ohio Moments for May 16), which credited deaf player Dummy Hoy for the origin of umpire hand signals. Herbert instead credited umpire Cy Rigler, who used them several years after Hoy retired. Herbert is correct that Hoy was not the originator but wrong about who was. The earliest known reference to the use of umpire hand signals in professional baseball was in 1886, when they were used by deaf umpire (and former pitcher) Eddie "Dummy" Dundon in a minor league game. This is the same year in which Dummy Hoy requested that his third base coach give him hand signals.

Alan Bratton, Clifton

Student earns cheers for scholarship choice

What a breath of fresh air! Neil Schmidt's article on May 27 about Stephanie Brummer giving up athletic scholarships for a chance to prepare for her future as a doctor made my day ( "Brummer gives up softball for her dream" ). It deserved the front-page Sports section position it received.

It showed that we don't have to worry about the future of our country. With people like Stephanie around, we are in good hands. No, she won't drive a Hummer to Xavier, and she won't wear her own signature sneakers; but she will prepare herself for a solid future. Realizing that softball is just a game takes more brains than most of us have. Stephanie obviously is blessed with brains.

Congratulations, Stephanie. I applaud you.

Joe Godar, Green Township

Keep our promises to military veterans

In regards to the article, ( "Veterans' care squeezed by VA" May 25), I am greatly disturbed to read about proposed cut backs to veterans' health care. It is ironic and sad to read about this on Memorial Day weekend.

I am one of the "Category 8" veterans that pending proposals will push out of the veterans health care system. There are many veterans who have medical and financial needs much greater than mine. I am blessed with good health, financially sound and currently covered by employer provided insurance. However, my medical benefits have been eroded over the past three years. It is also likely that when I retire, benefits will be quite expensive.

I was drafted into the military in 1971. My brother preceded me in 1968. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for actions at Con Thien Vietnam. In spite of knowing the horrific situation my brother endured, I never hesitated when called. I served proudly during the Vietnam War. I have no regrets but must say I am angry that our government now seeks to deny myself and other veterans the benefits were promised. I remember being told that we were eligible for lifetime medical care through the VA.

I don't want a parade or a medal; I want veterans to receive the benefit they were promised. We have paid for those benefits through very real sacrifices. "All gave some and some gave all."

Bruce Suhr, Villa Hills

Cuts in VA benefits are sad, outrageous

I read the article about cuts made to VA benefits, and I was outraged. It is really sad the people who have protected our freedom are having some of their rights taken away. What's more terrible is the money that used to be there is probably going to benefit the people that our military fought against in some way, shape, or form. Makes you wonder what good deeds the politicians have up their sleeve next.

Brian Conner, West Chester

New loitering law attacks civil rights

History repeats itself; it's the return of Ohio infamous Black Laws of 1804 - the laws whose purpose was to disenfranchise the black citizens from enjoying the natural and man-made freedoms of America.

The new loitering law passed by City Council was enacted to disenfranchise, jail, and or fine our youth that hangs on the corner in our neighborhoods. Standing on the corner is as old as blacks living in cities. The loitering law deprives civil rights and us of our human.

Councilwoman Y. Laketa Cole was right when she stated that African-American male youth would be the targeted by the police for enforcement of this draconian law. Like the Black Laws of 1804 we are the targeted population. The Kerner Commission Report, The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders of March 1, 1968, clearly points out that over enforcement of race-based laws, will cause racial rebellions in the future. Some current members of city council are ignorant to the end results of these race-based laws, because they don't take our past history into account when dealing with police and black communities relationships. Over policing our community is not the answer, creating opportunity and a colorless society is Cincinnati only hope, which history has shown will not be accepted by the majority.

The loitering law just passed by City Council is counter productive to a safe Cincinnati, destructive because only jail, fines, and more hostile confrontations between the police and males of our community. The Black Laws of 2003.

Douglas J. Springs, Mount Auburn

Attitudes must change about neutering of pets

I am sick and tired of hearing about the high euthanasia rates at our local county animal shelters, with rarely any emphasis given to the underlying cause for this outrage ( "Animal deaths lead to dispute" May 27). The problem has nothing to do with building newer, larger shelters to house more animals. In fact, we could build a new shelter every week in the Tristate area, and still not come close to keeping pace with the flood of unwanted animals. The underlying problem is pet overpopulation, pure and simple, together with the outmoded attitudes of we, the people that allow this problem to go unchecked.

I see it in my veterinary practice all the time. Will you be getting "Brutus" neutered? "No, I don't want to neuter him. It will ruin his personality." Will you be getting "Fluffy" spayed? "No, I want my children to experience the miracle of birth." Until attitudes like this change, we will never find homes for all the animals being created. It then falls on the employees of animal shelters to be the bad guys - to dispose of the lives that our throwaway society has produced but cannot use. It is regrettable, if understandable, that Warren County is engaged in self-flagellation over these issues. What is needed, instead, is a concerted, focused effort by all concerned organizations and individuals to enlist the support of our local media and elected officials. The goal should be a sustained campaign to change attitudes, and, perhaps, a few laws as well. It must become as socially unacceptable to keep un-neutered pets, as it is to smoke in public, or drive while intoxicated. Let's drain the swamp, instead of complaining about the mosquitoes.

Stewart Smith

Board member, Clermont County Humane Society

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Readers' Views