Sunday, June 8, 2003

Readers' Views

Chabot's abortion bill misguided


How kind of Steve Chabot to protect women everywhere from the abuse of saving their lives. He's quite right; allowing partial-birth abortions when the mother's health is at risk is a privilege that would be grievously misused by selfish women everywhere only out to kill baby fetuses.

It's quite easy for Chabot to sit in his office and talk about the disgusting procedure that is a partial-birth abortion. I think it would be amore difficult chore forhim to attend the funeral of a mother who died, because Chabot's bill kept her from a partial-birth abortion, and watch her living children and husband mourn a loss. Thank you for that bill, Chabot, and for representing Cincinnati in such a wonderful light. Unbending and stagnate is just how we need to be seen right now.

Jennifer Hoguet, Mount Lookout


Broker Donahue got sweet deal

It is reassuring to know the good old boys' network is still in operation ("Stockbroker Stephen Donahue sentenced to 46 months," May 4). What I don't understand is why can somebody rob a bank and get 10 to 20 years hard time, while Donohue will do his time in a country club prison. Oh well, say hello to Bill Erpenbeck when you see him; he is also getting a sweetheart deal.

Daniel Klaiss, Covington


How quickly we forget Memorial Day

I am responding to the article "Building co-stars with art, June 1" which appeared on the front page of the Enquirer. I was fortunate enough to have finished my breakfast before unfolding the Sunday paper. The color photograph of a man in a police uniform with a dog at his side and a baby in his arms, standing on the American flag, was unsettling. On Memorial Day, we remembered the sacrifice of our fallen heroes. Wasn't anyone at the Contemporary Arts Center concerned about inviting a performance artist, especially a foreign national, to trample on our flag a week later? Brilliant timing.

I wonder if Zhang Huan or any of his fellow symbolists will be performing on the Chinese flag in Beijing any time soon. It would be a one-time-only event.

Walter Hodge, Sycamore Township


Reduce aquarium admission fee

I read an article June 3 in the Enquirer regarding the planned aquarium expansion. It sounded like a wonderful project; however, I noticed that the article also stated that attendance had dropped from 1.25 million in 1999 to 665,000 last year. The article further stated that David Wechsler of Steiner & Associates, the developers, said that the original aquarium was still making money; how unfortunate that it was his only statement.

Last Saturday, I suggested to friends of mine, visiting from Cleveland, that we go down to Newport on the Levee. We had a very nice dinner, then someone suggested that we go to see the facility. After we got over the initial shock that it was going to cost us $64, and after my friends said, "You bought dinner, so we'll buy these tickets," a thought occurred to me. How many children and adults would never see this beautiful facility? I'm not talking about the underprivileged, who are able to visit the facility because of generous donors, but I'm talking about the families, who, after paying for their house payments, utilities, school tuitions, braces, medical bills, etc., simply cannot afford to pay $64 for a family of four.

How about it, Wechsler? Reduce the price to $10 for adults and $6 or $8 for children? But, I must warn that you will have to replace the bearings in the turnstiles because of their future overuse.

Kenneth J. Golick, Pierce Township


Parking rates are driving visitors away

People who work downtown face additional challenges that most other workers throughout Greater Cincinnati do not. One is the privilege of paying a whopping 2.1 percent earnings tax to the City of Cincinnati, much higher than the 1 percent tax most other municipalities charge. The other is the challenge of finding and paying for a place to park their cars.

After construction of the stadiums, Hamilton County touted the availability of lower-cost parking for commuters in nearby lots. However, last July they saw fit to raise the monthly rate for most commuters more than 10 percent for most spaces. Recently, parkers in these lots were greeted with the notice that rates will be going up again in July by more than 10 percent for most spaces. When the Reds have afternoon games, monthly parkers can't use the spaces.

What I find amazing is that some people sit and scratch their heads to try to figure out why more companies are not locating downtown, and why more people do not come downtown for shopping. Instead of making downtown more convenient and friendly for commuters, our government leaders decide the right solution is to make things even more expensive.

Anthony J. Warren, Madeira


Bush lied to us and duped us into war

I hope that as the evidence pours out that the Bush administration duped the American people into supporting the invasion of Iraq, even die-hard patriotic war fans will take a moment to reflect on the implications. Saddam Hussein was not a threat to the United States, and our government knew it. But they wanted the war and lied to us to get it. As far as I am concerned this is ground for impeachment.

Clinton lied about having sex and was impeached. Fine. Bush and company lied about weapons and, as a result, thousands of people have been killed and maimed; our soldiers, at their peril, play policemen in a land in chaos that resents their presence; intelligence reports indicate that terrorist recruits have spiked since the invasion. Meanwhile a tax cut for millionaires means the rest of us will be left paying for this mess well beyond the "Dubya years." To argue that, lying and deceptions aside, a tyrant has been deposed is to miss the point. Americans should be angry that they were lied to and betrayed by their leaders. The Bush administration's credibility and professed commitments to democracy are a joke at home and around the world.

You still want to be patriotic? Then do something more than put a flag on your car and shirt. Stand up for America's democratic principles and demand that its leaders, from either party, live up to them.

Rich Rees, Oxford


Recognize Bush as the fraud he is

I applaud the letter ("Nation in bad shape under Bush" June 3), and I pray the American people wake up before it is too late. The ambivalence toward this administration is baffling. While the letter-writer focused on the social and economic destruction that is occurring under Bush, this letter is to focus on far more serious issues.

For the first time, America preemptively started a war on an obviously defenseless country based on the huge weapons of mass destruction lie. It now appears obvious that it was about oil, because we immediately secured the oil wells and left the art and historical parts in Iraq to be forever destroyed. We are now responsible for the deaths of more than 7,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, mostly children, because we were duped, and 250 mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers have died for a lie.

Are we going to allow ourselves to be duped into bombing Iran, Syria or North Korea or are we going to wake up? Are we really ready for "endless war" and endless sacrifices from our military only for them to come home (if they make it home) to see their benefits cut?

This house of cards must surely fall and then perhaps we will be able to begin the job of restoring America to the democracy it was meant to be and regain the respect we've lost from the rest of the world, although it may take decades.

Teresa Noe, Fort Wright


Shelter is needlessly euthanizing its cats

I would like to respond to the article published June 1 concerning euthanasia at the Warren County Humane Association. I am one of the four board members who resigned and my resignation had nothing to do with the higher-than-national average euthanasia rates at this shelter.

The problem is not one of overcrowding. It is under-utilization of the cages at the present facility. The fact is there are presently 20 adoptable cat cages as well as five rolling cages which can each house several kittens. There is also a cat maternity room. For at least the past four months, those cages have not been filled to capacity. Far from it. Only four cats were present in those 20 cages April 28. Put-to-sleep sheets were counted at our board meeting May 16.

I feel it is accurate to say that at least 200 cats were euthanized from mid-April to mid-May. I have no problem accepting the fact that euthanasia is necessary for unhealthy cats, feral cats, or aged cats, especially when the shelter is filled to capacity, but to euthanize healthy, beautiful, highly adoptable cats when there is plenty of room to house them at the shelter is inexcusable. I find it hard to believe not even 10 cats out of the 200-plus cats that were euthanized could meet the shelter's standards for adoptable cats.

I feel other charges were brought forth that needed third-party intervention. An internal investigation is neither appropriate nor adequate to get to the bottom of things. The charges brought forth were not just from the two employees. A volunteer who has been involved with the cats for more than six years was able to substantiate many of the claims. She is a credible person, so much so that the cat maternity room bears her name. Maybe the capital campaign slogan "Give them a chance" needs to be contemplated at the present time.

Barb Garten, Lebanon


Pet care is a great responsibility

I have volunteered for nearly six years at a local no-kill animal shelter. Our shelter, like every other shelter, is complete with unwanted and mistreated animals. We take care of pet owner's mistakes. Shelters are only Band-Aids to a very large problem that is out of control.

When you adopt a pet, you should know from the very beginning that the following rules apply:

• Your pet is a life-long commitment. Having children or getting new carpet does not mean you can dispose of your pet at the local shelter nor have it "put it to sleep." Don't get a pet unless you can make this commitment.

• You must spay/neuter your pet if you want to control the number of homeless pets. Don't be foolish, your "intact" pet will breed if given the chance producing more homeless animals. The number of animals that are put down annually at the local SPCA's is shocking.

• Animal abuse is a crime; if you don't have the patience to have a pet, please do not get a pet.

No-kill SPCA's operate quite efficiently in other areas of the country in conjunction with mandatory spay/neuter before adoption. By supporting public education and a focused campaign for mandatory spay/neuter of all pets, we could significantly lower the number of homeless pets and needless euthanasia in our area.

Cindy Zurowick, Oakley


Kentuckians question education reform

Kentuckians rightfully question our expensive education reform.

Kentucky Department of Education is really scared about the state's CAT college entrance test scores. They should be. The department excuses bad ACT news by saying more kids in Kentucky now take the test. Well, as we fell behind, the rest of the country posted much larger participation gains and still increased scores. Also, two states, Colorado and Illinois, now require all graduates to take the ACT, yet both states still outscore us.

Kentucky Department of Education talks glowingly about the state's performance on a federal test called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, KDE can fool you unless you know one more fact - all the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress reports say that scores must be considered with caution where changes occurred in the number of students excluded from testing. Sadly, Kentucky is a nation leader in increased National Assessment of Educational Progress exclusion. All of Kentucky's recent National Assessment of Educational Progress's scores must be considered with caution.

For Kentucky Department of Education, it appears that good-looking scores are more important than competent and accurate testing. That is why smart Kentuckians are asking questions that really scare Kentucky Department of Education.

Richard G. Innes, Villa Hills

Cincinnati CAN and now it will
Programs designed to reduce disparities
Iraq's weapons: Threat was there
Ohio budget: Senate's $49.3B plan
Korea: U.S. troop pullback
Medical liability crisis hurting physicians
City needs to take Mt. Adams long view
Let people decide on flag desecration
Readers' Views