Thursday, June 19, 2003

Readers' Views

Sheriff Simon Leis obsessed with Flynts


If Sheriff Simon Leis was as tough on other things as he is dirty book stores, how many Over-the-Rhine shootings could he have prevented last year? ("Sheriff raids Hustler store," June 18).

This guy is obsessed with the Flynt brothers. This has gone on for decades, and there are plenty of other adult businesses that never come under scrutiny. Why is that?

Jimmy Combs, Newport

Helping racetracks helps state budget, too

Risky budgeting is raising taxes in the middle of a recession to fund a 10 percent increase in spending over two years. Risky budgeting is increasing the tax on cigarettes, making the state dependent on a habit that kills. Responsible budgeting is capturing revenue that is flowing to the casinos of Indiana, Michigan and West Virginia. Responsible budgeting is helping Ohio's racetracks, which were in their heyday in the late 1980s before the boats arrived in Indiana.

The racetracks have experience with regulators and the facilities necessary to quickly have VLTs up and running. Without the additional revenue from VLTs, we will soon be referring to River Downs and Lebanon Raceway in the past tense. The racetrack/casino business model has been proven to work in Delaware, West Virginia and Iowa.

It has resulted in a stronger racing industry, more tax revenue and increased tourism. It will work in Ohio. It will benefit the state. It will benefit horsemen. It will benefit schools.

Andrew Franklin, Lebanon

Judges should improve scrutiny and access

In his report on the Butler County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Courts Mike Fox identified 13 court practices as serious obstacles to due process and provided 31 suggestions to open up the process to public scrutiny and access.

To date, the judges and his fellow commissioners have obscured the issue by criticizing Fox for being the messenger - for illuminating problems and bringing them to the public's attention. Why are they so afraid to address the issue? The courts are to provide a service to the community and to help the people/families that come before them. Judges are public servants with a high calling and a difficult job. In resolving the issue brought before them, they are to make decisions that are fair and just.

Judges, I challenge you to work together with Fox and the public to improve our courts - to open them up to public/media scrutiny, to truly serve the families and children who come before you.

Debbie Hardix, Hamilton

City's unexciting? We like it that way

The letter ("Try thinking about art, not bashing it," June 15) struggles to see how Cincinnati will become "vibrant and exciting" without its conservative citizenry lining up to be challenged and offended by modern art.

First, continually grasping after excitement is a vain and shallow way to live your life. Plenty of people actually cherish Cincinnati's relative lack of excitement, hence the city's consistent ranking as one of the top places in the United States in which to live and raise a family. You want edginess, go to the coasts; they'll excite and offend you for as long as your money holds out.

Second, if the only path to vibrancy and excitement is via modern art, then there's little hope for those of us who find the extreme subjectivity and narcissism of most modern art (including, perhaps especially, "performance art") off-putting and pointless.

Finally, why is it always the conservative assumptions that must be challenged? Don't liberal assumptions need challenging, too? For instance, how much might a left-leaning iconoclast learn from art that, instead of taking inarticulate potshots at aspects of the social order that are actually working, points toward simple beauty or truth that encourages our nobler instincts?

Alvin Blanco, Hyde Park

Play's protesters just gave it publicity

Without the protests against the play, Corpus Christi, now performing in Cincinnati, I doubt that I and the majority of people in the city would even have known it was here. Just as with the Mapplethorpe exhibit of a decade ago, as well as the film, The Last Temptation of Christ, protesters seem to always accomplish the result of making a financial success out of the very works of art that they attempt to ban.

If the protesters had chosen to ignore Corpus Christi, its producers would probably have had to hire actors to stand outside the theater holding protest signs and condemning the play in order to get the kind of publicity they are now receiving for free, and could never have bought at any price.

Dave White, Wyoming

National parks: Snowmobiles
Ohio budget: Rush to the finish
Mall makeover: Bond issue
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