Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Readers' Views

Inspections aren't always thorough

I had a good laugh while reading Sunday's article ("Home inspections lagging in suburbs" June 22) which included the statement, "Required by county building laws, a certificate is a homeowner's assurance that all inspections - building, zoning, plumbing and electrical - were properly carried out."

In the 1990s, we purchased a two-story house that had been rebuilt from an original two-bedroom, one-story house. Our teenagers couldn't wait to try the jacuzzi in the master bedroom; they stood there in bathing suits, waiting for it to fill, only to be disappointed that the hot water ran out before it was even half full. The 40-gallon hot-water heater in the basement could not handle a Jacuzzi that requires a minimum of 62.5 gallons of warm or hot water! When I telephoned the county building office, they told me, "Oh, no, your homeowner's certificate doesn't cover anything like this. If you wanted to have your plumbing inspected properly, you would need to hire a specialist (at a cost to me of $200-$300). We just sign the papers. We don't really do detailed inspections."

So, the builder and previous owner could not be held accountable, and I had to purchase an 80-gallon hot water heater out of my own pocket.

Dan Nebert, Wyoming


Reds' Guillen improves baseball's image

What a wonderful column by Paul Daugherty in Sunday's Enquirer about the Reds' Jose Guillen ("Guillen's gifts keep giving" June 22) befriending a little boy from Northern Kentucky.

With all the negative publicity our national pastime has gotten lately - from ugly labor relations to last year's premature ending to the All-Star Game to Sammy Sosa's corked bat - great to see how a player's small act of kindness can have such a huge salutary effect on a child.

That is what life - and baseball - are all about.

Dean Congbalay, Terrace Park


Don't block sidewalks with garbage cans

Why is it that some of the City of Cincinnati's waste collection workers do not realize, or care, that the elderly use sidewalks to walk to the store, to visit others, and to exercise? Monday, I walked for my exercise. On some of the streets almost all empty cans were thrown or placed on the sidewalk blocking its use. We spent as much time going around them, in the streets, as we spent on the sidewalk. What kind of training do they receive to do this?

Edward B. Lohaus, Price Hill


Small-time cheaters will keep doing it

If you cheat at small things, like golf, what might you do when the stakes are larger? ("Their cheating hearts: Why did they do it?" June 24). Someone once told me "You can tell much about a person's character by their conduct as they play golf." Remember in the movie Caddyshack when Ted Knight, as the Judge, used his foot to move the ball away from a tree. It was funny but you knew the Judge was not to be trusted.

One time I entertained a new customer on the golf course whose account had very high-volume potential. Although he had played golf for years and knew the rules, I noticed he violated them a few times while we participated in a small tournament. After the round, I immediately placed our company credit department on special alert with this account. This turned out to be a good move.

When you conduct a survey about attitudes on honesty, you better put great weight on the results about the small stuff. I'd bet it would transfer to the large stuff.

Jack Espelage, Union


Attention on Portman well deserved

I was glad to see Carl Weiser's article on Congressman Rob Portman ("Congressman has finger in every pie," June 22). Cincinnati's Congressman is one of our country's most influential leaders.

Gloria Griffiths, Symmes Township


Litterbugs need to take pride in neighborhoods

The editorial ("Litter: undermines neighborhood; Tougher Enforcement," June 21) about cracking down on litter was timely. While driving along Harrison Avenue in Westwood on June 14, I saw a boy about 12 years old on a bike throw his empty cup down on the sidewalk. If he had peddled 10 feet he could have put it in the trash can. I'm sure that didn't occur to him. Apparently he hasn't been taught to take pride in his neighborhood.

When my children were small, we would take walks and pick up any paper along the way. They learned that there is no magic elf who cleans up after thoughtless litterers.

Littering is just one more result of poor parenting.

Kathleen Rainey, Harrison


Remembering actor Hume Cronyn

In 1947 after my husband, Jack, and I were married, we moved to Buckhannon, W.Va., where he was a student at West Virginia Wesleyan College. During the school year, Hume Cronyn, who died last week, appeared on campus in a Shakespearean play.

One of Cronyn's lines was "what's the news?" At that, the auditorium was plunged into darkness. No one moved - not a sound was made. Then, from the stage, Mr. Cronyn said, "Even without the lights, what's the news?" What's the old adage, "the show must go on"? And it did for a few minutes, until power was restored.

Lillian R. Dartnall, Dent


Protect forests and keep 'roadless rule'

I was dismayed to hear that the Bush Administration took steps earlier this week to undermine historic protections for our nation's last remaining wild forests. The administration announced June 16 that it would seek exemptions to the Forest Service's widely popular Roadless Rule.

This leaves at risk countless acres of our country's most pristine forested areas and goes against the protections demanded by the American people. To date, an unprecedented two million-plus Americans expressed support for the rule and for protecting these special places and the wildlife habitat, clean water, and recreational opportunities they provide.

Since taking office, the Bush Administration has repeatedly whittled away at the core of the wild forest policy and failed to defend it in court, while simultaneously promoting intensive logging as a remedy for forest fires. There are already more than 440,000 miles of roads that scar our National Forests - roads built for the logging industry and paid for by our tax dollars - and that have destroyed wildlife habitat, caused mudslides and polluted our water.

We have enough roads - it is time to safeguard our last wild forests. I hope the Bush administration will follow the court's lead and be responsive to Americans rather than to big logging corporations.

Jeff Cole, Wilmington


Tax cuts are the right way to grow economy

In response to the guest column by Gerald E. Kerns in the June 20 edition ("Only the wealthy benefit from tax cuts,") may I suggest that we look at the issue without the political slant?

A fundamental tenant of economics is that savings equals investment. Only when people save money can they invest it. Only in the aggregate, when the citizenry saves money can it be available in the national economy for investment.

It is also fact that governments do not create wealth. Governments can take money from someone and give to someone else. I suppose if you are on the receiving end, you think that governments are creating wealth, but that is a failure to recognize what has really occurred.

If you want to create jobs and grow an economy, you will do so largely based upon the ability of the economy to benefit from new capital. To the extent that capital is consumed, either by the person who owns it, or by the government taking it from the producer and transferring to another party, you diminish the ability of the economy to grow. Lower tax rates enable more saving. That is a good thing, because ultimately, more investment means more jobs.

When articles are written comparing the number of jobs lost in the Hoover Administration to those lost during the Bush Administration, they elevate the rhetoric and ignore the facts. It simply reinforces the adage that statistics can be used to prove anything. Recall please, that at the very height of the depression, the unemployment rate was about 25 percent. Today it is about 6.1 percent.

One might also consider that the recession was underway prior to the current administration taking office, and that the economic dislocation caused by Sept. 11 was a major causal effect in the decline in economic activity. Just ask anyone in the transportation or tourist industries.

I don't much care what your politics are. I do care about the country. If we don't start dealing honestly with important issues, and persist in arguing these things through the prism of political objectives, the whole nation loses. The politics of class warfare are ugly, dangerous and irresponsible.

Charles Donabedian, Loveland


'Gun lobby' won't arm everybody

In her Sunday guest column arguing against concealed carry in Ohio ("Permit legislation puts safety at risk") Toby Hoover said "the gun lobby's single-minded campaign to arm every man, woman, and child in the United States." Is this truly the intention of the "gun lobby"? Let's think rationally here. Her statement clearly ruins her credibility and shows that she is thinking in an alarmist, overly emotional manner, rather than rationally making her case.

The purpose of the concealed carry law is to give responsible, law-abiding citizens the ability to arm and defend themselves. Ohio is one of the very few remaining states that does not allow concealed carry. I do not hear of uncontrolled shootouts in Northern Kentucky of Southeast Indiana. Ohio will be no different.

Shawn Rheinhart, Kenwood

For the good of diversity
Colleges face new confusion with court's guidelines
Local voices: Affirmative action ruling
Readers' Views