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Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Readers' Views


Head Start helped lawyer improve lot

TO THE EDITOR:

I read with great interest the story on the criticism of the Head Start programs in the area. My parents married young. My father enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War, while my mother remained home. She quit high school after the 10th grade and had no marketable skills. Obviously, we were quite poor.

I have vivid memories of her walking me to what I thought was a pre-school, but I later learned it was a Head Start program in the Kinsman area in Cleveland. I remember learning songs, eating graham crackers and pineapple juice, dressing up and naps.

They contributed to my mother's understanding that education was important and stressed she needed to start working on it as early as possible. Although my family lived below the poverty line most of my youth, I earned a bachelor's degree and a law degree. It helped me escape poverty, and my children know nothing of the struggles my family had in my youth.

I hope others who participated in the Head Start program stand up to be counted to show that it is a vital program to fight the vicious cycle of poverty.

James McLean, Forest Park

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Norwood residents don't oppose progress

In response to the letter ("Development helps make Norwood great," July 12), I agree Norwood is a great neighborhood because of the great people who live and work here and because of the commercial development to date.

Unfortunately, press coverage and Norwood City Council have created a perception of private property owners as opposing development. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Current property owners are content living or working in their superb locations, and are entitled to remain. Private commercial development does not circumvent the constitutional right to freely own private property. When did the power of eminent domain become the power of the government to take private property for private, commercial development?

Nick Motz, Norwood

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Pay Norwood residents more to sell property

As Norwood residents fight the construction of a new shopping center, here are some possible solutions: What is the constitutionality and philosophy of majority rights versus minority rights?

Much can be said and argued about this, but where would it be today if the majority also decided for the minority? So much for segregation and the right to vote.

What is apparent is that if these last families are forced or coerced out of their homes, a lot of other people, including the city, are going to make a lot of money - everyone but the homeowners. Why should everyone benefit at his or her trouble and expense?

The solutions are obvious. Since this land is going to be worth so much, why not pay the current homeowners two or three times the current market value? In addition, the city is going to reap millions in taxes, so why not pay these people a percentage of the tax revenue for the next 20 years. It seems only then will everyone will be a winner.

James Hayes, West Chester

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Make sure Convergys keeps its word

Before approving any deal for Convergys, Cincinnati City Council should ask them how many more of their local high tech positions they intend to eliminate and ship overseas to India. This practice is the latest disturbing trend in corporate greed and Convergys has already jumped on the bandwagon.

Any deal must include guarantees from Convergys that it intends to contribute to the city's growth by the addition of local high-tech positions rather than their elimination.

Rob Gabbard, Pierce Township

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Ask tough questions in Convergys deal

Let me see if I understand this Convergys deal. In a time of serious red ink for both the state and Cincinnati treasuries and increased taxes for almost everyone else, our wonderful politicians are considering giving away even more of our money to a corporation with revenues of $2.3 billion but whose "...stock price is flat" and is "...fighting to maintain market share."

What guarantees are we taxpayers getting that Convergys will:

• Be able to meet their obligations in the future?

• Not get us into a bidding war with Kentucky?

• Not set a precedent, which will start a stampede to the feeding trough and mean more lost revenues?

• Not result in an equal loss of employees and tax revenues from other companies displaced by Convergys, or cost the city to pay for the others' relocations?

• Not turn into another Enron or another Paul Brown Stadium give-away?

The decision should be based on a realistic evaluation of what will cost the city and taxpayers the least, not what's best for a billion-dollar corporation with grossly overpaid executives.

Roger Harris, Sharonville

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'Message in a bottle' was so uplifting

I read the July 11 story ( "Son's '84 message in bottle comforts grieving parents"). What a truly heart-warming and touching story it was. I read it through tears. As the mother of a 21-year-old son, I was so happy so much his letter comforted this son's mother. It must be the hardest thing in the world to lose a child. The people who tracked her down to return the letter should be proud of them for bringing her so much joy.

Today, when most of the news is so depressing, it was really nice to read a story like this.

Helen Hesketh, Newtown---

Federal education law misses the real point

It is silly to pretend there was no accountability in Ohio's public schools before the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as No Child Left Behind ("Education: Leave no child behind," July 10). The Ohio Education Association has been a leader in efforts to ensure high standards for students, teachers and schools, and our state has made great strides in raising the bar for all in recent years.

The No Child Left Behind Act is an impediment to effective strategies that help children succeed in school and in life. The act wastes billions of dollars on new testing and bureaucracy - in essence duplicating tests now required under state law - instead of investing in what students really need, such as smaller classes, efforts to enhance teacher quality, and books and materials aligned with state standards.

Achieving the goals of this new law will require additional resources so that every child has the same opportunity to succeed.

Gary Allen, President, Ohio Education Association




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