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Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Readers' Views


Tax breaks can harm city services

TO THE EDITOR:

While the city contemplates the Convergys deal, Mayor Charlie Luken announced that some city services would have to be cut. A few years ago, when the city gave Saks $6 million, many Cincinnati Recreation Commission swimming pools were closed. I have received no direct benefit, nor have I seen any benefit to my neighborhood from the Saks' deal or the stadiums.

If these deals are so good for the city, why are we being taxed more than ever and receiving fewer services for the money? Why can we not get a great deal that improves city services and/or relieves tax burdens on the people? How many more of these great deals can we afford?

John W. Leahr, Kennedy Heights

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Writer Pitts belittles power of God's help

The July 19 column Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts ("Pat Robertson: He wants a God-fearing court") is the pits. He belittles people of prayer. He makes a joke of beseeching almighty God for help, something those who settled this land often did, as does many of their descendents to this day, thank God.

Most Americans would like prayer in the classroom, most are against abortion, and most would strive for high moral standards. One correction to Pitts' article: The high court never gave women the right to choose to be a mother. If she is pregnant, she is already a mother.

We have all seen the maternity T-shirt "Baby on board." In 1973, the Supreme Court gave mothers the privacy to have a doctor abort her child legally in every state of the union, even though the citizens of those states are largely against that horrific idea.

I envy Pitts' position and talents. I would love to be like him - working for a company that buys his ink by the barrels. I would put that ink to work prompting all to be people of prayer, so we could truly be one nation under God.

Tom Lanter, Westwood

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Churches should help out homeless citizens

I think I have a solution to the homeless problem. In any given square mile there are numerous churches of many denominations in the Cincinnati area. If they were to really do what they were meant to do (to take care of one another) we could solve the homeless problem.

Say one church or several could go together and adopt one homeless person. Each parishioner, on their way out of services, could drop $1 into a collection basket to be used for housing and the necessities associated with living. There are many more churches than homeless.

Bobbie Brockman, Ross

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Banning 'hot bats' is a good idea

Thank you for the article covering the hot bats in amateur softball ("High-tech softball bats add power - and danger," July 20).

Danney Saylor has taken a lot of grief for his decision to ban certain bats for the Metro tournament. I think Danney should be applauded for having the guts to make the right decision. He has nothing to gain from making this decision. In fact, he's probably lost some players, even teams by making this decision. But it's the right decision. Local players should feel thankful he cares as much and takes the game as seriously as some of us do.

There are several problems with the "hot bats"- higher scores, longer games. However, the biggest concern is the little guy. I don't mean little in stature but little as far as time dedicated to playing. Most majors players will hit hundreds of balls per week in the off-season. These guys are so good they can hit it where they want and when they want. The lower leagues are where the dangers exist.

Casual players who can hit one 350-plus feet, can also hit a bullet the same speed right back at the pitcher. That is when people get seriously hurt or killed.

Thanks to Saylor for his efforts to keep the game safe.

Matthew Schamer, Green Township

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North Korea poses a threat to America

President Clinton lied about sex. President Bush lies about reasons to go to war. It proves the old saying that "there is no such thing as a honest politician."

All the while Bush was making up stories as to why we should go to war with Iraq, North Korea has been developing their weapons of mass destruction. We know they have them and would most likely use them. Yet the administration ignored this more serious threat and put America and its Far Eastern allies in grave danger. And they said the war wasn't about oil.

Tom Wilson, Kennedy Heights

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Africa is certainly relevant to America

Local members of Congress responded recently to the Enquirer's question about President Bush's policies on Africa. All the legislators affirmed Africa's importance to the United States, for multiple reasons.

On July 16, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to establish the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) requested by the president. Reps. John Boehner, Rob Portman, and Ken Lucas voted for it, Rep. Steve Chabot against. The MCA will direct additional support to countries with extreme poverty, sound government, and an open economic system. Many African countries will benefit.

Now funding is needed. The president asked Congress for $1.3 billion for the first year. The Local Bread for the World members' hope Congress will rise to the challenge. We look particularly to Sen. Mike DeWine, who has a significant role on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Africans, Latin Americans and Asians are our global neighbors.

Mary-Cabrini Durkin, Walnut Hills

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Foster parents are godsend to children

Many thanks to Paul Daugherty for his July 20 column praising foster parent Holleigh Long and others like her. As a former patient attendant at Cincinnati's Children Hospital, I know the need for foster parents. Comforting and playing with abused infants was a big part of my job and, unfortunately, Children's Hospital cares for many abused children.

I have known since birth that my parents would fight to the death to protect my six siblings and me. The thought of a child being beaten by someone who is supposed to protect it is unreal.

I believed God gave a baby to a family and the family loved and protected that baby forever. Unfortunately, many babies are not so lucky. I hope and pray that someday there will be no need for foster parents. Until then, I thank God for people like Holleigh Long.

Tara Hussong, Covedale

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Homeless people are not the problem

On reading the letter ("Ship homeless to California," July 20), I was deeply disgusted by the lack of empathy that not only the letter writer showed, but the mayor and City Council as well.

Homeless people are not a problem. The homeless may have problems, but if having problems makes you a problem then our entire population is nothing but problems. I have to change my thinking or address why a situation bothers me. In the case of the homeless, why does anyone care, especially about their living arrangements? Why in God's name would it make you uncomfortable to know or see that homeless people exist in Cincinnati? I would hope that it is subconscious feelings of guilt about the fact that some people are blessed with material things and others are not.

Life is not fair and people have problems, but the true measure of a person is not their material achievements, it is how they treat others. For those of you who still believe the homeless are a problem, I leave you with the words of Theodore Rubin, "The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem."

Alexander Padilla, Mount Washington

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Rose agreed to his baseball ban

I am sick of the Enquirer telling millions of lifetime baseball fans what we allegedly think: "... that Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame has always been the case in the court of public opinion."

Almost never mentioned is the fact he agreed to a lifetime ban for gambling. The press doesn't seem to care, or want anyone else to care about his gambling as a manger, oblivious to the inevitable end result of destroying the integrity of the game. That is why he doesn't fit in the Hall of Fame, despite his overwhelming qualifications as a player.

The ultimate irony is he reportedly is driven by the desire to want to return to managing. What team in its right mind would want him?

I would hope for his own sake that he could face up to his many problems, find the help he needs and get on with his life with the accolades he has earned. Meanwhile, I'd go along with a special public relations award for his success with the gullible minions in the court of media attention.

Frank White, Wyoming

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Head Start column right on target

Community Action Agency's CEO Gwen Robinson's outstanding guest column ("Head Start has strong academic model already," July 19) hits the solution for disadvantaged childhood issues smack on the nail head. This nation needs to address needs of our poorest and struggling kids early. For this reason, Head Start has experienced bipartisan support, both on a state and national level, since the 1960s. Hitting tough childhood issues, as early as 0-5 years of age, will save our economy billions later in remedial, educational and criminal justice system dollars.

Ohio's U.S. Senators George Voinovich and Mike Dewine have both wisely recognized the historical value of Head Start. Proudly, Ohio has led the nation in its commitment to these principles. As authorization for Head Start progresses, watch carefully for the views expressed by former Head Start participants and their parents. They have actually experienced the life-changing power of this program.

Stephen T. MacConnell, President/CEO, Cincinnati Union Bethel




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