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Saturday, August 16, 2003

Readers' Views


Light rail a great equalizer for citizens

TO THE EDITOR:

I live just a few miles from downtown, two blocks or less from several major bus lines, yet I rarely use the bus. The times I have, it has been a tedious experience, waiting on a curb for the coach (try a spur-of-the-moment Sunday trip!), and then lurching through what seem about 26 missed traffic lights on a 15 mph ride to the city center.

It's almost all downhill from my house to downtown, and on that leg I guarantee you: I could beat the bus on my bicycle.

For non-bike trips, it is much more pleasant to drive my car, and since I can afford to, I do. So does virtually everyone else of middle-class income or above, and thus it is little wonder that aside from a few express commuter routes during rush hours, Cincinnati buses are usually populated with about 90 percent low-income folks.

In other cities, light rail provides a transportation network that is attractive across a broad range of income levels. The efficiency and amenities are such that it attracts many who could afford to drive, and this same standard of service is available daily to dignify the commute of people who are struggling to make it in life.

Thus, we must realize that light rail represents not only a new commuting option for financially comfortable. Perhaps more importantly, it gives a sign to all citizens that their lives and pursuits are worthy of quality public transportation. It says we're all in this together.

It's a beautiful concept, but one I'm afraid Greater Cincinnati is not yet ready to embrace.

John C. Brennan, Clifton

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Bronson's stance on gays saddens

Being a 60-year-old, rather conservative, dyed-in-the-receiving-blanket (registered) Republican as well as a former Cincinnati resident, I tend to agree 99 percent with Peter Bronson's writings. However, also being a devout Christian Episcopalian of many years standing, his column ("Next generation of churches is alive in Vineyard," Aug. 10) leaves me deeply saddened.

Peter's slamming of not only "mainline" churches (although that may well not have been his intent) but also of Stephen Van Kuiken and V. Gene Robinson is simply beyond the pale. Both of these men (one heterosexual, one homosexual) are Christians, first and foremost, as well as fine, upstanding people, committed to their life partners, families and "flocks." "Pushing their own agenda" is not a concern of either one. For valid information, please obtain a copy of What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality? (subtitle: Probably Not What You've Been Told) by the Rev. Dr. Paula M. Jackson of Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal), Cincinnati. Jackson is a devout Christian, a dedicated priest, and a stellar scholar of Hebrew and Greek. The column's reference to Matthew 7:24-27 is good. Perhaps we could include Matthew 7:1 and also note John 15:12.

MaryLee McCallister, Troy, Ohio

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Replace bulb on power grid

If you've been around a while you remember those Christmas tree lights where if one bulb went out the whole string would go off. Someone eventually figured out how to allow the rest of the lights on the circuit to stay on when one bulb burned out. Is there any chance of finding that person and asking them to apply the same technology to the Northeast power grid?

Dusty Rhodes, Delhi Township

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Don't blame lawyers for accounting wrongs

Here's another case of misinformation sneaking into the pages of The Cincinnati Enquirer, and inaccurately impugning an entire profession with one broad brush.

The writer of the letter ("Legislative lawyers are lawsuit happy," Aug. 14) blamed what he describes as a disproportionate number of lawyers in the Ohio General Assembly for problems in finding standard and accurate ways of accounting in the broad spectrum of corporate America.

As a matter of information, there are only 24 lawyers among the 132 members of the two houses of the Ohio Legislature.

More important, the letter writer omits to remind us that neither accountants in private practice nor those in full-time government service have yet devised a uniform system that will meet the needs of all the forms and types of businesses that have made America great. Differences in the ways these companies are structured and in what they do require different ways of accounting - to say nothing of trying to match the systems in other countries with which we all must deal in a global society.

Just as no single size, color and style of shoes meet the needs of all of us, so must the accounting systems of different businesses be tailored to the realities of those businesses. It's a situation that reflects reality - and not the fault of any profession.

Edward G. Marks, Clifton

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Just expand Blue Ash Airport

Why is it that people from Sharonville, Wyoming and Sycamore Township think they know what it's like to live around Lunken Airport? I know from 49 years of living around this friendly little airport that all we want is to keep it friendly. I do have a possible solution. Since the City of Cincinnati owns Blue Ash Airport between I-75 and I-71 with hotels and motels very close, let's expand that friendly little airport so the passenger planes can land and take off over Sharonville, Wyoming and Sycamore Township.

Mike Smith, Mount Washington

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'Hustler' billboard not worst road distraction

I had occasion to travel I-75 to and from downtown Cincinnati. I saw the Hustler billboard, about which there has been so much ado. Southbound, once I passed Mitchell Avenue, I saw countless other billboards. One of those actually changed messages as I was passing it.

One of the problems I recall about the Hustler billboard was that it was distracting. A distracting billboard is one that catches one's attention. My attention was definitely drawn to the one that changed messages. I probably would not have even noticed the Hustler billboard had I not been looking for it. The Hustler billboard is in plain block letters, no logo, no pictures and no information as to the type of merchandise handled. There is absolutely nothing outstanding about it. The billboards I saw on my southbound trip were clearly designed with the intent of attracting attention, multicolored with pictures, stylish text, logos and whatever else the designers thought might catch the eye.

I am all in favor of our city and county leaders protecting us from whatever evil may be lurking out there. However, to try to make an issue of that particular Hustler billboard and not mention the one that changes messages seems like a reach. John W. Leahr, Kennedy Heights

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Black youth need parents most of all

In Denise Smith Amos' column ("Black Family Reunion needs parents to stick around," Aug. 14), she doubtlessly knows that nearly seven out of 10 black children are born into single-parent families. This is a salient and staggering statistic. It is the most important factor affecting the well being of our nation's black youth, and yet it rarely, if ever, merits sustained attention by columnists who regularly address African-American issues. This lack of due consideration is only slightly less amazing than the statistic itself.

How can fathers who don't "stick around" for the birth and nurturing of a child be expected to rein in their offspring?

If you "fix" all of the socioeconomic maladies afflicting black folks (both individually and collectively), and yet fail to address, and relegate to the status of historical data, this single reality, you would see paltry improvement in the plight of African-Americans.

Amos also suggests that the provision of rap and hip-hop "artists" is somehow a positive part of reunion festivities. The most popular rap songs are about violence and fornication through the medium of vulgarity, all blaring from car speakers and spewing from the mouths of kids on bicycles.

These rappers promote and encourage the very things that are destroying our inner cities and deflating the idealistic aspirations of our youth, of all colors. Any black activist or community leader of whatever ilk, claiming concern about the destiny of our nation's youth, should be clamoring for an end to the raft of rot called rap. Our young people need positive role models and values that are uplifting and edifying, not degrading and destructive.

Paul Schneider, East Price Hill




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