Sunday, September 14, 2003

Readers' Views

Locals should help boost Main Street


What is it with City Council that they seem to believe that no residents of the greater Cincinnati area can have any ideas about developing Main Street?

How much did the city of Newport pay to have Newport on the Levee developed? Who received 100 grand to develop Tampa's Ybor City or The French Quarter of New Orleans?

Councilman John Cranley implies that Cincinnati would pay John Elkington $100,000 for his contacts and his ability to put deals together. Just because Councilman Cranley has no contacts or abilities to put deals together doesn't mean that the entire populace of the greater Cincinnati area is devoid of such talents.

I think Carl Lindner, P&G's A.G. Lafley, attorney Stan Chesley, Gov. Bob Taft, GE's Jeffrey Immelt or even Jerry Springer have good connections and put good deals together.

Perhaps City Council can extend the vote to all of those hard-working people who pay city taxes but live outside the city limits? I think you will find a lot more of us participating in changing our city for the better and spending a lot less to do it.

Brian C. Becker, Montgomery


Outside consultant best hope for the city

Lately, I have been hearing that Cincinnati is in need of help. The city needs renovation, development and something to energize it. People have been leaving the city of Cincinnati at a constant rate. We need population growth back in the city. How are we going to do this?

The article by Gregory Korte ("Council candidate critical of city's Main Street plan," Sept. 7) brought this topic to a head. Those in charge are considering hiring a man from out of town to plan the development of Main Street downtown. Mayor Charlie Luken and Councilman John Cranley support the idea of bringing in a highly esteemed developer from out of town. The other side, represented by City Council candidate Nick Spencer, opposes spending such a large sum on something that can be given to a resident of Cincinnati.

Spending $100,000 on a developer is asking a lot. Cincinnati is already having money problems, but what we truly need is a way to boost the city's energy, popularity, reputation and its atmosphere. This Tennessee developer is known to have connections with well-known names in the restaurant and entertainment businesses. It would be a great step forward for Cincinnati to admit its need for aid and accept it. Main Street needs to be designed skillfully and carefully. If it is done correctly, Cincinnati's residents and visitors will reap the benefits for years to come.

Megan Meckstroth, North Bend


Charm makes us like celebrity pols

Celebrity candidates have as much right to run for government office as any other citizen. This is one of the basic concepts of the U.S. democratic system. However, it is important that anyone running for office, whether celebrity or not, is qualified.

Fame, fortune, charm and popularity are qualities that many of our entertainment celebrities have, and these give them added appeal in running for office. The general public is more likely to vote for someone whose name they've heard and whose face they recognize. Many celebrities are also very charming and persuasive in their nature, which is also very appealing.

It is important to elect public officials who have good plan of action and a platform that I agree with. In the California recall election, this is extremely important, considering the depreciating economy and the serious need for good leadership. However, if two candidates had policies that I supported, and one was a celebrity, I admit that I would probably choose the celebrity over the other candidate, because of charming appeal.

Tessa Luken, Miami Township


Here are answers to unclogging bridge

The Enquirer reporter Stephenie Steitzer wrote an article ("Newport traffic clogs bridge," Aug. 19) about a problem she perceives to be a Newport problem causing a problem for Cincinnatians.

The problem can easily and economically be solved. First, simply change or add additional routes to the Internet page for Newport on the Levee and Newport Aquarium. The Artimis signs that are strategically placed throughout the Greater Cincinnati area are the first line of defense. I cannot tell you how many times I drive from Hyde Park, south on Interstate 71 and pass under the Artimis sign on a busy weekend at 5 p.m. and that sign is either dark or says, "Buckle Up It's the Law in Ohio."

Cincinnati could provide the paid parking in the garages that are already there, and people could walk over on the Purple People Bridge or the Taylor Southgate Bridge. It would not be any longer to walk than if they parked on Fifth Street or further south in Newport. Cincinnati could collect on the parking, and the Southbank buses could possibly shuttle people back to their cars in Cincinnati. It could also alleviate the residential parking problem in Newport.

My suggestion would be to place the signs on Interstate 75 South at Fort Mitchell and Mount Zion Roads. Those alternate roads are sufficient to carry a large volume of traffic and to get travelers to U.S. 42 to Louisville or Dixie Highway/U.S. 25 to Lexington or the airport.

Pat Broghamer, Union, Ky.


EU decision hailed to label Hamas terrorists

The American Jewish Committee strongly welcomes the European Union decision to place Hamas in its entirety on the EU terrorism list. This is a vital step for combating international terrorism and strengthening the forces committed to the search for peace in the Middle East.

At last the European Union realizes that attempts to distinguish between the military and political wings of Hamas make a false distinction. These two wings are one and the same. They share the single-minded goal of eradicating the state of Israel from the face of the earth. We hope the EU will now move to freeze all assets of Hamas within the boundaries of the EU.

Jay E. Price, American Jewish Committee, Cincinnati Chapter President

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