UC Hoops Down the Toilet

I hope you do a follow-up story on how sad it is that UC didn't make the NCAA Tournament ("Hicks and Kennedy Brought Order to UC's Tumultuous Season," issue of March 8-14). And don't forget how the

I hope you do a follow-up story on how sad it is that UC didn't make the NCAA Tournament ("Hicks and Kennedy Brought Order to UC's Tumultuous Season," issue of March 8-14). And don't forget how the new "president" and "athletic director" didn't make one public comment about being left out or how the AD is a one-man search committee, even though the university is allegedly spending big bucks (I heard well over $250,000) to hire a puppet search committee to cover up not hiring Andy Kennedy.

This is the same "committee" that hired Mike Thomas at Akron, then Nancy Zimpher hired the firm to recommend they hire Thomas at UC, and now Thomas hires the firm to mask his coaching choice. Makes one wonder who's coaching the AD. I really want to be wrong on this one, but something tells me that I'm right.

Thanks to these out-of-towners, UC doesn't have a prayer of winning a game in the Big East next year. And thanks to their short-sightedness, the program which many Cincinnatians take pride in is doomed for many years to come. Isn't it ironic that the current basketball program has shown more class, has more values and represents the Cincinnati community better than the administration or the real sell-outs, the board of trustees?

— Dean Dennis, Cincinnati

Editor Responds: Sports columnist Bill Peterson tackles UC's snub and other NCAA Selection Committee weirdness on page 18.

Angels on Every Corner
Larry Gross has given us a heartfelt and necessary message in "The Taxi Driver" (issue of March 8-14).

I've empathized with Gross' medical plight as I've been wheelchair bound for nearly a year. His Living Out Loud column addresses my own journey as well as the journey of other people in unexpected and difficult circumstances.

The angels we encounter are in disguise, and their own earthly journeys are not always perfect. But if we only stop and see, we'll experience such angels on every corner.

— Marilyn Schirmer, Hamersville, Ohio

Think About Your Food
I wanted to commend Chris Kemp for provoking people to think about where their food comes from ("Belly of the Beast," issue of March 1-7). I wish he would have taken this a little bit further, though. In effect, if we don't think about this, we are supporting animal abuse, pollution, illness and world degradation.

After being vegetarian for eight years for ethical reasons, I decided there were other ways to protest animal torture. We can practice voting with our dollars — in my opinion, one of the best forms of activism.

Findlay Market is probably one of the most underutilized resources in this city. For example, during the spring through fall Mark Dobbs of Dobbs Hill Farms sells grass-fed, pasture-raised beef and pork, free-range chicken and eggs, trout raised in his own stream, etc. Farmer Mike (Michael Collins) has been selling natural jerky, dried fruits and vegetables, etc. throughout the whole winter in the farmers' market shed. Impact Over-the-Rhine is a nonprofit that sells organic produce grown in the neighborhood by teenaged residents who learn self-sufficiency. In the next couple of months, organic and chemical-free produce will start to show up in the farmers' market shed from all over the Tristate area.

I urge readers to support local farmers' markets; there are so many reasons why it's important. Much of that meat we get at Kroger, biggs, etc. is from abused animals. Animals live in their own waste, in cages for their whole lives with little to no fresh air or sunshine, genetically modified to be without wings or beaks, etc., so these animal factories can keep more animals in smaller cages. If you believe in karma at all, you have to wonder what kind of karma you get for eating something like that and supporting that industry with your dollars.

As far as eating local and organic or chemical-free food goes, people tend not to think about where those tomatoes they're getting in February are coming from. It's not anywhere close by. So then you have to think about all the resources wasted transporting that out-of-season produce that isn't even fresh by the time you get it. Combined with all the chemicals used in conventional farming, this system creates a lot of pollution that ends up in the groundwater used for irrigation, drinking water, rain, streams, lakes, rivers and oceans — places our fish are coming from.

Conventional produce is grown with chemical pesticides and herbicides that are serious poisons designed to kill, and then people ingest them. Then we wonder why so many of our children are suddenly starting to get diseases such as autism, asthma and others. It's the life cycle, and it can be a vicious one if people don't pay attention.

We really have to start realizing that we're voting with our dollars as much, and probably more than, going to the polls. For some reason, Americans spend a lower percentage of their income on food at home than almost any other developing nation, according to the International Food Information Council.

I beg CityBeat readers — for the future of our planet, our children and ourselves — to think about where their food comes from.

— Abby Schultz, Northside