The tone of Stephanie Dunlap's story "Bite Out of Crime" (issue of Aug. 10-16) shows she was onto the Cincinnati mayoral candidates insofar as their being shallow thinkers about the issue of crime. I just want to say, if you have the opportunity to question the mayoral candidates again, try to pin them down along these lines:
· Inner-city crime is not unique to Cincinnati. What are the underlying causes?
· Aren't police, by definition, reactive in dealing with those causes?
· Are there national policies that contribute to crime in Cincinnati?
· What are they?
· Even though you would be unlikely to be able to change national policies, do you think it would be useful to speak out about hurtful ones?
· Which causes more crime: drugs or the war on drugs?
— David E. Gallaher, Over-the-Rhine
Lack of Vision
I live in Boston and moved from Cincinnati (Northern Kentucky actually) to attend Berklee College of Music and to possibly settle here for a while after graduation. A friend of mine from back home mentioned something about an article in CityBeat about Boston ("Please Come to Boston," issue of Aug. 10-16), so I checked it out online.
After reading Larry Gross' column, I think he did an excellent job portraying his experience in New England. I absolutely love it here — the cultures, the people, the food, its vibe, its hunger for knowledge, the sports, the arts, scenery. I could simply go on and on. But I absolutely love Cincinnati and everything it offers, though it seems as if it's completely backward.
Not sure if Larry checked out the Boston neighborhood South End, but at one time, 10 years or so ago, it was a lot like Over-the-Rhine, with violence lurking at every street corner. It wasn't until a community bonded in optimism, strength, vision and determination did the South End end up becoming a Boston landmark for art, eclectic restaurants, music and boutiques.
That's what pisses me off so much about Cincinnati. There's not enough vision, ethnic acceptance or desire to go into Over-the-Rhine and revitalize it as what it was before (and what it could become).
— Anthony Schmidt, Boston
Don't Worry, Be Positive
It's been a while since I've read CityBeat. Now I remember the reason is because it always seems to be negative against Cincinnati.
I've lived in Northside for 13 years, and I know about crime, race relations and our lousy city government. The thing that I'm sick to death about hearing every year is "there's nothing for the kids to do." There is plenty for the kids to do if they're willing to participate.
The kids have more opportunities than I ever had growing up. But the one thing a lot of these kids don't have that I did are parents who gave a damn whether or not I was hanging out on the corner with nothing to do or roaming the streets after dark.
Now, CityBeat, how are we going to get parents to care? I don't care what race you are — that's what it boils down to.
Larry Gross, while I do agree with your observations on downtown closing up on weekends ("Please Come to Boston," issue of Aug. 10-16), every city you spoke about that you said how friendly the people were, I've known people from those same cities who have made the positive comments about Cincinnati.
— Judi Houchens, Northside
Small But Equal
I was very excited to read Jane Durrell's piece about the Turner Watercolor exhibition ("Elevating Watercolors," issue of Aug. 10-16). It's great that CityBeat makes the effort to recognize a smaller but very remarkable exhibition such as this. We appreciate it.
Seeing these watercolors is truly an experience. The works have always amazed me, so I can see why Annie Taft wanted to buy them.
Durrell's writing in this article amplifies the depth and importance of Turner's work, but what I'm not sure people understand without seeing the works in person is how incredibly detailed they are for such a small size. Turner's skill to paint in that medium in such a small format is extraordinary.
I hope your readers take the time to see these great works, as they're rarely on display.
— Alex Breyer, Taft Museum of Art