Don't Punish the Children

Thank you for Joe Wessels' column about Mount Washington ("Not Too Cool for the Pool," issue of June 4). When I worked so hard to get that new rec center, my dream was to have it provide what's need

Thank you for Joe Wessels' column about Mount Washington ("Not Too Cool for the Pool," issue of June 4). When I worked so hard to get that new rec center, my dream was to have it provide what's needed to prevent the incidents that Wessels recounted.

I saw the demographics of Mount Washington changing and wanted to be proactive. However, the powers that be did not want those kind of kids in the building.

What Wessels experienced was the result of that narrow-minded attitude and fear. Why do we keep punishing our children and in the end creating a hopeless future for our kids and our city?

— Mary Anne Berry, Over-the-Rhine

Take Steps Against Abuse
Darkness to Light is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and teaching prevention of child sexual abuse. It's imperative that the public be made aware of the prevalence of child sexual abuse ("Ohio's Silent Epidemic," issue of June 11).

Seven Steps to Protecting Our Children is a booklet that offers practical information to adults. The information we provide isn't a substitute for the advice of professionals.

Step 1: Learn the facts. Realities, not trust, should influence your decisions regarding your child.

Step 2: Minimize opportunity. If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you'll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for your child.

Step 3: Talk about it. Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.

Step 4: Stay alert. Don't expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused.

Step 5: Make a plan. Learn where to go, who to call and how to react.

Step 6: Act on suspicions. The future well-being of a child is at stake.

Step 7: Get involved. Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

Imagine how difficult it is for a child to say "no" to a parent, a teacher, a coach or clergy.

Thank you so much for the part you're playing in this. Please visit our Web site (, where we've tried put together useful resource materials.

— Libby Campbell, Executive Associate, Darkness to Light Charleston, S.C.

No to Open Primaries
Open primary elections sound so equalitarian and democratic — wrong! "Open" primaries only give voters a chance to vote in the enemy primary for their weakest candidate. This is what happened in the Ohio and Texas Democratic primaries in March.

Earlier this year Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson wrote 9,000 letters to Republican claim jumpers who had registered Democrat after the Dec. 31 deadline. He said, "Too late, baby."

The Ohio legislature can correct this problem with a simple bill.

It's all another example of the old adage, "You can wipe your ass on a buckeye, but not a briar."

— Dan Griffith, Covington

Brunner a Profile in Courage
After the embarrassing Marc Dann scandal, it's nice to know there are still local politicians we Ohioans can take pride in. Take Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, for example.

She recently received the Kennedy Center Profiles in Courage Award for her tireless efforts to overhaul our ailing electoral system. After the debacle that was the 2004 election, Ohio became a national joke. Across the country people were calling us country rubes incapable of running a decent election. That's all changing now, thanks to Brunner.

She deserves our respect and is deservedly garnering national attention and praise right now, so why are we still talking about Dann?

— Jeff Robertson, Yellow Springs

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