Regarding your "Where Are They Now?" column about Stenger's on Vine Street (issue of June 16-22), the writer obviously didn't stop by to see where they are now. For the past year and a half, owner Doug Bootes has been hosting monthly wine tastings that are attended by a diverse group of folks who are very interested in the continuing viability of Over-the-Rhine. The wine and conversation are quite entertaining.
Although Paul "Mr. Pig" Sebron is no longer cooking and the name has changed from Stenger's to Blitz, the restaurant is still open. It's the best deal in town for breakfast or lunch. Come join us!
Convenience Is the Enemy
Donna Covrett's "What's Eating Us?" (issue of June 9-15) is a timely topic, as I recently finished reading Fast Food Nation and am familiar with the documentary Super Size Me. My wife and I also are trying to raise two children in a healthy way that promotes good eating habits and exercise.
Toward the end of her article, Covrett said, "It'll take more than a pyramid to improve America's diet. It demands, quite simply, a revolution." We need to encourage more activity and engagement and less isolation in our neighborhoods and autos.
Our community currently is debating additional taxes that would provide an outdoor pool with a YMCA. I've sent an e-mail suggestion that there be more accessibility to pedestrians, runners, bikers and moms with strollers and wagons vs. additional parking spaces. It's probably fallen on deaf ears, as there's been no response.
I was surprised when I moved to Symmes Township near Loveland that there wasn't safe accessibility to get to the popular Loveland Bike Trail. There wasn't even a sidewalk to Loveland High School until last year, when it was added to a road project. I guess we as citizens need to change these attitudes of convenience ourselves by informing our local leadership of our desires for these aspects in our communities.
I often think of a lyric from a Deee-Lite tune that "convenience is the enemy." They were singing about the environment, but it can be applied here as well.
Good work on a topic that affects everyone. I hope people read it.
Party So Kerry Wins
Thanks for the blurb on Sen. John Kerry's increasingly popular "house parties" (Hot Issue 2004, issue of June 2-8). His grassroots movement to oust the village idiot we have as president is growing daily.
But "a bit stiff, a bit establishment?" C'mon. We're talking the presidency here. He plays guitar and he protested the Vietnam War — whaddaya want, LL Cool J?
Speaking of "cool," there are lots of cool ways to make a difference. Check out kerrycincinnati.com for volunteer opportunites in this area, as well as the Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kerrynati.
Kerry can carry Ohio, but he ain't gonna do it alone. So get out this summer and party down!
Not in My Name
The Bush Administration spent months building a legal justification for torture. Its advisers wrote that what we're doing is not really"torture" and, even if it is really torture, as commander-in-chief the president can order torture if we're at war.
Hogwash. What U.S. soldiers, agents and contractors did to other people, as shown in photos and described by witnesses, was most definitely torture under common sense, much less U.S. statute, U.S. treaty obligations and international law. There's no "unless the U.S. president wants to" escape clause in any of those legally-binding documents.
And our national security is damaged by our participation in torture, not helped by it. It creates blind rage against the United States. Our troops are in danger of "reciprocal torture" if they're captured. And studies and anecdotal evidence agree that reliable predictive information comes not through torture but through building a personal relationship of trust with those who are detained.
I want my elected officials to hear this message: Use a common sense definition of "torture." No torture in my name. Not ever, under any circumstances.