Traficant there when constituents need help
I don't know what is wrong with Ohio people. Maybe it is the Ohio water. People are crazy. Mr. Jim Traficant is a good, wonderful man.
When I needed help for my handicapped boy, he was there to help me. I needed things and he was there. Mr. Jim Traficant helps seniors and a lot of people who needed help. He kept jobs in Ohio. So please don't knock Mr. Traficant. He really is a good man.
MARGARET EAGLE CLOUD
Regardless of politics, play Wagner's music
That Richard Wagner, Hitler's favorite composer, was anti-Semitic is undisputed. That he was also a colossal musical genius, perhaps second only to Bach in the history of Western music, is also undisputed.
So it is both understandable and at the same time regrettable that the Chicago Symphony's music director, Daniel Barenboim, is receiving so much opposition from Israeli officials to his decision to program Act I of Wagner's operatic masterpiece, "Die Walkure," at a concert in Israel in July. They want him to substitute the Wagner with the work of another composer, one who was not anti-Semitic, I assume, but who, incidentally, may be difficult to find.
It is understandable because for many, especially Holocaust survivors, Wagner's music, played in concentration camps and at Nazi rallies, dredges up the painful past.
But it is also regrettable because a decision to ban Wagner's music is irreconcilable with the principles of democracy and certainly unworthy of one of the world's great democracies.
Daniel Barenboim, a Jew, and a musical genius in his own right, is to be lauded for standing firm against changing the program and for standing up for freedom of artistic expression. As he himself said, "I think it is a democratic principle that people who want to hear Wagner should not be prevented from doing so." Those who find Wagner offensive should simply stay away from the performance.
HENRY E. MILLER
Doctor takes issue with striking nurses
For several weeks, I have walked across what I felt was a hostile enemy line. I didn't talk to the people I felt were my friends. I just watched and listened. I watched as they walked out on the patients they told me they cared about. I listened to hear how they took doctors surgery preference cards, mixed medication labels and glued drawers with patients' medications shut. These are the people I trusted with the care of my loved ones.
I saw them bring their children to the picket lines and watched as these children threw water balloons at the replacement nurses. I saw them walk in front of the buses bringing in these nurses. These were my friends.
After three weeks, I decided to ask why? What do you want? Is it just the mandatory overtime or is it just the word?
Where would we be if there were no mandatory measures to fill in the gaps? The hospital doesn't close like a mall. Is the answer to hire agency nurses? How about recruiting younger new nurses?
Why would a nurse come to work when she would never see a summer vacation or major holiday with time off? This is the way the union contract has read for at least 10 years in some departments. There has to be a compromise.
In a friendship, when someone doesn't live up to our expectations, we get hurt. To go on, we must work at the relationship. I felt that I had friends on both sides of the bargaining table, and I am truly disappointed.
Can't we put aside our pride and work together for our common goal: to care for our patients?
JONI S. CANBY, D.O.
Landlords should mow
Landlords who own vacant houses should be fined if they don't cut the grass. In our neighborhood especially, the grass is almost as tall as I am.
Our South Side neighborhood looks terrible.
JEANIE Z. GERLACH