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Published: Saturday, 11/18/2000

Has our prosperity obscured our vision?

Three articles on the front of the Nov. 5 Blade left me wondering what the priorities of Americans are in this “the most prosperous time in history,” as one article stated. Another article touted the potential success of yet another casino in Detroit and its hope to attract high rollers. A third article dealt with the education of our children and the presidential candidates' education agendas.

Funding for schools and our children's education should not be such a problem if America is experiencing its most prosperous period. What is more important? Building gambling casinos and providing a flashy and fun way to give money away, or using our prosperity to finance a good education for our children and grandchildren?

Recent news stories repeat the often-heard heartbreaking stories of homeowners and retirees on fixed incomes who cry “we shouldn't have to help build new schools or hire good teachers or provide new school books - we're barely making ends meet.”

Then some of them (note: not all of them) say, “Let's bring casinos to Toledo and fund the schools from the gambling and new jobs that they will bring in.” Are the same people who balk at paying $100 more per year on their taxes to invest in education the same people who think nothing of traveling to Detroit and dropping $100 or more at one pop in the slot machines that are now available? Most of them probably are not. But, at least to me, there seems to be some correlation when, in a time of great prosperity, Americans seem to be more interested in casinos than they are in schools.

DAN WHITMAN

Deigle Drive

According to news reports, Gov. Bob Taft “... pressed into service” two Ohio National Guard F-16 fighters during the airport visit by George W. Bush. The first question that comes to mind is who picked up the tab for the jets to be part of the Bush rally?

If they were simply performing a regularly scheduled drill, then OK. But if Mr. Taft requested the pilots to do a fly-over to provide a campaign boost for Mr. Bush, then I have a problem with the cost involved.

Where in the state's budget is there a provision to use National Guard money for a partisan political rally? Maybe Mr. Taft is going to reimburse the state for the pilots' time (or did they donate their services?). Talk about big spending.

I think the use of the Guard's F-16s speaks volumes.

ED BURNHAM

Sheffield Court

As an American voter who respects our democratic system, I feel that George W. Bush is morally bound to call for a re-vote in the places in Florida where confusing ballots made voting difficult. Any person who would lead America as president and who says “I trust the people” should be happy to allow concerned citizens to vote their minds. Someone who says he wants to “restore honor and dignity to the White House” should not allow himself to come to power in such a questionable and possibly illegitimate way.

Al Gore won the popular vote; George Bush should acknowledge that every step should be taken to ensure the true will of the American people is heard. We have to look at why we vote in the first place - to express our desire for how the country should be governed. If thousands of people say they were not able to accurately express themselves, it should be our moral obligation to make sure this is corrected.

CAROL J. RIGHI

Rose Garden Drive

The design of the ballot in Palm Beach County leaves no doubt. First name on the ballot ... first punch hole. The confusion is for all the non-Bush votes submitted. Since the 19,000 confused voters weren't voting for George W. Bush, we are left to wonder what might have been. I believe the attempts at disallowing the hand recount of nonconfused voter ballots is a transparent attempt by the Bush people to abscond with the presidency.

WINIFRED A. DUNHAM

Maumee

A very, very slim margin separates George W. Bush and Al Gore in Florida and really in the whole country. That margin is a dividing line for many. Too small of a margin to call it a victory - especially with those 20,000-plus ballots in question. People who can't understand how the mistake could be made on those ballots call the people stupid or ignorant because they are too close-minded to try to understand how this could happen.

But with 100 or a few hundred votes, we could chalk it up to stupidity. With 20,000 ballots in question, (and more than 15,000 in the 1996 election in the same county), it is extremely obvious that there is a problem with the ballots that should have been resolved four years ago. This would not be an issue were the vote not so close. However, if those 20,000 ballots are for Mr. Bush, great, then he has a bigger lead and we can be done with this charade. If those 20,000 votes are for Mr. Gore, then that paints a very different picture.

Perhaps we should have co-presidents - and force Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush to work together and end some of this division that's pulling our country apart.

Because that is unlikely, we must simply accept whatever the final decision is and be good Americans and stand by our president, whoever that turns out to be.

BRENDA VANDEGRIFT

Lambertville

I can't believe America is in an uproar over the issue that we “don't have a president.” Well, we do. President Clinton is in office until Jan. 20. So, let's hurry up with the vote counting and get a new one, right? So we can then complain about that somewhere down the road.

Relax people! Have you ever heard of patience? I would rather have this resolved fair and just. After all, that IS the American way.

One more thing. I bet if the situation were reversed, George W. Bush would be doing the same thing about the recount, unless he was reassured by brother Jeb that the votes are stacked in his favor. Think about it. Why else would he be opposed to it? I know it can be aggravating to say the least, but if he's so sure that he's going to be our next president, you would think he'd go along with the recount, sit back, and relax, knowing what the turnout will be.

SHELLY GELDIEN

Rossford

I find it ironic that the Republicans who were deaf to the voice of the people against impeaching the president of the United States are the same Republicans who are deaf to the voice of democracy crying out loud and clear.

When are they going to learn that the voice of the people is America?

Could it be too much ear wax?

MARY PRICE

Swanton

It doesn't surprise me that Toledo's population is down.

We have torn down many old neighborhoods that had high levels of population density and we paved over two townships. What do you expect? That is why we keep being asked to raise school taxes as the pool of taxpayers keeps dropping.

But I bet the automobile population of Toledo is still going up. We will have to get rid of another 20,000 or more people in the next decade to make room for this increase in automobiles.

Maybe the property tax rates should include the number of motor vehicles titled to property. Then we could cut the income tax rate. But then maybe residents of Toledo like seeing their city turned into a junkyard.

MARK BUCKLEY

Mellwood Avenue



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