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Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 12/2/2000

Why target poor for `brownfields' work?

Who came up with the idea of targeting the poor, single mothers, and minorities for jobs cleaning up toxic “brownfields”? Which legislators, which corporate lobbyists trying to get off on the cheap, which regulatory agency buffoons are responsible? Do such crazy and diabolical schemes just slide by? This is nuts!

Can you imagine the response 20 years ago when asbestos removal from office buildings and factories was a growing concern, if this same idea had been proposed? “Let's get the poor and minorities in those buildings tearing out asbestos for way below the going wage scale - yeah, that's a good training program.”

Fortunately for those workers, they had the Asbestos Workers union and the Laborers union. Let's hope any brownfields shock troops also organize. Let's see unions and responsible public officials demand prevailing wage for these workers. Let's see the industry pay what it must to attract workers. Let's see this whole greedy, inhuman, idiotic scheme get thrown right back at whoever dreamed it up. In fact, let's offer this wonderful training opportunity to anyone having anything to do with it and see how good an idea it is then!

MIKE FERNER

113th Street

It is encouraging to see a major U.S. newspaper such as The Toledo Blade step forward and say what most everyone in this country is thinking.

Why don't we stop our billions of cash and military hardware to Israel, so that they don't have the resources to kill the oppressed Palestinians? Americans should encourage the United Nations to step in as the neutral peacekeepers. The sooner the better.

FRANK and CARA ULRICH

Archbold

When The Blade endorsed Al Gore, you downplayed concerns about his character as less critical than his experience and grasp of the issues. It is time for you to reconsider that position.

Mr. Gore seems perfectly willing to sacrifice the ability of anyone to govern for the next four years to the demands of his ambition. He has lost an extremely close election in Florida. It was an imperfect process, but there was no fraud, no equipment failure, no natural disaster that denied him victory. Yet all he can see is that a very selective process of reviewing ballots can be used to produce a result that shows him ahead and the country must wait until that process is done and that result achieved.

This reveals a character that should worry everyone who treasures democracy. However, until those who supported his positions condemn his actions, he will continue on this road and America will suffer for it.

JOSEPH McGEE

Sylvania

When I was 18, I registered to vote. I was called for jury duty and served. When I got married and moved, I didn't re-register because I didn't want to serve again. More people would vote if all drivers of adult age were required to serve on a jury. A jury of one's peers would be more obtainable from licensed drivers than strictly registered voters. If a person is given a license to drive, then the state recognizes the person as a responsible adult who can make a well-informed decision. This would enable the jury pool to include a more diversified group of peers.

PATRICIA BARKER

Perrysburg

Your Nov. 26 editorial “Chaos theory in Florida” asserted that the hand counting in Florida is an objective, nonpartisan activity. If so, how do you explain the fact that every new hand count in counties run by Democrat canvassing boards resulted in additional votes for Al Gore? Common sense would indicate a more even distribution of additional votes from a recount of inadequately punched ballots. An independent statistician has estimated that the increase in votes for Mr. Gore in Florida has the same probability as a person being struck by lightning 30 times.

You falsely assert that the electoral process had been denigrated by Republicans beginning on Election Day. Actually, it was the Gore campaign that did this by hiring a telemarketing firm to encourage people in Palm Beach County to complain that they were confused by the butterfly ballots, then sent in the Rev. Jesse Jackson and an army of lawyers to intimidate three Democrat-controlled counties to recount. It wasn't until several days later that the Republicans entered the fray, objecting to the biased recounts and blatant changes in counting rules to benefit Mr. Gore.

The Blade joined in the ad-hominem attacks on Katherine Harris without mentioning anything she has done to abuse her legal obligations. These attacks against the lone Republican official fail to mention the small army of Democratic officials who have been blatantly abusing the system.

The Democrats have learned from the Clinton experience that it is not right or wrong that matters, but lawyers who can twist the truth and public relations flacks who can manipulate a compliant liberal media. Public opinion condemned Bill Clinton personally but suggested that he should not be impeached. Emboldened, they are trying to exploit the system once again.

MARIO GOVEIA

West Bancroft Street

I am a physician in the area and served in the U.S. Navy, from which I was discharged honorably several years ago with the rank of commander. I served on board ships with Destroyer Squadron 22 and at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan. I can tell you for a fact that most of the people on ships and in foreign duty stations would rather be somewhere else - like home or at least stateside.

It is insulting to be sent to uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous places (see USS Cole) and to have one's vote thrown out on a technicality (postmark) that is not recognized as necessary by federal law because Al Gore, et al., think that the military doesn't vote right. If Mr. Gore manages to steal the election, military morale will plummet. Many people aren't aware that the military is having trouble retaining key people such as experienced combat pilots. Or that, except for the Marines, recruiters haven't been able to meet their quotas, indicating that morale is low already.

I meant to write this letter to The Blade earlier, but I was intimidated by a howling, unruly Republican mob (see Blade editorial) and am just now recovering.

THOMAS A. ROONEY

Perrysburg

Those of us less affluent seniors in Sylvania Township and Sylvania no doubt find ourselves wondering if there will ever be a system whereby schools are supported by something other than real estate taxes. In other words, will there ever be a politician who can come up with a feasible plan so that we are all paying equally? Or will we go to our final resting place without knowing such a miracle? That is, if we can afford a final resting place after we pay our real estate taxes.

SANDY FLICK

Rose Acres Drive



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