There is no doubt that the MV-22 Osprey, like all modern military aircraft programs, is a significant investment, but your Jan. 2 editorial (“This turkey shouldn't fly”) suggesting that the tiltrotor aircraft ought to be scrapped in the wake of the recent accident that cost the lives of four Marines is unfair and shortsighted.
Since the Dec. 11 mishap, we have suspended MV-22 flight operations; we have appointed a general officer not associated with the V-22 program to conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident; we have asked the Navy Department to delay its decision to proceed with full-rate production of the MV-22, and we have asked the secretary of Defense to appoint an independent panel to review the V-22 program.
After six years of extensive testing and more than 4,000 hours of flight, we believe the MV-22 to be safer and far more capable than the Vietnam-era helicopter it's replacing. Compared with the nearly 40-year-old CH-46E, in which I personally have flown more than 3,000 hours and more than 1,500 combat missions, the MV-22 flies twice as fast, five times as far, with triple the payload - a leap in combat effectiveness that will save lives. For very good reason, the pilots who fly the Osprey are its strongest supporters.
Though we remain confident in this aircraft, we believe it prudent in light of the recent accident to pause and review the program. Marine Corps leaders, more than anyone else, want to ensure that this aircraft is safe, suitable, and effective for use by Marines before we move forward with full-rate production.
The Osprey is the right aircraft to meet the Marine Corps' operational requirements, and we're confident others will agree once they look closely at this program.
Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps, Aviation
I was horrified to read that a 17-year-old child was sentenced by an Islamic Court in Nigeria to a flogging of 180 lashes for having premarital sex.
Premarital sex may be against the laws of Islam but a flogging of 180 lashes is a draconian sentence of inhuman and unspeakable proportion. In effect this child will be beaten to death. Her flesh will be flayed from her bones and she will suffer in pain and agony.
Should she be unable to stand this punishment, it further states that the punishment could be halted and continued later. In other words she has the option of being beaten to death incrementally.
Remember, this is a 17-year-old child. If an animal were treated in a like manner every protest group would be out there marching and protesting. The abuse of this poor child does not even bring a whimper.
This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages. Is there no mercy in Islam? Are there no liberals in Islam to protest and prevent such a travesty? If premarital sex is a capital crime, surely there must be a more humane method of execution. Of course, the girl must have had a male partner. What will his punishment be?
Surely there must be a way to save this child. My prayers will be with her.
Progress has once again graced the Toledo area with its presence. For better or for worse, the city is welcoming this fair-weather friend with open arms.
In north Toledo, residents of a mobile home park are about to be kicked to the curb in order to clear the way for a proposal that would build more stores in an area infamous for its failed retail outlets.
In Sylvania Township, the board of trustees, ignoring the wishes of the residents they represent, continue to give developers the green light to pave over the last open tracts in that community.
The Marina district, to be built with the taxpayers' money without their approval, will spur traffic on infrastructure that simply cannot support it.
In addition, there is no good reason that the Acme power plant cannot be saved. Since the asbestos has to be removed regardless of whether the building is to be razed, cleanup costs cannot be a factor. This building with the “cavernous” interior could be converted into an ice rink, dance club, natatorium, indoor market, civic center, auxiliary arena, batting cages, putting greens, the mayor's prized hoops project, or a museum of industry. It seems that imagination, along with accountability, is not one of Frank Kass' strong points.
Here in Toledo, it appears that progress is not positive advancement, but selling out to the highest bidder.
At first glance, the tremendous number of retail vacancies would lead a person to believe that the area cannot support retailers. With close to 700,000 square feet of vacant space within one mile, that conclusion can easily be made. However, in every case, the loss of a particular retailer was part of some event occurring on a national basis.
Here are some specifics.
Handy Andy filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidated all U.S. stores.
Builders Square met the same fate as Handy Andy. Pharmor filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closed many stores, and reorganized.
Wal-Mart acquired the Pace Warehouse chain from K-mart and subsequently closed locations in cities which conflicted with Sam's Club facilities.
BJ's Wholesale filed Chapter 11, closed many locations, reorganized, and is successfully operating.
Elder-Beerman filed Chapter 11, closed under-performing stores, and is successfully operating.
Dillard's closed North Towne Mall, part of their Mercantile Stores acquisition, which was under performing, and operates four locations in Toledo.
Montgomery Ward will close all U.S. stores and cease operations after 129 years in business.
When new retailers analyze this area, the Trade Area statistics are impressive. The population density and traffic counts are some of the strongest available. Existing retailers in this area generate strong store sales. Most national retailers, however, will not attempt to retrofit a structure. Their operations and merchandising are too precise to work in any structure other than ones they typically use. We are witnessing that with the redevelopment of the former Handy Andy site for Home Depot.
What will drive re-use of existing buildings is new development. With the closing of the final anchor at North Towne Mall looming, all avenues of development in this once-vibrant Trade Area should be examined. We will only have a short window of opportunity.
DAVID P. LONG
I would ask that you discontinue referring to three great high schools as “the former” DeVilbiss, Macomber, and Whitney. There must be literally thousands in the Toledo area who do not think of them in that manner.
Upon returning last year to the Toledo area after nearly 33 years of absence, I was disappointed to learn that DeVilbiss, Macomber, and Whitney were no longer open. The City League is not the same without the Tigers and the MacMen. These three fine institutions added much to the community, particularly when I was growing up here in the 1950s and 1960s. I'm sure it would do no good to revisit the circumstances leading to the decisions to close these fine schools; sometimes it is best not to recall such pain.
But in the mind of this Start graduate, those schools are still alive, as they must be for the many fine men and women who experienced the emotional peaks and valleys of high school life in those hallowed halls: the pep rallies, the proms, the championships, the last-second losses. Let's just drop “the former” when referring to DeVilbiss, Macomber, and Whitney. They're still there for many of us.
MEL De MARS
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