Regarding the renaming of a Toledo street for Martin Luther King, Jr.: No matter what the official name of the street will be, there is a very good chance that it will only be referred to as King Street. (Most people say the King Bridge, not the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Bridge.)
There already is a King Street in Toledo. (It is off Hawley Street.) It is only about a block long, but there are houses on it.
If the address numbers happen to overlap on both the streets, there could be a safety problem. If someone calls that his house is on fire or someone is having a heart attack - and he uses a cell phone for the call - the 911 system will not be able to show from which street he is calling. In an emergency, people often give inaccurate information because they are excited or nervous. The emergency vehicles could be sent to the wrong street and precious minutes needed to save a life or a house would be lost.
There is also King Road and Kings Cove in the area. If someone is not familiar with the area and calls in an emergency from a cell phone, again there could be problems. (Personally, I have used a cell phone within the city limits to call 911 and one time got the Ohio Highway Patrol. The person answering that time was not familiar with Toledo.)
So, if someone who is not familiar with the area winds up talking to someone else who is not familiar with Toledo, where will they send the emergency crews?
I have been substitute teaching for Washington Local Schools for the past 10 years. I also substituted for our Toledo school system.
During these years, I have been in many classrooms and have seen the tremendous amount of time, energy, and personal funds that teachers put into their classrooms to stimulate learning and creativity.
I have substituted for teachers who are attending in-service training and seminars to increase their teaching proficiency and expertise with computer technology.
Of course students need to stand in line when in the corridors. Of course there needs to be some standardized teaching techniques. The classrooms would be total chaos and anarchy without this.
I'm sure columnist Eileen Foley would not survive in a classroom for half a day. Why is it that the people who know the least about situations seem to be the ones who complain the loudest? The book that Ms. Foley quoted was written quite awhile ago. Perhaps it is she who has not done her homework.
MRS. TERRIE STONG
In response to a recent letter, “Substitute teaching is just crowd control:”
I, too, was a substitute in Toledo Public Schools and now have been teaching as a contract teacher for 10 years. My mother also taught for Toledo schools, as an art teacher, for 20 years. When I entered the challenging role of substitute teacher, my mother's advice was, “Come prepared.” Always bring a book bag of materials: crayons, construction paper, and a few extra lessons in math, social studies, science, or reading. Bring a couple of kid-favorite books such as The Alphabet Theater or The True Story of The Big Bad Wolf.
Most teachers leave a lesson plan for the substitute to follow, but occasionally, for whatever circumstantial or personal reason, this is not possible. Therefore, always come prepared. If you are ready for the children, they will be ready to learn. If you greet them at the door because you are genuinely happy to see them, they will respond.
Remember, children are people, too. Bring a few treats. Bring a snack. Bring a box of paper cups and let the children have access to a glass of water at their desks during the day. Give the kids responsibility, and I guarantee they will live up to your expectations.
A carpenter would not think of going to work without his/her tools, nor a doctor without a stethoscope, or a salesman without catalogs. Don't forget to pack your sense of humor, too, and a genuine love for kids! Or perhaps teaching is just not your calling.
A Dec. 27 article regarding fees for senior citizens at the University of Toledo seemed to suggest that those responsible for this decision are using fuzzy math.
It is my understanding that classes are offered but not actually held unless a predetermined minimum number of regular, full-fee students register. Then and only then are senior citizens allowed to register but only as space is available. Of course, the senior citizen would still pay fees for supplies and a parking permit.
Therefore, I fail to see how UT is spending the reported $170,000 annually to waive class fees for senior citizens. I would certainly agree UT might enjoy an additional $170,000 income if full-fee students filled those seats, but can that be interpreted to mean that this amount was spent when all that has happened is that a senior citizen has utilized an otherwise empty seat? I think not.
A letter in the Jan. 17 Readers' Forum deserves a response. Unfortunately, the writer is probably biased, being a hearing aid dealer who profits from the extremely high cost of aids.
Extremely high costs? Definitely. Costs range $800 to $5,000 per pair. Aids for both ears are generally recommended.
As a user of hearing aids, I have long protested excessive costs. Consumers' Union reports that the dealers are primarily responsible, marking up their cost 200 percent to 400 percent.
It is the senior citizens who are the primary victims of the situation, because most of us eventually suffer hearing loss as we age. Therefore, I welcome efforts of the Songbird company to reduce costs.
We've said good-bye to a great president. He has repeatedly told us of his wonderful accomplishments. However, he has failed to tell us of his two most outstanding contributions to American society.
He has changed our beloved Ten Commandments to Ten Suggestions.
And he has shown that you can place your hand on your beloved Bible and tell what you consider the truth as long as, in your own mind, it is what you want the truth to be and thus it is not a lie unless you are somehow caught. Maybe that Bible he carries should be inspected to see how many pages are missing. May we emphatically say good-bye and somehow try to forget.
CLYDE G. STEELE
Old Lyme Drive
With the Bush administration still settling in, the GOP is also settling old scores. While an overwhelming majority of Americans support campaign finance reform, George the Lesser is more interested in attacking the rights of working people.
Mr. Bush, who faces a bipartisan majority for reform led by fellow Republican John McCain, has made clear that he won't consider signing any campaign finance legislation unless it also attacks the ability of unions to support candidates who represent working people's interests. While Mr. Bush happily pocketed big money from any corporation with an ax to grind or subsidy to protect, he evidently doesn't like to have to compete on a level playing field.
Union members, who voted overwhelmingly against Mr. Bush, should take heed. He remembers. And no paltry bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress can make him forgive and forget.