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Published: Tuesday, 3/6/2001

Maumee Youth Center has a vital role

The proposed closing of the state's Maumee Youth Center in Henry County, a 120-bed drug treatment facility, for budgetary purposes is pennywise and pound foolish. The center is one of only two substance abuse treatment-specific facilities operated by the Ohio Department of Youth Services. DYS has more than 2,000 youths incarcerated and 2,100 in community care.

The director of DYS argues that the Maumee Youth Center is no longer in demand because under the philosophy of criminalizing delinquency, most of the department's commitments are felon offenders who would not fit in at a non-fenced, minimum-security facility. The director states that the Reclaim Ohio program of the community division is enough to meet the needs of substance-abusing youths. This is simply not true.

The director of DYS fails to account for the fact that 75 percent of Ohio's DYS commitments self-report drug or alcohol abuse as a precipitating factor leading up to or during the perpetration of the offense. The director fails to account for the serious lack of treatment beds available for substance-abusing youth offenders. The director ignores the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in developing a trained work force at the Maumee Youth Center.

Finally, the director fails to recognize the upcoming huge demographic shift where the state of Ohio will see hundreds of thousands of young folks hit the age of 14. We will need a facility such as the Maumee Youth Center even more than we do now.

Most addiction professionals agree that youth treatment beds have been and remain a serious need in the addiction field. We should keep the Maumee Youth Center open and place those youths who truly need this type of setting. Closing this facility makes no sense and belies this administration's claim to being pro-treatment.

JACK FORD

House Minority Leader

Given the Feb. 22 article about Sylvania schools' curriculum renovations to fill elementary school holes, and recent state proficiency test scores failing to achieve a 75 percent passing rate with fourth- and sixth-graders, surely the time is long overdue that we look into using the year-round balanced calendar as used in Europe and Japan, where students do much better academically than here. The nine-month calendar was not designed for better education.

C. “SPOT” MASTERSON

Parliament Square

Good cartoon showing Mr. and Mrs. Got Bucks sitting on their yacht, the “Bush Tax Cut.” But I saw something different than I think the cartoonist was trying to impart. There they are enjoying the fruits of their efforts on at least a half-million dollar toy, possibly a Hatteras manufactured here in America, powered by a couple 3208 Diesels manufactured by Caterpillar, and have a lot of other products on board made here in the good old USA. In addition, they have rented a nice slip at a marina and are providing jobs to take care of their toy every season.

Yes, they will get at least a $45,000 tax break and hopefully they'll buy a new Cadillac or Lincoln with their refund (instead of a brand “L” promoted by Tom Daschle). If they can't find anything else to buy, maybe they'll improve the financial strength by investing in a good American company or donate their good fortune to some worthwhile endeavor.

But I envy them and wish they'd give me a ride on their nice yacht.

D.R. JAMESON

Perrysburg

Michigan's 10-cent container deposit is a model for all 50 states.

With more than 98 percent of beverage cans and bottles returned, Michigan is a leader in recycling.

While some Michigan grocers complain that they have become garbage collectors, of all recyclable material, aluminum is the most profitable.

The Blade story said it best. “There is one thing you won't see much along Michigan's scenic highways - litter.”

Ohio's Governor Taft should take notice.

FRANK ALBERTS

Brooke Park Drive

Your recent report on Jeep safety couldn't have come at a worse time. With the slowing of the automobile market came the ending of our Cherokee line, and the ending of second shift on the Wrangler line. The result of this is worker layoffs.

For thousands in our area, Jeep has played a significant role in the economy of the area. Taxes that are paid supply governments with cash, restaurants are busy, and even luxury items such as newspapers sell briskly.

Why is it then, that The Blade seems to shed a negative light on Jeep? A recent article referred to the plant as a “morass.” Millions of dollars have been poured into this plant to make it safe and competitive. How much profit has this “morass” produced in the last 20 years?

You refer to the Parkway plant as a 90-year-old factory. Do you judge a business by the outer shell? Why not apply this same standard to The Blade? Is it, too, an old, outdated facility? Is the Blade ready to hire about 2,000 laid-off autoworkers? Why not write about the economic prosperity that Jeep has brought to this area?

RICK SHORTRIDGE

Oregon

I am a movie buff; I'll admit it. I eagerly anticipated the announcement of this year's Academy Award nominees and read the list with interest. Like Christopher Borrelli, I was surprised by some of the choices, disappointed in others. However, I must take umbrage with Mr. Borrelli's assessment of the “hip” screenplay of American Psycho. I seldom miss a movie and rarely walk out on one, but this film so sickened and repulsed me that I found myself fleeing the theater. Hip? I find it a sad commentary on our times.

Recently my 82-year-old father asked me to tape episodes of the old Andy Griffith show. Not too thrilled, but being the dutiful daughter, I sat down to this task. I soon found myself hooked on the wholesome images emanating from my screen. As for me, I think I will meander back to Mayberry and leave this “hip” new world to Mr. Borrelli.

KAREN McCREERY

Waterville

Cablevision, seen in millions of homes throughout United States, has increased the availability of channels that were not readily accessible. Presently C-SPAN 2 provides the public with most - and all the important - actions of the U.S. Senate. There has been continued improvement in this service for a couple of decades. This effort is commendable.

Prior to this innovation any news of the Senate's activities came from newspapers, radio, or television. From those sources the average person had little interest in Senate activities. Little was known about senators from other states and actually not many people could name their own state's senators.

While many may consider this particular programming unappealing, since speeches are long and the Senate's day-to-day progress is slow, occasionally viewing can be rewarding. One learns names and is soon able to identify various senators. Most of this select group are well qualified and many are excellent speakers.

Watch some of this Senate action. This is an easy way to bet-ter understand the actual working of our government.

OLAN D. SNAVELY

Sylvania

Why go `0 to 60 mph' in seconds?

When will car manufacturers stop selling speed to our young people? Why do car commercials have to emphasize the speed possibilities instead of the car's design?

Let's try to save these young lives instead of instigating them to go from “0 to 60 mph” in seconds. Our youngsters watch these commercials from infancy. These young lives are precious. Just ask someone who has lost a loved one to speed.

THERESA HALLORAN

Rossford



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