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Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Published: Friday, 3/30/2001

Strong vision is needed to revive Toledo

The census results are in, and the city of Toledo continues to lose residents. No one should be surprised. The decline of residents was preplanned and effectively accomplished.

Several decades ago the city came up with this idea termed “urban renewal.” It should have been called “urban removal.” It continues today with the mayor avidly pursuing the destruction of many inner city homes. Where will people live once homes are torn down? If they want to remain in the area, they have to purchase homes in the suburbs. That in and of itself is not a problem, but when you also destroy the central business district, then a problem occurs.

Several years ago the city of Toledo was ranked 27th in terms of population, ahead of certain cities, such as Denver, Colo., which has a viable central business district and a downtown. Ten minutes after the close of business, downtown Toledo is almost a ghost town. If the city of Toledo is not careful, Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania, or Oregon will be the major area in this county.

The powers that be have allowed firms to reject doing business downtown in favor of doing business in the suburbs, and they could have provided an environment more favorable for them. They have made the downtown one big parking lot, and for what?

In order for the city to reach its potential our leaders are going to have to shelve their archaic ideas and become visionaries. It might be a little too late for the older generation, but for the city to retain and encourage other younger citizens to live here they are going to have to shake the old ways of doing business.

CALVIN K. BANKS, JR.

Ewing Street

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First we're going to remodel the Toledo Sports Arena; then we're not. Then, once again, we're going to remodel the arena; then we're not. Then we're going to build a new arena right behind the existing one, then we're not. Then we're going to build a new arena adjacent to the Convention Center to take advantage of the tremendous synergy those buildings could share; then we're not.

Then we decide to build the new baseball stadium in that same exact space adjacent to the Convention Center. Then we're going to build a new arena as part of the Marina District project. Then we start to think, maybe it's better after all to build the new arena downtown, only now it has to be a few blocks from the Convention Center, because we can no longer build it next door. (Now, evidently, it will remain on the East Side.) It has taken us years to get this far.

It's time for the elected officials to quit worrying about re-election, start behaving like leaders, not politicians, and not hesitate to make decisions and live with them. Isn't that what we elect them to do?

For decades now, opportunity after opportunity has passed by Toledo and Lucas County because the elected refuse to lead. How much longer can we afford to allow this to go on?

DAVE KUBACKI

Maumee

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Poor UT! It doesn't have enough housing for its students. Gee, I wonder why? It wouldn't possibly have anything to do with spending money on landscaping and sports instead of finding a way to build student housing.

I've got an idea! Why don't they use some of the vacant buildings that are suitable for conversion to housing and create student housing? There are warehouse buildings, office buildings, and I think there are even some schools available that could be converted to dorms or rooms or suites. They are all over the city.

Since UT already has bus service to several residential complexes, it should not be a problem to change routes and add them. Such housing could be all over town. It could even be minimalist like the youth hostels for students on walking tours in Europe.

I bet there are builders that would love to create such facilities and lease them through UT for students.

Students in the downtown area would need food courts and groceries. They would need recreation. They would use the library. They would light up the night and participate in the summer festivities. In areas with large numbers of vacant buildings they could bring back life into blighted neighborhoods.

Rather than bemoan the fact that the enrollment is dropping (high tuition and lack of housing, maybe?) and spending cash for a “wannabe in the top 10 football or basketball league,” they could do something for the students like affordable housing and smaller classes. It seems to me UT is more interested in meeting the alumni's athletic interests than its students' college educational goals.

ANN MARIE FULLER

Kepler Road

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Ann McFeatters is “baffled” by President Bush. People will not spend the tax cut, she opines. They have suffered paper losses in the stock market. Ann thinks that the government should keep the money. That way she knows it will be well spent.

Ann is puzzled because Mr. Bush is giving “goodies” to businesses, like requiring people to pay off credit card debt. In Ann's book, stiffing a business is not a bad thing. So what if this leads to layoffs. Goes to show how greedy they are.

Ann wants Mr. Bush to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. After all, he promised! Never mind that for eight long years Bill Clinton mindlessly encouraged such nonsense and discouraged new supplies of energy leading to a looming energy crisis. To hell with energy, Ann opines.

Now look what Mr. Bush has done! Downgraded Russia, “causing” it to sell arms to Iran. He has angered China by supporting Taiwan. He does not trust North Korea. Shame on him! All the North Koreans did was break their promises! Bill Clinton knew that appeasing our adversaries was the way to go. Neville Chamberlain knew. What does Mr. Bush know?

Ann is upset because Mr. Bush wants the Europeans to keep the Balkans from blowing up. This won't do. Why, it is only we who can keep the peace. Hasn't anyone told Mr. Bush that we must get our forces involved in nation building? Not in Africa, though. Too bad all those Rwandans had to die.

Oops, that pesky faith-based initiative has to be tweaked! Proves that Mr. Bush doesn't know what he is doing. Now Hillary, there was a planner! A village for the kids, health care for all of us. Oh, for the good old days!

It's going to be a long eight years for liberals.

MARIO GOVEIA

West Bancroft Street

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In reference to the letter on Ohio State's class sizes being too large, I was sorry to hear about such a negative experience at Ohio State University. I guess there is a sour grape in every bunch.

After three years at Ohio State, I have yet to experience that. I believe that's the magic of Ohio State. A university of 55,000 students, and I can still be an individual - a big fish in a big pond.

The university is not the nightmare that the writer remembers. There are real live professors with graduate teaching assistants (who speak excellent English) to assist them and the students. In fact, Ohio State attracts some of the top faculty in all of its areas of study, and the student to faculty ratio is 14:1.

If you look past the size and numbers, you would find a wide open door of opportunity. A large school does not mean 300 students and a robot or television teaching the class. In fact, 89 percent of the classes offered are for between one and 50 students.

A large prestigious research and teaching institution such as Ohio State translates into some of the best faculty with the greatest and most diverse education possible providing an open window to the best opportunities. As I graduate next spring, I will proudly display my degree.

I am sorry to hear that some never caught Buckeye fever. In life, some of us are nuts, and some of us are Buckeyes!

RACHEL WENGROW

Sylvania

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Money and politics. To paraphrase President Lincoln, we are now “a government of the rich and influential, for the rich and influential, by the rich and influential.”

And people wonder why there is voter apathy. The poor and what is left of the middle class have no say or chance anymore.

STEPHEN R. KELLOGG

Champion Street



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