I read with interest your editorial entitled “Beware the Water Pirates.”
As a former Great Lakes mayor, and as a town administrator in the North Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, I can assure you that water is a major issue in these parts, but not to the extent that we are looking to the Great Lakes region for relief.
Since I have been in Colorado, I have had to learn a lot about “water law.” Here, water is real property, something that you have to own in order to use it. Due to its limited supply, water is a resource that we take seriously, and require each owner of property to buy in order to build a house.
Much has been published about the growth in the western states. While Colorado has seen its population swell by 1 million residents in the last decade, the limited supply of water will also serve as the factor by which growth will be managed and controlled. Fully half of our population is against the proliferation of growth in our state, and ultimately, the water supply will serve as the vehicle for this limitation.
By the way, hydroelectric power (electricity from running water) is still a viable source of electricity that we use every day to provide cheap power to our residents, something the Great Lakes states could learn from.
No one here is looking for Great Lakes water to supplement our limited supply. In fact, most of our residents believe we will do just fine without it.
Former Mayor, Maumee
Administrator, Berthoud, Colo.
I was shocked to learn that 600 people had signed petitions to the University of Toledo's president to hire another professor into the “women's and gender studies” department. I was dismayed that this department's chairwoman seriously asserted that the department is “of central importance” to the mission of the university. And I was disgusted to learn that the interim president of the university had promised to look into it and had reaffirmed the university's commitment to diversity of gender and race.
Why shock, dismay, and disgust? Because I, for one, believe that militant feminism and any racism have no place in publicly funded institutions. It's my opinion that neither feminism nor racism should ever be the basis of a department in a university.
A university is a place where students spend time and money expecting to be educated, not propagandized. A publicly funded university is a place where taxpayers expect genuine scholarship, competent instruction, and, above all, tolerance for diversity of ideas and opinions.
Now, a student can avoid the propagandistic university by going elsewhere. But a taxpayer must either pay taxes that go to subsidize this sort of insidious nonsense or be locked up, or worse, if he or she resists.
This is why those who wish to indoctrinate young students to their point of view should go off on their own and pay the full cost of the effort instead of hitching a free ride with a public institution. It is also why those entrusted with the education of students and the money gathered from taxpayers should never spend university funds on ideological incubators masquerading as academic departments.
PETER S. MILLER
Thank you for your April 7 editorial, “AARP's split personality.” It highlighted key aspects of AARP's renewed effort to address the needs and interests of each of the segments (the pre-retired 50-59 years, retired 60-74 years, and late retired 75 years and older) of its diverse membership. As an organization of more than 34 million people, of which 1.5 million are from Ohio, the researched needs and concerns of each segment of the membership differ greatly.
With the rapid growth of the baby boomers/pre-retired segment, AARP is giving special attention to that segment of potential and existing members. Please note the American Association of Retired Persons has changed its name to AARP, a nonprofit membership organization of persons 50 and older dedicated to addressing their needs and interests. No longer should AARP be known as an organization for retired persons only, as it seeks through education, advocacy, and service to enhance the equality of life for all by promoting independence, dignity, and purpose.
AARP strives to have a dynamic presence in every community. It has therefore changed its staffing structure to include operational and service offices in each of the 50 states and three territories. Its Volunteer Review Program, designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its many volunteers, is near completion. The organization is each of its many and varied members. To that extent, AARP has adopted the new tagline “Your Choice, Your Voice, Your Attitude.”
As state president, I have observed many changes in AARP, but none as significant as those which have occurred in the past few months. The organization continues to provide many invaluable member and community services, and remains a strong vigilant advocate for those issues that positively impact the lives of America's aging population.
JOSEPH C. SOMMERVILLE
AARP State President, Ohio
Recently I read that Ohio teens are contracting more sexually transmitted diseases than in recent years. I also read some of the claimed reasons, such as they are not practicing “safe sex.” Perhaps we are somewhat self-defeating in our teaching of “safe sex.” First, should be taught in a more accurate perception. It should be referred to as “less risky sex.” That is actually what it is.
Someone once asked the question “If you absolutely knew for sure someone had AIDS would you have sex with them with a condom?” I have to believe that most people would say no. Perhaps instead of pushing safe sex we could teach the consequences of being a teenage parent, the life sentence of AIDS or God forbid (I think I can still use the G word in public), what the author Dr. Scott Peck refers to as delayed gratification. Abstinence is truly “safe sex.” Anything else is just “less risky sex.”
After reading “Port may ask court to set price on land for airport interchange,” once again I am amazed by the myopic view of the authorities and commissions that make decisions on road needs in Lucas County.
As a commuter who uses the Salisbury Road interchange daily I could not agree more with the need for improvement there. An interchange at U.S. 20-A is also long overdue. What I absolutely disagree with is the “port authority study (that) identified Maumee-Western Road as the best possible route for main access to Toledo Express Airport.”
Poppycock! The best access to the airport is the Ohio Turnpike gate which drops people off right at the airport's front door.
Before any other road project in this area is begun I think it is imperative that a turnpike gate should be constructed at I-475/U.S. 23. This would give commuters of the metropolitan area the best possible connection to the airport from all the major area freeways. Toll-free privileges could be given to people entering at this gate whose destination is the airport.
It would also eliminate the need for I-475/U.S. 23 traffic to exit the freeway and drive through two miles of congested city traffic to get to the turnpike gate on Reynolds Road. (I really don't understand why an interchange was not constructed when I-475 was being built.) A turnpike gate at this location could also help reduce some of the westbound traffic that uses U.S. 24. Besides, does anybody think that with the increased building in Monclova Township U.S. 20A will be any less congested than Airport Highway in the years to come?
MICHAEL J. SARRA
In his April 16 column, Blade political writer Fritz Wenzel informed us that he had spotted a new copy of National Review in Rep. Marcy Kaptur's Washington office.
Are we to consider this a demonstration of his vigilance or a subtle attempt to stir up a bit of controversy?
It seems to me desirable that our elected officials keep abreast of others' points of view, like them or not.
NORMAN A. FOX