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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2001

Why? Red-light cameras save lives

A recent Forum writer's speculation about why the Ohio Insurance Institute supports the leadership that the city of Toledo has taken in the installation of red-light cameras is as simple as this: They save lives.

I'm not sure why he thinks insurance companies profit from the savings of lives and trips to the local emergency rooms, beyond the fact that accident prevention has a value way beyond dollars and cents.

In 1999, Ohio had 10,799 crashes caused by red-light runners resulting in 37 senseless deaths and 5,263 injuries. Perhaps the letter writer is not aware that Toledo leads the state in the number of fatal red-light running crashes.

Besides the fact that it makes sense for an industry that supports the use of seat belts and child safety restraints to also support the safety of innocent victims of red-light runners, perhaps he has forgotten another basic point: It's against the law to run a red light.

DANIEL J. KELSO

President

Ohio Insurance Institute

National cemetery is fitting memorial

Many people may not think we have a World War II memorial, but I think we have a fitting memorial for all wars. It is called Arlington National Cemetery. Veterans and presidents alike are buried here and are remembered every day by the citizens of our country. This is a beautiful grassy meadow with rows of simple white crosses to mark each grave. A simple vista that shows the endless futility of war.

If there is a need for a special memorial for World War II, why not a peace garden? Somewhere with a cool fountain, green grass, and softly scented flower gardens. With tall shade trees and comfortable benches to sit on as you enjoy the quiet and serenity. Sound familiar? I think it is the mall between the Washington and Lincoln Memorials at the foot of a lovely reflecting pool.

We do not need more dull lifeless concrete to add heat and glare in an ugly circle of nothingness. The Memorial as proposed is too big and too ugly to honor our fallen soldiers. We are destroying part of our history by cutting down hundred-year-old trees to pour concrete. The trees, as well as being cool and beautiful, provide a useful function by cleaning pollution from the air. Can we not learn from our allies in Europe? They have buildings and parks that are hundreds of years old and they would not dream of destroying their history. Why do we continue to do so?

SHARON TIPPING

Ottawa Lake

No one should be called `retarded'

Can someone tell me why a recent story labeled a killer as “retarded,” and not “mentally challenged” or “mentally disabled”?

Even though there is nothing wrong with me physically or mentally, I took offense.

I would have thought that a newspaper would be more sympathetic to the feelings of others. What has happened to social sensitivity and to being politically correct?

I don't agree with what he did, but no one should be called “retarded” in this day and age.

He has already been labeled as a killer, why make things worse for his family and others who suffer from the same condition?

I am only 21 and I know how archaic that word is.

SHENITA JOHNSON

Brooke Park Drive

Learning is not enhanced by testing

Standardized tests for students are perpetuating the fallacy that humans can rightfully be measured by a snapshot, a culturally biased competency test.

Our children are not simple machines, which this testing helps perpetuate.

Children are being discriminated against because we are being told that the real worth of our children can be arbitrarily measured.

Our children must then live with that “snapshot in time” measurement the rest of their lives.

This testing does little to enhance learning. However, it does do a lot to stratify and pigeon-hole our children.

It also brings the Machiavellian proposition that “the end justifies the means” to a scarily “real world” culmination, i.e., test results are more important than the education process.

Maybe we should have a standardized test for adults to determine our competency, say at 25, 35, 45 years of age, for instance. Then let's have this snapshot test determine our futures disproportionate to experience and other values we have obtained.

How would we like it?

DON PLEWS

Whitehouse

Was it Visa or Master Card?

A June 5 article reported on the sentencing of an area public official, stating that the court costs, restitution, and fines were charged to a credit card by the official.

Does that detail really form an integral part of the story? If it does, then pray tell, was it Visa or Master Card? What about the expiration date? Do the media normally stand at the cashier's window to witness the method of payment?

NORMAN A. FOX

Rocksberry Avenue

Bush tax cut plan was misrepresented

I believe you misinterpreted or misrepresented what President Bush meant when he spoke of broad-based tax relief for all Americans. I believe that what was intended by the President and by Congress is broad-based tax relief for all American taxpayers.

Stop to think about it. If you and your spouse are one of the 26 percent of married couples earning $27,000 to $44,000 per year who did not owe a tax, you have already received the ultimate tax break from the government. No tax due! A tax rebate can only be given to someone who has paid taxes to begin with.

The Blade makes it sound as if those who do not owe a tax are being cheated by the new tax legislation because they will not be receiving a tax rebate check. I suggest that the Congress has already done quite well by them by not requiring a tax from them.

Now if The Blade thinks it, too, should receive some kind of payment, then let's call it something else. I think “dole” would do. You can choose your own word. I consider The Blade's editorial remarks to be misleading, inflammatory, and strictly designed to put the President and Congress in a bad light and promote The Blade's own personal agenda.

JIM MALOHN

Maumee

Memorial Day feelings differ

I am writing in response to all the articles you had on the Memorial Day observance. I read them with both pride and sadness.

My husband was in World War II, my grandson was four years in the Marines, and my granddaughter nine years in the Air Force. Both of them served in Desert Storm. The granddaughter's husband is still in the Air Force. I am very proud of all four.

I was talking to my grandchildren about these articles. This was their response to me:

My granddaughter said “We think about it, but don't make too much of it because we have always been taught to look to the future and not the past. The past is gone and we are to look forward. We honor it as a holiday.”

My grandson said he feels we have to observe it and remember it because if we had lost the wars we wouldn't be in the place we are today, and that this day is a day to remember those who fought and died for what we have today.

I could say a lot more of what we talked about. It is very interesting how they feel. Sometimes very different from how I feel. I guess I will be one who will always observe it.

MARGARET DOYLE

Central Avenue

Send water west? Only with trash

After reading your series on the Great Lakes, I had an idea. A friend and his wife are coming to visit from Phoenix. I intend to show them Lake Erie and say “You can visit it anytime you would like - but you can't have it. Unless of course we can dump our waste into the Grand Canyon!”

MARC SMITH

Oregon



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