In a recent Blade on-line poll, the question was asked, “Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety?” Sadly the poll reflected that nearly 61 percent of the respondents had not ever done that.
When I was in grade school at Glenwood Elementary, we had to memorize the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the Constitution of the United States. It was mandatory participation for every student in our junior high government class.
I wonder how many in our city realize what the men who signed the Declaration of Independence lost. Many lost all their worldly possessions. Their businesses. Their lands. Some their lives.
But history has secured their names forever. Good thing Ben Franklin can't come back to see what has transpired in the 225 years since 1776. He would be appalled. He told inquiring people who asked him what kind of country the various representatives of the 13 colonies had created. His answer was simple. “A republic, if you can keep it.” But have we done that?
Today we have only a thinly veiled replica of a republic. We have representatives in the U.S. Senate who want to abandon the Electoral College, create new rights from a Constitution that is not a “living” document like they say it is, and we have had a president who made a mockery of the office he held.
Having school children memorize parts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is a good start in making sure the next generation of Americans is made aware that it has a responsibility to keep our republic free. At this time in our nation's history, it appears they have their hands tied, and their eyes blinded.
I thought the purpose of naming an edifice after an individual was to preserve his/her memory. Every time I drive up U.S. 23 in Sylvania, I am reminded of General Churchill. I fail to see how naming a little-used, off-the-beaten path train terminal for Martin Luther King, Jr., accomplishes that goal.
First, let me applaud the mayor for his efforts to find something to name after the fallen civil rights leader. More than 30 years ago, Dr. King had a dream “... where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.”
Obviously, those now-grown-up little children on Collingwood don't subscribe to that compromise. And I guess it is unrealistic that Dana Corp.'s headquarters would be on MLK Boulevard. Bancroft is out of the question because it runs through Ottawa Hills, etc. More of the same: not in my backyard!
But the train station? Many residents don't even know where the station is, and fewer utilize it. Soon, Amtrak will stop calling and only occasional freight train engineers will see the name. If we really want to honor Martin Luther King, why not take a bold step and name I-475 after him? Or how about the new ballpark? Or what about One Government Center or SeaGate Convention Centre? That way his memory will be front and center for all to see and not relegated to a dying train station on some back street. Black people in Toledo deserve it.
Am I the only one who finds George W.'s contradicting philosophies confusing?
First, we need a tax cut because the economy is doing so well. Followed by the explanation that a tax cut is needed to boost a sagging economy.
Years ago, Ronald Reagan's plan called for Star Wars to protect us from the evils of the communist giant USSR. George now says there is no communist giant, just rogues, but he still is willing to spend zillions of dollars on Son of Star Wars to protect us.
George will not interfere in either the gasoline or California energy crisis, while his cohorts make obscene profits. But he will be the big man to step into the battle of American Airlines workers (base pay $15,000 to $36,000) and invoke his powers to avert a strike. Earlier, he stepped in to keep Northwest Airline mechanics at work.
He says he doesn't want the federal government to intervene with business yet feels it is OK to intervene in the affairs of a small cluster of individual workers.
Most contradictory is his opposition to pro-choice while favoring capital punishment. (Throw them back when they are small so we can fry them when they are bigger.)
Life as a George W. watcher is truly filled with contradictions.
JAMES W. GREGORY
Our council has voted to increase the mayor's pay to $136,000 per year, making Toledo's mayor the highest-paid mayor in Ohio, even though we aren't the largest city. At the same time, it voted itself in increase from $18,500 to $27,000. The vote was unanimous. They say their job is full-time, although most of them have other jobs.
Around the same time, this same council approved plans to cut city departments' budgets by $3 million, because there was a big drop in income tax collections.
Council members are also going to ask for a renewal of the three-quarter percent income tax levy, which I plan to vote against, since they seem to have enough money for their pay increases.
No matter what district they are in, they all voted for their pay increase, so I hope that every taxpaying voter in every part of Toledo does as I plan to do and refuse to re-elect any council person who is currently holding office.
They were much more concerned about raising their pay than about fiscal responsibility for the city.
WEB Academy will be Toledo's first Direct Instruction school. The Blade stated that the flyer touts WEB Academy as “Toledo's first Direct Instruction school,” but that TPS began piloting the program in 1997.
“Piloting” is another word used instead of “experimenting.” DI can't be used as an experiment and be expected to work. There are pockets of DI being implemented in the six schools mentioned. But DI has to be used school-wide in order for it to work. Some teachers in these schools use it; some don't. It's a scripted program and it works, if implemented properly.
TPS board members say the program, costing $500,000, has been disappointing because it hasn't had an impact on learning in the “inner city” schools. The reason it hasn't is that it's done in a slipshod, haphazard way and therefore wastes taxpayers money.
I visited Woggoman Elementary in Dayton where DI is used and is working. It's used from the principal to the custodian, in all classes, including special education. Parental involvement at the school level is also a component of DI at Woggoman. It is not in TPS.
“Success for All,” a program used at Grove Patterson, is having a great impact on student achievement because all teachers (hand-picked) use the program. Therefore, it works, where DI doesn't.
Spending $500,000 on a program, using it incorrectly, then saying it doesn't work places the blame on students for not being taught consistently, or consistency, which the program requires.
While Craig Cotner's statement that TPS has had the programming is true, WEB Academy will be the first school in Toledo to use it correctly. Having a program and not using it as intended is like not having it at all and throwing money for that program down the TPS drain.
Heartless attacks on Cheney
I find it tasteless that your cartoonist and letters to the editor make fun of the vice president's heart by associating it with Big Oil. If Big Oil is such a rip-off and a sure thing, why not shut up, take a second mortgage, max those credit cards out, and buy the stock?