Currently the Senate is debating a national energy policy that includes a proposal to increase the CAFE standard (corporate average fuel economy), which poses a threat to autoworkers in Ohio and nationwide.
Over the next 13 years the bill would, for the first time, force auto companies to combine their fuel efficiency averages for light trucks and sport-utility vehicles with those for passenger cars and then attain a combined average of 35 miles per gallon. Currently these vehicle types are averaged separately and must average 20.7 mpg for light trucks and SUVs and 27.5 mpg for passenger cars.
I oppose this approach because it could have a disastrous impact on the auto industry, which is critical to Toledo and Ohio's economies, and it could force companies to produce dangerously small and lightweight vehicles. That's why I have joined my fellow co-chairman of the Senate Auto Caucus, Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, to cosponsor a more responsible route.
Our bill would not set a target number itself, but instead would direct the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to improve efficiency by establishing a new standard based on such factors as motor vehicle safety, economic practicality, conservation, and technological feasibility.
This common-sense approach leaves the science to the experts and will result in the environmental benefits we need without costing us the good-paying auto jobs that keep Ohio's economy moving.
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH
United States Senator
How refreshing it was to see a positive article about the University of Toledo and the many caring students involved in the recent dance marathon to raise money for Mercy Children's Hospital.
Our daughter, Heidi, has been actively engaged in the planning of this event for many months. We have witnessed first-hand how much work is actually involved in an event of this magnitude. Our daughter has shared so many of the inside stories, both heart-rending and hilarious, with us.
We wish even more members of the community knew just what these unselfish young men and women have accomplished. Never let it be said that college students are self-centered and interested only in partying. The precious young children who were helped through the marathon touched the UT students in ways they cannot imagine.
Our daughter read an essay to her sorority sisters, written by young Nathan Watt about all of the things he can do. She said that the girls wept upon hearing of this child's courage.
Nathan has spinal bifida, but his humor and wonderful spirit leave little room for sympathy, only admiration.
Heidi also mentioned a retired gentleman who is taking classes at the university. He inquired early on about the marathon, wore a button about the event faithfully, and then, to the delight of everyone, showed up the night of the marathon, ready to dance and support the children.
“Ken,” accompanied by his wife and son, made quite a wonderful impression on his UT peers. Perhaps next year, more “Kens” will take time to support this marvelous event.
Our heartfelt congratulations to all who gave so generously and represented their university so well. Our community is fortunate indeed to claim them as our own.
DENNIS and LINDA JENKINS
My daughter Beth is a 17-year-old student in the Toledo Public Schools. On Feb. 26, she was studying for the ninth-grade proficiency test and she said that the book had some wrong answers in it. So I looked at the book and found that some were indeed wrong.
So the next day I took the book to the school and to the school board. They said they had not seen the book. So I let them look in hers to see the wrong answers. Within two days The Blade did a story about the problems with the proficiency study guides.
But it wasn't the tutors who first brought this to the schools' attention - it was my daughter. If it weren't for Beth, the errors may not have been found at all. The administration should have thanked her for her hard work and for bringing the errors to our attention.
As a parent I think that if we give good thanks to the kids for a job well done, they might do better in and out of school and they may respect themselves more.
TAMMY L. GAYLOR-TODA
It is with a sad heart that I write this letter. Our community has lost a courageous peacemaker in Maryse Mikhail.
For most of her life, Maryse worked tirelessly to bridge gaps between different religions and ethnic communities. Her passion was to show all of us, Christians, Muslims, and Jews, how ideologically close we truly are and how we ultimately worship the same God. She would go to any lengths, leaving no stone unturned, to ensure justice, education, and peace among peoples.
She challenged each one of us with dignity and made us realize we were special. She had a knack for getting us to utilize all of our talents to promote justice and peace around the world.
When John F. Kennedy, Jr., died, it was said that the “Prince of Camelot” had died. We in Toledo can say that the “Queen of Camelot” has passed on.
We were graced by God with her presence. She will be greatly missed and she will continue to live in the people she has touched and inspired. Indeed, she has given all of us the gift of her example.
Salaam, Maryse. We love you.
Cheers to your editorial on bike helmets; boos and hisses to Roberta de Boer. When was the last time an ineffective law was of any use to anyone but attorneys?
Seat belts were offered by auto companies; then laws were mandated to make people use them. Attorneys sued for every possible reason: not properly fitted, too loose, too tight, wrong angles. Then shoulder straps were offered. Same results. Air bags were offered, then laws were made to require them.
Pedal adjusters are now offered and they will be a Trojan horse for the manufacturers. They will be mandated into law for the benefit of attorneys. Even now there are lawsuits saying they should have already been offered.
I can just see the lawsuits now against helmet manufacturers if something goes awry and children are not protected against all possible events.
WILLIAM C. LOCKE
Billboards are an effective medium for providing information. At Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), we rely on billboards to offer our (free) services to the small-business community. Many of our clients learn of SCORE from billboards, and they call on us to help them.
SCORE, sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, counsels both existing small businesses and also individuals considering starting small businesses in the area. SCORE is recognized as an asset to the business community, and in fact we are seeing a steady increase in both the number of clients and the number of volunteer counselors donating their time. Billboards have played an important part in our growth.
I believe it would be a disservice to the community to ban or unduly restrict billboards. They are an important asset to organizations that need to reach a particular audience.
NORMAN R. THAL
Hooray! We have Bill O'Reilly on board. Not quite the caliber of Cal Thomas, but a welcome addition nonetheless. Thanks for being so considerate of us conservative-minded readers.