I hope voters will keep in mind the economic development impact of Issue 2, the Toledo Public Schools Bond Issue. Simply put, Issue 2 is a jobs issue. Thousands of construction trades people will literally be working for 10 years if Issue 2 passes. These good-paying jobs will pump dollars into our local economy and have a ripple effect that boosts home and retail sales. That, in turn, generates other jobs.
I would also like to remind everyone about another economic development impact of the bond issue - the need for technologically savvy generations of young people. Northwest Ohio needs to remain competitive in a world where technology drives a knowledge-based economy. Well-equipped schools wired for this new technology and adaptable for future technological advances are critical to us keeping our competitive edge in attracting and retaining employers.
If we fail to leverage the state dollars now ($614.3 million for our $183.5 million share), we'll live to regret the decision. Sometime in the near future, we will no longer be able to delay rebuilding our schools. At that point we will be alone in footing the entire cost. The tobacco settlement dollars from the state will be long gone.
There are many compelling reasons to support Issue 2. But there is an overriding reason, a reason more urgent than construction jobs or once-in-a-lifetime funding or even technology. Frankly stated, there is no excuse that we should accept anything that gets in the way of providing the best possible education for our children!
All the excuses for opposing or failing to support Issue 2 are purely selfish. These people are not taking our children's needs into account. Don't jeopardize the future of our community, and the future of our children. Vote yes on Issue 2.
DONALD E. JAKEWAY
Regional Growth Partnership
Regional Technology Alliance
You quoted a Kuwaiti student who said “they lost a whole semester for nothing.” Did he have any idea what took place on Sept. 11, 2001? Did he have any idea that the Americans, Canadians, and other foreigners who lost their lives in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania were innocent?
More than 3,000 lives were taken instantly. Their families lost loved ones and income earners, their friends lost loved ones, and every American's way of life changed forever. The American people are now financing the most expensive homeland security plan ever implemented in the United States. People are afraid to fly on airplanes, occupy tall buildings, and travel outside the country, and this young student said “they lost a whole semester for nothing.”
Did he have any idea the American people expect and demand that our government implement changes in the visa laws and implement new regulations after Sept. 11 to protect innocent people from some individuals coming from Arab countries?
Is it possible this young student didn't read the newspaper, didn't listen to the news, didn't watch TV? He's concerned about one lost semester of his schooling while 3,000 Americans are dead. What's wrong with this picture?
MYRON R. GOFF
For the last four months I have been anxiously awaiting the grand opening of the new Sears store at Southwyck Shopping Center. Remember, Sears stated that it could not be competitive unless Toledo City Council waived the living wage law. Could someone give me the date of this long-anticipated grand opening?
GEORGE W. WEIDNER
As a Perrysburg business owner, I am ashamed of the local government and the visitors' bureau here. After the denial of the continuance of the Farmers' Market, a wonderful event that helps to promote goodwill among residents, visitors, and vendors, the recent Blade article regarding an “emergency” ordinance passed by Perrysburg City Council, and the subsequent negative buzz around town regarding same, I am aghast.
The market is an event that should have been extended this year, especially in light of the late harvest in Ohio and the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge inaccessibility.
What I find especially ludicrous is that Perrysburg City Council members found it necessary to have an emergency meeting to pass an ordinance for the purpose of controlling this issue. More ordinances and more laws equal less freedom for all. For what? To control city businesses and prevent farmers from selling raspberries and other produce, like pumpkins, which could be sold on the streets of Perrysburg were it not for the immaturity displayed by city government/council and the visitors' bureau.
Unfortunately, as has been rumored, the market might better be held by Maumee next year, provided Maumee has a government dedicated to promoting its city (including a mayor who returns phone calls), with elected officials who act with maturity, fairness, and in the best interests of their residents and businesses.
Until Perrysburg's mayor and others in power begin to act in compliance with their fiduciary responsibilities, i.e. as responsible, mature adults, elected to act in their constituents' best interests, creating a city of which all can be proud, they will continue to alienate residents, the city's neighbors, businesses, and visitors. Until then, I say, “Raspberries on them!”
DORRIN M. BIRCH
What is Congress doing to the veterans who served our country with honor? A friend of mine just got a notice from the Ann Arbor Veterans Center threatening to garnishee his Social Security check if he didn't pay the sum of $43.51 for the blood pressure medicine that was prescribed for him at the VA Clinic in Toledo. And if he gets any other federal checks, which he doesn't, they would be garnisheed also. He had already paid that bill. He always pays those bills.
At that same center there is a sign upon entering that states, “No walk-ins. By appointment only.” What is an ill veteran to do if he/she can't wait a week or a month to get medical care by appointment only? He was also advised by a medical person to get a private doctor to care for his medical needs. I was with him and heard her say that. My friend served in the Pacific during World War II, helping to save our country. Now he's being treated as though he doesn't exist anymore.
I advise every voter to think about all of this at the polls this November and eliminate anyone in Congress who won't take care of his or her own but are probably thinking, “We got ours, now you try and get yours.” Let's change that thought for them.
I'm opposed to the Oregon schools' plan to send 5th and 6th graders to Fassett and 7th and 8th graders to Eisenhower. The benefits of this plan don't outweigh the longer bus rides that our students will have to tolerate and the inconveniences created regarding after-school programs.
If the school configuration is changed, I think 5th through 8th graders should attend Fassett and 5th through 8th graders should go to Eisenhower. Better yet, let's leave the schools just the way they are. My family is happy with the present system and so are a lot of other people.
On the day that a former U.S. president is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, the headlines are about the current President's call for war. My heart breaks as I go through each day, knowing that I live in a country where our leaders feel war is an answer.
I offer this quote by our first president to our current President, one that former President Carter must know well: “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” - George Washington