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Published: Friday, 10/18/2002

Roundabout way to ask for trouble

It was with great dismay that I read about the proposed “roundabout” being planned for Monroe Street at Collingwood Boulevard. Having a graduate degree in transportation, I do not understand why anyone would want to construct impediments to the easy flow of traffic.

In southern New Jersey, we called these roundabouts traffic circles. They were a nightmare! At some of these traffic circles, the planners even resorted to putting up stoplights to try to regulate traffic into the circle.

In smaller urban settings, traffic circles can also be problematic. Witness the traffic circle in downtown Angola, Ind., where it is not unusual to have traffic backed up for more than a block waiting to access the circle.

The roundabout also would make it more difficult for pedestrians to go directly across the street, and there would be no stoplights to regulate pedestrian crossings.

The traffic planners who want to bring us this roundabout are the same planners who have brought us increased congestion during rush hour on Monroe and Washington streets in the central business district by making them two-way roads. These are the same planners who had the foresight to make Monroe Street a two-way, then one-way, then two-way street, all within a matter of a few blocks.

DONALD E. YERKS

Sylvania

People seem to be forgetting that Iraq lost the Gulf War in 1991 and Saddam had an option to agree to United Nations resolutions or be ousted from power. Since signing these resolutions, Saddam has continually obstructed inspections, massed troops at the Kuwaiti border, tried to assassinate an ex-U.S. president, shot at U.S. planes, likely continued his development of weapons of mass destruction, and supported terrorists such as Abu Nidal and possibly al-Qaeda. How can the U.N. hope to be relevant if it allows Saddam to aggressively violate the very agreements that allowed him to remain in power?

As the President has said, what “if Saddam fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made?

“Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. Some day, some way, I guarantee you, he'll use the arsenal.”

Incidentally, the president who said that was not Mr. Bush, it was Bill Clinton in February of 1998. What has changed since then?

Saddam is likely further along in his development of these weapons, and terrorists have shown a greater capability to wreak havoc on the world. The situation has clearly gotten worse and will continue to get worse until the United States and/or the international community acts to remove Saddam or force him to comply with the U.N. resolutions.

Sometimes true peace can only be obtained by the willingness to go to war.

J. RICKER

Findlay

In 1991, Marcy Kaptur went to federal court to try to stop then-President George H.W. Bush from kicking Saddam out of Kuwait. Now here she comes again, fulminating over George W. Bush's goal of getting rid of Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction before they are used on us.

One has to ask, just whom does Marcy Kaptur represent?

CLIFF LOSS

Sylvania

President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. As the President noted in his address to the nation, the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would only give Saddam time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear weapons and would embolden terrorists everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam, using military force if necessary, is the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right - our nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

SCOTT SYRING

Sylvania

The Oct. 6 Blade published a picture of people at a George Bush fund-raising event looking up at him with awe and adoration on their faces. Why were we not shown the rest of the story? On the same day thousands of people all over the country were marching in protest of his plans for war. However, not one picture was published showing this. If the media were to be fair to the people and to the country, a picture of both events should have been shown side by side. I think you would find the protesters far outnumbered the invited adoring crowd.

KAY NYITRAI

Marne Avenue

Does it bother anybody else that the Toledo Area Sanitary District admits that the fogging it does throughout the summer to kill adult mosquitoes is one of the least effective methods of controlling mosquito numbers? Do people know that chloropyrifos, the chemical used in this fog, is “toxic to fish, wildlife, and birds” (OSU Extension Bulletin 641) and that Health Canada has ordered the phase-out of chloropyrifos use in and around homes and in residential areas?

What about TASD's distribution of mosquitofish, despite the empirical data questioning their effectiveness in reducing mosquito populations or the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases? The World Health Organization and ichthyologists have come out against their introduction to non-native habitats because of their negative impacts on native species of fish, amphibians, and damselflies (all natural predators of mosquitoes).

Maybe I'm in “West De-Nile,” but I believe the hysteria created by this virus is a greater danger than the disease itself. In the year 2000 in Lucas County, 1,036 people died from cancer, 95 from influenza/pneumonia, 41 from traffic accidents, and 15 from homicide. The number of Lucas County residents who have died from West Nile Virus: 0.

Overlooked by the media is the fact that more birds examined by the New York Department of Health were found to have died from poisoning by lawn chemicals than by West Nile Virus.

The cost of mosquito control programs is usually measured in terms of the agency's budget (more than $2 million a year for the TASD), but a true cost-benefit analysis would equally weigh the toll on non-target wildlife, human health, and the environment. I'm not suggesting that we stop trying to reduce mosquito numbers, only that we reexamine the true costs and real risks of each of our control efforts and their measurable benefits.

GREGORY J. LIPPS, JR.

Meadowlark Avenue

The Bush attempt to suppress criticism and intimidate opposition by characterizing dissent as unpatriotic is alarming demagoguery, the lowest form of deceptive appeal to knee-jerk Republicans. It is a clear sign of his cowardice in fearing open debate and his immorality in a shocking, self-serving, treacherous abuse of his position of power and authority.

Listen to the wise words of a real president, Teddy Roosevelt:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is mortally treasonable to the American public!”

DAVID S. BAUMGARTNER

Bluffton, Ohio



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