As a transplanted Toledo native, I was struck by The Blade article titled “Young politicos mull Toledo's future.” It is easy to point to the lack of white-collar jobs and entertainment outlets as the reasons behind the city's loss of bright young adults, but those are just excuses for not dealing with the real problem Toledo faces.
Of the four politicos featured only one has been elected; the other three were appointed by the local Democratic Party. This is the same local Democratic Party that has failed miserably over the past 20 years to revitalize Toledo.
Until people in Toledo realize that one-party rule only hampers any efforts to improve the community, the “brain drain” will continue. While I would never suggest the Republican Party has any chance of dominating local Toledo politics, I would propose that renewed and vigorous political debate could occur and lead to positive results in the effort to improve our slow recovering rust-belt city.
Until attitudes change it remains likely that innovative and progressive thinkers will leave Toledo, while the local Democratic machine continues to marginalize the city in the eyes of the rest of the state and fails to deliver on the promises made over the last two decades.
The leaders of the future are departing (we might return, because it is a nice place to raise a family), even as the ruling local political party continues the status quo.
This is not about St. Joseph Church, this is not about St. Joseph School, this is not about the city of Sylvania. This is about a precious piece of history right here in our midst.
At this point it doesn't matter who knew what at the time the Lathrop House was sold. The fact is we all now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lathrop House is important, not only to our community, but to the entire nation.
Therefore, I am begging the leadership of St. Joseph to look at the property they have acquired since they purchased the Lathrop House and look at the property St. Joseph can potentially purchase. Then re-examine the expansion plans. I am positive St. Joseph can still grow and expand to the extent it desires and still leave the house where it sits.
I have suffered an unfounded personal attack on my honesty and integrity because of my stance on this issue. But I'm still determined to do what is needed to save this house on its hallowed ground.
Honorable mayor, distinguished city council, leadership of St. Joseph, please hear what I am saying.
As your editorial noted, both parties in the Lathrop House dispute have worthy goals. The question for those who would preserve the house on site is whether their goal is proportionate to the costs that Sylvania and the Diocese of Toledo are about to incur.
One of the most significant archeological sites in the world is the cave at Lascaux, France, site of some of the earliest human art ever discovered. Many visitors to that site are completely unaware that what they are visiting is a painstaking replica of the original, which had to be closed because of the damage done to the paintings by a few decades of higher humidity. Every museum display, every historical re-creation such as Sauder Village, involves some compromise between preserving the past and making it accessible to the public.
If the Friends of Lathrop House were going to bear the entire cost of litigation, acquisition, rehabilitation, and operation, I would say, fine, you have every right to pursue the level of authenticity that you desire.
However, all of those expenses are now to be borne by the City of Sylvania and the park authority. Several hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer money are going to be spent to assure the uncompromised authenticity of this site. Is the real value of the Lathrop House the precise location of a building?
It is my belief that the real reason for preserving the Lathrop House is the reminder that ordinary people can successfully oppose evil even when the majority turns its head so as not to see. It is difficult to believe that moving the house a few hundred yards will dilute the power of that message.
I grew up in Sylvania and at an early age came to know and appreciate the history of the Lathrop House and its importance in the Underground Railroad. I thought how fortunate I was to be living in a community that had so much unique history!
It is incomprehensible that a church community could sanction the demolition or relocation of a symbol of freedom and heritage in Sylvania in the name of Christian education. The land on which the Lathrop House was built should be considered sacred ground. It was in the recesses of this home that frightened and tired slaves huddled in their quest for freedom while residents of the home risked their own personal safety to shelter them.
Parishioners of St. Joseph Catholic Church rightfully point with pride to their involvement in ministering to the needs of the community. Preserving the Lathrop House site should equally be a ministry of the church in the community to respect this symbol of freedom for all people.
Certainly, with the talent and creativity in the church community, a plan can be devised which allows for the planned school expansion and the aesthetic preservation of the Lathrop House site. What a wonderful demonstration to all the children of this community that St. Joseph Catholic Church respects the heritage and history of Sylvania and achieves its expansion goals - a tribute to harmonious coexistence!
VELERH (HUFFMAN) BRUNO
Lathrop family would be grateful
The extended Lathrop family commends the community of Sylvania for its efforts to preserve the Lathrop house. We hope that Sylvania will cherish its home as the citizens of Barnstable, Mass., cherish theirs. The city of Barnstable is home to our nation's oldest community library, the Sturgis library built in 1639.
The city's historical collections are held in the home built by the grandfather of the Lathrops of Sylvania, the Rev. John Lothropp, a founding father of the Congregationalist church in America. The Lathrops of Sylvania certainly maintained our family tradition of upholding the word of God by their actions in the Underground Railroad.
The extended Lathrop family would be grateful to Sylvania if it decides to preserve the home by any means and preserve the memory of one family's devotion to the word of God.
We hope that the community will take pride in knowing that many years ago a good deed occurred in that house and so would serve as an inspiration to the community and the church.
South Lyon, Mich.
So the good people of Waterville wanted a bypass around their town and a realignment of U.S. 24. ODOT and Governor Taft think so, too. Who will get to pay for all this work?
They will, we all will, with Mr. Taft's fuel tax increase, driver's license fee increase, and vehicle registration fee increase.
Let's see if maybe Swanton can get the governor to reroute State Rt. 2 around our town and raise some more taxes and fees.
VAUGHN C. MILLER
Arnett and Kaptur make quite a pair
I assume that The Blade was outbid by the London Daily Mirror for Peter Arnett's services. He would have fit in perfectly as an editorial writer. His Kaptur-esque apology was classic.
Terrace View North