The “hysteric” preservationists have it backwards: Old battleground forts, robber barons' houses, rumored underground railway stops, etc., should not be preserved. They only remind us of our often-shameful past and we don't want to be reminded. Treasured, but functionally obsolete, schools must be replaced with new. That's cheaper and it makes jobs. Memories belong in scrapbooks.
For a better Toledo, new construction is the answer. Build schools, casinos, office buildings, and malls. For example, a compact version of an upscale retail mall with Tiffany, Nieman Marcus, Saks, etc., could be built at the western portal of the newly redesigned Monroe Street. That would create jobs and offer affluent Toledoans boutique shopping. The mall would replace the obsolete Toledo Museum of Art.
To anyone who doubts that the museum is obsolete, consider:
To build the mall, economic development funds and tax abatement will be forthcoming. Because this will be the first museum-to-mall conversion, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities is likely, because in this country nothing's more human than a mall.
Stop all this sentimental claptrap about preservation. Old is bad. New is good. Demolition now!
MELVIN HENRY MULL
* Editor's note: Mr. Mull, a Toledo architect, wishes to assure those who don't know him that the above is tongue-in-cheek; he opposes demolition.
It's wonderful that East Toledo is finally getting some attention. It's just a shame that our one little block, Neise Avenue, can't be fixed. The buckling bricks and broken down sandstone curbs just keep tearing up our vehicles. I'm certain our tax dollars are sure to be helpful for all the other “projects” they've scheduled. It's also bad that we can't get the excess rubbish removed from our alley or get our alley graded. I'm surprised we aren't being taxed for the ponds that occur in our alley during every rainfall.
Since we have been maintaining our block for so many years already why not just add resurfacing to our list of trades? Shall we apply for a work permit?
Having read Marilou Johanek's troubled whining about President Bush's ruse not getting a rise from Americans, one cannot help but feel that her main complaint is her own personal inconvenience caused by the added security in our airports.
In order to blow off steam at this injustice, she sees fit to excoriate the President and our armed forces for the war in Iraq.
Sadly, as is the bent of most journalism graduates toward liberalism, she also mocks the patriotism of the majority of Americans of whom she considers herself over and above.
While assessing blame on our leaders for “stirring up a hornet's nest by barging into Iraq and bombing our way into Baghdad,” she blissfully ignores the reasons for having done so - as if the bloody attacks on our shores are not enough.
While the weapons of mass destruction purported to be in Iraq have not been found, terrorists' training camps have, as well as the mass graves that Iraq's hopefully late leader created.
Challenging the efforts of our President, police, firefighters, and armed forces to fight the war on terrorism while complaining about her petty airport travails clearly shows Ms. Johanek's priorities for what they are. Thankfully, most Americans are made of sterner stuff.
“Deceptive Dubya” is at it again. Like father, like son. The “Read my lips” saga continues. The National Parks Conservation Association reports that the Bush Administration is reneging on its presidential campaign promise of $4.9 billion to protect the parks.
Mr. Bush's 2004 budget for the National Park Service increased only $117 million, far short of the President's repeated pledge for parks. Perhaps the wealthiest in our country who benefited from the tax cuts will pick up the tab?
These cuts are hardly surprising. This is the same administration that ignored the overwhelming public opposition and the scientific studies against snowmobiles in Yellowstone Park and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, Secretary of Interior Gale Norton has virtually categorized ANWR as a wasteland.
It's the same administration that is now trying to use a 150-year-old statute to pave the Mojave area between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Originally intended to encourage development in the West after the Civil War, this statute is irrelevant to today's situation in the West, but not to the devices of President Bush.
This is also the administration that created the “Healthy Forests” initiative. Mr. Bush's version is that this project protects communities by thinning forests adjacent to them. However, the funds for this deception go to forested areas away from populated communities. How convenient that this directly benefits the timber and mining industries, not the communities.
When the troops come home, what will they find? Besides an economic depression and a Republican-led Congress that wants to reduce their benefits, they can apparently look forward to air pollution, paper mills, and oil derricks in our national parks. God bless America. President Bush sure hasn't.
You recently published a letter that criticized a short-term moratorium ordinance prohibiting the construction of new stores over 50,000 square feet (i.e. big-box) in the Westgate area of Toledo. The letter did not mention that the writer's employer is the leasing agent for the now vacant Food Town store on Secor Road.
His letter claimed: “... a recurring tendency of some council members to kowtow to vocal minority special-interest groups and rush forward with legislation prior to determining its overall impact on the community.”
And who are these “minority special-interest groups”?
Certainly not the registered voters who live and work in Toledo, or those who labored so diligently in more than 50 neighborhood meetings and created a comprehensive plan for our city, the 20/20 Plan.
One of the primary disappointments expressed about our city in the plan is “urban sprawl,” that irresponsible, poorly planned strip commercial development often surrounded by acres of parking.
Not the current city administration. Mayor Ford has spoken out against urban sprawl, and its negative impact on Toledo. And not The Blade, whose editorials have warned against the detrimental effects created by the proliferation of big-box stores and urban sprawl.
So just who are these “minority special-interest groups” that some Toledo Council members kowtow to?
With all the recent and deserved accolades conferred upon our service men and women, why was the military so disdained during the Vietnam conflict?