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Published: Thursday, 6/26/2003

Smoking ban: Small eateries would suffer

With regard to your June 24 editorial, “Enact the smoking ban,” I have one concern. Lost in the haze of Toledo's proposed ban on smoking in public places is the plight of the small diner with neither the room to separately accommodate smokers, nor the land upon which to build such an area.

Should Toledo's proposed ban with “exceptions” become an ordinance, small eateries will have been given no choice but to lose a sizable portion of their customer base through no fault of their own.

Has City Council's task force taken them into consideration? With the possibility that an Ohio referendum banning smoking in public places may be approved by voters, such small businesses throughout the state will be forced to comply, and thereby their ability to exist as a free enterprise will be severely compromised. How could they recover their economic losses?

Although I'm not a smoker, it's still fair to ask, “Why has no consideration been given to their circumstance?”

EDWARD SLACK

Bannockburn Drive

Smoking ban? I don't care how you look at it, a smoking ban is an invasion of privacy. Bars and some restaurants are privately owned, and they are inviting people to come visit. I let guests smoke in my house, so what's the difference?

These people who complain about smoking in bars and restaurants don't have to go in them. No one is twisting their arms.

What's next, Toledo? Are you going to let City Council tell you that you can't smoke in your own house? Are you going to let council make you build a shelter, like the ones outside hospitals, to smoke?

Is City Council going to ban smoking on public streets, in your cars, your backyard? When will it stop?

BRUCE WHALEN

Fredonia Avenue

My compliments to The Blade editorial for supporting the foot and bicycle bridge over U.S. 24 to connect the two Fallen Timbers sites on either side of the highway. This is an excellent idea, and the Toledo Area Metroparks District is to be applauded for moving forward with this fund-raising campaign.

This is now a national historic site and, as The Blade editorial stated, “a visual gateway to the historic corridor.”

Let's hope that as we walk across the bridge we see the Fallen Timbers National Historic Site, and not an oversized shopping center with large buildings, big signs, blacktop parking lots, etc.

Though we have not received an official word, it appears the Mall at Fallen Timbers may not be built and other shopping center plans are being discussed with the city of Maumee. I am not against growth in our community, but it must be planned growth. The City of Maumee has the responsibility to ensure proper zoning is in place to complement this historic site and future retail/commercial building sites throughout the city.

I also applaud Maumee City Council for implementing a 90-day moratorium on the issuance of building permits for new construction of retail/commercial buildings larger than 60,000 square feet while zoning laws are being reviewed and updated during the moratorium.

At this time, Maumee city council members are working hard and meeting with committee members (citizens, building officials, and commercial property owners) on a weekly basis to update the zoning.

Maumee council members should be encouraged to zone properly in this historic area and other areas of Maumee, and to complete the updated zoning by Sept. 2, when the moratorium expires.

CHARLES CARR, JR.

Maumee

“What's not to like?” about a footbridge across U.S. 24 connecting Fallen Timbers sites, a recent Blade editorial asked. Let me suggest a few things not to like.

If the site north of U.S. 24 is really the famed battleground, then the site south of U.S. 24 has no historical significance and should be returned to private use.

The “artifacts” found on the new site and claimed as proof that it was the location of Anthony Wayne's battle with the Indians are nothing special. As a boy, I located the same types of items by walking in freshly plowed farm fields near South Avenue and Reynolds Road. But if the designation helps prevent an unneeded/unwanted mall, who am I to question it?

In any case, the new site is not open to visitors so no footbridge is needed. There is nothing there to see anyway. Just a field and woods.

A look at the current site would show minimal use. Fewer than 10 cars on a typical day. There is no reason to believe traffic would increase if the northern site was opened. And no justification for an expensive bridge to service nonexistent visitors.

Every division of government is experiencing budget problems. Spending more than a million dollars on a footbridge that will be largely unused is the type of waste that results in those budget deficits.

That's what's not to like.

JOSEPH E. PFLAGER

Maumee

Lord Acton once said “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Republican Sen. Larry Craig from Idaho is living proof.

It seems that Senator Craig is a bit miffed at the Air Force for not following through on its promise seven years ago to deliver four C-130 aircraft to Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho. This “broken promise” by the Air Force has reduced the senator to holding hostage the promotions of more than 850 U.S. Air Force officers, including pilots who fought in Iraq, until such time as the aircraft in question are delivered.

Is it a big deal that Boise doesn't have those extra cargo aircraft? A spokesman for the Idaho National Guard is quoted as saying “it's not something people here are tapping their fingers over, waiting for them to show up.” Even officials in Idaho are puzzled by Senator Craig's actions; the cargo planes have not been a major issue there.

Defense officials say their arguments have had little impact on the Idaho senator. “We've tried to explain the facts of life to Senator Craig that the Air Force is getting smaller, not bigger,” one official said.

How can he have the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to hold up the raises and promotions of servicemen and women who are true American patriots over a dispute over a few aircraft that these 850 service people have no control over?

Is this Senator Craig's little “bad boy” tantrum?

Perhaps if enough of us let Senator Craig and our senators know what we think of his tactics, he will find a more constructive way to settle this dispute instead of holding the welfare of honorable men and woman at risk.

SKIP BRADLEY

North McCord Road

Another fine example of how far wrong we have gone to protect the rights of individuals: A defense attorney has called into question a drug-sniffing dog's ability to correctly find drugs during traffic stops.

Never mind that the dog was right on and the attorney's client had 113 pounds of suspected marijuana in his van. He's reaching for any kind of technicality to get him off. And of course a law professor chimes in to say, yes, let's question the dog's reliability. He thinks the government should check the dog's record. I guess the only way defense lawyers think a trial is fair is if they can use any kind of ploy to get their man off.

Are there any defense attorneys out there who think our system has gone too far and it needs to be corrected?

DAVID ANDERSON

Maumee

What WMD really means

Possibly a new meaning for WMD: Weapons of Mysterious Disappearance.

WILLA DEE MALTBY

Wayne, Ohio



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