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Published: Sunday, 2/1/2004

Important for cities to diversify

You may not think that Scottsdale and Toledo have much in common, but they do.

Like Toledo, economic concerns run high in Arizona, because most of our jobs are low-paying, service-industry jobs. That is why Scottsdale and Phoenix are investing big time in high-paying, high-tech jobs.

To turn Toledo's double-digit unemployment around, it is going to take all area resources, private, government, and economic.

The problem: We now live in a hyper-competitive, globalized economy.

The solution: Cities need to diversify, invest in a science-and-technology-based knowledge economy, and strive for a better-educated work force. The days of making $40,000 a year and being illiterate are over.

Two immediate hurdles face those who must get retrained, child care and health care.

Since the U.S. government reformed welfare in 1996, affordable child care has proven to be the biggest barrier to retraining and self-sufficiency. Welfare-to-work child-care subsidies will reach more than $42 million in Arizona alone this year.

As a small business owner who has been working with the working poor, I am committed to turning this around. That is why I have formed an organizational committee for Volunteers in Nurturing. Our mission will be to develop a top-flight day-care, pre-school, before and after school program, and primary health-care facility for families in need.

This, not-for-profit, non-tax-payer-funded facility will be available to families who live or work in Scottsdale. Extending a helping hand to families in need during our country's transition to a knowledge-based economy must become a top-priority for every American city.

The race for high-paying, high-tech jobs has begun. Investing in science and technology is key to new products and services for worldwide consumers. And it will be the cities that provide the best climate for job growth that will come out the winners.

PAULA A. PENNYPACKER

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Editor's note: Paula Pennypacker is a former Toledoan who ran for mayor here in 1993.

I'm concerned about President Bush's statement from his State of the Union address that "America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." Although this may superficially appeal to many, its underlying message is that America will never listen to others about starting a pre-emptive war under the guise of protecting our security.

What appeals to the seeming majority of the American people is unquestioned support for a pre-emptive war, an unjust attack brought about under false pretenses.

Outbursts of intense patriotism have overlooked the tremendous loss of 500 in our military who were put in harm's way unjustly. Perhaps the President would feel differently about his pre-emptive war against Iraq if he were required to attend each soldier's funeral.

In reference to the recent Iowa caucuses, your editorial mentioned that Mr. Dean was "always on the attack, always angry." This implies that no other candidate was on the attack or expressed anger. The underlying intent here seems to have been to attack the man personally by ignoring the substance behind the attack and/or anger, if you decided to interpret Mr. Dean's passion as anger.

Grass-roots campaigns don't work because when middle-class and lower-class people with moderate sums of money think that they can affect a campaign, established politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, pull the rug out from under them. Only big money from wealthy constituents counts.

As Terry McAuliffe has pointed out, Mr. Bush is raising "an un<0x00AD>precedented $200 million to run for election," carefully or<0x00AD>chestrated by Karl Rove. Mr. Bush's moral responsibility is, it appears, to himself, since every executive proposal he makes is to garner votes for re-election.

WALLY PRETZER

Bowling Green

Golda Meier once said that of all the places in the Middle East to pick for a nation, Israel chose one with no oil. Apparently she didn't have the tenacity of George W. Bush. Certainly with all the well-honed skills developed in searching for those elusive weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Bush team could easily find the biggest reservoir of oil in the world directly beneath Israel.

Ramifications are endless.

JERRY LUPTON

Tiffin, Ohio

Thanks to the Interfaith Justice and Peace Center, Toledoans had a rare opportunity recently to hear a unique perspective on the situation in Iraq from two outstanding and courageous Iraqi women, an internationally esteemed journalist and a cultural leader, who have lived through the U.S. bombing of Baghdad in both wars and 13 years of devastating sanctions.

Their nationwide speaking tour, sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an international peace organization, included meetings with the United Nations and congressmen as well as ordinary Americans across the country.

The women's clear message was that while Saddam Hussein was horrible, he was the Iraqis' problem, not ours, and they would eventually have overthrown him. But the way we went about "liberating" them, destroying and occupying their country, killing thousands of innocent Iraqis, has left them even worse off.

Because these women dared to speak out about the devastation and occupation of their beloved country, a group strongly favoring the U.S. occupation launched a vicious propaganda campaign to discredit them, which unfortunately The Blade chose to perpetuate in its coverage.

Ironically, this journalist who was accused of being "pro-Saddam" had to live in hiding and poverty in Iraq because her outspoken criticism of Saddam's regime made her a target of his son Uday's wrath. It seems speaking truth to power can get you in trouble everywhere, even in America!

The women said they fear that we Americans are losing the very freedoms and democracy we claim to be defending. Observers around the world are appalled that "we the people " in the U.S. don't seem concerned that our government has been hijacked by powerful extremists bent on world domination and they wonder if we will wake up in time to reclaim our democratic heritage before it's too late.

PHYLLIS PALMER

Lambertville

You recently editorialized that the concealed-carry law will make the dangerous business of law enforcement even riskier.

I seriously doubt that this prediction will ever be borne out. You should revisit this after the law has been in effect for a couple of years. I predict that there will be no "blood in the streets" or the other disastrous results as you predict. I feel that there will be no significant problems for law enforcement traffic stops with legal CCW holders and that we will see a small decrease in violent crimes.

Why should the legal CCW holders of Ohio be any less civilized than those of our neighboring states or have any different results?

ROBERT MATTHEWS

Liberty Center, Ohio

Marilou Johanek, in "Ohioans held hostage by the Republicans," was correct in her assertion that legislation to permit "concealed carry" should not have been on the legislative agenda. What was wrong was her reason for it.

The original legislation prohibiting "concealed carry" was, in this writer's opinion, unconstitutional in the first place. Since when do we as citizens have to justify protecting ourselves to government or the electorate? Whether a referendum on "concealed carry" would have passed is irrelevant.

As a constitutional democracy such issues, as this, should not be decided by popular vote. Protection of an individual's life and liberty is a constitutional guarantee.

PAUL WROE

309th Street

The protesters at the President's visit amazed me. Never turn away opportunity, because it may not present itself again. I'm sure the visit alone helped boost the local economy as well as raise the visibility of northwest Ohio's premier job training center to national levels. Toledo should stop being a poor host and learn to welcome all visitors.

KEVIN COX

Maumee


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