As a registered nurse who has worked with children for 35 years, it bothers me that vested interests are commenting the most on the children's hospital issue. Narrow financial interests shouldn't dominate this discussion.
It's troubling that a "nurse" voices more concern for a job than the quality of her institution, or even the quality of care available there. Shouldn't the best interest of the children be primary?
I believe that quality health-care providers find employment, even re-employment, here in the Toledo area. Some highly qualified professionals do choose to leave Toledo in order to work for larger, highly specialized, free-standing facilities that utilize and continuously develop expertise.
I work for an agency that provides care to children who may have more than one medically challenging problem, some with conditions pediatricians haven't previously encountered. In an environment that harbors divisiveness, how does he or she smoothly coordinate complicated multi-specialty physician care? Hasn't the health-care field been challenged enough by insurance hindrances?
Can you try to imagine what it's like being the parent of a sick child who must be transported from one end of town to another (or out of town) in order to get care? This feuding among hospital providers creates a nightmare for very stressed parents, who must wonder if anyone really cares. If we do care, why can't we fix this?
If indeed we cannot afford to build another hospital, how do we explain Bay Park Community or St. Anne's? If first-rate quality care is truly the objective, why put institutional loyalties first?
It is, in fact, not just Toledo, but our entire nation that has not met its potential in providing care because our communities are mired in controversy that is not client-centered.
I feel it necessary to correct the misstatement of cost for a new Sylvania water intake and treatment system in The Blade uni-government story published Feb. 23. The estimated cost is $30 million, not $200 million as Wade Kapszukiewicz was quoted.
Further, Sylvania is only contemplating a separate water system because Sylvania has had no water contract with Toledo for eight years. Since 1996, Toledo has required revenue sharing of Sylvania's income tax as the cost for a water contract.
I believe regionalizing ownership of the existing Toledo water treatment and main distribution system to be the most efficient regional solution. A regional water authority would pay Toledo the true cost of its system, determined in a 2000 Toledo/Lucas County study to be $197 million. It is Toledo that has refused to consider this kind of regional cooperation, and as Mr. Kapszukiewicz put it, "put a tax on noncooperation."
It is ironic that in a story about the potential benefits of uni-government, a Toledo City Council member again shows us why there is, and will continue to be, resistance to uni-government. Vocal representatives of Toledo are often quick to bully the suburbs with their own myopic point of view without bothering to know the facts or caring to understand the issues.
If we as a region are to make any real progress toward the potential benefits of uni-government, all of us must take the time to understand and respect the point of view of all sides. Only through knowledge and a cooperative vision will progress be possible.
CRAIG A. STOUGH
City of Sylvania
Dale Butland's Saturday Essay was very thought-provoking. I emphatically agree that our nation needs to clarify the separation between church and state, especially, with religion being contrasted with politics related to the upcoming presidential election.
The war in Iraq has further delineated that we have two Americas: one America representing God, religion, and the spiritual; the other America representing, politics, cultural values, and the secular mindset. Marcus Garvey long ago summed up the dual Americas thusly: "Religion is one's opinion and belief in some ethical truth ... so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have believers."
My rationale for the above statement is that sports has become a religion in secular America. As "Forrest Gump" may have said: "Americans tend to worship their work; work at their play; and play at their worship." (I no longer can ascertain who said that).
I do maintain that the assassinations of President John Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., brought forth a pathological state of mind, removing the nation's spiritual leadership. I believe that the Iraq war will only further serve to divide our nation, spiritually and economically, in a fashion very similar to what happened during the Vietnam War.
CLARENCE GAFENEY, JR.
Between the media attention, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and federal regulations, our $1 billion Davis-Besse investment stands idle.
Your electric bill paid for this plant. Standing idle, this investment loses $1 million a day.
After 45 years of safe nuclear power generation there are no deaths related to these nuclear plants.
After 45 years of operation the dirty, polluting, coal-fired plants and stack emissions have killed vast numbers.
After 50 years of operation our nuclear powered Navy has, to my knowledge, never reported one single death.
After 45 years of highway travel we've had an estimated 2.5 million deaths.
The Monroe coal-fired plant burns 7 million tons of dirty coal annually. Davis-Besse burns 30 tons of nuclear fuel annually. This fuel has 3 percent uranium enrichment. It cannot explode.
With the exception of China and the U.S.A., most major industrial countries produce 50 percent of their power requirements by nuclear-powered plants. Their cost per kilowatt hour is one-half that of our coal-fired plants.
We have not built a nuclear power plant in 20 years. Under our present rules and regulations we will probably never build another one. We can watch the rest of the world pass us by.
I would like to see The Blade print a series of articles telling the truth about safe, clean nuclear power generation.
Chicago-area media gave total support to nuclear power plant construction. They now have 13 safe, clean, nuclear units operating in their area.
PAUL V. MARTIN
Editor's Note: Mr. Martin, a former licensed professional engineer, worked at Davis-Besse.
Harry Barlos had a point when he spoke of a countywide government on The Editors. It would cut costs and could very well improve the ability of the region to grow. If we went with a county school board we could take advantage of the county tax base and provide better quality to the students.
It would cut taxes because there would not be all the governing bodies to support. One system countywide would help control sprawl. It would improve highways and roads. It would benefit the county by providing better police protection. It is a way to save money and improve services.
You may be young or old. You may be healthy or not. You may eat meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy or not. You may drink alcohol and smoke or not. But everyone will end up in the same place, six feet under, not knowing when or from what.
You self-righteous people should go home and lock your doors where you will be safe from all of life's dangers, so people who want to enjoy life in their own way can do so.
This comes from the 71-year-old son of a self-righteous fire and brimstone preacher man.
Whoever came up with this lamebrain idea to add an extra day to winter on Feb. 29 needs his head examined. It's bad enough that we have to endure the typical winter. I would suggest we move the extra day to July. (Preferably on a long weekend.) We could have July 4 a and b.