I am writing to applaud Mayor Jack Ford and his team for continuing this year to demolish abandoned homes that blight neighborhoods.
Removing uninhabitable homes accomplishes several vital things for neighborhoods. First, nearby neighbors are not threatened by dangerous or unhealthy activities that often flourish in abandoned homes. Furthermore, their property values and their ability to justify improvements in their homes are enhanced by such demolitions. Second, the now-vacant lot can more easily become a neighborhood asset, either by enlarging the yards of neighboring homes or by becoming the site of a new home or other development.
Finally, removal of this blight converts a "danger signal" into a "positive sign" and makes it possible to attract others to the area.
Mayor Ford's commitment should be commended since it is an excellent example of effective use of powers that are uniquely held by the City of Toledo. In these difficult budgetary times, the mayor is making a strong commitment indeed. The Toledo LISC program will continue to work with CDCs and the city to make the best possible neighborhoods for our community.
Hugh W. Grefe
Local Initiatives Support Corp.
North Superior Street
Congratulations to the entire Blade family on the Pulitzer. It is downright fun to hear Toledo's name on national news and to read Toledo's name in national periodicals when the subject matter is distinguished achievement!
In these days when the almighty dollar rules the media as sternly as it rules widget makers, you continue to take risks out of dedication to your craft and a recognition that journalism should be as much a calling as it is a business.
Businesses and stores that post "No Firearms Allowed On These Premises" might just as well post a sign saying "Welcome Criminals, You May, At Will, Without Any Opposition, Rob Our Customers."
CCW permit-holders might just stay away from these stores and businesses in large numbers. Sales could well drop to a new low.
The least such a store should do is provide a secure storage area for a customer's firearm while he is shopping there.
As for me, if and when I obtain a CCW permit, I will make it a point not to shop where firearms are not allowed.
The law as I see it now is too restrictive as to where the weapon may be carried.
Criminals will pay no attention to this law.
KENNETH E. DITMER
What a wonderful job The Blade reporters did in their investigation of the atrocities committed by American soldiers in Vietnam some 30 years ago. Just think of all that travel and sacrifice.
Now they have the opportunity to investigate firsthand mutilation of Americans at the hands of Iraqis.
Cities to villages along mined roads, women and children armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.
When they return, we will hail their talents as award-winning investigative journalists with songs for their souls and medals for their bodies, dead or alive.
Just as soldiers, then and now.
Now a person might be charged twice with murder if he kills a woman and her unborn fetus. But if that same woman gets an abortion, all is OK? Go figure!