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Published: Thursday, 5/13/2004

Be realistic about gaming in Toledo

Why can't we be more realistic about video slots and gambling in Toledo?

We are short of cash on every front, yet we turn our backs on a way to bring in more of it, or keep more of it in our fair city.

Russ Lemmon wrote about Evansville, Ind., and how that city has received $102 million in tax and other payments from a casino called Casino Azar. He went on to say $10.5 million has been used for city street improvements and $11.5 million for improvements along the riverfront. He also mentioned the casino's 15.6 million visitors and $253 million in wages, tips, and related benefits received by its employees. He quoted Paul McAuliffe, editor of the Evansville Courier, who supplied this information, and closed by saying: "For those of us who were doubtful of the benefits of riverboat gambling and wary of the costs, the numbers are pretty persuasive."

So why do we keep our heads in the sand and turn down a solution to our cash problem? In the very same Blade, in the Living section, a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary tell one and all that if you can't reach the couple at home, you'll find them on a bus to one of the casinos.

This Blade subscriber of more than 52 years is of the opinion that "One of America's Great Newspapers" and a Pulitzer prize winner should encourage its readers to give it a try and see what comes of legalized gambling hereabouts. The Blade has already backed the anti-smoking campaign and driven much business out of Toledo.

"Thou shalt not gamble." "Thou shalt not smoke." When are you going to rewrite the other eight commandments?

A. Wietrzykowski

San Paulo Drive

I have read many letters in The Blade recently dealing with liberal bias in the media and decrying the liberal point of view.

The main exception I take is that the majority of television and radio conglomerates are conservative: Clear Channel, Fox, CBS, etc. How many liberal talk shows are broadcast by any of them? Other than the name-calling radio hosts on most conservative talk radio, the only dissenting voices I hear come from Air America Radio (www.airamericaradio.com).

The problem I have with Republicans and conservatives is their unfair persecution of anyone who disagrees with them. Great examples are how the present administration and conservative talk show hosts treated Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke, both Republican former administration officials who criticized their old boss, the President.

I don't agree with everything the liberals say, but at least they allow other points of view. At least during the Clinton administration, America enjoyed a huge budget surplus, prosperity at home, and freedom for all. Since the Republicans have taken over, there is a huge deficit, huge tax cuts for the very rich, secret deals with major corporations, and anti-labor and anti-environment legislation, crafted by people who have this facade of slick goodness and morality.

So if you are a religious, moral person, you are trusting in the wrong folks to run your country. We need both parties to run our government: The Republicans to keep us spending prudently and on a moral course, the Democrats to keep the Republicans from giving away our treasury to the big corporations and the very rich, and both parties to keep us on a sane ground in dealing with the rest of the world.

Evan J. Chase

Wildwood Road

I read with amusement Toby Hoover's hand-wringing lament in Readers' Forum on Ohio's new concealed-carry law. A culture of fear? You bet. But she's focused on the wrong group of people. The "fearful" ones are now the perpetrators and criminals who reside in this state. They now know that they are very likely to make a serious and perhaps terminal mistake in their victim selection process.

They are at a distinct disadvantage now because they will not know which law-abiding citizen is armed and able to protect himself or herself from attack. Except, of course, for liberals like Ms. Hoover, who make the mistake of publicly declaring their willingness to become victims.

Arlan Tussing

Penn Road

Some Readers' Forum writers attempt to justify the war in Iraq by comparing it to World War II. The standard comparison of Pearl Harbor to the Trade Center and Pentagon is made by one writer. Then the declaration of war against Japan and the action in Afghanistan is equated.

Next he compared Germany to Iraq. Neither had a direct (or indirect) role in the attacks on the United States. Both are hostile to the U.S. Both are suspected of abusing their citizens. Neither was a serious threat to the United States. So far no problem.

But then he equated the unjustified invasion of Iraq and the war with Germany. Unfortunately for this argument, the facts get in the way. Germany declared war on the United States first in response to the United States' declaration of war on Japan. Only then did we declare war on them. Iraq did not declare war on us.

Germany and Japan had a mutual defense treaty. No such treaty existed between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Other European nations were already at war with Germany. There was no current conflict involving Iraq. Most nations of Europe wanted the U.S. to enter the war against Germany. Most nations of the Middle East and the rest of the world urged constraint and patience.

These facts are ignored by Bush apologists. The justification for the war changed from "he has weapons of mass destruction" to "he was an evil man."

We are already in Iraq and can't get out now. But we can and should get George Bush out of the White house.

Joseph E. Pflager

Maumee

As a listener at the Toledo Symphony's concerts, I am at the Peristyle to just enjoy. As much as I appreciate Steve Cornelius' ability to critique the concerts, I don't appreciate his interference with my pure enjoyment of these concerts.

I read Mr. Cornelius' review of the April 30 concert prior to attending the May 1 concert. I kept waiting for my disappointment with the concert to surface, but it never happened. In fact, it was a marvelous concert, and I know many others agreed.

Phyllis Morton

Perrysburg

Where's the outcry and call for Jamie Gorelick, former Clinton/Reno Justice Department deputy director, to step down now that it has been shown that she is a major factor in the failure to discover the 9/11 plot before it happened?

Is it because she was outed by a Bush Administration official? She hasn't denied the charge. How come there's no headline along the lines of "9/11 commissioner found culpable in intelligence problems being investigated by the commission"?

James R. Vogelsang

Perrysburg

Recent publicity on gas drive-offs is a waste of time and space. This crime is 100 percent preventable.

Don't turn on the gas pump without the customer paying for the gas first. (He has to pay anyway.) The use of a credit card is also asking for theft at the pump. The reason is you don't need a PIN number to use your card. Millions of dollars of credit-card theft could be stopped if everyone had to use a PIN number.

I don't believe one in 50 stores ask for my identification. If you can't remember a four-digit PIN, you should not have a credit card.

Ed Gust

Doty Drive

So former Toledoan and Columbus mayor Michael Coleman is possibly a candidate for governor of our state. Even though I am a Republican, I must say that even I would give him consideration. He's a very smart man!

After all he was smart enough to leave Toledo!

Chad Arthur

Maumee



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