I was impressed with your July 28 editorial regarding the discipline and behavior of our junior high school aged children. You hit the nail on the head about how the relaxed standards of dress and lack of parental involvement take the seriousness out of the education process.
Yes, I was impressed until I read the last paragraph.
You have given those who don't want to be bothered with this situation an "out" by saying that eventually all kids will pass through this time and become adults. But the question is what kind of adults will they become?
Will they become parents who don't care how their children present themselves? Will they become parents who can't encourage and help their children because they never were attentive in school themselves? Will they become adults who will settle for minimum-wage jobs, as long as they are having fun? Will they go on through life having a poor work ethic and always looking for the easy way out? Will they be adults with no sense of respect for others or take personal responsibility?
It is not a question of making this transition easier on the rest of us. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. It is a question of raising children to be responsible adults who can make this world a better place.
Central Grove Avenue
At first I was angry and I feared the terrorists, and then came the Patriot Act. Now the administration is telling us that in case of terrorism acts the elections may have to be postponed. Now whom do I fear?
LOUIS J. HATTNER
Over the next few months we will all hear the right-wing condemn trial lawyers and their evil stepchildren, the personal injury lawyers. They will paint John Edwards as the next anti-Christ. I wonder why this occurs when trial lawyers are an integral part of the justice system they claim to cherish so highly.
I am not a lawyer or a bleeding-heart liberal. I believe there are frivolous lawsuits and that we should limit punitive damages. However, I feel that $250,000 is too low of a cap.
Should we not equally condemn corporate lawyers who advise CEOs on fraudulent tax shelters that rob the government of needed tax revenue and investors of their rightful profits? These lawyers work with CEOs to extort multimillion-dollar compensation packages from their board of directors while telling the average workers they must take pay cuts and higher insurance co-pays for the company to survive.
What about hospital lawyers who advise administrators on shuffling sub-standard health-care workers to other hospitals without mentioning their deficiencies? These lawyers also help administrators cover up obvious cases of malpractice.
What about prosecutors who have trumped up charges against innocent people to keep their conviction rates high? I am reminded of what my grandmother told me long ago, "There are good people and bad people. Our job is to figure out who we are dealing with." Let's all try to remember this when November rolls around.
I commend Mayor Ford and Toledo City Council for the courage and wisdom in the passing and enforcement of the smoking ban in Toledo, and The Blade for its support and articles.
I agree with the article "Smoking foes fear proposed amendment." While any anti-smoking law is a step in the right direction, one having exemptions would be weak, ineffective, and difficult to enforce. Look at Bowling Green. The BG Clean Indoor Air Act passed by 62 percent of the voters in November, 2001, had exemptions for bowling alleys and some bars. For the most part it has been a success.
Most restaurants reacted responsibly to the will of the people and completed the changes necessary to comply, but still there are some that are not in compliance today, and the main reason is weak enforcement. The local law enforcement agency does not enforce it.
Some got around it and chose not to provide smoke-free space where nonsmokers can take their family to enjoy clean air and smoke-free dining. BG has 16 new restaurants since the ban went into effect.
Other communities should follow with anti-smoking ordinances similar to Toledo's. But don't water it down or it won't work. Local city councils should do it now, not wait for a statewide ban. The need to protect children and adults from unwanted, harmful, and deadly secondhand smoke is now.
It was well worth the effort in Bowling Green.
On July 7 the Ohio State University Board of Trustees voted to extend health-care benefits to sponsored dependents of university students and employees.
Contrary to a misimpression about that vote, it was not the result of a single secret meeting before the board meeting. It was the culmination of more than a decade of discussion and debate, including at board committee meetings where domestic partner health-care proposals were presented.
Because President Karen Holbrook considered the issue of such concern, she devoted her entire presentation at the board meeting to the issue of domestic partner benefits and clearly outlined what was to come on the consent agenda.
These benefits, now offered by all but two of the other Big Ten universities, are of great importance to Ohio State's ability to compete in attracting and retaining highly qualified students, staff, and faculty. Indeed, in the weeks just before the July 7 vote, three Ohio universities - Miami, Ohio University, and Cleveland State - had decided to extend such benefits. We chose to follow suit.
While the decision to go ahead at the July board meeting was taken too late to put the matter on the agenda, the proposal's passage was not a stealth project, nor an attempt to avoid scrutiny. Nevertheless, in the spirit of openness, future presidential briefings will be open to the media so there will be no question that our board decisions are made, as they have been, as the result of open and honest inquiry.
ELIZABETH A. CONLISK
Assistant Vice President for Media Relations
Ohio State University
For those who are having trouble deciding whom to vote for in the coming presidential election, here is an idea. Read and watch all political ads you can and assign points to the content. For each negative comment by one candidate toward another give a minus point. For each constructive idea for the good of the country give a plus point. Subtract the pluses from the minuses, or more likely the minuses from the pluses. Vote for the candidate with the most plus points - or the least minus points - on Nov. 2. This procedure can also be used to measure how negative campaigning has become.
I presented this idea during a political phone call I received recently. The caller was stopped in mid-pitch.
I find amusing Mayor Jack Ford's comment that as a young black man he was taught to be "twice as good as the white males you compete against."
I was curious to know if minorities who got police/fireman careers over Caucasian applicants who scored higher on civil service exams feel the same way, thanks to affirmative action.
MICHAEL S. ZAWISZA
How wonderful to read the recent article written by Erika Ray regarding the sinking of the Sultana. My great-grandfather, Ira B. Horner, was a survivor of the Sultana. He was scalded, bruised, and had a dislocated shoulder, but he and three comrades floated on a piece of the deck of the ship until rescued. It's an honor to have the Sultana remembered.