Thackeray's Bookstore will soon disappear into that archive of once beautiful respites that were part of Toledo. Other bookstores take its place, relegating it to a fond yet tormenting memory of a place that made its patrons feel good.
Thackeray's sold books that could be found in many other stores or on web sites with the mere lazy punch of some computer keys, but experiencing Thackeray's isn't just about the purchase of books. It is about the ritual of tactile immersion into lives and circumstances far beyond the realm of one's own limited world and the fascinating, impassioned staff who shared their knowledge of and obsession with the written word.
To acknowledge that our community and larger society has lost its reverence for all that Thackeray's and other independent bookstores offer is really almost too much for us bibliophiles to bear. I guess I'll have to limit my literary pilgrimages to my other favorite inde-bookstore in a sleepy little village in Maine, where the soothing experience of a quiet, uncluttered odyssey into the best that literature has to offer is celebrated with simple abundance.
The "elegant city" article touting Mayor Jack Ford was so candy-coated it would rot your teeth.
"Balanced the budget, reformed the way city hall does business, and held on to one of the city's biggest employers" must refer to his garbage fee, his multimillion dollar riverfront land giveaway, the prospect that Owens-Illinois might leave the city, and the business-killing smoking ban.
Let's not forget the army of "consultants" Mayor Ford has hired that amounted to nothing but a tab for the citizens to pick up. Maybe The Blade should read its own stories. The general public seems to remember the last four years under Mayor Ford a bit differently.
Regarding a few issues about the turnpike:
What was Gov. Bob Taft thinking when raising the speed limit for the semi-tractor trailers? I travel frequently on the turnpike and I cannot begin to tell him how terrifying it is to be traveling in the dark in pouring down rain and having those trucks flying by at 70 m.p.h.
I commend him for what he was trying to achieve, but until you make it free for the trucks, it doesn't work. Lowering the tolls was an OK idea - although I personally would like mine lowered, too - but raising the speed limit was a bad, bad idea. Governor Taft should bring those speed limits back down.
Also, regarding the recent threat of a strike, I was shocked by the wages those employees are making. They're not happy with those amounts?
I say step aside and let some of the unemployed take those "hard" jobs. I bet they'd be happy with current wages and benefits.
I wonder about our representative government. I think we have got a lot more government than representation.
In 1823 the population was about 9.65 million of us. There were 213 representatives at that time in office. There was one representative for about every 45,305 of us. In the year 1913 there were about 93 million people in the United States. There were 435 voting members in the House of Representatives. That got us one representative for every 213,793 of us.
In the year 2005, including millions of illegal aliens, there are more than 300 million Americans. We still have only 435 representatives in the House of Representatives. That's about one representative for every 689,655 of us.
Back in 1823 or even in 1913, there was a small chance at least of meeting your representative. Now who among us feels that one person can adequately represent 689,655 of us with any degree of effectiveness?
These representatives are better able to represent their own selfish group interests to us than they are able to represent us to our government. Don't you think it is time to increase the number of representatives in office, time to reduce their pay, time to remove their extraordinary health benefits?
Why are some backwoods hicks directing the lives and fates of millions of city dwellers? Don't you think it is time to bring them down from the throne on which they have put themselves?
On Jan. 29 The Blade published an editorial, "Sanctions against Sudan," in which references were made to the death toll in Sudan. Simply stating that "tens of thousands have died" is a gross understatement of the gravity of the situation.
An article on the U.S. State Department Web site pins the number of dead in Darfur at approximately 300,000. The article was released Jan. 13, was written by Susan Ellis, and is titled "Sudan Peace Accord Seen as Shortcut to Solving Darfur Crisis."
The most commonly used death toll of 70,000 comes from a Sept. 13, 2004, United Nations World Health Organization estimate of deaths in accessible camps for displaced persons and was limited to the period from April, 2004, to early September, 2004. The figure was never intended to be a cumulative death toll of the victims of the genocide!
Please refrain from using outdated underestimations of the number of dead. We cannot let Darfuris continue to die invisibly.
ETHAN R. DEYLE
I owe the Readers' Forum an apology. In my Dec. 27 letter I predicted that the national debt would reach $8 trillion sometime in January. I was wrong. It only reached $7.618 trillion.
My prediction was based on the $388 billion, end-of-year "package" that Congress passed, made up of mostly pork barrel projects, something for just about everyone in the whole nation. My point was that this was money we didn't have, and would have to borrow.
It was pointed out to me that the $388 billion was only appropriated and earmarked for those projects, and would be spent throughout the year, not all at once.
Since we are adding to the national debt at the rate of more than $2 billion per day, we will not reach $8 trillion until sometime in the fall of 2005. However, this does not include the $80 billion President Bush will ask from Congress to pay for Iraq, nor does it include any costs associated with fixing Social Security or Medicare.
To help put $8 trillion into perspective, the gross domestic product in 2003 was just shy of $12 trillion. The value of all the companies listed on the stock market is about $14 trillion.
We won the cold war because communism bankrupted the Soviet Union. Are we headed in the same direction?
I have a quick, simple solution to the Iraqi war. Let's draft all the sons and daughters of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and all the senators and congressmen, stipulating that these new recruits will replace the soldiers, Marines, National Guardsmen, et al, who have been ordered to serve beyond their normal tour of duty. Amen!
VIRGINIA M. NICHOLS
The new year is only a month old, but a state senator has already claimed the prize as 2005's "Hypocrite of the Year." In his Jan. 22 letter to The Blade, Sen. Tim Grendell complains that a proposed parking fee to support Ohio's state parks will unfairly deny Ohioans the right to access public resources.
Is this the same Senator Grendell who, when speaking through the other side of his mouth, wants to stop any public access to Lake Erie and its shoreline with a ill-reasoned bill to obstruct effective management of Ohio's coastal resources? He can't have it both ways.