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Published: Monday, 3/28/2005

The ugly face of intolerance

Liberals define themselves by what they oppose Social Security reform, rapacious liability lawyers must not be impeded, anti-war group support, and liberal judges who attack the U.S. Constitution, as some examples.

While riots are rechristened demonstrations by the politically correct media, demonstrations highlight adolescent self-indulgence and contempt for the rights of other people to go about their lives without finding their streets clogged with hooligans and the air filled with obscenities.

Many of these "demonstrators" are the same individuals who were telling us to "get over it" and "move on" during the Clinton scandals.

The acceptance of irresponsible behavior as a normal part of our public discourse says something about what is happening to this country as a whole.

There is a growing class of people for whom indignation is a way of life, and their sophomoric slogans are, unfortunately, taken seriously by many people who should know better. Their disruption of the lives of ordinary citizens is accepted. They call it exercising free speech, but they give short shrift to truth, facts, and common sense.

The taxpayers who foot the bill for mob control seldom get mentioned in the media, nor do the police who struggle to keep the mobs in check.

This is a sign of a spreading sickness in a society too apathetic to insist that law-and-order matter and too soft-headed to see that self-indulgence at other people's expense is not idealism.

The left does not accept the truth that other people have just as many rights as they do.

We are seeing the ugly face of intolerance under the idealistic pretense of protest. We need to recognize it for what it is, even if the media refuse to do so. We need to see it as a warning of where our society is headed.

FRED NOFZIGER

Maumee

Much has been written this month concerning head University of Toledo basketball coach Stan Joplin. I've listened to local radio stations admonishing The Blade for this and how The Blade is pro-Bowling Green and anti-Toledo.

Whether one chooses to believe that, the bottom line is that the University of Toledo has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1981. It hasn't even been to the MAC Championship game under Coach Joplin's regime. Even undistinguished predecessors Jay Eck and Larry Gipson at least did that once during their tenure.

The more alarming aspect of the men's basketball program though is the seemingly growing apathy of the Toledo community concerning this team.

Attendance dwindles every year despite the promotions and giveaways of tickets. The crowds that do come to the game don't exactly resemble the Cameron Crazies.

To call the men's basketball program mediocre may be a little harsh. After all, they have won a number of MAC West championships. But should we be satisfied with that? Should we be satisfied with early exits out of the MAC Tournament year after year? Former Athletic Director Al Bohl was vilified for firing Dan Simrell years ago because he wanted the football program to be more successful than it was.

Well, I don't see many people complaining about the football program now. This almost seems to be the same situation with the basketball team.

A good team? You bet it is. But maybe it's time to take this program to the next level - a level it has not been in 24 years.

GARY JAKUBOWSKI

Nantucket Road

When we read about personnel issues at the Toledo Zoo, we remember that all stories have several sides. And we remember with amazement some of the features Director Bill Dennler has brought to our community, building on the proud history of the zoo.

In the late 1970s, the zoo's elephants were housed in small cages. We expressed concern to zoo leadership at the time. Surely, these great animals should have a larger space, maybe even a pool - they love water. Today, the animals enjoy a large outdoor area with a pool and trees; all part of the wonderful African Savanna exhibit that also includes the Hippoquarium, Meerkats, and many other favorite animals.

The nearby children's zoo has been renovated and upgraded. Children can enjoy getting up close and personal with goats and farm animals. We see a beautifully renovated Reptile House with naturalistic exhibits and historic murals.

Is there a cramped and smelly lion house? No, the visitor finds instead the Carnivore Caf, with treats for humans. Top of the line catering extends to the Beastro, children's birthday parties, company picnics, and special events.

In fact, the entire zoo has been updated and expanded. New exhibits include the Arctic Encounter, Africa!, free-flight aviary, and a naturalistic exhibit for the apes complete with enrichment activities. The science museum has great learning activities for kids, a freshwater stream, and bats. The conservatory has been restored and there are beautiful plantings throughout the zoo. Last but not least are the favorite special events - Lights Before Christmas, Frozentoesen, and the Pumpkin Path.

So as we await a fair presentation of all sides of the story, let us give a word of appreciation to Mr. Dennler and his excellent staff for all they have done to conserve, expand, and enhance our wonderful Toledo Zoo.

ELLEN and GUILLERMO BERNAL

Perrysburg

It should be surprising to no one that the residents of the Meadows subdivision would prefer traffic to be restricted on Whispering Oak. When Grove Bel subdivision was created, I'm sure it was not the intent of the developer or home buyers that Radcliff would become a through street to King Road, but that is what is has become. Like Whispering Oak, it is a public street; swept, salted, plowed, and generally maintained by all Sylvania taxpayers.

We may not like it, but drivers have the right to use public streets to drive where they choose, taking the most direct route they can.

I'm sure the Meadows residents have never meant to imply that the children on Whispering Oak have an entitlement to safety that the children living on Silica, San Luis Rey, and Maple do not.

I find it hard to believe that this action would have been initiated over a less affluent neighborhood. The concerns publicly voiced by the residents, i.e. speeding and recklessness, would appear to be law enforcement rather that access issues.

CAROL S. DOLPH

Sylvania

It was with interest and a little confusion that I read the notation in Russ Lemmon's column that referenced the low graduation rate at Libbey High school. The interest stems from the fact that one recent evening, talking with a teacher at Libbey, I learned that his classroom still, at this late date, does not have the required computers in his classroom.

Now, it's not that the computers cannot be purchased by the school. They're there! They sit on the floor of a room nearby. When he offered to set them up himself, he was told that went against union regulations. They were to be installed by the appropriate technicians. Why then had these techs, employed by the school, not installed them?

They could only be installed with the proper computer tables, also outlined by definite specifications, so there they sit while our students, already perhaps challenged by other issues, come to a class that is under-equipped. All of the regular channels had been pursued, and yet, in late March, equipment needed for the class is lacking.

Is this the same school system that is going to require more taxpayer dollars on the next ballot? Methinks ye jest!

MARY PILCHER

Prouty Avenue

Toledo City Councilman Frank Szollosi would never have received a single vote if it hadn't been for Jack Wilson. For him to deride Mr. Wilson for being honest is laughable. If more politicians were as honest as Mr. Wilson, there would be far fewer problems today in the Democratic Party, in Toledo, and in Lucas County as a whole.

JOSHUA Z. SINGER

Harford Road



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