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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 3/31/2005

It's time to rethink use of school bus

In light of the school bus tragedy involving a young Oregon child, I wonder whether the day of the school bus has passed.

As school districts grapple with financial issues and the state considers adding more proficiency testing in an attempt to address educational issues, perhaps the real question districts should be asking themselves is whether it would be more educationally centric and safer for our children if the funding spent on school bus service was funneled into longer school days.

The skyrocketing costs of fueling, insuring, and maintaining a fleet of vehicles alone challenges whether school bus service is a cost-effective use of educational dollars that would be better spent on an extended school day for our children. Traffic is not going to improve.

Many people don't stop for emergency vehicles anymore. Driver distractions are only getting worse. School districts would have less liability exposure and it would be safer for the kids if the parents just got their own kids to school like they did when their children were in day care.

Parent-provided transportation would also eliminate days now lost when school districts are forced to cancel school on questionable weather days due to potential liability issues involving school bus service. Students could use the additional time in the classroom as the mandates caused by new proficiency testing regulation continue to overload the time students do spend in class.

These mandates are rushing students through so much material so quickly that students are not even being given a chance to master the basics before being rushed onto new topics. Traffic issues are not going to get better, but an extended school day would make a real impact on the core educational goals districts fund schools for in the first place.

MARGARET DIEHL

Sylvania

My heart sank when I read the front page: "Genoa woman told police yesterday that she was distracted by her cell phone when her car struck and killed a 5-year-old Oregon boy after he got off the school bus "

This needless death could have been avoided if cell phone use was prohibited while driving. No amount of public relations and political contributions by cellular phone companies can change the fact that cell phone use, while driving, presents a substantial danger to innocent bystanders.

It is time for Ohio's legislators to make cell-phone use by drivers illegal in Ohio.

Douglas Oliver

Shakespeare Lane

I read about the accident involving a kindergarten student killed after exiting a marked school bus. My heart aches for the parents. I can only imagine how they must feel. The article also mentioned that when the police arrived on the scene, the driver of the car was using her cell phone to call her attorney. If I understand this correctly, she does not know enough to not pass a stopped school bus with lights and sign functioning, but she has the presence of mind to cover her backside. Did she exhibit any compassion or remorse for what she did?

Perhaps she was also using the phone while she was passing the bus. If so, this is yet another reason why telephones should be outlawed for use in cars.

What is our society becoming? People never cease to amaze me.

RICHARD M. REDER

Foxcroft Road

Ryan E. Smith's March 17 article, "A Slice of Genius: Marketing Magic Turned Ginsu into Gold," on the success of the innovative Ginsu knife marketing program was revealing.

"But wait, there's more!" - to that northwest Ohio business history story.

The current issue of the Medici Circle newsletter ("Celebrating 25 Years" edition) from the Bowling Green State University School of Fine Arts asks, " did you know that our own Carl Hall designed the [Ginsu] knife? Mr. Hall joined the BGSU School of Art faculty in 1957 and taught until 1990 when he retired as professor emeritus. He has designed houses, airplanes, and all manner of consumer items."

Little did Mr. Hall know that his cutting-edge design would become part of television direct- response marketing history.

Thomas R. Schoen

West Bancroft Street

I already know that The Blade has no shame. By allowing various venomous letters to be published, you have proven this. A letter from Fostoria proves to be the most venomous of all.

For the writer to compare Michael Schiavo and Scott Peterson, a convicted murderer, is scandalous and perhaps even slander for him to speak of "a diabolical scheme to get rid of her [Terri]."

While the writer has every right to feel that way, to write it and then have a so-called great newspaper print it is beyond credibility.

Does anyone at The Blade screen these letters?

I know that they do because they do not like to print any that are critical of The Blade or its editorial policies. You somewhat missed on the Fostoria letter, however.

Larry Reed

Maumee

I am appalled by the 51 senators who chose to permit drilling in one of America's most beautiful and pristine lands. If you have never seen the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I urge you to look it up at your local library or online because once the drilling starts, you will never see it again.

Sen. George Voinovich obviously chose special interest rather than other energy solutions and therefore is a puppet of a George Bush cabinet that chooses to destroy our last protected lands, as proven by his earlier attempts to alter the Endangered Species Act.

This saddens me deeply. Pro-drillers will have you believe that with modern drilling methods, no harm will come to the Arctic. C'mon! How many more lies do they expect us to believe? We still have a chance to defeat this when it comes up again in the final budget. I swear it is not over yet!

Scott Dolbee

109th Street

The Toledo Zoo, like any other agency, had the best of intentions when hiring a consultant.

Unfortunately, consultants come in all types - brilliant outside-the-box thinkers, those who restate what staff has been saying all along, and collateral damage maestros. Sometimes the presentations, references, and the first volley don't always indicate how a consultant will finish the job.

Agency boards, management, and staff develop a consensus of confidence in any consultant. This confidence has to come from all sides if problems are to be solved. Scott Warrick's reactions to various concerns appear to have breached some of those confidences. Bellyaching to local contacts about a current situation? Especially one taking public hits? He's either very full of himself or desperate for work.

Should management have run interference earlier when problems arose? Yes. Can a small group of staff members keep the pot stirred? Absolutely. Does each one of us take care of business when we should? Maybe half the time.

Agencies and people all experience at least one fall from grace. It's not the fall but what you do with the time afterward that will make the difference. Use this time wisely.

Kim Yehoda-Barrett

Glynn Drive

My deepest sympathy goes to the family of Dameatrius McCreary. Seat belts are required by the State of Ohio to save lives, yet people are allowed to use cell phones while driving.

Our full attention needs to be on our driving. With Angelique Dipman's driving record, she should have been required to sit at the funeral home and see what grief she caused from her carelessness.

Everyone is in a rush with little regard to others' safety.

Slow down!

LEE MEHLING

Fremont



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