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Published: Saturday, 4/16/2005

Cutting trees won t contain ash borer

The effort by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to contain the spread of the emerald ash borer by destroying thousands of (mostly healthy) ash trees is an exercise in futility and a monumental waste of taxpayers dollars.

Consider the following:

1. The protocol to destroy every ash tree within a half mile of an infested tree is ineffective; adult ash borers can disperse up to six miles from their hatching site.

2. The ash borer has already spread beyond our area, with hot spots of invasion well to the south of Toledo, so cutting ash trees here is, in effect, closing the barn door after the cow has escaped.

3. Borer infestations generally do not become apparent for two to three years after a tree is infected. Thus it is virtually certain many more infected trees already exist well beyond the areas being sanitized.

4. Killing thousands of healthy trees before the ash borer can kill them is simply illogical. It is reminiscent of the Army captain in Vietnam who said famously, we had to destroy the village to save it.

The ODA is neither ignorant nor stupid. It knows as well as anyone that its protocol offers no realistic chance of stopping the borer s spread. But it is afraid of public reaction if it is perceived that it is doing nothing.

Sadly, the cutting will continue until it becomes apparent that the ash borer will not be contained. Hopefully this will happen soon. Then the infestation will run its course, and hopefully we will adopt a more enlightened approach when the next exotic invader arrives.

Elliot J. Tramer

Professor of EcologyUniversity of Toledo

Is Social Security in trouble? Your money is not there. The government borrowed it. It s drawing interest.

Are banks in trouble? Your money is not there. It s loaned out. It s asccumulating interest. Will the bank be able to pay you? Well, the obvious answer is yes. As the principle (with interest) is repaid, the bank can accommodate withdrawal requests. And make a profit.

Would you feel safer if your money was not loaned out? How else would you gain interest? Where would mortgage money come from?

How about entrusting your safety net with investment capitalists?

Maybe Mega Bucks?

Welcome to the bait-and-switch administration. A full court press is on today. Fake right, go left. The object of the game is to drain Social Security. Get the money.

Reminds me of the fable about the emperor s new clothes. The captains of power and influence did with loud voices let it be known throughout the land that any who could not discern King George s marvelous new garments lacked understanding. Trust us, they said.

But in fact, it was all a charade. The players on that team each agreed within themselves to feign belief so that they might prosper.

Then, someone blurted out He s nude! Spinmeisters with one accord began to scold opposers. Obstructionists! Don t rain on our parade. They feared others would hear and the whole facade would crumble. Radio damage control chimed in with their usual method character assassination.

Where are all those jobs that were supposed to materialize from the borrowed money for tax cuts to make the rich richer? Wouldn t that have solved the Social Security shortfall?

Aren t we now paying almost a billion dollars a day just for interest?

Matt Perkins

Heidelberg Road

I go to Raceway Park horse track once in a while. I went on opening night and I could not believe what bad shape it is in. When you go outside to watch a race, there is garbage all along the fence. There is peeling paint all along the outside. It needs a complete redo.

If this is how they prepared the track for opening night, I can just imagine how it will be for the rest of the year.

Dennis Tscherne

Gould Street


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