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Published: 4/24/2005

Cormorants crowding out other wildlife

In most of the counties of northern Ohio, fishing is a large part of their economy. Anything that lessens or diminishes the harvesting of fish either by net or hook and line has to have an impact on this important industry.

If one watches the cormorants feeding along the shore of Lake Erie it becomes apparent that these birds are bound to be lowering the population of game fish. It has been said that one of these birds eat their weight in fish every day. The cormorants are visible and I believe their population could be controlled.

Some years ago West Sister Island became a refuge for these birds; now the island has become an area where these birds are the only inhabitants. The loss of vegetation due to these birds' droppings is making the habitat unlivable for other species. Green Island and Middle Island are starting to show similar effects.

I believe it would be in the interest of marina owners, commercial fisherman, and officials of the local political subdivisions to contact the Fish and Wildlife Department to push for an answer to this problem. That department keeps lowering the limits of fish that can be taken by people, and yet nothing is done about a bigger problem that is being perpetuated by the protection of these birds which, by the way, seem to have no particular good use and no natural enemies.

Something needs to be done before these birds crowd out or eat all other forms of wildlife in Lake Erie.

THOMAS E. ALLEN

Port Clinton, Ohio

Thank you very much for the April 16 article, "Soldier finds protection in prayer." It was well written and informative. With so many negative reports coming out of Iraq, and so much news that is depressing, this article was uplifting. I have heard similar reports from other soldiers about the need for prayer and the power that is in prayer, and I will continue to be faithful in praying for our men and women serving in Iraq. God can do anything. Only He can bring anything good out of a terrible situation like the war in Iraq.

SHERRY L. SPAANS

Perrysburg

Why aren't members of Congress and the Department of Agriculture up in arms about the importation of wood and wood products containing disease and harmful insects? As an example: the emerald ash borer entering the United States from wood crates from Asia, resulting in the cutting of thousands of trees to stop the spread of this insect.

Some sort of inspection should be made before these wood products enter the United States, and/or a spraying program of fungicides and pesticides should be implemented to eradicate these problems. This is not the first instance of this occurring.

PHYLLIS SHANE

Berkey

A recent letter writer misled himself into believing that President Franklin Roosevelt endorsed President Bush's call to add (or is it subtract?) "personal accounts" to Social Security. He then attempted to mislead the rest of us by misstating what Mr. Roosevelt did say in his Jan. 17, 1935, speech to Congress.

In that seminal speech FDR specified three principles for the new program. First, the government would have to finance the first retirees "for perhaps 30 years to come." Note that "30 years" and to what it refers. Next, contrary to what your reader stated, he did not "then" invoke "personal accounts" as the imperative next step in the program. Logically, his second principle was that individuals would begin to make compulsory contributions (the so-called payroll tax as we now know it) such that the system would eventually become self supporting.

His third, and last, principle was "voluntary" contributions "by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age."

Again, FDR did not say that after the first 30 years "it would be necessary" to move to personal accounts. The 30 years referred only to how long before the program would be self-supported by contributors. It had absolutely nothing to do with a personal accounts philosophy.

(See www.feri.org and click on archives then speeches for the full text of FDR's speech.)

Frank Ward

Goddard Road

Identifying Toledo as first nationally in number of annual emergency room visits is a most unwelcome distinction. It signals a need to critically evaluate current access and utilization of emergency care facilities and services, as well as other aspects of health care in our community, then to initiate corrective actions as may be indicated.

A nationwide trend has developed in recent years wherein increasing numbers of patients use emergency facilities for care of non-urgent problems, rather than a visit to a primary care physician, internist, or pediatrician. This places an undue burden on hospital personnel and finances, as well as contributing to increased health care and insurance costs.

A crucial element contributing to problems in our local health-care environment is competition between the two health systems - Mercy Health Partners and ProMedica. A major facet on this inter-system competition is costly, self-promotional advertising through billboards, print media, and television. These "commercials" are designed to attract and encourage the public to use specific health-care facilities and services.

Availability and prompt access to care in the emergency department is a key strategy in the corporate-style advertising used by both systems. In the context of Toledo's high rate of ER utilization, this must be regarded as a contributing factor.

To permit advertising of emergency services, as well as other facilities, demonstrates an abrogation of responsibility by the boards of directors/trustees of the two corporate systems appointed to serve the community. It is increasingly urgent that these trustees, in concert with hospital medical staffs, exert their authority and take appropriate actions to remedy the high ER visit problem, and to eliminate the adverse effects of inter-hospital system competition that are affecting "shareholders" - the public.

HOWARD S. MADIGAN, MD

Sylvania

As the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction issued its report, it stated that the Bush Administration was "absolved" from mishandling or reshaping the information it received from our intelligence agencies.

I am convinced that the administration must have breathed a sigh of relief when this was presented. However, what I found troubling about this report is that while Americans fiercely debated about going to war with Iraq, this administration was trying to solidify its case for war by asserting that our intelligence agreed with that of our allies, Britain in particular.

Now that the commission has found that our intelligence on WMD stunk, it certainly did not discredit our allies' reports which George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice had concluded, and tried to convince us, were sound and true like our own.

The Bushies sold us on the idea that "50,000 Frenchmen cannot be wrong" and, therefore, they could not wait for the mushroom cloud to be proven right. So what gives? Is Mr. Bush going to tell Britain and the other allies that their intelligence units were all out-of-touch with reality? Or, will Mr. Bush finally take some responsibility about "cooking the intelligence reports" to go to war?

And he still has not explained, as some of his former appointed officials from his previous administration have testified, why Iraq was on the table when Mr. Bush first entered office.

Doesn't the buck have to stop somewhere?

Anthony Thiros

Lambertville

What I want to know, did Tom Noe know? And, if he didn't know, why didn't he know? And if he knew, when did he know it?

From what I know, there is no reason for Noe not to have known it.

Joan Rigal

Waterville



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