In a recent Forum letter, Sen. George Voinovich pointed out that Republicans did not have to filibuster the nomination of Abe Fortas, President Johnson's choice for chief justice of the Supreme Court, because due to controversies over past legal fees and involvement with investment bankers, "Mr. Fortas' nomination wasn't even supported by a large number of senators of the President's own party. In fact, 19 Democrats voted against cloture."
Flash to the 2005 nomination of John Bolton to be our representative to the United Nations. Although this isn't a judicial nomination, the circumstances are similar.
There is plenty of controversy over this choice of a person who "kisses up and kicks down" as one brave - and fortunately retired - former government official stated in Mr. Bolton's nomination hearings.
In addition to being of unsound temperament and vindictive inclination, Mr. Bolton shows by his history that he has nothing but contempt for the world body. Administration officials tout Mr. Bolton as the man needed to hold the U.N. accountable. Republicans and Democrats alike say there are many honorable candidates who can fulfill that goal without alienating the world community.
Senator Voinovich has an opportunity to do for our country what the 19 Democrats did in 1968. Last week, after testimony that indicated Mr. Bolton may be incompetent for the U.N. role, committee member Voinovich courageously asked for a delay in moving the nomination to the Senate floor.
By doing so, he held up the nomination and incurred the wrath of his party and administration.
He will receive tremendous pressure to say that, after further consideration, he has chosen to support Mr. Bolton.
I would ask Senator Voinovich to consider the courage of the 19 Democratic senators in 1968 who voted against their president and for their people - and do likewise.
Oscar Wilde said "nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." Consider Issue 1 and Issue 2, the two Sylvania Fire Department levies. The price of the combined levies is $124.05 a year per $100,000 of property valuation. Much has been made of the "price" of the levies. We know the price, but do we know their value?
The value of the fire levies goes straight to the heart of Sylvania's quality of life.
Sylvania is a safe community, with outstanding fire and emergency service and police protection. We have great schools and quality parks and recreational facilities. However, the fire department is understaffed and cannot continue to provide guaranteed rapid response to emergencies. Three of our fire stations are in disrepair and are in dangerous locations. The community needs a new fire station to meet the growth and demand for service.
It seems to me that the price of the fire levies is modest for the return on investment: three replacement stations and one new fire station, modern equipment, and a fully staffed professional fire department. The value is also clear:
Our fire and rescue services will continue to define the high quality of life in Sylvania.
Sylvania Township Trustee
One question: Is anyone else as taxed out as we are living in the City of Sylvania? If so, go out on May 3 and send a clear message to the Sylvania Township trustees. Four new fire stations is unrealistic. One maybe; four, no way.
Everyday citizens cannot do anything about the increasing gas prices or health-care costs,but they can control their property taxes. Sylvania City Council does not even approve of this; it has taken a neutral stance on the levy issue.
All citizens in Sylvania City and Sylvania Township need to go out on May 3 and send a clear message. We are taxed out.
If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is basically a safety agency designed to protect the public, then who is going to pay the $5.45 million fine against FirstEnergy? Will FirstEnergy and its stockholders take the hit, as they should? Or will they pass it on to us, the consumers/their customers?
FirstEnergy is a "for-profit" corporation with stockholders to keep happy but functioning as a monopoly. If one penny of the perpetrator's fine is passed on to the victims (us), this is one consumer who will seek class-action recourse if indeed it still exists after so called "tort reform."
My congratulations to the person who had the great idea to fine FirstEnergy $5.45 million for its negligence in reactor maintenance. Because the major source of income for the utility is the sale of electricity, this fine, when imposed, will most certainly increase our already staggering electric bill. In effect the regulatory commission is fining the consumers.
I believe it would make more sense to cancel the fine and start a criminal action against the incompetents who let the dangerous incident occur. The buck has to stop with someone. Let's not fine the consumers and stockholders. Let's punish the guilty parties.
John H. Gottschalk
When you are done denigrating Tom Noe and doing your best to collapse the rare coin market, let's do a comprehensive expose on Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Why does a state-mandated insurance fund have an $18 billion reserve? How much is that per hazardous job in the State of Ohio?
Small businesses have been leaving Ohio for years because of government-mandated high business costs like workers' compensation. I guess they were right, if the bureau has accumulated $18 billion.
DAVID R. RYERSON
My wife and I have long been members of the Toledo Zoo, but until six years ago, never enthusiastically significant contributors. After taking an incredible trip to Africa with Bill Dennler and 11 other individuals, I am happy to report we have become believers in the zoo and the entire staff, who undoubtedly are a large part of its great progress. Dr. Tim Reichard must be included in this very accomplished group.
Further, I have noticed in reading the zoo's publications that virtually every member on our safari has become a major contributor to the zoo. Whatever the zoo's expense for sending Mr. Dennler on that safari, the money was extremely well spent.
Mr. Dennler led the safari, tirelessly handling all of the details and lending his expertise to the adventure. Throughout the entire 12 days, Bill shared his dedication to the well being and survival of all animals, not only those of Africa but the Toledo Zoo as well.
Many times over the years I have personally heard Mr. Dennler extol the virtues and accomplishments of his staff.
Instead of criticizing Mr. Dennler for his trips abroad, he deserves a pat on the back and our deepest gratitude for a job well done.
He has an enthusiastic and dynamic personality that, along with his excellent support staff, brought the zoo from near extinction to one of national prominence.
JAMES C. LOWER
I admire the man who called Jane Fonda a traitor and spit tobacco juice in her face.
My generation forgave her so easily. An older generation would have tarred and feathered her.
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