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Published: Wednesday, 5/4/2005

Lucas County should secede from Ohio

In the early 1990s, The Blade editorialized that Lucas County should consider seceding from Ohio and seeking acceptance in Michigan because of Ohio's disproportionate allocation of resources to its three largest cities.

In a Forum letter, I ridiculed the notion, suggesting that it would be embarrassing to be permanently linked with such bottom-rung burgs as Detroit, Flint, Jackson, and Lansing. I facetiously asked, "Where do I sign up?"

Turns out, I was wrong. We should be embarrassed for not having joined our northern neighbor. Michigan voted for Al Gore in 2000. Ohio preferred George W. Bush. Things worsened dramatically for both states. Accordingly, Michigan voted for John Kerry in 2004. Ohio, despite losing more jobs than any other state during that stretch, inexplicably went for Mr. Bush.

Ohio apparently endorses, among other dubious policies: a quagmire in Iraq resulting in more terrorist attacks and thousands of Americans and innocent Iraqis killed and maimed; surging deficits; energy programs placing Hummer tax deductions and wilderness drilling over sensible conservation measures and alternative-energy research; outlawing anything remotely gay; yet more standardized tests in the name of education reform; bankruptcy "reform" drafted largely by the credit-card industry; "saving" Terri Schiavo, and stacking the judiciary with far-right ideologues, one of whom has even been caught practicing law without a license.

All this, mind you, presented under such Orwellian-named programs as "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests" and publicized by phony news reporters and paid, syndicated shill columnists.

Although Ohio - twice - voted for this garbage, Lucas County did not. Accordingly, the notion of joining Michigan is looking better and better. I repeat my question from a decade ago, only this time I'm serious: Where do I sign up?

Rick Baum

Densmore Drive

For 104 years, the integration of art into the lives of all people has been the Toledo Museum of Art's driving mission.

Therefore, I was troubled and dismayed to read comments from a recent Board of Community Relations meeting suggesting racial motives for the museum's call for assistance for Jeffrey Turner.

The museum acted only in the interest of Mr. Turner's safety and welfare, as any Good Samaritan would have done.

Our staff noticed a man standing in the street behind the closed museum, where passing cars had to swerve to miss him. Out of concern for his safety, they notified a Museum Protective Services officer who approached the man, repeatedly offered him assistance, and asked him to move out of harm's way onto the sidewalk. However, the man declined and remained in the road for more than 30 minutes.

As any caring citizen would do, our protective services supervisor called 911 to request assistance.

We were later saddened by the news that Mr. Turner had died overnight after being booked at the Lucas County Jail.

The implication that the museum discourages anyone from visiting our campus is false and offensive. Our doors are open to everyone - free of charge.

With our exhibition "Picturing Freedom: Photographs from the American Civil Rights Movement" we welcomed more than 30,000 visitors, approximately 7,500 of whom are African-American. Currently, our Committee for Cultural Diversity is preparing TMA's first Juneteenth Festival for June 18. Perhaps most importantly, we partner with the Black Chamber of Commerce, the Sofia Quintero Cultural Center, and the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Toledo to offer free off-site art classes to students from a variety of backgrounds.

The museum is an open door to the wonders of the world through art. It is, in short, your Museum.

Don Bacigalupi

Director

Toledo Museum of Art

Your top editorial April 16 was extremely upsetting. The situation described was horrible, dreadful, and disgusting! What is happening to our society?

The fact that a developmentally disabled high school girl was "accosted by several boys in the auditorium, punched, and forced to perform oral sex on at least two of them" is so revolting, it makes me see red!

But what's almost worse is that several students witnessed the attack, watched and videotaped it, but did nothing to stop it. Is this what peer pressure has come to? Protect the perpetrators?

And, to top it all, the school administrators tried to cover the whole incident up, and contacted the police only at the insistence of the distraught father of the girl.

The Blade called it "shameful." I call it revolting!

I would hope that The Blade continues to follow this story to report on what happens to the boys who perpetrated this heinous crime! They better get more than a slap on the wrist.

Jerry Jakes

Flanders Road

I'm having a little trouble following your crusade against Tom Noe. Perhaps I'm not looking far enough to the left. Some time ago, you published a letter from a financial planner who said that value-oriented mutual funds earned a great return over the last five years. Do you really think he threw diversification to the wind and asked his clients to invest every penny in value funds? If so, you are investigating the wrong person. Perhaps this guy can tell me how to invest using hindsight instead of trying to predict an unpredictable market?

On April 25, you featured a letter from William Takacs, who argued against changes in workers' compensation, but didn't like the bureau's investment in coins. Where was your cute little editorial note pointing out that Mr. Takacs is an attorney who may have profited greatly from the workers' comp system? In fact, I can tell you about lots of lawyers and doctors who made a fine living off workers' comp. Seems like greed is not limited to the corporate side of this coin (no pun intended).

You say that Tom Noe hired a felon, and that concerns me. What you don't say is whether you have investigated all the other places where the state invested the funds and whether they have felons on their payrolls.

You have been bemoaning the lack of state investment in Toledo for years. You claim all the State money goes to the three C's. Why then are you so against this investment which came to Toledo? Perhaps you expected that all the Toledo investments would go to Democrats.

An investigation should include research on both sides of the issue. This smells more like a witch hunt to me.

John F. Weber

Swanton

It seems to me that the "Thomas Noe Affair" is a prime example of ego gone wild. It is risky business allowing one individual to have his fingers in so many different pies at the same time. Whether there are any improprieties, which remains to be seen, this has created a situation that is ripe for corruption.

Shame on the governor for shrugging his shoulders, claiming ignorance, and continuing to turn a blind eye. Shame on Tom Noe for allowing his ego and self-importance to create this situation, and shame on us if we allow it to continue.

Stephanie Bluni

Douglas Road

Now they want to make Daylight Saving Time cover nearly nine months of the year. Why don't they just make it cover the whole 12 months so we can all be done with this ridiculous clock changing twice a year?

When I was a girl the time didn't change and I don't recall anyone suffering because of it. I realize that it's because all the "money men" in New York and Washington want it (because they're at the eastern edge of their time zone and thus it gets dark earlier) but that's only a very small part of the country.

Why should the rest of us have to be inconvenienced because they're afraid of the dark? Leave the darn time alone!

Shirley J. Beutler

Lambertville



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