After having a couple of weeks to think about the school levies that many of our area schools just had to vote on, it makes me really mad. It's sad to say, but I had to really think before I voted whether I was for or against it. It should have been a no-brainer because my kids go to Lake schools, but it wasn't.
The main thought that kept going through my head was I pay X amount of dollars per year in federal, state, city, and property taxes. When have I ever got to vote when our government decides to give billions of dollars to every country and its brother when it needs help?
Last time I checked, never.
Isn't this my tax money and your tax money that goes to everybody in the world when they need help?
Think about if that money was used to help our kids and our schools. The teachers would be paid the money they deserve and the kids would get the education and the fringe benefits of going to school in the "greatest" country in the world that they deserve. But instead our tax money goes to help everybody except who it should: the people who pay for the rest of the world when they need it.
When levies don't pass it's our kids and our schools that suffer. George, can you hear me now? Our schools are suffering. Pretend we're a third-world country and send help now.
Oh, by the way, I did vote yes, for my kids.
We salute the valiant attempt by Sens. George Voinovich and Barbara Boxer to forestall the disastrous nomination of President Bush's pet bully - or pit bull - John Bolton, to be our nation's ambassador to the United Nations. The administration's choice of this man, who would surely flunk Diplomacy 101, and would "shape up" the U.N. with a bulldozer, reveals its arrogant scorn for the international community.
Although flawed as all human institutions are, the United Nations represents humanity's will to live in a world governed by law and democratic principles instead of the might of the current superpower.
Former U.N. Secretary General Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali was prophetic when he said, "The United States sees little need for diplomacy. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy. The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States."
But raw power has its limitations, as all tyrants discover sooner or later. Trying to win the war on terrorism by simply killing all the terrorists (along with countless innocent civilians) is like fighting fire with gasoline. Our only real hope of checking the virtual tsunami of anti-U.S. rage fueling the terrorist movements that threaten our security is a serious effort at winning hearts and minds in the Middle East and around the world.
But Mr. Bush has no use for international relationships or organizations like the U.N. that might inhibit his free use of "pre-emptive" military force against whatever countries he decides might someday pose a threat.
Wasn't Saddam Hussein's defiance of the United Nations part of our justification for our own illegal attack on Iraq? Are we becoming what we hate?
Power is every bit as addictive and corrupting as alcohol.
A leader wielding the world's most devastating military and drunk on power can be far more dangerous than a drunk driver.
I do not belong to any "coalition" and I am happy the Toledo Public Schools levy failed. Maybe I do belong to a "coalition" of sorts - a "coalition" of disgruntled taxpayers. I am tired of being asked to pump money into a "broken" system. I am tired of being told that TPS cannot make its operating budget after my property taxes increased to build TPS brand new buildings.
I would not be tired and would be willing to open my wallet if perhaps the "contents" of TPS were changed before the "packaging" of TPS were improved.
TPS needs to use the funds it has effectively, to change the quality of education, before I am willing to support any new levy.
Ryan J. Gerace
Driving down Monroe Street by Westfield Shoppingtown, I was shocked to see that chunks of the recently laid asphalt had already come out. (Actually I first noticed this in February.) That resurfacing work was just completed in November.
What possible reason can be given for asphalt to be breaking apart when only three months old, except for poor quality material or work?
Since it is my taxpayer dollars that pay for road maintenance, I would like to suggest that the city pay for better quality asphalt or hire a better contractor for future street repairs.
Having been involved in the auto business over 40 years, I feel qualified to speak on the subject of SUV rollovers. In most cases it is the inexperience of the driver, plus excessive speed, that cause the large rollover statistics for SUVs.
You can't drive an SUV the same way that you drive your family sedan. At 40 mph, if you turn sharply to the right, then sharply to the left in your sedan it may be uncomfortable but manageable. Try it in an SUV, and it becomes dangerous because of the stiffer suspension and higher center of gravity, causing the SUV to lose control and sometimes flip over.
A driver should be familiar with the handling characteristics of the particular SUV they operate. Quit blaming the manufacturer for a defective product or turning to a nit picking attorney who will assure you that when you swerved to the left at 70 mph, and then to the right at 68 mph, the vehicle was to blame for the rollover. Sure, go for deep pockets.
That bump on the head could be worth millions!
It seems that the only news we hear about the Toledo Public Schools and its students these days is bad news. I would like to make you aware of a group of young people who work hard and deserve to have it known.
I attended "The Big Band Blast" presented by the Start High School Learning Community. Fifth and sixth grade students from Elmhurst, Larchmont, Longfellow, McKinley, Old Orchard, and Whittier elementaries, along with the DeVeaux Concert Band, Start High School Symphonic Band, and the Start High School Jazz Band, presented an evening of enjoyment to all who attended.
In order for the fifth and sixth grade students to participate in band, they must go to DeVeaux Junior High two to three times a week before school starts for their practice. This takes not only an extra effort on their part but on the part of the parents as well. Once the student is in junior high and high school, band becomes a regular graded class for credit. These students, along with their directors, put in many hours of hard work in and out the classroom.
We as a community need to recognize and be proud of this outstanding music program and its students. If you have a chance to hear this wonderful group of musicians, do so. It will be an experience you will remember for a lifetime.
Directors William VanWormer, DeVeaux Junior High School, and Robert Stierman and Andrew Fritz, Start High School, and their students, did a great job!
A recent Blade editorial stated that Sen. George Voinovich "climbed out on the limb of dissent" when questioning John Bolton's fitness as a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Well then, if he believes this original contention, why did he suddenly back off and decide the nomination should go forward to the Senate for a final vote? Did he fear that limb he clung to wouldn't hold, or was he seeking a little publicity to enhance his image as a more "moderate" Republican?
Oh, Lord, give me a politician - whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent - who will speak out openly, honestly, and without fear, regardless of perceived consequences.
VIRGINIA M. NICHOLS
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