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Published: Wednesday, 6/8/2005

Legislators ignore crisis in our schools

Some 15,000 educators attended a May 24 rally at the statehouse in Columbus to insist that legislators fix the school-funding problem.

Ohio's public schools must have the resources to provide an excellent education for each and every student. The current situation with a few rich schools and an increasing number of poor schools - depending on the economic situation of the community - is un-American and unconstitutional, but our legislators have seen fit to ignore the growing crisis.

How bad does the situation have to become before something is done to fix it?

Ohio legislators were ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court to find a way to make school funding equitable. Since these people are not doing the job, I say they should all be fired - regardless of party affiliation - and new people hired who will understand what they need to do.

It is downright shameful that the leaders in this state have allowed this situation to worsen to the extent that school districts with brand-new schools provided by the tobacco settlement cannot afford to even maintain the buildings, that public schools are instituting pay-to-play fees that make school activities inaccessible to some students, and that farmers who can barely eke out a living are expected to pay a disproportionate share of the cost for schools. I could go on.

Are the voters enabling these shirkers by continuing to re-elect them?

I say we should throw the whole lot of them out and keep doing so until we get people who are willing to do the job.

Maybe then something will get done.

Barbara S. Andrews

Charmaine Drive

Summer is just around the corner. With it come family barbecues, outdoor activities, and the Bush Administration's version of an amusement park called "Changing Point."

Back for another year is the Pre-emptive War Ride. Previously unknown to the American landscape until Mr. Bush introduced it, this is a roller coaster composed of inclines of possible reasons followed by drop-offs of excuses and justifications.

Next is the Environmental Merry-Go-Round. This one rotates backward in time as it lowers the standards of safety for its passengers.

And new for the 2005 summer season, we have the Nuclear Bumper Car Ride. This attraction features a large and powerful American NUC (similar to an SUV, but with a more explosive punch), which rams the smaller foreign models with the intent of disabling them.

The United States has violated Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by upgrading nuclear weapons, rather than pursuing complete disarmament in good faith as agreed to in Article 6.

The United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 because the administration wanted to develop and deploy a missile program that is both offensive and defensive.

Now the Bush Administration is sending threatening messages to Iran and North Korea indicating that our 4,000 nuclear weapons are on hair-trigger alert.

Doesn't it seem that this over-the-top, "I can have it but you cannot" Nuclear Bumper Car Ride is costing our country more than it can afford in terms of credibility with the rest of the world?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of "Changing Point" would be shut down due to unsafe conditions and unwise management?

Karen Wolf

Bowling Green

The recent accident on U.S. 24 at the railroad crossing near Napoleon injured 10 students when their bus was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer. It is certainly time for the Ohio Department of Transportation to reconsider the procedures for buses and commercial vehicles making a required stop on busy highways.

This particular railroad crossing is a real invitation for even greater disasters to happen. Scores of commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and aviation fuel are required to make a complete stop at this railroad crossing.

Heavy fog in this area near the Maumee River is not unusual and makes the risk of a serious accident even greater. The crossing here is clearly marked with flashing red lights but it is rarely used.

If a vehicle carrying hazardous material such as gasoline is rear-ended in similar fashion as the school bus was, it could have disastrous consequences.

As a professional driver of hazardous materials, I know that many tanker trucks carry at least 8,500 gallons of gas or 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel. God forbid an accident would happen here involving a tanker and a bus filled with children.

Dale E. Henning

Tremainsville Road

Well, here we are again, living in the Central City without a full-service grocery store. The powers that be made sure that Jeep and Owens Corning stay here to rip us off for more tax abatements and new buildings, but the taxpayers in the Central City get nothing.

Oops, I'm wrong. I forgot they did give us another carry-out at Dorr Street and Collingwood Boulevard to sell beer, wine, and cigarettes. One thing for sure is that we will not be thirsty. We may have to travel five miles to eat, but to drink and smoke we just have to cross the street.

Well, I know I am just blowing smoke. If they close schools in the Central City and overcrowd the classrooms so that our children have to struggle harder to get an education, would I be so naive to think the powers that be would care about us being hungry?

PATSY RIOS

Woodstock Lane

After the incident at Riverside Elementary School, I think it is time to put the police back into the schools.

Are we really safe wherever we go? Think again.

When will school officials and city officials learn that there are problems like this in our city? Put police where they should be. We need to feel safe and secure in our city.

So what are they waiting for?

Christine Stanek

305th Street

The Bush Administration is promoting democracy in Iraq at the cost of 1,635 lives of our brave men and women, 10,000 injured (many severely), and a price tag of billions of dollars to date.

At the same time, the Republicans in the Senate, led by Sen. Bill Frist (R., Tenn.), were trying to gain absolute power by denying the minority a voice by threatening to eliminate the filibuster.

Thank God for the senators who were brave enough to stand up to the Bush Administration's grab for absolute power!

I find it ironic that President Bush is promoting democracy abroad while trying to eliminate it here.

Will the "real" President Bush please stand up? He's as phony as a three-dollar bill!

MARIE NUNN

Monroe, Mich.

Those opposed to building a new arena downtown continually cite the fact that the voters approved the East Side location. Personally, I don't care where - or even if - the arena is built.

I just want to remind everyone that the electorate voted not to have a convention center. We have a convention center. We voted to keep the old workhouse open. It's closed.

I guess it doesn't matter how the votes go. What matters is what the power brokers want.

Joseph E. Pflager

Maumee

Your May 31 editorial, "Cyber-hunting hardly sport," was a good one. I'd like to add that any kind of hunting is not a sport when the so-called opponent (animal) doesn't even know it's playing the "sport," doesn't want to play the "sport," and can't possibly fight back against the weapons humans use.

Sherrill Durbin

Mounds, Okla.



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