I applaud The Blade for its coverage of "Coingate." However, it appears that all Ohio coin dealers will have to bear a "trickle-down" effect from this controversy.
Rep. Peter Ujvagi seeks to rescind a 16-year-old sales tax exemption on investment coins and bullion. This action will place an unwarranted hardship on all Ohio coin dealers and the coin-buying public, hobbyist, collector, or investor.
My customers, unaccustomed to paying this sales tax, will make their purchases tax-free on ebay or tax free in nearby Michigan or Indiana. This loss of customers will also affect nearby businesses who often patronize other area businesses, restaurants, specialty shops, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.
The newly remodeled Westfield Mall also attracts many ladies who shop while their husbands spend time in the coin shop. All of these purchases are taxable. Can the Toledo area with its depressed economy really afford this loss of revenue?
It is our hope that the abuses of "Coingate" will not affect those of us in the coin business doing an honest, fair, and ethical job. Mr. Ujvagi, in his zeal to promote his own political agenda, has unfairly targeted all Ohio coin dealers. His misdirected wrath and short-sightedness will force Ohioans to pay more sales tax.
Their unwillingness to do this will result in a loss of business for all Ohio coin dealers. If passage occurs we will have to restructure our business practices regarding the way we buy and sell.
We currently appraise and liquidate estates for Lucas County Probate Court and also heirs desiring to liquidate coin collections. It would be hard to justify the purchase of these collections if I lose potential buyers/customers to out-of-state coin dealers. Mr. Ujvagi's HB275 stinks of political maneuvering.
Toledo Coin Exchange
Adult stem cells have proven value
It is important to remember that there are two kinds of stem-cell research - embryonic stem-cell research and adult stem-cell research. In embryonic stem-cell research, human life is terminated in the very early stages to obtain stem cells. In adult stem-cell research, stem cells may be obtained from cord blood, bone marrow, olfactory (nose) nerve cells, and even fat cells.
Due to media bias, there is much coverage of the unproven possibilities of embryonic stem-cell research in treating disease and very little coverage of the success of adult stem-cell research. Embryonic stem-cell research has yet to cure a single person. There have not even been any human trials.
On the other hand, adult stem cells have been used clinically about 30,000 times, and so far more than 6,000 patients and 66 diseases have been successfully treated with stem cells from cord blood.
That is why private investors have funneled most of their money to adult stem-cell research. William Haseltine, the CEO of Human Genome Sciences, is a leading advocate of embryonic stem-cell research, but he agrees that results are decades away and his company is not spending money on these unproven cells. "The time-line to commercialization is so long that I simply would not invest," he said.
Lack of private funding explains why there is such a push for federal funding. The Bush Administration has spent $190 million in funding adult stem-cell research. But President Bush is against using taxpayers' money to promote research which destroys life in order to improve or save a life.
We need to remember that we all were a very small five-day-old embryo in our early days of development.
Bush plays games with CDF mission
In "Proposal freezes aid for a third of districts; budget includes plan to deal with failures" (The Blade, May 26), the President's education bill is incorrectly referred to as the "Leave No Child Behind Act."
The words Leave No Child Behindr are actually the trademarked slogan of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), an organization that has given children a voice in the halls of power for 30 years.
The Bush Administration cleverly named its single-issue education bill "No Child Left Behind." The word games may fool some people, but the inadequate funding for this bill fools no one. There is little chance it will improve outcomes in most school districts. Neither will it prepare children to enter school ready to learn.
On the other hand, the comprehensive Dodd-Miller "Act to Leave No Child Behind," (S.448/H.R.936), which CDF supports, recognizes that children don't come in pieces and addresses all the needs of children including child care, health insurance for all children, Head Start for every eligible child who needs it, housing, nutrition, and prevention from child abuse and neglect.
The Bush Administration may choose to play word games with the CDF mission - but its games make children the losers.
DONNA A. LAWRENCE
Children's Defense FundNew York
Caring volunteers made a difference
Something very special happened in our community June 2: 250 people from 18 companies in Greater Toledo devoted their workday to helping others during our community's first United Way Day of Caring.
It was wonderful to observe these selfless volunteers as they painted, built, planted, and mentored their way through the day.
However, what I found even more fulfilling was the way they were moved and inspired by the programs they helped and the lives they touched. Over and over, we heard comments like these from Day of Caring volunteers:
"I never knew how desperately some people need the programs this agency offers, or how much these programs can change their lives."
"I didn't believe that my support made that big a difference until I saw firsthand today that it does."
On behalf of all the agencies that benefited from United Way's Day of Caring, I want to thank the organizations and individuals who gave of themselves to make a difference in our community.
If you didn't have a chance to participate, I encourage you to give volunteering a try. Dial 2-1-1 or visit www.helpclick.org and the United Way Volunteer Center will match your talents and available time with a volunteer opportunity.
I'm certain you'll discover - as so many people did on June 2 - that volunteering is a gift that enriches not only the life of the recipient, but also the life of the person who gives it.
President and CEO
United Way of Greater Toledo
Taft ancestors would be disappointed
Perhaps lost in Gov. Bob Taft's betrayal of the Ohio citizenry is his betrayal of his own family heritage.
Mr. Taft is the great grandson of President William Howard Taft, and while President Taft was defeated for a second term, he became the only individual ever to serve both as president and chief justice of the United States. In the latter role he had a most distinguished tenure.
Governor Taft is the grandson of "Mr. Republican," Robert A. Taft, who served Ohio in the U.S. Senate for almost 15 years. Three times a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Senator Taft most likely would have received the 1952 nomination and gone on to win the election if it hadn't been for the emergence of war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower.
While relatives will rarely admit disappointment in a family member, one must wonder what President Taft and Senator Taft would think of the governor.
Real monsters are the enemies within
As for renewing the Patriot Act, it's a brave new world post-9/11. It is not for the faint of heart. The enemy to be most feared is the enemy within our own government. Those are the monsters who lurk in the dark.
We have a country like no other. Yet people within our government are doing their very best to erode the very foundation on which she stands.
We cannot allow this to happen.