We were staggered to read "Changes at the top of the Toledo Ballet" in the July 2 Blade. The untold story is one that includes a runaway board of trustees that completely ignored a showing of more than 100 members of the Toledo Ballet Association who voted to renew Nigel Burgoine's contract and saw the hiring of an executive director as fiscally irresponsible.
The board and membership, together, voted and passed a resolution at the annual general meeting not to hire an executive director. Due process was not executed.
The board completely and dictatorially disregarded the wishes of the membership. We thought we had entrusted our Toledo Ballet into their care. Sadly, the few appeared to have corrupted the organization and are steering it onto the rocks.
Nigel Burgoine was the heart of the Toledo Ballet. Not only did he direct artistically, but he raised funds and took the art of ballet into the city schools and beyond.
Nigel Burgoine grew the Toledo Ballet financially and in membership, but moreover, he formed the ballet into a jewel on the Toledo art scene.
The annual general meeting on June 8 was an uprising over the decision of the few to ruin the Toledo Ballet. The board members exhibited their inept running of the ballet as they had no financial statement for the membership to see, merely an assured word that "we have money in the bank."
There have been, to date, no minutes published. It was a farce of disorganization and mixed messages.
We witnessed the outpouring of the membership and it was overwhelming. Positive commentary and tributes to Nigel Burgoine's tenure met with lengthy applause.
How could the board ignore his success and contribution to the community?
Stuart C. Salmon
As a former Toledoan but still a property owner in Toledo, I would like to say to whomever gets elected to the mayor's office to do whatever it takes to get downtown Toledo moving.
On a recent Saturday evening my daughter (recent grad from Whitmer now moving to Louisville to go to the University of Louisville) and I were walking in downtown Louisville. The number of people downtown on Saturday night enjoying the wonderful waterfront park and the extreme skate and bike park was unbelievable.
She is too young to remember the Friday night party in the parks back in the 1980s. We spent several hours walking around and watching everyone enjoy themselves. She said to me that you can't do this in Toledo, and that Promenade Park is small and dirty.
I think there is a lesson to be learned in Louisville for Toledo's elected officials.
Metro government works and so does the downtown. I come back to Toledo most every Friday for the weekend (wife and kids still live in Toledo), but it does not even enter my mind to go downtown on the weekend, unless we are going to a Mud Hens game. But then what, after the game?
There is nothing in downtown other than a few restaurants and clubs, but if you have a young family you are not going to the clubs anyway.
I think it would be a good idea for city officials to take a day or two and spend a little time in Louisville and see what a downtown on the river can do. If the current administration can't do it, or at least get it started, maybe it is time for a new administration.
Toledo will always be home to me and I want nothing but the best for it.
In response to a July 7 Forum writer, I am not so certain that the liberal world hug will resolve the terrorist issue. The writer should recall that the jihadists' goal is to destroy all infidels (i.e. anyone who does not subscribe to their particular ideology, including Christians).
I don't like war any more than anyone else, but diplomacy and giving the enemy "food, water, and shelter" didn't work with any of history's murderers - Genghis Khan to Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussain - and it won't work with the jihadist cowards either.
However, there is a commonality among the aforementioned murderers: Lack of democracy.
Democracy is worth fighting for.
Terrorists strike again. Are our efforts in Iraq deterring or enabling them?
The White House says the war is making us safer. The CIA says that Iraq has become the primary international breeding ground for terrorists.
Before our invasion, the same report confirmed that Afghanistan, not Iraq, was the main training spot. Now Iraq has become a graduate school in urban warfare, innovative bomb-making, and terrorist networking.
The war in Iraq is creating and training the next generation of terrorists just as effectively as the Soviet war in Afghanistan trained Osama bin Laden.
The invasion of Afghanistan eliminated that terrorist stronghold, but we didn't finish the job.
Al-Qaeda is still globally active. Americans are still dying in Afghanistan. The Taliban are regaining military strength. Bin Laden and his generals are free, hiding in Afghanistan, and planning more attacks.
Iraq had an election, but 100,000 of its citizens were killed for it. We're putting Saddam on trial for his crimes, but more have died during our watch than during the previous 25 years of his tyrannical rule. This is insane.
The President encourages us to stay the course, but the course could easily be another 10 years of precious lives and resources wasted, while our real enemy grows stronger as a result of our activities.
The President says that we owe it to the victims of 9/11 to finish the job in Iraq. What we owe their memory is an effective plan to prevent future attacks. This obviously isn't it.
What the President owes us is leadership honest enough to admit mistakes and wise enough to recognize the difference between ideology and a real plan to defend the country.
Thirty-eight years ago when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the heat of July, one of the first things my neurologist said was that the heat and humidity would "be my enemy" and it was important that we have at least one room with air conditioning.
What has kept my life fairly normal is that everyone (family and friends) soon learned how I was affected by the weather. I very often learned the hard way because I so wanted to be part of summer activities, the ballgames and tournaments of my children and grandchildren. If the weather is temperate I go.
Having had the need for rehab the past year at Wood Haven Health Center in Bowling Green, I also know how carefully they observe the coming and going of residents.
No way would they have considered "sunbathing" or permitting a resident to sit out in the extreme heat without an attendant for just a few minutes, especially one with MS who needs assistance. This is pure neglect!
My heart goes out to the family of Patricia Matney.
It is an inexcusable action by those in charge. She couldn't sneak out by herself; she needed assistance. And even if she insisted, they were in charge of her care. That's where authority takes precedence.
This should not have happened. No matter how inexperienced an aide might be, it's pretty strange that no one noticed her absence for several hours. How heartbreaking it all is.
Mary Alice Hayes
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