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Published: Wednesday, 7/20/2005

Upgrade traffic lights to save lives

I have been following with some interest the debate over the use of cameras at several of the traffic lights in Toledo. I'm originally from northern New Jersey, one of - if not the - densest states in the country, particularly as it relates to cars.

I moved here about 10 years ago. Working in downtown Toledo, one of the first things that I noticed is that "delayed green" traffic lights were not being used.

Nearly every traffic light in northern New Jersey is set with a delayed-green setting. The reason for it is simple.

It saves lives.

It prevents the law-abiding citizen from being broad-sided by that driver running the light that just turned red. I asked a Toledo police official recently why delayed-green traffic lights were not used here.

His response was that they did not stop people from going through traffic lights. I suddenly realized that he totally missed the point. It was more important to ticket the driver who ran the light than save the innocent driver who was his victim. There's a simple solution that could be implemented today that will save lives.

It won't generate any revenue like the tickets generated by the cameras do, and it may not stop someone from going through a traffic light, but it will save lives.

And it's hardly going to cost the taxpayers of this good city a thing. Delayed-green traffic lights save lives. Learn what they learned 20 years ago in New Jersey.

Bob Schumann


Americans are losers in the Plame fiasco

Judith Miller goes to jail for not revealing her source in a story she never wrote. Matthew Cooper barely escaped a similar fate.

Is Robert Novak being prosecuted for actually revealing CIA agent Valerie Plame's name? Of course not; he is a staunch Bush ally.

Karl Rove's leak is the typical Rove smear and discredit tactic that has been demonstrated during his years as a Bush adviser. G.H.W. Bush (Bush I) even fired Mr. Rove for leaking information during his administration.

In this case, Mr. Rove retaliated against Ms. Plame's husband for courageously challenging the administration's claim that Iraq bought uranium in Africa.

In September, 2003, (and eight additional times) the Bush Administration warned that anyone in that administration who was involved in leaks would be ousted.

Now the White House takes a different stand, and refuses to discuss Mr. Rove's actions.

The big losers in this fiasco besides Valerie Plame and her husband are the American people. The noose around our freedom (freedom of the press in this case) grows insidiously tighter.

And the respect and integrity of our country's leadership is further compromised.

Joel Weinberg


Bill Block, Sr., was a fine individual

I was saddened to learn of the death of Bill Block, Sr. Many years ago he did a great favor to me and the City of Toledo.

When John Potter was mayor he wanted to take about 50 people to Pittsburgh to see the "Golden Triangle" and inspire them to revitalize Toledo. John thought our big companies could provide their airplanes to provide the transportation. John was unaware most corporate craft hold less than 10 passengers.

With the help of friends we lined up six or seven planes to take the groups to Pittsburgh and bring them home the same day. I had had only telephone conversation with the Pittsburgh group, but not to fear.

When we arrived, Bill Block had a limousine for Mayor Potter and Councilman Harold Wagner, who used a wheelchair, two new buses with speaker systems, and knowledgeable people from the development department.

After a tour we were taken to a lunch on the hillside where you could see all of the Golden Triangle and then back to the airport.

A number of years later I had the opportunity to thank Mr. Block personally. He was a fine individual.


Winston Boulevard

Editor's note: Mr. Thomson is a retired director of public information and industrial promotion for the City of Toledo.

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