I read with interest your article regarding charter schools. As a board member of a school authorized by the Ohio Council of Community Schools, I found the Ohio Federation of Teachers' comments about accountability worthy of note.
OCCS not only answers to the Ohio Department of Education but is under scrutiny every single day by the OFT and the state legislature. OCCS takes seriously its obligations to its boards as well as its schools but, specifically, to the students whom we serve.
Allison Perz has taken a hands-on approach to management of OCCS and attends many board meetings held at the various schools authorized by OCCS. One aspect of her efforts is to ensure that boards for schools authorized by OCCS maintain a high level of autonomy.
She has been working on implementing an alternative testing method to ensure that management companies charged with the education of our students are held to certain standards designed to enhance the opportunities for educational success needed by our respective students and their families.
While the activities of OCCS are governed by the Ohio Department of Education with specific guidelines set down by Ohio's General Assembly, Ms. Perz has taken a professional approach to management of OCCS-sponsored schools. She works tirelessly to improve the quality of education for all Ohioans.
The Ohio Federation of Teachers should spend more time looking for ways to enhance the abilities of our traditional schools to educate our children and less time chasing down those people who have dedicated themselves to a new approach that enables many students to achieve educational success through their choice of charter schools.
We have spent the better part of a week at the Lucas County Fairgrounds. The conditions there are deplorable. The lack of maintenance is obvious and is creating dangerous situations. The county commissioners have talked and talked and talked about establishing a new fairground. It must be done soon, or they chance large lawsuits from people being injured.
Do people in this county realize the risks animals faced from the heat? Do they know that youngsters and their animals (along with their families) were often standing out in that blazing, humid sun for long periods of time? Do they know that the horse arena was unsuitable for use the entire week? Do they know that families, in the interest of safety for their children, had to load their horses, leave the fairground for another venue, then return, very late at night? Do they know that children have fallen from the horses when they performed in an unsuitable, grassy arena?
I am well aware that we had some severe weather move through the area. But we have rain nearly every year at the fair. This year it became an even worse mud hole than ever. Roads within the fairground and exiting the fairground were in deplorable condition. It was obvious that no one had tended to them before the fair started. Roads should have been leveled and low spots filled - before the severe weather.
Large amounts of sand must be brought into the horse arena to make it anywhere near usable. County commissioners must act now. Get a new fairground or fix this one!
Children lovingly nurture animals and take them to the Lucas County Fair. Somebody beats the animals to the point that one cannot walk for hours, and the others are visibly bruised. The children scream "animal cruelty," but they cannot authorize the administration of pain killers or medicine because they intend to sell their beloved pets for slaughter and don't want the meat of their little friends to be tainted.
Am I missing something, or is there some serious psychosis involved here? Did the animal cruelty end with the beatings?
And people ask why I stopped eating meat.
Christopher T. Werkman
I read with dismay your July 30 article, "3 pigs hurt in assaults at Lucas County Fair." It certainly is disheartening to see how convenience and financial gain takes precedence over caring, humane treatment of animals. Many research studies show that animals are intelligent beings and feel pain similar to human beings. Yet the injured pigs were not given antibiotics or pain medication because they were soon to be auctioned off and sent to the slaughter house.
So the bottom-line message sent out to society in general and children in particular is that it's OK to be inhumane to animals when it's beneficial to do so, such as in this case.
Wouldn't it have been a superb, humane, educational message to have treated the injured pigs with antibiotics and pain medication and found them a place to live at an animal sanctuary after the fair was over, a reward for having endured the malicious, unjust assaults on them? This would have sent out (or emphasized) the message that humanely caring for animals is always important.
I can't believe I am about to do this, but I have to agree with Dick Bage of Medcorp Ambulance. Insurance companies never lose.
Insurance companies' costs escalate for many reasons - natural disasters, tragic accidents, and an aging population and their multitude of medical problems, etc. Those situations are unavoidable and we must all pay the price. The situations that can and should be controlled are fictitious injury lawsuits, over-billing, and fraudulent billing.
When over-billing occurs because someone feels they can justify it by saying it is a patient-care issue, you are being lied to. The advanced life support billing provision was put in place to protect those citizens in situations where a qualified, properly equipped EMS system is not in place. In Lucas County, we have one of the best equipped and trained systems nationally.
Statistically, in this county patient conditions worsen en-route to the hospital only 1.87 percent of the time after they have been accessed by one of the county's paramedics. Therefore, the need to upgrade the charges to the patient by the ambulance company called to transport (basic life support) amounts to nothing more than greed.
When insurance premiums go up, each and every one of us pays the price. When price gouging occurs by any medical provider, the insurance company won't suffer, you and I will.
The Department of Insurance may or may not be a "no teeth organization," but all of those persons charged for ALS services that they did not receive, most certainly do have teeth. It is time they use their teeth by refusing to accept service from or call for service from any provider who would attempt to take advantage of them.
DONALD J. KISH
It is good news that John Bolton was finally appointed as ambassador to the United Nations in spite of the liberals in the Senate. The Democrats have certainly become the party of obstruction with all of their filibustering, stonewalling, and protesting. This party definitely doesn't want what is best for this country. They would rather see America fail if this means they would be restored to power.
Perhaps President Bush is much smarter than they would like to admit.
The so-called assault weapons ban, serialization, police buy-back programs, and various locally implemented controls are actually micro-disarmament strategy, which is key to the infringement of the right to keep and bear arms. Without those infringements all other infringements would be impossible.
I believe I'm a fair man who desires liberty and justice for all: the born and unborn. And a national Vermont-style concealed carry law. I can dream, can't I?
Edwin John Marok