I can't believe Toledo police need to defend their response to the riot.
I detest that pro-hate Nazi organizations exist, let alone target Toledo to spout their foul message. I'm proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, in a city that allows American citizens to exercise freedom of speech. I may not like what's being said, but I have the right to turn the other cheek and not give speakers my audience.
The police took precautions to avoid violence from the hate group that scheduled a constitutionally legal march. Hindsight shows the residential neighborhood was a poor location for the march. Our city leaders own up to that error in judgment. I applaud this attitude.
It's not fair to say that police were caught off guard. They showed a united front and exhibited appropriate force to bring the mayhem under control. They escorted the Nazis out, which should be the end of the story.
Who could have guessed that people in the crowd would then turn on the neighborhood and civil servants who were doing their jobs, protecting Toledo? I hope the speculation is accurate that the instigators aren't from Toledo. These people are where the blame lies.
This neighborhood, according to lifelong residents, has no history of trouble. These residents are on the news and quoted in the paper saying this was an isolated incident. Unfortunately, this isolated incident has given the neo-Nazi group increased interest in Toledo. Now this hate group wants to come back and most likely is constitutionally free to do so.
If the Nazi group does return to Toledo, imagine if no one even bothers to give them an audience. They could march downtown, then keep right on going out of town.
Is it mission accomplished for the Nazis with their message of racial hatred? It would seem so from the unfortunate violence and the news accounts. Is the situation hopeless when a mere handful of social misfits can plunge our community into rioting and shame?
Yet at the same moment as the riot, only a few miles away, blacks and whites, Latinos and Asians were working together at a Habitat for Humanity build site. We were men and women, grandparents and youths, skilled and unskilled, standing side by side to help a needy family. We exposed the lie that racial hatred is based upon and demonstrated that race can and should be irrelevant when we work together for a good cause.
Do you want to defeat the Nazis and others like them? There are numerous community organizations that need your help. As long as good people are willing to work to better our community, the Nazis will never win. And your reward? Mine was to look into the eyes of a grateful father knowing we were helping him to build a decent life for his family.
I am a senior citizen from Sylvania. I want to express the hurt feelings many of us senior citizens feel when we hear the negative comments about the Sylvania Senior Center and the replacement levy to help keep it open. Some of the comments relate to the cost to the taxpayers, how the senior citizens get this service free, and that non-Sylvania people use the Sylvania Senior Center.
Many of us senior citizens continue to pay taxes even though most of us are on fixed incomes now. We appreciate and are grateful for the previous kindness of the Sylvania Township voters.
They have provided such a great place for us to meet and mingle with our contemporaries when many of us are alone or lonely while our families are so busy with their hectic lives. Our motto at the center is "We Love This Place."
Do some younger voters remember when they were our children and we gave to their ball team or Scout troops year after year? How Mom and Dad went without to make sure they got things they needed or wanted? How we helped at their various activities? How we tried to take them on nice vacations, helped buy their first car, or set up their first apartment? Many of us scrimped and saved to send them to college. Won't they help us now?
A vote for the Sylvania Senior Center replacement levy says "I love you, Mom and Dad."
Your Sept. 29 editorial, "Full employment for cows," showed a shockingly low level of agricultural literacy. On the farm, we would refer to this type of misinformation as excrement from a bull.
First, you incorrectly described the cows as being "tethered inside huge industrial-style barns." They are actually well cared for inside modern structures designed for animals. None are tethered, but are actually free-stalled where they can move about with ready access to feed and water.
Large livestock farms do produce manure, a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer, but its release into waters is strictly forbidden. The Van Deurzen (Deve) Dairy is not even close to the Sandusky or Maumee Watershed. This dairy is located in the Scioto River Watershed.
Your statements "state officials have surrendered to corporate interest" and "have done a disservice by recruiting farmers from abroad" are also baseless and inaccurate. Ohio has not engaged in marketing practices to recruit foreign owners and operators of large farms, unlike many other states.
The idea that "mega-farms" are hastening the death of family farming is also misleading. Nearly 99 percent of all farms operating in Ohio today are family-owned or partnerships. The state doesn't discriminate against size, but is concerned with the ability of all farms to comply with Ohio's laws.
You also seemed offended because only 35 of the 4,785 jobs created are for taxpaying people; the other 4,750 are for dairy cows. But these non-taxpaying cows contribute significantly to Ohio's No. 1 industry - agriculture, and Ohio is still a milk deficit state.
A herd of 4,750 cows provides approximately 900,000 students with an eight-ounce serving of fresh milk every day for an entire school year. Now that's factual food for thought.
Fred L. Dailey
Ohio Department of Agriculture
I was disappointed that Sylvania Township Chairman Dennis Boyle and his fellow trustees had chosen to form their own committee to rework the land-use master plan for Sylvania Township only.
The entire Sylvania community has benefited from having a consolidated city/township master plan since 1988. For 17 years, the Sylvania Community Improvement Corp. (CIC) has coordinated the creation and regular updates of an overall land use plan covering all of Sylvania as a community-wide guide for future development.
After all the work community members have done in the past year toward finding ways to consolidate City of Sylvania and Sylvania Township government services, why would Sylvania Township choose to abandon this successful 17-year-old consolidated land-use planning process?
It is clearly a step back from community cooperation, community-wide planning, and consolidation of services.
Now I hear from another trustee they are reconsidering working with the CIC. I encourage Mr. Boyle and the Sylvania Township Trustees to follow through and confirm their intention for a CIC led Sylvania-wide land-use master plan update.
CRAIG A. STOUGH
City of Sylvania
Toledo policemen are citizens of our city, too.
They are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of fellow Toledoans; they are part of us. Our police officers come from among us and this is their city, too. We all need to express our gratitude toward our police officers for the job they do, and their dedication to protecting us all.
"Blessed are the peacemakers because they will be called sons of God."