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Published: 10/25/2005

Electric rate plan good for consumers

FirstEnergy's rate stabilization plan has been the subject of a good deal of misrepresentation by the Office of the Ohio Consumers Counsel and Ohio Citizen Action.

The facts, however, are clear. FirstEnergy's plan, along with our recently filed supplemental plan, will extend current electricity rates - the same rates that our Ohio customers have paid since the 1990s - through 2008. In light of skyrocketing natural gas and petroleum costs that's a good deal for customers.

The rate stabilization plan was filed in response to concerns by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that customers would face substantially higher electricity prices in 2006 if they had no alternative to the competitive marketplace. Their concern was well-founded. An auction conducted by the PUCO last year produced generation prices that were 20 percent higher than those under our plan.

Despite the fact that the plan is expected to save customers $1 billion over its three-year period, the OCC appealed it to the Supreme Court of Ohio. If the OCC is successful, electricity prices in Ohio would be dictated by the marketplace, and the period of price stability and certainty for electricity would end.

We are hopeful that the court will reject OCC's appeal and uphold our rate stabilization plan and its considerable benefits for our customers and the communities we serve. That would keep electricity the one form of energy our customers won't have to be concerned about during the next three years.

Anthony J. Alexander

President, CEO

FirstEnergy

Akron

Toledo Board of Education President Larry Sykes believes that military recruiters should have limited access to students in the district's buildings, and that these recruiters unfairly target those students who have little hope to attend college.

I agree with Mr. Sykes that there should be boundaries established to protect students from any form of harassment by military recruiters. However, are these recruiters actually overstepping their boundaries, or is Mr. Sykes playing politics with this issue?

Clearly, the tragic loss of life in Iraq has caused the recruitment numbers to go down in the military. However, the chance that a loved one will get hurt in combat is still relatively low.

Furthermore, all Americans take a chance in going about their everyday life that something tragic could happen to them or a loved one. The 9/11 terrorist attacks illustrate this perfectly.

Moreover, an argument can be made that the military isn't a bad option for individuals who can't attend college for various reasons, and for those who are having trouble finding good-paying jobs.

The military offers on-the-job training in many different areas, and honorably discharged veterans get special treatment when they apply for certain jobs.

There are also programs offered by the military that can help students attend college after they get out of the service.

Lastly, if parents don't want military recruiters to contact their children, I encourage them to put it in writing and their children will be left alone. Parents and school administrators have bigger issues to worry about.

Greg Melville

Sylvania

The recent dispute over recruiters on high school campuses has hit a very personal chord for many individuals. First, let's give our students some credit. We have a very smart generation of students capable of making smart choices. As parents, the lines of communication must be open so students considering the military as an option will discuss their possibilities with them.

Additionally, those parents adamant about restricting communication at the high school level can do so through the schools. However, what is the next step? Parents cannot restrict communication after graduation, at the college level. There are no parents requesting that college recruiters not be present in the high schools. Is there a difference?

Schools have the ability to discuss sex education, and distribute condoms without parental consent, but want to restrict discussion of military options? We cannot choose what freedoms we want to embrace and those we want to restrict. What's next, restricting specific colleges?

Consider the Springfield High School JROTC program. There is no service requirement following graduation, but the opportunities are endless and the curriculum teaches students to be outstanding citizens. What an opportunity for these students. The United States active military does the exact same thing, provides opportunities students might not otherwise have, and instills a pride for our country that is second to none, as well as offer an education that some would never have afforded outside of the service.

While the thought of your child enlisting in the military can be very sobering at a time like this, there is also the pride of knowing that your child wants to serve and protect this country for the freedoms that we all enjoy.

Maybe it is time we stop trying to restrict recruiting and focus on building positive communication with our children, because their opinions count.

sandra brasington

West Bancroft Street

Exactly when was it that God spoke to The Blade, granting it absolute power over Toledo politics?

Your recent front-page editorial admonishing Toledo's local candidates for not bowing to your demands borders on insanity - or a dictatorship. I'm not quite certain which is more apt.

Who decided that your staff or editorial board is going to be the moral compass for this community? How about divulging the credit history, criminal background check, and educational background of every alleged journalist on your staff so the public can determine whether you are financially or morally qualified to print such information?

I vote that you all move out of your ivory tower and into the 22nd floor of One Government Center where you can have the power you so desperately crave. This city and the folks who serve it do not need to bow to your every demand.

The "perfect candidate" you search for does not exist. He died more than 2,000 years ago.

Terry Stiger

Sylvania

Regarding John Irish and Dominic Montalto, et al:

Old politicians never die; they just stick with Carty.

JESSE F. OTTO, JR.

107th Street

I live on North River Road and we do not get the odor from the wastewater treatment plant. The people living on Jerome and Timber Trail do suffer from the offensive odor and I'm sorry for them.

I don't know why we don't get the odor. Maybe it's because we are on a lower elevation. We can open our windows and use our yard like any other neighborhood. Yes, there are houses for sale on River Road, but I never heard of anyone selling because of the odor. One elderly woman had to move out of her home because of illness, another wants a smaller house and yard, and then there was a move and retirement to Florida. The same reasons families have moved in other neighborhoods. Also, I never noticed truck traffic fumes.

I don't know why an Oct. 12 letter writer would be saying this stuff. Maybe she's a frustrated Realtor.

Joan Baer

Waterville

Judge Bob Perkins of Travis County, Texas, and judge for the Tom Delay trial, has been asked to step aside by the DeLay defense because of his contributions "to causes and people opposed to Mr. DeLay."

"Judge Perkins' impartiality might be questioned," the motion said.

What does all of this say about George W. Bush's personal attorney, family friend, and greatest fan, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers? Such hypocrisy!

LeANN K. HALL

Napoleon



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