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Published: Sunday, 11/6/2005

Issues 3, 4, 5 empower the people

Disgusted by Coingate and Gov. Bob Taft and politics as usual? As a student of political science and a teacher of the subject for 30 years, I want to inform voters of something they can do about the system. State Issues 3, 4, and 5 will put politics back in the people's hands. They place real limits on campaign funding instead of the present mile-wide loopholes. They will eliminate voter districts "safe" for the party drawing them and replace them with real competition. They will eliminate partisan control of the election by the chairman of one of the candidate's campaign directors.

The expensive ads opposing these voter lifelines are funded by those who seek to keep the system that brought them power and you Coingate, people not even from Ohio. If you have been following The Blade's excellent series, you know this is an idea whose time has come. Grab the lifeline.

MICHAEL WATKINS

Bowling Green

Ohio voters will be asked to vote Nov. 8 on Issue 1, a $2 billion bond issue designed to foster job development. Two-thirds of the funds ($1.35 billion) will fund the renewal of the State Capital Improvement Program. This program, first approved by voters in 1987 and renewed in 1995, has provided more than $115.8 million for 261 local infrastructure improvement projects in Lucas County during the first 19 years. These funds were used to leverage federal funding on many large projects.

A few examples of projects currently under construction that are using SCIP funding are:

  • 10 percent of $34.7 million for the Cherry Street-Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge over the Maumee River.

  • 16 percent of $3.7 million for the Summit Street Bridge over the Ottawa River.

  • 17 percent of $19.49 million for Byrne Road improvements.

  • 7 percent of $59.7 million for the Toledo Water Reclamation Facility improvements.

    Hundreds of infrastructure projects have been constructed in Lucas County where over 50 percent of the project cost was funded through this bond program administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission. Project signs are posted at job sites throughout Lucas County.

    Issue 1 will provide $150 million in grants to local governments to prepare job-ready sites. Adequate site infrastructure is necessary to attract industry and is especially important where brownfields are involved.

    The third component of Issue 1 is to provide $500 million in grants for technology research and development. Private industry and research institutes can form partnerships on technology such as alternative fuel development and medical research.

    Issue 1 will create new jobs for Ohio. The issue is widely endorsed by a wide variety of institutions, including labor unions, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, the Ohio Municipal League, the Ohio Township Association, the Ohio Economic Development Association, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and the Ohio Farm Bureau.

    KEITH G. EARLEY

    Lucas County Engineer

    The Toledo Public School District is moving in the right direction, which is why my family is staying in Toledo. My husband attended Woodward High School and I attended Bowsher. My child attended Beverly Elementary and currently is at Byrnedale, and I am very proud of that. She excels academically. Although I thank the staff, teachers, and district for helping with her educational process, I realize that parental involvement in my child's life is what makes the difference.

    We as an urban school district face many challenges that our neighboring communities do not, and we need to work together in a positive way. While there are always questions and concerns in regard to our school district, we as a community need to be part of the solution, not the problem. Let's keep our district moving forward. We are currently the No. 1 urban school district in the state of Ohio. Be proud of that.

    I am asking the community of Toledo to support our schools and make a difference for our students. Issue 37 is one way of doing so. Issue 37 helps pay for maintenance on existing and new school buildings, technology, and security. It's a renewal levy, which simply means no new tax.

    Our children deserve the very best and one way to achieve that is to make sure Issue 37 passes.

    CHRISTINE VARWIG

    Beverly Drive

    Your Coingate/Bush Ranger series is finally exposing the convergence of dots that clearly paints Ohio's "government," its "officials," and their "droppings" as the useless, greedy, arrogant, unethical cesspool they are.

    At last, we the people have the stuff that more criminal investigations can launch from, and about which far more people can become righteously irate so progressive change can happen.

    Here in Cleveland we have one of your featured Rangers, Robert T. Bennett, longtime chair of the Ohio GOP, also acting as chairman of our Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

    Right now, under his "leadership" they are ready to push 6,000-plus Diebold e-voting machines down the throats of this county, while implying it's good for us, especially the handicapped, and is necessary according to HAVA - all lies. It's only good for them.

    Diebold systems remain undetectably tamperable, especially by insiders, even with their form of also tamperable, non-validly auditable verified voter paper trail.

    Getting paid millions to be able to fix elections in one of the nation's largest voting districts, and one that is traditionally Democratic, would be quite a win-win-win-win-win for all these pay-to-play cronies, don't you think?

    I and many others plan to not let that happen, or at least not as easily as those of the cesspool are used to.

    Thanks for your refreshing, excellent example of what journalism is supposed to be and can be.

    ADELE EISNER

    Cleveland

    I thank The Blade for exposing the money interests here in Ohio. It was enlightening to see that Toledo Edison, via FirstEnergy Corp., has the higest electrical rates here in Ohio. And my gosh, the president of FirstEnergy, Anthony Alexander, is a Bush "Pioneer." And he was on Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, which held meetings in secret.

    Any wonder why Toledo's electrical rates are not unlike California's under Enron, the highest around? And yet they call this a free market. I call it a "fixed market." Fixed to benefit the corporations, as opposed to the consumers.

    All the while the majority party politicians, state and federal, look the other way!

    Another lesson on campaign finance and its benefits to the status quo, and high electrical rates.

    BRIAN A. SMITH

    Indian Knoll Drive

    As a resident of Eagle Trace who lives nearby the Anaya home, I am saddened by the inconsiderate coverage of the Anaya murder provided by The Blade and the local television news outlets.

    I do not know the Anaya family, but certainly any standard of decency should protect a 15-year-old child from being subjected to her horror over and over on the nightly newscast or by the touch of an Internet link. While 911 calls may be public record, has our society degraded to the point where we listen to children crying out for help as their parents are murdered just for our own curiosity?

    It appears that ratings and circulation numbers must be more important than human decency.

    How shameful.

    BETH MALCZEWSKI

    Sylvania

    I had to laugh when I read in The Blade that the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party implied that big donors or fund-raisers get no special access or influence with politicians. I had this hilarious vision of his tongue jumping out of his mouth and running screaming down the hallway. I guess truth is in the eye of the beholder.

    MARK HARRELL

    Maumee



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