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Published: Sunday, 3/12/2006

Is the debris of hurricane recyclable?

The trash that litters miles and miles of America's Gulf Coast appears to have no place to go.

I wonder if the solution was contained in your Feb. 21 article, "Recycling becoming a bigger enterprise."

Since the first pictures appeared of Katrina and Rita debris, I have asked why private enterprise and/or the government have not arranged to have the wood turned into sawdust and the metal products handled as Crestwood Metal Corp. does, according to the article.

True, there would be problems. For example: Nails and hinges still attached to the wood. Surely technology can find a way to overcome this problem, if a solution does not exist already. Finding a solution might make a challenging competition, with suitable rewards, for student classes in engineering colleges.

I am told that the wood is now low-grade and salt contaminated. There must be places where low-grade sawdust can be used, although perhaps not at a satisfactory profit. Federal funds to pay for the cleanup would be justified.

Recycling the rest - metal, batteries, electronic trash - would be a greater challenge to clean up and recycle, but Crestwood Metal Corp. seems to have most of the recycling know-how.

How much longer must we and people in other countries see pictures of this neglect?

RILMA BUCKMAN

Creek Run Drive

I am having trouble coming to grips with the story about Judy Hannan stealing $1.2 million and her sentence by Wood County Common Pleas Judge Robert Pollex. Let's try some math.

Let's say the average Toledo family makes about $40,000 per year working 40 hours per week. To make $1.2 million it takes that family 30 years of hard, hard work. Oh, and that is before taxes take their toll.

On the other hand, we now know one can steal that same $1.2 million from one's employer over 12 years and only get a three-year jail sentence. That's $100,000 per year tax-free money to spend willy nilly for 12 years and only spend three years in jail as a consequence. But then she did cry in court.

The judge is making it very hard to explain to my grandkids that working the old-fashioned way is still the best way.

DAVE POOLE

Lambertville

I applaud the March 4 editorial, "Asbestos bill inequitable," and your recognition that the bailout bill being considered in Congress does not serve victims of asbestos poisoning or taxpayers.

Experts predict the $140 billion fund proposed in the asbestos bailout legislation will fall far short, leaving taxpayers to foot the multibillion-dollar bill.

This bailout would deny victims of environmental exposure and others the resources to help them cope with the devastating consequences of their frequently fatal asbestos poisoning.

From the beginning, the focus has been on bailing out the asbestos companies and their insurers. The priority of the Senate should be on the needs of sick and dying victims.

KOREY HARTWICH

Silver Spring, Md.

Know any hungry senior citizens? You know, the ones who have to choose between food or medicine or paying the rent. Things are about to get worse.

President Bush in his budget for 2006 has proposed eliminating the Commodity Supplemental Food Program by Oct. 1. CSFP provides nonperishable fruit, vegetables, and other nutritious food to nearly a half million poor elderly in 32 states, and to mothers with young children.

Incredibly, President Bush has suggested replacing CSFP with food stamps, a program only 28 percent of eligible seniors will even use, according to a news story by the Associated Press. The food stamp program cannot adequately replace CSFP, and those serving the nutritional needs of the elderly poor know it well.

What can you do about it? Start by complaining to your state and federal congressional representatives, along with local politicians and anyone else who will listen. Then make a contribution to a local food bank, food pantry, or soup kitchen. Or better yet, volunteer to help out for a few hours.

That hungry senior you know will thank you.

GLENN INGERSOLL

Ida, Mich.

I have been reading all the information in The Blade concerning the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation scandal. The Ohio BWC is rated one of the best in the country despite the Noe scandal. However, I feel that the media have not really captured the real scandal: The average honest working Ohioan who happens to get injured on the job has to almost always hire a lawyer just to get the coverage honestly coming to him or her.

Furthermore, an injured worker can hardly find a doctor who will take a workers' comp patient because the Ohio BWC takes so long to pay the bills, even though there is plenty of money to invest. Some workers have to travel hundreds of miles just to find a doctor.

And, worst yet, if a worker becomes totally disabled, it can take years and several lawyers to ever settle the case.

Now that's a scandal!

ROY F. SMITH

North Haven

The speed limit on the Ohio Turnpike should be left at 65 for cars and trucks. In fact, Ohio should have a matching speed limit for cars and trucks on all of our highways. Ohio for the most part offers some very straight flat roads. Why not have the same speed limit for all?

Look to our neighboring state of Pennsylvania, where the speed limit is 65 for all vehicles, or to Indiana where the speed limit is 65 for trucks and 70 for cars.

Why not be more friendly to truckers who travel in the state, many buying fuel which carries tax, and all of whom pay the IFTA tax whether they buy fuel or not?

Perhaps if The Blade wants to increase safety on the turnpike and other highways, it should be pushing to roll back the speed limit to 55 for all vehicles, not only helping with the safety issue but with energy conservation.

MICHAEL LINNENKUGEL, JR.

Hill Avenue

I have a lot of friends among local Republicans and although I differ on political philosophy, I generally think they are honest, decent people. And so I have no idea why in the world local Republicans would want to associate themselves with "Bush's Brain" and key political strategist for the President, Karl Rove.

This guy is responsible for much of the worst politics in the last five years. This guy is the epitome of the philosophy of "whatever it takes to win" attack politics that has so corrupted our political system. For example, he masterminded television ads linking honorable Democratic senators with Osama bin Laden in campaign commercials, insinuating that if you have political differences with this administration you are equivalent to a terrorist.

And let's face it, he may be a mastermind of winning elections, but his team has done a terrible job running the country, leading us down a disastrous route of financial insolvency and chaos in foreign affairs.

I hope my friends among local Republicans send a message to Karl Rove and his brand of gutter politics and stay home when he comes to Bowling Green. Their party is in a mess in Ohio and the nation. They do not need people like Karl Rove calling the shots. They should send a message to their party: Stay home when Karl Rove comes to town.

MICHAEL ZICKAR

Perrysburg

President Bush has been crisscrossing the United States in recent weeks on Air Force One, telling us that we should conserve energy, then hops back on and flies to Texas because he failed to get an absentee ballot on time. The perks never end. What do you think that cost the taxpayers? A 39-cent stamp would have accomplished the same results.

BOB GIBSON

Carey, Ohio



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