I write in a spirit of reconciliation and hope for the future of Toledo and the merger of the University of Toledo and the Medical University of Ohio.
Most individuals, families, communities, businesses, and institutions of higher education that are seasoned can easily identify multiple areas where they've stumbled on the road to success. When those groups are intertwined for any length of time, they also know the faults of each other - you could ask my wife about mine.
One of the most powerful aspects of northwest Ohio is the heritage and strength of the families who have lived in this area for generations. The people of Toledo are faithful, industrious, diligent, and generous, characteristics that support and enhance this city in a multitude of ways.
It is this very constancy and commitment to friends, family, and the future that distinguishes Toledo from many, if not all, cities throughout the United States. This is a greatness that should never be taken for granted.
I wholeheartedly ask the members of the Toledo community to join arms with us in this unique opportunity to form a new university designed to educate the leaders of tomorrow.
Our greatest desire, as MUO and UT faculty, staff, and administrators pursue this once-in-a-lifetime chance, is to form an institution that will reach for the sun, moon, and stars while working tirelessly to serve the needs of our community.
By working together for the future and putting the past behind us, we can strive for greatness. We need your courage, support, and wisdom as well as your patience and forgiveness for mistakes made along the way.
Our dream is that this grand venture will greatly increase the value we place in calling Toledo "home" through a positive impact in our community, region, nation, and world.
Lawrence W. Elmer
Medical University of Ohio
Your Feb. 25 editorial, "States right in food fight," was fundamentally wrong in its conclusions. The state laws you cited would not be affected.
Ohio regulations on "honey," Alabama nutritional standards for grits, and Rhode Island requirements on frozen fish are all outside the scope of the bill. These state requirements either do not deal with food safety or are not "warnings."
The "National Uniformity for Food Act," is a carefully drafted bill that would do two things.
First, it would require that state food safety laws be the same as federal food safety laws, hardly a radical concept. A food cannot be safe in one state and unsafe in another.
Second, the bill would require that warnings about food safety be national. Again, food cannot need a warning when sold in one state, yet not bear a warning in another. Differing label warnings applied to the same food creates consumer confusion.
The editorial is correct that the uniformity bill would affect California's Proposition 65. Under this law, manufacturers of canned tuna have been sued by the state for failure to warn, even when the FDA has formally advised California that the state warning conflicts with federal law and would cause the tuna to be mislabeled under federal law.
Similarly, California has sued manufacturers of snack foods for failure to warn about the presence of acrylamide in their products, even though the FDA, the EU, and the World Health Organization have all concluded that warnings about acrylamide are not necessary.
We can either have food safety policy based on sound science, the overriding purpose of the uniformity bill, or we can have a cacophony of policies based on other factors. We think sound science should prevail.
Grocery Manufacturers Association
John K. Hartman's March 4 Saturday Essay, "A plan to take Toledo out of the shadows," was right on target. He proposed a mega-indoor sports facility and port-side casino complex in the vicinity of the ballpark.
I have been to COSI many times and have always thought what a great location it is for a casino. COSI is a good thing, but it could be relocated. There are plenty of vacant buildings.
I envision a bustling downtown with shuttles taking people to the sports facility, ballpark, convention center, the Docks, art museum, Erie Street market, casino, and all other business that would spring up. Think of the jobs it would create.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner once told me gambling was neither a panacea nor the devil, but I think combined with everything else downtown, it would work. I agree with Mr. Hartman. Build it and they will come. I know I will and so will many, many people.
Let's make Toledo "the place to go." By the way, we'll need to build a lot more boat docks. We're going to need them.
West Country Club Drive
Cell phones don't cause accidents; drivers do. Let's face it. Since the automobile was invented there have always been distractions everywhere we drive. What would be next, to ban the car full of people who talk or the radio or maybe smoke? Police, truck drivers, and many others have used handheld mikes and haven't blamed an accident on them. We have onboard navigation systems in cars and trucks that talk to us and we look at the screen but still never hear of someone trying to ban them. Let's get real and take responsibility for what we do and stop blaming poor judgment on cell phones.
Liberty Center, Ohio
We certainly should acknowledge the courage of Toledo Muslims in the arrests of the alleged terrorists. Now I would like to see a president with the courage to make the following speech:
"My fellow Americans, for the last century we have had an insane foreign policy, and a policy that contributed to the events of 9/11. We have ordained ourselves to be world cop and social director and have meddled throughout the globe occupying lands and creating and propping up tyrannical dictators.
"Now, no longer will we station our troops in 158 countries. No longer will we take your sons and daughters and return them in body bags or worse. No longer will we take your resources to support a lobby-driven military complex with a World War II mentality.
"To the people of other countries I say this. No longer will we meddle in your affairs. No longer will we embargo, bomb, and starve your children. No longer will we prop up dictators with our aid. No longer will we support the corruption of the United Nations with its oil for food programs and its blue helmets who terrorize and rape your children. We want you to become productive and prosperous.
"So with a rational self-interest, we will extend to you our open markets because we understand you will not bomb your stockholders or customers. And, if there are any enemies who falsely equate reduction in defense spending with insecurity and choose to act on it, you will come to understand the meaning of an asymmetric surgical strike and the saying 'reaching out and touching someone.' Thank you."
Where has the writer of a March 4 letter about Mike and John Ferner making signs to protest the war been? Was his head buried in the sand with everyone else? We stand at different locations every Sunday with our protest signs opposing the war. We also stand on the overpasses and hold up our signs every time we get to a 100 body count.
As of this writing, we have 2,299 military killed in George Bush's war. When will his stupidity and greed stop?
Do not talk to me about civil disobedience when President Bush has broken almost every law regarding our Constitution.
The Bush-Cheney administration has had its surprises.
Maybe the "American entity" it chooses to operate our seaports will be one we can all trust: Halliburton.
JOHN A. GALBRAITH