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Published: Wednesday, 5/10/2006

Elephants are not sacred cows

The Blade needs to get with the times. Zoos are no longer a menagerie of creatures locked up for our entertainment. Many zoos have decided that keeping elephants is not conducive to their mission, and it was shortsighted to suggest in your May 7 editorial that maybe the Toledo Zoo should just shut down if it goes in the same direction.

Zoos are given permits to keep and display threatened and endangered wildlife (including elephants) due to the perception that their doing so aids in the recovery of the species. Conservation is now at the heart of the mission of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and the Toledo Zoo. The Blade and the public at large should encourage our zoo to critically and openly examine all of its programs and actions in light of its mission and understand that difficult decisions may be necessary.

Maybe elephants fit into the mission of the Toledo Zoo; maybe they do not. In either case, I sincerely hope that decisions of this magnitude are not based simply on the fate of tax levies!

Given the global crisis facing biodiversity and the limited resources available to save the estimated 16,118 species threatened with extinction, it would be irresponsible for a conservation organization to declare anything a "sacred cow," even our beloved elephants.

Gregory Lipps

Delta, Ohio

Editor's note: Mr. Lipps was a zookeeper at the Toledo Zoo from 1995 to 2001.

Once again my gas-guzzling Goliath of a truck takes a hit from a civic-minded do-gooder. I've served my country, I recycle everything that's accepted, buy American whenever possible, and drive an American truck. If you can't say the same, maybe you need to get your ducks in a row before you worry about mine.

Denny Daly

Heatherbank Road

I have a real problem with anyone not elected by "We the people of the United States of America" presuming to speak for me about matters concerning our government - particularly the executive branch.

Ellen Goodman noted in a column: "Bush forgets 9/11 belongs to us all." And the gentleman who quoted her in a letter to the Readers' Forum added: "President George W. Bush saw 9/11 differently than the rest of us." Even Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent could not possibly have known how President Bush "saw" 9/11.

I, for one, am thankful that George W. Bush was president on 9/11. I believed he would be strengthened and guided by his faith in God to uphold the oath he took when he was sworn into office. I believed in him then and I believe in him now.

Following the 9/11 attack, Osama bin Laden warned that we should fear his "second army - made up of those who were 12-15 years old at that time." This second wave of terrorists could have been born in America and therefore be U.S. citizens. President Bush is using resources available to him as a wartime president to do everything in his power to prevent terrorists from abroad or within from ever attacking us on our shores again.

I believe that the monitoring of calls from known terrorists to persons in the U.S. or calls from the U.S. to terrorists abroad is one of those wartime powers.

Joyce Lewis

Leicester Road

Isn't it ironic when the Village of Waterville has been fighting to implement measures to preserve the village's historic past, it is doing just the opposite when it comes to one of our village's own buildings?

While it's true that today we may not think that the "old fire station" is historic, if we let the building stand the test of time, allowing it to serve the public for another 100 years, our great-grandchildren will certainly think it is historic.

I think that Waterville is missing an excellent opportunity in its rush to tear down this building. The building is structurally sound and could easily be modified for use as a much needed police station. Relocating the police department would be fiscally prudent as the village administration could then benefit from the additional space this would provide, deferring any need for a new building.

Capital improvement money was previously appropriated to make the mechanical improvements that are needed to the building, allowing it to operate more efficiently. The best benefit for the community would then be the connection the police department could have with the youth of the village, being visibly present in the parks (Baer Park is connected to Conrad) and the library interacting with our youth in a positive manner.

Our elected leaders need to remember that the Conrad Park Master Plan is just a plan, simply paper and ink. A good plan is one that is flexible and able to incorporate new ideas that come along. Let's not repeat what was done a few years ago when we lost the lighted tennis and basketball courts at Conrad Park; a small change in those plans to shift the library's parking field would have saved these.

Dan Madigan

Waterville

During World War II, when someone was guilty of a crime and facing jail time, he was offered a chance to either enlist in the Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force, or simply go to jail for a sentenced time. It worked like a charm. Illegal aliens deserve the same opportunity.

Why don't we take half of these 12 million illegal aliens, put them into the Army as proof that they really want to be here, and let them risk their lives for the privilege of becoming an American. This would give us a decent standing army and challenge those who walked into America from Canada or Mexico to put their money where their mouth is, like in 1942.

With a 6 million-man standing army, maybe we can regain a bit of our determination, like Ethan Allan and his Green Mountain Boys, who created that flag with the snake on it that said, "Don't Tread on Me!"

We could reactivate all those bases President Clinton closed and put the people around them back to work.

Howard Winters

South Reynolds Road

I am a graduate of the University of Toledo and an athletics booster. I am very concerned about the direction of UT athletics after reading Dr. Lloyd Jacobs' comments in the May 7 Blade.

I am concerned for three reasons. After being president of MUO for two and a half years, and his wife being "very interested in sports," it is hard to believe that he has never attended an athletic event at UT.

Second, his comment that all the data are not in, after years of study, sounds to me like we are back to square one as to what to do regarding renovation of Savage Hall or building a new field house for basketball. He is very misinformed, doesn't have a clue, or Athletic Director Mike O'Brien has been asleep at the switch.

Last, I would prefer not to have UT be the training ground for a president who has zero experience in directing a great athletic program like UT's.

Good luck to the new prez. I think he will need it.

Carl Happ

Whitehouse

In 1974 as a result of the Watergate incident, George "H.W." Bush, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, confronted President Richard M. Nixon and asked him to resign or prepare himself to face impeachment charges.

Now, 32 years later, I wonder if he would be willing to voice the same directive to our current president, who has far surpassed Mr. Nixon in his "abuse of power."

Marvin Gagnet

Commonwealth Avenue

I was relieved to read that former city councilman Bob McCloskey was indicted on federal bribery charges. Thank goodness insider deals and pay-to-play shenanigans apparently are not limited to Republicans. America is indeed the land of equal opportunity!

Louis Visi

Wheeling Street



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