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Published: Sunday, 5/14/2006

Secondhand smoke really does matter

Sometimes two unrelated articles appear in The Blade on the same day and seem to shed light on one another.

Lobbyist Jacob Evans' letter tortured our common speech with the embarrassing posturing of his clients, the tobacco and alcohol interests. But from Ellen Goodman's column jumped out an insightful quote by Martin Luther King: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

Mr. Evans' attempt at spinning concepts like "informed decisions" and "common sense smoking policy," and the latest hilarious name to be used by the usual suspects, "Smoke Less Ohio," matter very much and deserve comment.

It was 20 years ago that Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued his report on the harm caused by exposure to tobacco smoke. Acting on that information, the partners, the endorsers, and the volunteers of SmokeFreeOhio believe all workers deserve a workplace free of the toxic contamination that is tobacco smoke. They have made an "informed decision" and are now circulating petitions seeking to place a "common sense smoking policy" before Ohio voters on Nov. 7.

Some special interests are clearly more predatory than others. There are those who care so little for their fellow citizens that they intentionally increase their risks of heart disease and various cancers.

And they then try to make it sound like they are doing them a favor.

As Abe Lincoln so wisely observed, "You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time."

Fourteen states have already acted to protect their citizens from secondhand smoke exposure in all workplaces and wherever the public is invited in. All Ohioans deserve the same protections.

We will not be fooled.

Stu Kerr

Northwest Ohio Campaign Coordinator

SmokeFreeOhio

Maumee

Anti-smoking zealots don't understand

I just read an anti-smoking letter to the editors of Pravda (oops, sorry) The Blade. Once again, the anti-smoking zealots fail to see what this is all about. It's about a business owner's right to run his business the best way for him and his employees to make a living. The letter writer and the other weak-kneed supporters of smoking bans just are not capable of living on their own and need the government to tell them what's good and bad for them.

Pravda (gosh darnit, sorry) The Blade only reports its side of the story. Have any stories about South Bend, Ind.'s smoking ban been done? Of course not! Its ban has exemptions for bars, bingo halls, and bowling alleys, and it's working quite well. Or how about the state Senate of New Hampshire, which voted down a smoking ban? The reason? They felt the citizens of that state are smart enough to make decisions on their own without Big Brother. No stories like that appeared in any of these pages.

So why don't your letter writer, the editorial board of Pravda (Darn, I did it again. Sorry!) The Blade, and all you anti-smoking zealots move to the People's Republic of Calabasas and enjoy its worker's Utopia?

By the way, I'm a nonsmoker who won't support any more government intrusion.

Tim Grant

Glen Valley Road

Pump prices make mail letter perfect

I recently visited my aunt and uncle in West Toledo. I took some photos and later made copies for them. When it was time to deliver them, I thought - $3 a gallon to drive there or 39 cents to mail them. Finally the postage rate made sense.

Sandy Haar-Cutchall

Milbury, Ohio

Toledo Express has

a lot to offer travelers

Once again I have had a very enjoyable experience flying out of Toledo Express. Most of my flights out of Toledo have been favorable on the local carriers.

Toledo offers close parking and a limited walk to the departure gates.

Parking, clearing security, and going to the gate takes less than 10 minutes, if you obtain your boarding pass prior to arriving at the airport.

Detroit recommends travelers arrive two to three hours prior to departure time (plus driving time and allowance for unforeseen traffic problems on U.S. 23 or I-75). Consider also the cost of gas round trip to Detroit, where parking is farther away and more expensive.

In this particular case, I flew American Airlines. The check-in people and the flight crew were extremely friendly and helpful. The flights were on time. Even considering a layover in Chicago, my travel time was about the same roundtrip out of Toledo versus driving roundtrip from Toledo to Detroit and taking a direct flight from Detroit.

And I saved the hassle of driving an hour to Detroit, looking for a parking place, walking to the terminal, and then having to walk another 10 or 15 minutes to the gate.

Not all of my trips from Toledo have been perfect, but neither have experiences at other airports. I have planned several more trips with destinations east, west, and south. All are originating from Toledo Express.

Our airport has a lot to offer travelers and should at least be considered when planning business and personal trips.

Fred C. White

Smith Barney

West Central Avenue

Talented youngsters make Toledo proud

I was thrilled to read about the NAACP ACT-SO competition and, on behalf of the Toledo Ballet, I congratulate the gold-medal winners.

One very deserving recipient, Loganne Bond, is a student at the Toledo Ballet. Her innate talent, unwavering self-discipline and commitment, and tremendous enthusiasm for dance have paid off with this amazing award and opportunity.

She epitomizes the best and brightest among African-American teens, and many teens can learn valuable lessons from her by choosing to follow in her footsteps and those of her gold-medal counterparts.

This program has changed the lives of its winners, including Denzel Washington and Jada Pinkett Smith.

A message to each winner: We at the Toledo Ballet express our good wishes to each of you extraordinary young talents from our very own African-American community and will cheer you on as you head to Washington for the national competition. You make Toledo proud.

Arkadiy Orohovsky

School Director

The Toledo Ballet

A lack of focus on Astronomy Day

The May 7 Blade contained a photo of me and a telescope. While I appreciated the attention, there was no mention of the Toledo Astronomical Association, which sponsored the event. There were exhibits and telescopes at two sites on Saturday for Astronomy Day.

Also, the picture showed a potentially hazardous situation. People should not point telescopes at the sun without filters and should follow very careful procedures. Also, the scope pictured was somewhat experimental and should not be taken as a design criteria or used without experience. Telescopes can be dangerous as well as fun and informative.

It is unfortunate The Blade did not cover the story beyond a photo. Making the hobby safe as well as fun is taken seriously by TAA. President Frank Merritt and Vice President Jeff Bender as well as several other members contributed much with exhibits and telescopes.

I felt we were somewhat undermined by the deficient coverage.

Jim Morford

Temperance



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