I understand that there is some confusion regarding the SmokeFreeOhio petition that is circulating. Having been involved from the very beginning endorsing the "smoke free eating and workplace" issue, I feel the need to comment.
Opponents are attempting to sabotage SmokeFreeOhio's petition, thus causing confusion on a very important issue.
Smoke Less Ohio wants to overthrow what 21 Ohio cities have worked out with the citizens in acquiring a "smoke free' environment to eat and work in. Smoke Less Ohio issues will bring forth an environment of returning smoke to restaurants, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and factories (unless minors are present).
The leaders of today have pleaded with the legislators to retain more funding to assist in the education of our youth. We, the parents of today, and our forefathers have left a trail of "smoking is fine for everyone to breathe," not because we don't care. We did not have the knowledge of the damage we were bestowing on our children and fellow workers.
Smoke Less Ohio wants a constitutional amendment that would force workers, if they want a job, to endure smoke from the minority. Please study the proposal that is backed by tobacco and alcohol industries.
SmokeFreeOhio will let the voters speak and will back cities all over Ohio in their quest to provide a healthy environment.
JERRY G. MATHENY
Gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell recently suggested that those of a certain political persuasion somehow are less faithful in their belief in God than others. With the populations of Ohio cities shrinking as people seek employment in other states, we should demand a different debate from our candidates for the highest office in the state.
Ohioans must demand leadership that is capable of moving beyond a divisive debate that distracts us from the Gospel message and threatens the common good. Ohioans look for leadership that will address the economic burdens on Ohio families, a broken educational system, children living in poverty within our own state, and provide effective policies to build a consistent culture of life.
New leadership in Ohio must work for a society that respects the lives, dignity, and equality of all persons. Our leadership must put the good of the state ahead of private gain. We look forward to a time in which Ohio families do not live in poverty and when Ohio parents in the middle class are able to provide health care for their children. We seek leadership that resists rampant greed and corruption in our corporate, political, and family spheres. We seek leadership that puts the common good ahead of profiteering and political pandering.
We seek leadership in this crucial time in Ohio's history that understands that Ohioans of all faiths must unite to restore honor and dignity to our state government. As people of faith we are called to promote justice and defend human dignity. We seek leadership that shares this vision and is ready to respond to the call of the people and the common good.
Catholic Alliance for the Common Good
We are not fighting for our freedom in Iraq. The noble cause to go to war was to fight against the imminent threat that Saddam Hussein posed. We deposed Saddam. He was not an imminent threat because he had no WMDs. Prior weapons inspections had dismantled his WMD programs. Yet 140 of our troops died in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) because George Bush declared the weapons inspections must end and OIF must start.
The noble cause after Saddam's removal was to reconstruct Iraq. The occupation began. Lack of police security in Iraq contributed to failed reconstruction. During the occupation 718 American troops died. Occupation was less safe for our troops than war.
Sovereignty was then transferred to Iraqis. The security failure continued, providing an opportunity for al-Qaeda's new collaboration with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The group called "al-Qaeda in Iraq" was born. The number of al-Qaeda in Iraq before OIF was zero, and now it is in the thousands.
The noble cause after transfer of sovereignty was to plant democracy. Democracy couldn't be implemented beyond the Green Zone (location of Iraqi government and U.S. Embassy) with the security situation still out of control and 1,658 more American troops died. Democracy in Iraq is less safe for our troops than occupation. More than 2,500 American troops have died.
The noble cause after democracy failed is "Fighting for Our Freedom." I give Mr. Bush credit. He knew we needed to fight so we wouldn't die from WMD. He knows we are now fighting the terrorists' war, their war, on their terms. It's surely not his terms. He knows that. I know that.
"Fighting for Our Freedom" is his party's propaganda so we will believe it is noble to die for a sovereign, democratic nation with no WMD and which we are not occupying.
I read with amazement that the funding for the merger between the Medical University of Ohio and the University of Toledo had not been finalized before the process began. The boards of both universities and all the politicians involved should be ashamed and embarrassed.
The arrogance of Richard Stansley is apparent in his statement that he believes the taxpayers should be burdened with another $30 million to fund the merger. The costs of the merger should be financed equally from both universities' budgets, as well as from the savings realized by the consolidation of staff and services and the sale of real estate and other equipment no longer needed.
My husband and I are thinking about building a house. I wonder if we should wait until it is finished to worry about how to pay for it. That would make as much sense as proceeding with this merger prior to securing the necessary funds.
Regarding the merger of the university and medical college, you certainly did give a lot of information about what all the powers to be want in the form of money from the taxpayers to make this happen. The well-paid university administrators are ready for another dip in the taxpayer bucket as usual. It is the same story at every state-funded university and college in Ohio. Build another concrete and glass tower, start another program, hey, it is all for "research."
At least state Rep. Randy Gardner and University of Toledo Vice President William McMillen held their ground on gouging the taxpayers again. Good for them. The rest of the politicians didn't really want to comment before elections, but in the end some of them are willing to show the university a roundabout road map to the taxpayers' pockets.
The only people you didn't ask about this were the taxpayers. Since we have plenty of hospitals in Toledo and the state has too many colleges and universities sucking from the tax-dollar trough, what do you really think the taxpayers are gonna say if they could decide who pays?
Maybe when our kids can go to college here for less than going out of state and when the university shows it can stop sticking its hand out to pay its presidents like royalty, we will be able to support a few new programs. Until then, put their request on the ballot and see if they can convince the people who actually pay the bills.
With all the serious problems facing our nation, our congressional reps have doodled away precious time on constitutional amendments against flag burning and gay marriage. Such ludicrous thinking! It is their hope this ploy will take voters' minds off real troubles like ending the Iraq war, fixing the Social Security System, improving the lousy economy, providing health insurance coverage for those with none, bringing jobs back to the U.S.A., etc.
This has got to be the least productive Congress in history! Here's hoping the voters won't be blind-sided by this weak-kneed Congress and vote them out once and for all.
VIRGINIA M. NICHOLS