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Published: 7/18/2006

No sign of 'corruption' on turnpike

Regarding Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell's failure to pay a turnpike toll, the Ohio Turnpike provides non-revenue cards to law enforcement officers to use in their official duties. For the last several campaigns the candidates for governor have received highway patrol protection.

Those officers are acting in their official capacity and can use the turnpike without paying a toll. If and when candidate Ted Strickland takes the highway patrol protection, those officers will also have the same non-revenue cards.

The Ohio Turnpike toll plazas and other facilities are not a forum for public debate. Specifically, no one is permitted to loiter or hold a public meeting on or near a highway, for obvious safety reasons.

In defiance of these safety regulations, Mr. Blackwell's campaign organized and invited members of the media to attend a campaign press conference at one of the toll plazas without requesting prior approval of the Ohio Turnpike Commission, yet the campaign accuses the Turnpike of "alerting" the media.

On behalf of the Turnpike Commission I wrote Mr. Blackwell a letter indicating he should refrain from having any future campaign events on the Ohio Turnpike.

Finally, it is time for both Mr. Blackwell and his public relations person, Carlo Loparo, to start following the 9th Commandment: "thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Both men continue to talk about "corruption" at the turnpike. If either gentleman is aware of turnpike corruption he has a responsibility as a public official to speak up or retract the accusation.

Gary C. Suhadolnik

Executive Director Ohio Turnpike Commission

I commend the Rev. Marek Ciesla of St. Hedwig's Church for the simple fact that while America is falling into despair, he and his church members, and the Knights of Columbus Monsignor O'Connell Council 386 and others of the council chose to give this monument of the Ten Commandments to the church and to erect it on the front lawn as a symbol of hope and faith, not just for members of St. Hedwig's Church, but for other members of other Catholic churches in Toledo, in Ohio, and every church member of every church in America.

In these days when the memory of what our Founding Fathers believed in and pledged their fortunes and souls to create seems to be fading, this very happy unveiling stands like a beacon in a darkening world that will bring joy to the members of St. Hedwig's, every believer who passes the church, and those of us in Toledo and elsewhere who understand the enormity of this truly awesome event.

Howard Winters

South Reynolds Road

Do I love my zoo? Not after the experience my husband and I had at the Paul Simon concert. We received the tickets from our children as a gift for our 40th wedding anniversary and were looking forward to the show. We arrived in plenty of time to find our seats and get ourselves settled. We noticed adult beverages being sold in a cordoned off area outside the amphitheater and thought nothing of it until the show started.

The concert started on time but for the first 15 to 20 minutes, the people who were drinking finally made their way to their seats, all the time blocking the view of others who were trying to enjoy the show. As the concert continued, people were up to get more drinks. The more they drank the less consideration they had for those around them. Then dancing in aisles and on seats began. People behind them couldn't see the performer.

People of age to drink were given a bracelet so they were not carded again. That did not stop people from buying drinks and bringing them in for others. When we asked the staff to assist in settling these individuals, they looked at us as if we were speaking a foreign language. The concert lasted a couple of hours. We saw about 20 minutes of it.

The zoo continues to ask for support and tax dollars to keep the facility operating. It needs a vote from people in our tax bracket. Without us, levies fail. However, they run the zoo this way, they don't need my money. Continue to sell liquor at the zoo to pay the bills and let your audience of drinkers pass the levy.

Kathy Galatocky

Oregon

With no decent public transportation system in sight, we boomers and pre-boomers are destined eventually either to walk or depend on our children to drive us around for even routine errands. Why is this issue not being addressed by AARP and other organizations representing our older population?

The bus system in the United States is so poor that it cannot even compare to Mexico's. The last bus trip I took, I found the drivers bordering on abusive and the toilets, armrests, and other accessories were often broken. You had to arm wrestle other passengers to be able to sit with your traveling companions, and the ghastly stations were like a trip back in history.

Train systems in any developed nation put ours to shame. Amtrak offers comfortable, spacious seating, 120-volt plug-ins for your computer, and amiable personnel. But the trains are always late, the once state-of-the art dining cars are reduced to shabby snack bars, cleanliness is questionable, and the infrastructure is barely hanging-on.

Europeans must just shake their heads in disbelief that the most "prosperous" nation in the world will not do what it takes to create a pleasant, efficient, cost-effective, and well-run national public transportation system. Why do we allow our leaders, whose political backers have much to gain by keeping us hooked on the personal automobile, constantly distract us from critical domestic issues such as public transportation that would greatly benefit middle class America?

Nita Torrence

Monclova

You reached a new low in "gutter journalism" with your editorial and accompanying cartoon regarding Kenneth Lay. Here I've been, for years now, certain that The Blade had attained extremes for bad taste.

Perhaps The Blade would prefer to have Mr. Lay's body sent to a maximum security prison, where it would have to spend eternity. The Blade is at least consistent in its efforts to crucify people, dead or alive. Keep up the bad work!

Chuck Riley

Dorr Street

I'm amazed at the number of citizens who can't understand why their house flooded. Don't they watch the news? This type of thing happens all the time somewhere in America. All the rain that fell during that storm had to go somewhere. When the soil, vegetation, etc., are full the water seeks its own level and then flooding occurs. No public official can prevent this. Blaming public officials for flooding is ridiculous. FEMA could have been sitting on your porch and your house still would have flooded. There is no one to blame, except yourself if you didn't have insurance.

Kent Snyder

Westbrook Drive

I would like to commend you on the article concerning the Lucas County Youth Treatment Center. I volunteer at YTC weekly and was privileged to be present when they performed. These kids may have made some bad choices but Tara Hobbs and her wonderful staff are doing an excellent job of exposing them to different activities that are really challenging the way that these kids think and act. Thank you for bringing attention to a program that is truly making a difference in our community.

Joshua Heaston

Christian Emphasis Director YMCA of Greater Toledo



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