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Published: Saturday, 9/30/2006

License fees shouldn't go to retailer

Giving mega sporting goods retailer Bass Pro $1 million of Ohio fishing and hunting license fees outrages local sportsmen. Many sportsmen feel their Ohio fishing and hunting license money should not go to any retail store or for-profit business. This was not the intent of the license-fee program when originally established.

If state, county, and local taxes including the federal excise tax on sporting goods, are offered, then Bass Pro should be a "full service retailer" by providing deer and turkey check station service. It is a state law in Ohio that all deer and turkey bagged be checked in (retailers are not compensated for this). Checking stations provide valuable educational data and provide an up-to-date health status of Ohio game to help wildlife biologists and the Department of Natural Resources to set its bag limits.

Another concern is that Wood County is offering sales tax incentives to Bass Pro if it sets aside 10 percent of its square footage for educational and exhibit space. What baffles sportsmen and instructors who teach hunter safety courses is that educational services are already being offered by volunteers who love the outdoors.

Sportsmen feel this is a misuse of the sales tax, since portions of our license fees are already earmarked to educate Ohio kids, men, and women. Wood County sales tax funds would then be used by Bass Pro to educate residents outside of Wood County.

Wood County leaders would be giving retailer Bass Pro an unfair competitive advantage over existing businesses that have supported Wood County with the collection of full county sales tax without the benefit of any rebates. Is this the precedent we want to set?



I read the Sept. 22 article, "New bridge's design inspires downtown sign," about a new electronic billboard inspired by the Veterans' Glass City Skyway. I then began having visions of a smaller version of the Veterans' Glass City Skyway, with little lights across the top, replacing the boring, ancient-looking Martin Luther King Bridge.

I personally don't think the King bridge blends in with the newer-looking surroundings. A new, more modern bridge would give the waterfront more of a romantic festive atmosphere.

I don't know if Toledo considers the old bridge a historic landmark or not, but the old days of Tiedtkes, Woolworth's, and rail cars are long gone. It's time for a new, modern Martin Luther King Bridge.

W.D. Carrington


Picture a crisp fall afternoon. I'm outside with my two very young and impressionable children. Up above is an airplane towing a banner. My kids screech with delight. However, to my horror what they see is a giant picture of a 10-week-old aborted baby. I respect the opinion of whoever did it, but how do I calm my kids and explain it to them? This message should be distributed in pamphlets to adults, instead of by implanting a disgusting, disturbing memory in my children's heads.

Susan Desjardins

Wilford Drive

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