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Published: Thursday, 10/5/2006

Is woman's vote not important?

Do our legislative representatives really care about what women in Ohio think? I am beginning to have second thoughts.

On Aug. 12 the Ohio Federation of Business and Professional Women initiated a letter-writing campaign for all candidates running for either state senator or state representative. A total of 228 candidates. We wanted to find out how they would vote on banning abortion under all circumstances in Ohio (House Bill 228), and Prevention First Act (House Bill 588 and Senate Bill 328).

Letters went out to all candidates with a requested response date of Sept. 8. As of Sept. 27 there had been only a handful of responses.

As an organization, we had hoped to inform the women of Ohio just how they could expect their representatives to vote on two very important issues.

Does this lack of response mean that people running for office do not care what the voters think?

Or is it that they are too busy to respond and they hope voters catch their ad or receive their direct-mail flyer?

Or do we garner, since the two issues relate to a woman's health, that it is just the woman's vote that isn't important?

Penny Pelikan Dehner

President

Ohio Federation of Business

and Professional Women

Chillicothe, Ohio

Twenty-five years ago today, Ronald Reagan signed a law, after a vote of Congress, conferring honorary citizenship on Raoul Wallenberg.

Why?

Raoul Wallenberg, a 32-year-old Swede working as a sales representative in occupied Europe, accepted a mission (1944) from the U.S. War Refugee Board to go to Budapest to save Jews from the Nazi murder machine.

Ignoring Adolf Eichmann, who came to Hungary, and Hungarian Nazis, Mr. Wallenberg, attached to the Swedish Embassy, is credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews. But he couldn't save himself. The onrushing Soviet Army detained him for "protective custody," whisked him back to Moscow in January, 1945, and he was never seen free again. In the ensuing years many freed prisoners from the Soviet Gulag said someone believed to be Mr. Wallenberg was alive.

It was then hoped that the honorary U.S. citizenship would be an opening to convince the Soviets to release him. At that time he would have been 70. Unfortunately, it didn't happen.

No matter. Mr. Wallenberg's spirit is alive all over the world. He is a symbol of courage and compassion and also is a symbolic watchman for the vulnerable.

At the University of Toledo, the Raoul Wallenberg Scholar Award keeps him very much alive. Since 1990, 14 deserving students have been awarded the proud accolade "Wallenberg Scholar" for "Exemplary and Meritorious Service to the Vulnerable."

The recipients for 2006-2007 are 20-year-old Amy Leopold, who is studying nursing, with an aspiration to be nurse-practioner, and 22-year-old Joel Todd, Jr., studying psychology with an eye toward counseling and school psychology.

Raoul Wallenberg will live on in these scholars. That is very special.

Robert Karp

Linden Lane

I find little time in my day to feel sorry for Joseph Clark. Dorian Hall said she heard "loud, intense, guttural moans and groans" because his executioners couldn't find a vein. I wonder if Dorian would have had the same remorse had she been in the room when Scott Piechowicz and his sister-in-law Susan Kennedy were murdered by Clark back in 1983.

Our society has stooped to a new low by feeling sorry for the very people whom the elected courts have convicted and sentenced to death for crimes that we all read about every day in the media.

Personally, I think lethal injection is the easy way out. Bring back the firing squads, hangings, and other "painful" forms of execution, and I'll bet some of these criminals will think twice before they act.

I hope the extra time gave Joseph Clark a few more minutes to contemplate the fate he subjected himself to for the murders of those two people more than 20 years ago.

Greg Oehlers

Holland

"If it bleeds, it leads." If there is one truism in American journalism - print or electronic - that surely is it.

And the past several days, with the rash of crime in the Toledo area, have certainly proven the case. While I would not suggest that serious crime need not be reported, I wonder whether excessive, prominent coverage adds to the general malaise of our area.

Concrete reasons have been advanced for flight from greater Toledo, for our inability to attract new business and industry, and for the reluctance of suburbanites to travel to and through the area. I wonder if the prominence of crime news is not a contributing factor.

An example of such coverage is the nightly local television news, wherein the first several minutes could pass as a police blotter. Murder, rape, robbery - all reported before any other news receives a mention.

I frequently wonder that if a day's happenings included the capture of Osama, a peace treaty between Jews and Arabs, and an agreement between Democrats and Republicans to ban all attack advertisements, whether the evening news would just lead with another bloody event.

Gerald Bazer

Carrietowne Lane

I offended a trucker on Sept. 26, while traveling in the right lane at 65 mph, on I-75. As he approached to within three to four car lengths, and continued to close the distance between us, I turned on my emergency flashers.

At the same time, I was monitoring the CB-bands. After commenting about my mental state and anatomy, he appeared to realize what I was trying to communicate. I heard him say something to the effect that I may have turned on my flasher because I felt he was approaching me too fast. Yes, correct! That, and because he was following me too closely.

This nation's highways have become more hazardous over the past few years. I see an increasing tendency for a great many drivers, big rigs and passenger vehicles, to follow others too closely, and at excessive speeds.

Speeds and distances too hazardous to allow for proper reaction time or braking distance. It amuses me when I hear news reports of multiple-vehicle pileup "accidents" that were caused by poor driving conditions. Often the media blame weather, when the "accident" was actually caused by lack of intelligent driving.

Consequently, I drive defensively for self-preservation.

Driving any vehicle is not rocket science. Driving must be done with a degree of wisdom learned from what we see on the highways and in news reports. Until our legislators and authorities develop the energy or courage to do something about the situation, defensive driving will help to increase chances of survival for all.

LeRoy Heibel

Wauseon

My family and I attended the Clay-Scott football game last week. I would like to commend the bands of both schools for outstanding performances!

It was evident that these kids worked their tails off to put on such an excellent show. Two totally different styles, two amazing performances. This is an excellent example of the best of public education.

Frank L. Reder III

Oregon

Cut and run Democrats? How about "Invade and torture Republicans?"

When you unexpectedly find that you've blundered into a hornet's nest, maybe it's a good idea to run away.

Let the Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds fight it out among themselves for control of their country. Great Britain and the United States had their civil wars. Let the Iraqis have theirs.

Robert A. Kelso

Sylvania



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