I write to express my pride and appreciation for the players of the Toledo Storm hockey team. I am a single mother of a 4-year-old son who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He is an amazing child who tries every day to push himself beyond his physical limits. He wanted to skate with the Storm after their Nov. 19 game. I purchased him a pair of used hockey skates and allowed him to face another challenge in his life.
We slowly approached the ice and he held on for dear life. We were skating around the outside of the rink when one of the players came up beside us. The player, Chris Blight, swiped my son right off his feet and carried him around the rink. My son was grinning from ear to ear in pure happiness.
For Chris it was a simple gesture, but for my son it was a priceless moment he will remember forever. Chris touched his heart that day. Chris has a little fan who tells everyone about his kindness. My son tells everyone that, "Chris was a good teammate to me because I could not skate well because of my legs." He also tells people he skated on the ice because Chris Blight helped him learn how.
I am proud to be a fan of the Toledo Storm and I think others need to know about the quality players who represent our city when they are off the ice and on the ice winning games. I look forward to more games this season, especially because there are role models with good character hiding under the helmets and pads. Chris' sincerity and thoughtfulness when lending a helping hand (and feet) to a child with special needs, who was struggling to accomplish his goal, was special.
A recent story about Toledo Ballet's "The Nutcracker" was incomplete. Toledo Ballet is proud to present its 66th annual production of "The Nutcracker" at Stranahan Theatre. Toledo Public Schools and other area schools will be treated to a student performance free of charge to the children on Dec. 15. Public performances will be held Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and again on Dec. 17 at 1:30 and 4:30.
All performances are accompanied by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adron Ming from the Lewisville Lake Symphony in Texas. In addition to principal dancers Olga Pavlova and Yevgeni Anfinigenov, Jordi Ribera joins our elegant production in the roles of Herr Drosselmeyer and Arabian.
Toledo Ballet again looks forward to dazzling northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan with its signature performance. And be sure to see which five exciting celebrities will don the bonnet and play the part of Mother Ginger!
Executive Director Toledo Ballet
Don't blame teachers for TPS' money woes
As a retired teacher who never received the 1.48 percent increase that was promised to me, I find it interesting that the teachers are being made to sound like they are the cause of Toledo Public Schools' financial problems.
There are other unions that attach themselves to the negotiations that are completed by the Toledo Federation of Teachers simply by adding a "me too" clause to their own negotiations.
The former superintendent used a formula for layoffs that was based on the size of the union. Perhaps this new board and superintendent should apply the same formula when determining the percentage of money for each union. If teachers are the largest group in TPS, then they should have the largest percentage of dollars to distribute to their members. No "me too" clauses should exist.
The Blade should publish the salary figures for all unions. The public could then see that the teachers and Fran Lawrence are not the reasons for the financial problems in the Toledo Public Schools.
Negative column on Moore ridiculous
I read Jay Ambrose's negative commentary on Michael Moore, "The Moore bore," and although I agree that Mr. Moore can be hard to take at times, Mr. Ambrose showed just how out of touch he and his Republican brethren are.
Mr. Ambrose dismissed universal health care, saying that it could "wreck the federal budget." I don't know where he got the data to support that, but we've spent hundreds of billions of dollars so far on the Iraq war with no end in sight and the federal budget hasn't been wrecked yet.
If spending billions to kill innocent people is worth it, then I think spending tax dollars caring for your own citizens can be deemed worthwhile.
Later Mr. Ambrose claimed that Osama bin Laden is not worth pursuing because he is "as good as dead" and "cut off from any chance of significant leadership." If that's true, why do the media pay so much attention every time a new videotape of him surfaces? How badly do you think George Bush would have liked to have captured bin Laden before the elections?
Finally, Mr. Ambrose seems to want it both ways when he argued that raising the minimum wage is insignificant because "less than 1 percent of the work force is paid that little." In the same sentence he went on to say that "minimum-wage hikes always risk eliminating jobs," indicating that it is significant.
The fact is that whether or not less than 1 percent are at minimum wage, there are many people who must survive on a minimum-wage job. I think most would agree that that is impossible.
I hope the recent elections have diminished the appetite for the ridiculous scare tactics, half-truths, and character assassinations we've been hearing for years.
Don't be duped by 'conservative' label
Now that the recent election has given us some evidence that the country is becoming aware of the quagmire that the regressive orgy of the last few decades has led America into, wouldn't it behoove the news media to be more circumspect in their use of the label "conservative"?
The nation has been conned by the think tanks of the far right to consider as "conservative" those in politics who would return American government to the era of laissez faire and the heyday of corporate robber barons, as well as those in religion who would return us to the Bible worship and intolerance that passed for Christianity in the Dark Ages.
To many, the connotation of the label "conservative" is that of a predisposition to preserve that which is of value and to be cautious in making progress - but promoting progress nonetheless. It definitely is not applicable to those trying to return to the debasement of labor, minorities, and women, restoring the hegemony of the Church and ignoring the theological revelations of the last 200 years, or returning power to the super-rich.
By falling in with the regressive think tanks' strategy of labeling those backward-seeking demagogues as "conservative," the media have assisted in the duping of the American public.
You may not have the courage to call them what they are - regressives - but please, don't call them "conservatives."
William M. Greenberg
The 'sinners' start at the very top
This is in regards to a letter written by the lady from Maumee concerning the leftists' and rightists' sense of traditional values and definitions of right and wrong.
Has the lady heard of the famous and often-used Bible quote: "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone"?
If the Republicans make their sinners step down from office, as she has so delicately put it, then why haven't George Bush and Dick Cheney also stepped down? Seems to me they qualify for her slanted view on what is right and wrong.
There is a way out of Iraq that's so simple I am astonished no one else has mentioned it. Simply dismiss all charges against Saddam Hussein and restore him to power. Then, as the last American soldier boards the plane to go home, he gives Saddam a cheery, single-finger wave and calls, "Here, you take over for a while. You guys deserve each other."
ROBERT G. MORRIS