Your March 30 article, "Human traffic targeted as training session aims to raise awareness of victims," brings to light an egregious human rights violation that is occurring across the United States: human trafficking - or modern-day slavery.
It is commendable that members of your community are taking initiative to educate law enforcement, social service workers, and public health officials about human trafficking. In many cases, these may be the only people who come in direct contact with victims, making it crucial that they are able to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
As the federal agency responsible for helping victims of human trafficking become survivors, the Department of Health and Human Services is working to promote public awareness of human trafficking and to connect victims with the services they need to restore their lives.
This summer, HHS will launch a Rescue and Restore coalition in Columbus. Organizations and individuals who are dedicated to fighting human trafficking and promoting awareness of the issue are strongly encouraged to become coalition members.
Victims will not be found in significant numbers until the American public and those most likely to encounter victims have a heightened level of awareness. When we look beneath the surface to uncover human trafficking, we make greater strides toward eradicating modern-day slavery.
I encourage your readers to learn more about this issue and take action if they believe they have encountered a victim of trafficking by visiting www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking.
Martha E. Newton
Office of Refugee Resettlement
of Health and Human Services
The Democratic Congress is pursuing a policy of pre-emptive surrender in Iraq that emboldens the terrorists, the violent militias, and the Iranian regime.
The Democrats' proposed timetable for the pullout of our troops from Iraq is the same strategy that led to a devastating defeat in Vietnam - which is, of course, what the liberals want. They have never found an adversary of the United States that they could not and do not embrace.
Thus, it is their aim to blame President Bush for "his" disastrous war. Their hate of the President has gone beyond any modicum of common sense and what is good for America.
To even suggest that funds be withheld from the troops on the front line, to me, is treasonous and should be dealt with harshly.
Unfortunately, the Republicans, though few advocate the inane measures, have done little to counter them. The GOP has waffled and fought among themselves - gutless wonders with seemingly no direction.
We read and hear only the bad news in the liberal media. We have to search diligently to find facts that U.S. forces have been victorious time after time, have eliminated thousands of terrorists, and secured vast areas of land.
We only hear and see the death toll of American fighting men and women in Iraq. And though each death is a disaster, they are far fewer than the needless slaughter on our highways here at home - or the murder rate in our own nation's capital.
What the anti-American, anti-war, non-patriots are doing to this nation is leading it toward committing suicide.
For more than 200 years our nation blossomed and grew to be the most revered in the world. It took President Bush a mere six years to trash this worldwide opinion of us and make us the ogre to hate.
In 1927 this nation suffered the Great Depression with huge job losses, bank closings, home foreclosures, and other miseries. Sound familiar? After years and years of growth and successful times and with a multimillion surplus in our national budget, who knew that it would take Mr. Bush only six years to send us reeling back to those days of want, under the pressure of a trillion-dollar - and growing - budget deficit?
Of course, the President didn't do this all by himself. He had the help of a rubber-stamping Congress who gave into his plans, wrote him the laws he wanted, and pandered to him, spoiling him more than parents spoil an unruly child.
Today, those who remain in Congress after the purge of 2006 still have not learned their lesson. They are still afraid to say no to him even if they disagree with him. They should wake up, shake their heads to get the elephants out, and start acting for the good of the country. They will be doing themselves a favor.
If they continue to vote for Mr. Bush's desires when these desires are not for the good of the country, when his Ship of State sinks, as it is bound to do, then all who were afraid to abandon ship and are still on board, will sink with him into the depths of infamy.
Although I have only been a hockey fan for two seasons, I have developed a passion for the Toledo Storm.
The past few weeks I have been worried about what will happen to Toledo's very important hockey team. I think to suspend the team would be the worst possible idea ever. Hockey is a part of Toledo's past and hopefully its future, and to take our team away for two years while the new arena is built would be preposterous.
I have grown to love the players, coaches, and fans, and if the voluntary suspension happens it will hurt Tim Gladieux financially from the lack of sales of individual and season tickets and refreshments.
More important, it will also hurt the fan base and once you hurt the fans you could risk losing them forever.
I am not against the building of the new arena, but I am against Mr. Gladieux's selfishness in taking hockey away from Toledo for two years.
Although Mayor Finkbeiner has said he would wait to demolish the Sports Arena for his marina district, Mr. Gladieux is still going through with his absurd idea to sell the team to the Mud Hens for a low price.
He is abusing the fans just so he can have the food contract at the new arena. I believe Mr. Gladieux is making one of the worst mistakes of his life by trying to suspend the team, because he will become the most hated man in Toledo in the eyes of hockey fans.
I hope he knows what he is getting himself into.
Quail Run Road
Soon, Storm hockey will end at the Toledo Sports Arena for good. For years that has been a place for loyal Toledo hockey fans to go, get a little rowdy, watch a hockey game, get away from the winter winds, and enjoy the "barn" and their friends.
This was uniquely "Toledo Hockey." First it was the Mercurys, then the Blades, then the Goal Diggers, and finally the Storm.
Nobody else in minor league hockey could replicate what has happened here, including the 60-year-old Zamboni.
Toledo hockey fans never needed a "jumbo-tron" or a "luxury box" with a fancy seat because that not what it was all about.
Everyone who has shared in that experience knows of what I speak. Those who missed that experience will never know how special it was!
The county can mothball the team, build a new arena, and put in corporate boxes to its heart's content.
They may put a new team on the ice in a new arena but they will be hard pressed to bring back the real spirit of "Toledo Hockey" in their newfangled barn.
Global warming? Baloney. When I was a kid Easter Sunday meant short sleeves, playing outside with trees blooming, flowers blossoming, and bees buzzing my head. The past few decades of Easters have featured cold temps and even snow! The winters may be getting warmer, but they last a heck of a lot longer.
Suck eggs, Al Gore.