I was thrilled to read the Aug. 25 editorial praising the newfound interest in the good, clean fun of musical theater, thanks in large part to the over-the-top success of High School Musical and Hairspray.
For years, high school students involved in the performing arts fought the stigma of nerddom. At long last, that image is fading as young people discover for themselves the delight of Broadway. Toward that end, Toledo Ballet School Director Lisa Mayer and her husband, Michael Lang, both veteran Broadway performers, have developed a Musical Theatre curriculum and a performing arts company to provide our community with professional training in this wildly popular genre. Aspiring performers get superb training and meet new peers who share this enthusiasm.
The Blade is absolutely right. What a healthy endeavor for our young people, and what a plus for our community!
Flood abatement starts at 'top of hill'
Flood abatement is an admirable goal; however, most people are unaware that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has funds and programs available. The problem is getting the public interest in the whole watershed, not just the flooded area.
Flood abatement has to start at the "top of the hill." If some of the water could be retained, even for only 24 hours, a large amount of flood damage could be avoided.
Floods are a cost to everyone in higher insurance rates, public assistance, lost business, restoration efforts, and so on. Just 10 percent of those aftermath expenses would cover the costs of flood abatement.
The flood problem is the result of everyone wanting to drain their property immediately and ignoring their neighbors downstream. Over the years, with more pavement, roofs, field tiling, roads, and filled floodplains, the floods keep getting worse.
The USDA has offered programs to farmland owners for wetlands, water and sediment control basins, tile drainage control structures, and other water management practices that retain or slow down the flow of water runoff for 24 to 48 hours or more. A greater effort is needed to educate the public and convince landowners in the whole watershed that everyone must do their part.
If these practices were installed in hundreds of small places, flooding could be greatly reduced. It may mean greater public funds to pay better incentives, land rents, and cost sharing to encourage greater participation and compensate landowners for their efforts.
Director, USDA Fulton-Lucas Farm Service Agency
Humanity on display after Findlay floods
Over the last two days I have been humbled and inspired by my family, neighbors, friends, and strangers who have come to the aid of my 4-year-old daughter, Katie, and me. I just want an opportunity to thank and acknowledge these people.
My brother and father, who walked through the rising water to get to us and went back several times to monitor my home on Hunters Creek Drive.
My mom, who fed all of us, watched my daughter, and has a future as a plumber.
My neighbors, Nate and Cathy Sorg, who helped me as their own home had water rising and let me store some of my special things on their second floor.
Family friends Chris Brooks and Bob Vargo, who brought their own pumps and stayed for hours while my basement was drained the first time Aug. 20.
Lastly, to a man I had never met before, Rich, who became the hero of our neighborhood as he drove his Hummer countless times to evacuate people, including us.
The flood of despair is descending and my hope in humanity is rising. Next week, when I meet my students for the first time at school, I know the first lesson I will teach them: Be a good citizen, help others, and know that humanity exists in Findlay, Ohio, Flag City USA.
Toledo is a victim of leaders it elects
I am putting all my fellow Toledoans on notice - you're getting what you deserve.
We've had single-party Democratic rule in Toledo for decades - and yet employers can't leave Toledo quick enough.
We are at the crossroads of America, literally - I-80 east and west, and I-75 north and south - but can't attract the large logistics hubs that Findlay, an hour out of the way, seems to be able to attract.
Carty seems to have time to go beat up on hotel owners in person but he can't seem to get anything done for economic improvement that doesn't require my tax dollars.
Toledo schools are an embarrassment but all the focus seems to be directed toward charter schools (more than half of which are beating Toledo Public Schools' overall rank of "academic watch").
But we continue on the course we've been on. Why does anyone expect anything different? What are you going to do about it, Toledo? We've done nothing about it to date. When Toledo finally bites the big one, the gravestone will read: Toledo - a victim of its own indifference.
City Council acting like Keystone Kops
The duly elected president of City Council, Rob Ludeman, has been ousted, leaving the Democratic Party to govern as it sees fit without a care for the objections of the Republicans or the electorate at large.
Welcome to Toledo, circa 1950, steadfast home of cronyism, backroom deals and business-as-usual, "good-old-boy" politics. Bearing the current circumstances in mind, I am amazed people are leaving this area in droves. One would think everyone would like to be part of a community where the local, free form of entertainment is a City Council doing a bad portrayal of the Keystone Kops.
R. B. Kochanowski
Council governing is 'Fantasyland' dream
Finally, we have a Democrat as the president of City Council. I can sleep at night and not worry about what those dastardly Republicans are up to. I am sure I am not alone in congratulating our fine members of City Council for their passionate quest to replace Rob Ludeman as Council president. After all, we couldn't just let him preside over the last four months of his term.
Now maybe, just maybe, they can collectively get back to the business of running the city. Oops, I forgot. This isn't "Fantasyland."
Bloodless Council coup was laughable
In 1977, the late folk-rocker Harry Chapin released an album titled "Dance Band on The Titanic." Could he have been psychic, envisioning Toledo City Council in 2007?
Only in Toledo could the electorate choose to repeatedly install a nearly one-party monopoly for more than half a century while conditions continue to deteriorate.
Only in Toledo could that one party continually point fingers at one another; these are the modern-day equivalent of Roman fiddlers.
Now, one of the few county-wide token Republicans has been demoted on Council, and The Blade refers to him and a few of his allegedly more conservative colleagues as "pro-business." This latest bloodless coup in City Hall is laughable. If there is even one pro-business officeholder in Lucas County, it's the best kept secret in all of America.
Once again, the deck chairs have been re-arranged on the Titanic. Let the dance band play on.