While there is no question the residential real estate market across the country is less robust than the past few years, it does not help the local market when the media continue to focus on the negative. The latest statistics from the Toledo Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service indicates a 3.7 percent decline in home sales during the period of January to September, 2007, from the same time in 2006, it should be remembered that for a few years prior to this we enjoyed the best real estate market we had ever had.
The National Association of Mortgage Bankers recently released some very interesting statistics to show the other side of the large foreclosure issue. For example 35 percent of the homes in the United States do not have a mortgage, 98 percent of the mortgages in the United States are performing well and only 9 percent of all mortgages are sub-prime and 75 percent of that 9 percent are performing well.
Now is still a good time to buy a home. Mortgage rates remain extremely low and the inventory from which to choose is very high. Over the last 10 years, the value of most homes in the United States has doubled, making real estate a good long-term investment.
Toledo Board of Realtors
Tighten regulations for owning pit bulls
The laws are making it harder for those owning pit bulls. This is good but it means a death sentence for many dogs with even the slightest characteristic of a pit bull terrier. The breed is actually very loving, obedient, and loyal but because of their strong jaws and muscles, they've been trained to kill or be killed. There are overwhelming numbers in shelters, rescues, and pounds. They can and will be used as a weapon in the wrong hands.
So why purchase a bull terrier? Look in any newspaper, you'll find plenty of pit pups for sale. Some are called Staffordshire, some American bull terriers, but they're all the same. It's all about money - a way to make a quick buck. There is no screening or background check when these dogs are sold. What's the difference between selling pit bulls and selling guns?
The transfer of pit bulls should be the responsibility of rescues, shelters, and dog wardens, where the new owners are screened and the animal is spayed or neutered. No known fighting dogs would be available for adoption.
Maybe you're not interested, maybe you're not a dog lover, but this problem includes anyone who wants to walk down the street. If you agree, please write your representative. Let's prevent the useless slaughter of these dogs and, at the same time, protect the safety of our families.
Until new laws are in place, maybe newspapers could voluntarily refuse to run these ads. I'd also like to thank Michael Vick. His cruelty and stupidity has brought much needed attention to the evil "sport" of dog fighting.
Patricia R. Kessler
Ottawa County Humane Society
Oil shortage is scam to keep prices high
I have been a truck driver for 15 years, delivering mostly products people go to the store and purchase daily. I work for a national trucking firm that supplies many retailers all over the United States and Canada. Our CEO and president put out a notice last week to 15,000 employees stating that in his 32 years as CEO he has never seen such a slowdown in the shipping of products from all businesses throughout the country.
It is all because of the high cost of oil. Wall Street is swimming in profits, but we are about to see a pullback in consumer buying unlike any we have ever seen if oil stays the way it is or gets higher. Winter gas bills and home-heating costs will keep millions of people from retailers. Thousands will begin to lose jobs.
On average, each American who works is spending an additional $50 to $100 more per month just to fuel cars to get to and from work. If you take 90 million people spending an additional $60 a month for fuel that's $5,400,000,000 per month being taken away from the economy and businesses all over the country. At this pace we will all be out of work very soon.
There is no oil shortage, there is no threat, it's all a scam the rich are playing. Think oil is high because of consumption by China? Come on. There is no room for cars in China, it's wall-to-wall people who ride bikes everywhere. Someone needs to wake up soon before it's too late to this scam of oil prices.
And by the way, the slowdown is being felt by all carriers, and thousands of trucking companies have gone out of business the last several years.
Reynolds road work won't fix problem
In the Oct. 30 story in The Blade on the continuing woes of the LCIC, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner noted that the city was curtailing its financial involvement with that organization because of a tight budget and lack of results. If the purse strings are so threadbare at Government Center that the hiring of a new police class has been shelved, one must look askance at the earmarking of nearly $1 million to upgrade Reynolds Road between Glendale Avenue and Heatherdowns Boulevard.
Here are some things to think about. Southwyck mall is gone and nothing is going to bring it back. The geographic center of Toledo (if that phrase even has meaning now), is no longer in the Glendale-Reynolds corridor. No amount of new pavement and flowers are going to attract visitors north from the turnpike with the very new and up-scale shopping areas of Levis Commons and Fallen Timbers only minutes away, not to mention all the finer hotels and dining establishments in the area located along Dussel Drive in Arrowhead Park.
The Reynolds Road project is just one more page in the history of fiscal irresponsibility our elected representatives insist on fostering in trying to fix a problem by throwing money at it. It would be far more prudent to take that $900,000-plus and analyze why Southwyck and Northtowne malls ended up as empty eyesores to begin with.
R. B. Kochanowski
Fifth Third banner is eyesore on skyline
So who's the joker who came up with putting a Fifth Third Bank banner on One Seagate's beautiful green glass curtain wall? Please promote that person to a role where they can do no more damage to our once architecturally pleasing skyline. Oh yeah, and please fire the person who selected the Wild West typeface.
What an eyesore to an otherwise pleasing skyline.
Patrick J. Flynn
Toledo landmark defaced by signage
A beautiful Toledo landmark has just been defaced by one of our banking institutions.
The improving skyline of downtown Toledo has recently been cheapened by the seemingly insecure need of Fifth Third Bank to scrawl its name on all of its possessions. A formerly beautiful building has become an embarrassing eyesore.
They are not alone in this disregard for aesthetics. Nor are they alone in their need to write their name (usually with a spray can) on any prominent wall.
It is surely enough to let the architecture stand on its own and represent your corporation or city. Imagine the Empire State Building or the Sears Tower with cheesy advertisements all over them.
The respectful restraint from unintended additions to the architect's vision gives the structure a power and nobility that no commercial advertisement will ever be granted.
An unadulterated One Seagate would speak more kindly of your sensitivity to aesthetics, your confidence as an institution, and your regard for Toledo.
Please restore One Seagate to its original state and remove the ugly signage.
To the Maumee letter writer who was "physically sick" after reading that New York may ban the display of nooses, I say: It isn't "a belief" that is being criminalized, it is the action of intimidation by the display. The letter writer and others are free to believe as they wish. Their actions are subject to laws and public scorn.