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Published: Wednesday, 12/19/2007

United Way news should be upbeat

Thanks to the Dec. 12 editorial, "Success for United Way" The Blade has redeemed itself. Now I can destroy the scathing letter I composed reprimanding it for the Dec. 5 headline, "Local United Way short of $15 million target." That wasn't the message at all. A United Way news release read: "For the third consecutive year, United Way of Greater Toledo concluded its annual fund raising campaign with an increase over the prior year raising $14,553,644, exceeding last year's total of $13,601,520 by nearly $1 million." That statement should have been followed by an explosion of exclamation marks.

For a community struggling in a tight economy to increase its giving by $1 million is an enormous accomplishment. Each contributor should be profusely thanked for accepting the challenge to underwrite United Way's services to the community.

United Way's slogan, "We Change Lives," is true. As the former director of a Family Resource Center, I was a daily witness of the life-changing services United Way and other services underwrite; one family at a time, one person at a time, neighborhood by neighborhood.

The news release further stated that, "funds raised during the campaign will be invested in programs that get young children off to a great start, create strong foundations for our children and teens, empower vulnerable families and adults to thrive, and mobilize resources." These activities are crucial to building a strong community.

I have long held that Toledo's primary problem is it doesn't believe in itself. The Blade's negative headline on a positive story feeds that lack of self-esteem. Many people don't read beyond the headline.

Toledo (and The Blade): It is time for a change of attitude. Follow the advice of the old song and "Accent-u-ate the Positive."

Virginia Dean

Waterville

Giuliani just a liberal in GOP clothing

Rudy Guiliani is boasting to be the next Ronald Reagan. Some joke. Mr. Guiliani, although the top contender for the Republican bid for president, is no conservative. His views on abortion, gun rights, and homosexual marriage are definitely in opposition to Republican views.

In 1999, Mr. Guiliani said he was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and did not support a ban on partial-birth abortion. In 2007, Mr. Guiliani said that the U.S. Supreme Court "reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial-birth abortion." Make up your mind, Mr. Guiliani. In 1988, Mr. Guiliani's mother said, "He only became a Republican after he began to get all these jobs from them. He's definitely not a conservative Republican. He only thinks he is, but he isn't."

Some Republicans feel that Mr. Guiliani is the best Republican out there. After all, he supports the war and has flip-flopped to now courting the National Rifle Association with relation to the right to bear arms. Yet in 1995 he called the NRA "extremist." Maybe he hopes that in camouflaging his liberal views he will garner enough votes from both parties to get elected.

Mr. Guiliani is just another politician, and a liberal one at that. He flip-flops more than John Kerry. In 1975, Mr. Guiliani switched from being Democrat to Independent. Then in 1980, one month after the election of Ronald Reagan, he switched to being Republican. Then he got a job in the Justice Department. That worked out nicely.

Please, don't be fooled by Mr. Guiliani. He's no more conservative than the leading Democrats. Keep the liberal Mr. Guiliani out of the Republican nomination.

Kenan Kinsey

Waterville

White House years aren't experience

I was amused at the rationalization of a Nov. 21 letter writer who stated Hillary Clinton lived in the White House for eight years so she has the experience to be president. Maybe we should also consider the White House maid or chef (or were they illegal immigrants?).

Tom McGrail

Perrysburg

Media not telling whole story of war

Has anyone ever noticed that something is wrong with the picture the media have drawn of the Iraq War? Has anyone wondered why the media's version of the war really does not match the soldiers' version? Plausibly, no one sees the difference between the two versions because only one version is being given.

Our media have failed to broadcast the entire story by rarely interviewing our soldiers and using negative news to portray the war as a humiliating failure. We may have failed to fully plan, and have made mistakes, but this war has not been the mangled, mutilated scene the media have portrayed.

I must admit that the one-sided coverage has been excellent. The media constantly bombard us with heart-wrenching captions showing our soldiers suffering adverse conditions, and Iraqi civilians suffering likewise. We are barraged with stories compelling us to believe that all efforts to establish law and order are futile. Many soldiers have a different story.

For instance, Harry Lujan, a veteran of the Iraq war and an undecided voter on the Nov. 23 NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, said that the Iraqi troops want our troops there. They know our troops are there to help. He also said that the media say what they say because "it sells." He is absolutely right, and not only does the negative news sell, it also manipulates the minds of the American people into believing that Iraq is a total disaster.

The blunt truth is that exploding bombs and escalating violence does not comprise the totality of this war. The media have failed to broadcast the total truth and have exaggerated the war beyond justification. The media give their version of the war only, and that is the only version they want anyone to hear.

Joy E. Phillips

Swanton

Slap at bottled water not justified by facts

The suggestion in Tom Henry's Nov. 25 column that cutting consumption of bottled water from your life will "put the brakes on greenhouse gases" is ridiculous and reveals a profound lack of understanding about the bottled water industry.

Beverage containers are among the most recycled consumer product packaging in the nation, accepted in virtually all curbside and drop-off programs. Furthermore, bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable and account for less than one third of 1 percent of the nation's total municipal waste.

Further, the beverage industry is committed to improving access to recycling at home and on the go. We are staunch supporters of comprehensive recycling and are founding members, along with the U.S. EPA, of the National Recycling Partnership dedicated to revitalizing recycling in America.

Our industry is committed to reducing its environmental footprint by lightweighting our packaging, improving our water use ratio, and making our operations more energy efficient.

Rather than admonish readers against drinking a healthy, convenient beverage, it makes sense that a better tip would be to encourage consumers to recycle all recyclable materials, not just beverage containers. My 8-year-old thinks it is fun to recycle.

Kimberly McConville

Executive Director

Ohio Soft Drink Association

Columbus

Toledo a great place to spend weekend

For the disbelievers, I have just spent a wonderful pre-Christmas cultural weekend in Toledo.

Friday night was with the Toledo Symphony at Westgate Chapel - a packed and appreciative audience - and it was free.

Saturday night it was the amazing Masterworks Chorale and its traditional Christmas offering at Epworth United Methodist Church. This was choral music at its purest and best. Sunday had one more treat, the Ballet Theatre of Toledo's "Nutcracker," which Nigel Burgoine has made a Christmas tradition in Toledo.

All this almost seems too much but keep it up, Toledo - the liveable city.

Lindsay Smith

Manoa Lane North

It's not my fault. This is the manufacturers' answer to everything. Why must every buyer purchase an extended warranty after purchasing anything from a refrigerator, to a television, to a ring?

Karen Snyder

Golfgate Drive



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