On a recent outing to the Shops at Fallen Timbers, I conducted an unofficial poll of the "unique shopping experience" offered by this mall.
I approached a number of people to ask for their opinion of the new shopping mall, and received pretty much the same response from all those I questioned: "I hate it, I prefer indoor malls, it's too cold and windy to have to go from store to store outdoors, put on my coat, take it off, etc."
A while back, I attended a neighborhood meeting at which developer Larry Dillin gave a presentation on the future of Southwyck Shopping Center. Mr. Dillin brought with him the artist's rendition of what Southwyck would look like once he gets his hands on the property. I asked how he came up with his statistics about outdoor malls, why we need them, and why he eagerly promotes them. I recall Mr. Dillin responding that "indoor malls are a thing of the past." Where did Mr. Dillin get his information? Has anyone taken the time to conduct a survey of the residents of Toledo?
I believe it to be in the best interest of Southwyck-area residents to be involved in Southwyck's future and not leave it up to some developer who has a distorted vision of what he thinks is best for the area. Southwyck could once again draw shoppers if anchor tenants could be enticed by lower rent, promoting the conveniences of indoor shopping vs. outdoor malls.
If indoor malls are a thing of the past as Mr. Dillin claimed, why is Westfield Franklin Park expanding again? Are we going to sit idle and allow Southwyck to fall under the wrecking ball ?
James H. Marshall
Pollution inevitable with coking plant
For the last 54 years, I have lived on or near the Maumee Bay shoreline. I have seen first-hand all the changes that have been made to the lake and bay over the years.
For 40 years I was a member of the Oregon Fire Department, the last 20 as assistant chief. It was my job to investigate all spills, releases, and leaks. I've probably walked every ditch, swale, creek, and sewer in the city at one time or another. The biggest offenders were the industries from within the city.
When we allow companies such as the FDS Coke Plant to become part of our community, we accept the possibility of these events happening. They come with the territory.
Are we nave enough to believe that by allowing another one of these industries to start up, it is not going to release or emit more than its allotted amounts, due to human error or poor maintenance procedures? It seems that this is perfectly all right and acceptable because we are going to obtain 150 jobs and a brief income tax boost while it's under construction.
Officials roll the dice, with the stakes being our health and the environment.
I ask the residents of Oregon and Toledo: Will you sell the chance of your children and grandchildren's health and environment for a buck?
William H. Flanagan
Change tax system that can take homes
Chinese farmers are demanding back their small farms that were seized by local communist officials. These are little farms that have sustained their lives for generations.
Could this happen only in mean, intolerant-of-human-rights-and-life China?
State and local government ownership of all land in Ohio and America has been in effect since Day One. In America, it's worse because local government can seize your land and the home you may have worked for all your life and sell it to blood-sucking leeches for taxes.
We need to change a mean, intolerant, king's tax system. Any tax system that takes people's life-sustaining homes is anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-human rights.
Vincent P. Yancey
Distortion campaign on economy begun
Well, here we go again. The election is 9 1/2 months away and already in a Jan. 8 editorial, The Blade is starting its distortion campaign about the economy.
A 5 percent unemployment level is historically very low and remains the envy of virtually every industrialized nation. Anyone who says differently is either ignorant of the principles of economics or playing politics.
Despite a few hundred thousand people who didn't care enough to learn what a variable-rate mortgage was and were trying to live beyond their means, the housing market in this country is generally stronger than in any other industrialized nation. The housing market has been far worse during previous economic downturns.
Yes, Republicans spent like drunken sailors - but it's also a fact that the Democrats wanted to spend more at every turn. In addition, the cost of the war in Iraq is just a drop in the bucket and, by itself, would not cause any problems with our economy. Spending on an already over-bloated welfare state and pork-barrel projects is the problem. Yet, as out of control as spending is, every Democratic presidential candidate is talking about raising taxes and dramatically increasing federal spending, both of which will do nothing but weaken the economy, increase the deficit, further reduce the value of the dollar, and increase the price of oil.
Certainly, our current economic environment is weakening from the incredibly positive run we have had over the last few years. Toledo, as usual, largely did not participate in this economic growth because of over-taxation and over-regulation, but the national economy has been singing along for years now.
The Blade editorial was an adolescent attempt to deceive voters and should be condemned by every reasonable person.
Toledo Scouts name good for hockey team
Regarding the naming of the Toledo arena hockey team, why not call the team the Toledo Scouts? That mascot has already received fame, can be seen by the public every day, and has been rescued by and rescued Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, so they say. The stuffed mascot could be sold to fans of the mayor, dog fans, and kids. Charity events featuring the golden retriever could help raise funds as well. The stuffed animal could also be given to institutions that need a little animal comfort to calm them down. The real Scout could even make personal appearances.
This name could go national and be given out the next time Toledo vies for a national award. But if it is business as usual with things that don't make sense, go with the names on the Mud Hens' short list, making it just one more thing Toledo has to live down.
Teachers doing best to prepare students
Lately, the media have been scrutinizing Toledo Public Schools teachers for inadequately preparing students for the Ohio Graduation Test. Some people even say the teachers don't care about the students.
I am a TPS student and I strongly disagree. Many teachers have been trying their hardest to ensure that students pass the OGT. Most teachers actually went the extra mile, providing before and after-school classes on different subjects of the OGT.
I am taking the OGT this year and I've spoken to some of my peers on the subject. They agree that the hype of the test adds pressure to the students, which can lead to test anxiety. Watching the media portray the test as something nearly impossible to overcome leaves some students feeling hopeless. On the other hand, other students say they feel confident that their teachers are teaching them properly.
All I am saying is that my teachers are not doing a bad job, as the media are saying. Our scores are low, but pointing fingers will not get them any higher. Therefore, instead of complaining about how bad everything is, maybe we should all take on the OGT together and help TPS students pass this test.
Mall walkers are a danger, too
If Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is pushing to enforce the curfew on teenagers clogging walkways, how about doing something about "mall walkers?" If you get in these people's way, they will mow you down.