I was enamored by the Aug. 2 story in The Blade regarding the Hannah's Socks Project. I am a resident of the Toledo area, and a current teacher at AFNORTH (NATO) International School in the Netherlands. The inspiring tale retold by The Blade of Hannah Turner's fixation on providing socks for the poor and homeless at the Cherry Street Mission encouraged me to take this story back to my fifth-grade students. After reading that Hannah was hoping to make her mission national, the students declared that they must help by making this collection international. And so, their collection began here in the Netherlands last week.
All too often, feature stories in newspapers communicate the horrors and misfortunes of society. Thanks to The Blade, we are reminded of the inherent kindhearedness of children.
In addition, The Blade has received many awards for its courageous focus on social justice, public service, public policy, and investigative journalism. I am proud to sing the praises of this newspaper to my international colleagues. Toledo has a myriad of reasons to be considered one of the proud metropolitan cities of Ohio!
Brunssum, The Netherlands
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner now says that the late Deputy Police Chief Ronald Spann, who died Feb. 2 after 35 years on the force, may have been responsible for the communication breakdown involving the Grand Rapids, Mich., Marines being blocked from performing exercises in downtown Toledo.
Carty needs to give apologies to the police department and the family of Chief Spann for his comments.
I would like to see a sculpture of Carty, with his foot stuck in his mouth, on the lawn of Government Center.
The Toledo police do a great job and I am upset about Carty's comments.
I have a long history of being associated with Centennial Terrace and it is very rewarding to hear how much Centennial has been a part of the lives of thousands of people who have been entertained there. The city of Sylvania can be proud of all of the happiness and memories created at Centennial since it opened in 1939.
Two bands held the attendance record in the early years. One was the Johnny Long band, which one night drew 3,000 people. Many highlights over the years could fill a book.
I would like to encourage people to support the Sylvania Recreation District Bond issue on March 4. It would be a thank you to all the people who became part of the Friends of Centennial in 1991. They not only donated money but also time and work to save Centennial when it was in need of so much help to survive. Without water and facilities for two years, it still managed to entertain a reasonable crowd.
In 1993, Sylvania came to the rescue and gave Centennial some hope for the future. In my mind, passage of the bond issue would raise Centennial to a new level. I have seen the plans and believe that it would be a welcome opportunity for Sylvania to gain another "star" for its community.
The last sentence of The Blade's Feb. 3 editorial, "CareNet a public duty," was right on the mark. It states: "CareNet is too important to live hand-to-mouth from year to year."
To address CareNet's longer-term viability, the sponsors should develop a three-year plan that would include financial projections and at least a doubling of the number of patients served. Because of the program's importance and visibility, the sponsors should think expansion, not status quo.
The University of Toledo should be invited to become an equal partner with Promedica Health System and Mercy Health Partners, each contributing the same amount of funding. While it is laudable to have the two hospital systems cooperating, it would be even better to have three. The merger of the University of Toledo with the Medical University of Ohio, which resulted in a combined budget exceeding $700 million, warrants this consideration.
The hospital systems should consider doubling their financial commitment to this worthy and cost-effective program. The large - and growing - number of medically under-served in the community warrants this consideration. This objective could readily be achieved by shifting a small portion of nonpatient related expenditures, such as media advertising budgets, to this valuable community service.
Toledo City Council should also be thinking more broadly about the program. Think expansion, not status quo. The CareNet program is too important, and the number of medically under-served in the community is increasing.
A sea of change is taking place in the world economics that is going to adversely impact our standard of living forever. A wealth transfer to China and the Middle East from the United States and Western Europe of immense proportions is under way, through petro-dollars, ballooning trade, and budget deficits. China's foreign exchange surplus has grown to $1.5 trillion and is increasing rapidly. This money has to find a home somewhere, and as the return on U.S. Treasury notes diminishes, most of the money is going to be used to gobble up U.S. corporations.
The Middle East has surplus petro-dollars that are being used, in part, to buy Western armaments. Middle Eastern countries have recently bailed out major financial institutions, buying small stakes. So far, they have refrained from taking majority positions for fear of congressional reaction. If the pace of wealth transfer does not slow down, the Middle East and China would be holders of majority stakes in most of our assets.
Our profligacy is setting the stage for stealing from our future generations to feed our extravagant habits. As a nation, we consume 25 percent of the world's resources and are major polluters of the atmosphere. Oil, even at $100 a barrel, has failed to propel us toward a serious effort for conservation, and our insatiable appetite for foreign goods is our undoing.
We have the means to avoid this calamity, if we have the will to stop wasting natural resources. If this great country makes a serious effort, there is nothing it cannot succeed at.
Satish K. Sood
January marked the 35th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords that officially ended the Vietnam War. However, unexploded cluster bomblets left over from the war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are magnets for children's curiosity that lead to lifelong disfigurement, disability, or death.
A recent study by Handicap International showed that boys ages six to 15 account for nearly one-quarter of all cluster munitions casualties in Laos. Neither is the adult population immune from these deadly remnants of war.
Congress needs to pass the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S. 594/H.R. 1755), which would permanently ban the use of cluster munitions in or near civilian populated areas, as well as the use, sale, and transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1 percent. Sen. Sherrod Brown is one of 16 co-sponsors of this bill.
Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Red Cross, UNICEF, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and World Vision, among others, have joined in condemning the use of these weapons. More than 130 nations have also joined an international effort to ban these weapons. But the United States opposes these efforts.
I would encourage readers to educate themselves on the effect of cluster bombs. More information is available at www.fcnl.org.
Paul J. Helbling
Does it make sense that with all the problems facing the nation, Congress is wasting countless hours and Lord knows how much money investigating whether or not someone gave Roger Clemens a shot in the gluteus maximus?
James P. McCrea