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Published: Sunday, 2/24/2008

Community's compassion appreciated

It is with the deepest gratitude that we are respectfully submitting this letter. Though the last three weeks for our family has been overwhelming with grief and a whirlwind of activity, we continue to be deeply touched at the outpouring of support we have received from the Toledo area community during our time of loss.

As a husband, father, and grandfather, Ron Spann was a wonderful example of a devoted family man. He set an example of perseverance, determination, and personal integrity that will forever be a legacy in our family. Thank you to those of you who offered kind words, sent cards and flowers. And to those who told us stories about him, you'll never know how much that meant to us.

More specifically, we are particularly grateful to the Toledo Police Department and the many surrounding law-enforcement agencies and other area citizens who have offered support in so many ways. We are also grateful to the media for the respectful and caring way they chose to cover this story.

Although we wouldn't have chosen to have our grief so public, we know that the model career work of Deputy Chief Spann was the type of story that exemplifies the hard-working people of Toledo. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, and it has certainly sustained us through this difficult time. It is in this vein that we say "thank you" to so many, many of whose names we did not get as they worked behind the scenes in such a gracious manner.

Toledoans, we do live in a wonderful community. Once again, you have proven this community is caring and compassionate. We are surrounded by men and women who not only protect us every single day but put their lives in harm's way. We are surrounded by and are a community of servant-leaders and for that we are truly grateful.

Claudia Spann

Whitehouse

Editor's note: The writer is the widow of Deputy Police Chief Ronald Spann, who died Feb. 2 at age 58.

I was very disheartened by the recent editorial in The Blade under the heading "Propensity for intolerance." While any person can readily identify the many atrocities committed against humankind around the globe, those horrid acts alone do not justify mankind submerging itself in a state of pessimism and inactivity. On the contrary, I think those same alert readers could also just as easily identify acts of kindness in their personal lives and sincere efforts at human collaboration worldwide. Allow me to cite one such positive moment in our local community.

On March 9, the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio will invite the public to its 7th Annual MultiFaith Banquet, where representatives of more than a dozen faith traditions will gather. The guest speaker, Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, from the Sikh community in Columbus, will engage attendees with his topic "Honoring the Tradition of the Other."

Now, do I expect an immediate flourishing of religious harmony in our community from this single banquet? No, I will temper that fervent wish. But I truly believe that every small, measured step toward tolerance counts. Rather than accept the premise of your editorial that we exist only a "scratch" away from inhumanity toward one another, I choose to see a hopeful world in which individuals clearly recognize the imperative that we must be active stakeholders in the promise of peace.

Regina E. Silletti

Chairman

7th Annual MultiFaith Banquet

Middlesex Drive

I have really been impressed with The Blade's efforts to call for civility in the political dialogue. Then, on Feb. 13, a Blade editorial called conservative PAC members "troglodytes." This gives us a real feel for the debating skills of your editorial staff.

When will The Blade be accepting letters from conservatives listing their favorite names for liberals?

John F. Weber

Swanton

Anyone who is considering voting "no" on the 0.75 percent income tax simply because of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's actions toward the Marines is essentially doing the same thing the mayor did.

Just think about it. The mayor put people's comfort ahead of safety. If the tax is voted down, just think of what that will do to the safety of the city. Budget cuts will have to be made in police, fire, and other safety offices to account for the $57.7 million that would have been generated by the tax.

If you care about the city's safety, voting "no" on the March 4 ballot is no way to send a message to Mayor Finkbeiner.

William J. Tapper, jR.

Ruthanne Drive

Residents of Toledo, isn't it time we stand up and say no to this illegal garbage fee? We already pay for garbage collection in our taxes. Just because they call it a fee, shouldn't we believe we're being charged twice? How stupid do they think we are?

If they want us to pay for garbage collection, I have a great idea to save the city a ton of money. Eliminate the city garbage workers and go to a private contract, like Sylvania. Just think of the money the city will save on hourly workers, benefits, health care, and maintenance of equipment. I will gladly pay for private service.

Give me back some of my tax money and these so-called fees.

Jill Mills

Kedron Street

In response to the Feb. 10 letter in the Readers' Forum requesting a "no" vote for the Anthony Wayne school levy, I have one comment: Half of what the letter writer calls the "huge" tax levy is a renewal tax and will not increase taxes at all.

And I have one question: If the writer had children in the Anthony Wayne school system, which programs would they feel are not necessary to educational achievement and be willing to see their child go without?

Kelly Pieh

Waterville

The most recent saga in the ongoing battle for Oregon City Schools to fund itself is an attempt to convince the residents of Oregon to ante up more money on their annual property taxes by making budget cuts that people will notice. The initial cuts they have decided to make are in busing. What they have decided to do is make children walk to the street corner instead of picking them up in front of their houses. They are doing this for a simple reason. Bus drivers with a route of at least 4 1/4 hours are considered full-time employees and must get full-time employee benefits. If they make children walk to the street corners, then they are able to cut a quarter hour from each route and are no longer required to pay those bus drivers medical benefits.

The current administration seems to think the first cuts they make should be the most dangerous for our children. It seems to me that if a child gets hurt walking to or from the corner, then the school system should be held morally and financially responsible because other, less-dangerous cuts could have been made first.

I believe that our children come first and nothing suggests that I vote "no" to a levy like an administration that chooses to use our children as a bargaining chip. I would suggest that if other cuts are not made first, then a vote of "no" will tell the administration that the safety of our children is not a bargaining chip and that if they continue to use this ploy, they will never get more funding from the residents of Oregon.

Shawn Wilkins

Jerusalem Township

So Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has written to Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain to ask them how their policies will affect cities. If they have been reading the newspapers lately, imagine their plight: If they respond with policies he likes, he might endorse one of them.

Jim Richard

Sylvania



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