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Published: Sunday, 4/20/2008

Leaders bear responsibility for decline

Recently I read in The Blade that the population of northwest Ohio is leaving. I've seen similar reports on all three of the Toledo TV stations. All of these fine sources had some very educated folks telling us why this is happening. They all ring true but no one is willing to provide a solution.

I am just one of the folks who pay taxes in northwest Ohio. I don't have any sheepskins hanging on my wall but I have observed life in northwest Ohio for 57 years. Has anyone put some of the responsibility in our leaders' pockets?

Toledo has a mayor who believes the laws do not apply to him, only us commoners. If you challenge His Highness, he will reply with some colorful language that would make the crew of a lake freighter blush. Has anyone wondered where his staff learned to reply in this manner? The Lucas County Democrats believe it is OK to degrade women just to make money for the party. Is it any wonder why women choose to leave northwest Ohio? We have lawyers lying to the police and when caught are given a slap on the wrist. The area school systems can't afford to pay the teachers, coaches, and staff but can build new buildings.

I believe northwest Ohio will survive the current "idiot brigade" that claims to be our leaders. There is an election soon in our area. It is time we find some leaders who give us something to be proud about. There are no perfect politicians, and I'll be the first to admit it. I also know there are hundreds of men and women not in office who could do a better job. We need leaders not another good ol' boy network.

Alban P. Mehling

Fremont

Airlines could show some common sense

The incidents surrounding JetBlue and other airlines irresponsible behavior caught my eye in The Blade's April 1 editorial. I'm appalled that there should even need to be discussion about a Customer Bill of Rights for commercial aviation passengers.

On three separate occasions, I have been an airline passenger stuck on the tarmac. Each time, the airline's only failure was the lack of sufficient air conditioning. Each occurrence was probably less than two hours, but all were equal. Being stuck in a plane with no air movement on a 90-degree day is no picnic. More or less, it is the same as leaving your dog in a closed car.

During my experiences, there was water on board, the rest rooms worked, and there was no need for food because most of us felt nauseated and a few passengers outwardly demonstrated their discomfort. We were reassured in each case that the air conditioning was on, but the ventilation system was no match for the high heat because the engines were off. Simply, we were held hostage, couldn't breath, and had to try blocking out the sound of those who became ill from the experience. The reasons for delay varied in the three instances but each time there just wasn't a gate available for us to return to the terminal.

When the airplane is no longer able to be a reasonable place for habitation, the airline should evacuate. And there is no reason to make this a law, or write some special code. The airlines just need to exercise common sense.

Bob Lubell

Sylvania

Volunteering should not be made a duty

Perhaps to coincide with volunteer days today through Tuesday, our Ohio legislature has sponsored House Bill 519. This bill would require parents to volunteer 13 hours each school year to their school or be fined $100. What?

These pathetic creatures we keep electing at the state level can't seem to grasp that volunteering is voluntary and to interject force negates the very nature of volunteering.

Like the issue of global warming, there is something far more sinister at work. Volunteerism should always be generated. When it's not, you may want to think about what Emmanuel Kant recognized about volunteerism. He understood how volunteerism can rapidly and easily morph into a duty. Then it becomes duty to whom?

Adolf Hitler loved the idea of volunteerism, especially when it came to his Nazi Youth Corps. He knew exactly what Kant was talking about.

I don't care if the sponsor of HR 519 understood Kant. He or she should be given the boot for not upholding the 13th Amendment, which forbids slavery or involuntary servitude.

Jim Boehm

Drummond Road

Water diversion is complex but doable

From Gov. Ted Strickland to local politicians and residents, people need to look at Great Lakes water diversion with sensible rather than emotional thinking. Water diversion regulation is possible but it requires a complex solution involving Canada, shipping, hydropower, municipal usage, business, and industry.

The federal government has control over all navigable waters in and around our country. One-half of the Great Lakes' water belongs to Canada, except Lake Michigan which still is part of the total system. The other half and Lake Michigan belong to the citizens of the United States - and not just to the states bordering the lakes.

Water from all four upper Great Lakes flows down and out via the Niagara River at the rate of 200,000 cubic feet per second. There are approximately 7.5 gallons in one cubic foot. This calculates to 1.5 million gallons per second flowing out of these lakes, into Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and on to the Atlantic Ocean. (For some math fun, figure how much this Niagara flow amounts to in a week, month, year, and decade.) Niagara River water flows over the Niagara Falls or down through hydropower intake tunnels to the lower Niagara River.

Over the years, a major block to solving Great Lakes level problems have been the many separate groups involved in water quality, quantity, and diversion. Too many cooks spoil the broth. More studies aren't the answer. What is needed is a national goal to recapture a portion of the billions of gallons of fresh water that now flow out of the Great Lakes.

Don Thurber

LaSalle, Mich.

Replenish aquifers through desalination

Instead of selling water from the Great Lakes or importing water from Canada, has a study been done on building desalination plants? Could not the use of desalinated water be used to replenish aquifers throughout the Western states?

Charles Vanderpool

Monroe

AMA plan expands health coverage

The Blade's April 1 story showing growing physician support for national health insurance draws attention to the clear need for health-care reform, but does not define national health insurance, or incremental reform, both of which can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

The American Medical Association has a national health-reform proposal to cover the 47 million uninsured people in the United States. The AMA plan expands coverage through tax credits that would provide the most money to those who need it most: lower-income Americans. Our proposal gives individuals choices so they can select the best plan for themselves and their families, and it promotes fair rules that include protections for high-risk patients and greater individual responsibility.

Physicians struggle daily with the shortcomings of our health-care system, and we agree that much more can be done to make it better and stronger. As the nation's largest physician group with a quarter million members, we are eager to support federal legislation that builds on the strengths of our current system - world-class medical innovations and research and doctors dedicated to the health of their patients.

The AMA's "Voice for the Uninsured" campaign was launched with the hope that more Americans will join us in our effort toward a national solution. Share your voice at: www.voicefortheuninsured.org.

Edward Langston, M.D.

AMA board chairman

Washington, D.C.

Regarding the March 30 story in The Blade, "Nun Run is done, but sisters say fun was 2nd to none," thanks so much for the story of the nun's caper. We need stuff like this to give us more bliss.

Hurrah for the great headline writer.

Evelyn Willmann

Seaman Street



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