In the April 21 edition of The Blade there were two stories that demonstrate an attitude that will certainly prevent Toledo from improving its present circumstance. The first was an attack on Jim Brennan, Jr., for tearing down a mansion built in 1927, a mansion he owned. The second was an announcement by Toledo police that they were going to increase the number of parking tickets issued downtown by 20 percent.
What will help turn Toledo around is having its young women and men return to Toledo to become involved in businesses. Mr. Brennan did just that and instead of having a story critical of him, there should have been one congratulating him for taking over his father's business.
Downtown Toledo is so empty at noon that you could fire a cannon down the street without effect. We would be better off ripping the parking meters out and selling them for scrap than we are working to increase the number of tickets by 20 percent.
Richard M. Kerger
In response to the headline in The Blade on April 21, "Manor house on River Road is demolished," and the April 23 editorial, I am confident that when the Graystone estate was sold by the Knight family, the documents did not contain any special stipulations as to its future.
James Brennan, Jr., paid a fair price for the property; it was not given to him. The Stranahans had a vision, and wanted to preserve their property, the "557 Foundation," on the same River Road. They donated their property with stipulations. They left behind a great living and giving memorial.
If the Knight family wanted to preserve the Graystone estate, they could have donated the property to the city, metroparks, or any organization with their wishes stipulated. I am confident it would have been accepted and appreciated.
If The Blade or the neighbors wanted to preserve it, they, too, could have purchased it.
Mr. Brennan is the new owner of the property, and I guess he can do as he legally pleases.
I was appalled to read about the destruction of Graystone manor. Jim Brennan, Jr., obviously did not do any homework about restoring old structures. Anyone can go to downtown Detroit any day of the week to witness the rebirth of once-dead buildings in far worse condition than Graystone manor.
Mr. Brennan cites a number of reasons for his decision to tear down the home, all of which could have been dealt with. Mr. Brennan chose to take the easy way out.
I often have traveled to Europe, where it is considered an honor and a pleasure to live in an old structure. By comparison, Graystone manor was still new and merely in need of some tenacious understanding in redevelopment. Unfortunately, as is often the case in this country, historic structures are demolished and questions are asked later.
I hope Mr. Brennan's new neighbors give him the welcome he deserves.
Roger Von Deylen
When a black comedian puts on a Ku Klux Klan outfit and goes on national television it's called sketch comedy. But when two white state troopers mimic him, it's called racism and they should have their careers ruined because of it?
This incident, while grossly inappropriate, was obviously meant to be a joke imitating a skit from Chappelle's Show, not a message of hate. Furthermore, it was being appropriately handled by Ohio State Patrol command and within the guidelines set forth in the troopers' collective bargaining agreement.
It's a shame Gov. Ted Strickland is more concerned about being politically correct and appeasing the NAACP than he is about being fair. Political correctness above all else: the 11th Commandment.
Christoper J. Archer
North Lockwood Avenue
Thanks to The Blade for publishing the April 1 letter, "America not at fault for nuking Japan." No endeavor of the 20th century so successfully created peace and restored the way of life for so many people as the heroic mission of Col. Paul Tibbets and the Enola Gay in dropping an atomic bomb on Japan on Aug. 6, 1945. It opened the eyes of Emperor Hirohito to stop the war and spare his people from their self-destructive honor code of "death only, no surrender."
After the U.S. occupation of Iwo Jima in February, 1945, and Okinawa in March, surrender appeared inevitable. Japan had lost the war but would not surrender until the God-Emperor gave the signal. Pacifists in the United States were pushing for a peace agreement. President Harry Truman was demanding full surrender to avoid a repetition of what a defeated Germany did in rebuilding their military-industrial complex following World War I.
Truman did not agonize over the bomb. There was agonizing over whether such a device could be successfully implemented. Thanks to a heroic 30-year-old U.S. pilot, the delivery mission was executed perfectly. It was a magnificent accomplishment with historic results.
The atomic bomb is credited with saving millions of lives. It was a blessing, not a tragedy. Gen. Douglas MacArthur subsequently entered Japan, where he masterfully established a new constitution and democratic government.
Ernest W. Mease
Oak Forest Drive
I was somewhat taken aback to read in the April 15 story about the proposed move of the state's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation lab from Bowling Green to Toledo that Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn believes there is "no easy way" to get to the University of Toledo's Health Science campus. I would suggest the following: Take the Ohio Turnpike to exit 59; follow the ramp to Reynolds Road; take Reynolds to Glendale Avenue; turn right; follow Glendale past Byrne Road; turn left at the south entrance to the campus. There's a traffic light and a big sign there; you can't miss it.
If this is still too complicated for you, sheriff, I only hope that none of my friends in Wood County ever needs you to respond in an emergency, because clearly you could never find them.
Someone once said that "a good newspaper is a nation talking to itself." It also could be said that a good historical society is a community remembering who it is and where it came from. By this definition, Ohio is beginning to lose its memory when it never needed it more.
The Ohio Historical Society has been one of this state's jewels and best explainers of who we are. And yet it is being gutted by the budget cuts Ohio imposes every time it wants to use its money elsewhere.
Reduced state funding is forcing the society to close its Ohio Historical Center in Columbus two days of six each week, reduce hours at some historical sites, raise admission fees at all locations, and lay off staff. Once a vibrant organization of 400 full-time employees in 2001, it is now one of 270.
As Ohio struggles to overcome its problems, it needs the wisdom and self-confidence to be found in more than two centuries of experience. Ohioans turned a wilderness into a national breadbasket, made electricity into a servant, gave us wings to fly, and led the nation to victory in the Civil War. Has all this nothing to teach us?
The society is not a luxury to be shunted aside in tough times. It gives us a usable past; a source of wisdom, ideas, and inspiration, and a guide to what we can do and where we go because of what we've already done.
Ohioans should tell state officials to recognize that the society is not just about our past. It's about our future.
James H. Bissland
Is the surge working? Yes, gas has surged to $3.65 a gallon.