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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2008

Visitors flock to historic structures

I read the June 15 editorial in The Blade, "Another chance," with great interest. It immediately brought my thoughts back to my native country of the Netherlands.

I am asking Seneca County Commissioners Dave Sauber and Ben Nutter if they have ever visited the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In 1940, the invading Nazis heartlessly bombed the entire heart of my native hometown into oblivion. Amsterdam was spared this fate as the Dutch capitulated immediately to the invading Huns.

Now, tourists admire Amsterdam's 300 and 400-year-old houses, warehouses, churches, and more.

Sure, Rotterdam was rebuilt, thanks to the generosity of the United States of America (Marshall Plan). And sure, it was "aesthetically pleasing;" in fact very pleasing. But tourists flock to Amsterdam to see all those historic buildings. And Rotterdam has to make do with "aesthetically pleasing" buildings.

I think that Mr. Sauber and Mr. Nutter should contact me and ask me how the people of Rotterdam managed to save at least the magnificent St. Lawrence Cathedral, the rebuilding of which took bold determination, 20 years, and untold amounts of money.

Those are my thoughts on the intended demolition of that magnificent courthouse.

Peter F. Van Herwaarden

Mettler Street

Anti-ethanol bias led by grocery group

It is no surprise that The Blade jumped on the anti-ethanol bandwagon. It has consistently displayed a bias against farmers and doesn't hesitate to bite the hand that feeds it.

This campaign to link ethanol to higher food prices and starving children was orchestrated when a Washington public-relations firm was given a $300,000 retainer by the Grocery Manufacturing Association.

This gang of more than 300 of the world's wealthiest food and beverage makers and marketers have their reasons to write that kind of check and it has everything to do with higher raw material prices squeezing their profits and threatening their multimillion dollar executive compensations.

This is just another example of greed bringing us fuel-price gouging, lower wages for the working people, closed plants, outsourcing of jobs, a squeeze on schools and local governments, and many others factors that are destroying our economy.

Pete Rohloff

Graytown, Ohio

Taxpayers put at risk by development deal

It's interesting to see that the financial details of the downtown Marina District are finally out. If it doesn't do well and turn a profit, the taxpayers of Toledo get to pay $3,400 a month rent plus all wage compensation for the employees.

We already have the Erie Street Market, plus the misguided ventures at the Hillcrest and Commodore Perry hotels costing us millions every year. How much more economic "development" from the Finkbeiner administration can we afford?

It's getting to be a regular part of every deal for the administration to always put the taxpayers at risk on pet projects. Enough is enough. This just reminds me of the A.B.C.'s of politics for 2009: Anybody But Carty.

Robert J. Zuber

Roywood Road

Furious over media trying to 'make news'

I become furious when local TV newscasters try to "make news." The Blade now has joined them.

The Blade's Behind the News headline blared out, "Will the governor's support of Clinton backfire on Ohio?" Was The Blade trying to "show its colors"?

Headlines such as "Will the Earth explode next week?" also would not entice me to read the story.

It is disgusting to me when people write stories trying to create news.

Robert V. Bins

West Country Club Parkway

Obnoxious behavior learned in the home

A high school graduation ceremony is the joyous culmination of four years of challenging academic accomplishment and maturing into responsible citizens. Except in Toledo.

I attended my third and last graduation of Bowsher High School seniors as a very proud parent but was dismayed by the loudmouthed and obnoxious behavior displayed by some of the parents and guests of the graduates. This disrespectful attitude continued by some despite the pleas of the Bowsher administration to show the proper respect for all of our distinguished graduates.

It's unfortunate that these inconsiderate attitudes will be fostered in the postsecondary world, but they are learned in the home, where no respect is taught.

A fellow educator at Rogers High School, friend and father of one of the Bowsher graduates, shared my disgust.

A Toledo Public Schools administrator has opined that "the lower the GPA, the louder the yelling" at these types of events.

After our embarrassing proceedings, Scott High School trashed the Masonic and the Rogers ceremony had to be stopped three times because of extended outbursts that showed disrespect for the students following in line and their families.

We can teach them reading, writing, and arithmetic, but who is going to teach them basic human respect when the so-called responsible adults in their lives act so foolishly?

Randy Sroczynski

Ryewyck Drive

Killing snake cruel, not courageous

I could have sworn this is 2008, an age of enlightenment, a time when civilized people know better than to rush out with a hoe and kill a harmless snake simply because it was supposedly scaring away the birds.

Mary Alice Powell's recent column in The Blade detailing the actions of this misguided snake killer was disturbing on several levels.

It seems a retired priest and his brother-in-law had peacefully co-existed with the snake for years. Along comes a misinformed neighbor who announces, "That's a fox snake and very dangerous." Not only are fox snakes entirely harmless to humans, they are so valuable in controlling rodents that they are protected in many states (such as Michigan and Iowa), where it is illegal to kill them. Just because the fox snake vibrates its tail like a rattlesnake when frightened doesn't make it a rattlesnake.

Based on the neighbor's faulty information, a woman was grabbed by the pioneer spirit and proceeded to beat the snake to death with a hoe. As if this troglodyte display were not enough, Ms. Powell goes on to laud her as "a courageous woman," painting her as a heroine for offing the big bad snake.

How sad - such blatant cruelty from people who did not take the time to get their facts straight. Then a Blade columnist perpetuates the uninformed belief that killing snakes is somehow good and commendable. We all make mistakes but this unfortunate snake paid for these people's ignorance with its life.

Michael Searle

Perrysburg

Kaptur donation just election-year politics

Congratulations have to go out to our own beloved Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Thanks for your huge contribution of potatoes to the food bank. After all, it's an election year and you have to show the good citizens in the district that you are there for them.

Yes, after all those years in Congress you'd think that Marcy would be able to deliver more than a few sacks of potatoes to this district, but, folks, let's not hold our collective breaths for that to happen.

Maybe, just maybe, the folks around here will wake up to the fact that in all her years in Congress, the Ninth Congressional District is no better off today than it was when we first sent her to Washington to represent us. Just get ready for all the photo ops this summer.

Mike Young

Claredale Road

What happened to "Made in the United States of America"? It's either China, Japan, Germany, or Mexico. You can't even buy an American flag made in the United States.

Even big businesses - our government is selling us down the drain. Our banks are being sold to other countries.

David W. Smith

Erie, Mich.



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