I agree with Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre that the sale of fireworks should be banned.
It appears the multi-million-dollar fire at the apartment complex in South Toledo was caused by fireworks. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, not to mention all the people whose fingers get blown off every year. There also was the incident near Cleveland last year when a retired fireman asked some people to stop shooting fireworks. They didn't, so he shot them and now we have three people dead and one guy in prison for the rest of his life - and for what?
People can't be trusted to sign a paper saying they won't take fireworks over state lines and shoot them off. Nor can they be trusted that they will use them responsibly. Around my neighborhood, they start shooting them day and night a week or more before the Fourth of July and continue until a week after.
Fireworks cause fires and scare pets. Don't leave a car with a vinyl top without cover on the Fourth unlesss you want a hole burned in it. Above all, fireworks are loud and disrupt people's sleep (and livelihood if they have to get up early). When one person's "fun" affects hundreds of people, it's time to outlaw that "fun." If I worked third shift and wanted to cut my grass at night, would it be right for me to set up flood lights and run my power mower? How about lighting my grill or waxing my car with a radio blasting in the middle of the night?
Fireworks are way more trouble than they're worth. The time has come to ban their sale.
Crack down on use of illegal fireworks
In the wake of the Hunters Ridge fire, I have two things to say. First, no one was killed or seriously injured. This had the potential to be Toledo's worst tragedy. Second, this fire is a prime example of what happens when untrained idiots have easy access to volatile material. While I am sympathetic to those who were displaced, I am not surprised this happened. What I am surprised about is that it did not happen sooner.
We all have horror stories about Toledo's fireworks problem. It's been made quite clear to me that there isn't much the city can do to protect people and property because of the overwhelming volume of illegal fireworks used during the summer holidays. The liberty and freedom of folks who lose sleep or have small children awakened and terrified by all the racket outside is stomped upon by ignorant fools who apparently have more rights than working, taxpaying people who have jobs to go to in the morning and children to get to summer programs or day care as well.
To the leaders of our government I have this suggestion: Have fire and police crews roam the city during the summer. When it is observed that citizens are using fireworks, pull over and ask to see their license (this is required by law). If the license is not produced, fine them right there. This would serve a double purpose: making Toledo a lot safer while helping city finances.
To those who feel my comments threaten holiday "fun," go view the fireworks show the city works hard to produce in spite of budget woes so that we all can celebrate being Americans!
Editorial hits mark on economic impact
I wholeheartedly concur with the editorial "Lesson of Hunters Ridge" that appeared in The Blade on July 10. Illegal fireworks' sales, as the editorial stated, is "a lucrative trade." Having printed full-page ads for the sale of fireworks on at least two separate occasions this year, I am sure that The Blade understands just how lucrative it can be.
Did decision include right to bear nukes?
I have a question for the National Rifle Association and the pro-gun crowd now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the "right to bear arms" in the District of Columbia gun case.
Since nowhere in the Constitution are actual guns mentioned, does this mean we now have the right to bear suitcase nukes? What about live grenades? Flame throwers?
Where would the pro-firearms crowd draw the line?
Daniel T. Michael
Society progressing on mental health
Sometimes, the little things tell you society is making progress. That's why I was pleased to read that "mental health day" has been included in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
For many years, "mental health" was used only in clinical contexts or mean-spirited jokes that threw salt on the wounds of living with a brain disease. It's a wonderful sign that we can speak of taking a mental health day from work and our meaning is easily understood. That couldn't happen without an underlying understanding that everyone is susceptible to mental health challenges, and we all need to take care of ourselves emotionally as well as physically.
As communications manager at Neighborhood Properties Inc., I have become much more aware of the stigma associated with mental health issues. In our efforts to end homelessness for those with mental illness and addiction disorders, we run into it all the time. It's heartening to know that our language and culture are showing more awareness of the importance of mental health.
Neighborhood Properties Inc.
Street department slam was inaccurate
I was appalled by the July 3 letter about street department overtime. Had the writer done any research, he would not have spread such inaccuracies.
The city street department runs two shifts for its street sweepers. Furthermore, there is nothing in the collective-bargaining agreements that guarantees overtime. The very understaffed safety forces are the ones whose overtime is $800,000 over budget.
During the winter, overtime in the street department was not an issue to the public when they wanted their streets plowed and salted.
People in this city need to appreciate municipal workers for their hard work throughout the year.
Metcalf honor was earned, deserved
The Metcalf name should remain on the Lake Township airfield. According to a June 30 story in The Blade, the only accomplishment of Tommy Metcalf was being the first commissioner of aviation here. However, Mr. Metcalf was the second commissioner; the first was Clayton Piper.
The Blade referred to a "grass runway" facility. Metcalf has a modern runway of more than 5,800 feet and a second runway of more than 3,600 feet, both with taxiways.
Tommy Metcalf came to Toledo from Arizona in 1925 and set up the Metcalf Flying Service in 1930. He trained more than 2,500 pilots for the U.S. Army Air Force. He himself had more than 15,000 hours of flying time. Years later, he and his wife moved back to Arizona.
In 1954, Mr. Metcalf returned from Arizona to be commissioner of aviation at the then-new Express Airport. He served until 1960, at which time he and his wife returned to Arizona.
Toledo Municipal Airport was renamed Metcalf Field in November, 1976, and officially dedicated Aug. 28, 1977.
When Mr. Metcalf and his wife, Edna, died, in 1973 and 1992 respectively, they were brought back and buried in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park Cemetery in Toledo.
Mr. Metcalf's contributions to aviation in the Toledo area and to the war effort during World War II should not be dismissed easily. He earned the respect shown by the name Metcalf Field.
Alwin F. Welling
As a consequence of the recent Supreme Court one-vote, majority decision striking down a District of Columbia law prohibiting the ownership of handguns, I wonder if the National Rifle Association and obdurate gun lovers will sue airlines to allow law-abiding citizens to have guns on airplanes to defend themselves against terrorists and other bad guys.
John A. Galbraith