Judge Denise Cubbon and the Lucas County commissioners need to sit down calmly, find a way to recognize the United Auto Workers as the juvenile court workers' bargaining unit, and get those court workers the increased wages they deserve. And the commissioners need to find the funds to pay those wages, and thus avoid any layoffs.
And if Judge Cubbon has trouble locating the county commissioners to arrange for such a meeting, may I suggest she look in the back pockets of the UAW leadership. Judging from where the commissioners received some of their past campaign contributions, they probably can be found there.
And maybe somebody should suggest to UAW President Ray Wood that it would be a nice goodwill gesture to find a couple of new tires for Judge Cubbon's family cars that were mysteriously vandalized. Any nonunion carpenter, plumber, electrician, mechanic, or small-business owner of a nonunion shop will tell you, there is nothing mysterious about such vandalism.
Toledo disintegrating as politicians get rich
What the current Finkbeiner administration is doing to my city is a sin. Essential city services have been sacrificed to accommodate the whims of our delusional mayor. While this "retired" politician and his many double-dipping "retired" cronies are being paid small fortunes, enjoying great benefits, and receiving health care that many workers in the private sector can only dream about, our city is slowly disintegrating.
My taxes are higher than ever. Police protection is provided by red light cameras, paper complaints, and an understaffed police force, most of whom could not pass the physical requirements to become police officers.
If someone breaks into your house, vandalizes your car, or destroys your property in Toledo, you call in and fill out a report. They'll get to it sometime.
I pay a "surcharge" for sewer service, refuse collection, leaf pickup, snow removal, and city vehicle replacement. This in spite of the 0.75 percent additional tax I agreed to ensure the quality of my essential services.
If I didn't live in the third-most livable city in the world, I would be really, really upset.
Convenient travel a business incentive
Although the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is taking steps to adjust to the changing landscape of aviation in $130-per-barrel-of-oil world, it is not being bold enough.
This is not meant to be critical; Toledo Express is just one of many small airports affected by rising fuel costs, but that does not mean Toledo has to follow the sheep in its actions and reaction.
First, my premise is that businesses today require aviation. Therefore, they must do business in cities with good air travel. Yet more square inches of newsprint lately have been devoted to historic preservation than to the immediate and pressing need for businesses to have convenient and economic travel to remain competitive.
The solution requires entrepreneurial skill, innovation, and risk taking. For example, the port authority could guarantee oil prices for any airline doing business at Toledo Express. If small commuter routes are barely profitable because of fuel, perhaps the port authority could assist by financing new, quiet, turboprop aircraft that have much better fuel consumption. An airline near bankruptcy does not want to take on new debt for a marginally profitable route, but it might operate a route with new, efficient equipment if the lease cost was low, something the port authority could finance.
Even the creation of a locally owned, nonprofit, low-cost commuter airline that fills the missing link could be considered. The important thing is not to let airline changes drag the business community down but, instead, create a climate where convenient and efficient travel is a reason to do business in Toledo, as it was many years ago.
Gay couples can be adoptive parents
So many spiteful letters have been written to The Blade against gay marriage and adoption. I don't understand where all this hate is coming from.
Based on federal estimates, there are approximately 520,000 children in foster care in the United States. Of these, 117,000 are eligible for adoption. The federal government pays $4.485 billion per year supporting these children.
Gay families are the solution to the adoption problem, and time-tested statistics have shown that children raised in gay/lesbian households have no higher chance of becoming gay or lesbian in adulthood.
Gay marriage is also an important issue for financial reasons. If a committed gay couple is together and one dies, the other is not responsible for funeral costs, hospital bills, etc. That becomes a burden of the state. The federal government also makes more money from married couples than from single filers.
The longer people use "family values" as an excuse against gay adoption and gay marriage, the more they hold America back. I'm positive children coming from the foster care system could stand to learn more "family values" from a committed gay couple than from the system. Ask them, they would agree.
East Weber Street
Lack of jobs forces people to leave city
Several of my friends and former colleagues saw The Blade's June 29 story about leaving Toledo, in which I was interviewed. People sent me e-mails saying "Good for you," "Wish we could leave Toledo," and "Got any jobs out there for me?"
A recent Blade story had Mayor Carty Finkbeiner arguing about census figures over uncounted heads. Wake up. No matter how you run the numbers, people are leaving. Here is more "brain drain" from my own family.
Our daughter-in-law, a Bowling Green State University education graduate, could not get a teaching job anywhere in the Toledo area. So, she flew to Los Angeles, where our son lives (he left Toledo eight years ago). She had two interviews in fewer than five days and was hired. That was four years ago.
My niece recently graduated from Lourdes College with a teaching degree. She got plenty of interviews but only landed a part-time teacher assistant position. It was the same situation for her husband, a University of Toledo education graduate, who ended up working construction. Then they got a call in June, 2007, from the Laveen School District near Phoenix. They took the teaching jobs and are now in their second year, but they're still paying for a house in Toledo they can't sell. None of my family members is coming back to Toledo.
So Mr. Finkbeiner, when you find those uncounted heads, subtract four educated young professionals from what you find and keep looking. Looks to me like Toledo offers great education and degrees but no job opportunities, giving recruiters a wonderful pool of talent to pick from.
Scott High's beauty is unsurpassed
I grew up in Toledo and was fortunate enough to attend Scott High School, as did my mother, aunt, and uncle. I graduated in 1953 and back then, Scott had a beautiful, Olympic-sized swimming pool. Years later, on returning for a class reunion, we noted the pool had been filled in. What a shame.
Scott High is truly one of the most beautiful, stately schools I have seen anywhere and they don't make them with the grandeur of Scott any more. I cannot understand the mentality of those who want to tear this school down.
Scott even had its own football stadium, and in this part of the country, that is a rare thing because many schools have to play in a central stadium. We will be watching this story and praying for Scott's survival.
Patricia Burns Johnston
Corpus Christi, Texas
If we drill for more oil anywhere in the United States, where will it go? Since the oil we now get from Alaska is sold to Japan and not refined here, it seems to me the issue for "big oil" is about money, not oil, and there is not a darn thing we can do about it.
Richard M. Reder