As a current eighth-grade teacher in the Toledo Catholic Diocese, I feel highly insulted by the Rev. John Extejt, treasurer for the new Knight Academy. His insult is one of a few problems I have with this charter school.
Father Extejt claims that incoming freshman boys are being "underserved in the Toledo community," and that many incoming freshmen have an "inability to meet academic requirements." I take this as a slap in the face to all junior high teachers in the diocese. These statements are also in direct contradiction to a letter written by the president of St. Francis de Sales High School, Father Olszewski, to all Catholic grade schools in the diocese shortly after St. John's Jesuit opened its junior high academy. In this letter, Father Olszewski indicated that St. Francis had no intention of opening an academy of its own. He also made clear his support for the area Catholic grade schools, indicating how well prepared the incoming freshmen were at St. Francis. It seems to me that Father Olszewski and Father Extejt need to get on the same page.
I also find it very hypocritical of St. Francis to open an academy where religion cannot be taught. Apparently, St. Francis does not feel that religious and spiritual formation are areas of importance for a Catholic junior high academy.
If St. Francis still wants the support and cooperation of the Catholic grade schools in promoting the school, then I hope they have the fortitude to be honest about their intentions in opening up this junior high academy. If they are doing this to help increase their enrollment at the high school, then say it. Let's not make their colleagues in the grade schools the scapegoats.
Maybe stranglehold by GOP not so bad
One of the glaring omissions in The Blade's July 12 editorial on the conviction of Mark Lay was that he was a big Democratic supporter. Every article that mentions Tom Noe states that he was a Republican supporter.
The 2006 Democratic "sweep," as The Blade likes to call it, already has resulted in the Marc Dann scandal. How many more chickens are coming home to roost? Perhaps the Republican "stranglehold" was not all bad.
Economy evolved beyond baseballs
The July 7 letter in the Readers' Forum lamenting the Chinese origin of a baseball reaches its conclusion by overlooking basic economic principles. Baseballs are now made in China rather than America because our economy has evolved.
Our comparative advantage is no longer in the simple manufacturing of products such as baseballs, but in much more complex goods and services. Therefore, we are wise to leave the production of simple goods to countries that can do it cheaply, as that allows us to focus on our areas of advantage and use our money more efficiently.
An American economy that still produces baseballs would be one of the scariest realities of all because it is a reality that does not allow for change and progress.
Even something as simple as producing a baseball can be more than skin deep.
James Q. Nesbitt
Public Policy Intern
for Public Policy Solutions
Obama acts like he's president already
I think it's interesting that the Rev. Jesse Jackson thinks Sen. Barack Obama is talking down his nose at black people. I've had the impression that he is talking down his nose at all of us - black, white, etc. He has been and is acting as if he is the president, rather than just running for the office.
With Jesse Jackson, we pretty much know what we are getting, but with Senator Obama, I don't think anybody really knows. Seems to me that is the real problem: What does this guy represent? With virtually no experience for him to draw on or for us to learn from, and the media taking a mute stance, are we buying a pig in the poke if Senator Obama is elected? We had better be wary.
Toledo blooming as part of competition
Art Ode and I just returned from Toledo having spent three days evaluating your city for the America in Bloom competition. What a city.
Many thanks to each of you who shared so generously. We send our sincere gratitude to Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and his staff, to the America in Bloom Committee, and to the many residents who showed us the innovative and creative things that Toledo is doing to "plant pride" throughout the city.
We look forward to seeing many of you in October at the educational symposium and awards program that is being held this year in Columbus. And we hope you will continue your participation in the America in Bloom program as a valuable community building tool.
Katy Moss Warner
City judge, America in Bloom
President Emeritus, American Horticultural Society
Maybe mayor eyeing a port authority job
It was revealing to read The Blade's July 14 story about the new coking plant being planned in Oregon. Particularly interesting were comments from the port authority's development director, Matt Sapara, who said the project's sponsors were unhappy with some "very uncomfortable and heated discussions" from Mayor Carty Finkbeiner about the progress of the project.
I imagine that is exactly what the president of the port authority, James Hartung, plans to have with Mayor Finkbeiner after being publicly accused of having an extramarital affair with a local lobbyist. Could it be that the mayor has been getting wind of the very unlikelihood of his being reelected at the end of his current term and is eyeing Mr. Hartung's job as a way of staying on the public dole?
Free thermostat has strings attached
I recently received a letter from Toledo Edison offering what seemed like a sweetheart deal: a $250 programmable thermostat free, including installation. Upon reading further, I found that the string attached to this great offer was the ability of Edison to remotely control the thermostat.
What if I like it at 68 degrees and Edison decides it will be 65, or they could decide it should be 72 and I have to pay for more energy than I want to?
I hope consumers think long and hard before signing up for this program. If you want a programmable thermostat one can be had for as little as $30 to $40.
I want to keep control over as much of my life as possible. The lawmakers of this land keep chipping away at my freedoms to decide for myself on too many things already. I certainly don't want to give a corporation that kind of control.
Mich. right to deny megafarm a permit
For the first time, Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality did the right thing by denying a concentrated animal feeding operation permit to Bustorf dairy.
They now are drawing the venomous assault of the CAFO promoters. After almost a decade, Michigan is seeing the resolve of this agency to confront this virtually unregulated industry. The CAFO promoters, the Michigan Farm Bureau, and Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development desperately want to make it appear that asking a massive polluting industry like CAFOs to follow the law is an assault on agriculture as opposed to what it really is: bringing an out-of-control industry under the same rules as every other industry.
Hopefully, Ohio regulators will grow their own backbone in the near future.
John and Cindy McCain are living the Republican dream, realizing a big profit from the selling of another American icon to a foreign company. How long before you read on the Budweiser label: Brewed in China?
South Detroit Avenue