A recent story in The Blade stated that the city of Northwood has the busiest mayor's court in northwest Ohio. I can understand why, as I witnessed and was a victim of parking citations being distributed by the Northwood police during a neighborhood garage sale in the Cedar Creek Woods development on July 18.
With a tremendous turnout of patrons and with limited parking, drivers were forced to park on either side of the street and in some cases near to or in front of a fire hydrant. This, of course, was only for a brief period of time. Suddenly, four or more Northwood police officers arrived with citation books in hand, knowing, of course, that the people attending the garage sale were only temporarily parking. No consideration was given, no warnings given, no courtesy given - only parking citations were given.
How much will be collected by Northwood's mayor's court is unknown. What is known is the pilfering of the public to enrich Northwood's mayor's court needs to cease. As a former mayor of Walbridge, I believe it is time for the state of Ohio to abolish mayor's courts and put an end to this means of raising revenue for cities and villages.
One more word of advice: Avoid Northwood garage sales, for what you save could end up costing you more and be absorbed by an overzealous city and a possible appearance before Northwood's mayor's court.
Gary A. Revill
I am president of the LAWS unit of United Auto Workers Local 2320 consisting of the staff attorneys at the Lucas County Child Support Enforcement Agency. Our unit has been in existence for 15 years, and we have negotiated five contracts with the county in that time. My experience with our negotiations has been that the UAW sought contracts for us that were fair and advised us to reconsider our position when it believed that our contract proposals were excessive.
In consideration of this background, I am following the request of Ray Wood of UAW Local 14 in his open letter to Lucas County residents to call upon Juvenile Court administrators to acknowledge the rights of their employees to organize and negotiate fair wages and working conditions. I do not know the full details as to why the Juvenile Court administrators rejected the contract, walked away from negotiations, and withdrew legal recognition of the union, but I do not believe it is too late for them to discuss the issues in dispute with the leadership of the UAW to reach an accommodation which is satisfactory to all concerned.
I would also like to comment upon the claim that members of the UAW may have flattened tires as a means of intimidation. Based upon my experience with the UAW, I am reluctant to believe that there was UAW involvement in these actions. During my tenure with the UAW, I have been frequently requested by the UAW leadership to participate in and donate to causes that enhance the welfare of our community. I hope that this matter has not resulted in an inaccurate portrayal of the record of the UAW in our community.
Gary C. Newnham
Recently, Congress passed a bill that would stop a pay cut to doctors from Medicare. That was a good idea because the proposed cuts would have made it very difficult for doctors to continue to see patients on Medicare. What also happened was that to come up with the money, Congress decided to cut funding for Medicare Advantage Programs. To simplify, what that means is that Congress stole from Peter to pay Paul. Anyone with a Medicare Advantage plan will now see higher deductibles, larger premiums, and higher co-pays.
In northwest Ohio alone there are thousands of people with Medicare HMO's and private fee for service plans. My point is do not for a moment think that Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and any of the rest of the Democrats or turncoat Republicans did you any favors. A vote in favor of this bill was a vote for big government, inefficient national health insurance. You will now have to dig deeper in your pockets when you get sick.
I find it very curious that very profitable cholesterol-lowering drugs are now being marketed to children with front-page headlines, in spite of the fact that cholesterol is an essential nutrient in the body, being necessary for proper development of the brain and the production of many hormones. Low cholesterol levels are associated with violence, suicide, and aggression.
Serious side effects are very common with these drugs, including muscle wasting and brain fog (nice things to do to our children). In fact, if the drugs are effective at all in reducing heart disease, it is because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Yet our western lifestyle, which children are part of, is loaded with pro-inflammatory pop, junk food, and toxins of every sort. We allow our food companies to promote these deleterious unfoods and then turn around and try to fix it with a pill.
Experts who have carefully and objectively examined the research purporting to link cholesterol and heart disease have found it unconvincing - misinterpreted, biased, and often poorly done - but highly profitable for the drug industry. On the other hand, there is a long list of nutritional factors that have been clearly associated with heart disease: trans fats, excessive omega-6 fats, and low levels of vitamin D, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals.
Instead of relying on pills, let's make sure our kids get adequate vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients by eating nourishing whole real foods, fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed meat and full-fat dairy, while boycotting the nutrient-depleted refined foods that line our grocery store shelves. Real food is wonderfully tasty and satisfying and ensures a lifetime of good health.
Concerning the July 16 story in The Blade about TravelCenters of America reaching a deal to sell Tasers at truck stops, it might be a great idea if teenage girls could purchase them.
The Better Business Bureau makes a valiant effort to inform people about the scam companies who purport to help you with your financial troubles but want some money up front. Well, I'm here with some free advice!
First, get rid of those two satellite TV dishes on your roof. Spend $27 on a set of amplified rabbit ears, and if you need it, $20 for a digital convertor with analog pass-through. I get six Toledo stations that currently broadcast 13 channels. And I still get the lower power stations that don't have to convert.
Next, your phone service. All it has to do is let you make and receive calls. Do you really have to know who's calling? And that cell phone. For some people that alone is a mortgage payment.
The Internet. Unless that Internet connection is making you enough money that it's self-supporting, get rid of it. Go to the library for your e-mail. While you're there, pick up books and videos on managing your finances. They also have excellent selections of movies and instructional videos.
Also, go back to the July 13 Parade magazine that came with your newspaper. There's a family in there that leads a fulfilling life on $32,000 a year income. Plus a lot of hints and tips on managing your money.
Right now, I'm composing this and will e-mail it from the library. Then I'll go home and brew a cup of coffee that will cost me 7 cents. That's right, 7 cents.
John H. Strand
Concerning The Blade editorial In search of intelligent life : When someone asked George Bernard Shaw if he thought there was intelligent life on other planets, he replied that if there is, they must be using the Earth as their lunatic