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Published: Wednesday, 8/13/2008

Smoking ban vote was not a mandate

Boy, The Blade really is the limit. The editorial board's made quite clear its fanatical opposition regarding smoking in a July 27 editorial, as well as in past editorials on the subject. Now that a legitimate challenge to the draconian Smoke Free Ohio ban is being mounted - not an unreasonable action in a free society - The Blade fires up its editorial machine to belittle and attempt to squelch any opposition to its elitist views.

Because the ban's passage was a majority of only the one-third of Ohio's eligible voters actually voting, it is disingenuous of The Blade to pass it off as a mandate. It is nothing of the sort. Further, it has been an arguable point that those who voted for the measure believed it to include exemptions and not to be a total ban. It is only by thanks to a legal technicality and an unclear perception of the measure that it passed.

Why then, is The Blade so opposed to a relatively minor rectification of so heavy-handed a measure? The intent of the ban, if amended, would still be largely intact, but permit exemptions to those businesses and organizations that truly are suffering from the conditions imposed by the unamended ban. There is nothing to cause a societal breakdown from striking a reasonable middle ground.

In any case, it bears repeating that the public has always had a choice to patronize one establishment or another. A free market economy alone should determine a business' success or decline, not an elitist Nanny State!

Terry L. Rockhold

Defiance

Rules were changed after people spoke

The Blade has shown its two-sided face yet again in a July 27 editorial called "No smoking exemptions" by saying 'the voters have spoken' and to "ignore the will of the voters, we have three words of advice: Forget about it."

The statement "ignoring the will of the voters" would be funny if not so contradictory, reflecting poorly on the newspaper and on the editors' two-faced position. Need I remind the editors that The Blade ignored "the will of the voters" when it said back in June that "COSI should give Toledo voters another chance to reconsider the folly of previous levy failures. Maybe a third time will be lucky." Another chance? That's a slap in the face to those who voted against the levy, and infers we were without a clue.

Perhaps The Blade's editors are ignorant and uneducated. Perhaps they go off half-cocked when they get an idea in their heads. Perhaps all apply. What they have not researched, or have chosen not to divulge, is the wording on the ballot that was presented to the voters for Issue 5 to "Exempt from the smoking restrictions certain locations, including private residences retail tobacco stores, outdoor patios, private clubs, and family-owned and operated places of business."

Had the wording not included an exception for "private clubs," perhaps the outcome would have been different. This is exactly why there are bills calling for these exemptions. The people spoke but the rules were changed.

The Blade is self-proclaimed to be "One of America's Great Newspapers." Architecturally it's a great building but, unfortunately, it's filled with people who fail to report the news without bias. What a waste.

Skip Bradley

308th Street

Macomber lives on in alumni's memory

Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a school that taught aeronautics, sheetmetal work, carpentry, electricity, business education, printing, plumbing, etc., to high school students? A vocational school in Toledo. I would locate it on Monroe Street. A school of the present and the future. Oh, wait a minute, there was one and Toledo Public Schools closed it.

Macomber Vocational High School lives on in memory of graduates and alumni. As "Macmen," we wish to thank Macomber for a one-of-a-kind education and express our sympathy for the students of today who will never know the pride of being a Macman.

Timothy McGowan

129th Street

Ohio natural gas is not so expensive

In a recent story in The Blade about manufacturing losses in our region, Rep. Bob Latta states that "we have a very expensive area for natural gas." Natural gas costs are a convenient scapegoat, but such remarks just perpetuate a myth that hinders our region.

The most recent information from the Energy Information Administration places the average natural gas cost for Ohio consumers at 24th nationally. Middle of the pack. And while it's true that natural gas costs are on the increase, this is a national phenomenon. Recently Mr. Latta was part of a contingent that flew to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, calling for increased exploration and drilling in the area. His message and mission underscore one of the certainties of our current energy crisis: The only true way to significantly lower energy costs is to bring more new supply to market.

It does nothing to help or attract businesses to our region when the inaccurate and untrue statement that "we have a very expensive area for natural gas" is thrust into the discussion. In a recent survey of site-selection consultants for Area Development Consultant magazine, the following factors were listed as more important than energy availability and cost when considering a location: availability of telecommunications services, state and local incentives, highway accessibility, availability of high-speed Internet access, proximity to major markets, labor costs, availability of skilled labor, availability of land, tax exemptions, corporate tax rates, and occupancy or construction costs.

I agree with Mr. Latta that "we have to do something about energy," but blaming natural gas costs for manufacturing losses in our region is not the answer.

Chris Kozak

Communications and Community Relations Manager

Columbia Gas of Ohio

All religions should demand killing end

What has happened to this world? Muslim extremists have reached a new low. Young women have taken the place of young men as suicide bombers, murdering other young men and women and their children. What is even more disturbing is the fact that so-called "moderate Muslims" here in Toledo and around the world are silent. No outrage. No cry for this carnage to stop. No demand that their religious leaders take steps to speak out against this senseless and barbaric killing. Just silence. Just more silence.

It is now time for Christians, Jews, Hindus, and, yes, Muslims to demand an end to these horrible and brutal murderers who hide behind their misguided and terrible religious fanaticism. Enough.

Rollind W. Romanoff

West Central Avenue

Law firm capable of an impartial inquiry

As a retired partner in Spengler Nathanson I am offended by Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's accusation that my former firm was incapable of an impartial investigation of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority because it was "on the payroll."

The ladies and gentlemen I worked with are perfectly capable of fulfilling a charge to conduct a fair and impartial probe. Whenever someone is suspicious of the deviousness of another, I often suspect it is because that person is projecting his or her own motivation into the situation. Sort of like, "I know what you're thinking because I thought of it first."

Meanwhile Toledo's own investigation continues. I wonder how fair and impartial it will be, considering acting law director Adam Loukx is truly on the city's payroll and clearly taking direction from the city's chief executive.

This ridiculousness is a poor attempt at double your pleasure, double your fun. I'm certainly glad the city has a sufficient surplus to warrant these costs.

Louis Hattner

Wicklow Drive

We are addicted to oil. Should we lower the price of drugs for drug users and increase the supply for them? I do not think so. It is not the easy way out but let us break the addiction. Oh, and let there be a "freeze" put on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Going "cold turkey" is not easy but it should be done.

William B. Moran

Wendover Drive



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