I am a life-long resident of Toledo and the South End. I have lived in the same neighborhood for 31 years. As a child growing up, we never worried about locking doors at night. We never worried about putting away bikes or other toys left in the front yard. I can't remember ever carrying a house key or needing one.
Fast forward to 2008. The safe neighborhood I grew up in has steadily declined into a place of fear and constant worry. Instead of friendly neighbors, all I see are strangers and teenagers constantly roaming up and down my street. Most are not courteous enough to make eye contact or even respond to a simple "hello." I have watched countless teens toss cigarette butts and trash in my yard and on the street.
Things have only continued to decline. In the past three months, vehicles in my driveway have been broken into several times. Last week, my car windows were smashed. My neighbors all have suffered the same plight. When the police are called, we are simply told "nothing can be done," "there are so many of these cases we can't begin to investigate every one," and my favorite, "Well you shouldn't have left CDs in your car."
What is going to be done about the declining South End? When are we going to get more law enforcement patroling our neighborhoods? Will I see the day again when I feel safe outside my home after dark? When will I be able to walk through my neighborhood and not see gang graffiti on fences? I am a young professional committed to staying in Toledo and raising a family here. Will my kids have to carry Mace walking home from the bus stop?
Christy L. Cole
There are no excuses for clerk's shooting
The recent murder of Matthew Dugan while employed at a BP gas station store "trying to make ends meet" brings questions to mind: Were the thugs who killed Mr. Dugan ever employed? Did they ever consider trying to do anything other than make lame, lazy excuses for not working? Were they living off government subsidies? Were they mooching off relatives and friends so they could sleep late and party with their drugs until early morning, when decent working people are preparing for work?
Now come the excuses for such an horrendous and despicable act that for most it's too much to comprehend.
A sampling of just a few of the excuses:
This isn't him. He's a good person. Drugs did this. He had an abused childhood. He didn't have a father figure. He didn't have a mother figure. His grandmother raised him. He grew up in the projects. He's autistic. He's dyslexic. He's left-handed. He just loves his nieces and nephews and spends quality time with the neighborhood children. He's a church-going, God-fearing man. He's an usher. He sings in the men's choir at so many churches he's lost count.
That list could go on but for the information of those making these trite statements, many, many of us experienced all of the above and would never take an innocent, defenseless, honest workingman's life.
The senseless murder of Mr. Dugan was cowardly, vicious, and an intentional act for which no member of this or any other community should offer or accept excuses.
Let officials co-sign for Marina District
If the Marina District project is such a great deal that can't fail, then the mayor and those in City Council who voted for it should not mind personally co-signing the note.
It is easy to be magnanimous with someone else's money. Portside failed, the Middlegrounds condos failed, the steam plant is going nowhere, and now the city is going to build condos during the biggest housing slump in the history of the country. They all should be recalled.
Free market has voted for talk radio
So Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Reg Henry feels the thoroughly inappropriately named "Fairness Doctrine" should be reinstated to "clip the flowers" from right-wing radio. I wonder if Mr. Henry would argue for the same treatment of the left-wing news media.
Better yet, Mr. Henry, why not let the free market decide? Oh, wait, it has. That's why talk radio continues to gain listeners and influence while print media continues its slide into obsolescence and irrelevance. Enjoy obscurity Mr. Henry. You have earned it.
Isn't the free market wonderful?
Only 'correct' speech is desired by liberals
In Reg Henry's Aug. 4 column about conservative radio talk shows, he states that Michael Savage called autism a "fraud, a racket" (assuming he said it). Therefore, Mr. Henry says, all conservative talkers "spew garbage." I reply that any liberal who voted against Ken Blackwell for Ohio governor is obviously a racist. It's untrue but makes as much sense as taking one statement and painting right-leaning talkers as a "tribe of conservative Neanderthals"
His entire column was a lead into the "Fairness Doctrine" that was forced on radio to stifle free speech, repealed in 1987, and is now being pushed to be reinstated by top liberal Nancy Polosi.
Mr. Henry says he's against this, as is Barack Obama, but the words of his column clearly indicate if he could get it reinstated he would bring it back. Most liberals are for free speech as long as it is politically correct speech (described as what everyone else should say as defined by them).
Mr. Henry is right, of course, when he admits no liberal talker can make it in the national marketplace. Fortunately, liberal newspapers offer more varied content than their editorial page, so we still buy them. Even when they put in such lightweights like Mr. Henry.
Will Finkbeiner steal makeover spotlight?
It is a wonderful thing for the ABC producers of Extreme Makeover Home Edition to select a deserving family within the Toledo area. I am sure the five potential family candidates are all waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the final winner.
All the producers have to do now is to figure out how to keep His Honor Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's nose out of the process so he doesn't steal the show. We all know how he likes being the center of Toledo's spotlight for attention.
Joel A Kriener
Strong mayor form is ego, power trip
The Blade clearly identified the problems of a strong mayor administration in the last four paragraphs of the Aug. 7 story about renovations at the Erie Street Market.
A "strong" mayor is determined by political choice.
More often than not, positions are filled based on party loyalty rather than capability. In essence, it is a power and ego trip.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's "I accept full responsibilty" means as much as Janet Reno accepting full responsibility for the deaths in the 1993 Waco siege.
It's time for the strong mayor form of government to go away.
Port Authority made up of thieves, hacks
I've said it before, and I say it again: The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is made up of a pack of thieves and political hacks for the most part.
If you step in something and it stinks, you own a dog. If there's smoke, there's fire. Pick your own saying for the current and continuing mess.