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Published: Thursday, 10/9/2008

Columbia is working hard to keep gas on

Columbia Gas of Ohio applauds The Blade's Sept. 24 editorial calling for additional funding for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The interruption of a customer's service is always our last resort. By utilizing HEAP funding, as well as other assistance programs and payment plan options, none of our customers should ever face the prospect of service termination.

I encourage any customer, at the first sign there may be difficulty in paying a natural gas bill, to contact Columbia Gas at 1-800-344-4077. We will work with every customer to ensure service this winter.

The best way to reduce natural gas bills is conservation. Columbia Gas has proposed a $40 million program, available to 98 percent of our customers, which could save up to 27 percent of consumption, or $102 million statewide. This program includes rebates for home energy audits, programmable thermostats and low-flow shower heads, incentives for home upgrades, and installation of high-efficiency appliances. Home builders would be eligible for financial incentives encouraging them to build houses that are 50 percent more efficient. Small businesses would be eligible for rebates for high-efficiency heating systems and insulation upgrades. In addition, this program will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 450,000 tons.

Additionally Columbia Gas recently announced that most residential customers' budget payment plans will be reduced by 22 percent, or approximately $30 per month. With this reduction, the average residential budget payment amount will be approximately one dollar higher than last year.

Customers need help managing their energy costs now more than ever and Columbia Gas is working hard to help customers in achieving that goal.

Chris Kozak

Communications and

Community Relations Manager

Columbia Gas of Ohio

Prices went up more than they declined

I am in amazement at Columbia Gas' latest smoke-and-mirrors attempt in regard to the gas prices. In August, rates for everyone on the budget plan went up by 30 percent or more in "anticipation" of higher gas costs for the winter heating season. Now, in a wonderful gesture of good will on its part, Columbia is lowering the inflated rate by 22 percent, since gas prices are way lower than it projected.

Isn't this still a 10 percent increase for cheaper gas? My bill went up $46, and my elderly neighbor (who is 93 and on a fixed income) had her bill raised by $31. Does Columbia Gas' greed have no end?

Where is the public shame in attempting to rip off everyone for the inflated profits Columbia is looking to gain? I realize that most people haven't noticed this latest flim-flam attempt but maybe everyone should start looking at their bills and questioning the motives behind them. It's too bad that the members of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio aren't looking out for us as they are appointed to do.

Robert J. Zuber

Roywood Road

Solar is a great idea but not at any price

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Toledo: Stick around town and keep voting for the local Democrats. They are going to "whack" you again and you are going to just sit there. Keith Wilkowski thinks you should spend $5 million for solar panels to produce enough electricity for 112 homes, yet he and Toledo City Councilman McNamara say they have no idea how much the panels could save.

I love words such as could, would, might, maybe. They make big, fake promises and never deliver. The Keith-and-Joe show say they have not been able to calculate if this $5 million solar panel project would or could or might or may eventually save money. I did a calculation based on my average monthly electric bill of $85.

Five million dollars divided by 112 homes is $44,643 per home, divided by $85 per month equals 525.21 months divided by 12 equals 43.76 years to break even.

Goodness, I think you should buy two so you could save twice as much during the next 43 years. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of solar panels, solar roofing, and windmills, but not at any cost.

Charles Day

Lambertville, Mich.

Palin syndrome cure is to vote for McCain

I'm sorry to hear that The Blade's editorial board is suffering from a dread disease that's affecting so many liberals lately. For liberals, P.D.S. (Palin Derangement Syndrome) can really be disabling.

I understand that they have tried to shake this ailment by calling her names, and criticizing her hairdo or her daughter, but the normal duration of this affliction is four years.

The reason The Blade can't shake this bug is that Sarah is a smart and successful woman who has strong convictions about the problems facing our country. This is contrasted to Barack Obama, who simply voted "present" on about 130 occasions because he has no convictions. While Mr. Obama was one vote in 100, Sarah Palin was actually responsible for a town and then a state. Since the buck did not stop at Mr. Obama's desk, he could just vote "present," but Sarah had to make decisions.

Fortunately for liberals, Palin Derangement Syndrome is not always fatal. The only cure is to calm down, take one pill of reality and one pill of common sense, and vote for McCain/Palin.

John F. Weber

Swanton

More information raises fears on Palin

When John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate over more experienced and qualified men and women in the Republican party, I had serious doubts about his judgment. Now that more information has come out about her, my concerns have only intensified.

Ms. Palin looked into getting books banned from the library when she was a mayor. She wants creationism and abstinence only taught in schools. She believes that global warming is not caused by humans and that polar bears should be taken off the endangered species list. She doesn't believe in stem-cell research. She wants to make all abortions illegal, even in the cases of rape and incest. Under her administration, Alaska is by far the largest per-capita consumer of federal pet-project spending.

Add that to the fact that McCain/Palin offer no new solutions to get us out of the mess of the last eight years.

Candace Norris

Fostoria

World needs a new definition of success

What starting out as a refreshing presidential campaign by facing our challenges squarely while being courteous and respectful to those who disagree, has turned into the same old-fashioned, mud-slinging blood fest.

The American dream has turned into a nightmare for many. Working hard and playing by the rules doesn't automatically lead to success anymore. Every day, more and more Americans pray for ability to just comfortably survive.

The problems facing our nation and the world can be traced much farther back than the last eight years under George W. Bush. Our definition of success needs to be redefined.

Every politician the world over needs to focus on three goals - four every Christian should desire - peace on earth, ending famine on this planet, literally establish a universal health-care system, and in addition, for the believer - win the world for Christ.

These are lofty goals, worthy goals, and, I believe, obtainable goals. Goals like these offer hope to the spirit of man and a world in chaos. In previous political campaigns phrases such as "I want a kinder, gentler nation," or a vision expressed as "a thousand points of light," breathed life in the soul of a nation.

I don't expect anyone to offer an easy, 10-point plan to Nirvana. It's unrealistic to believe people all over the world will someday rise above the flesh and walk in the fear of the Lord. But for inhabitants of the Earth to insist that everyone live as civilized human beings, live simply so that other may simply live, is a reasonable expectation. To compare the world as it is to the world as it should be, as it could be, as it was created to be, is a vivid and valid way to gauge how far mankind has fallen.

Don Gozdowski

Franklin Avenue

Was Paul Newman an absolute class act, or what?

He will be more than missed.

Howard S. Sample

Brownstone Boulevard



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