I would like to extend my appreciation to the voters who supported Toledo Public Schools on Election Day. Your "yes" vote for Issues 34 and 35 expresses a continued commitment to our students and to the future of the district.
Issues 34 and 35 both positively impact TPS in separate but significant ways. Passage of Issue 34, a renewal of an operating levy, allows us to continue focusing on student achievement by maintaining programs that support student learning. This funding ensures the continuation of essential classroom programs that directly support our students.
Issue 35 allows TPS to renovate Crossgates Elementary, Edgewater Elementary, Glendale-Feilbach Elementary, Harvard Elementary, Scott High School, and Waite High School.
Access to the reauthorized bonds now provides us with the funding to transform all of our schools into state-of-the-art learning centers for students in the 21st century.
It has been a great beginning to the school year. The district celebrated reaching Continuous Improvement on the State Report Card. I am proud to report that we saw significant increases in reading and math scores at the fourth and sixth grades, along with increases in all tested areas for eighth grade students. The district also achieved a 95 percent attendance rating.
TPS also opened seven new schools on the first day of classes, bringing the total to 23 new schools across the district. These state-of-the art facilities offer our students a welcoming learning environment and a new approach to learning. Toledo Public Schools is making progress - progress we can build on for our future.
The overwhelming support of area voters on Nov. 4 allows the district to continue building on that progress while working toward our goals and introducing new initiatives that support the academic success of our students. Thank you, Toledo, for your vote of confidence.
Toledo Public Schools
In 1999, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner held a press conference on the Summit Street bridge over the Ottawa River. He said he would support dredging of the river for the betterment of Point Place and the boating community. He was convinced this was a good idea when he read the economic impact study and realized what boating activities generated in tax revenue.
In 2006, he sent a group of commissioners to convince the Michigan Department of Enviromental Quality to back off their objection to the dredging. It so happens that some of these MDEQ employees are avid duck hunters and believe dredging the river would somehow restrict their hunting activities. But MDEQ allows dredging of every other river in their state except for two miles of the Ottawa River. Mayor Finkbiner should have appealed this decision directly to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Instead he dropped the ball.
Also, I would like to inform the mayor that we have a Marina District in place. The Ottawa River is home to five yacht clubs, five marinas, and two very fine restaurants. Complete your campaign promise and dredge this river. My thanks to Councilman Lindsay Webb for being a strong advocate.
If I want to build a garage in my back yard, there are many regulations I must follow, and there is close supervision by several people from the local building department.
But if I am a bank, I can operate as I choose, regardless of a host of regulations and regulators on the federal, state, and local levels. The office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the state bank examiners of Ohio, and the Securities and Exchange Commission are only four of these. In the case of the SEC, it has 3,500 employees in 19 offices. Not one raised his hand when the banks first began giving mortgages to people who could not pay them back, then reselling these toxic mortgages to other banks, in effect poisoning the American economy.
While Wall Street is certainly complicit, this economic mess never would have happened without the decision by government not to enforce the law.
It is clear from this that there needs to be a whole new body of law that protects the American public against the people in these agencies who cause these disasters with impunity. A good start would be a "forfeiture of indemnity" law that would expose individuals within the rogue government agencies to accountability. It would eliminate the loophole of indemnification that allows them to escape the consequences of their actions.
Such a law would have to be brought to a popular vote as a referendum, because our lawmakers, controlled by lobbyists, would never do it themselves. Hopefully a veterans group or foundation will get behind this, to assure that it does not happen again.
Carl R. Goodwin
On Oct. 29, I had the privilege of being on the northwest Ohio Honor Flight to Washington. This trip was sponsored by the Maumee Eagles. I have lost track of the number of times I was thanked for my service to my country.
Our fathers were in World War I, our younger brothers were in Korea, our sons in Vietnam, and our grandchildren are in the Middle East. Each generation fought or is fighting for our freedom - the freedom to choose who will be our leader.
In the past, we have had less than 50 percent of the eligible voters voting. This is an insult to every man and woman who have ever gone to war. We should have at least 90 percent taking advantage of this privilege. This is an honor - an obligation - we all have. Remember, if you didn't vote you don't have the right to complain.
William E. Hartman
This is in response to the recent contributor to the Readers' Forum who believes, falsely, that Jesus would approve of sharing the wealth; that somehow because Jesus represents compassion, he would be a socialist.
It would be insane to believe that Jesus would approve of a government stealing what someone earned and giving it to another who did not. I believe he would want us to be compassionate to our fellow man, but not be forced to give. Being forced by a socialistic government to "donate" to the greater good means nothing at all; giving from the heart, willingly, is where it counts.
I think our country has a record of compassion and tolerance that cannot be matched anywhere in the world. We give more money, time, resources, blood, sweat, and tears in the name of charity, peace, and freedom. I pay plenty of taxes and I'll be darned if the government thinks it needs more. This is why I don't trust government, and people like the letter writer are why I no longer go to church.
Cherry Hill Road
I was absolutely horrified by a small item in The Blade on Nov. 2 about a 13-year-old, violated child who was stoned to death by Islamic militants in Kismayo, Somalia. A child who had been raped was cruelly, painfully, and mercilessly stoned to death by dozens of men in a stadium in an execution that obviously was treated as a spectator sport.
In my ears, I can hear the crying of this innocent child but nowhere do I hear or see protest in the Islamic world over this travesty. I would not be surprised if the bloodthirsty onlookers even cheered and encouraged the murderers. As Islam becomes more prevalent, is this the type of behavior and injustice it will bring into our country?
I have never read the Qur'an but this story convinces me that it does not contain the word "mercy." My heart goes out to this murdered child. She will be remembered in my prayers.
John H. Gottschalk
At least twice a year, I wonder why the time change cannot be adjusted as follows:
Change it one half hour and leave it there permanently.
Doris M. Rohweder
North Baltimore, Ohio