Please let me respond to The Blade's Nov. 16 editorial, "What threat?" and clarify several issues.
The proposed ordinance was designed to prevent sex offenders from establishing residence near vulnerable areas for children, preventing them from living within 1,000 feet of parks and day-care centers. This idea was brought to my attention by a constituent and was originally approved unanimously by the safety committee, a committee composed of two councilmen and eight members of the public. The ordinance was modeled after similar proposals in Ottawa Hills, Upper Arlington, Reynoldsburg, Newark, North Canton, Hilliard, and many other municipalities that have taken proactive steps to protect sensitive areas of their communities. The measures have been very successful.
Unfortunately, the village could not completely ban sex offenders from living in Waterville, though the legislation restricted all of the areas that could be legally prohibited. Some residents, whose neighborhoods could not be legally shielded from sex offenders, felt their properties would be at a comparative disadvantage. I felt this was very unlikely because approximately 90 percent of property owners in northwest Ohio live in neighborhoods currently open to sex offenders.
I believe the discussion on this issue was warranted and productive. Two months ago, there were five sex offenders living in Waterville. During the course of this debate, three of them moved out of Waterville. Seeking proactive solutions to issues often helps to stem potential problems. I truly appreciate everyone's ideas and opinions on how to make Waterville a safer place to live.
Mayor of Waterville
In light of recent articles in The Blade regarding the lack of northwest Ohio representation on the Ohio Arts Council board, I thought it important to share some critical information about the arts in your region with anyone who was not able to attend the meetings recently held by the OAC in your area.
Nearly 18,000 arts-related businesses in Ohio employ more than 88,000 people. In Toledo, there are more than 900 arts-related businesses that employ nearly 5,000 people. These businesses range from museums, symphonies, and theaters to film, architecture, and advertising companies. These businesses employ people, spend money locally, generate government revenue, and are a cornerstone of tourism and economic development. The Ohio Arts Council's nonpartisan support of the nonprofit cultural organizations is a critical link in the public-private partnership that helps build a successful community.
Ohio Citizens for the Arts is a statewide organization whose mission is to advocate for the arts. Northwest Ohio currently has a significant voice on the OCA board, including Timothy Greenwood, Katerina Ruedi Ray, Brett Shingledecker, and Margy Trumbull. Slated for election in December are Marc Folk and Martha MacDonell. It is through the dedicated work of these individuals and other leaders across the state that we can impact policies and funding levels so that the Ohio Arts Council can continue to help grow Ohio economically, educationally, and culturally.
We encourage everyone to be active advocates for the arts and northwest Ohio as we work to ensure the arts are an integral part of our children's education and the lives of every citizen.
Donna S. Collins
Ohio Citizens for the Arts
The Nov. 12 story in The Blade, "Catholic bishops will fight Obama on abortion," relates to the bishops' concern that 54 percent of Catholics voted for Barack Obama despite the fact that he is pro-abortion and promised Planned Parenthood that he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would rescind state restrictions on abortion. That will set back the pro-life movement to 1973.
Weeks before the election, many Catholic bishops issued pastoral letters against the misleading document "Faithful Citizenship" passed by their conference in 2007. That document includes statements that contradict the teaching of the church and allowed Catholics who intended to vote the Democrat ticket to use it as their excuse to vote for a radical pro-abortion candidate.
The bishops emphasized in their pastoral letters that "Faithful Citizenship" implies that "other moral issues" are proportionate to the intrinsic evil of abortion, which is not what the church teaches. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver suggests that because the document was "able to support widely contradicting interpretations, [it] should be revised or rejected."
Any comment, about the bishops' action, should be reserved to practicing Catholics who understand that we are a communion of people united around Christ. Those not of our faith should not presume to understand it. Hard-core Democrats, who say they are Catholic - like so many pro-abortion politicians - are only fooling themselves.
To Bishop Leonard Blair and the American bishops, I'm not buying your rhetoric about confronting Barack Obama on abortion. Your lack of leadership when it was needed, when it could have made a difference, leaves responsibility for the Obama abortion policies squarely in your laps. May God have mercy on your souls.
Do you rake leaves? Do you want to help protect Lake Erie, our priceless regional resource?
Here's something easy you can do. According to the Sierra Club, just keep your leaf piles out of the street. If you have curbs, pile leaves up on the curb and push them into the street just before the collection. Compost or mulch as many leaves as you can for use in your garden.
Leaves and grass clippings are organic matter. When leaves are piled in the streets, a lot of this organic matter gets into the sewers. It goes through the storm water system and ends up - where else? - in Lake Erie.
Now, you might think that all this organic matter would make Lake Erie healthier, but that is not the case. The nutrients in all this organic matter cause an increase in the amount of algae in the lake. This, in turn, decreases water quality and depletes oxygen from the water, killing fish.
In summer, algae blooms may also cause health problems for bathers at Lake Erie beaches, problems like rashes and runny noses. Also, E. coli bacteria breed in algae-laden water, and, when swallowed, can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Toledo city officials ask leaf-rakers to keep their leaves out of the streets. They have practical reasons for this: keeping the streets clear for motor vehicles and bikes, and avoiding blocked sewer drains. Keeping leaf piles out of the street can also protect Lake Erie, which we depend on for agriculture, drinking water, industry, fishing, boating, and an exceptional quality of life.
We read with dismay The Blade story on the expunging of Natalie Nirdlinger's court record concerning discarding her newborn baby in a trash bin. We are not sure what necessitated revealing to the public her tragic situation, but to reveal the name of the birth father's parents, who are now the adoptive parents of an innocent 7-year old child, we find repugnant.
We applaud the adoptive parents for not responding to your reporter's calls.
We find it inappropriate for a responsible newspaper to potentially adversely affect the lives of those who are seeking to retain anonymity. Revealing the names of the adoptive parents is irresponsible and uncaring. Was it in the child's best interests to divulge the names of her adoptive parents? We think not.
Maybe Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and all his department heads should turn in their leased vehicles and gas cards and be like the rest of the people buying their own cars and their own gas.