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Published: Monday, 12/8/2008

It's too easy to simply blame dogs

I recently moved back to my hometown of Toledo, and I cannot believe that someone with the attitude of "our job is to protect people from dogs" is allowed to serve in the position of dog warden.

Tom Skeldon, spouting off quotes such as "dogs chase the mailman" and "dogs go after kids as they're going to school," comes across as a buffoonish, caricature villain type that one finds in cartoons and Disney films.

Dogs are used in our society as K-9 officers, seeing-eye guides for the blind, and assistants to individuals who are handicapped. How many children who are social outcasts at school take comfort that they have a furry friend at home who loves them unconditionally? How many therapy dogs have made a sick child or an elderly person confined to a nursing home smile for just one moment?

Most "dog problems" are, in fact, people problems. It is the irresponsible pet owner - those who do not obey the leash laws, do not spay/neuter their dogs, and do not bother to properly train and socialize them, who causes the majority of "dog problems." Instead of addressing this issue, however, Mr. Skeldon finds it easier to "blame the dog" than to offer incentives for people to become better pet parents.

Perhaps Mr. Skeldon should take his inhumane attitude toward dogs and find another field to work in, and allow someone who appreciates and has compassion toward dogs to fill the position. Because frankly, if I were walking down the street and saw a "big, scary dog" coming toward me on one side of the street, and Mr. Skeldon on the other, I'd take my chances with the dog.

Valerie Adamski

Rochelle Road

Congratulations to Northview High School for a wonderful, wonderful performance of Beauty and the Beast. From the director and all the children - young and older - to the orchestra, the lighting, costumes, stage crew, choreography, and beautiful singing, I couldn't believe it was a high school production.

What a remarkable job and a truly enjoyable afternoon.

Mary Ann Binkowski

Birckhead Place

Homeowners wishing to sell their homes in Lucas County have faced an uphill battle for a long time now.

Sales of homes have fallen steeply. There were more than a thousand fewer deed transfers in 2007 compared to 2006, when 10,428 properties were sold. So far this year, sales are down even more.

Despite these bleak sales figures, our county commissioners want to make it more difficult to sell and buy property by adding $1 to the real estate transfer fee to fund economic development.

This doesn't make sense to me. We already are taxed at a high rate for services. Now, a small number of people will have to pay more to sell their homes and commercial properties to pay for economic development services that everyone benefits from.

I've got to believe there is a more equitable way to fund economic development.

Increasing the tax on real estate transfers would just add one more negative aspect to Lucas County's already depressed real estate market.

Allen Green

2008 President

Toledo Board of REALTORS

South Republic Boulevard

There is far more to the "The Christmas Story House" and The Blade missed a good share of it.

When this house was purchased, it looked nothing like it does today. You would not have recognized this house as "The Christmas Story House." It was covered in blue siding and large picture windows had been put in by previous owners. Watching this house be transformed to its originality was a yearly venture for my husband and myself.

After about four years of planning and hard work, they finished the job and opened the house to tourism.

On the day of the grand opening, thousands of people were lined all the way down the street and around the block. The museum and gift shop were packed.

Most of the original characters from the movie, A Christmas Story, attended the grand opening and mingled with the crowd. Even with the crowds as big as they were, I had never seen a friendlier atmosphere. Strangers standing in line shared their stories and experiences with each other about what it was like growing up in the late 1940s.

Yes, I was one of them and I do remember pull-chain toilets, Orphan Annie Decoder rings, old-time radio programs, and snowsuits you couldn't walk in because your mom overdressed you.

It's a trip well worth taking for all ages. It's a hands-on house and you will feel that you are actually in the movie. I recommend this as a wonderful day trip over the Christmas holidays.

Judy Sikorski

Rossford

On Nov. 30, Florida Today printed an editorial under Viewpoints from The Blade entitled: "U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman." It trashed the senator for supporting John McCain for president. That source called Senator Lieberman a turncoat, a betrayer of Democrats, and a bum.

I strongly differ.

Joe Lieberman comes across as a man of integrity; one who was willing to possibly sacrifice his career to do what he believed was best for America. He knew well President-elect Barack Obama's inexperience, and he knew well of Sen. John McCain's positive attributes. He had a perfect right to project his view, and the back-stabbing by some local editorial group in Toledo is reprehensible.

Regarding retaining his chairmanship in the Senate, that was purely a political move. Achieving a veto-proof majority is the goal of the Democrats, and Senator Lieberman, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, aids that goal.

Finally, did The Blade forget that the Democratic Party "betrayed" Senator Lieberman in his last election for the Senate?

Thus, he became an Independent and won his seat. Joe Lieberman does not have to prove "he is not a bum."

He is an honorable man, more than most in the Senate.

Warren T. Olde

Melbourne, Fla.

The senseless tragedy of killing in Mumbai will lead to a lot of the usual speculation of who caused it and calls for retaliation and, God forbid, further killings of innocent lives in some other place in India.

The pattern is all too familiar. I have been a vehement critic of the irresponsible spread of small arms that finds its way into the black market and the criminal indifference of the heads of state of the United States, Britain, Russia, and China who are the major suppliers of small arms.

For years the United Nations General Assembly has been pleading to check the black market in small arms. The talk is always about nuclear proliferation.

But no nuclear weapon has ever been used in any act of terrorism. How can responsible leaders be blind to the fact that AK-47s are now easily available to young men in their teens and 20s with enough ammunitions to kill hundreds, coupled with hand grenades to boot.

Can they fail to see that they are actually responsible for promoting a world where any civilian group can now wage a war? Like everything else, we now can expect innovation in the art of terrorism.

What do these folks want? A lucrative multi-billion dollar free market arms business or a serious effort to control the slaughter on a regular basis of hundreds of innocent lives on land and on the high seas across the planet?

Can't something drastic be done to shut off the source of weaponry to at least stem the tide of the senseless slaughter?

For anyone who is genuinely interested in a solution, the choice is clear.

Vadaken Krishnan

Bowling Green

Remember me? I wrote you last summer saying Hillary Clinton s expertise would be better suited for secretary of state rather than vice president. You didn t publish my letter and I m not one to say I told you so, but...

GLEN DEGELNOR

Benson, Ariz.



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