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Published: Monday, 1/19/2009

Verbal snipes at Konop aren't helpful

What in the world did [Lucas County Commissioner] Ben Konop do to get Blade columnist Roberta de Boer to attack him so viciously? Her current and past comments come just shy of accusing him of being born out of wedlock.

I just don't know why someone who is supposed to be a "responsible commentary columnist" needs to constantly attack people on a personal and sometime a visceral level. From dead presidents to her favorite target, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, no one is safe from her disrespectful or hurtful attacks. It seems Ben Konop is her latest target to berate.

Writing such as Roberta's does not take much research or accuracy and usually shows signs of an unhappy childhood with underdeveloped social skills. At most, this style of writing should be left to a gossip columnist and not on the front page of The Blade's second section. It breeds contempt.

This type of commenting is typical of Toledo and one of the many things that plagues it from becoming a great and powerful city. Who says every idea has to be good? Out of a thousand, only one idea might be good, or none. Why should you always shoot the messenger or tackle the cheerleader?

Obesity is one of the biggest health risks that plague our children and our nation, Roberta. So what if Ben's idea isn't the brightest on the tree? It calls attention to the problem and should not warrant your personal attacks. You act like a verbal sniper, as soon as someone raises their head with an idea, you are right there to fire your commentary bullets.

There are actual corrupt or "disingenuous" people in the area; you should look for them to write about. Be useful, not hurtful.

John Marshall

Sylvania

One has to wonder, considering the current state of the City of Toledo's finances, what would happen if those of us who live in suburban areas but pay Toledo income taxes were to stop paying those taxes.

Often derided by Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and other elected officials, suburban residents who work in the city still pay Toledo taxes despite being unable to vote in city elections and often receiving only marginal benefits from city services.

Deduct the taxes paid by workers living in Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Rossford, Ottawa Hills, and other communities outside of the city from Toledo's budget and then evaluate the potential deficit.

I think it's safe to say that the impact on the city would be devastating.

Our tax dollars are spent by officials we are unable to elect on projects that do not directly benefit us. Perhaps it is time to develop a method of providing those taxpayers with a voice in city matters.

In the words of Revolutionary War politician James Otis, "Taxation without representation is tyranny."

Michael K. Veh

Ottawa Hills

It is time for agencies such as the Economic Opportunity Planning Association and Head Start to be put out to pasture and closed. What were once potential worthwhileprograms operating under the auspices of addressing poverty have become a cesspool of incompetence and waste of taxpayer money.

While the rest of the country is struggling financially and watching every dollar, Head Start management is spending $127,000 on phones. What is more disturbing is its $16 million budget and very little to show for it. Few classes for kids, workers who do not leave their desks, and intentionally cheating on the number of kids affected by the program. It would be wiser to simply give the children checks for $7,000 to $11,000 (depending on whose numbers you believe) and let them spend as they see fit.

EOPA is a perfect example of gross government waste. However, in typical government fashion and having full knowledge of this waste, nothing will be done about it.

Economic opportunity my foot. The only economic opportunity this agency creates is for those incompetents running the operation. Close it down.

Richard H. Hayes

Densmore Drive

The Blade's Jack Lessenberry quoted Sean Morrison of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology in his Jan. 9 column, calling discarded and donated embryos from human fertility clinics "leftover small, undifferentiated balls of cells. If not used for research, they don't become babies; they are eventually destroyed as medical waste." Mr. Morrison's arrogance is astounding.

"Oocyte," "embryo," and "fetus" are medical terms for the different stages of human development in the womb after conception. How horrific to declare that a child's development in the womb is nothing more than "undifferentiated ball of cells." I wonder if, in Mr. Morrison's mind, that these "undifferentiated balls of cells" would become puppies if left to grow in the womb? He seems to perpetuate this lie for his own grandiose schemes and earnings.

The pharmaceutical industry believes that stem-cell research for biologic medications is the wave of the future. Development of this class of drugs has outpaced other types, not only because the patents on many drugs are coming to an end, but primarily because of the premium prices biologics command. It is disgusting that fertility clinics deceive couples into "discarding and donating" their children in the name of medical science for profit. As the old adage says, "Follow the money."

Patients have turned a blind eye to the truth of stem-cell research. How many people (I'm one of those patients) understand that relief from disease through embryonic stem cells comes at the cost of a child's life? And if Michigan's hope for economic growth is this center, we are in deeper trouble than we realize.

I wonder about the following: Revelation 18:23 "For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery [pharmakeia in the Greek, meaning pharmacy, drugs) all the nations were led astray."

Joanne Canova

Lambertville

As a former Toledoan and University of Toledo student, I was very happy to learn of the university's proposal to create a village-like development near campus.

Given Toledo's mission to position the area as a hotbed for environmentally friendly technologies and "green" energy, it seems like an opportunity would be missed if UT failed to integrate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification into the development.

Not only would LEED serve to mitigate long-term energy costs, its integration would be a huge public relations opportunity for the city and the university, and would provide an excellent avenue to showcase area technologies while doing business with local companies.

Christine Rupp

Coral Gables, Fla.

I have been a salesman for more than 25 years, and have had many jobs and have been unemployed many times. The one lesson I learned is "do not do nothing."

During these hard times, if you are out of work, do not sit around and wait for your next great job. Find some kind of work. Wash dishes, drive a truck, deliver goods, stock shelves, or do anything to make a few bucks and keep your sanity until your next great job comes along.

It is not demeaning to work at a job you feel is below you. I am not sure what that means anyway. It is demeaning to do nothing. Your next great job will come.

This little lesson makes it easy for me not to worry about losing my current great job. Things are good for me right now but I know it will change. It's only a matter of time. I sleep soundly at night. Ask my wife, Cindy.

Steve Harrison

Perrysburg

Marilou Johanek s pieces are defi nitely thought-provoking: they make me wonder why The Blade would keep paying someone who has written the same Bush-is-evil column every other week for eight straight years.

JERRY NOSS

Whitehouse



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