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Published: Thursday, 2/12/2009

Hand the bill for rescue to ice anglers

Talk about the height of irresponsibility. I'm not referring to the baby machine in California who just jettisoned eight new offspring. I'm talking about the scores of ice fishermen who needed rescue crews to extricate them from the frozen waters of Lake Erie.

The Coast Guard and other police agencies risked their lives for what? For a group of minnow-minded morons hellbent on catching the next day's dinner?

As these anglers were hoisted off the ice, an invoice for $100 should have been placed in their tackle boxes. Then, maybe their fascination with poking a hole in the ice in search of Nemo and friends would have been scuttled.

On the other hand, the melting ice, which will eventually deliver their snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles and fishing equipment to the depths of Lake Erie, may be punishment enough.

Bill Kalmar

Lake Orion, Mich.

Can't anyone see that Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop is a clone of Carty Finkbeiner? He runs his mouth continuously, believing what he says is worth listening to. My favorite new idea that he has come up with is creating a living wage for employees in Lucas County. I believe the City of Toledo already practices this. We now see how well this works for the city.

If we continue to put hurdles in front of business, it will continue to go elsewhere. Every person or animal will generally take the path of least resistance and for the past 20 years it has been to Northwood, Perrysburg, and Maumee.

Brandon S. Suto

Lehman Avenue

In his Jan. 29 column, Gwynne Dyer makes a very convincing point in comparing the Vietnam War with the expanding war in Afghanistan. Those war-minded officials in charge of defense and foreign policies could easily lead our country into another Vietnam-like failure with their advice to President Barack Obama. Fighting an ideology like Communism in Vietnam and Islamism in Afghanistan is vague abstractionism that is not winnable. Surely these military advisers, as well as President Obama, should acknowledge history.

I would not want Mr. Obama to follow in President Lyndon Johnson's footsteps. I would not want him to have to bow out of re-election as President Johnson decided to do because of the Vietnam failure. So I echo Gwynne Dyer's final comment: "So turning Afghanistan into a second Vietnam is probably the wrong strategy, isn't it?"

Wally Pretzer

Bowling Green

As I listened to the upright and respectable senators of the great state of Illinois speechifying in the impeachment trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a tear came to my eye, (and to the eye of every crocodile from Tallahassee to Olympia, Augusta to Austin); then it dawned on me.

Why not bug the office, home, and auto of every governor, lieutenant governor, statehouse speaker, and state senate president? Also, let's listen in 24/7 to every congressman, the President, vice president, the cabinet, and our Supreme Court? Just do it. No warrants required.

Heck. We know these politicians all are honest folks doing the people's business. The Illinois state senators said so.

As a convenience to voters, let's stream this audio in real time on the Internet, available to anyone at the click of a mouse. We'd love to listen to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia or Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger or Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, live and unscripted.

To the buggers and prosecutors of Mr. Blagojevich, and to the courts that authorized the bugging, kudos for giving voters a new and useful tool.

Carl Hudecek

Perrysburg

The Blade's Jan. 23 editorial was on target when it comes to the city's residency requirement. John Madigan is way out in left field. City of Toledo employees don't gain any more pride or efficiency by being forced to live within the city limits by an outdated requirement that doesn't hold any value.

If it is important that home rule be recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court, as argued by the law director, based on the fact that citizens voted in 1992, then it must also be pointed out that Toledo's past and current political leaders have failed citizens.

Since 1992, the city has allowed employees to obtain a residency waiver just by a simple request after 10 years of service. Now, a whopping 40 percent to 50 percent of employees live outside the city and another 20 percent have approved waivers in case they decide to move later. This includes police and fire staff.

So, why did this happen if it was, and still is, so important to maintain this so-called "home rule"? It's like saying workers at the Jeep plant should lose their jobs if they don't drive a Jeep.

Some attorneys are like politicians. Their positions just don't add up.

Sherman Mosher

Pawnee Road

Could someone please tell me why the City of Toledo is not enforcing the ordinance that requires residents to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall? It was getting a bit ridiculous, at least on my block, where people were forced to walk in the streets.

If the city is as broke as it claims, an ideal way of bringing in some much-needed money would be to fine people for not doing the right thing.

Joseph R. Ryan, Jr.

Wayne Street

I can't believe it. There are hundreds of middle-class students with 3.0 grade point averages who can't afford college tuition and are strapped with huge student loans. They are paying monthly or, if unemployed, are watching the interest mount.

Meanwhile another group of students with 3.0 GPAs and less money are receiving free tuition from the University of Toledo.

Foul! The former group should protest. If UT has enough surplus to offer free tuition to some, it should reduce tuition for all.

Elizabeth Welch

Goddard Road

A Feb. 2 letter writer states, "I believe that for the first time in many years we have a President who will put the needs of the people ahead of the desires of the rich and powerful."

If only that were true. So far, we see little help for the middle class and small businesses. We see close to a trillion dollars going for more bailouts, checks to people who do not pay taxes, and much pork that will help keep "the rich and powerful" re-elected. When are President Obama and Congress going to help the tax-paying, responsible middle class and small businesses? I expect never.

John W. Foster

Perrysburg

The City of Toledo's $8.1 million budget deficit brings home the fact that major manufacturing employers still drive this area's economy.

Talk of what defines an American car should be rephrased to what is a local car. With several area communities promoting "buy local" for their small businesses, I think it's about time we promote the same policy for our major local auto manufacturers who, after all, support the Toledo area through good jobs and tax receipts. Too many in the suburban areas refuse to accept the relationship of supporting local manufacturers and its effect on economic vigor of our area.

Paul Wohlfarth

Ottawa Lake

I wonder: If all those fishermen stranded on the Lake Erie ice knew that no one was going to come out and save them, would they still take the chance of going out?

Mighty expensive fish!

Mary E. Matyas

Oregon



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