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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 5/27/2009

Admirable effort on 'The Talk'

I read Marilou Johanek's column on "The Talk," and found myself laughing out loud, which I never do for her stuff. Well, that's not entirely true but it's for entirely different reasons. I had to admire her on the fact she tried to talk to her daughter.

My oldest daughter was asking questions a couple of years ago. She's 10 now. I did what a wise old psychology professor of mine told me: "Give them answers to their questions and let the rest fall where it does."

I did this, but mind you an 8-year-old asking questions is still unnerving. I got out a medical book, sat with her, listened to her questions, and then ran with it. I found out what she knew and didn't know. I corrected her friends' misinformation and answered her questions. No sugar-coating or slang terms were used for anything.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I knew I did this semicorrectly when she told me "Oh, that's what I thought." The meeting of minds lasted 20 minutes, tops.

Granted, we have had other conversations on the same type topics since, but it's getting easier and I love the fact that my daughter is coming to me to find answers to things I should be teaching her about life; not her friends, boys, or the school .•.•. but me her parent, her mom.

So bravo, Marilou, and I hope that your daughter knows how much you really love her. I hope that other moms and dads can find it in their hearts and their children's best interests to step up to the plate and be parents. Remember, boys need to know some facts about life too.

If we all did this for our children, can you imagine how we might change the world? People caring for others. Wow, what a concept!

Holly Johnson

Whitehouse

Officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are, in their own words, "no longer able to ensure the safety of the nation's waters."

This bleak self-assessment was reported in December at the end of an investigation by two committees of the House of Representatives.

The reason? In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a confusing split decision regarding which bodies of water must be protected by the Clean Water Act. As a result, we now have no clear national policy, and decisions about what waters are protected are made, willy-nilly, case by case, in lower-level courts.

To clear up this mess, Congress needs to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act. Restoration is the key word here: CWRA would restore the ability of the government to enforce the protections intended by the 1972 Clean Water Act. CWRA would bring needed clarity to the law. This clarity would not just please environmentalists; it would also be good for developers who now need to fight each iffy case in court at great expense.

Protecting the nation's water is urgent. The Sierra Club reports that half of the nation's streams and 20 percent of our wetlands are at risk. These waters provide drinking water to 111 million Americans. In addition, wetlands cleanse the ground water and help protect us from flooding. Let's not forget that in Ohio alone, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, we already have lost more than 75 percent of our state's original wetlands.

Unfortunately, the legislation (S. 787) is now stuck in committee in the Senate. Readers interested in the health of the nation's water should contact their U.S. senators and ask them to support CWRA. It will give back to the EPA the power it is supposed to have and bring needed clarity to environmental law.

Tom Sheehan

Gilhouse Road

The Blade's editors are breathtakingly wrong if they think nuclear power "deserves another serious look." This conclusion painfully ignores much of its sordid past and much current data showing new nuclear to be both unneeded and uneconomical.

An October, 2008, report by the Land Institute at Michigan State University titled, "Michigan's Offshore Wind Potential," concluded that "Michigan's portion of the Great Lakes has the capacity to produce 321,936 megawatts of electricity from wind energy." If fully harnessed, that would be the equivalence (adjusting for wind's intermittency) of more than 100 nuclear reactors of the type Florida Power and Light wants to build just two of at a proposed cost of $24 billion. You could build a lot of Michigan wind turbines for $24 billion.

This doesn't sound like an energy resource that "seems extremely unlikely .•.•. to ever supply more than a fraction of the state's energy needs." This would only be true if such wind construction was deliberately obstructed vested interests - by nuclear utilities and uninformed editorial boards, for example.

Developing this wind power would 1) produce no costly and deadly radioactive wastes to dispose of; 2) never threaten Michigan with nuclear accidents, terrorism, or proliferation; 3) be added incrementally as needed, not in $8 billion to $12 billion chunks required by nuclear reactors, and 4) operate with free fuel. You have to question what advantages nuclear is supposed to represent.

The United States currently has the technical capability to become free of fossil and nuclear energy by 2040, and do so economically, according to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ww.carbonfreenuclearfree.org). Even the present chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon Wellinghof, has twice stated in recent weeks, "We may not need any [new nuclear or coal plants], ever."

What do The Blade's editors know that he does not?

David A. Kraft

Director

Nuclear Energy

Information Service

Chicago

Torture is not a partisan issue. It's also not an issue of national defense.

The United States stalwartly grounds itself on the idea and principle that it is a nation governed by law. No one is above it. We are a nation that counts on its judicial system to render fair and impartial judgments based upon the law. And torture is against the law.

The idea that someone should be exempt from justice and that the country should simply move on just because he or she held or holds elected office is simply repugnant and not in keeping with the spirit and ideals of the United States of America. On the most fundamental level, why should elected persons, whether Democrat or Republican, be held in higher regard than any other citizen who commits a crime?

The hearings forward in Congress regarding the illegal use of torture should continue and the truth should come out. It matters not who the people are.

Peggy Erhart

Maumee

In reading the news on a recent morning, I was unsure if I had regressed to the last time the big push was on to increase automobile fuel economy and decrease emissions.

When is this knee-jerk reaction going to quit being just that and result in some positive and permanent results? I hate to think that we're being manipulated by our government or anything of that nature. Sad state of affairs these situations are becoming.

William Miller

Southover Road

Wow! Blade columnist Jack Kelly calling out the Washington press corps for being toadies? That s like Madonna calling out Paris Hilton, isn t it?

VINCE PISCOPO

Sylvania Township



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