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Published: Tuesday, 7/7/2009

E-boards pose some safety risks

The recent op-ed, "Brace for 'Power Point on Pole," citing the prolific expansion of electronic billboards in urban areas and along interstate highways, signals a need for community concern and action.

More important than the unsightly appearance of the large flashing billboards are two aspects of this digital advertising: (1) the large amount of electricity they require - in one estimate one such billboard uses as much as 13 homes - in these times when we are being urged to conserve and reduce energy usage, and (2) the brightly lighted, 24/7, rapidly changing graphics pose a public safety hazard for motorists, particularly at night.

A brief distraction, especially in fast-moving traffic, has the potential for causing serious, even fatal, accidents.

These concerns are accentuated when the advertisers are health professionals, hospitals, and other health-care facilities. The questionable value of this pass-by advertising to these groups is counterproductive to their mission, and demonstrates an inappropriate concern for profit at the expense of health care and safety.

Efforts to address these issues should be a civic responsibility for all.

Howard S. Madigan

Sylvania

I would like to do my part and save the City of Toledo $100,000.

The fire that totaled the home on Mount Vernon Avenue was caused by two things: 1) too small a water main and, 2) too late a response to finding out about the fire by the home owners.

That being said, Mayor Finkbeiner can now not hire an independent review board, which I am sure would cost at least $100,000, to come to the same conclusion.

I am just trying my best for the City of Toledo and, no, I will not run for mayor. Why run when Michael Bell is going to win and is the best candidate for mayor?

Gayle G. Perne'

Talmadge Road

Has the population of this country become so complacent that we can't see through the politicians? During the previous administration Dick Cheney was part of the White House wallpaper.

Rarely speaking publicly, he saved most of his thoughts for private conversations with Mr. Bush. Karl Rove, often referred to as "Bush's Brain," also hid in the background.

Now that we have a President tackling many issues (most of which were inherited) simultaneously, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rove can't get enough air time to criticize him.

For anyone from the last administration to have the gall to criticize President Obama is startling, hypocritical, and unethical. For a citizen to actually buy into it is a study in amnesia.

Unemployment has reached the highest level in three-quarters of a century. Remember that the unemployment numbers only count those currently collecting compensation.

Those who took the auto buyouts, had forced retirement, or have exhausted their benefits aren't part of the statistics. The true numbers would be startling. Losing a job usually means losing health insurance.

We now have a President who wants to ensure that you have a roof over your head, a full stomach, and medical insurance to keep you healthy. What is the reaction from members of the last administration? They are worried about the cost.

They, who doubled the national debt during good times, are worrying about the financial cost of national health care. What about the cost of not having national health care? Why would we not consider helping people with preventive care so that they live longer, healthier lives?

First of all, it is the right thing to do. Second, it is cheaper to encourage a healthy citizenry. After they spent like teenagers during the last administration, you would be wise to ignore the naysayers.

Anne-Marie Feikema

Ida, Mich.

One of the biggest objections of far-right conservatives and Republicans (the party of no) to a government health-care option as competition to the big insurance companies is that you might have to wait for your appointment with a doctor.

When you don't go to the doctor, or you go less frequently than called for by good preventive medicine because you can't afford to, what do you call that?

It's just that the cost of the emergency room and the increased cost of treating a medical problem made worse by waiting are hidden. We need to turn the light of day on the festering problem and publicly announce the costs of a government system up front.

Reid Wickiser

Bowling Green

What an honor it was to represent physicians at the American Medical Association's house of delegates annual meeting as we hosted President Obama for his speech on health-care reform.

One reason that the AMA's public response did not include mention of the "public option" is that its details have not yet been fully and solidly defined.

It would be folly to make statements that could misrepresent our deliberations as for or against an option that Congress or the press could later further define and utilize as our stance in the future.

Of course, perspective is, by definition, in the eye of the beholder. Case-in-point, there was one extremely unfortunate boo (very uncharacteristic of the decorum expected on our floor regardless of the spectrum of views expressed).

It received a fair amount of media air time but what was not mentioned in much of the coverage is that there were 18 standing ovations during the President's speech.

I counted them as we stood for each one.

My greatest concern with health-care reform is that even if money is made available to power the reform there is no guarantee that "if you build it, they shall come."

After all, excellent, affordable health care is accessible to many who do not, for reasons unbeknownst to me, take advantage of it.

The system we have is clearly not sustainable.

As long as patients are able to retain their choice of physician, as long as the decisions regarding individual care are kept within the patient-physician relationship, and as long as defensive medicine is not the standard of care, just about any system will be an improvement.

Louito C. Edje, MD

Chief of Staff

St. Luke's Hospital

Maumee

Meghan Gilbert's article on the University of Toledo board of trustees revised policy on the faculty's teaching schedule was disturbing.

In the real world, a 40-hour work week is the minimum and it is subsidized by working luncheons, evening, and even weekend office business projects.

Tuition and state funding of public universities must be substantially reduced. We can start this process by increasing teaching schedules, which are currently 12 hours per week.

Let's get the educators back in the classroom.

Dick Newell

Ottawa Hills

People who live in Sylvania, Holland, Erie, Bedford Township , Lambertville, Mich., or any other town should keep their mouths shut about Toledo s mayor.

If they are so concerned about Toledo s future, then they should move here and vote their choice.

ROBERT CHASTEEN

288th Street



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