Ben Konop's views on economic development are extremely counterproductive. This area, and particularly the city of Toledo, already has some of the highest income tax rates and highest utility rates in the state of Ohio. This is a negative factor when an employer is considering whether to move jobs into Toledo or keep existing jobs here.
Now, Mr. Konop wants to require all employers in Toledo to give a certain number of paid sick days (presumably in addition to vacation days, holidays, and family leave). He also wants to expand the requirement that certain employers pay what is euphemistically called the "prevailing wage" (it really means the union pay scale).
I wish someone would explain to me why any employer who has an option (and believe me, they do) would choose to locate jobs in Toledo rather than another locality that is more "business-friendly."
Ronald S. Moening
We recently enjoyed a terrific weekend in Toledo.
On Thursday night, we started at Murphy's jazz bar on the river downtown. In addition to the regulars, they featured young artists from the area. What a treat.
On Friday, we began at the marvelous Toledo Museum of Art: Van Gogh, Renoir, Bierstadt, Remington, Rodin, Cezanne, Paul Klee - what do they not have? Then we lunched at the original Tony Packos. Off to check into Maumee Bay State Park, and then an evening at the Polish Festival at Lagrange Street and Central Avenue.
On Saturday morning, it was golf on the links (we were five under - five balls under water), swimming, relaxing, an arts festival on the beach, a great steak dinner at the lodge, and fireworks in the evening.
On Sunday morning, we went to Toledo Botanical Gardens, followed by the Blair Museum of Lithophanes.
Toledo is a great place to visit. And we shall return!
Luther Liggett and Teri Daugherty
First, the Ohio Lottery was going to save our schools. It didn't happen. Then Keno was going to save the state budget. It didn't happen. Now slot machines are going to save us, but it's not going to happen. Why would you target the most vulnerable people looking for the big score to solve the state's financial problems?
Here's a thought: Maybe a WPA-type of program would work. Put people to work, don't just hand out benefits. There are a lot of "shovel-ready" projects just needing some labor to make them work.
Let's let go of the quick-fix gambling proposals, and public assistance with no personal investment and labor involved, and find a solution that puts actual earned tax dollars back into our budget.
This isn't rocket science, governor.
Robert J. Zuber
I don't know what, if anything, is planned for the old Jeep property but I think it could make a wonderful amusement park site. It could have a variety of rides, a skating rink, swimming and water play areas, miniature golf, snack shops, and a rental area for reunions, rummage sales, etc.
A figure-eight rail system with numerous stops could run around the park, allowing people to ride to the area they are interested in. Parking could be all around the outer edges.
This area is close to I-75 so it should draw out-of-towners and would greatly improve the view from the highway.
Oak Alley Court
As we approach the opening of a fourth public entertainment venue downtown, (Fifth Third Field, the SeaGate Center, the new multipurpose arena, and the Valentine Theatre) I see a lot of potential frustration when it comes to parking. It isn't that there isn't parking, but where is it? I have an idea that might ease some of that frustration.
Why not ask every commercial parking facility in the downtown area to install an elevated red and green light that can flash on the front of their buildings so that it can be readily seen from down the street. Then, if the lot has an open space, the green light would be flashing and when the lot is filled the red light would be flashing and the driver would look elsewhere. If the driver happened to turn left off of Monroe Street and saw all red, as soon as possible he would get over to another street.
On July 12, my husband and I attended the Mud Hens game with our church group. We parked at Washington and Erie. A flag lady charged us $5 and we were instructed to follow a young man to a parking spot, which happened to be in the alley off Erie.
We returned to our spot at 9 p.m., only to find that our car had been towed. We had 45 minutes to find a ride to the tow lot and come up with $135 to have the car released.
I wonder why a parking person would direct us, and several other cars, to an illegal parking area. In these times, when the City of Toledo is trying to encourage people to come downtown to ball games and other activities, how can the city allow people to rip off well-meaning families?
The "Harborlands Initiative" study was conceived by the Point Place Business Association in 2005. The study seeks to determine the feasibility of rebuilding a few of the islands that existed north of the Toledo shipping channel as recently as the 1940s. The "islands" would be recreated with clean dredged material in a manner that would afford a natural, attractive appearance.
If the study proves positive, the project would create jobs and save millions of dollars, eliminate the present unmarked hazard to navigation that now exists due to the shallow water depth and eliminate the need for controversial "open lake dumping" of dredged material. It is hoped that deeper dredging between the islands will increase water flow in the Maumee Bay as well.
Best of all, the rebuilt islands would provide needed natural habitat for fish, birds, and wildlife; enhance the historic Toledo Harbor Light attraction, and provide a destination for birders, fishermen, naturalists, and recreational boaters.
The harborlands committee appreciates the continued support of Rep. Marcy Kaptur, City Councilman Lindsay Webb, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner s announcement that he will not seek re-election was a relief to some and sadness for many of his admirers. I am one of his admirers.
The picture of Carty, with sleeves rolled and riding on a lawn mower to cut grass, symbolized his deep concern for the City of Toledo.
To me, the tall grass represented the many problems he has attempted to solve. Whoever succeeds him will have to deal again with these tall grasses.
His open ways of trying to solve the problems of the city invited lively debate. But that is how democracy works. I will miss the mayor and his ways of trying his best.
CARLOS L. ESPINOSA