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Published: Thursday, 10/22/2009

Local link to story on John Brown

I read with great interest your recent articles about John Brown and the events at Harpers Ferry. I would like to offer a local connection to those events. My great-great grandfather, Terrence Byrne, was a plantation owner and slave owner living near Harpers Ferry. He was the first taken of the local men held hostage by John Brown at the armory. He survived and testified at Brown's trial.

His son, Robert M. Byrne, Sr., moved to Toledo in 1887 working for Libbey Glass and the Pennsylvania Railroad before becoming superintendent of the old workhouse on Duck Island. He later supervised the transfer of the workhouse to Whitehouse. He served as a state representative in 1933 and 1934 and was long active in the Democratic Party. Later in life he had a cane made from a cedar he cut from John Brown's farm in Maryland. I still have that cane. He died shortly after I was born in 1952.

While teaching at Byrnedale Junior High several years ago, my wife researched our family connection to the John Brown story for her social studies class and determined that Byrne Road was named for my great grandfather.

James Byrne

104th Street

Many people who will be voting on state Issue 2 do not know the following.

The Ohio Senate voted to allow Issue 2 to be put on the November ballot with specific language to grant to the board "exclusive authority to establish standards governing the care and well-being of livestock in this state." The term "exclusive" was necessary so that no competing authority could overrule the board's authority.

When the issue went to the House, it was changed. The word "exclusive" was stricken so that it now allows for other authorities, such as other constitutional amendments, to overrule the standards board. The Human Society of the United States can pass a ballot initiative that would overrule Issue 2, and they intend to do so. Wayne Pacelle, of the HSUS has stated that his group will continue with plans to place an issue to stop certain farming practices on next year's ballot whether Issue 2 passes or fails.

Passage of Issue 2 will not stop HSUS in its efforts to dictate to farmers and animal owners its version of proper animal-care methods. There is no purpose for this unelected board if it no longer has "exclusive authority." There are already many laws on the books that farmers, as well as all business owners, must comply with. Another board for the industry to be accountable to would add to costs, duplication, and red tape. Rights and freedoms will be lost, additional costs will be imposed on the industry, and nothing will be gained.

Vote no on Issue 2, as it will not benefit Ohio and it will increase costs for everyone.

Deborah M. Wilson

Middlefield, Ohio

Before you have that piece of meat, take some time to find out where that steak, chicken,or pork came from.

Raised in inhumane conditions, shot full of antibiotics and hormones.

Diseased and downer animals end up at the slaughterhouse and E coli ends up in hamburgers.

No meat for me. Vote no on Issue 2.

Al Nowak

Fremont

Issue 2 will elevate livestock animal care into our state Constitution. Why? The answer is clearly to benefit corporate agricultural interests, such as industrial animal factories and their supporters. This propaganda is being carefully spoon-fed to the voters as a food safety promotion and a protection for families and farms. It is being financed to the tune of $7 million by the Farm Bureau.

Issue 2 will create an appointed board to oversee agriculture. Ohio already has agencies in place for these duties. I've worked with government-appointed boards. They are big-business dominated. This will be no exception.

Under this amendment's vague language, decisions would be final. There is no room for input or appeal. Our voices would be effectively shut down, letting an industry regulate itself unchecked. Does this sound like democracy?This in itself should send up red flags for the average citizen.

Most of our legislators and Gov. Ted Strickland are behind Issue 2. Do they just not care about Ohioans' rights, or are they influenced too heavilyby certain campaign donations?

Issue 2will create anunnecessary level of unfunded government. Who is going to pay the expenses of this board? We are cutting hours and fundsat every level of government now,even local libraries.

Issue 2 is wrong for Ohio. There should be no safe haven for any corporate special interest embedded in our constitution.

Ohioans should reject Issue 2 and keep integrity in our state government.

Teri Reinhart

Fostoria

Sen. Sherrod Brown must be applauded for taking a higher moral ground in vehemently opposing state Issue 3 on casinos. He is right in saying that there are other, more humane and smart, ways of meeting Ohio's economic challenges.

It appears that there is no dearth of cash in the pockets or the eloquence in the tongues of the proponents of casinos. The owner of Cleveland Cavaliers calls the casino issue a "slam dunk." Wow, when did we hear that term before? And we are yet to get out of that black hole of Baghdad. That is one classic example of what happens when you gamble, politically or otherwise.

Shame on those appearing in the TV ads as mouthpieces of this vice promoted by some very selfish interest groups. Shame also on University of Cincinnati's Economics Center for creating a theoretical and deceptive job number.

One may be misguided by the endorsements popping up for this evil issue from quarters that in bygone days exemplified morality and model citizenship: city councils and firefighter and police unions, to name a few. Given the current budgetary woes, however, it is not far-fetched to imagine if these folks were not arm-twisted and threatened with more pink slips otherwise.

Phony ads must not blind and pull the hardworking Ohioans into the abyss of dismal loss of love, peace, and harmony in their homes and community.

Simply put, gambling epitomizes a plethora of WMDs: weapons of money, moral and maxim destruction. People of faith and conscience must stand up and reject Issue 3 vociferously on Election Day.

Abdul-Majeed Azad

Perrysburg

I see that our trusted government is spending $79 million of taxpayers money to "shoot the moon" to obtain information regarding water there.

We are currently waging two wars, our economy is struggling, unemployment is nearing double digits, many of our cities and states are broke, health-care reform is unresolved, and countless other concerns are being neglected. And we're checking out water on the moon by firing rockets into its surface? What are they thinking?

Fred Cohen

Sylvania

The casino matho doesn't add up. All those new jobs and all that money coming into the state of Ohio. Doesn't that sound wonderful? Can't we see that all that money is from people of the state of Ohio? The people behind the adverstising will be taking a large share of that Ohio money out of hte state. Do the math.

Marilyn Simpson

Waterville



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