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Published: Thursday, 10/29/2009

'Public option' not dirty words

Nancy, a single, fiftyish friend of mine in Cleveland, is currently struggling with cancer. Her illness has caused her to lose both her job and her insurance. Sound familiar? Family members are pitching in to cover the astronomical costs of chemo and radiation but are rapidly losing the financial means to continue help, and her future is murky. Add great anxiety to my friend's plight - and to her family's. They are near despair.

Nancy is a poster child for the public option.

Philosophers from Aristotle and Aquinas down would say simply that the purpose of health care is health, not profit. Jesus and the leaders from all major religions root their moral teaching in some version of the golden rule, the challenge to do unto others as we would want done to us.

Any of us could be in Nancy's shoes. She could be our sister. And, in a real sense, she is. Our vocal and vigorous support of a public option so all of us can access health care would give Nancy some hope and will to push on. And it would give all of us peace of mind our scary economy is eroding.

Public option. Not dirty words, but a humane, moral, and reassuring phrase. Let's shout it out loud until it's heard by all our legislators in Washington.

Sister Patricia Schnapp

Adrian, Mich.

The character of a man is something that cannot be clearly determined when the hot glare of the spotlight is on him. It is revealed slowly but surely through the course of his life.

I first met Michael Bell in September of 1960 in the front row of Mrs. Wygle's kindergarten class at Spring Elementary School. My personal observation of my long-time friend is that he is refreshingly genuine. What you see is what you get with Mike. He is extremely open, friendly, candid, and charismatic, with an earnest concern for people and their problems.

He used to drive me crazy when we were teenagers at the mall because he would stop and hold long conversations with strangers (who were not teenage girls) just because he was interested in them. It didn't seem to matter whether they were older ladies, foreign students, or the electrician on a ladder, they all held an irresistible appeal for Mike and he willingly took the time to connect with them.

He has spent his adult life doing the same, reaching out to people, building bridges, challenging the status quo, and changing the landscape. When he first told me he was going to run for mayor, I asked him why. But I already knew the answer, because Mike cares about people, he recognizes the destructive power of divisive and egotistical leadership, and wants to provide Toledo with a better alternative.

Some people try to wrest leadership away by continually telling every one around them that they are the leader, while others find leadership bestowed on them through the people who have followed their lives, admired their character, and gotten in line behind them.

Mike Bell is one of those people; he will make a great mayor for Toledo.

Bill Stewart

Torrington Drive

What can Ohio voters possibly be thinking? Casinos in Ohio have been voted down four times, but they keep bringing it back to the voters because in desperate times, people will do desperate things. One need only look to the north to see just how much these casinos will aid in Ohio's money woes. If these casinos were to do all that is claimed, then why aren't the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan flourishing? The only people to gain from these casinos are the casino owners. That you can count on.

Paula Gillespie

Saturn Drive

One thing that has not seen much media attention recently is state Issue 1 to be voted on Nov. 3. Issue 1 would authorize Ohio to issue $200 million in bonds to compensate veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts.

The veterans would have to be Ohio residents at the start of active duty and currently be Ohio residents. The state would provide stipends of $100 for each month of service, up to a total of $1,000, and $50 for each month, up to a total of $500, for veterans who served elsewhere during the conflicts.

Supporters say the bonuses not only would show veterans that Ohio appreciates their service, but also help them transition from the military back to civilian life once their tours of duty are complete.

No arguments were submitted to the Ohio Ballot Board opposing Issue 1, and the board pointed out only that the issue would authorize Ohio government to spend more in bond money.

Many people are unaware of all of the sacrifices made by our service members while serving and the limitations they face when they are discharged - inability to get a decent job, serious medical conditions, and disabilities. Some have lost limbs.

As the drawdown of forces continues we will see more veterans in dire straits. It is amazing how a soldier can operate multimillion dollar equipment and supervise dozens of soldiers and the only job they qualify for is driving a forklift at Menards. Please vote yes on Issue 1.

Chuck Francis

Bryan

In 2009, the issue of a Toledo casino isn't the same as before. Those opposed suggest the timeworn argument centered around moral degradation. Today, we live with casinos close to us in all directions in different states and the evidence of moral decay does not hold. In fact, casinos are stronger for those economies through jobs and taxes. In Detroit, casino funds are wire transferred into the city's general fund every day. Detroit's problems more relate to the failure of the auto industry than to its vibrant casinos.

In Toledo, there is a further argument: momentum. In this decade, we are lucky enough to have built two large entertainment sites adjacent to our convention center which retain entertainment dollars and bring people to Toledo with more dollars. The casino is complementary to this reality and the deal is on the table now.

Toledo is in the throes of a great recession. We are struggling with deficits and high unemployment. We must consider action to keep and bring money to our city. Issue 3 accomplishes this now. If Issue 3 passes, the casino will be built and operational soon. In the immortal words of the great comedian Ben Stiller in the movie Starsky and Hutch, do it.

Michael J. Zychowich

Sylvania Township

Jim Provance, the writer of the story on the National Statuary Hall, must be from Fort Myers, Fla. That is where they have an annual festival honoring Thomas Edison as the inventor of the electric light bulb. That's like saying Bill Gates is the inventor of the computer. Both statements are incorrect! In 1845, the first U.S. patent was issued for an electric light bulb. Thomas Edison was not born until 1847. Besides being one of the greatest inventors of all time, Edison's contribution was to make the light bulb commercially viable, but he did not invent it.

John Collins

Coldwater, Mich.

Social issues aside, no one seems concerned about the money about to be pumped out of Ohio to out-of-state casino owners if Issue 3 passes.

Tell those “out of staters” to come live and spend their money here before they consider draining our local economies.

Scott Saum

North Michigan Street



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