Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Letters to the Editor

Skeldon's brutality hurts city

On the average work day, Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon presides over the death of one dog every single hour. It looks like his day consists of: 1) punch in, 2) kill four pets, 3) go to lunch, 4) kill four pets, 5) punch out.

This is his schedule day after day, until he can retire and collect a taxpayer-funded retirement based on a $70,000 taxpayer-funded annual salary.

In theory, taxpayer-funded officeholders are answerable to the public that pays their salary. But that theory appears to have lost traction when it is applied to the office of dog warden. In spite of public outcry and heart-wrenching testimony from pet owners in mourning, Mr. Skeldon has shown no sign that he has any intent to change his procedures, which result in certain death for nearly 8 out of 10 dogs that have the misfortune to cross his path.

It gets worse. This macabre theater has made national news just when Toledo desperately needs to project a progressive and contemporary face to the nation. Toledo has to compete every day with other towns to attract investment. But the arrogant and intellectually bankrupt actions of Warden Skeldon cast a shadow over Toledo.

News of his brutality has a direct impact on those who decide where to build a plant, warehouse, or office because corporations know they can't attract good employees to a city that comes across as brutal, backward, and medieval. Mr. Skeldon's cruel practices cripple Toledo's efforts at economic recovery - corpse by corpse - every hour, every day.

A 16th-century dog warden simply should not be retained in the 21st century. It is time for Tom Skeldon to go.

Michael J. Young

San Diego

Editor's note: The writer is a former Toledo city planner.

We thank Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon and his staff for putting animals' best interests first by not haphazardly adopting out dogs just to make the pound's euthanasia statistics look better.

No one wants to end the need for euthanasia more than the brave people who hold the syringe, but pushing dogs out the door like clearance merchandise or releasing vulnerable breeds into a world that holds only suffering and death for so many of them isn't the way to do that. Until the number of homeless dogs is reduced through spaying and neutering, euthanasia will stay a heartbreaking necessity.

Those upset about the number of dogs euthanized for lack of homes should direct their anger at those who are directly responsible: breeders, pet stores, and people who don't spay or neuter their animals. Animal care and control professionals should be supported in their daily fight to do the right thing for animals and for the important work they do to protect animals and the community.

Jennifer Brown

Animal Sheltering Adviser

People for the Ethical

Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

I would like to thank Rep. Mark Schauer for his vote to reform health care and change the business-as-usual mentality of Washington. If our representatives cast their vote according to campaign contributions, we, the people, need to vote them out. If we are to improve our economy we first have to address our health-care costs because 40 percent of all bankruptcies are because of illness.

With 30 years experience in health care, I witness the game that is played by third- party payors as they lobby to keep everything status quo to line the pockets of their investors while denying care to patients.

Virginia Wernet

Pittsford, Mich.

I have a grave concern over backyard burning that is allowed in Michigan. One recent weekend, the smoke was so suffocating that I kept myself and my family indoors. The smoke was so thick that you could see the white cloud layering over the cities between Monroe to the north and Toledo to the south.

Besides the greenhouse effect and global warming, the smoke is dangerous to our children and families, friends, and neighbors. It increases the risk of cancer and pulmonary diseases. I, and many others, couldn't enjoy the beautiful, warm weather we had. How can we allow backyard burning to continue with all its detrimental effects? It would be much safer to take the leaves and give them to farmers to use as mulch.

Marcus Ma, MD


What is it going to take? How many Americans must die before, as a nation, we remove our rose-colored glasses? We have witnessed the death of thousands of innocent Americans at the hands of radical Muslims, with Fort Hood the latest. Now, as citizens, we are being told to "not jump to conclusions" regarding the killer and his motives. His motives were obvious: Kill as many infidels as possible.

Many at Fort Hood allegedly knew of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's anti-U.S. views, yet they kept quiet so as to not be guilty of "discrimination." All over the planet, people who hate America and its citizens are rubbing our noses in our open and free society and our personal freedoms. They recognize the ultimate weakness of our suffocating political correctness, and are using this weakness to kill Americans by the thousands.

This is tough to watch.

Ron Krueger

Liberty Center

Right now is a very difficult time for anyone who is trying to make it in this world. The economy looks as if it is starting to improve, but there is a long way to go. However, the people who are most important in bettering this situation are being taken advantage of. I am talking about college students.

Tuition costs have skyrocketed over the past four years that I have been a college student. I pay almost $2,000 more a semester than I did my freshman year, and I go to one of the most inexpensive schools in Michigan, Grand Valley State.

Tuition is not the only thing that is going up on college campuses. The salary of university presidents has skyrocketed, even during these tough economic times. The president at Grand Valley recently received a $20,000 per year raise, and while he still may be paid considerably less than many presidents in the state, it still insults me as a student.

The president of Grand Valley State makes $225,000 a year, and the president of the University of Toledo makes $392,000 per year.

Many of us are paying our own way through school, piling up thousands of dollars in debt in the process. Parents who were helping their children have to now tell them they can no longer afford to.

It is time that students across the nation realize that each time they see an increase on their tuition bill, some of that money is going to the president of the university while the students struggle to get by.

Ryan Pagel

Petersburg, Mich.

Now that the House of Representatives has voted for government-run health care, we can all rest easy. Just think about the way the city of Toledo is running the garbage pickup. I can see it now: doctor’s visits will only be done on red and yellow days; kids will only be seen on purple days; seniors will have blue days, surgeries will be performed on pink days, and look out for holidays; that will mess the whole system up.

Sounds easy enough to me. I just hope and pray I never get sick.

James Francis


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