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Published: 12/6/2009

Problem is bigger than dog warden

The pending retirement (resignation) of Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon cannot serve as the end of the task of cleaning up his agency. Nor can his departure cause the public to ignore the systemic corrosive presence of machine politics and nepotism within the Lucas County government structure.

The Blade's Dec. 3 article covering the killing of Princess, a 10-pound Pomeranian-beagle mix in Point Place, identifies county employees beyond Mr. Skeldon who remain on the public payroll who have to be held accountable. This includes the unnamed "deputy dog warden," who shot the tiny dog with a tranquilizer dart on its own front porch, and kennel manager Bonnie Mitchell, who administered the lethal injection to the dog, ending its brief little life. It also extends to County Administrator Mike Beazley, who was far too comfortable in revealing only fragments of the facts of the matter; county spokesman David Mann, who was similarly at ease in covering up and misleading the public, and John Borell, assistant county prosecutor, who apparently suppressed e-mail evidence and generally lent the gravity of his legal position to the task of evading the truth regarding the pointless death of Princess.

This event is now far more than a matter of the death of a family pet. This scandal has revealed serious character flaws among this group of public servants, naked violations of the public trust, and severe dereliction of duty. This incident speaks to systemic corruption in county government that cannot, and should not, be tolerated any longer. For the sake of Lucas County residents, an ethics investigation is warranted and a general housecleaning is long overdue.

And voters ought to remember the cowardly complicity of commissioners Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak in this sorry mess.

Michael Young

San Diego

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

While complaints continue to build over the amount of coverage The Blade has given to the dog pound issue, I am wondering if some of the writers to the Readers' Forum realize how much they are contributing to this coverage.

Although they are free to express their displeasure with the coverage, and while there is the accusation that some people care more about dogs than people, I would recommend that they take another look at the articles in the paper. There are numerous stories of the giving and caring nature of Toledo people and organizations.

The highly publicized efforts of 9-year-old Hannah "The Sock Girl" Turner of Perrysburg, who collected over 150,000 pairs of socks for the needy; the 1Matters event to feed and clothe those in need; "Project 200 Toys" for the children of those in the military, and the many churches, schools, individuals, organizations, and athletes who did other charity efforts are among the stories that counter the negative view of The Blade, Toledo, and the people of Toledo.

While trying to see issues from both sides of the street, you can see some partial validity in both arguments about local issues. But although there may be a shortage of people willing to adopt a dog and criticism of those in charge, there is not a shortage of those who will reach out and help those in need here in Toledo during these trying times.

Warren Woodberry

Walnut Circle Drive

When was the last time that the United States actually won a war?

It wasn't in Korea. After three years, that "police action" resulted in a truce and not a win. It wasn't in Vietnam. After seven or eight years and the loss of more than 50,000 American lives, the United States gave up. It hasn't been in Iraq, where we have been fighting for about six years, and it is very doubtful that it will be in Afghanistan after eight years of fighting. Why do we continue trying to be the world's policeman?

This country has spent untold billions of dollars and sacrificed tens of thousand of American lives over the past 60 years to fight battles in countries that realistically haven't and don't present a threat to the United States. At the same time, the countries that logically should be concerned about threats to their security only provide token assistance or no assistance. Why?

And now, President Obama is committing more troops and more dollars trying to provide security to a country that has been run by tribal governments for centuries - because that's what the people want - while at the same time giving support to a very corrupt central government.

Why?

Don Decker

Holland

In regard to the Nov. 29 editorial "Fat be not proud," while it's true that obesity is a major and growing health problem in our country, Congress and industry certainly need to share the blame.

Agricultural subsidies support the growing of far too much wheat, corn, and soybeans than we need, while our food industry turns them into the heavily advertised processed foods that line our grocery store shelves, foods that are stripped of essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health and laced with processed vegetable oils that undermine our health.

Then our health authorities have provoked fat phobia, telling us to eat less fat and cholesterol, consume more fiber, and exercise more, none of which has proved particularly effective for successful weight loss. In Good Calorie, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes traces the research showing that the carbohydrates we're advised to eat are the very foods that contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and all the associated health problems. Cutting calories by trying to eat a low-fat diet while avoiding high carb foods leaves you hungry and unhappy.

My advice: Avoid processed foods, limit carbs, overcome your fat phobia, and eat natural whole foods, including meat, butter, and eggs from pasture-raised animals - the foods our ancestors ate without being plagued by diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Let's put our unemployed back to work doing the wonderfully satisfying job of raising high-quality fruits, vegetables, grains, and pastured animals on well-managed organic farms that can be every bit as productive as our present commercial agriculture, while supporting, rather than undermining, our health, our communities, and the environment.

Kris Johnson

Williston

Editor's note: The writer is a retired dietitian.

Like many people, I lost my job recently. I am a part-time student and recipient of food stamps. As encouraged by the Department of Job and Family Services, I informed them immediately that I had lost my job. They responded by terminating my benefits.

Way to kick a guy while he's down.

I was surprised when a caseworker informed me that had I not been trying to better myself through school, not only would I still be receiving food stamps, they would have rewarded my laziness by increasing them when I lost my job.

It would seem that the systems we have in place to help people pull themselves out of poverty have become chains to keep us there.

I plan to continue my education. Even though I'm stuck eating Ramen noodles for Christmas.

Matthew Deshano

Woodmont Road

As we enter this Christmas season, let's remember: Shopping is not the reason for the season.

JAMES H. MARKIN

Sylvania



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