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Published: Monday, 1/18/2010

Height fee on pike is too much

Your Jan. 14 article "Bikes atop vehicle roof add toll to pike travel" caught my eye. I find it hard to believe that turnpike authorities are so strapped for cash that they have instituted a special fee based on the height of a vehicle.

The picture comes to mind of people driving through Ohio, holding their bikes or luggage on their laps to avoid the extra fee. Better yet, people will find an alternative route.

They nearly doubled the fees when they instituted EZ Pass, they charge a monthly fee to have an EZ Pass, and now this added fee. Whatever happened to the notion that the turnpike would be free someday?

Sue Hamen

Sylvania

"U.S. auto sales skid to worst in 30 years" was the headline on the front page of The Blade on Jan. 6. We are trying to dig ourselves out of a deep recession, and it's time for The Blade to be part of the solution.

How about reporting positive news on the front page? Overall auto sales in December increased about two times more than industry analysts expected. Ford sales in December increased 33 percent over the same period in 2008.

American-made automobiles have surpassed the imports for quality and reliability. We need news that builds our faith in the U.S. economy.

The automotive crisis reaches beyond the industry and affects local nonautomotive industries also. Your job may soon depend on the recovery.

Paul Larkins

Temperance

Jack Kelly's Jan. 9 column, "Lip service on terrorism," predictably attempts to blame the Nigerian underwear bomber on President Obama. The facts, however, support the idea that the last Republican president is largely responsible for terrorism.

Former President George W. Bush gave sanctuary to terrorists in Pakistan. By foolishly attacking an anti-terrorist Muslim country, Iraq, he gave terrorists the rationale they need to recruit potential terrorists from Nigeria to Texas. The Iraq war gave terrorists practice in making the roadside bombs and the suicide bomber strategies that have been imported to Afghanistan.

According to congressional testimony, the then-newly elected Mr. Bush ignored the prior administration's warnings about al-Qaeda before Sept. 11, 2001. He offended our allies and potential allies by his crusading arrogance, and he failed in the war of public relations. The world's Muslims have no idea that many more Muslims have died because of al-Qaeda than because of the West.

David L. Nelson

Broadway

The declaration by President Obama about fixing a flawed airline-security system (The Blade, "Obama probes security after plane bombing try, Jan. 2) is absolute malarkey.

This supposedly flawed system has done a remarkable job of protecting the United States since 2001. It is not the system, it is a flawed President and a flawed administration. I cannot wait until real leadership returns to run our country and protect its citizens.

Edwin J. Nagle III

Caroline Avenue

When you vote for a candidate, don't you expect some loyalty? What Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken did in leasing a foreign-brand car was reprehensible.

Pete Gerken is a Jeep-United Auto Workers retiree. He was appointed co-director of the UAW training facility while serving on Toledo City Council. He was elected county commissioner because of his seemingly strong ties to the union, to get more jobs to this area. As a Jeep-UAW retiree myself, I expect nothing less from him.

Even if he has returned the Acura, his actions speak louder than his apology. Don't we expect all our elected officials to support our local businesses? Isn't this Toledo, Ohio - proud home of the Jeep?

Georgetta Tarsha

Cheltenham Road

The Blade's Jan. 8 editorial "Advanced nurses qualify" correctly identified some of the issues blocking advanced-practice nurses (nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists), who have a high level of education and skills, from using their specialized clinical experience and abilities to provide patient care in accordance with regulatory and practice standards.

State Sen. Sue Morano (D., Lorain) and others who have successfully pushed for legislation allowing advanced-practice nurses to bring their prescriptive authority to Ohio when relocating have cleared one hurdle.

Modification of current Ohio regulations to allow advanced-practice nurses to prescribe Schedule II medications is still essential for them to provide compassionate care for people with specialized health-care issues.

Ann Baker

Certified nurse practitioner

Maumee

Man you ain't seen nothing yet.

As The Blade's Jan. 10 editorial "Hubble's latest" notes, the Hubble telescope and Kepler mission have brought us 600 million to 900 million years closer to the Big Bang.

It reminds me of Darwin's theory of evolution and the concept of "intelligent design."

I hope man can "evolve" and by his "intelligent design" stretch the imagination beyond the dust and noise of the Big Bang, to see who caused the Big Bang, the real creator of the universe.

That's where the beauty and fascination of the universe start.

Tasadduq Hussain

Maumee

While I think Mayor Mike Bell will do a lot of good for Toledo, he should have waited before asking the police and firefighter unions for givebacks. The first thing he needs to do is go through the budget with a fine-toothed comb and look for any efficiencies and savings.

Second, the city should go after any unpaid taxes, get them collected within three months, and apply those funds to the budget.

Third, have a fire sale of city properties. Selling those properties will raise money that can be applied to the budget.

Finally, put all the financial reports on paper and give them to whoever asks to see them, including unions.

Then ask the unions for concessions, and if the city doesn't get what it needs to balance the budget, the mayor should declare bankruptcy to void contracts with all employees and start fresh.

The worst thing the mayor can do is go to the voters to ask for a tax hike. All that will do is put more of a burden on the unemployed and underemployed and force them into foreclosures and bankruptcies.

Tim Startzman

Maumee

Now that The Blade has provided the cost of Ohio public employee pensions, perhaps it will provide its readers with a similar narrative of the taxpayers' expense for providing the U.S. Congress with its vast range of pension and health-care benefits.

Larry Sheridan

Waterville



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