The Blade's Jan. 8 editorial "UAW Commissioner" was predictable. Unlike Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken, who returned his wife's nonunion automobile, you failed to look at the big picture. Even in a down economy, is it really difficult to defend workers' rights, health and safety, and a fair day's work for a fair day's pay? Talk to the employees who assembled that Acura. Corporate greed is still the flavor of the day.
Gary M. Cooper
The United Auto Workers has provided Mr. Gerken with a fair wage and benefits, and now a pension, for the past 30 years. For him to have leased a nonunion-made vehicle was a slap in the face to the UAW.
I have attended numerous UAW events where Mr. Gerken asked for our support and promised his loyalty to the UAW. That loyalty was broken.
He seems to think that by returning his Japanese vehicle he has made everything OK. Nothing could be further from the truth. When do we vote?
Your editorial is correct about Pete Gerken having the right to buy any kind of car he wishes. The people of our community have the right to vote for any politician they want, too. I personally would vote for anyone other than Pete Gerken. Apology not accepted.
During his employment at Jeep, Pete Gerken ran the Training Center, which was a joint venture between the union and company. Foreign vehicles were not allowed in the Training Center lot and the Chrysler PT Cruiser I drove - I am a retired Jeep worker - was considered foreign-built.
Mr. Gerken would not relax this rule, going so far as to ticket offenders and threaten to tow foreign vehicles, which included Dodge Rams, all while teaching classes on tables that were produced in China.
I did not attend classes at the center. Funny how things have a way of coming full circle. The UAW was very good to Mr. Gerken. He owes his loyalty.
The Blade conforms to a pervasive, maligning, yet completely incorrect view of government employees. The popular view is that government is bad and cannot do anything right, while the private sector can always do everything better and more cost effectively.
I have been a public and private-sector employee and have seen mind-boggling inefficiency in the private sector. Remember the failures of Enron, AIG, and others that proved ruinous to many Americans? Their failures were the result of lack of government oversight and industry deregulation.
While it is necessary to spend taxpayer funds effectively, and vigorous oversight of government functions should continue, it is also important to realize that there is a vital role for government. It is the bedrock upon which our nation stands. Government workers are not our enemies but are our neighbors, relatives, friends, and taxpayers called to serve their fellow citizens.
I am happy to see that Lucas County is finally taking a look at the dog warden. However, officials still can look at a "pit bull," a Rottweiler, or any other "bully" breed and immediately consider euthanasia.
I work with animals and I have met many more mean Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas than pit bulls. It is ridiculous that the dog warden can kill an animal because of its breed, not its personality. That is a way out of taking care of a dog. It gives the warden an excuse to keep down the number of animals that have to be adopted. If the warden is concerned about dogs being used for fighting, do background checks. Sure, it's cheap to euthanize bully breeds, but it isn't right.
The dismissal of charges against Walter Zimbeck demonstratescourage and reason in the face of press hoopla and a grandstanding, out-of-control prosecutorial system ("Judge dismisses charges in Swanton 'cold case'," Jan. 12). This is an affirmation of a system designed to produce justicewithout regard to the worst instincts ofsomecitizens and unfortunately, at least in Toledo,a police department and legal system that are much toointertwined.
Lake Erie is supposed to be sediment-laden. People want an aesthetically pleasing lake with clear water. What is necessary to have a healthy lake is the opposite of what people want.
Sediment needs to enter Lake Erie, settle to the bottom, and undergo the natural decomposition process. That provides a slow but steady release of phosphorus to aquatic plants. Those plants provide food and refuge for fingerlings.
Thanks to the invasive zebra mussel, the lake is crystal clear and everyone is happy. The other invasive specie, the gobi, is happy to have a clear lake too, because there is no place for fingerlings to hide and little food for them to eat.
Which to choose: a healthy lake or a clear lake?
I have always voted against casinos in Ohio. My daughter-in-law, who lives in Oklahoma, tells me that casinos have brought her town more poverty, divorce, crime, and drug addicts. I hope Toledo won't regret bringing casinos here.
The writer of the Jan. 14 letter "Also keep score of human conditions" called outa number of concerns that she would like The Blade to publish alongside the list of dogs euthanized.
If The Blade cared so much about life, it would be outraged about the number of abortions performed in the area. Aren't unborn children worth at least as much attention as dogs?
The Jan. 11 letter "Facts, not attacks, influence debate" takes on Ann McFeatt-
ers' Dec. 29 column, "2009 filled with interesting people, moments." I saw no facts in the letter and I would not have characterized the GOP as the party of "no," but as the party of "me only."
Bri Mullinger says she is not a heroine (“Tragedy on the tracks,” Jan. 10). But to me, she is.
She is claiming responsibility for her actions. How refreshing, when lawsuits are filed frivolously, to have someone step up and own a mistake. What an example. What a hero. God bless you, Bri, and thank you.