The Blade missed a critical option in looking at the future of nuclear energy without the Yucca Mountain waste repository: recycling (“Out of nuclear options,” editorial, Feb. 10).
With nuclear fuel reprocessing we can recover the remaining usable fuel, of which there is a high percentage, separate the long-lived radioactive waste materials, and package the remainder in safe and efficient forms. This is done in France, which serves several other countries' nuclear programs, and in Japan.
An advantage of recycling, researched by the U.S. Department of Energy, is that long-lived radioactive materials also can be consumed in nuclear reactors, requiring any waste storage facility to hold the shorter-lived materials. That makes disposal much simpler.
We recycle everything now. The biggest payoff may be in recycling nuclear fuel. We cannot let our political uncertainty slow the building of new nuclear power plants.
We need the energy they can generate and to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Oak Harbor, Ohio
Recent articles show that radiation therapy can be dangerous if proper procedures are not followed (“Complexity opens way to radiation ills,” Jan. 24). I have been in practice for more than 23 years and have seen errors similar to, but not as severe as, those described in the articles. My colleagues and I have instituted processes to prevent them.
Hickman Cancer Center at Flower Hospital is certified by the American College of Radiology. Our delivery of complex treatments is reviewed by two independent research agencies that certify our quality of treatment meets national standards. We are doubly certified because we treat adults and children.
Four full-time physicists and six dosimetrists plan and monitor radiation treatments. Every treatment plan is reviewed in advance by a physician, a dosimetrist, and a physicist. Every calculation from the planning computer is double-checked by an independent program.
Plans are verified on dummy patients before they are used on people. Before treatment, every patient undergoes a dry run. This entails a review of images and a checklist as quality control measures.
The staff attends bimonthly quality improvement meetings to review and develop processes to ensure patient safety. We review the relatively rare complications in our patients to prevent them in the future.
I believe the same or nearly the same processes are in place at all cancer centers in the Toledo area.
I am sharing them so patients will not avoid potentially life-saving treatment with radiation therapy, which remains an effective way to treat many types of cancer.
Steven J. Rubin, M.D.
Toledo Radiation Oncology
In response to the Feb. 12 letter (“Protect welfare of livestock”), anyone who doesn't like the way farmers do things should buy a dozen chickens, a couple of hogs, and two cows. You can feed and watch over them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
I have been down that road and I think farmers are doing a good job. I'm proud of them.
Do you have food to eat?
Keith H. Willford
Toledo City Council has passed a resolution urging the General Assembly to modify two bills that will modernize telecommunications laws in Ohio.
Councilman George Sarantou gave members information just before the meeting, then asked council to pass the resolution on an emergency basis. No testimony was heard. It is important that Toledoans hear the other side of this issue.
This legislation reforms and modernizes Ohio's telecom laws, which have failed to keep pace with industry changes in the past decade. It includes a rate cap for the only sector of the industry, traditional wire-line telephones, that remains rate-regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
The number of landlines in Ohio is less than half what it was 10 years ago. There are unprecedented developments in the telecom marketplace, and more providers, services, and choices for consumers than ever before.
AT&T has lost 2 million lines in the past decade. Wire-line competitors serve more than 1 million access lines. There are more than 9 million wireless telephone subscribers in Ohio — that is, there are twice as many wireless phones as landline phones.
Passage of this legislation will help create or retain telecom jobs, attract expanded investment in the industry, and bring new and better services to the state.
Communications Workers of America
How great it is to be an American and have freedom of choice. While some chose to spend $549 to hear Sarah Palin (“Palin is a catalyst for real change,” Feb. 12), others spend that and more to watch different events. It's a freedom we still have and should enjoy every moment.
The late John Paryski (“Coffeehouse memorial held for Westgate's ‘Walking John,' ” Feb. 12) made a difference in his community with his friendliness and personal connections.
It is rare for a person with a history of serious mental illness to experience such social inclusion.
That speaks volumes about John, about our community, about the businesses such as Biggby's and Barney's where he was always welcome, and about the support systems he had.
I remember how Biggby's “question of the day” board was replaced with birthday wishes for John last year.
In many respects, John's life is a model of how we should include all people with mental illness in the community. I will miss him.
Marilou Johanek's Feb. 4 op-ed column (“Sense of superiority drove church to help Haitian children”) sounded as if she knew the minds and hearts of the people trying to rescue Haitian children from what appeared to be a helpless, hopeless situation.
People who sacrificed their time and lives to go to Haiti under dangerous conditions had only the right motive. It is wrong for them to be held in prison there. The United States should be doing all it can to bring them home.
We must reform our health-care system so that it works for everyone. The status quo is not an option. Runaway health-care costs are bankrupting our families, businesses, and country.
The right heath-care legislation will give families peace of mind if it guarantees that their insurance will not be taken away if they become ill. It must also cover children with special health-care needs and help the elderly who are struggling to pay for their medications by shrinking the Medicare “doughnut hole.”
The legislation must provide tax credits to small business owners to help them insure their employees. Small businesses are the key to economic growth and recovery, and rising health-care costs hamper entrepreneurial efforts.
We can get it done by working as a team to improve living standards for all in Ohio in these trying times.