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Published: Thursday, 3/18/2010

A pity to pull plug on building

It's a shame and a tragedy that the Toledo Plan Commission has decreed that the United Way building can be razed ("United Way demolition OK'd," March 12).

Its beauty and design are magnificent. You cannot help but wonder whether there could have been another course. If the agency or building inspectors had explored ways to improve the structure over the years, this needn't have happened.

If the community had known sooner, there could have been fund-raising efforts. Would it have been possible for the United Way to convert some of the space into living quarters for people they have dedicated themselves to helping?

Like a Rembrandt left out in the rain, there is nothing to do now but finish the building off. The fuse is already lit on the dynamite. For those who would cry, I join you.

Amy Adler

Pool Street

A poor economy poses challenges. It has a worse impact on Toledoans who are in dire need.

For years, the Cherry Street Mission has provided food, shelter, and clothing to those in desperate and immediate need, while helping them work their way out of the poverty cycle. Unfortunately, charitable giving to the mission is so far down this year that even its most basic services are affected.

While many of us have to work harder to live within our means during these difficult times, we can't neglect others who are worse off. I have worked with the women aided by the mission and have seen firsthand how the services they receive help them survive and return to a productive role in society.

Please do your best to support long-standing Toledo-based charities. This area has always pulled together to protect its own. While we live in challenging times, now should be no different.

Diane Harris

Holland

America is on the verge of passing or rejectinga health-care bill,which would force all but the poorest to pay for health insurance. The Internal Revenue Service will penalize people who don't comply.

Massachusetts already forces residents to buy health insurance and watches state tax returns to see who is complying. Those who don't are slapped with tax penalties andfines.Massachusettsresidentsshowed theirdislike ofthis by voting for Republican Scott Brown to take Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.

The way the health-care bill isbeing rammed through Congressproves lawmakers are not taking time to get it right.

Health care isn't reallyabout making people healthier. Shouldn't any new bill be designed to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce medical costs?

Ernest Ryan

Temperance

The Republicans want a do-over on the health-care debate. What have they been doing for the past 12 months?

They've spent part of the last year on a sophomoriccampaign questioning President Obama's citizenship, instilling fear of "death panels" that don't exist, and preying on people's ignorance by characterizing government-run health care as socialism (isn't that Medicare?).

Their strategy is better suited to a junior high school student council campaign than to the biggest domestic issueof our generation. Theyhave chosennot to participate sincerely in the debate, they're about to be left behind, and they want to start over.

Over the past 10 years, many of their actions have been dishonest, dishonorable, and frankly, un-American. That they would have any credibility remaining is amazing. Time after time, the Republicans have shown that they are incapable of serious, intelligent, and responsible leadership.

David Gerbich

Gibsonburg, Ohio

Regarding the woman who is waiting for Medicaid's resolution of her back problems ("Suit alleges excessive delays of health care," March 15): If she thinks waiting 18 months for a decision on medical care is a long time, wait until the proposed health-care bill is shoved through Congress without funding.

If Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are bankrupt, and Congress is attempting to add another program that will go bankrupt, waiting 18 months will be considered quick service. Just wait and see.

Walt Breier

Perrysburg

Thanks to the atheist activists for helping me make up my mind about the unsightly crosses on the sides of roads marking memorials to people who died in auto accidents ("Atheist groups wants crosses axed," March 14).

They think it is a violation of the Constitution to put up "religious signs" on public property.

Nothing in the First Amendment says it is your right not to see religion. The people who want to put a religious sign up have every right to.

If someone doesn't want to see these signs of religion, he or she can stay in his or her cave - excuse me, I mean house.

Tom Hage

Pawnee Road

After reading the article about atheists' objections to road crosses, I asked, What would Jesus do? He responded: "Pray for these atheists." So I did.

Renee Christen

Whitehouse

What's wrong with five young men honoring a friend? That's a positive response to a tragic accident.

Does public property belong only to atheists? Is it not mine also? When you place a sign in the right of way, are we all usurpers or just Christians?

The memorial is a fitting remembrance. The First Amendment requires freedom of religion, not from religion. This right extends to your belief, but does not extend to vandalism.

Embrace these young men for sharing their love for their friend.

Bob Green

McClure, Ohio

When someone puts a cross on a roadside, that is not establishing religion. Removing the crosses prohibits the free exercise of religion. The crosses are not a distraction to driving, especially when people talk on cell phones and text while driving.

Atheists have a right not to practice a religion. They don't have the right to prohibit others from practicing theirs.

Don Feller

Maumee

The young men paid tribute to a friend at the place where he died. A cross is part of American Judeo-Christian tradition. We still have freedom of speech. If a Buddhist wanted to put an item on a roadside as a remembrance, he should be allowed to.

The American Civil Liberties Union undermines rights to expression. Americans need to stand up and tell the ACLU to stop trampling on free expression.

Donna Kirk

Greenview Drive

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.) and fellow Republicans should focus on more important issues than putting Ronald Reagan's image on the $50 bill. Failure to do so could lead to China President Hu Jintao's picture on it.

Joel Weinberg

Maumee



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