During a recent visit to the Detroit area, President Obama joined General Motors executives to sing the praises of the Chevrolet Volt, GM's new all-electric car (“President rallies Detroit autoworkers, touts bailout,” July 31).
But the Volt will sell for nearly $8,000 more than its nearest competitor. The batteries are huge and, like other components, are manufactured overseas. It goes only 30 miles between charges.
With current technology, the Volt will be at best a toy for the upper-middle class and rich environmentalists. Until a technologically superior battery can be developed, the electric car should remain a concept. For now, the hybrid is the car of the future.
Environmentalists, the media, and Washington seem to ignore the impact millions of electric cars will have on the power grid. Every known method of generating electricity affects the environment.
City dwellers at the turn of the last century welcomed the demise of the horse and buggy and their accompanying sanitation issues. Little did they know that pollution from the internal-combustion engine would transcend anything they had seen.
Muslims have to prove their intent
Why must U.S. citizens prove they aren't bigoted against Muslims (“Muslim clerics: Mosque not just about real estate,” Sept. 2)? Weren't we the victims of 9/11? Shouldn't Muslims be seeking our forgiveness?
Don't we have the right to be suspicious of a religion that espouses the eradication of infidels? How can our paranoia, after the most barbaric act against our country in recent history, be referred to as religious profiling? How can we know whether Islam is a religion of peace or war?
If American Muslims are concerned about their future in this country, they need to adopt the Christian principle of compassion and end their pursuit of a mosque near Ground Zero. Their insensitivity on this issue is appalling.
Muslims should try to persuade extremist elements to engage in civilized debate rather than war. They should educate non-Muslims in the true teachings of the Qur'an. Their peaceful conduct will be necessary before I will be comfortable with their presence again.
I don't believe we have a religious war on our agenda, but I hope we will forever protect our country and citizens from attack, whether waged by church or nation.
$578M school fueled no votes
How could conservatives not vote for a $26 billion teacher-funding bill (“$26B plan for public jobs signed,” Aug. 11)? ABC's World News may have shed some light on their reasoning in a story it aired last month.
In Los Angeles, the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex was completed recently at a cost of $578 million.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is facing a projected shortfall this year of $640 million. The dropout rate from the school system is 35 percent. Over the past two years, 3,000 teachers have been laid off.
Other new school construction ABC noted around the country included a $235 million campus in New York City, $185 million for a high school in Brunswick, N.J., and a $197 million high school in Newton, Mass.
To correct an analogy President Obama made recently: “D” doesn't stand for Drive; “D” stands for Depression.
Land bank is really a land grab
Why does Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz want the county to grab foreclosed properties and then sell — think give — them to a few politically connected redevelopment corporations for less than their real value (“Land bank for Lucas County is approved,” Sept. 1)?
Foreclosed properties are sold at sheriff's auctions, where any individual or group can purchase the property — after an open, competitive bid — and invest in it to sell at a profit. Where are the taxpayers involved in these transactions? Who benefited before from the auctions? Who will benefit in this new setup?
When we should encourage private inflow of cash and entrepreneurship, Democrats stifle it.
Herman C. Burmeister
Crossing guards aren't only option
How can Toledo Public Schools, facing a huge budget deficit, spend $824,000 on crossing guards it already deemed it could do without (“$824,000 discovery generates questions,”Sept. 5)? Why not use the “extra” funds to help close the deficit?
I am a parent of TPS students. Neither I nor my wife has ever been asked to help kids get to school safely. Why not ask the many parent volunteer groups to invest in their children's safety?
Library should link with colleges
The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library serves a great number of visitors and is open to all (“Libraries must remain free and open to all,” op-ed column, Aug. 29). Unfortunately, as a result of budget cuts, the library has been forced to limit its hours, which is not convenient for some.
I propose the library explore an arrangement such as the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Community Library has with St. Petersburg College. It's called the Pinellas County Public Library cooperative. They have a consortium arrangement to share use of computers, library catalogs, and materials.
The University of Toledo and Owens Community College have facilities throughout metropolitan Toledo. More people could be served if they could use those facilities. And it would be nice to have a collaborative effort with those institutions.
Elvina L. Bergmann
Aides to disabled deserve better
This is Direct Support Professionals Week.
Direct support professionals help people with limited mobility change position, ensure that they get the right medications at the right time, help them balance checkbooks, help them use communication devices, and find opportunities for them to engage in activities they love. Most important, they are friends and companions.
However, direct support professionals are paid less than many entry-level employees, including fast-food workers. People with disabilities depend on Medicaid to pay for their support needs. With no consistent increases in Medicaid rates and some decreases, it is impossible for service agencies to offer pay that helps direct support employees keep up with the cost of living.
More than 1,800 people are direct support professionals in Lucas County. They deserve our high regard for their skill and their caring. And they deserve our support in asking for Medicaid rates that allow fair wages for their work.
People with developmental disabilities and their families live better because of direct support professionals.
Sunshine Inc. of Northwest Ohio
Young gardener renews our faith
Anyone who fears for the future of our country because of the state of the younger generation needs only to read your profile of Cody Kaiser (“Never too young to garden,” Sept. 8). This 13-year old displays the sense and hard work that have made America a success for centuries.
Congratulations to Cody for his accomplishments, and kudos to his family for raising a fine young man with the same love and nurturing he demonstrates in tending his garden.