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Published: Monday, 10/11/2010

Strategic teaming vital to area

The City of Toledo has an exciting opportunity to help current businesses and further collaborative economic development, through the award of a $200,000 contract to the Lucas County Improvement Corp. to provide business outreach and assistance to Toledo firms (“Councilman wants quiz on efforts to keep factories in Toledo open,” Oct. 6).

Existing businesses create about 80 percent of the jobs in a community, yet they are frequently overlooked by economic development programs. As businesses confront the most difficult times since the Great Depression, it is more important than ever to reach out to them and find innovative ways to help them survive and prosper.

Just two months ago, the LCIC — in partnership with volunteers from the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce's Energizing People, Inspiring Change program and First Energy — launched a business outreach and assistance program.

The goal of the program is to strengthen our local economy by calling on major employers and high-growth firms to identify the challenges and opportunities facing those companies, and then to connect the enterprises to the most appropriate economic development resources.

Resources are most often provided by a wide range of partners, such as the State of Ohio, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Toledo Chamber's small business development center, Regional Growth Partnership, City of Toledo, University of Toledo, Owens Community College, and Lucas County Workforce Development Agency.

To date, the LCIC and its partners have called on more than 70 firms and plan on calling on 600 firms over the next 12 months.

This program is just one manifestation of the collaborative approach to economic development that exists in Lucas County and across the region. Organizational silos and individualism are being replaced by an integrated economic development system.

Each economic development organization clearly understands its key roles and carries out its core functions as part of a larger team.

Having the city and LCIC engage in separate business outreach initiatives would frustrate the entire economic development system that we are so diligently creating.

Furthermore, it would send a signal that the city is not serious about collaborating on economic development.

Toledo, Lucas County, and the broader region are entering a new era where organizations and institutions align themselves to work strategically and collaboratively to achieve our vast potential.

In awarding a contract to the LCIC, the City of Toledo will provide valuable funding and send a powerful message in favor of strategic collaboration.

Keith Burwell

President

Toledo Community Foundation

Madison Avenue

Reject foreign solar firms

Your Oct. 6 article “Solar firms win $1.7M from state” proudly trumpeted how the State of Ohio has awarded local solar manufacturing plants a large sum of money to train workers in solar energy.

I was encouraged by this news, until I read that the largest solar array in Ohio would soon be built in southern Ohio by two solar companies from Spain.

One might think that the $1.7 million used to train workers, combined with the experienced work forces of First Solar and Xunlight, would guide this contract. But that would only make common sense.

Richard Hasbrook

Perrysburg

Bad to dismiss high-speed rail

I applaud Marilou Johanek for her Oct. 7 op-ed column, “Kasich shouldn't block high-speed rail tracks.” It alerts readers to the GOP's anti-rail agenda, supported by Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich.

Ohio is geographically poised to be center of a new age of rail transportation if we are open to it. Allowing this opportunity to slip away would be criminal.

The next chance for rail may not come again in time for our children to travel safely, meet new friends, or be part of a self-sufficient nation able to harness transportation free of the inevitable rise of oil prices.

Craig Fisher

Woodridge Drive

Third-party pols are important too

I was impressed with Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ken Matesz's address at a forum at the Toledo Chamber of Commerce. If elected, he would seek to return government to constitutional conformity and the freedom it engenders.

Why can't we have a fair election with all candidates included in the debates?

If you read about Mr. Matesz, you will understand why I will vote for him.

Carol Newbury

Lyons, Ohio

Yoga has no place in Christianity

Practicing yoga can lead Christians to spiritual confusion (“Church leader: Yoga not a Christian path,” Oct. 8). Just because we have religious freedom, that does not mean that Christians should ignore being cautious.

Various churches and Christians have shown consistent ignorance in accepting the “anything goes” mentality.

Practicing yoga and other forms of meditative discipline is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Paul U. Aduba

Pastor Anglican Church of the Pentecost

Willowvale Drive

Truth about Iott is not pretty

Former Food Town employees gathered to tell voters our stories about the demise of the Food Town grocery store chain (“Ex-workers of Food Town criticize Iott,” Oct. 4).

Many told about the effects of the store closing on the elderly and retirees who do not have transportation to other grocery stores, about Wally Iott's commitment to and love of the business, and about how Rich Iott wanted the quickest way out of the business.

Rich Iott will never make it as a congressman. Let Marcy Kaptur continue to do what she does best: take care of her constituents, retirees, and veterans.

Ron Weckerlin

Harrow Road

Seniors will wait for the DVD

I was dismayed to read about the discontinuing of senior citizen discounts at Rave cinemas (“Ticket discounts to be suspended by theater chain,” Oct. 7).

This was a wonderful bonus for us, as we loved to meet our friends on Wednesdays for a good film. With movie tickets so expensive these days, our only alternative will be to wait and get the movies on Netflix.

Nancy G. Kantner

Secor Road

Movies on DVD are just as good

I am one of the many senior citizens angry with Rave cinemas. They promised changes that would bring improvements for moviegoers, but they closed a beautiful building in Maumee, ended special Tuesday events, and canceled senior citizens' discounts on Wednesdays.

The prices at the concession stands are beyond ridiculous. Word is that ticket prices will increase.

I will not go to Rave theaters again, and other seniors I know feel the same way.

Instead, we will watch movies when they come out on DVD.

Nick Scott

Lewis Avenue



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