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Published: Saturday, 12/4/2010

Paved trail opens park to disabled

Metroparks of the Toledo Area has been a friend of the Ability Center of Greater Toledo and of people with disabilities for nearly three decades. The paving of a single trail at Swan Creek Preserve Metropark is a fine example of a community entity that is aware of the population it serves and works to ensure welcoming access to its programs and spaces for all of that population ("Paving of park trail draws mixed reaction, " Dec. 1).

This paved-trail effort is as much about providing options as it is about maintenance and safety. As a wheelchair user for 30 years, I know that many with disabilities are not keen on paving the wilderness. We too go to parks to escape the hustle and bustle of a concrete world.

Having the option of a paved trail is wonderful for those lazy days, but should we want to go off-road, the Metroparks support us with their nationally recognized Park Partners program, which pairs trained volunteers with people who need assistance negotiating the wilder terrain of many park trails.

The Ability Center applauds the Metroparks for their effort to accommodate not just residents with mobility issues, but also those pushing strollers, riding bikes, or just out for an easy walk.

Dan Wilkins

Director

Public Relations and Community Partnerships

Ability Center

of Greater Toledo

Sylvania

START reduces the nuclear threat

Charles Krauthammer's Nov. 28 op-ed column, "New START is 90 percent useless," is stunning in its ignorance of arms control treaties.

These treaties are more than mere symbols, as he suggests. Over the past 25 years, they have eliminated all intermediate-range nuclear weapons and reduced the total number of strategic nuclear weapons held by Russia and the United States from nearly 25,000 to fewer than 5,000.

President Obama's dream of a world free of nuclear weapons is the same dream that Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy had. It is our obligation, along with all other nuclear powers, as signers of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Of course, we will keep nuclear weapons as long as others do and maintain verification techniques to ensure no surprises.

According to our military, New START is very relevant. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last month: "The entire uniformed leadership of the American military believe that this treaty is in our national security interest."

Mr. Krauthammer and Ohio Sen. George Voinovich should heed the experts.

Phineas Anderson

Tucson

Editor's note: The writer is a former head at Maumee Valley Country Day School.



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