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Published: Monday, 2/7/2011

ID checks at the polls were a joke

My thanks to George Sarantou for having stood up to the Lucas County elections board in the contested vote for county commissioner ("Sarantou ends petition over election results," Feb. 4). I voted early, and it was a joke. Poll workers were letting just anyone come in and vote.

When they asked the gentleman behind me in line his address, they could not find anyone by that name who lived at the address he gave. He asked his wife what their current address was, and poll workers still could not find him. But they still let him vote.

When I have voted on Election Day, I always have had to show my driver's license. I had my license out this time, but poll workers informed me that they did not have to see any identification.

I want election people to see some sort of identification when I vote. I want my vote to count.

Pam Brenneman

Gage Road


Use life-saving red-light cameras

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's study on safety-camera programs across the country affirms that these cameras prevent crashes, change driver behavior, and save lives ("Study finds red-light cameras saving lives," Feb. 1).

These cameras saved 159 lives in the 14 cities where the cameras were used between 2004 and 2008. The highway-safety study concludes that more than 800 lives could have been saved if every large city in the country used traffic-safety cameras.

We lost our daughter, Sarah, after a man ran a red light and crashed into her car. He disregarded the most basic traffic safety law: red means stop. Sarah's death has led us to partners with law enforcement, medical professionals, and safety advocates through the Traffic Safety Coalition to remind drivers that one small decision can have devastating effects.

If a law-enforcement tool is proven to prevent tragedies such as Sarah's, why wouldn't we use it? Although nothing will bring Sarah back, we encourage the use of any tool or technology that will keep families safe and prevent senseless tragedy.

Paul and Sue Oberhauser

Chairmen,

Traffic Safety Coalition

Somerset, Ohio


Birmingham missed the cut

The Blade's 175th anniversary edition had a list of the 100 best athletes from Toledo.

I grew up in the 1930s and the 1940s in the Birmingham neighborhood of East Toledo. Back then, it had the best athletes in Toledo.

Blade staff should have consulted their fathers and grandfathers. Last year, Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg wrote about Andy Farkas, an outstanding running back from my neighborhood. He was the first player in the National Football League to blacken under his eyes to prevent glare from the sun.

The Blade ignored athletes from my neighborhood and practically ignored the entire east side in its list of the city's best athletes.

Louis Agoston

Dover Place


People turn tools into weapons

I am frustrated by The Blade's and the anti-gun public's inability to distinguish the minds of people from tools such as firearms ("Guns in church?", editorial, Jan. 28).

Firearms get where they go when someone carries them there. That person then determines their use for good or bad.

No firearm has a mind of its own. Its ability to fire is like a saw or a drill - someone has to operate it.

A weapon is a weapon, strictly in the mind of the perpetrator. A simple kitchen utensil such as a knife can be just as lethal.

The purchase of a firearm relies on the honesty of the purchaser. The federal Firearms Transaction Record - form 4473 - that anyone who wants to purchase a firearm is required to fill out asks whether mental illness is a factor in the life of the buyer.

Our focus on these tragedies must be on the person, not the tools. How many dishonest people do you know?

Milton C. Mann

Luckey, Ohio

 

City did great job plowing streets

Thank to the City of Toledo for plowing snow from the city streets. The work crews even made it down my street on a day when they were very busy.

Thanks to the road crews for their long hours and hard work. It is appreciated.

Kevin Collier

Hayes Road

 

Florida is warm; come on down

I drove nurses and doctors to Flower Hospital during the Blizzard of '78. Sorry I missed the pseudo-blizzard of 2011 and the frigid temperatures that followed ("Blizzard fizzled locally," Feb. 3).

It is above 80 degrees in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Come on down.

Charles Dersher

Sylvania

 

Savers deserve a better interest rate

The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at ultra-low levels since December, 2008, to encourage people and businesses to spend more ("Federal Reserve votes for bond-purchase plan," Jan. 27). The interest on a passbook savings account at a local bank in 1946 was 2 percent. In 2011, the national average is 0.09 percent.

When will rates increase so that people with savings can at least get a reasonable return on their accounts?

Bruce Alcock

Sylvania

 

States' rights are not in danger

In your Feb. 3 article "Ohio GOP tries new attack on health law," Rep. Barbara Sears (R., Monclova Township) says: "Our state has and should keep it's state rights." I wasn't aware our rights were under attack.

Ohio made a law that said: If you want to drive a car here, you'll have to have auto insurance. If you don't, you will be fined and your driving privileges may be taken away.

The auto-insurance industry lobbied legislators to pass that law because of the cost of uninsured motorists to their customers. If everybody is covered, it keeps costs down.

Now the federal government is saying the same thing about health care. What's changed?

The only thing that drives this issue is ideology. Our Constitution is under attack by the loudest voices who say they uphold it.

Jeff Pitzen

Northwood

 

Keep OSU policy on student groups

Your Jan. 24 editorial "No to bias" is quintessential straw-man argumentation.

The Ohio State University policy pertaining to student organizations is not an all-comers policy, such as the University of California's law school has. The U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez is limited to its facts and is inapt to the OSU situation.

The law school conceded that its black law students association must allow all comers - including white supremacists - not only to be members, but to be leaders. Similarly, Jewish and Muslim student organizations must include any and all, even those whose beliefs are antithetical to those of a particular organization.

Student organizations are rendered specious by all-comers policies. Such policies are political correctness ad absurdum and eviscerate genuine diversity.

OSU surely won't adopt such a foolhardy policy. Its only alternatives are to maintain the status quo or to violate the constitutions of Ohio and the United States.

We must hope that OSU will be wise with its money and not waste it on litigation that surely will vindicate its current policy.

Jim McDermott   

Maumee



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