Smoking ban hurting business


The Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association takes issue with the comment in your April 10 editorial “Uphold smoking ban” that a “handful of disgruntled business owners … dress up concerns for their own wallets with spurious arguments” about the constitutionality of Ohio’s workplace smoking ban.

Liquor sale losses since the smoking ban took effect — not including beer sales losses and vending losses — have cost permit holders some $355.3 million. So there are more than a handful of us disgruntled bar owners.

We’ve watched as friends lost their businesses and  homes. The ban forced us to alienate our regular customers by throwing them out in the cold. And we are still waiting for the anti-smokers to grace our nearly empty businesses. 

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, retail purchases of liquor have increased by 6 million bottles since 2006, the year before the smoking ban.

That’s 6 million more bottles of liquor  consumed in the home and at social gatherings. Why shouldn’t bar owners care about our wallets? 

We need to operate in the black to feed our families.

Your  editorial states that it’s hard to cite individuals for smoking because a health inspector has to witness people lighting up. However, the Ohio Department of Health has issued 6,450 fines and warnings.

That means health inspectors have witnessed at least 6,450 individuals smoking. Yet not one fine has been issued to a smoker.

If tobacco use cannot be allowed on our private property, then it should be made illegal — period.

Our  hundreds of members look forward to the state Supreme Court returning our properties to their rightful owners. 

Pam Parker
Regional Director
Buckeye Liquor
Permit Holders Association
Grove City, Ohio

Challenges face Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is far from perfect and many challenging issues affect it today.

As The Blade reported, there is a shortage of priests to administer to congregations, not just locally but nationally (“ ‘Roaming Catholics’ still struggle with ’05 parish closings,” April 10).

Another issue is the sex abuse scandal involving the clergy and the way cases were handled or mishandled.

Parish schools are consolidating. A Catholic education is becoming too expensive for many families to afford. The quality for which Catholic education is noted is becoming harder to maintain, for reasons that include overworked and poorly paid teachers.

The Catholic Church is going to need all the help it can get to remain a viable participant in overcoming social injustice, prejudice, poverty, hunger, and other problems facing our community.

I invite all  “Roaming Catholics” and others searching for a place of worship to the Historic Church of St. Patrick in downtown Toledo.

You will find a diverse group of people who pray and celebrate their faith in a beautifully renovated church every Sunday. As a member of the choir, I’ll say that the music is pretty good too.

There are assorted programs and many opportunities to collaborate with fellow parishioners, creating a unique sense of community and spirit that makes it a special place to practice one’s faith and, in turn, go out and live it daily.

And isn’t that what faith is  supposed to be about?

Jeff Weiser
Boothbay Drive

Abortions in U.S. are numerous

An April 12 Readers’ Forum letter, “Bias against Planned Parenthood,” stated that according to the Planned Parenthood 2008-2009 annual report, abortions accounted for only 3 percent of services provided to the nearly 3 million women cared for by its clinics.

If that sounds like a small number, do the math. That’s as many as 90,000 abortions.

Edith Hergesheimer
Clyde, Ohio

Cameras would slow speeders

I travel in the construction zone of I-475 daily and I guarantee you that a speed of 60 mph is the going rate  (“Motorists often ignore posted speed limit in I-475 work zone,” April 9).

Why is the Ohio Department of Transportation paying police officers overtime? And why are officers worried about getting drivers pulled over safely?

All that’s needed is to set up cameras in both directions. Police would nail hundreds of drivers — at $258 a pop for those going at least 19 mph over the limit.

No worries about pulling drivers over. Just mail them the ticket.

Louis Posadny
Bradford Drive

Roundabout could prove dangerous

It’s great that funding has been approved for the McCord Road railroad underpass project (“McCord Road project given full funding,” April 13).

The project will help make this spot safer for pedestrians,  and prevent cars from attempting to go around closed railroad crossing gates.

Unfortunately, it appears the problem will only move several hundred yards south on McCord.

To save money for the project, four lanes of traffic and a left-turn lane will be funneled into one lane in each direction under the underpass, and then come out to a roundabout that would replace a traffic signal.

Roundabouts are fine at intersections without a lot of traffic, but it’s hard to imagine anything more dangerous than to have one at the intersection leading into the Walmart/Spring Meadows shopping area, east on Mall Drive,  and Springfield High School, west on Hall Street. 

Many students, and some adults, are not known for their patience in  heavy traffic.

With no traffic signal to regulate the crowd, this free-for-all roundabout will cause more accidents than the underpass was meant to eliminate.

Jeri Mellgren

Giving to needy or being scammed?

My wife and I always give to the poor and needy. No one should ever go hungry. It tugs at our hearts to see people on street corners holding signs asking for help. Lately, there seem to be more than ever.

Is this a sign of the economy? We thought it was, until one day, we saw a neatly dressed man standing with two other men holding cardboard signs. He pointed as if he was telling them where to stand and which corners to take.

Sure enough, when we came back  a few minutes later, each had taken a corner, and the instructor was watching nearby. Does the ringleader get his cut?

The Salvation Army, the Cherry Street Mission, and food banks are there for those in need.

If people truly want to give, these charities make sure the money goes to the right place.

Ron Dugan

Sparring begins for hearts and minds
The two major parties are sparring for control of the narrative of 2012.

Conservatives have doubled down on their rhetoric and remain firm in the assertion that the affluent alone are blessed. It is conservative opinion that the poor refuse to help themselves and are deserving of their fate.

If conservatives win the day and wreak their policies across this nation, 2008 will look like the Gilded Age.

Middle-class conservatives who believe they are part of a movement that has their best interest in mind will painfully discover that they have been discarded like so many pawns in a well-played game of chess by the very gods of industry they seek to appease.

 If mythology teaches us one thing, it is this: It sucks not to be a god.

Jeff Pitzen

Our lawmakers should be ashamed
Our representatives in Washington have come to an agreement that  should have happened six months ago (“Last-minute budget deal averts shutdown,” April 9). This budget was held up for $37.8 billion in spending cuts.
A television news reporter said that, in laymen’s terms, it was the same as knocking $400 off a $200,000 mortgage. They all should be ashamed of themselves.