The American Lung Association's new "State of the Air 2011" report revealed that air quality in our state is a serious public health threat to nearly every resident. The report assigned an F grade for the severity of ozone air pollution and a C for the particle air pollution problems affecting families in Lucas County.
The county grapples with a deadly mix of high ozone and high particle pollution days. These spikes in air pollution are scientifically proven to shorten lives by not just a few days at the end of a long happy life. These are deaths that would not have occurred if the air were cleaner.
Despite the mounting evidence proving air pollution is a serious public health threat in our state, especially to children and those living with asthma, heart disease, and diabetes, Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) recently said he supported restricting the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act ("Portman: Plan will get people back to work," May 6).
We urge Senator Portman to support the Clean Air Act as Ohio's best defense against deadly pollutants.
Director of Advocacy American Lung Association of Ohio Columbus
Selfish acts marred grads' ceremony
I had the honor of attending the May 6 Mercy College graduation ceremony at Rosary Cathedral on Collingwood Boulevard. The ceremony was a celebration of hard work students put in to achieve their personal goals. The setting could not have been more impressive or dignified.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the behavior of some of the families in attendance. Several outbursts were unacceptable to the point of embarrassment. I understand families are excited about the accomplishments of their graduate, but screaming and yelling to the point that the next person's name couldn't be heard is ridiculous.
One family went so far as to scream for their graduate during an administrator's prayer. This was a faith-based ceremony in a grand and historic church, which made their actions even more nauseating.
The selfish acts of a few marred what was to that point a beautiful and well-planned event for all. Attendees should show respect for the institution and the other graduates and politely acknowledge their own in an appropriate manner. You can scream all you want in the privacy of your home.
Few missions more risky, successful
Aspects of the killing of Osama bin Laden will be analyzed and debated throughout the future course of American and world history.
What seems less subject to debate is that this nearly flawless mission will rank among the best planned and executed military operations in American history.
President Obama's courageous decision has placed him among those few presidents who are famous for making risky and successful decisions. President Kennedy's decision during the Cuban missile crisis comes immediately to mind.
Whether and how President Obama's singularly successful decision in the field of foreign policy will have an effect on his chances for re-election and on American politics in general are yet to be determined. Most presidential elections are decided by domestic and economic issues.
There can be little doubt, however, that if the mission had failed, any chances for the President's re-election would have been severely damaged, if not eliminated.
No reason not to see the photos
In the past we have seen photos of death camps, mass graves, and our servicemen hanging from a bridge in Iraq. We've also seen graphic pictures of 9/11. This administration is worried about offending the Muslim community ("U.S. won't release photos," May 5).
Osama bin Laden was not a good Muslim. He was an evil mass murderer of thousands of people. There is no good reason that the American people should not see the pictures of the killing of this evil man.
Why should Bush share success?
I don't get the May 10 Readers' Forum letter "Bush had hand in killing bin Laden."
President Obama gets elected, and anything that former President George W. Bush supported or was involved in -- Wall Street ripoffs, the destruction of our economy, the collapse of the housing market, the loss of decent jobs, cutting taxes for the rich, getting the United States involved in two wars -- by most Republican accounts all belongs to President Obama.
Now, on President Obama's watch, Osama bin Laden has been killed by our military, but the letter writer feels that this success should be shared with Mr. Bush. Let's give credit where credit is due.
Businesses can get POW/MIA flags
With Memorial Day around the corner, I would like to remind Toledo residents of our ambition to encourage Toledo businesses to fly the POW/MIA flag to remember and honor those lost or captured during conflicts.
Our organization will provide businesses in downtown Toledo with these flags for free if they are interested in honoring the men and women who have served our country.
Businesses may contact Remembrance Inc. at 419-270-2655. Please help us to honor our U.S. military.
Chairman Remembrance Inc. W. Sylvania Avenue
People with high IQs are different
Frequently a person such as James DeClerq with genuinely high intelligence lives his or her life unable to interact easily with the other 98 percent of humanity ("Man's death ends police standoff," May 9).
People who qualify for high-IQ societies, though they have grown up alongside of and are subject to the rule structure of normal people, have obvious intrinsic differences for which the majority of the public has little comprehension or sympathy.
Many are forced to withdraw into themselves because they cannot communicate well with those around them. It can be difficult for them, incapable as they can be of comprehending the intricate and capricious mainstream concepts they encounter, to understand rules and behaviors to which the overwhelming portion of the public instantly conforms.
We live in a necessarily egalitarian dog-eat-dog society. Persons who, by nature, really do think outside the box are usually considered little more than a laughable, nerdy nuisance to the vast majority, who usually ostracize and mock them.
It is easy to feel helpless and bitter living in a world where you have to join an elite organization just to have an occasional hour of convivial interaction with a few peers.
Thomas A. Frushour
Allow markets to create jobs
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate the national employment level in April, 2009, was 140,720,000. Last month, the level was 139,674,000. That is a drop of more than 1,000,000 jobs in the past two years.
What further proof do voters need that the current administration is lying about jobs and that the stimulus packages and bailouts have been failures?
We are far better off letting the market create jobs rather than have the government try to do so. I wonder how much greater the job loss would have been without federal hiring.
Irony in former governor's portrait
It's a bit ironic that the portrait of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm shows her looking out the window into the future ("Successor praises Granholm as official portrait unveiled," May 9).
Wasn't she the one who threw Michigan's future out the window?