Your May 11 article "Local prices fall at 3 times national rate in 1st quarter" failed to give a true picture of the local housing market.
Comparing Toledo's figures to the national rate is unrealistic. Toledo's 2011 first-quarter sales were down only 4 percent from the first quarter of last year.
Your article also failed to explain factors that affect the market. Last year's first-time home buyer's credit, put in place to stimulate the market, artificially inflated last year's numbers. This February's record snowfalls kept people from going out and looking at homes.
Instead of focusing on the negative, we need to spread the message that it really is a great time to buy.
If you look beyond the headlines and rhetoric, you will see that interest rates are at historic lows, prices are stabilizing, and there is wonderful inventory to choose from.
Edward K. Stitter
President Toledo Board of Realtors Toledo
Visit to China was a sellout
Haven't we learned anything from history? It wasn't that long ago that American soldiers died on the battlefield to stop the spread of communism.
Now people are climbing all over themselves to see who can sell America to the communists. ("Mayor's group out on top of trade mission: Toledo delegation promotes relations," May 21).
As we send veterans to Washington on the Honor Flight to view memorials to soldiers who fought and died to stop the spread of communism, we have delegates in China trying to sell America to people who murder and enslave their own people because of their beliefs and desire to be free.
David Lee Cole
East Benalex Drive
Be careful with taxpayer dollars
Shouldn't governors know how to network with Congress and each other? Why should it cost Ohio $88,000 a year to belong to the National Governors' Association ("Kasich seeks $400,000 for Strickland bills," May 17)?
Governors should be conservative with taxpayer and donor money. If they wish to join the association, they should pay out of their own pockets.
Immigration law at issue in courts
The U.S. Senate ratified a treaty requiring American police to advise foreigners that they have a right to communicate and be represented by lawyers from their home countries when they are charged with serious crimes.
Utah and Arizona are under federal court order not to make the necessary inquiries about the legal status of persons whom state police officers might suspect and are due the right to such contact with their home government ("Utah immigration law blocked by U.S. judge," May 11).
It is strange that two U.S. states are trying to comply with a U.S. treaty, but the federal courts are ordering them not to do so.
Why has GOP become heartless?
I am a conservative, independent individual who would like to push back against the super-rich and the corporate kleptocracy, whose agendas seem to lead to a government just for themselves.
The Koch brothers sponsored Tea Party events and Wisconsin became a test for destroying what democracy the poor and the middle class had.
The Koch brothers have set up financing for, and orchestrate nefarious information against, those they don't like. They poured millions of dollars into Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and other organizations to serve the plutocracy they are interested in achieving.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker accepted his assignment to make the poor and middle class subservient to the super-rich and big corporations.
The Republican Party will tax the poor through reduced benefits and give tax breaks to the super-rich and subsidies to corporations. I was glad Governor Walker and the Republicans were pushed back by the people of Wisconsin.
I try to push back the Republican agenda in Ohio by aligning myself with unions. They are the only vehicle that can push back Senate Bill 5. I will support the repeal petition.
I am amazed how heartless Republicans have become.
Social Security plan still best
Seniors expect and are entitled to what they put into Social Security, and the program has worked well for 76 years.
The Social Security trust fund report stated that at the end of 2011, 56 million people -- retirees, widows, disabled workers, and children -- will be receiving Social Security benefits. Restoring the 2 percent payroll tax that was reduced could improve the fund.
The plan started in 1935 is still the best.
Blame the GOP, not the unions
People on the political right point fingers at others. Gov. John Kasich is no different. He blames unions for an unfriendly business climate.
Since 1856, Ohio has had 47 governors. Of those, 30 have been Republican, while 17 have been Democrats. Isn't it fair to say that policies put in place by Republicans have caused Ohio's economic turmoil, not unions? Only about 13 percent of Ohio's workforce is unionized.
Governor Kasich gave back $400 million to the federal government for rail projects, costing Ohioans jobs and the state money.
Michigan has been hit harder by the economy. Gov. Rick Snyder just threw out tax breaks for the film industry, which cost Michigan revenue and jobs.
Maybe Republicans should stand in front of the mirror and point at the real problem.
West Alexis Road
Hey, Cowboys! Help save Libbey
A few people elected to the Toledo school board are given carte blanche to tear down Libbey High School ("City to study redoing of 2 Libbey High facilities," May 4). Instead of a large public outcry, a few voices, though fierce, were heard in opposition.
Be true to your school, and give some help to the alumni trying to save it.
S. A. Strasel
Let owners learn from dog stories
Instead of all the stories about dogs, you need to focus on owners ("Rescue center sets standard for animal care," May 15). Too many are irresponsible and do not control their animals.
Maybe The Blade and other media could offer information about the responsible way for a dog owner to conduct himself and the dog's behavior when they are outside.
Dog stories lead to dropping paper
The dogs have won. Since they are so important to this paper, I have stopped my subscription.
Rick M. Sobecki
Plant sales raising cancer awareness
Thank you for helping the Plant Purple-Grow Hope campaign raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and its victims and their families ("Organizer hopes to plant seed for national drive," May 2).
I appreciate those who purchase Purple Plants during May and June. The fund-raiser features 16 Northwest Ohio retail greenhouses that have agreed to sell a distinctive purple flower called the denim shock wave petunia. The young flowers can be grown inside or outside.
Organizer Plant Purple-Grow Hope Toledo