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Published: Sunday, 6/19/2011

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Do away with Ohio’s estate tax

I could not disagree more with your June 15 editorial “Keep Ohio estate tax.” Your logic that Ohio’s communities need the money more than the families who earned it is un-American. It is the redistribution of wealth from those who have worked hard to those who have not.

A person used to spend an entire career at one company and receive a pension upon retirement. The estate was typically a house and maybe meager savings.

Not so today, when the average citizen is required to plan and save for his or her retirement. Should the state take a sizable chunk of those savings?

Times have changed, and so should the Ohio estate tax.

John Chapman
Bowling Green

War of 1812 events hallmarks of history
Northwest Ohio will have a golden opportunity to be noticed on the national stage as we approach the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 (“‘Forgotten war’ remembered,” op-ed column, June 12).

Of special significance are the two sieges of Fort Meigs in Perrysburg; the massacre at the Raisin River in Monroe, a site now given National Park Service status; the defense of Fort Stephenson in Fremont, and Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory over the British fleet near Put-in-Bay. No other area has such a cluster of important War of 1812 battle sites.

Several recent news stories have stressed the lack of knowledge of our history, especially among young people. Shame on us if we miss this chance to celebrate our region.

Larry Michaels
Oregon

Gates is correct; NATO needs help
Defense Secretary Robert Gates had it right in his recent policy address in Brussels (“Mr. Gates’ sermon,” guest editorial, June 15), when he said the United States is funding 75 percent of NATO’s costs. NATO members are skirting their financial responsibilities.

Our country is debating cuts to Medicare and Social Security while our trading partners profit from our unregulated trade, selling to our markets while we carry the costs of their defense.

Congress should tax all imported products to fund our military spending as the world’s police.

Paul Wohlfarth
Ottawa Lake, Mich.

Extreme weather no sign of change
A few unusual weather conditions do not necessarily indicate climate change (“A call to action on climate,” Readers’ Forum, June 13). History is filled with stories of unusual conditions. Weather has always swung in extremes.

Stating, as the letter writer does, that “scientists are virtually unanimous in their belief that increases in extreme weather …are evidence of climate change” does not make it true.

The actual temperature gain is slight at best and there is no proven indication that man is responsible for it. The effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth’s temperature are not completely understood.

Projects to add plants on roofs and plant trees are great ideas, so long as the financial burden is not added to the government. These types of projects can and should be funded by private organizations.

Declaring that climate change is happening without further research and proof would burden U.S. citizens and industries with new regulations and expenses at a time when our country needs jobs and must cut spending.

Industry is controlling emissions better today than ever before. Let’s help our country grow, not burden it with unproven science.

Roger Brown
Colby Drive

Does poem prove Santa’s existence?
The June 16 Readers’ Forum letter “Palin’s grasp of history lacking” illustrates the problem when the public mistakes literature for historical fact.

Should a fictional account of Paul Revere’s exploits written by a 19th century poet be mistaken as a primary source and used as “proof” of Sarah Palin’s educational shortcomings?

If so, should “The Night Before Christmas,” written by 19th century poet Clement C. Moore, be cited as proof of Santa’s existence?

Kathy Ann Saco
Orono Drive

Crime map good, but add accidents
Each Saturday The Blade prints the Crime Watch map so we can see where thefts and burglaries have occurred. I would like to see added to that map, at least once a month, where traffic accidents occurred.

I also would like to see where red-light cameras are. If the notion is to cut down on accidents because these intersections are dangerous, post the cameras’ locations. Knowing where these intersections are and driving safely through them are better than getting a nasty surprise of a fine later in the mail.

As I ride my bicycle to work, the number-one danger to me is drivers pulling out into traffic while talking on their cell phones and not paying attention.

James Heltebrake
Rector Street

Questions linger over zoning issue
What would be the effects of a big-box store on Bedford Township if it is constructed on the Whitman Ford property (“Anti-zoning group helps in nixing of Whitman bid,” June 15)?

Several concerns were voiced by representatives of Bedford Watch during a meeting of township officials. Maybe if these officials had more knowledge of the issue, they might reconsider their vote.

Among the questions I’d like to see answered: How much would traffic increase in the Lewis Avenue and Sterns Road area? How would a big store affect our fire department? What would be the effect of a big store on crime, and on water and sewerage service? How would residential real estate values be affected? Would construction comply with the township’s master plan?

Gene Stock
Temperance, Mich.

Obama’s visit costly to taxpayers
The Obama Administration has accepted nearly $4 a gallon for gasoline as the new norm, which causes increased pain and suffering for the middle class and poorest Americans. Yet the President thumbs his nose with impunity at use of fossil fuels.

On his recent trip to Toledo, he helped our economy by buying gardening gloves and eating hot dogs (“Obama’s visits boost economy for Toledo restaurant, store,” June 11). But he arrived in our area on Air Force One, which consumes taxpayer dollars at the rate of $180,000 an hour.

Every time he takes off on his quest to raise money for his re-election campaign, it’s the same price. Why do I pay taxes, when this President disregards how those taxes are used?

William Nichols
Whitehouse

Oil rig, gun bills have down sides
It must be a comfort to many that Gov. John Kasich and our Republican lawmakers have made it legal to have oil rigs in our state parks and OK to tote concealed sidearms into stadiums and pubs (“Kasich sent bill on handguns in bars,” June 16).

The governor and GOP lawmakers must be so proud. Not only will you be able to see an oil well at Maumee Bay State Park, at Cleveland Browns Stadium you can make a Pittsburgh Steelers fan do whatever you tell him to do.

Hal Simon
Maumee

Bargaining isn’t a right, it’s a privilege
Collective bargaining often is referred to as a right. A right implies application to all U.S. citizens. Federal employees, military members, and public employees in some states do not have collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining is a privilege, not a right, extended to public-sector unions by mostly liberal Democratic lawmakers, who in turn receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of support from the unions.

Jerry Fork
Gibsonburg, Ohio



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