I find fault with two major points in your Sept. 9 editorial "Enforce smoking ban."
You credit Ohio's Smoke-Free Workplace Act with a decline in the number of discharges of heart-attack sufferers from hospitals across the state. One could also credit this decline to better medication and diet. If you believe smoking causes heart attacks, then you could just as easily point to the decreased number of smokers as a percentage of the population of this country.
The state study takes the position that there is no evidence the ban is costing Ohio bars and restaurants significant business. Lumping restaurants and bars together could result in that conclusion. However, considering only establishments that mainly sell liquor and beer, there is likely a different result.
As the quartermaster of my Veterans of Foreign Wars post, I saw a drop of 31 percent in our sales tax payments from 2006, the first full year before the smoking ban, to 2008, the first full year after the ban.
Our bingo income for the same period dropped by 42 percent. Our donations to local charities, which come from bingo revenue, continue to take a major hit. There is nothing else to blame the drop in revenue on but the ban on indoor smoking.
Spin the law as you will, but to many the law has been not a public health panacea, but a financial albatross to business owners and charities.
Quartermaster VFW Post 3265 Summit Street
Redistricting just gerrymandering
I thought gerrymandering was illegal ("Lose this map," editorial, Sept. 15). It is obvious that Republicans can't get a foothold in Toledo and surrounding areas, so they're going to split us up three ways, to help two Republican representatives.
Toledoans do not want to be represented by three people. If we wanted U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo out of office, we would have voted against her on numerous occasions.
If Republicans can't get their way by vote, they'll do it by gerrymandering. Where is the ethics in this move? This is outrageous.
If our government allows this to happen, something is terribly wrong. I hope this congressional redistricting plan is challenged in the courts.
Redistricting no big deal
I find it laughable that politicians are upset about the congressional district shuffling. None of them has honestly represented us in years.
If we can thin the herd of politicians by laying off half of them, we'll be on the right track.
New boundaries may be a benefit
The new congressional district boundaries that carve up Toledo might be just what the doctor ordered ("Kaptur's district reshuffled; Latta to get Sylvania; Jordan takes downtown Toledo," Sept. 14).
The political parties may compromise for the good of Toledo. Why would Republicans or Democrats stand in the way of a project or a grant to a company in a part of the Toledo area other than their own and hurt the area?
Confusion a factor in low voter turnout
People are complaining about the low voter turnout in Toledo last Tuesday ("4 incumbents withstand primary vote; Lackluster 4.33% turn out to cast ballots in 5 districts," Sept. 14). I did not know there was a primary election that day until I read a story in The Blade the week before.
With all the hoopla about State Issue 2, it seems that most registered voters did not know there were two different days of voting. Most voters only knew of the Nov. 8 election.
It is hard enough to get people to vote, let alone have such confusion about what days to vote.
I voted. Every American who doesn't vote should be ashamed. Each of our votes counts.
Public unions not in tune with reality
The writer of the Sept. 6 Readers' Forum letter "Mayor's pro-S.B. 5 stand wrong" contends that Toledo city workers are being slapped in the face by Mayor Mike Bell and fleeced by the private sector. The writer states that Senate Bill 5 amounts to a war against the middle class, and asks why nonunion workers don't take a pay cut.
This is a perfect example of how out of touch with recent economic realities career public-employee union members are. They don't understand, or care, that nonunion, private-sector workers pick up their share of their pension contributions, pay for the majority of their health-care benefits, pay for their unearned automatic step-pay increases, cover the pay for their accumulated unused sick days and vacation days, and allow bad employees to be kept on the payroll long after any nonunion slacker would have been fired.
None of these sweetheart benefits is available to the private sector, but we are expected to shut up and go along with the deal.
These entitlements are the result of years of weak-kneed, power-hungry elected city officials. It is high time for the economic reality that the private sector has lived with for years to be shared by our municipal union neighbors, whose good life and generous benefits have been enjoyed at taxpayers' expense.
Thank you, Mayor Bell, for your courageous stand to do what's right for all of Toledo's residents.
Nonunion doesn't mean nonworking
I find the term "working man" used by unions to be baffling. Is everyone not in a union a nonworking man?
Do unions want everyone to believe that because I fall into the nonworking man category, I am immune from this depressed economy, my wages have not flatlined, I don't need to contribute to my medical care plan, and even though I have no pension plan, I have nothing to fear going into retirement?
I wish none of us was in this economic mess. But we are in this mess together. So please don't rant that this nonworking man has nothing better to do than pick on the working man; that is nonsense.
Step up, working man, and do what the rest of us have had to do, without the whining, the well-orchestrated protests, and the scare tactics. Nonworking men and women will thank you for doing what must be done to save your union jobs.
A woman pioneer in car sales thankful
I found your Sept. 8 story "Car sales no longer men only; In the last decade women have begun to enter scene" amusing. Women have been making and servicing cars since at least World War II.
Toledo was in the forefront of the women's auto sales movement when Dave White Chevrolet hired me in 1972. I was thought to be the first woman car salesman in Toledo.
It was a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Thanks to my Toledo customers for helping a gal break through the glass ceiling -- or windshield -- and open the car doors for those who followed.
Deborah Coy Wingert
What's Perry's view of disasters?
I wonder whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry considers the drought and wildfires in his state a blessing or a punishment ("Wildfire hot spots keep residents away; Progress reported against Texas blazes," Sept. 11).
As a religious conservative, he likely would blame scientists and their money-making global warming conspiracy.
This politician gets his vote
The politician I would vote for would be one who says: "I will not create jobs. I will create a business environment that would allow business to create jobs, and get government out of the way."