A few months ago, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur called Congress a "gutless" institution. There is not a better word to describe the actions of Ohio Republicans who attached an appropriation to their redistricting bill ("Senate Republicans, seeking to avoid referendum, to add appropriation to redistricting bill," Sept. 20).
The egregious gerrymandering that the bill exhibits is terrible enough. Coupling it with an appropriation to shield the legislation from a voter referendum reveals just how lily-livered Republicans are. They are seemingly too afraid to face their own constituents.
Why should Ohioans be deprived of their right to petition this legislation simply because Republicans lack the stomach to withstand the challenge?
Redistricting move is political payback
Back in 1981, the Ohio GOP tried to pass a constitutional amendment to require the end of strangely shaped congressional districts. But Democrats, who were in power then, got the idea defeated.
Political payback is a real dog, with rabies. When will any of these lawmakers ever learn?
Physicians work for what they make
As per usual when the Obama Administration foments class warfare, it has conveniently forgotten a few relevant facts ("President to call for rich to pay more taxes," Sept. 18).
The average educational debt for the American medical student is $250,000. The rest of the world views medical education as a societal benefit and finances the education of those dedicated to the health and welfare of society.
In the United States, doctors are available, or have coverage available, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No other country's doctors provide this, except hospital emergency coverage.
The American physician works 60 hours a week (80 hours per week when on call for the weekend). That is at least 25 percent above the average of the rest of the world.
Years ago, I bought a motorcycle and went to buy a helmet. The logic of the salesman was unassailable and transferable: "If you have a $10 head, you only need a $10 helmet." I bought the premium helmet and I suspect most Americans appreciate that they have premium health care.
Dr. Ted Barber
Recyclable pickup lagging in city
Republic Services took over waste collection for the city of Toledo and promised to maintain a high level of service ("City pickup by private trash hauler is phased in; Republic starts with W. Toledo recyclables," July 11).
As I write this on Oct. 4 it is almost 7 p.m. and my recyclables have not been collected. Many of my neighbors' recycling also has not been picked up. Is this the level of service we should expect?
Garage-sale issue an odd priority
I recently participated in a garage sale in the 2000 block of Talbot Street with a friend who lives there. Unbelievably, a City of Toledo worker showed up to investigate a neighbor who apparently exceeded the limit of garage sales this year.
There is someone on our city payroll who keeps track of this? This same worker confronted another neighbor across the street for having orange cones in front of her driveway and who also was having a garage sale.
There is an abandoned house on the corner of this block that neighbors have repeatedly reported this year because of 4-foot-high grass, standing water in garbage/recycling bins, trash, a kicked-in back door, numerous broken windows, and constant, blatant, drug activity. Are city workers tracking these complaints?
What are the priorities of Mayor Mike Bell and City Council: garage sale violations or abandoned properties that attract a myriad of problems?
Does anyone know the Chinese word for "help"?
Tiffin Glass coverage sparkles
Thank you for the Aug. 21 article "Tiffin Glass: Factory is gone, but collectors preserve its legacy." The whole-page article with photos was impressive.
Since then, the Tiffin Glass Museum had numerous visitors from Toledo and surrounding areas.
Director Tiffin Glass Museum Tiffin
Medical center's reference ripped
Why does The Blade keep referring to the University of Toledo Medical Center as the "former Medical College of Ohio"?
In doing so you must think your readers are stupid.
Please stop calling it the "former Medical College of Ohio."
Fear not the bat; show a little respect
October is Bat Appreciation Month. As a PhD candidate at Bowling Green State University studying the ecology of bats in the Oak Openings Region, I want to debunk the misconceptions that many people have regarding bats.
Bats are commonly viewed as diseased menaces we should fear. Studies have found, however, that less than half of 1 percent of bats have rabies. Rabies can be transmitted via raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and domestic dogs.
In this country, fewer than two people per year die from rabies that was contracted from a bat. This is to be weighed against the millions of bats in this country and the extraordinarily beneficial ecosystem services that are provided to us by them.
Those services include the millions of insects -- mosquitoes and many agricultural pests) they remove from the environment, their help in forest regeneration through their guano (which is high in nitrogen) and, in tropical regions, the pollination and dispersal of important plants.
Of course, one should never handle a bat, just like one should never handle any wild animal. The important thing to keep in mind is that just the presence of these animals does not mean that you will contract rabies or other diseases.
If you are bitten, or there is a possibility you have been bitten, you should seek medical attention, just as you would for any other animal bite.
Bats are beneficial and deserve our respect and appreciation.