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Published: Sunday, 11/13/2011

Letters to the Editor

UT engineers a way to avoid debt

It is unfortunate but true that most college graduates these days are saddled with huge debts that will take years, perhaps decades, to repay ("Easing college debt," editorial, Oct. 31).

However, few in northwest Ohio know that students in the University of Toledo's College of Engineering often will graduate with little or no debt, and most will have an engineering job in hand before they graduate.

In 1997, the College of Engineering instituted a required co-op program. Students in their sophomore year alternate between taking classes full time and working full time at one of hundreds of engineering firms locally and throughout the United States.

UT's Engineering Career Management Center is dedicated to finding co-op jobs for these students. Students say the income from their co-op job is enough to cover the cost of tuition as well as room and board for the next semester. This, coupled with scholarship money, means no or very little debt upon graduation.

Using summers for either school or co-op employment means students graduate in four and a half years with a job in hand. Either the company they have been with offers them a job, or they use the experience to land another job.

Blade readers might want to hear about a success story in our city.

Steven Kramer

Perrysburg

Editor's Note: The writer is professor emeritus of engineering at the University of Toledo.

Circus treats animals well, creates jobs

My daughter has been with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for more than two years. She is an avid animal lover. I definitely would have heard if animals were mistreated ("Circus elephant photo spurs queries," Readers' Forum, Nov. 6).

If the circus did not have animals, which are the main attraction, hundreds of performers and other people would be out of work.

The elephants have two full rail cars just for them. They have clean hay and fresh water in troughs available to them on train runs. They have central air conditioning, central heat, and misters to spray water in their rail cars.

A crew member stays in the car at all times to make sure they don't have mishaps while traveling. At break stops, the animals are taken out for fresh air and to stretch their legs while the cars get cleaned and fresh hay put down.

The train stops as close to the performance venue as possible. The elephants are walked from the train to the arena so that the public can see the animals and know that they are in town for the week. In the wild they would walk great distances every day, so this is no hardship for them.

Some of the elephants have a star brand, which indicates they are rescue animals, or from zoos that could no longer keep them. They would have been put down if the circus had not taken them in.

The tricks they perform are things they would do in the wild, such as standing on logs to reach into trees for food or holding each other's tails to keep the herd together. They are taught by the trainer to respond to a word command, with fruits and vegetables as rewards.

When they are no longer able to perform, they go to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida to live out the rest of their lives.

Lynne Pribe

Canal Avenue

Enough about Seneca courthouse

The Nov. 2 Blade included yet another installment of the Seneca County courthouse drama ("Seneca Co. officials unmoved by appeals to spare courthouse.")

I searched for "Seneca courthouse" on the Blade's Web site. I got 488 hits. You have beaten this horse for way too long.

I am sick of reading about an abandoned building 50 miles away. Get back to coverage of arsons, drug-related murders, and shootings in our town.

Jon Bruning

Glynn Drive

Too few people run for office

I just voted. What a waste of time. My dad always stressed that as an American it is my right to vote. I have missed voting only once in my 62 years.

Very few candidates had anyone running against them. Why do we keep electing the same people to office time and again?

I realize there are high costs to run against someone and lose. Often challengers lose because voters get used to a name and vote the familiar person in.

It's time we set terms for some of these municipal offices.

Diana Herman

Providence Township

Voting site shifts not appreciated

I don't appreciate my voting location being changed all the time. I don't appreciate receiving notification of where to vote only to go there and find out from a note on the door that it has been moved again and where to go next.

Being a part of the democratic process sometimes is like playing Ping Pong. Don't waste paper and postage to notify me where I should go to vote anymore.

I will drive around town, because sooner or later I will find the right place. There are better odds of me figuring it out than the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Robin Hathaway

Delence Street



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