Gov. John Kasich's working group on dangerous exotic animals has released its recommendations ("Exotic-animal group opposes proposal to ban ownership," Nov. 24).
On the positive side, the panel calls for a ban on possession of restricted species and does not grandfather currently held dangerous animals. The proposed restricted species list is comprehensive, and the recommendations allow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to establish stronger rules for native species.
On the negative side, the proposed regulations would not go into effect until January, 2014, allowing far too much time for tragedies like the killing of Brent Kandra by a "pet" bear or the recent slaughter of about 50 animals in Zanesville.
The recommendations also change Ohio's legal definition of dog to include wolf-dog hybrids, a change that will have serious repercussions for humane societies and other dog-related businesses and organizations, in addition to endangering public safety.
The proposal leaves many questions unanswered. Zoos, circuses, sanctuaries, and breeders are exempt from the ban, but these organizations are not defined.
If "zoo" refers to professional institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums -- such as the Toledo Zoo -- that makes sense. If "zoo" includes roadside menageries or pet owners who call themselves zoos, that is a loophole large enough to walk a tiger through.
The Toledo Area Humane Society supports strong legislation to ban private ownership of dangerous exotic animals. We urge the governor and General Assembly to take this starting point and refine it into a law that will protect public safety and animal welfare in Ohio.
Executive Director Toledo Area Humane Society Maumee
Greed behind Navarre's job?
Greed runs this country. Why else would former Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre take a job in Oregon ("Hiring of former Toledo police chief sparks debate," Nov. 23)?
Here was an opportunity to give someone in the Oregon Police Department a chance to step up the ladder. Someone with a family may have needed the promotion.
Chief Navarre has ample money to live on, so why take another job? Shame on him.
Stop criticizing double-dippers
There is nothing wrong with people maximizing their earning potential over their lifetimes, as long as they follow the laws ("Meaningful reform," editorial, Nov. 20).
Public employees who retire from one job and then find another job in the public sector are making positive business decisions that are completely legal. In our capitalistic system, we are allowed to make as much money as we want.
The employment decisions of Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and former police Chief Navarre are 100 percent legal and intelligent business arrangements.
Is there something wrong with someone wanting to work? Are people jealous of the financial success of these individuals? When you have experience as a police chief, you are not going to look for work as a rocket scientist.
We need to stop being so critical of public employees who want to retire from their current job and then continue to work in the public sector.
Instead of criticizing people for their business decisions, we need to ask ourselves: How can I improve my earning potential over my lifetime?
Failing to hire from within wrong
How many times have people such as Chief Navarre or Mayor Bell been chosen over other, possibly more deserving people?
The apparent thinking in Oregon, where Mr. Navarre was hired out of retirement to be police chief, is: He did an adequate job for them; he should be OK for us. This does nothing for the morale of those who should have been considered for the position.
In a few years, perhaps Perrysburg or Sylvania or some other locality will be looking for a new fire chief. Mr. Bell should keep his resume up to date.
Unigov? How about lackofgov?
In your Nov. 22 article "Toledo City Council hears pitch on home-rule charter," Councilman D. Michael Collins states that Ohio has too many government bodies and that unigov is the only way that the area is going to capitalize on its location for economic development. Unigov is a term referring to metropolitan government.
I would propose a new term: lackofgov. If lawmakers really want to stimulate business, then remove barriers to it, such as high taxation and over-regulation. If business is to thrive, government should stay out of the way as much as possible.
With lackofgov, our state will again be prosperous.
Voters should rethink change
As Lucas County voters review the prospect of changing the form of government to an elected county administrator and a county council, I suggest they ask themselves: How's the strong-mayor system in Toledo been working ("Don't lose sight of Lucas County reform," op-ed column, Oct. 30)?
Protecting youth a must at all levels
My son started Start High School this year as a freshman. During the second week of school, he was slapped and verbally abused by a teacher during class, with no wrong on his part. This has caused great trauma for my child and family.
The teacher was suspended, and returned to school several weeks later. My son found this out by walking down the hall in school and running into him.
There was no phone call to my home to prepare my child for that. The school board apparently was concerned about confidentiality.
When unions and contracts take priority over a child's safety, there is a problem. Institutions do not stand up for the rights of children, and instead fumble around trying not to get sued for ending a contract.
The perpetrator is given more rights than the abused. Where did we go wrong?
Editor's Note: Toledo Public Schools said the student has been moved to a different classroom setting.
A veteran gives thanks
After reading The Blade's Thanksgiving Day editorial "Giving thanks," I came to realize the many blessings we have in this country. There are people who are indeed grateful for them.
I attended a dinner at Hope Baptist Church around Veterans Day. I was touched by the gratitude shown to us veterans by this church.
One of the guest speakers was Kim Phuc, who was the little girl in an award-winning photo during the Vietnam war of the aftermath of a napalm attack. She gave a heart-wrenching account of how she came through pain, anger, hatred, and frustration to reach acceptance, direction, and thankfulness for things that happened in her life.
We hear these days about church people who protest at veterans' funerals. Never recognized are the churches that see the need to be grateful to our veterans for the things they are fortunate to have.
Hope Baptist Church is one of these churches.
Black Friday misses the point
With the recent acts of shopping violence on the day after Thanksgiving, it could be called Black and Blue Friday or even Black Heart Friday ("Bargain hunters tussle at many sites," Nov. 26).
The true meaning of Christmas is slipping farther away. It's time we re-examined what is valuable in our lives.
Thanksgiving campers lose out
It was disturbing to read about shoppers camping out at stores on Thanksgiving Day. How sad it is that the relentless pursuit of stuff has become more important than spending a holiday with family and friends.