EDITOR'S NOTE: The letter "Invest in Lakes to keep carp out' has been edited to correct a version in the printed edition.
Your Feb. 25 editorial "Caring for the lakes" says that state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon) likely will sponsor new legislation governing the withdrawal of water from the Great Lakes. As you noted, he sponsored the vetoed bill that would have violated the Great Lakes compact by permitting excessive withdrawal by private businesses.
Is Mr. Wachtmann the best person to sponsor this legislation? He is president of Maumee Valley Bottling Inc., a partner in Culligan Water Conditioning, and on the board of directors of the International Bottled Water Association.
Brenda Bright Hagman
Invest in Lakes to keep carp out
A recent report from the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative advocates a physical separation of the Great Lakes Watershed from the Mississippi River watershed as the only sure way to prevent the invasion of non-native fish into the Great Lakes (“Politicians flounder while Asian carp spawn a threat,” op-ed column, Feb. 9).
The report states that Asian carp, are “voracious feeders that … could cause irreversible damage to the Great Lakes if allowed entry.” It notes that the Great Lakes fishery generates about $7 billion a year of economic activity and that the cost of providing such a barrier would be as much as $9.5 billion.
Do the math: Save a $7 billion a year fishery for $9.5 billion. Sounds like an excellent investment to me. And then compare it to the money we spent through the federal government’s share of the cost of Boston’s “Big Dig” expressway project: around $10 billion in 2011 dollars.
And what did the Big Dig really buy? Shorter commutes for Boston area drivers and a nicer cityscape for Boston. Good things, no doubt, but can’t the Midwest get one of its major resources saved for less than the cost to the federal government of Boston’s Big Dig?
Bonuses fuel anger at government
The writer of the Feb. 24 Readers' Forum letter "Bonus upsetting? Think Romney" says that the bonuses of as much as $7,000 for United Auto Workers members at General Motors are every bit as merited as the amount of money that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes on average in a day.
Mr. Romney's good fortune is acquired as a result of the free market, and not as the result of a government bailout made with taxpayer money.
Those bonuses make me angry -- not at Mr. Romney or at the UAW workers, but at the government.
South Reynolds Road
Romney in jeans out of character
Mitt Romney has been showing up on TV and in newspaper photos wearing blue jeans, which is out of character. I guess he is trying to identify with the working class.
Mr. Romney condemned the auto industry bailout. Without that help, 1.4 million American jobs would have been lost.
He should go back to his expensive designer suits, which would project his image better.
GOP's bashing of Obama hypocritical
Where have all these fiscally conservative Republicans come from? Where were they when President Ronald Reagan drove the national debt up and raised taxes? By today's standards, he wouldn't be allowed in the Republican Party.
And where were these fiscal hawks when George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush raised the national debt?
Why is it that when a Republican president is in office, the party has no fiscal conservatism, but rather spends money like drunken sailors? Only when a Democrat is in office does the hawkish fiscal conservative come roaring to the forefront. That's called hypocrisy.
Tax extension not the answer
Congress approves an extension of the payroll tax and some other minor tweaks in the budget, and that's portrayed as some kind of accomplishment ("Tax cuts, jobless aid extended; Medicare payments to doctors maintained," Feb. 18).
Cutting the payroll tax is tantamount to robbing from the Social Security system to prop up the rest of the federal government. Social Security is in financial straits. Our leaders need to realize that the only way to reduce the deficit is to increase income and reduce expenditures.
Increasing taxes can backfire in a recession by reducing the amount of money for job-creating private-sector investment. Unfortunately, our leaders do not have the political courage to do the obvious: eliminate programs that do not work, reduce the size and cost of the bureaucracy, reform the tax code to eliminate breaks that do not serve the economy, and start collecting income taxes from those who pay nothing.
If something serious is not done soon, we will face the same sort of social upheaval that is taking place in Greece and other parts of Europe. When Uncle Sam eliminates or reduces what many see as entitlements because of a lack of money, chaos will follow.
On buses, classical music plays best
I reluctantly agree with the complaint about the driver of a University of Toledo shuttle bus loudly playing a far-right Christian political radio channel ("UT limits bus radio stations, volume," Feb. 18).
After 30 years in public transportation, I learned to put personal preferences aside and discovered that classical music is a less-stressful environment-control remedy. Agenda-free news and traffic reports with light music have always been the audio balm of choice among commuters.
Using propaganda as a witnessing tool is offensive, whether it is liberal politics, conservative talk, sports, or religion.
It's too bad that some of the worst representatives of Christ are overzealous Christians. If we who claim to know Christ would live out in daily life what we would like to preach to others, our actions would become the kind of free speech that a few would eventually tune in to.
Timothy La Vigne
Editor's note: The letter writer is a retired driver of airport shuttle buses and taxis.
Rossford schools' levies supported
To punish the children of the Rossford Exempted Village School District because of a dislike of district leadership would be unconscionable and irresponsible ("Rossford schools need attention," Readers' Forum, Feb. 23). This is what the Coalition for Effective and Efficient Rossford Schools asks us to do by voting against a school levy.
Rossford spends more per student than other districts in Wood County because of deteriorating buildings. Rossford also spends more per pupil on direct education and pupil support despite the current reduction in state funding.
School officials began planning several years ago to deal with anticipated funding losses without jeopardizing our children's education. Defeating any of the renewal levies would threaten that educational stability.
Rossford students and teachers work hard to maintain high education standards, often despite overwhelming odds. The district is rated by the state as excellent with distinction. We must acknowledge that hard work and assume our responsibilities.
Those in the Rossford district should work together, leave the past behind, and ensure a proper future for our children. They will feel the impact of our decisions. I hope people vote yes on both levies.
'Cash mob' too late for Fleeger's
It makes me angry that someone would suggest that people should have rushed down to make purchases at Fleeger's Pro Hardware at its closing (" 'Cash mob' should storm Fleeger's," Readers' Forum, Feb. 19).
Wouldn't that be a little too late? What good would a "cash mob" do to clear the shelves at Fleeger's by buying merchandise that probably would have to be sold below cost just to effect the closing?
It would have made more sense to patronize this neighborhood operation to keep it in business. People probably will miss that fine business, but a cash mob would have done little to ease the pain for all concerned.