President Obama is obsessed with eliminating fossil fuels ("Tougher pollution rule," editorial, April 2). In thrall to radical environmentalists and helped by his minions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he is trying to discard affordable, dependable conventional energy in America.
Meanwhile, he blames the fossil-fuel industry for soaring energy prices and looming electricity shortages that he has helped create.
Oil companies are under-taxed, the President claims. According to the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group, for the past 25 years oil and natural gas companies have paid more in state and federal taxes than they have earned in profits.
The President takes credit for increases in oil and gas production he had nothing to do with, while drastically curtailing drilling offshore and on federal land.
He takes credit for the successful fracking process, which was invented and developed by the private sector and has driven down natural gas prices with no environmental degradation.
The Congressional Research Service reported in 2009 that America has more fossil-fuel resources than any other country. The President claims we have only 20 billion barrels of oil reserves, but current estimates by the Institute for Energy Research show that, including oil shale, the country has 1.4 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil, enough to meet all U.S. oil needs for about the next 200 years without any imports.
Economic prosperity eludes us because this administration hinders the development and use of fossil fuels. Job growth cannot happen without cheap energy.
Cost savings can lead to tragedy
Because of society's cost-saving mentality, two lives were lost in a tragic fire ("Arson blamed for deadly blaze at Springfield Twp. apartments; Complex's attic broke 1970s building code, lacked fire stops," April 3).
As a bricklayer, I helped build many firewalls in apartments. I remember hearing stories about a complex built with units constructed out of town, brought in on trucks, and stacked like shoeboxes with a roof built over them. During the 1980s, drywall was used instead of blocks for firewalls.
My company works for a builder who uses exposed decorative block in townhouses as a firewall, so quality is still available.
Is saving a few dollars worth risking lives?
Editor's Note: The letter writer is a co-owner of Mroz Masonry LLP.
Licensed installers could help safety
Building codes are essential for safeguarding people and property. Building inspectors are important in ensuring that the codes are followed. Inspectors should be given sufficient time to inspect the installations they are responsible for.
Local governments should employ the necessary numbers of inspectors for enforcement of permits and installations. They should ensure that construction is done properly by trained and licensed tradespeople.
Code violations contributed to tragic loss of life and property at the Hidden Cedars Condominiums. Firewalls slow the spread of fire and allow time for evacuation. But they can be compromised by untrained, unlicensed wiring installers who put holes in them and do not properly seal them.
A few years ago, City of Toledo officials had the opportunity to license installers of low-voltage wiring, but chose not to. Shame on them.
Editor's Note: The letter writer is a retired licensed electrician and former member of the Board of Electrical Control for the City of Toledo and Maumee.
Women prone to heart disease
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 15,000 women die annually from heart disease in Ohio, making it the number-one killer of women in our state.
Five years ago, my mother-in-law died from a massive heart attack at age 68. No one in the family knew she could have heart disease; she had never smoked and she had no signs or symptoms of clogged arteries.
Yet she apparently had severe blockage in one artery that caused the heart attack. Her symptoms immediately before the heart attack were nausea and back pain. She thought she had the flu.
Stories such as this one underscore the importance of educating women to recognize the early signs of a heart attack. I thank U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) for supporting the Heart Disease Education, Analysis, Research, and Treatment for Women Act. This proposed federal legislation would improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease and stroke in women.
The bill would also expand access to screening and lifestyle counseling for low-income, underinsured and uninsured women.
Women in Ohio and across the country would benefit from this bill to improve women's health.
Editor's Note: The letter writer is the outreach marketing manager of the division of cardiovascular medicine, University of Toledo Physicians group.
Lake schools' priorities well set
Contrary to the April 5 Readers' Forum letter "Lake schools must focus on education," Lake Local Schools' priorities are well-established.
The Ohio Department of Education has awarded Lake academic ratings of excellent with distinction and excellent in the past two years. These are the highest academic achievement ratings possible.
Lake achieved these ratings while spending less per student than 80 percent of other Ohio school districts.
The financial crisis at Lake Local Schools is the result of a well-documented reduction of funding from federal, state, and local governments. In the past two years, Lake's funding has been reduced by $1.6 million, including $425,000 less in local property taxes collected this year.
The cost-cutting measures taken by the school board on March 21 were severe, but necessary to avoid a deficit of almost $1.2 million by next January.
Those layoffs and other cuts, including closure of Walbridge Elementary School and elimination of all-day kindergarten, would have been unnecessary if a levy had passed last year. If an operating levy does not pass this year, it will become necessary to make even more devastating cuts.
The writer of the letter did not attempt to discuss his concerns with, or get his facts straight from, any Lake administrator or current board members.
Lake's priorities could not be more clear: achieving academic excellence at one of the lowest costs per student in Ohio. That is exceptional value for our students and taxpayers.
President Board of Education Lake Local Schools
Enclosed malls' passing mourned
My wife and I used to shop at Southwyck Mall frequently, particularly Dillard's. We were disappointed when the store and the mall closed ("Major retail expansion called unlikely; Mall building is done, say local experts," March 18).
When developers tried open-air malls, they failed to account for one of enclosed malls' greatest assets: their ability to negate bad weather. Now, because developers did not meet our needs with difficult parking at Westfield Franklin Park and the area's two open-air malls, we found the best alternative: catalog and online shopping.
Media needs to focus on facts
The media, specifically the electronic media, fall short of delivering news. They create a changing version of what happened, adding speculation to fit the pieces and parts with little or no confirmation.
This contributes to misinformation acted upon by some for their own gain and fame. A good example is the Trayvon Martin tragedy ("Slain teen was on suspension for pot traces found in book bag; Family blames police for leak of information," March 27).
To report what is known and confirmed is news. To add comment, conclusion, and hearsay is not.