I attended the recent City Council committee hearing on a proposed property tax levy to support Toledo's parks and recreation facilities and programs ("Parks tax levy proposal debated at council hearing," June 15). I support putting a levy on the November ballot.
When we ask for taxpayer money, it concerns us all. As an older American who lives on a fixed income, I also know that well-maintained, safe, and well-equipped city parks improve everyone's quality of life.
Often, a city is evaluated by the way its parks look and by the programs they have for children, young families, seniors, and people with special needs.
The seniors I talk to and see have pride in our city. First-class parks in the past were places where families taught their children courtesy, respect, and how to use equipment properly.
If older Americans know why we ask for tax money and how it will be used -- and trust that the money will go to its intended use -- they will do their part to renew pride in their city.
Levies worthy, but a burden
All the levies on the upcoming ballot are worthy ("3 groups proposing levies for Nov. ballot," June 7). But are homeowners the only people who use parks?
How many fragile, cash-strapped senior citizens are at the parks? Not many. Some have no way to get there. Many others do without necessities and can barely manage to hold onto their homes.
While the amount of money asked for in the proposed levy is not a fortune to most people, it is to some.
It is unfair for homeowners to pay for municipal services used by non-homeowners. Renters argue that their rent goes up when levies pass, but it's never in the amount that the homeowner pays.
Rose Acres Drive
Balance reporting on dangerous dogs
Your recent coverage of dog-related stories was skewed.
Your story about the adoption of the "Suitcase 6" ("Rescued puppies, mom part ways for new lives," May 23) was featured on the front page. A few days later, a story about a boy recovering from a dog attack was on page B1 ("Lucas County witnesses increase in dog-bite cases," May 26).
The latter article quoted a member of the Lucas County Dog Warden Advisory Committee saying that people should train their children how to react to dogs. If these breeds were not dangerous, no training would be necessary.
If you must continue to print dog-related stories, please fairly report the problems with dangerous breeds.
Free lunch for veterans appreciated
As a veteran, I want to thank Penn National Gaming for its support and recognition of military service members.
The free luncheon buffet offered to active and retired veterans at Hollywood Casino Toledo on Flag Day, June 14, was an act of appreciation and patriotism. Judging from the large turnout and smiling faces, I think the many other veterans who attended the lunch felt the same way.
Gaming paybacks come into question
I visited Hollywood Casino Toledo last week and was pleased to see such a great facility. Unfortunately, my initial reaction was tarnished as I explored the offerings on the casino floor.
I spent a good deal of time scouting the video poker machines. This is my favorite casino game, because it requires skill and strategy and typically offers more favorable odds.
The pay rates on these machines were horrible. Detroit casinos offer many of the same video poker games, but with a far better payback. Even Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind., offers similar games with better paybacks.
From what I could tell, the returns offered at Toledo's casino are above established minimums. But they are not competitive with other casinos.
Penn National is taking advantage of an unsuspecting public and the lack of competition in Toledo. I wonder whether the casino Penn National is building in Columbus will take a similar route.
Casino's pretty, but looks are deceiving
It's hard not to be impressed by the appearance of the casino. But it is merely a facade.
The casino is designed to steal the hard-earned money of already struggling people. Life savings could be lost, college tuitions could be thrown away for the chance of an elusive big win, marriages could be broken, and taxpayers eventually could have to pay for the disease of gambling addiction.
The casino created some jobs. But there is an underlying cost that Toledoans cannot afford to pay.
Casino needs to rethink pricing
My wife and I went to Hollywood Casino Toledo for dinner on the first Saturday it was open. After standing in the buffet line for a while, we discovered that the buffet closes from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. to prepare for dinner.
The dinner buffet cost $30 a person, plus tip. This is quite expensive for the food that was offered. There was only one kind of soup, and the most extravagant item on the menu was oysters on the half shell.
There were no meats. Steaks were available in another buffet line, but that buffet cost around $50, which is too much for my budget.
The casino is only a short distance from my home, but we make out better driving to Windsor, Ontario, to eat and play at the casino there. The Canadian casino is cheaper, and there is a greater variety of food that is less expensive.
Hollywood Casino should take another look at its prices and food selection if it wants repeat customers.
David Brecht, Sr.
Casino visit spurs mistake by bank
I went to the new casino on the first Friday it was open. I used my Fifth Third Bank debit card to get cash from my checking account. I spent several hours at the casino and had a great time.
When I got home, there was a nasty voice message on my phone stating that Fifth Third had frozen my funds until I called its fraud division to answer some questions.
Two days later, I was finally able to reach someone to fix the mess. I was told my account had been frozen because I was traveling.
Since when is it considered traveling to drive from Whitehouse to Toledo?
Is this how Fifth Third treats its loyal customers? I am looking for a new bank.