Your Jan. 13 article “Toledo police claim inroads against rise in gun violence” reiterated the problems that gangs present in their neighborhoods.
Young men join gangs because gangs give them the sense of community and purpose that they can’t get anywhere else. Why not give them something that will fill those needs and benefit the community at the same time?
The gangs have their own territories. Suppose they were challenged to improve those territories. They could fix up playgrounds at neighborhood schools. They could help elderly neighbors mow lawns, shovel snow, and paint houses.
These programs would be a lot less expensive than the increase in prison population and destruction of lives and property.
Other people may say the gangs would never go for it. I say: Try them.
Jazz great Black left a rich legacy
I was saddened to hear of the death of Claude Black, who was one of Toledo’s greatest musical heroes and one of our nation’s finest pianists (“Famed jazz musician loses battle with cancer,” Jan. 18).
I remember first hearing Mr. Black in 1968, when I was a freshman at St. John’s Jesuit High School. I can’t imagine visiting Toledo and not hearing Mr. Black’s wonderful piano or being with one of the most wonderful gentlemen I ever met.
Though those of us who love jazz have taken an immeasurable loss with his passing, we can console ourselves with the sounds and the memory of the many recordings he left us. We also hear Mr. Black’s legacy when we listen to the music of the many musicians he has influenced.
I am just one of many whose lives have been enriched by Mr. Black.
Elected officials should pass test
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said in his State of the State address that New York state should implement a bar exam-type test that every teacher must pass.
The only requirements to run for governor of New York are to be a U.S. citizen, at least 30 years old, and a five-year resident of New York before the election. Having lots of money helps.
Voters accept politicians with few qualifications or moral integrity.
If elected officials were held as accountable as teachers, the country would not find itself in its current state.
Editor’s note: The writer is a former teacher in the Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) City School District.
Delta residents respect funerals
I was recently inspired by residents of Delta, Ohio, when I was in a funeral procession. Most of the vehicles we passed stopped on the side of the road in a show of respect.
In Toledo recently, while waiting for the light at Wernert’s Corners, I was brought back to the reality of the city. Police officers blocked traffic for a funeral procession. Some drivers flew through gas station parking lots to cut off the procession in their all-important need not to wait the four minutes we had to wait.