Blade ombudsman Jack Lessenberry’s defense of your requiring a Facebook account to post comments online fails to convince me (“Policy on Web site story comments annoys reader,” Jan. 27).
If, as Mr. Lessenberry suggests, 54 percent of Americans have a Facebook account, then 46 percent are excluded from participating.
While letters to the editor are an alternative, they are often edited and condensed, with no guarantee of publication, and the frequency of submissions is limited. Online comments face no such restrictions.
If The Blade’s Web-site monitors are policing the flamers, there is no reason to fear legitimate anonymous posters, who might face retribution if their identities were known.
Readers are best served by policies that foster broad, open, freewheeling discussion. As defenders of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, newspapers should do everything possible to encourage this. The Facebook mandate stifles debate.
TPS needs to learn from library’s levy
Toledo Public Schools officials seem astonished that the district’s levy request last year did not pass (“TPS gears up for levy attempt; Finance panel rejects new-money request; 6.5 mills advised,” Jan. 19).
Instead of spending a lot of money and wasting time on studies or consultants, TPS should look no further than the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. It ran a successful campaign last fall by teling voters exactly what would be lost if its levy did not pass.
If TPS takes the same approach, will it work? I do not know, but asking people for money without describing the consequences surely did not.
Student-athlete article’s focus off
Your Feb. 7 article about the tragic death of Ottawa Hills High School senior Brian Hoeflinger, “Ex-classmates reflect on friend’s tragic death; Signing day’s joy tempered by loss from car crash,” seemed more focused on St. John’s Jesuit High School’s student-athletes.
Did we need to know where young men from St. John’s, which Mr. Hoeflinger previously attended, were going to college? If you wanted to focus on student-athletes, why not those in Ottawa Hills, where Mr. Hoeflinger attended high school?
Drinking, driving wrong all the time
The recent arrest of Ed Heintschel, St. John’s Jesuit’s head basketball coach, is unfortunate, but the school should not let the issue go (“Heintschel offered to resign; St. John’s coach apologizes after appearance on DUI arrest,” Feb. 13).
We just lost a young man, who had attended St. John’s, to drinking and driving. Is it all right to drink and drive as long as you are on your own time? No, it is wrong all the time.