It is rare when I agree with The Blade, but your May 17 editorial “Detroit’s lessons” put everything in perspective.
To quote it: “Detroit’s fiscal crisis is largely the result of reckless pension and health insurance commitments that previous city officials made to municipal workers. Such commitments may have bought temporary labor peace, but at a price that these officials knew or should have known could not be ultimately be sustained.”
Isn’t this what the much-maligned Senate Bill 5 was trying to address? Shouldn’t Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Gov. John Kaisch, both of whom backed SB5, be issued an apology?
■ Violence no secret; solutions at home
Domestic violence is hardly a dirty little secret, as The Blade’s deputy editorial page editor, Jeff Gerritt, suggests, in Toledo or anywhere else (“City’s dirty little secret: Domestic violence behind many homicides,” commentary, May 19).
In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act. Ohio has laws against domestic violence. People recognize the problem. The issue is how to deal with it.
Mr. Gerritt does a disservice by making domestic violence a race issue, claiming that society demonizes young men of color and citing what he calls double standards. This is a social issue. As with most social issues, education is a key element to fixing the problem.
Parents need to set a good example of how to settle disagreements. They need to stay involved in rearing their children. A father should teach his daughter what to look for in a man. A mother should teach her son to be loving and protective of his mate.
These values are sometimes lost in a society where marriage has been degraded and where households are divided. It all begins at home.
Grand Rapids, Ohio
■ Saturated fats not all that bad for us
It is unfortunate that Dr. Neal Barnard persists in perpetuating the myth that saturated fats are bad for health (“Plant power,” editorial, April 29). Health authorities have been preaching that message for years, yet obesity and diabetes have continued to increase.
Many doctors and scientists find that studies condemning saturated fat are flawed, biased, and misinterpreted. There is no good evidence that foods rich in natural saturated fats promote disease.
The real secret to good health is to avoid highly processed and refined foods. Limit sugars, starchy foods, and modern vegetable oils, and eat plenty of natural fats such as butter, coconuts, and olive oil. Such a diet is satisfying, enjoyable, and slimming.
Eat old-fashioned whole foods — fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy from pastured animals, real butter, whole grains properly prepared — and you’ll do well.
I am a retired dietitian. I and some of my colleagues look forward to the day when this is the common and accepted description of a healthy diet.
■ Humane Society of U.S. aids animals
The May 2 Readers' Forum letter "Humane Society of U.S. not federal" gave a distorted picture of the society's work.
I am a former executive director of the Toledo Area Humane Society. I know firsthand the important role that local shelters and national organizations both play in helping animals.
The Humane Society of the United States works to combat the root causes of animal suffering on a scale that local organizations cannot reach. Animal shelters play an important role in their communities and in the animal welfare movement as a whole. HSUS supports them through training, educational resources, grants, and hands-on help with animal hoarding, animal fighting, and cruelty cases.
HSUS' aim is to protect all animals, so we advocate on behalf of animals in laboratories, in the wild, and on farms through public policy and corporate reform.
One example of that work is our recently formed HSUS Agriculture Advisory Council for Ohio. The council is a group of farmers who will advise us on how to promote and support farmers who are good stewards of their animals.
HSUS provides more hands-on care for animals than any other organization in the country, and generates more institutional and cultural reforms in protecting animals.
Ohio Director of Outreach and Engagement
Humane Society of the United States
■ German trip, articles foster success
I thank The Blade for its excellent articles about Toledo Mayor Mike Bell’s visit to Germany and in particular to Toledo’s sister city, Delmenhorst (“Past meets present in 2 German cities,” May 12).
Much can be gained by getting to know people and towns in other parts of the world. We can learn from each other. Making personal connections can lead not only to strong friendships, but also to good business relations. Kudos to Mayor Bell for having the foresight to realize this.
A goal of Toledo Sister Cities International (TSCI) is to increase our awareness of Toledo’s ethnic diversity. By getting to know more about each other, we understand each other and work better with each other.
At the same time that Mayor Bell and the delegation from Toledo, which included TSCI executive director Susan Miko, were attending the Hannover Trade Fair and visiting Delmenhorst, TSCI held its fourth annual international festival at the University of Toledo, featuring ethnic performances, food, and crafts.
My husband and I recently flew to Delmenhorst to make a connection at a different level. I took with me letters from my 27 Washington Local Schools fifth-grade gifted and talented students for pen pals at a school there.
I talked with sixth graders at another school who also were interested in becoming pen pals. So far, we have 32 pen-pal letters from one school and have received 40 emails from students at the other asking for pen pals at Hiawatha Elementary School.
It’s never too early or too late to learn about and make personal contact with people in other countries. Congratulations to all involved on a successful trip to Germany, and to The Blade for excellent reporting.
Toledo Sister Cities International
One Government Center