Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the Feb. 23 “Twin Pack” questions (an abbreviated version of “Half a Six Pack” and “Six Pack to Go”). Each question has five responses from readers. (Sorry, but Russ serves as the “gatekeeper” — he determines the five answers to accompany each question.) In order to make this a reader-friendly feature, some lengthy answers submitted by readers may have been shortened.
1) Given that speeding is speeding, wouldn't you like to see Toledo expand the use of speed-enforcement cameras beyond school zones? I would not like to see the addition of speed cameras, but for anyone breaking the law, I do not feel sorry for them if the camera catches them. If cameras are the only way to do it, then let's do it. No, cities have already stepped up their revenue collection with radar. You must be one of the left-lane drivers who go 55 because no one may go faster than that! If you want to see traffic back up, have a police car drive on the expressway during rush hour. You never see a police car during rush hour! Yes, we need more cameras. There is one at Alexis and Lewis, and when I come home at 12:30 a.m., I have seen many speeders run through the stoplight because they cannot stop. Alexis Road is like a speed track at night from Douglas Road to I-75. No — because I drive too fast! The time to spread the use of speed-enforcement cameras is after there are enough statistics to prove their value in school zones. If they do, in fact, reduce the number of school-zone injuries or fatalities, then post them in other speeder hot spots.
2) Didn't George W. Bush tell us during the 2000 presidential campaign that he's “a uniter, not a divider” and he's “not into nation-building” — or am I just imagining things? Your memory is good. We have a president that I believe is doing a great job at keeping peoples' discussion off the economy, which is a great weakness on his part. Anybody can start a war, but it takes a leader to guide citizens through hard times. That IS what he said (cough, cough … Mr. Subliminal would have a field day). Problem is, someone is pulling his strings or told him that starting a war would get him the second term that his father didn't get. We're seeing the side that shows he is a true politician — say what you need to, in order to get elected, and then do what you want. You are, after all, the leader of the free world. Who's going to stop you? Bush is the wrong man at the wrong time. He was anointed pretty boy of the Republican Party when he won (stole) the election. The party and the country got what it deserves. Will we make the same mistake again? I have no confidence that we will not. Bush overplayed his hand and misjudged American support following 9/11. Well, he is a politician, after all. And, you're correct, he did say all those things and more. But, this is war and he is the President. The American people can only protest at the ballot box. It will be interesting to see how W makes out if the war goes badly. The election is just around the corner, relatively speaking. Another one-term Bush? Always a possibility, although I don't see any Democrats that light my fire yet. George W. is a hard dude to keep track of, isn't he? … He seems to be going a number of different directions on various issues. … He was going to come down hard on Saddam as recently as a week ago — now, that has faded away again, apparently. And the issue of Osama bin Laden has sure become a non-issue. Let's hope he's a one-term president.
Approval to open the two 24-hour restaurants will be interesting. I think it is good that stores like Wal-Mart are open 24 hours. One can choose to shop at 3 o'clock in the morning. One of our friends did his Christmas shopping for his three kids at that time. I have no idea how many customers they have during the off-hours, but evidently there is enough business to warrant extended hours. I think the White Castle issue is “much ado about nothing.” I have seen this so often. Remember the Home Depot fiasco near Westgate? There are others as well. For goodness sake, the White Castle location is only two blocks from the police station. I predict it will be a successful business and the safety issue will quickly fade away. As usual, a good column to mull while finishing my coffee in the morning. Regarding the Waffle House to be built near Southwyck vs. the White Castle controversy, you never mention it, but it seems obvious to me race has some bearing on it. Yes, the area around the White Castle is rough and has a history of gangs, violence, drugs, etc. So the motel with the hookers and drugs out by Southwyck gets no play, in terms of arguing against a 24-hour food place? What's the only difference? One's in a predominantly white area, and the other is in a predominantly black area? You tell me. What are the politics, the issues, and the message. Mr. Mayor, are you listening? A column to give pause. One would think that we were in a big city or something. Perhaps we should give more consideration to boosting the police force, rather than cut back. If I were Chief of Police in Toledo, I'd park a cruiser outside both the White Castle and the Waffle House. Might even add an officer once in a while.
Bush has really gotten the United States into a no-win situation with Iraq. This smells more like Vietman every day. Good comments on “conservative” talk radio this week. Why no protests against Saddam in this country? He can stop this thing now if he wanted to. It would not bother me at all if not one new chain restaurant opened its doors in our area again. The reality is, it's hurting local start-ups that cannot compete at the same level. I'd be interested to know if any of those consistently criticizing the Bush administration for abusing our civil liberties are supportive of traffic cameras. That's my $.02. Have a nice day.