Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the July 6 “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) Isn't the Federal Trade Commission's “Do Not Call” registry the most common-sense tactic to come out of Washington in a long time? Sure is! I hit the Internet as soon as I read about it in the paper. The most calls I got in one day was nine. Enough is enough. I hope Washington's “common sense” Do Not Call Registry is an indication that more smart ideas are on the way. But I doubt it, because it just may have been a bureaucratic and political lapse. A question answered with a question: Is not the time to eliminate the job of telemarketer? I never understood the problem. With cell phones, answering machines, and caller ID, why answer the phone if you don't want to? A “Telezapper” I bought seemed to work. The reason we have telemarketers is because they worked. Somebody was buying their stuff. Once again, you are anti-business and expect the government to fix your imaginary problems. Yes. Now they will have to come up with something for e-mail because telemarketers are already gearing up for a spam onslaught. Yes. Something like this is long overdue..
2) Wasn't Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stuck in the spin cycle when he dismissed suggestions that U.S. forces in Iraq are in a quagmire? Yes, Iraq is a mess — and I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the president. He's great at starting wars but, like his father, doesn't know how to end them. And where, exactly, are those WMD????? Yes, and we'll be in bigger trouble once the Reserves and National Guard are severely depleted by diminishing ranks due to lengthy deployments in harm's way. Wasn't Russ Lemmon stuck in the “demoralize our troops” cycle when he continued to beat up on Bush and his administration and our troops with idiotic questions? The boys in D.C. will try to “spin” their way out of the quagmire, but it will be difficult to do if the body bags keep coming home. Time will tell whether we have another Vietnam in the Middle East.
Ray Kest's arena proposal makes sense — that's why no one has acted on it. I think Toledo government likes being mired in mediocrity. … The lack of action on the arena is a symptom of a much larger disease. I've never been much of a Ray Kest fan, but let me tell you, for once, he has the PLAN! This is the only possible solution to what has become a problem that should never have been a problem in the first place. The Fraction Field area has all the great beginnings of a true entertainment district, just like the area around Jacobs Field and Gund Arena in Cleveland. … The area around Fifth Third Field is the only logical place to put an arena and the sooner they get at it, the better. As an ex-“East Toledoan,” I recognize the mindset of Ray Kest, and those who are jumping on his bandwagon. The East Side has been ignored or dumped on for many years. The building of low-cost housing units seems to be the extent of the commitment to the “other side of the river” by those who have run the city. If an arena is built downtown, I sincerely hope the crowds will wine and dine at the Docks, Tony Packo's, and other East Toledo establishments, before and after each event. John Harris “gets it.” I would only change the headline for his column to read, “Establishment wants to ‘continue' to ignore East Toledo.” Thank God for Ray Kest. At least someone is doing SOMETHING to move this idea forward. Without thinkers such as Mr. Kest, Toledo would still probably not have electricity. (Sorry, City Council has determined that this will increase the number of holes in Toledo. Not a good idea. Too many wires overhead. It's bad enough we have to pave the roads for those new things called CARS. We don't encourage progress in Toledo — it's too much bother.) Anyway, good luck to Mr. Kest and his effort to pull Toledo into the 21st century. Every now and then, you nail it. It IS TIME to begin some serious dialogue about the location of the new arena. I think a change at the top of the city administration will facilitate the beginning of the needed dialogue. So it looks like about two more years until we have any movement on this issue. Let's face it, Russ, if this administration can't get a new eating establishment built on the site of the former Brenda's, it can't deal with any large projects.
Like you, I don't mind the extra [state sales] tax but feel it will never be repealed. At least this current crisis is solved. But, knowing how the state of Ohio operates and given the fact that Taft is a joke as government, I'm certain another fiscal emergency is just around the corner. Regarding the Ten Commandments, they are the backbone of my religion too, but what is this obsession of having them somewhere, anywhere? Who has ever stopped to read them as they walk by the courthouse? Better yet, who has ever allowed them to play a role in whatever activity that brought them to pass by? Very few, if any, I suggest. Sure hope something happens eventually to spruce up the waterfront on the west bank. What a valuable resource going to waste. Nothing to offer residents or visitors. Have you walked down there lately? Why would anyone? Howard Dean is my man right now. He is smart, tough, liberal, and raising big money. I dare Bush to debate him. He may be the man to energize the Democrats. They need to get behind someone now like the Republicans did early with W. Some say he has a bad temper; I say he has a lot to be angry about. Am I missing a trend? Pancakes on the comeback? Note new IHOP stores popping up. Must be the dough (no pun intended) in those cakes in order to afford pricey real estate across from the Franklin Park mall.