Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the Aug. 3 “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) If you were the judge and jury, what would be the punishment for the woman who perpetrated the missing-daughter hoax on an Indiana family? The pain she caused this family is as bad as if they'd found the girl's body. It is beyond cruel … and the sad thing is that she probably was trying to defraud the family in some way, but it never got that far — so it never got to the severe crime level. I don't think identity fraud carries as much of a penalty as it should. Can you imagine the anxiety and grief she caused the parents of the missing girl? The older I get, the more I seem to get a feeling of “an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”-type punishment. A lot of people don't agree with that, and I guess I never used to think that way, but there is just too much weirdness going on out there and too many just plain BAD people. I'd put her away for a considerable amount of time, that's for sure. The world is filled with cruel, mentally ill, unhappy, and twisted people. What to do with them is really a tough question. They need therapy, but we want revenge. If I were the judge, I would give her both; some time away from society and serious counseling so we can learn why she did such a hurtful thing and help her. What a cruel hoax on the Indiana couple. And then to think she had worked for a government informant on e-mail child pornography. I bet those cases will be reviewed. A good long time in a mental facility.
2) How likely is it that Lucas County Auditor Larry Kaczala will beat incumbent Marcy Kaptur for the 9th Congressional District seat in 2004? Larry has two chances: None and worse than that. While I am a life-long Republican, I admire Marcy for her ability to stand up for what she believes in. She seems to always be back in town, helping out with this or that, and standing up for her district. And, I doubt she would ever betray their trust in her. Admirable qualities in anyone, especially a member of Congress. Tell Larry not to quit his day job. I predict he will receive no more than 30 percent of the vote next year. Well, because this area is inundated with Dems and union people, and not enough GOP, I would give Larry 40 percent to Marcy's 55 percent of the votes. Unfortunately, Marcy is good in the PR department and never misses a chance to come running to T-town with a government check in her hand. For stupid people to believe that only she can do this is absurd. The good thing is, now she must spend some of that campaign money she has accumulated over the years. I still believe in term limits, and she must go! I doubt there is enough GOP in the ‘burbs to elect Larry. Hope so, though! Larry “Who”? I am one of the biggest Republicans you will find in this area. However, I do not believe Kaczala will beat Kaptur. After the redistricting, much of the Republican area was cut off from the 9th District. He will weaken her, and it might be close, but he won't win. I think he would be much better off running for county commissioner. Whether it's Tina Wozniak or Harry Barlos, I think he would win easily. About as likely as the Tigers and Mets (or Padres, if you prefer) meeting in the World Series this year.
I've always loved reading restaurant reviews and health inspections … they ARE an eye-opener. In Texas, they are graded on an A-F scale and the grade has to be posted prominently. I scan the inspection reports to see if there are any restaurants I like to go to on the list, but generally there are no serious violations. Mold in the refrigerator doesn't get me too upset. The ethnic places, such as Chinese or Lebanese, usually have more problems because they are not used to our type of scrutiny. In short, I agree with you. Good thing you haven't seen the number of restaurant kitchens that I have! Even the best-known places in town, especially the chains, are pretty scary when it comes to the kitchen. Most strive to do a good job — considering the public-relations nightmare that would result from a disastrous health-department report. I do occasionally check the reports in The Blade to see what's what. It does not, however, color my decision as to where I will dine that week. Question: Why is it, during restaurant health inspections, that the restrooms are not included? Too many of them are filthy holes and unsuitable for human use. If you recall, when the Ohio Turnpike was built, there was a promise to make it toll-free when the debt was paid. The debt got paid, and they promptly raised the toll by some 80 percent. I don't think we need to pay $250,000 to know if they take the tolls back to before the increase, the truck drivers would come back. Seems to me that the tolls we had before this huge increase would be sufficient to continue with road improvements and repairs. But, I would suppose this is far too easy — we need to pay someone to tell us we are stupid.
Feel obligated to report to you that I visited the bridge-construction viewing area last week. After all of the harping I did about it, I have to tell you that the state did a great job. Paved parking and picnic-style tables! Check it out. It is somewhat hard to find. Take Front Street to Consaul, by Packo's. Take a left, go through the chain-link fence. Here's a question for you to pose to the pro-Iraqi war people: “How do you feel about spending billions of your tax dollars in Iraq?” If they say something like, “No problem,” then you can say, “Gosh, I didn't know you favored welfare.” I know, I know, I'm getting cynical in my old age. Bush is doing a great job. You need to get out more. You have difficulty separating real life from the movies. You need to keep taking your meds. That is a television in your living room, not a window. I thought the Iraqi people were going to greet us as “liberators”? What a mess we've created. My wife and I saw Gigli last night. It's not as bad as critics made it out to be.