The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Guest Editorials

First and foremost, both sides need to drop the rhetoric and political ideology. The Republicans want less regulation. The Democrats want program spending. President Obama is pushing down the earmarks and promoting responsibility.

Conservatives and liberals need to consider reason and become earnestly conservative and utilitarian. Conserve and use wisely our resources to achieve productivity with purpose, for the long-term health of the economy.

We must stop over-exploiting resources and capacity. We must stop giving away money without expectation of reasonable return and productivity that is meaningful in the long-term.

In all Centrist considerations we wish policy makers to keep these core ideas in mind:

1. Fact: We do not exist in an objective market; we exist in a regulated market.

2. Any form of earmark or bill stacking should be culled out of the bills.

3. All bailout funds must be connected with performance and productivity.

Without checks and balances, efforts will dig the hole deeper. Let us not be lulled into complacency, or false hope, that money cures all. Everything must be tied to productive, responsible behavior.

To those that 'believe' in reducing regulation on the bailout, we are not in an objective market. We can't afford to make the same mistake twice at this magnitude of economic scale. Reducing regulation has proven economically unsound and invites further disaster.

To those that believe money alone is the answer and that it is only about jobs, please consider that jobs that are not directly tied to long-term benefit of the needs of the nation, people, and productivity, will weaken the system.

Band-aids on cancer don't heal cancer. We need an objective market basis. The Keynesian model is inherently flawed. Regulation is required to tame the excesses that have infected corporate governance, the lack of which fostered corporate malfeasance.

We have little time for squabbling or complacency.

To policy makers, do and promote these things in statements, deliberations, and actions on these important matters:

1. Increase regulation to ensure that transparency becomes your top priority.

2. Push no earmarks, seek balance in all policy between states and keep the national needs of the people rather than local needs at the center.

3. Set aside personal agenda as best as you are able.

Let us hope the Congress and Senate will work with President Obama in a well-reasoned approach to solve this crisis.

To the American people left, right and center, Call your representatives and senators; call their offices, demand reason and sensibility. Delay only raises the tax on every citizen. We encourage you to become active. Let us not leave this to the politicians. It is our country.

This is a crisis with potentially devastating ramifications if decisive, responsible action is not taken quickly. We need to rally behind reason and our President and do difficult things. In doing so, we will put our country on a road to deal with other pressing challenges that are in dire need of attention as well.

John P. Reisman is the founder of the Centrist Party.

East Bank of Maumee River Set for Major Revitalization

Most of the east bank of the Maumee River has sat dormant for decades.  Gone are major industries such as the Gulf Oil Refinery and Toledo Coking. Given the massive recession in the housing and retail sectors, the Marina District may be many years off.  That does not mean that there are not major developments to reshape east Toledo’s shores and provide economic development for a city that desperately needs it.

Last year, the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority acquired the sites of the former Gulf Oil Refinery and Toledo Coking for $4.3 million. With these additions, the Port of Toledo now reigns as the largest land mass port on the Great Lakes. The port authority now owns seven linear miles of coastal property spanning from the Nabisco Plant on Front Street to the CSX Coal Docks in Oregon.

Land mass doesn’t necessarily translate into activity and it will be many years before the Port of Toledo rivals the Port of Duluth – the busiest of the Great Lakes terminals – for cargo throughput.  However, this massive expansion of Toledo’s international seaport portends significant economic development for Toledo.

Once the property was acquired, the Lucas County Improvement Corp. (LCIC) received a $5 million Shovel Ready Site Grant from the State of Ohio to make this dormant property productive. This $7 million project will dredge the dock area, restore the dock face, and prepare the site for vertical development which should begin before the end of 2009, according to LCIC interim president, Matthew Sapara.

Sapara credits the vision of James Hartung, former port authority president, and Alex Johnson, president of Midwest Terminals International of Toledo, the company that operates the general cargo docks at the Port of Toledo. “Jim realized that that property offered the only avenue left to the port authority to expand the seaport,” said Sapara. “Alex was quick to realize its potential to expand both the volume and diversity of cargo passing through the seaport.”

So, just what kind of development can we expect along Front Street that will lead to new jobs in east Toledo?  According to Sapara, Toledo’s emergence as a center of alternative energy will drive the success of the project.

“So much of what is being developed and produced in Toledo in alternative energy technology is exportable,” said Sapara.  “Conversely, much of what Toledo will need to meet its full potential as an alternative energy center will have to be imported.  The seaport and Midwest Terminals will make out on both ends.”

There is great potential at the Port of Toledo. But we’ve been hearing about “potential” for more than 20 years.  Toledoans have heard it so many times it’s hard to get excited. Numerous pitfalls remain for this project and a vacuum of leadership might loom as the largest.

Since consummating the deal to expand the seaport, James Hartung was unceremoniously dumped as the president of the port authority for alleged personal improprieties with a contractor. The port authority is conducting a national search for his replacement. Interim president Paul Toth has been with the port authority since 1988 serving as an engineer, director of technical services, director of airports, director of finance and technical services, and interim president.  He has been an integral part of every port authority development for the last 20 years. The port authority board of directors can scour the nation for a new president. But it seems that the person with the institutional wisdom, technical ability, and financial acumen is already in their midst. We will wait with bated breath to see if they realize it.

The other vacuum of leadership exists at the LCIC. Matt Sapara is doing double duty as the interim president of the county’s lead economic development agency and the director of project development at the port authority.  Somehow, he’s able to devote the time and energy necessary to be successful at both. The agency is hampered by a lack of participation by the City of Toledo who, under two mayors, has declared that if they can’t run it, they won’t be a part of it.  It has also had its progress slowed by County Commissioner Ben Konop who treats the LCIC like a political animal he is dedicated to mounting as a trophy. Meanwhile, Sapara operates with “interim” in a title he ought to hold permanently. Political jealousy and turf battles continue to hamper our economic development efforts. 

So there it is. More of the same potential we’ve been promised by two generations of politicians. Let us hope the elected officials and political appointees who guide the region are wise enough to realize the potential and make the informed choices that will assure jobs are created in east Toledo and that the whole region benefits from these positive developments.

 

 

 

When I was a lad, we were a Pontiac family. That was the way families used to think about themselves back then: Pontiac families, Ford families, Buick families, Dodge families.

There were even Hudson and Studebaker families and we felt sorry for them when those brands went under.

Car manufacturers began to take advantage of that brand loyalty by making increasingly junky cars on the cheap. Why give quality when the suckers are going to buy whatever you slap your name on?

 

Universal Income

What do you think of presidential candidate Andrew Yang's proposal for a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for every adult?
32550042 [{"id":"323","title":"It will help millions of people who are increasingly losing their jobs to automation.","votes":"1","pct":8.33,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"324","title":"No, if the proposal is paid for by tax payers.","votes":"10","pct":83.33,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"325","title":"Yes, if billionaires pay for it, as labor costs disappear due to automation.","votes":"1","pct":8.33,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/118-universal-income No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...