The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Cruel and unsafe

To the editor: Perrysburg High School students participate in a rather disgusting tradition taking place during halftime of basketball games – swallowing live goldfish. Besides the repulsive thought of ingesting a live, swimming fish, Perrysburg High School does not take into consideration how cruel it is to the fish as well as the health risks imposed on the students swallowing them. As we know, goldfish are not the cleanest animals and drinking them can result in serious illnesses such as salmonella.

In February of this year, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) criticized Perrysburg High School for the actions.

Schools should never be involved in teaching students that cruelty is OK. In an age where animal abuse is a huge problem, schools should prioritize teaching kind behavior. Instead, Perrysburg High School Principal Michael Short views the activity as a positive experience. He said in a published article, “Things like this make high school memories. They won't remember math, but they'll remember eating 14 goldfish.” Short not only shows zero concern for the health of the students, but also no concern for the moral influence he puts on students. As for making a good high school memory, from a personal standpoint, I have many great high school memories, and not one of them involves hurting animals.

Goldfish, as small as they seem to humans, are living animals that have feelings and a right to life. According to PETA, goldfish are far more complex than we make them out to be, and they are capable of undergoing an extreme amount of suffering. Being dissolved in a person’s stomach acid after having no choice but to be swallowed alive would obviously induce such suffering.

The community needs to stand up against this.
Amelia Bockey
Walbridge


Citizens underserved

To the editor: Walbridge’s police department manual states that: “As a duly appointed police officer, you (the chief) are on duty and subject to call 24 hours a day.”

Residents expect the police chief to devote all of his time and attention to the police department. Yet for the past two years, Walbridge’s mayor and council have employed the village’s Police Chief Ken Frost to also serve as village administrator.

The residents have been poorly served. The village pool was closed most of the last summer because of delays in relining the pool. The curb repairs on Parkview were unacceptable and must be redone at considerable inconvenience to residents. Citizens complained about the mess left by the contractor on the Perry Street paving project.

Despite these problems, the mayor and council refuse to hire an independent, knowledgeable and experienced village administrator who has ample time every day to supervise projects and contractors, as well as the operations and maintenance of the village’s pool, parks, public buildings, streets, alleys and infrastructure.

The village sought and received a legal opinion from the Ohio Attorney General that said it is up to the discretion of council whether to have the police chief also serve as village administrator. The village failed to disclose that the police chief is on duty and subject to call 24 hours a day. On several occasions, the attorney general has held that being on duty 24 hours a day precludes a police chief from holding another public job.

The village administrator has mandatory duties that cannot be delayed or neglected subject to the demands of being police chief. The administrator must “directly supervise” the village’s maintenance, parks and pool employees. It is impossible for Chief Frost to provide such supervision because he is required (by council) to spend his first four hours of work on road patrol. Recent experience shows it is unwise for Walbridge to have the same person attempting to do both jobs.

It appears from records provided by the village that he is devoting zero or minimal hours to being village administrator. No village employee can have unlimited discretion to decide how many hours they will work and when. Council needs to specify the minimum hours and work schedule for the village administrator and then verify compliance based on daily time sheets. If Chief Frost is paid 30 percent extra to perform village administrator duties, then he must devote a commensurate amount of time to those duties above and beyond his full-time hours as police chief.

In addition, the village is contributing 19.5 percent of Chief Frost’s entire salary to the police pension fund, which means all of his salary is being treated as compensation for police duties and none is being treated as compensation for administrator duties, which has a lower Public Employee Retirement System contribution rate of 14 percent.

Walbridge is not filling the position of village administrator as required by state law. Continuing to use the police chief as village administrator is underserving our residents.
Cecil Adkins
Walbridge

Editor’s note: Mr. Adkins is a former member of village council. Last year, the village administration received an opinion from the Ohio Attorney General one person could simultaneously hold the position of police chief and village administrator with some restrictions, including the administrator may not approve invoices, contracts or other expenditures for the police department without approval of the village council. Also, the police chief must recuse himself from an investigation concerning the office of administrator.


 

Discrimination

To the editor: Marriage between a man and woman is God’s law, not man’s law, therefore only God can change that law – not a king, president or a supreme court. No one on earth can force a person to change his or her belief because a judge says so. The Bible tells us to love one another – we don’t have to agree or even like everyone, but we do have to be kind and respectful, even if we disagree.

Early in the rhetoric about gay rights, the claim was that they wanted to be accepted, but it seems that now some insist on endorsement. Unfortunately, this is not a realistic goal. Neither courts nor people can force approval, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get along.

In the effort to not discriminate against gays, we are instead discriminating against Christians. If a gay couple goes to church for Sunday service, a theater to see a show, restaurant for dinner or bakery for a dozen donuts, service should never be denied. There is no moral issue there, but asking those same facilities to be part of a gay “wedding” is not acceptable. Furthermore, there’s no valid reason for it; there are plenty of other businesses willing to accommodate. We are not toddlers who have to have our own way no matter the cost to someone else.

Forcing people to go against their conscience, pay huge fines or go out of business creates animosity and doesn’t solve anything. It can also eliminate jobs and increase unemployment. And whether we care to admit it or  not, it’s just another form of discrimination. We only have one world and we all have to share it. Does it really make sense to destroy our neighbors to get our own way?
Mary Jo Thieman Bosch
Millbury