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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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I have been sleeping better lately, however, on one recent night when truck traffic was heavy and trains loud I tossed and turned while these midnight ponderings ran through my head.

Cover up Sarah
Newsweek was leaning so far left when it published its Sarah Palin cover, the editors fell into the gutter, mesmerized by a pair of good-looking legs.

If you haven’t seen the cover, it depicts Palin in a pair of short running shorts leaning on an American flag. The caption says, “How do you solve a problem like Sarah?; She’s bad news for the GOP—and for everybody else, too.”

Palin has called the cover sexist.

If not sexist, at least inappropriate. A photo should jive with the article it illustrates. Consider in a 2007 cover, Newsweek chose another hunk—a male one—California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to illustrate his leadership in saving the environment. The editors dressed him in a suit and tie and had him balancing the globe on one finger. The caption read “Save the planet—Or Else.”

The suit and tie was appropriate dress for a governor. A poor choice would have been to pose Arnold wearing only the loincloth he wore in Conan the Barbarian?

So, why would Palin pose for Newsweek in such a manner?

She didn’t. She struck the pose for an issue of Runner’s World in which she talked about her 35-year passion for running.

Newsweek reused the photo for what was a hatchet job, pure and simple. Editor Jon Meacham, in published reports, defended the decision saying it was “the most interesting image available to us.”

Interesting, maybe, but the story was about the effect of her brand of conservatism on the Republican Party, not her passion for running.

Newsweek compounds its bad judgment in its latest issue by running a photo of a shirtless President Barack Obama wading in the ocean. The caption is a quote from Palin about her photo, “It’s sexist and a wee bit degrading.” The editors still don’t get it. It’s not about the photo. It’s about how the photo was used.
 

Skeldon skewered
Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon got a bum rap when he was forced to retire early because some didn’t like his kill rate. If I lived in Lucas County, I’d want Tom Skeldon as my dog warden. I jogged for more than 20 years and was chased numerous times by loose dogs. Once, a German Shepherd nipped my shorts.

Skeldon’s approach led to Lucas County registering the highest percentage of licensed dogs in the state. His strict enforcement of laws pertaining to vicious dogs also helped reduce serious dog bites from 697 in 2001 to 329 in 2007.

It’s hard to defend Skeldon for some of the puppies he euthanized. But, consider there is a cost to keeping dogs. I’d rather this money be spent on enforcement than on turning the warden’s office into another dog shelter. We have enough of those. Consider these: Toledo Animal Shelter, Toledo Area Humane Society, Maumee Valley Save a Pet, Planned Pethood, Pooky Boo Pet Rescue, You Lucky Dog, Angel on Call Dog Rescue, Wood County Humane Society.

On one day last week, there were 160 dogs available for adoption at these shelters. Not all will find homes. According to ASPCA, about five to seven million pets enter the nation’s animal shelters each year and three to four million are euthanized.

Turn the Lucas County Dog Warden’s office into a pet shelter and money earmarked for enforcement will be diverted to feed, shelter and treat abandoned pets. Prepare yourself to pay.


Outlawing obesity
Twenty-four years ago when states were passing mandatory seat belt laws, I wrote that it was only a matter of time before we’d pass laws to outlaw smoking and obesity. We’ve now outlawed smoking in public places and a proposed bi-partisan bill in the Ohio legislature will take a big step in tightening the belt on obesity.

The bill would require schools to:
•Force all students to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day;
•Screen for body mass index and put the results on report cards;
•Adopt stricter nutritional requirements for food they provide;
•Eliminate the sale of pop for grades K-8 and in high schools only allow beverages with no more than 66 calories per eight ounces.

No need to ask why. We’re a fat nation. According to a new report authored by three public health organizations including the American Public Health Association entitled “The Future Costs of Obesity,” it is expected that by 2018, Ohio will be one of six states in which more than half of all adults will be obese. The annual health-care costs attributable to the diseases associated with obesity could top $16.2 billion in Ohio alone.

The report concludes that if obesity rates continue at their current pace, more than 103 million American adults will be obese in 2018 and account for more than 21 percent of our nation’s direct health care spending.

Health care reform will mean nothing if we don’t push ourselves away from the table and do something.

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