The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


To the editor: This is in response to the Feb. 27 article, “Communication issues vex office holders” and the letters to the editor by Jan Sawaya and Joann Schiavone.

After reading all, I am amazed that the solution from the mayor is to retain a consultant and ask council to attend a communication workshop. It clearly appears that the only one in need of such a workshop is the mayor.

Two new council members were elected in November 2011. This change seems to have altere

d the direction of Walbridge council. It seems the mayor is no longer the puppeteer and his micromanaging leadership style is being put to the test. The donation of his salary back to Walbridge can no longer justify his part-time status as mayor.

It is very difficult to be out of town and run the village from a cell phone and BlackBerry and it is inexcusable to miss council meetings and numerous other meetings where the village of Walbridge should be represented, such as the regional dispatch grant meeting in January.

It’s time for the mayor to take note of a few things. You do not speak for the people of Walbridge – that is the job of council. You were elected, by a small majority, to be the mayor of Walbridge – not the part time mayor.

Get your schedule and priorities straight. If your priority is not to be a full-time mayor for the citizens of Walbridge then perhaps you should remove yourself from the position.

Lastly, attend your communication workshop and take notes. You’ll most likely need them for future reference.
Barbara Sloyer

To the editor: To Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee: Your speech at a Columbus athletic club not only insulted the “Polish” but the 14,000 sailors who served in WWII.

Your reference to the P.T. boats was inconsiderate. Your statement, “Like the P.T. boats shooting at each other” insults President Kennedy, whose P.T. boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer named “Amagirl” and lost part of his crew. Gen. MacArthur was transported from Bataan to Australia by P.T. boats. I served on P.T.s and a P.T. tender called the U.S.S. Cyrene in the Philippines.

It was no joking matter. Many men gave their lives for the freedom we now have and you joke about it?
Paul J. Schwind

Old rule still applies
To the editor: Twice in October, I had a near-accident at the corner of Starr Avenue and Wheeling.

On Monday, I was on Starr approaching Wheeling when a woman turned the corner onto Starr and crossed the center line. If I had been two seconds earlier, she’d have hit me.

On Thursday, the exact same thing happened. I could not believe it. Was the Big Guy in the Sky trying to warn me that my time is running out?

Then in January, it happened again on Nevada Street, only this time was not so close, however the driver had more difficulty correcting and getting back across the center line.

On each of these three occasions, it was a female driver talking on her cell phone and trying to turn the corner with one hand. Each had children in her car.

About every six months in this country, there is a massive pileup of numerous cars. Usually, they blame it on weather conditions but I believe the major cause is that they are driving bumper-to-bumper at 70 miles an hour.

No one seems to remember the old rule – for every 10 miles an hour you are driving; you must maintain a car length between your car and the car ahead of you. So, if you are driving 70 miles an hour, there should be seven car lengths between your car and the car ahead.

If you think that people use that old rule, just drive on I-280, I-75, I-475, Navarre Avenue, Reynolds Road or Secor Road between 5 and 7 p.m.

You might want to say a prayer first.
Louis Agoston

It’s up to Congress
To the editor: The controversy over the Postal Service’s efforts to close the Toledo Processing and Distribution Center is being repeated in hundreds of American communities, as the USPS prepares to close more than half of the nation’s 460 mail processing centers.

In Toledo and cities and small towns across the country, business owners, citizens, community leaders and elected officials have demanded the USPS withdraw plans that will slow down mail delivery, kill jobs, and hurt the local economy.

At dozens of public meetings to address community concerns, the Postal Service’s answer has been essentially the same: Facility closures are necessary to help solve the USPS financial crisis, they say.

But the Postal Service is unable to substantiate projected savings, and many observers including members of Congress – have charged that USPS estimates are wildly inflated.

And the cost of closures will be high: The Postal Service announced Dec. 5 that massive closures will force the USPS to eliminate overnight delivery for first-class mail and periodicals, change next-day delivery to two days, and extend two-day delivery to three days.

Locally, closing the mail processing plant means residents and businesses may not receive bills, payments, prescriptions, online purchases and community newspapers on time. This includes everyone in the 434, 435, and 458 zip codes also.

Nationally, dismantling the USPS distribution network will have a severe impact on companies that rely on the Postal Service to conduct business-to deliver bills and catalogues, return payments, distribute information about products and services, and deliver goods to customers. The Postal Service is at the heart of $ 1 trillion private sector industry that employs 9 million people and generates more than $ 65 billion worth of mail annually.

Closing postal facilities also will have a devastating impact on millions of individual citizens who rely on the mail to connect them to their communities and the nation at large. Nearly 40 percent of Americans don’t have broadband Internet access, and 28 percent of Americans have no Internet access at all. Approximately 55 percent of consumers still receive hard copy bills and statements.

Fortunately, the massive proposed closures are unnecessary. Congress created the problem and Congress can fix it – without any cost to taxpayers.

The cause of the Postal Service’s financial crisis is largely misunderstood. Although first-class mail has declined over the past four years, online bill payment and other forms of electronic communication are only part of the problem. The primary cause of the Postal Service’s dire financial situation is a mandate imposed by Congress in 2006 that requires the USPS to “pre-fund” healthcare benefits for future retirees.

This obligation drains approximately $5.5 billion annually from postal accounts to fund a 75-year obligation in just 10 years. No other government agency or private business bears this burden.

Were it not for the financial chokehold Congress created in 2006, the Postal Service would have netted a $611 million surplus during fiscal years 2006-2010 instead of racking up a $21 billion deficit. In addition, the Postal Service has overfunded its retirement accounts by billions of dollars. The U.S. Office of Personal Management, which oversees these accounts, has concluded that it cannot allow the USPS to reclaim these funds without congressional authorization.

In response to the fiscal squeeze placed on it by Congress, the Postal Service has proposed closing thousands of post offices, slash its mail processing network, and eliminate prompt mail service for the nation’s citizens and businesses.

Unfortunately, the postal reform bill pending in the senate (S. 1789) fails to adequately address the problems. Although the 21st Century Postal Service Act would reduce the level of retiree healthcare pre-funding, the annual cost of pre-funding would continue to impose significant debt on the USPS and would result in the unnecessary cuts in service the Postal Service is planning.

There’s a much better solution: Congress must repeal the pre-funding requirement, allow the USPS to recover overpayments to its retiree funds, and protect service to the American people.

Resolving the Postal Service’s financial crisis would free up the funds the agency needs to maintain service standards, protect the mail processing network, prevent the closing of rural post offices, retain six-day delivery, and modernize. For the USPS to remain relevant in the digital age, Congress must permit it to offer new products and services.

The USPS network is a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure. Destroying it will lead to the demise of the world’s largest, most efficient and most trusted mail system – one that our founding fathers expressly authorized in the Constitution.

Congress created the Postal Service’s financial crisis, and Congress must fix it – now.
Arnie Cowell
President, American Postal Workers Union
Local 170

Clear priorities
To the editor: Lake Local Schools never fail to amaze me. When the levy failed, it was announced that layoffs were likely.

In February it was stated that “The cuts we’re looking at right now will affect programs and education” while at the same time they decided to hire a football coach at an inflated salary. They have not even decided what position he will be in. So which is more important – football or programs and education?

The last teacher contract that I have a copy of says that when someone who has retired from the State Teachers Retirement System is to be hired they shall be paid at the Bachelor’s Degree Step 5, which would be less than $40,000 per year. Yet the board decided to pay some one that will teach in the physical education department $53,764. Most schools only pay at step 5 for any teacher with more than five years of experience that is coming into the district, which is one reason teachers do not switch districts very often.

I am sure the teachers in the past would have loved to have received that level of pay. What will they pay a teacher who isn’t a coach? Who or what will be cut to pay this salary?

Last year during the levy request, the board stated that that it would not be replacing three teachers that had retired in order to save money. But I guess if someone can coach football, then the priorities can change. Bob Abbey, the previous coach a Lake graduate and a current staff member, was selected after the school board was not happy with the record of the varsity football team. Now they are not happy again so they hire someone at an inflated salary for a position they do not need.

I have nothing against Bob Olwin, the prospective coach, but I really have to wonder where the Lake Board of Education and the administration place their priorities. When your budget gets tight, you need to reduce unnecessary spending and concentrate on the things that are most important. I guess we know where their priorities are.
Ken Smith
Editor’s note: Mr. Smith is a former member of the Lake School Board.




Do you agree with the Supreme Court ruling that the Colorado baker did not have to prepare a cake for a gay wedding?
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