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For the week of 4/13/09
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Thursday, 09 April 2009 09:43

Business friendly?
To the editor:  Not many things come to Oregon that help the retail business along Navarre Avenue - maybe some Cedar Point buses once in awhile.

One thing that did help was the Oregon Dream Cruise at the old Food Town. The lot was packed with old cars, along with hundreds of spectators. These people filled the restaurants and other shopping outlets along Navarre Avenue. It was a great thing for all retail outlets.

Now the city, for some reason, decides to move the Dream Cruise from the business area of Oregon to the Seaman Road city buildings. No restaurants. No spectators. No shopping outlets. If this is a business-friendly city, they sure don’t show it by moving this cruise away from the business area.

Whose idea was it to do this?
Jerry Thompson

Speak out
To the editor: I recently read about an unspeakable tragedy that was just narrowly averted because of the courageous act of just one person.

Eight starving horses were wasting away in a field while their owners consistently failed to provide food, water or basic veterinary care. The horses ate bark off the trees in a desperate attempt to stave off their hunger, but it wasn’t enough – they were slowly dying. Thankfully, a neighbor saw the horses suffering and decided she couldn’t look the other way. She called a local veterinarian and that set the wheels in motion for a rescue operation to save the horses. Unfortunately, the recue came too late for one horse, but the survivors are now thriving in their new environment.

It is disturbing and even heartbreaking when you witness an act of animal cruelty, but each of us has the power to put a stop to it. Any time you suspect animal abuse, your first call should be to your local humane society, animal control or to the police. Get them out there to investigate. Whether it is a neighbor’s pet being treated cruelly, cats and dogs at a local pet store, or animals at a breeder’s facility being kept in filthy, crowded conditions – if it’s animal abuse, it’s against the law.

I urge the citizens of this community to join with me and speak out against animal abuse wherever and whenever they see it. Innocent animals are depending on us to be their voice.
Sheila Schlievert

Is Envirosafe adequate?
To the editor: This pertains to the article in The Press dated April 6 pertaining to adding more monitoring wells off site.

Why wouldn’t the Ohio EPA put more wells off site? Is it because it would prove that this agency has continually supported the dump?

This dump has many notices of deficiency (NODs), but this agency clearly said, “the network at Envirosafe is adequate.”

With the most recent indictment of an ex-employee of this dump for not reporting the proper information on documents that are required by law that must be reported to the very agency overseeing this leaking dump, who are we to believe that everything there is “adequate,” as Ms. Ackerson from the Ohio EPA said in the article?

If the documents were not provided and/or are just missing and they were cited for this, once again it gets a slap on the wrist. This dumpsite is now leaking off site into the pubic right of way and yet the agency is saying it’s OK to pollute the neighbor’s property as long as it gives us $2-plus million every year.

Since when have the laws changed to allow others to pollute your property and nothing will be done to stop the polluters? We have now been told that the Phase II will not be done for another year. Will this company leave us as soon as it depletes the closure/post closure fund? Who will have to pay for the mess it made? Ohio EPA? The city of Oregon taxpayers?

The US EPA should intercede here and do a full investigation. I would like an audit to be done because of this indictment and the missing records. The Ohio EPA is supposed to be protecting the residents in the state. Have they forgotten they work for us? The health and safety of this community and surrounding communities are in question. Where are all the elected officials? Why haven’t they been concerned as to what happens here? Why haven’t they demanded a full investigation into the missing records? It appears the only time they have an interest in this dump is when they are running for office.

City of Oregon officials have been fighting this leaking dump for a very long time. Where are the City of Toledo politicians? Our water lines were there before the dump. Did they even review them? I would suggest the City of Toledo look at a letter dated June 24, 2008 from the OEPA to Envirosafe addressing the waterline trench monitoring program inspection violations.

We as residents need to start asking why the Ohio EPA Director continues to allow this dump to take money out of the post-closure/closure fund to do pay for corrective action, when this company is in non-compliance of its permit. This needs to be stopped. Make them pay from their daily profits and keep that money where it belongs to protect us when the decide to leave.

Call your elected officials and demand that this be stopped.
Joann Schiavone

To the editor: On March 19, 20 and 21, Lake High School presented the most amazing performance of “Beauty and the Beast.”

I feel credit should be given to the director, Rick Brimmer, and his production crew. The cast was fantastic. It is unusual to see so many talented students in a performance. Belle (Jenson Strock) and the Beast (Evan Matheny) were outstanding.

Many thanks should also be given to the stage and set crew for moving so fast and to the orchestra that performed in the pit.

Lake High School, you should be proud.
Judy Schuster

To the editor: I have just read Brian Schwartz’s rebuttal to Councilman Bill Meyers.

What an arrogant, obnoxious dolt. No wonder Carty got rid of him. I hope The Press is the next to eject him.
Gerald Wilson



For the week of 3/30/09
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Thursday, 26 March 2009 12:10

A double take
To the editor: So the village of Elmore now has state-of-the-art surveillance cameras from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Am I the only one doing a double take here?

Elmore is a sleepy village in Ottawa County whose population at the 2000 census did not quite reach 1,500 residents, yet we are told that it is the only municipality in the state and one of just 26 in the nation to receive the grant, worth $72,000. Just whose idea was this? Did the Department of Homeland Security, hoping it could cast an ever-tighter web of surveillance over American citizens, make it known to every police department in the land that such equipment was available for the asking? And did that request come from an overzealous Elmore police department with too much free time on its hands?

The money, $72,000, may be a pittance in the grand scheme of things, but there are better ways to spend taxpayer money – not to mention the cost of training, including a trip to Washington, D.C. paid for by the manufacturer and Homeland Security – ultimately funded by taxpayers. In a weak attempt to justify the expense, we are told that this equipment can be used to monitor the sewer plant, parks or community events and that it can be set up to monitor the height of the river. One could suggest a very short walk to the riverbank might provide fresh air and a bit of exercise.

What kind of village feels the need to scrutinize the comings and goings of its residents? When general surveillance like this is in place, there is always the possibility of abuse. There is also that other nagging question – “Did anyone ask the people of Elmore?”

Where do we draw the line? Has the fear generated by 9/11 cowed us all into submission to close scrutiny of every detail of our lives? Before you answer that question, rent the award-winning film, “The Lives of Others.” What happened then and there can happen here and now, even more easily with modern technology. Even given the ultimate choice, I think many of us would rather die free than live under surveillance.
Annette Wakulenko

Grateful for change
To the editor: Just as I share my complaints when I am unhappy with something, I will also share my joy.

Thank you so very much for the recent increase in the speed limit for a portion of Curtice Road. It really makes a difference. When the speed was 25 miles per hour for a portion and 35 miles per hour for another portion, it was easy to error if you weren’t concentrating on what section of road you were on. 
So again, thank you.
Pat Magsig

For the week of 3/29/09
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Thursday, 19 March 2009 13:09

Tax rates
To the editor: I just completed my 2008 tax returns. I spent a lot of time making sure I used every deduction I was eligible for and wishing I had taken advantage of several other opportunities.

My thoughts drifted to all of the talk about how the middle class carries the tax burden while the rich pay no taxes. Let’s put an end to the continued bashing of President Bush and his “tax breaks for the rich” policy. Is anyone looking at what the current tax rate structure is? Presently, if you earn under $34K it is at a 15 percent rate; $34-82K is 25 percent and above $373K it is 35 percent…yes 35 percent. A full 10 percent more than if you are “lower middle class,” as I and most of you are.

What is “fair” about asking them to increase their burden? “Fair” would be all of us paying the same rate – wanna go there? I thought not. As for the tax breaks themselves, all of us have the option of parking some of our income in some of those same places. If I were subject to the 35 percent rate, I would be looking real hard for ways to bring my tax basis down even further also. A lot of the investment deductions that are allowed for the wealthy really do help stimulate the economy.

But that is a whole ‘nother letter.

Dale Fielding

To the editor: In reading today, I came across a quote by a Frederic Bastiat. It goes, “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in a society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

Mr. Bastiat was born in 1801 and died in 1849. This seems to mesh with the present condition of our Jerusalem Township trustee government, county government and Ohio state government. It indicates that history really does repeat itself.

Ray Cedoz
Jerusalem Township

Control ahead of safety
To the editor: I compliment Joann Schiavone for taking the initiative to search for a better and cheaper solution for policing Walbridge. At a time when most Americans are cutting back, it is nice to see someone looking to help her village do the same.

The mayor and council of Walbridge need to take a second look at their stance on this issue. In the past, Mayor Dan Wilczynski and council President Ron Liwo have been outspoken about how other entities in the township spend money, suggesting that there are cost saving alternatives for those entities that still maintain quality. They are now ignoring their own advice.

The truth is that their only concern is control and not safety. If it was a matter of safety, they need only look at the larger, more experienced, more capable Lake Township force that could defend Walbridge citizens with a more visible presence and a lower price tag. This force could also better defend all sides of the railroad tracks because a larger fleet would never be completely cut off due to train traffic.

It is unfortunate that the mayor and council have placed control ahead of safety. As a result, the village police force will continue to selectively target certain people and businesses while an independent police force would evaluate all situations to make just decisions.

If the mayor and council make the smart decision, they could concentrate on spending a fraction of the savings on things the townspeople really need, like smooth railroad crossings.

Eliminate severe tire damage and save everyone money.

Lou Renford

A leap
To the editor: In response to the March 9, 2009 issue of The Suburban Press regarding the Genoa sting operation, there are some concerns on behalf of Genoa citizens and perhaps Oregon.

John Szozda should base his articles on all the facts instead of inflammatory statements. Has he attended any meetings lately?

On March 2, approximately 30 of Genoa’s citizens attended with concerns of an overzealous chief of police and mayor. Had John gone, he might have been better informed and not so quick to judge some of Genoa’s citizens as being unscrupulous. His article about the Oregon and Genoa sting suggested that these establishments willingly violated the law to make a profit. If he believes that, then he needs to have his head examined.

Patrons have visited these establishments for years and have found them to be very concerned about checking IDs and making sure that their livelihoods are not jeopardized. If John is truly concerned about the welfare of your youth, he should ask The Press to stop taking ads from unscrupulous establishments. I doubt he does that. Why? Well, money, maybe, to use one of his quotes.

Here’s the rest of the story. Randy Hill, chief of police in Genoa sent two ladies into Genoa establishments undercover. The so-called 20-year-old looked to be in her 30s. With that said, when the 20-year-old was served, she allegedly also consumed in at least two establishments. The question is, if this 20-year-old consumed, who’s contributing to the delinquency of a minor? Yes, both the establishment and the police. The sting operation would have been just as effective without consumption. Allowing a 20-year-old under police supervision to consume is wrong, or to coin a phrase from John, “a no-brainer.”

These establishments in Oregon and Genoa are run by real people, whom he has never gotten to know, yet John slams them as easy as he breathes. They made a mistake. For him to leap from making a mistake to them risking their livelihood for profit on the backs of minors is insane.

Larry Kincaid
And Concerned Citizens of Genoa
Editor’s note: Genoa Police Chief Randy Hill said he gave the undercover woman instruction not to drink and says she did not consume alcohol.

Savoring the pages
To the editor: Nice article in your last issue about newspapers, their reporting, decline, and their current situation.

Like you and others our age, I, love, the feel of a newspaper in my hand - especially on a Sunday morning.  But like many younger people, I get a lot of news from the Internet - probably due to ease of access, and lack of free time to really sit down and savor a good newspaper.

For what it's worth, years ago, the sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov wrote a short story for an airlines magazine on communication in the future.

He proposed that the ideal format would be something that required no power, was resistant to heat and cold and sun, could be taken anywhere, and when closed would fit in the user’s pocket.  In an O. Henry ending, he revealed that the future was here: a paperback book.

I've no answers, only musings. Nice job.

Doug Grosjean


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