Letters to the Editor 6-9-14

On June 3, I had the honor and the pleasure to accompany Norval Knouse and 75 other WWII, Korean and Vietnamese Veterans on the Flag City Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
Although it was a very long day, it was filled with warm feelings and support by the Honor Flight guardians and volunteers that helped organize this fantastic trip.
A special thank you to Deb Wickerham and her staff of volunteers who put in the long hours needed to insure that all went smoothly, from meals, snacks, beverages, bus transportation and wheelchairs for those of us who needed them.
Drivers from local nursing homes helped provide the transportation to and from Toledo. Local police, sheriffs, motorcycle clubs and state troopers provided an escort, with lights flashing and sirens sounding.
Volunteers at Toledo Airport provided a hot breakfast, identification packages and T-shirts to identify us as Honor Flight Veterans. Our plane was a 737, loaded with veterans and guardians, for each veteran, and medical staff to care for us. The organization was outstanding!
Three large buses waited for us at BWI Airport, to take us to the memorials in Washington. Each time we got off the bus at the Memorials, we were met by young service personnel, eager to shake our hands and thank us for our service to their country so many years ago. At the WWII Memorial, we were provided a hot lunch, after which we could visit the other memorials in the area.
The trip home was a chance to catch our breath. On arrival at Toledo Airport, we were met by a large group of family, supporters, and more volunteers. It was a joyful greeting for all of us. We all felt the honor and appreciation of the entire group.
The trip home was much like the trip up, with a police escort and it was the completion of a wonderful day. Thanks again to everyone that had a hand in making it so memorable.
Jack LaBerge
1st Lt., USAFR(Ret)

There has been a lot of publicity this spring about the state park funding bill releasing nearly $90 million to restore park facilities. That’s good news.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources also created a survey on its website and asked “us” to make suggestions on where and how they spend “our” money. More good news.
However, it is becoming clear that they had made those spending decisions before the ink was dry on the legislation.
Repeated requests for information about the role survey results will play in funding decisions have been denied. The ODNR simply will not comment on this matter. Not good news.
Many residents of northwest ern Ohio who have supported the efforts of Beachaid-Eastharbor for the last 11 years completed this survey as requested, to let Director Zehringer know that restoring “our” beach at East Harbor State Park with “our” money was a good idea.
Guess where your survey went? Yep!
He recently told a Toledo Blade reporter that ODNR doesn’t see any problem with the condition of “our” beach and they have no plans to spend any of “our” $90 million to repair the damage his agency caused 42 years ago with the installation of the 9000-foot sea wall (with our money).
Zehringer’s phone number is: 614-265-6511. Sen. Randy Gardner and our own Rep. Robert Sprague have vowed to become involved and do all they can to bring this priceless resource back to “us.”
You can speed this process up by contacting both of them and Director Zehringer soon and often.
I want all of you who have supported the efforts of Beachaid-Eastharbor to know that I/we have not given up, but the future of the beach is in your hands. Use those fancy new phones for a good cause!
Dick Taylor
rural Findlay


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