Letters to the Editor 08-07-14

WHY NOT USE CULVERTS?
I asked the Army Corps about keeping roads open during high water events at one of the very few public meetings. I got the impression that “keeping the roads open” would never be a factor in any of their proposals.
As far as I can tell, they have only two major criteria, project cost and impact on flood elevation (value of buildings not flooded). And a few minor ones like keeping the clams, bats and the EPA happy.
The other factors, like public feedback, do not fit neatly into their cost/benefit equations. And those equations are what will decide the direction we are expected to follow.
A bridge and approach road that are constructed to keep the road working during a flood will often act like a small dam in the river. This appears to be the case for the I-9 bridge. The corps has already determined that making the approach road to the I-9 bridge lower, so that it floods frequently, is much cheaper than a new bridge.
But, there is another approach to this issue. Leave the bridge and road/dam height alone, but add additional water passage under the road. We normally call these culverts.
We already have hundreds of these in Putnam and Hancock counties because they work well and are relatively cheap to design, install and maintain.
As I understand the details released, there are many other bridges that are a little too narrow, but not enough to justify a full rebuild.
Culverts would be good for them, too. In addition, there are several roads that flood quickly and make travel nearly impossible, like East Sandusky Street in Findlay just west of the fairgrounds.
In conclusion, the corps needs to make road access a factor in their master plan, so that we don’t grind to a halt every couple of years. A few well-engineered culverts could help balance the competing priorities of cost, access and flood control.
Greg Little
Findlay

SO MUCH FOR THE HUDDLED MASSES
After reading about the problems Toledo is having with their water and also the thousands of Latino kids stuck in limbo at the U.S. border, I thought I would throw in my two cents’ worth.
The children are apparently those no one wants. Their parents shipped them off on buses here in some kind of failed attempt for them to have better lives here in the land of the free.
Didn’t anyone tell them that is not how it works here now?
Someone needs to put a piece of duct tape over the part of the plaque on the Statue of Liberty that says something about huddled masses, poor, hungry, blah, blah, blah.
And that song we used to sing as kids in church went something like this, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow (Indian and Asian) black and white, they are precious in his sight” didn’t say anything about brown kids.
So, no, we cannot afford to house and feed and try our best to find adoptive families for these kids in need. We don’t have any money. That is the excuse we are getting from our do-nothing-tea-party-Republican-controlled Congress.
Conservative is the label they prefer. We Democrats are labeled “loser liberals.” If it means not being a hypocrite in the name of financial constraint, count me in as a liberal.
Odd though, isn’t it? We found money to start two unprovoked wars in the last 10 years, resulting in billions of dollars spent and countless lives lost. For what?
But we can’t find money to help these kids? Death and destruction? Yes. Helping vulnerable kids? No. Pathetic.
Meanwhile, the water crisis in Toledo has been foreseen as a problem for 10 years.
It did not happen overnight. There seems to be a multitude of causes for the algae blooms and no end in sight.
It is going to take expensive studies and federal money to help fund these solutions, much like the flooding fixes needed for the Blanchard River.
If you prefer a speaker of the House to spend time and money on suing the president for doing his job, a Congress that has no direction or answers, only criticism of Democratic policies, then by all means, continue to support and vote the GOP party line.
Gary Essinger
Palm Harbor, Florida

WE HAVE OUR OWN PROBLEMS
As I read Haley Dillon’s letter (Viewpoint, Aug. 5) on the water situation in Toledo, I have to say that I agreed with her that it really makes you think about how lucky we are and how much we take for granted the simple things.
But, as I continued to read, it became clear that we were not on the same page. Maybe those countries that she wrote of should put their water problem on their own news channels and let their governments and other dignitaries worry about that.
Why is that our job? We have so many of our own problems right here at home to worry about.
While I do feel for those people, I feel just a little more compassion for our own people.
Shea Davis
Findlay

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