It seems that editorial writer Steve Hoffman and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development want to tell people where they have to live, who should be in charge of local affairs and that full-scale metro governments should have control over entire counties (“Dangers of the cornfield option,” Aug. 15).
Hoffman seems to forget that this nation was founded on freedom, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which preserves individual liberty, not government control and restrictions on individuals, let alone government telling citizens where they can live.
There are many reasons why people move to the so-called suburbs or the country: to build a house, to have land with trees and greenery, to give their children a decent place to grow up, good schools, low crime, people who are neighborly and fresh air, to mention a few.
Many leave the city due to crime, poor housing, increasing costs such as sewer and water, fear, lack of services and human congestion.
Regarding the city of Akron, the senseless shootings on Copley Road and other urban areas, robberies, the lack of discipline in schools, along with a lack of respect for teachers, are among many reasons why people leave to live elsewhere.
One can also point to city politics: Akron is a Democratic town, period. When was the last Republican mayor or member of council elected in Akron? Additionally, where is it a law that people have to live in a city?
This debate is as old as the nation itself, with Thomas Jefferson wanting a nation of farmers and Hamilton wanting the opposite.
The bottom line is this: If Akron wants to stop the migration out of the city, it needs to compete in the marketplace and do so.
To a degree, the mayor of Akron has tried to do this, but it is not the job of government, or a government-created bureaucracy, to dictate to people where they can live, where they can buy or build a house.
This is the United States, not the old Soviet Union or Cuba.
John F. Kline Jr.
Better choice to lead the Fed
Hurrah for Maureen Dowd’s Aug. 15 column, “Who says Summers is such a smart guy?” It was right on the mark.
The surprise was to learn that Bette Midler has been tweeting about Larry Summers. Midler mentioned my personal heroine, Brooksley Born, who was chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 1996 to 1999.
She wanted to publicly examine derivatives but was blocked by Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, and Alan Greenspan, who feared she would cause a financial crisis.
Nothing was done, and one of the worst financial crises in a long time soon followed. In the meantime, Summers has become a multimillionaire at a hedge fund.
Certainly Janet Yellen, the current Fed vice chair, is better qualified to head the Federal Reserve when Ben Bernanke leaves.
Let us hope President Obama understands this.
Why punish scholarship students?
Is the University of Akron’s board of trustees so unaware of the correlation between graduation rates and the cost associated with finishing a degree that they are cutting scholarship overages?
Perhaps, as trustees voted to retain President Proenza with a mere $125,000 bonus and an 18 percent increase to his base salary as of Jan. 1, payable for six months at $500,000, they will reconsider their decision to cut student scholarships that exceed the cost of tuition. This cost is maybe upwards of $1,500.
In my book, any tuition overage should be considered a bonus that students have earned.
At UA, scholarship students are required to maintain a B average and attend many campus and community-related activities. They do not receive a paycheck, only the hope of a college degree.
Isn’t this student “bonus” relative to the bonus that the trustees believe Proenza deserves? The only difference is that these students have come to rely on overages to pay for their housing, food and gas to get to their classes and required internships. Proenza takes boating excursions.
Don’t get me wrong, it was encouraging to hear Proenza’s desire to reach poorly prepared students with no encouragement to excel from home. But why punish those who continue to work very hard and who would not otherwise be able to afford the costs associated with a college degree?
I recently went back to school as an adult and had my ear bent to the difficulty of the urban college student, specifically at UA. This included but was not limited to meeting class requirements, holding a minimum-wage job and maintaining a beat-up old car.
Those who have worked hard and thought that they wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of books or the housing agreement are finding out now that they may have to walk away.
Did Zimmerman take responsibility?
Some people defend George Zimmerman by saying, “He was allowed to do what he was doing.” As a Christian, I have learned that just because I can do something does not mean that I should do it, or that it is the right thing.
In matters of faith, it is often the spirit with which we plan, consider choices, choose and follow through that makes the difference in whether our actions are judged valuable or of no merit.
Was Zimmerman honest in his contact with Trayvon Martin? Did he state that he was a neighborhood watchman? What did he say, in what tone of voice? Did he ask what Martin was doing in the neighborhood? Did he listen for answer?
Was Zimmerman honest in his appearance? Did he wear a uniform or T-shirt or cap that identified what he had taken on as his role? Did he warn Martin that he had a weapon and was prepared to use it? Did he say, “Stop or I’ll shoot”?
As the adult in the situation, did Zimmerman take the lead role in moving the situation in positive directions? Had he ever been trained to defuse situations? Had he ever de-escalated a situation he was in?
Perhaps none of these questions is a legal question. But questions such as these strike to the heart of the spirit with which Zimmerman apparently approached his self-appointed role.
I have come to understand that we are all endowed with the capacity for good and evil. Adults should have significant responsibility in relationships and interactions to elicit positive responses from others.
If we put a bad foot forward, we likely will be met with fear and negative reactions, inciting the capacity for evil in the other person.
I feel that judgment weighs heavily on Zimmerman. I hope Zimmerman will be transformed by the terrible tragedy. I pray that a renewed spirit for good activates him in all his future interactions with others, adults and youth.
Loyalty rewarded with a new fee
Being a University of Akron alumnus and season ticket holder for six years I was disappointed to learn that I now have to pay an additional $50 to park in the space I normally received with my season ticket package.
I can, however, opt to receive a parking pass blocks away from the stadium at “no additional charge.” So much for being loyal.
The university averaged 9,275 people per game last year, the second lowest of Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams. We won’t even discuss the team’s record. Is this the athletic department’s answer to recouping lost revenue?
How sad. I wonder: Whose bright idea that was? So now many of us are being “punished” for not anteing up the additional $50 to offset the university’s loss of income due to the huge attendance drop from 2011 (15,734 per game). Pretty bush league, don’t you think?
A deal is a deal
I am the father of a son who was the victim of a hit-skip driver. I do not know if the driver was impaired by drugs, alcohol or a medical condition. I do know that as of 1978, my family changed forever.
For Molly Farmer to have the nerve after not spending a day in jail to ask for her driving license back is abhorrent to me.
She made a great plea deal with no jail time, so I say let her live with it. I see cases like this all the time in the paper where people are arrested five to 15 times for DUIs.
Cases like these make my blood boil. Where are the lawmakers? Why won’t they pass laws protecting legal drivers by making stiffer sentences for these kinds of offenses?
I pray that Judge Amy Corrigall Jones does not overturn Farmer’s suspension. Driving on our highways is hard enough without having people convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide behind the wheel.