The Girl Scouts has declared today to be “Girl Scout Cookie Day.” But girls in Northeast Ohio receive little benefit for their work selling cookies.
A package of cookies retails for $3.50. Girl Scout troops keep only 70 cents of that, with 91 cents going to the baker. The rest, $1.89, goes to the council office.
This seemingly uneven distribution was acceptable when the council office supported the girls’ favorite activity — troop camping. But the council administration disconnected itself from its members when it refused to acknowledge a resolution passed by its General Assembly to re-evaluate the administration’s camp closure decision.
Without their camps, it is unclear what benefit girls receive from the council administration, since the actual troop programs are run by volunteers. The public is advised that if they want to help the girls in Girl Scouting, skip the cookie purchase and donate at least a dollar directly to troops.
For Girl Scout supporters who crave the tasty sweets, Keebler (parent company of the Girl Scout baker ) makes very similar versions: Coconut Dreams are indistinguishable from Samoas, and Grasshopper Fudge Mint cookies are very similar to Thin Mints.
The purpose of Girl Scouting is to develop leadership qualities in girls, and to empower them to act with courage, confidence and character. By refusing to listen to the voices of its girls, the local council administration is undercutting its own mission, in essence saying to its girls, “You can continue to pay the wages of the council staff and pay the mortgage on the council offices through your cookie sales. But your opinion does not matter.”
The hope is that a cookie boycott will help the council administration understand that it needs to respect the wishes of the members and honor the resolution to reopen the camps for reasonable evaluation.
Lynn Scholle Richardson
Founders saw weapons evolving
I have been following the letters, pro and con, regarding the ownership of guns.
Some have written that those who wrote the Second Amendment had in mind only the musket. I think they are wrong in that assumption.
Does anyone think that Benjamin Franklin, as an inventor, was so ill-informed that he would not have envisioned newer weapons being invented? And so it goes for others.
Weapons have been evolving since the dawn of man. David slew Goliath with a stone flung from a sling. Should we still be throwing rocks at those who would harm us?
I believe that the founders knew full well that new and better weapons would be developed and that every person has the right to own his or her weapon of choice.
I also believe that if you choose not to own a weapon, it does not diminish you in any way.
Sales-tax solution to school funding
I am writing this letter to introduce an idea that I have had for several years now. I would like to eliminate all property taxes that are collected for the public schools. This would be accomplished by constitutional amendment.
The amendment would prohibit the funding of the public schools by property taxes. I think a committee should be elected to determine the amount of money needed for the schools in Ohio and to levy a sales tax to fund the schools.
I believe the committee should be elected by geographically determined areas. I think nine people should be elected, then they in turn would appoint two other members who would be experts in the financing of schools.
I feel that a sales tax would enable Ohio to collect not only from our citizens, but from anyone buying anything in the state of Ohio. How can we not feel that this would be beneficial to all in Ohio?
If you are interested in seeing the full text of this amendment, email me at Florida10_97@yahoo.com. Elected officials, please respond, We need your help.
One plate is enough
Police officers rarely enforce the requirement that vehicles display a front license plate. When the issue is brought before them, they cite safety issues such as enforcing speed limits, apprehending criminals and catching those who pass school buses loading and unloading children.
Weekly, I observe hundreds of vehicles that do not display a front plate. It is so obvious, but for some reason it is not obvious to law enforcement, or maybe they just choose not to enforce it.
Several months ago, Bob Dyer wrote a column about observing several vehicles parked in the area of the Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center that did not display a front plate (“Do officers have enough on plates?” June 24). These vehicles were owned by law enforcement.
A new Ohio plate is being issued in April. This is the perfect time for our legislators to use common sense and eliminate the front plate, as our bordering states have.
The elimination would save Ohio over $800,000 a year. State officials are also considering recalling bicentennial and gold plates in December, of which there are more than 2 million sets. What a savings this would be if only one plate is issued per registered vehicle.
All roads lead to congestion
I find it fascinating that every study of traffic congestion (“Study targets commuter traffic time,” Feb. 6) seems to suggest the problem is the result of not enough traffic lanes, when the opposite is true.
Having too many roads has led people to think they can live many miles from work and school without having to account for the ecological, financial or time costs of doing so.
The solution to traffic congestion and its impact on climate change is for people to walk, bike or take mass transit to work.
Until we design our communities smartly, and discourage wasteful real-estate practices, all of us will pay for the foolish decisions of others to live wherever they want, without giving thought to the consequences.
By not differentiating the cost of delivering goods and services to low-density development, we subsidize wastefulness. Until we can rectify this, we ought to reward people who do not use our roads at peak hours because even a small reduction in the number of vehicles on the streets can greatly reduce traffic congestion.
Building better bike lanes, improving mass transit, providing pedestrian amenities, moving freight to rail and a whole host of other low-cost things can be done to achieve this instead of further repair, replacement or expansion of an already bloated road and bridge network.
Proper state role in the economy
Michael Douglas’ public love affair with industrial policy (state economic planning) continues in his Feb. 3 column (“Advancing the ‘next economy’ ”).
A grandiose vision of the state as a positive partner with the business community is flawed on many levels:
Having knowledge of what the “next economy” will be is as likely as having knowledge of what the winning lottery numbers will be. Economies are not machines subject to design and conscious construction.
Assuming such knowledge were available, and presuming a political entity such as the state can ignore its inherent goals of garnering voter support by pandering and profligate spending of tax revenues, and therefore spend wisely and profitably, is naive. Businesses are driven by estimations of achievable profits versus the risk of loss in deciding how best to deploy scarce investment capital.
The state is not subject to those constraints.
Much state support of business ends up creating tilted playing fields, with those ideas (such as alternative energy) favored by the state and like-minded businesses getting showered with financial support, creating barriers to competition and, most important, diverting scarce investment capital to less-than-optimal uses.
The proper role of the state in a free economy should be as the ultimate enforcer of contracts, prosecutor of fraud and protector of property rights (which includes protection from polluters).
To accomplish these duties requires an effective and impartial justice system, not the bloated, massively expensive bureaucratic leviathan we have created, or central planning.
I recently called the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority about renting an apartment. They asked whether I was a veteran or the widow of a veteran, which I am.
It brought tears to my eyes to know that Akron recognizes the thousands of veterans who sacrificed their lives to protect us and keep us free.