I have been donating platelets for about 25 years. I have been donating whole blood since the late 1960s. When it comes to the differences between the Red Cross and the union that is putting up a picket line and keeping people from donating blood and platelets, my loyalties lie with the recipients of the whole blood and the platelets.

I do not care which side thinks it is right. They are both wrong when they think of themselves and forget about those people who need whole blood or the cancer patients on chemotherapy who can only use platelets for transfusions.

Both sides will tell you that the Red Cross is getting whole blood and platelets from other parts of the country. The patients aren’t being denied, but there is a finite amount of whole blood and platelets, and whether you have 1,000 pints or 100,000 pints, some other part of the country will have less if they have to send some to Northern Ohio.

Both sides need to sit at a negotiating table and think about that third party, a little girl with cancer, the accident victim who needs blood, the true victims.

When the union and the Red Cross both decide to concede a little to bring this to an end, then they will both begin to show a little humanity. I and many others care only about the people who need these products. We are not talking about cars or televisions or tires. We are talking about life.

Both sides should get back to the table and make concessions. They should save the posturing for other unions and other companies, companies that are not assigned the task of saving lives. If this continues to drag on, then whatever moral high ground each side claims will be lost, and each will be damaged, both the union and the Red Cross.

David Young

Akron

History’s verdict

The debate over interracial marriage in the 1960s is the equivalent of the debate over gay marriage today. Which side of history will you be on?

Michael Murawski

Green

Dirty profits ?of power plants

FirstEnergy’s decision to keep its four coal-fired power plants open will most likely increase its already outrageous profit margin. Although keeping the plants open comes at a significant cost, FirstEnergy will not be footing the bill.

Rather, the company will push the $1 billion upgrade costs (needed to keep the plants open) onto its customers, all while continuing to pollute the air and make money.

FirstEnergy has known about its inefficient, polluting plants for years, yet when it came time to shut them, the company did not have a proper transition plan in place.

The company did not take its workers, community members or consumers into consideration when it announced the closures. With that said, it seems unfair that FirstEnergy will profit while Ohioans will continue to face the negative health effects caused by pollution and see an increase in their energy bills.

A proper plan should involve a transition to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

By taking clean-energy initiatives, workers, communities and customers can feel the benefits. This sector can bring in new jobs, keep the air clean and save customers money. FirstEnergy needs to focus on the big picture and provide a cleaner, healthier, stronger Ohio through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Courtney Wade

Hudson

Priorities of ?the wealthy

A week ago Sunday evening, I was reading the “America Today” series story “How are we surviving the Great Recession?”

The very last paragraph on page A-9 posed this question to a businessman in Akron, “What are the wealthy doing?”

The answer the businessman gave, in part, was that the wealthy are getting anxious for something to do with the money they’ve been sitting on for several years.

I didn’t have to wait long to find an answer.

I watched the 6:30 p.m. news on CBS. One wealthy individual paid $4 million-plus for a baseball jersey that Babe Ruth had worn.

Talk about wretched excess.

Betty J. Pinder

Akron

Moral judgment ?on gay marriage

Carol Susan Moore’s May 13 letter (“Welcome voices on gay marriage”) states “we are not to judge” others. In this context, the word “judge” is best understood as “condemn.” Only God can condemn, since only God knows all the facts.

However, we must all judge our own and others’ behavior to distinguish between right and wrong.

She also tells us to ask, “What would Jesus do?” Since “Jesus loves all people,” he would forgive those who are repentant.

Finally, Moore suggests that “equal rights for everyone is where our country needs to be.” But in determining what is best for individuals and society, our country can legitimately treat people in different circumstances differently. Thus, although they are full citizens, our country does not grant driver’s licenses to blind people or gun permits to young children.

If only sexual preference and “love” define marriage, then all unions of all types would have to be sanctioned and granted the same privileges by society.

Raymond J. Adamek

Kent