More than PolkaWritten by Autumn Lee | | email@example.com
Because I operate the Web site www.polishtoledo.com, I read with interest Joel Sensenig’s Nov. 25 article “Toledo group keeps Polish music alive and well.”
The article would lead the casual reader to believe that polka music is the end all and be all to Polish music. If you travel to Poland, you’d be hard pressed to find polka dances or hear many polkas played at wedding receptions and other events. The phenomenon is pretty much exclusive to Polonian communities in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent the U.K. and Brazil.
For cultural clarity purposes, I’d like to point out that the polka (literally meaning “Polish girl” in the native tongue) was actually invented in Eastern Bohemia in 1834 and is a brisk tempo 2/4 time, half-step (pulka in Czech). By 1840 it was the rage of the Europe because it was an easy step to learn compared to the minuet or more sophisticated dances like the polonaise or mazurka (the latter two definitively Polish in origination). By the dawn of the 20th century the polka lost its footing, so to speak, in Europe, but was still practiced with great zeal by Eastern European émigrés coming to the new world. Maybe this was due to its upbeat and happy characteristics giving comfort to immigrants who diligently toiled to establish themselves in a predominantly Anglo-dominated society.
For the record, Polish heritage is so much more than polkas and kielbasa. While polka-oriented radio programs are still pervasive in cities across America where there are large numbers of Polish-Americans, here in Toledo we are lucky to have the “Melodies of Poland” program on WCWA AM 1230 at 8 a.m. Sunday mornings representing the broad and true spectrum of Polish music and culture.
The breadth of Polish music can be explored at www.polishtoledo.com/music_links.htm.
TARTA is celebrating a very shallow victory while it continues its stranglehold on its subdivisions. Six out of the nine subdivisions voted down the levy by an average of 58 percent. If all subdivisions had voted no, the Toledo vote would have still forced the new taxation. It is obvious the TARTA district is charging more to run TARTA’s antiquated stagecoaches.
It is frustrating they are not pro-active and depend on lip service and marketing rather than innovative management and service. Based upon their pre-campaign finance report, seven companies doing business with TARTA have contributed 72 percent of their income. This includes the company Laidlaw Transit contributing $9,000 who subcontracts their most important service, TARPS. They also have an outstanding loan for $10,000 — making their final report, due Dec. 14, very interesting reading.
The next 1-mill levy will be on the ballot in 2010, so I urge local subdivision representatives to mirror the wishes of their community dissatisfaction. I support the efforts of Randy Gardner and Bob Latta to add language to the Ohio Revised Code to allow subdivisions votes to count for their citizens and vote to exit TARTA and provide their citizens the transportation service they will support. The current TARTA dictates don’t represent a democracy but entrapment. If TARTA were so confident about its service, it would provide an exit clause; otherwise, no other sane community would join TARTA — a forever commitment without accountability.
PHIL CARON, Perrysburg
No to coke
I want to express my extreme concern about the proposed coke (cola) plant.
As a citizen of Oregon, I do not want this facility to be in our master plan. Common sense would dictate our city does not need another company that negatively impacts the environment and the largest fresh water system in the world, the Great Lakes.
Additionally and most baffling is that no one seems to know to this day who is the owner.
How can council not see this as an extreme mistake/risk?
Please ask yourselves following questions.
1. Who is liable for any such environmental problems that is inevitable to occur (e.g. Envirosafe)?
2. Why does there even need to be a discussion on air quality control? It should be the best no matter what the decision.
3. This may not affect me or my immediate family, but what about the citizens of Oregon, East Toledo, and Harbor View that live in the area where this plant is to be built?
4. Where is the quality of life not only for today but for our children and grandchildren?
5. In approximately 40 years when this plant is not in operation, how will the “eyesore” be handled?
6. Why is there limited communication given to the citizens of Oregon?
7. According to the 2004 permit and 2007 proposed permit, the amount of pollutants is almost a 300 percent increase over the actual pollutants from the old Front Street Coke plant from 1987 to 1991. How is this an improvement in today’s greening world?
Northwest Ohio is becoming a welcoming community for its research and development regarding alternative green energy; but when an industry comes forward with technology that is new but still has the adverse effects of pollution our council jumps at that chance to bring it here to Oregon.
As the old adage goes, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
ALLISON ROW, Oregon
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