Archive for April, 2009

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The Thin Blue Line

April 25, 2009
TPD Chief Mike Navarre talks about layoffs

TPD Chief Mike Navarre talks about layoffs

I know the responsibility I feel as a mother to keep my daughter safe.  Imagine being responsible for the safety of 300,000 people.  That’s the burden Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre carries.   I talked to the Chief Friday night, one week before 150 police officers–25% of the force–were to be laid off.   What are his major concerns?  He has many.  He’s worried about the well being of the men and women who are being laid off–and their families.  He’s worried about the officers being reassigned to positions and shifts they’re not familiar nor comfortable with.  He’s worried his officers won’t be able to adequately respond to victims, and that Toledoans will be so frustrated and afraid they’ll start taking the law into their own hands.  And he’s worried about the timing of all of this:  Summer is traditionally a high-crime season and before it even gets started, the department’s behind the 8 ball with too few officers trying to keep up with too many criminals.  And yet, with calm and grace, the Chief is doing the very best he can with what he has.  On May 1st, if the layoffs occur, Toledo will have 1.5 police officers for every 1,000 residents.  It’s a dismal number.  The worst in Ohio, the worst in the entire Midwest for a city this size.  The  Chief is hopeful it will be a short-term problem; maybe until stimulus money comes through in August or September.  But he’s realistic and knows by then it may be too late.     The thin blue line is getting thinner by the day…layoffs, budget cuts…rising crime…and the Chief’s doing his best to walk it one step at a time.  Let’s hope there’s a solution to the Toledo Police Crisis before we start seeing some very ugly results.

Click on picture above to hear the full story

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Warriors in Pink

April 5, 2009

“Dear Chrys,

I’m writing because my friend Ginny just found a lump in her breast and has no insurance to pay for a mammogram. I’ve heard you talk about breast cancer and the Race for the Cure and I’m just wondering if you can tell us where Ginny might get some help?  She’s very scared and doesn’t know where to turn. ”

Not a week goes by that I don’t get an email like this one (I’ve changed the name here) or a phone call from someone looking for help for a loved one who finds a lump,  needs a mammogram, or needs some support services as she goes through breast cancer treatment.   It always makes me feel good to know there are a variety of programs and services available to those women, funded in part by our local NW Ohio Komen for the Cure.      The Race for the Cure in September is NW Ohio Komen’s signature event and biggest fundraiser, but people all over our area have organized events like Volley for the Cure (volleyball), Rally for the Cure (golf), Kickin’ it for the Cure (soccer)  and others to raise money and awareness for this important cause.   Last week at our annual grant luncheon NW Ohio Komen for the Cure awarded nearly $800,000 to a variety of programs and services to help people in our area.  These are the warriors who fight breast cancer every day right here in NW Ohio and SE Michigan. 

$141,261 went to our Region 3 and Region 4 Breast and Cervical Cancer Project administrators who provide breast screening and diagnostic services to women in 18 counties.   More than 2,000 women will be served by this program this year.   $143,831 went to Mercy Health Partners, Mercy Memorial Hospital System, Putnam County Health Department and Toledo-Lucas County CareNet to provide screening, treatment and education services for 1565 women who can’t afford them.   Pathstone’s Mujeres Encontra Del Cancer De Seno program provides education, screening, treatment, transportation and translation services to more than 1,000 farm workers in 11 of our counties.   Komen granted the program $55,550.   $25,000 will help the North Coast Cancer Foundation provide radiation therapy for 50 underinsured women in our area.  That’s more than 4600 women who would not otherwise get mammograms or treatment for breast cancer.  Who knows how many of those women’s lives will be saved because of those services?

Komen is also providing grants to three programs for support services.  Flower Hospital received $39,512 to launch a new program which will provide support services to 210 breast cancer survivors in Lucas County.  The Victory Center received $5,966 for breast cancer support services, and Reeling and Healing, a fly-fishing retreat for breast cancer survivors received $2,200.

In addition to all the local grants, our NW Ohio Komen affiliate sent more than $200,000 to the national Komen office for breast cancer research.  Scientists are making breakthroughs in treatments and potential cures every day, and our local money is helping that effort.

One in every 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in this country, so it’s something that has touched all of our lives in some way.    A heartfelt thanks to all of you warriors who are saving lives and making a difference every day to the women in our community!

If you need help, or know someone who does, contact the NW Ohio Komen for the Cure at 419-724-CURE (2873) or visit online at http://www.komennwohio.org/