Toledo Mayor's Asinine Discriminatory Behavior

Apparently, the Michigan strain of Covid-19 is stronger than the Ohio version [eyeroll]

created Apr 9, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the mayor of Toledo, Ohio, Wade Kapszukiewicz, to act stupidly.

Today's Toledo Blade story:

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said sport can be practiced without close contact with others, thus limiting the threat of coronavirus exposure.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz reversed course on Thursday and announced that the city’s three municipal golf courses will open for public play after all, but don’t expect to be let in if you’re a Michigan resident.

It might be moronic to open the golf courses, but it's definitely imbecilic to ban Michigan residents. It doesn't make sense.

Mayor Wade believes that golf can be practiced without close contact with others, thus limiting the threat of Covid-19 exposure. Okay, if that's true, and if a Michigan resident has the virus but did not show symptoms, then how could that person spread the virus by playing golf in Toledo if golf can be played without close contact to others?

It's too much to ask for politicians to think logically. If our mayor is going to be a buffoon about this, then it would make more sense to allow Michiganders to golf on our courses and ban Michiganders from shopping at our stores, since people have closer contact in stores.

We live in West Toledo, about 1.5 miles from the Michigan border. A lot of former Toledoans live in the small communities and townships, located in southern Michigan, within a few miles of the border.

Apparently, mayor Wade does not realize that Lucas County residents and southern Monroe County residents cross the border often. People live in one state and work in another. What a shock. People shop across the border. People cross the border for many reasons, even now.

My Stepdaughter and her husband live in Monroe County, about 30 minutes north of us. My Son-in-law works as a nurse in a Toledo hospital. Obviously, he crosses the border several times each week.

Yesterday, my Stepdaughter crossed the border to shop at a Lowe's store, located in Ohio, near the border.

If our doofus mayor believes that it's too dangerous for Michigan residents to golf on Toledo courses, even though the mayor believes that golf can be played with sufficient social distancing, then why are Michigan residents permitted to shop in Toledo stores?

Maybe Lowe's should have prohibited my Stepdaughter from entering its store, since she's a Michigan resident and an ICU nurse who is currently working in a Covid-19 unit at a Michigan hospital.

Maybe all Toledo stores should ban Michigan residents, based upon Mayor Wade's thinking.

More from the Blade story about dictator Wade banning Michigan residents from playing on Toledo municipal golf courses:

Other courses across Ohio have been allowed to remain open during the pandemic, for the most part, but Michigan officials ordered golf courses there to close.

Following the mayor’s Thursday news conference, he sent a statement that acknowledged the different regulations in neighboring Michigan puts a border community like Toledo “in the unusual position of having to allow golf courses to remain open while preventing Michigan residents, who cannot golf in their home state, from coming to Ohio.”

Following conversations with Ohio’s governor, lieutenant governor, and local health officials, Mr. Kapszukiewicz said provisions will be put in place requiring that only Ohio residents are allowed to use the city’s courses.

In northwest Ohio, most of the Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have occurred in Lucas County. Using mayor Wade's warped thinking, other northwest Ohio golf courses, stores, parks, etc. should ban Lucas County or Toledo residents.

In fact, based upon mayor Wade's mysterious thinking, Toledo's municipal golf courses should ban people from Lucas County, since Toledo/Lucas County is northwest Ohio's hotspot for the virus.

Several Toledo City Council members said they don’t believe opening the golf courses is a good move. Councilman Rob Ludeman said he enjoys golf, but he isn’t using any courses now because he doesn’t believe people will maintain the six-foot distancing recommended by health experts to curb the coronavirus’ spread.

“I think we should rethink the whole thing. I don't know why all of a sudden it's imperative to open up the golf courses. I thought it was a good idea to have them closed down,” he said. “This is not business as usual. I don’t think it’s a necessity in this crisis right now.”

Council President Matt Cherry weighed in and said he believes the courses can operate safely during the pandemic and provide the opportunity for Toledoans to get some exercise.

Exercise? From playing golf? That's a horrible excuse for opening the golf courses.

If exercise was a real concern, people can walk around their neighborhood for exercise. Our city parks and county Metroparks remain open. People can walk for exercise at our local parks. People can find ways to exercise in their dwellings.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said fresh air and exercise is important, especially when people are otherwise confined to their homes.

Holy crap. Exercise? Fresh air? Walk around the neighborhood. Sit outside. Unless someone is physically incapacitated, it's easy to go outside and get fresh air, solar radiation, and if desired, exercise. I have exercised for many years, and the last time that I golfed was in high school. I NEVER golfed for exercise. I golfed because I enjoyed it.

Mayor Wade and clowncilman Cherry act like we are locked in prison cells with no windows and only 15 minutes per day in the yard.

City officials have taken other precautions at city-owned parks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including taping off playground equipment and removing hoops and rims from basketball courts. Tennis nets still are up, for now.

“Golf, like tennis, is one of those activities that can be done responsibly with social distancing,” the mayor said.

The mayor said it: golf can be played responsibly with social distancing. If true, then why ban Michigan residents?

Mr. Ludeman said he doesn’t like the message it sends that some sports are allowed while others are not. “It appears to be discriminatory in that you’re closing down the basketball courts but you’re opening up the golf courses,” he said. “How do you justify that?”

Yep. Growing up, I spent a ton of hours shooting hoops alone. The problem might occur with pickup games. Who would police Toledo's many roundball courts? Who will police Toledo's three municipal golf courses? And so on.

Another Apr 9, 2020 Blade story:

The resident was hospitalized across the state border in a Toledo hospital where he died.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz also has expressed concern about the Michigan-Ohio border and what it could mean for Toledo hospitals.

In my opinion, this is disgusting behavior and thinking expressed by Toledo's mayor.

Ohio leaders have preached the need for cooperation with their counterparts in other states as the U.S. braces for a surge in infections and deaths that is likely to occur at different times in different places. But the head of Lucas County’s health board, Dr. Johnathon Ross, has argued that community members here who get sick from coronavirus could be put in jeopardy if northwest Ohio hospital beds fill up with Michigan residents.

Wow. These Toledo officials are expressing a "lite" form of xenophobia, in my opinion. If not the x-word, then it's at least classless. It paints Toledoans in an ugly light. Uncaring and unhelpful to our area "friends."

But Toledo politicians have ALWAYS been inflicted with a severe case of fiefdom thinking.

The mayor and Gov. Mike DeWine have even discussed the possibility of closing or restricting travel between Michigan and Ohio, an effort to try to curb spreading the virus across state lines.

Mayor Wade suggested the incredibly stupid idea of closing or restricting travel between Ohio and Michigan. How much law enforcement or how many National Guard troops would be needed to build gates and to check every vehicle that travels on every road that crosses the Ohio-Michigan border?

Near our home in West Toledo, I can take Secor, Douglas, Jackman, Lewis, and Telegraph roads into Michigan. Those are all Toledo roads. Other city roads probably exist. And we have a major damn highway, I-75, that crosses the border. Good luck gating that road.

And how far west would the gates exist? Wade is the mayor of Toledo, not ruler of all of Lucas County. Wade would have to convince the governor to gate roads in all of Lucas, Fulton, and Williams counties. Those are the northwest Ohio counties that border Michigan.

Wade's idea is almost as dumb as the idea that came from Carty's mayoral regime back in the 1990s that suggested deaf people should be moved near the airport.

I wonder if Wade getting inspiration from The Little Book of Carty, written by a Toledo Blade reporter?

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and Gov. Mike DeWine spoke on the telephone Monday about Toledo’s proximity to one of the nation’s faster-growing concentrations of coronavirus cases — metro Detroit, including discussing the possibility of closing or restricting travel between Michigan and Ohio.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said he asked Governor DeWine about the possibility of closing the border to protect northwest Ohio residents living just an hour south of Detroit, and the governor wasn’t opposed.

If Ohioans are following the governor’s stay-at-home order, Mr. Tierney said, they shouldn’t have to worry about the virus spreading.

The same goes for Michigan residents, who were placed on a stay-home-stay-safe order on March 23, the day after Ohio announced its order, said Lynn Sutfin, a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesman.

Still, Mr. Kapszukiewicz said he’s talking with area officials and health providers “about what the situation in Detroit could mean for Toledo.”

“This is an issue that has our attention,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. “This is emerging as a challenge for Toledo and we’re going to meet it and address it to the full extent of our powers.”

ProMedica’s three hospitals in Michigan have started accepting patients from Detroit, and may consider bringing patients to Ohio, if the need is great enough, he said.

Toledo area hospitals caring for patients from Michigan, that's the decent human thing to do. It's part of the oath, taken by doctors or medical professionals. These front-line health workers are in the business of helping people.

Mayor Wade is NOT trying to help people. He appears to be unhinged in his thinking. Someone needs to reel him in before he embarrasses Toledo on a national level.

I wonder if southeast Michigan residents and media orgs are aware of mayor Wade's anti-Michigan stance, during a health crisis.

Some surprising common sense from the Blade editorial board.

Even in a crisis, Big Brother does not need to close us off from every possible bad choice we can make.

While his concern is understandable, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz’s recent question to Gov. Mike DeWine about whether he might restrict or close off travel between Michigan and Ohio was an overreaction. Trying to do that would be taking coronavirus emergency powers too far.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz should not bother with such data. Instead, he should help Toledo by reinforcing the orders of the governors of Ohio and Michigan by urging people to stay home. And he can also help by keeping Toledo’s government center building clean and safe.

Shutting down the Michigan-Ohio line is both legally dubious and likely a practical impossibility. Imagine Ohio State Patrol troopers trying to stop every vehicle with a Michigan plate and the idea’s absurdity is obvious.

Someone in Toledo could have a vital, noncoronavirus-related medical appointment in Ann Arbor. Or someone in nearby Michigan might have a similar appointment in Toledo.

Or someone living in Toledo might need to help family living 30 minutes to the north in Michigan.

If we are to get through this with our dignity intact, our leaders need to trust in a free people’s common sense and respect it.

Sat, Apr 11, 2020

Michigan's governor is proving to be more idiotic and authoritarian than Toledo's mayor.

Michigan's governor banned golfing and listed landscaping stores as non-essential. But the big box chain stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes, are allowed to remain open, and those chains have lawn and garden centers.

People and businesses dedicated to small, local, independent landscaping stores will now shop at the chains. This new claim that landscaping stores are non-essential is anti-small business and moronic when the chains are allowed to be open. To be consistent, Michigan's governor needs to force closure of the lawn and garden centers at Home Depot, Lowe's, and other chains?

Michigan's governor has now banned "recreational motorized boating." !?!?!?

The guidance, included in a “frequently asked questions” section on the MDNR and governor’s websites, states that kayaking, canoeing, and sailing are permitted outdoor activities, although those pursuing those activities must practice social distancing and people from different households may not boat together. The use of a the use of a “motorboat, jet ski or similar watercraft,” however, is prohibited.

If my Stepdaughter and her husband, Michigan residents, went kayaking in separate kayaks or in the same kayak, that would be okay. But if they road on separate jet skis or together on the same jet ski, that's prohibited.

It appears that the state and local governments are enjoying their experimenting with how far they can take oppressive actions. Thus far, Ohio's governor Mike DeWine has remained sane. Clearly, Toledo's mayor and Michigan's governor have lost touch with reality.

And now back to back to the lunacy of Toledo and Lucas County governments.

South Toledo’s Heather Downs Country Club started to see groups of golfers from Michigan after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed courses there last month to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But as the club’s staff fielded concerns from Ohioans and thought more about the potential risk of spreading the illness, they opted to only allow Ohio residents on the course beginning Wednesday.

“Then today we get the official word from the health department,” Golf Director Dan Sutton said Friday. “We’re following proper protocol here, we’re a little ahead of the game.”

To show how these Toledo and Lucas County government actions are massively stupid, simply view the Covid-19 stats at the county level.

Toledo's county is Lucas County, and Lucas County has had more cases and more deaths, related to Covid-19 than neighboring Michigan counties, such as Monroe and Lenawee.

If this was truly about health, then the golf courses in Lucas County and in our neighboring Ohio counties would prohibit golfers from Lucas County.

Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski on Friday sent a letter to all golf course owners in the county asking them to not permit anyone from out of state who has not self-quarantined for 14 days to use the course.

And the health officials in Wood, Ottawa, Fulton, and Henry counties need to order the golf course owners in those counties to ban residents from Lucas County, which is the Covid-19 hotspot in northwest Ohio.

And we wonder what causes anti-government sentiment.

Golf courses should post a sign informing people that if they have come from out of state and not yet self-quarantined, they may be in violation of the Ohio Department of Health’s stay-at-home order. The sign should also include notice that if someone does violate the health order, they could be fined or jailed.

Jailed for playing golf when the dingbat mayor of Toledo said that golf could be played in a safe manner. !?!?

No logic is present here, which is disturbing. And not one person in the local media will have the mindset to challenge these local authoritarian officials on their deranged, illogical thinking.

I'd like to see businesses in Perrysburg or Rossford start issuing bans on Lucas County residents. Wood County could ban Lucas County residents for the same reasons that Lucas County is banning Michigan residents. Lucas County is worse and more dangerous than Monroe, Lenawee, and Hillsdale counties combined.

Lucas County health officials on Friday reported 443 total confirmed coronavirus cases and 22 deaths. The most recent fatalities were all men, one in his 50s, one in his 60s, and two in their 80s.

Monroe County experienced its first Covid-19-related death this week.

Mr. Sutton has taken extra precautions at Heather Downs Country Club, from sanitizing equipment to limiting golf cart riders to spreading out tee times.

He said he has fielded some calls and text messages from Michigan residents who live on the border with Ohio and want to come golf, but he has turned them away. They understand for the most part, he said.

Those people living in southern Monroe County in Michigan are safer than Lucas County residents, according to the STATS.

Stats through April 10, 2020

Nearby Michigan counties: cases and deaths.

Monroe and Lenawee border Lucas County. Hillsdale County is an approx 40-minute-plus drive away.

These are the Ohio counties that border Lucas County: cases and deaths.

And now Toledo's county:

Lucas County has experienced more Covid-19-related cases and deaths than those other seven counties combined. Why would our neighboring counties permit residents from Lucas County to enter? The Michigan counties of Monroe and Lenawee should ban Lucas County residents.

The stats prove that Lucas County golf courses should ban Lucas County residents, according to the nutball thinking of the mayor and the county's health director.

Apr 16, 2020

Listening to Detroit news radio and reading Detroit News articles, it does appear that Michigan's governor has ordered some areas within big box retail stores to be roped off from the public. A store like Home Depot remains open in Michigan, but a customer can buy some items, but other areas of the store are off-limits. ?????

I considered reading the official order or orders, given by the Michigan state government, but I doubt that I would be able to decipher the documents.

If banning motorized watercraft now is suppose to prevent the spread of the virus, how can Detroit "reopen" in 2020?

The catch is that the mayor ordered the courses to allow only Ohioans to play. Golfers crossing the border from Michigan — where all courses remain closed —- must be turned away, the mayor ordered.

This is creating unnecessary bad blood at a time when everyone should be in the fight together.

Discouraging interstate travel is clearly a wise strategy to slow contagion. That’s problematic for border communities like Toledo. In ordinary times, many area residents regularly cross the Ohio-Michigan border for work, shopping, school, and family every day.

While it is reasonable to set limits that prevent crowds at Toledo’s golf courses, there must be a way to work out a compromise solution.

Maybe allow golfers from the nearest southern Michigan counties to play, or use a lottery system to allot a limited number of Michigan golfers a chance to play Toledo’s courses while Michigan’s are closed.

To the editor: Welcome to Ohio?

Proposal to monitor border to Michigan shows lack of charity, faith in our fellow man.

I felt somewhat shell-shocked when I heard that Toledo’s Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and others wanted find a way to close the border with Michigan to prevent residents from overwhelming Ohio’s health-care facilities.

Thanks for pulling the welcome mat out from under us. What a sad commentary and lack of charity to your fellow man.

It's a classless, soulless, illogical, irrational, moronic, and embarrassing decision by Toledo's mayor and the Lucas County health director. Their thinking is so warped that I deem them untrustworthy when it comes to making decisions to protect our health.

Disgruntled Michiganders held a big protest in Lansing yesterday. It doesn't seem like the wise thing to do if people ignored social distancing guidelines.

Small protests have occurred in Columbus over the past week, at least. Larger protests or rallies were planned for this weekend in Columbus.

Today's news:

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and six other Midwest governors say they will work "in close coordination" in deciding how to reopen the region's economy after shuttering many businesses to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Did the growing protests cause the governors to make such an announcement sooner than expected, regarding plans to "re-open?" Other areas of the country, however, have announced multi-state partnerships with regards to re-opening their regional economies. I'm guessing that these talks between Midwest states have been occurring for a little while.

In a Thursday press release, the governors of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin — five Democrats and two Republicans — said they would work with experts and take "a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way" that protects families."

Within Detroit's city limits, Detroit has experienced more Covid-19 deaths than the entire state of Ohio.

But they also cautioned that the coordination doesn't mean the economy will "reopen all at once" or all the states "will take the same steps at the same time."

That seems obvious. I wonder how long Toledo's wacky mayor will continue with his anti-Michigan stance? Michiganders continue to shop in Toledo's stores.

In determining when best to reopen their respective economies, the governors said they will consider the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, the ability to test and trace cases, health care capacity and best practices for social distancing in workplaces.

The statement by the governors came hours after new data showed that more than 1 million Michigan residents have filed for unemployment since the state confirmed its first COVID-19 cases on March 10.

That large number of unemployment claims has probably forced the governors to plan for May and June and the rest of the summer more than protesters.

Also today:

Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday announced a slow and gradual reopening of Ohio's economy from its self-induced coronavirus coma beginning on May 1, starting with businesses prepared to protect their workers and customers.

Hospitals will also get back to non-emergency surgeries and medical care now that the governor believes it would be safer — although not yet completely safe — to do so.

Mr. DeWine on Thursday declined to say which businesses would open first, whether he would focus on certain sectors, or whether one shop with a safety plan in hand will be allowed to open while another smaller competitor across the street without a plan might not.

Who inspects and monitors these plans?

Mr. DeWine said mass gatherings like concerts, fairs, and sporting events remain “pretty problematic as long as this monster is out there.” He said he's open to ideas as to how such venues could restart while still protecting those who work at and attend events.


It was affirming to see Michigan citizens clogging the streets of Lansing Wednesday to show their opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's near total shutdown of the state.

Whitmer had the support of the people of Michigan when her orders were perceived as rational and necessary to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19

But when the lockdown became arbitrary and capricious, when the edicts began to feel punitive and vindictive, when they took on the aura of a police state, the people dug in. If they're going to give up their paychecks and stay locked in their homes, they want the restrictions to make sense.

They understand the difference between reasonable precautions and control for control's sake.

Toledo's mayor does not know the difference.

Too much of what Whitmer is doing is indefensible. You can ride in a rowboat, but if you attach a motor to it, you're subject to a $1,000 fine. You can stop at Home Depot for a can of Lysol, but if you swing by the garden department for a potted plant, you're breaking the law.

Stories abound of citizens being stopped and fined for pulling out of a nursery with a trailer of mulch.

Tis the season for annoying yard work. Some people enjoy doing yard work and landscaping. I don't. I was not planning to maintain a produce garden this year anyway, which will be the first time in many years. We have native plants and hostas. Those plants take care of themselves. But for the lawn, I'm not going out of my way to buy anything yard work-related. I'll use the pandemic as an excuse to avoid lawn maintenance.

Reasonable steps to ensure safety and keep the health care network from being overwhelmed have given way to totalitarianism. Whitmer's response is to note she has a thick skin. She also has a propensity for caustic dismissiveness.

Well, caustic dismissiveness is not unique to Whitmer. That's a common trait among most politicians, in my opinion. Since they were elected, then they are smarter and more elite than the rest of us.

Apr 24, 2020

Changes in Michigan.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday lengthened her stay-at-home order through May 15, while lifting restrictions so some businesses can reopen and the public can participate in outdoor activities like golf and motorized boating during the coronavirus pandemic.

People are now required, rather than encouraged, to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as grocery stores if they can medically tolerate it. Employers must provide non-medical-grade masks to their in-person employees.

Landscapers, lawn-service companies, plant nurseries and bike repair shops can resume operating, subject to social-distancing rules. Stores selling nonessential supplies can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery. Big-box retailers no longer have to close off garden centers and areas dedicated to selling paint, flooring and carpet.

Ms. Whitmer said people with multiple in-state homes can resume traveling between them, though it is strongly discouraged.

The order continues to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life, with exemptions for various critical jobs. Restaurants remain closed to dine-in customers under a separate measure, and bars, movie theaters, gyms and other sports facilities also are still shuttered.

That all makes sense for the next few weeks. It's not required in Ohio to wear a mask when inside a business. During my visits to the food co-op and another health food store in West Toledo last week, I saw customers and employees not wearing masks. Some of both did, but not all.

Yeah, the mask is annoying to wear. It dislodges my glasses. It steams up my glasses. But I only need to wear it for the brief time that I shop in a store. It makes me shop faster.